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Controversy over "The Chosen" line Supposedly Taken from the Book of Mormon


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4 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Do you understand the difference between disagreeing and attacking?  I know you disagree with the church on some things.  You aren't attacking.  

When I use the word "attacking" I use it intentionally as someone that publishes a book or video to put down the church (as in the case of Apologia Studios).  And I don't use that word exclusively for literature published against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because there are publications that attack Catholicism and Jehovah's Witnesses and Islam (and no doubt others).  It's not mere disagreement when that occurs.  And it's not that these publications are explaining why someone disagrees with another faith (there would be nothing wrong in doing that), but there is a different tone and different level of criticism to the point of digging up dirt and misinformation (etc. etc.)

I can't disagree with what you or Calm have said. I guess my point is from the other side of the coin, which you don't address. By your definition, how often have or do members of the LDS Church attack non-LDS Christians? Can you clarify for me the distinction in your mind between when LDS folks over the last almost two hundred years have attacked or simply disagreed with non-LDS Christians? Will you suggest there has been no literature published against non-LDS Christians, their denominations, groups? No publications that have done the same? How about a negative tone and base level of criticism to the point of digging up dirt and misinformation (as in the fellow we are talking about) whose "testimony" was broadcast on this forum? How many generalizations, normalizations, rankings, have been done in the name of the LDS Church towards people of non-LDS faith and persuasion? Please don't put me in place of having to create ill will by providing examples. I think you will acknowledge this going back to the mid-19th century. Please don't make it that one side attacks while the other side simply disagrees, but lovingly offers a solution on the other side of the veil. That does nothing to heal the wounds from being told that a lifetime of service is neither valid or pleasing to the Savior. That sure feels like an attack to me, because contrary to some here on the forum, I am personally and intimately engaged with those who diminish the spiritual fruit of my wife to my face. "Oh, but its nothing personal!" Hogwarts! Oops Hogwash!  (have to add some humor).

I would not deny that Fundamentalist non-LDS Christians have, do, and probably will attack the LDS church, the Mennonite Church (for ordaining women and gays and for being pacifists), the Catholic Church (for whatever reason),Pentecostals for their position on the Gifts of the Spirit and the trinity, and whoever else is not them. That is one reason why I speak against them and get frustrated when my LDS friends want to insist that we (all non-LDS Christians) are all of the same cloth (no pun attended - well maybe!).

Let me assure you that Fundamentalist Mormons attack the LDS Church too. Maybe you have never felt that personally from them. I have heard it and in defense of my LDS friends, felt it. Have you read their literature? It is blistering against the LDS church! I am writing too much again. Sorry. Take care. Oh, and thanks for separating me from those who attack. I appreciate that.

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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

how often have or do members of the LDS Church attack non-LDS Christians?

If by attack you mean criticize with the sole purpose to destroy their belief or at least impede their practice of it, not often. Very, very rare in my experience.

Mocking or being derogatory about another faith is much more common.

Unfortunately there is plenty of prejudice and misinformation to provide excuses to ridicule, some leftover from past bigotry that was more prominent in the past in some semiofficial teachings plus a former temple scene that could be interpreted in nasty ways if so inclined.

It just isn’t typically that organized though, as in a book or website that says “Calvinism is evil” or whatever.

We also tend to like others quite a bit (studies show this). I think this is reflected in less full out criticisms and more just throw away digs on occasion. 

Edited by Calm
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11 minutes ago, Calm said:

If by attack you mean criticize with the purpose to destroy their belief or at least impede their practice of it, not often. Very, very rare in my experience. 

Mocking or being derogatory about another faith is much more common.

Unfortunately there is plenty of prejudice and misinformation to provide excuses to ridicule, some leftover from past bigotry that was more prominent in the past in some semiofficial teachings plus a former temple scene that could be interpreted in nasty ways if so inclined.

It just isn’t typically that organized though, as in a book or website that says “Calvinism is evil” or whatever.

We also tend to like others quite a bit (studies show this). I think this is reflected in less full out criticisms and more just throw away digs on occasion. 

I've started six replies to you and deleted each one of them. I don't know how to reply, so I will stop trying. Best wishes.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

If by attack you mean criticize with the purpose to destroy their belief or at least impede their practice of it, not often. Very, very rare in my experience. 

Unless it's Islam. See thread on Quran.

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1 hour ago, Hamilton Porter said:

Unless it's Islam. See thread on Quran.

Are you saying Sean Anthony wrote his book to cause Muslims doubt in their faith?  Or something else?  I am not real quick this afternoon. Things may need to be spelled out for me and slowly. Brain fog is arising…

Edited by Calm
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12 hours ago, Calm said:

Are you saying Sean Anthony wrote his book to cause Muslims doubt in their faith?  Or something else?  I am not real quick this afternoon. Things may need to be spelled out for me and slowly. Brain fog is arising…

There are two people in the thread trying to take down Islam. One of them LDS.

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10 hours ago, Hamilton Porter said:

There are two people in the thread trying to take down Islam. One of them LDS.

Just because one LDS is attacking Islam in this thread does not mean it isn’t rare that this happens, which was my claim and still is.  It is rare in my experience that this happens in any organized way though I hear at times digs, usually just in passing, at church.  My husband had some bad experiences with Jehovah Witnesses on his mission and he used to make a snide one liner comment about them if the subject came up, for example.  He stopped after a few years of marriage.  It only happened a handful of times.

Though I suspect it may be more common with Islam, but because of political reasons rather than because it is not our faith, which is the context I understand the discussion had (attacking other faiths not our own because we believe they are false faiths).

There have been snide and not so snide criticisms about other faiths on this board before.  Unfortunately Islam is not unique in that attribute.  But again, no one is really making a hobby out of attacking other faiths here.  I don’t remember a podcast made by a member for the purpose of destroying the faith of Catholics, Buddhists, or Evangelicals or even Fundamentalist Christians, for example.

Given some of the extreme positions some LDS hold, there may be some out there.  I hope not, but who knows.

Edited by Calm
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On 5/1/2023 at 1:41 PM, Navidad said:

I can't disagree with what you or Calm have said. I guess my point is from the other side of the coin, which you don't address. By your definition, how often have or do members of the LDS Church attack non-LDS Christians? Can you clarify for me the distinction in your mind between when LDS folks over the last almost two hundred years have attacked or simply disagreed with non-LDS Christians? Will you suggest there has been no literature published against non-LDS Christians, their denominations, groups? No publications that have done the same?

I'll just answer by saying I agree 100% with what Calm said in her post.  

Many non-LDS Christians take offense to Joseph Smith's account of his first vision in which he says that the Lord responded to his question on which church he should join by saying that "they were all wrong; and.... that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt".  Some claim that "Joseph Smith started it all" by attacking other Christian churches with this statement, and use it as justification for attacking the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and yes, I used the word "attacking" on purpose).  But you know what?  I wouldn't care if other Christians said we are "wrong".  Everyone believes the church they have joined is "right" (or else why join it?).  Saying that we are wrong would not be an "attack" in my view. 

And even Bruce R. McConkie's (one time) belief and statement that the Catholic church is the "great and abominable church" is definitely offensive (I even find it offensive).  But you know what?  It was one single entry in a volume intended to be an encyclopedia of what was called "Mormon Doctrine".  It wasn't published as a whole book with the intent to tear down Catholicism, like:

  • The Maze of Catholicism
  • Catholicism - Shadow or Reality?
  • The Changing World of Catholicism
  • How to Answer a Catholic
  • Catholicism Unveiled
  • The Catholic Mirage
  • Letters to a Catholic Priest
  • Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Catholics
  • Behind the Mask of Catholicism
  • Is the Catholic My Brother?
  • Catholicism Unmasked
  • The Catholic Dilemma
  • Decker's Complete Handbook on Catholicism
  • How to Rescue a Loved One From Catholicism
  • The Nun Makers

I could go on and on.  And just in case you don't know, every single one of those titles is a parody (the last one is my favorite :)of a real book published against Mormonism.  And I'm sure someone could scour the sermons and articles published by Latter-day Saints through the last two centuries (or on the internet today) and come up with more offensive comments from members of the church directed at non Latter-day Saint Christians (or you could save time and find a site that already lists these things, as I know they exist). But there is nothing I am aware of that Latter-day Saints have published that could possibly compare to the volumes and volumes of books published against Mormonism. 

I sympathize with your concern over members that don't understand the good fruits of Christianity that you and your wife possess, and I understand that is hurtful.  And for you it is much more personal than a book that may be published with the intent to attack your faith.  But we are all sinners and we all need help in seeing the big picture.  You are welcome to try to help us see that from your point of view.

Edited by InCognitus
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7 hours ago, Calm said:

Found an interesting short article when I did a quick search trying to find a LDS podcast on Evangelicals, thought some might be interested in the view from one Evangelical:

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/6-reasons-why-mormons-are-beating-evangelicals-in-church-growth/

Nice photo of the Arizona Gilbert Temple on that article too (that was our temple district when we lived in Arizona). 

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On 4/28/2023 at 4:48 PM, Navidad said:

I will define Evangelicalism as a third wave or middle ground between Fundamentalist and Mainline Christians.

I generally conceptualize Evangelicalism as being a subset of Protestantism. And Evangelicalism can then be broken down further between fundamentalist, mainstream, and liberal varieties.

So when I think of a fundamentalist Evangelical I think of someone like Robert Jeffress, the Southern Baptist pastor of First Baptist Church here in Dallas. Now, you may think the term "fundamentalist Evangelical" is an oxymoron, sort of like military intelligence or country music, but be that as it may - Pastor Jeffress certainly thinks that he's an evangelical, not a fundamentalist. And he's not the only one - mainstream and liberal evangelicals both identify and consider themselves to be evangelicals as well.

Honestly, I think the term "Evangelicalism" should probably just be scrapped at this point. It's too broad and too ill-defined to be of much practical value to anyone.

 

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18 hours ago, Calm said:

Just because one LDS is attacking Islam in this thread does not mean it isn’t rare that this happens, which was my claim and still is.

Yes, it is. A lot of LDS make Islamophobic comments, but that's more due to the influence of conservative politics than a church thing.

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  • 10 months later...

From ChristianHeadlines.com: ‘Chosen’ Creator Dallas Jenkins Goes in Depth on Mormonism, Expresses Regret

Quote

Dallas Jenkins, the creator and director of the Bible-based series The Chosen offers his most in-depth comments about Mormonism and his theology in a new podcast, saying he “didn’t do the best job” of talking about the subject years back and hopes his latest round of remarks helps the public understand his position.  

“The comment that started all this has been taken out of context, and I contributed to some of that,” Jenkins told host Cody Fields on the Westminster Effects Doxology Podcast

Jenkins and Fields acknowledged they disagreed on Jenkins’ nuanced beliefs about his Mormon friends, yet they hope the podcast can be a model for others on how to discuss issues charitably. 

Fields asked The Chosen creator to appear on the podcast to discuss Jenkins’ claim that some of his Mormon friends serve the “same Jesus” as he does. Jenkins is evangelical.

Boy, Dallas seems to be under a lot of pressure here.

Quote

“I'm not speaking for the LDS church,” Jenkins told Fields, “nor am I speaking for, quote-unquote, evangelicals. … However, what I was saying was, I have some LDS friends – close, close, close friends, in fact, people that I work with, who I have spent years with, I have gone to Israel with, I have prayed with, I have been in their homes, we have talked deeply about these issues. All I'm saying is that … these people that I'm referring to love the same Jesus that I do.”

"{T}hese people that I'm referring to love the same Jesus that I do."

It's odd that this is controversial.  I think too many Evangelicals are wedded to an explicit application of 2 Corinthians 11:4 to the Latter-day Saints.  Daniel C. Peterson has previously addressed this:

Quote

Claim 1: A newspaper advertisement being run by Ed Decker’s Saints Alive in Jesus, playing on the Book of Mormon’s claim to be “another testament of Jesus Christ,” proclaims in bold headlines that “There is a Testament of Another Jesus Christ.” “Mormonism claims to be a Christian church, but it does not have the same Jesus. Mormonism worships a false Christ (2 Cor. 11:4),” writes John L. Smith, of the Oklahoma-based Utah Missions, Inc. “Mormon leaders have admitted that they believe in another Jesus. One official of the Mormon church has declared, ‘It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons.'”172

Response. This allegation, if true in the sense claimed for it by Rev. Smith, would be very damning. For if the Mormons were partisans of an individual who simply happened to bear the title “Christ,” but was in reality a wholly distinct individual from the Jesus of Nazareth whom mainstream Christians worship the world over, Latter-day Saint claims to be Christian could be dismissed as true but misleading. The situation would be precisely equivalent to a debate between two biologists, both of whom claimed to be Darwinians. Biologist A, an evolutionist and a follower of the nineteenth century Englishman Charles Darwin, would be absolutely baffled by his opponent’s claim to be simultaneously a “scientific creationist,” an opponent of evolution, and a disciple of Darwin. “You certainly follow a different Darwin than I do,” he would say. But Biologist A would only be puzzled until he realized that the Darwin whom Biologist B followed was the Rev. Jimmy Joe Darwin of the Deadprophets Bible Church in Jenningsbryan, Alabama. Thereupon, Biologist A would probably grow angry, and accuse Biologist B of playing with him—indeed of engaging in deliberate misrepresentation. “You know full well,” he would insist, “that ‘Darwinian’ has a very specific and accepted meaning in common usage, and you were trading on it to cause confusion among your hearers.”

It is precisely this accusation, of deliberately misleading outsiders, that is routinely made against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is, however, also a charge that we are strongly tempted to turn against our accusers.

Is the Mormon official’s “admission,” quoted by John L. Smith, really significant? Almost certainly not, and for a very simple reason. The word “different” can be used in varying ways. Consider the following two sentences: “Paris today is a different city from the one I saw on my first visit many years ago.” “Berdyaev was born in Moscow, but died an exile in a different city, Paris.” Clearly, the “difference” in the first sentence is merely one of quality, while that in the second is actual or quantifiable or, if you will, numerical. Suppose that Biologist A, having learned that the “Darwin” followed by Biologist B was an entirely distinct individual from the “Darwin” he had thought under discussion, with different nationality, birthdate, location, and fingerprints, now repeated his statement to his opponent. “You certainly follow a different Darwin than I do!” It should be clear that this sentence now has a quite distinct meaning, although its wording has not changed in the least. The variation resides entirely in the shift in the word “different” from a qualitative sense to a numerical or quantitative one.

No knowledgeable Mormon would ever “admit” that his church worships a supernatural individual numerically distinct from the God and Christ of the Bible. 

Yep.

Quote

He added, “I've asked every difficult question. They've asked questions, we've gone back and forth, we have dug deep into it. And speaking for them specifically, I believe, and I'm willing to say that publicly and I'm willing to not sugarcoat it, I believe that we love the same Jesus.”

Fields then drilled down on LDS theology and Jenkins’ beliefs. 

“You do not believe that Jesus Christ is a created being – correct?” Fields asked. 

“Correct,” Jenkins answered. 

“So He is eternally God, the Son eternally begotten of the Father. He has no beginning. Correct?” Fields asked. 

“Yes,” Jenkins said.

The LDS church, Fields asserted, believes that “as man is, so God was; and as God is, so man may be.”

“I have brought up that phrase to my LDS friends before,” Jenkins said. “Their interpretation of what that means is different from what I thought it meant.”

Yeesh.  This sort of pedantic, doctrinaire grilling doesn't really work.  

Quote

Compared to 10 years ago, Jenkins later added, “I'm less comfortable claiming to have a full understanding of the doctrine of the LDS church as a whole and their personal doctrine.” 

Jenkins, though, acknowledged that there are “things historically, and even things present” within the LDS church “that are far more problematic for me than from the Roman Catholic Church, far more problematic for me than even some of the evangelical denominations.”

Jenkins said he considers himself “reformed adjacent,” and a “four-and-a-half point Calvinist.” 

He encouraged others to talk to a member of the LDS church directly.

I am grateful to Dallas for saying this.

Quote

“I came away from the conversations that I've had with them having a different understanding of what that meant and what they meant and what they believed than I had going into the conversation. And I thought, ‘Okay, I'm still not LDS and never will be. But I can see where you're coming from, I understand what you mean.’ It's not quite as, quote-unquote, bad as I thought.”

 

The Chosen, he said, is “not even .1 percent” influenced by the LDS church.

Fields told Jenkins the issue “may be a blind spot.” 

“But at the same time, I appreciate the fact that you're willing to actually have the conversation in public,” Fields said. 

Fields called it a “charitably, brotherly disagreement.” 

Emphasizing his evangelical roots, Jenkins noted that he went to the University of Northwestern-St. Paul – a Christian school – and that he still uses a John MacArthur Study Bible when writing the scripts.

“My statement from five years ago, I think, has created some problems and caused some challenges that I wish I hadn't – and that I would, if I had to do it over again, [I would have] couched it better or said it differently or just not said it,” he said. 

“That's probably caused more distraction than it was worth,” he said.

He added, “I regret that part of it.” 

So Dallas still holds to his basic point (that the Latter-day Saints "love the same Jesus that I do"), but that he could have phrased this in better ways, and that the way he approached this issue 5 years ago "caused {} distraction," and that he "regret{s} that part of it."

Thanks,

-Smac

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44 minutes ago, smac97 said:

From ChristianHeadlines.com: ‘Chosen’ Creator Dallas Jenkins Goes in Depth on Mormonism, Expresses Regret

Boy, Dallas seems to be under a lot of pressure here.

"{T}hese people that I'm referring to love the same Jesus that I do."

It's odd that this is controversial.  I think too many Evangelicals are wedded to an explicit application of 2 Corinthians 11:4 to the Latter-day Saints.  Daniel C. Peterson has previously addressed this:

Yep.

Yeesh.  This sort of pedantic, doctrinaire grilling doesn't really work.  

I am grateful to Dallas for saying this.

So Dallas still holds to his basic point (that the Latter-day Saints "love the same Jesus that I do"), but that he could have phrased this in better ways, and that the way he approached this issue 5 years ago "caused {} distraction," and that he "regret{s} that part of it."

Thanks,

-Smac

I hope those criticizing him will take the time to try to understand what he's saying.  If not, I suspect this will make the criticism worse for him (i.e. "he's being deceived by those crafty Mormons").

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52 minutes ago, smac97 said:

From ChristianHeadlines.com: ‘Chosen’ Creator Dallas Jenkins Goes in Depth on Mormonism, Expresses Regret

Boy, Dallas seems to be under a lot of pressure here.

"{T}hese people that I'm referring to love the same Jesus that I do."

It's odd that this is controversial.  I think too many Evangelicals are wedded to an explicit application of 2 Corinthians 11:4 to the Latter-day Saints.  Daniel C. Peterson has previously addressed this:

Yep.

Yeesh.  This sort of pedantic, doctrinaire grilling doesn't really work.  

I am grateful to Dallas for saying this.

So Dallas still holds to his basic point (that the Latter-day Saints "love the same Jesus that I do"), but that he could have phrased this in better ways, and that the way he approached this issue 5 years ago "caused {} distraction," and that he "regret{s} that part of it."

Thanks,

-Smac

You are fighting a losing battle. Most of orthodox Christianity reject Mormonism doctrine of the godhead and will continue to expound that Mormonism presents a different heretical Jesus than the Jesus of the Bible and historical Christianity.  And it really is not odd at all. The doctrine of the Godhead in Mormonism is very different than historical Christianity and it rejects the creeds that most of Christianity accepts. There was time Mormonism even emphasized this. President Hinckley even emphasized this at one point:

Quote

“In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'” (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).

 

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30 minutes ago, Teancum said:

You are fighting a losing battle.

Actually, I think we are doing pretty well.  See, e.g., here: National Survey on Perceptions of Latter-day Saints

Quote

I recently reported on the Results of Large Survey of Church Members and Former Members conducted by the B.H. Roberts Foundation.

I just became aware of a study the foundation conducted in 2022. The survey asked the general population of the United States about their attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Below is a summary of some of the key findings:

Perceptions of Latter-day Saints

  • Most people know very little about Latter-day Saints.

...

  • Evangelical Protestants like the Church and its members more, but are less willing to identify Latter-day Saints as Christians. On the other hand, those who do not associate with a faith are less favorable towards the Church and its members but are more willing to identify Latter-day Saints as Christians.
    ...
    Read the results of the survey. See more infographics about the results of the study.

On page 13 of the linked survey, we get this:

Quote

Are Latter-day Saints Christian?

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints identify as Christian. Historically, this fact has been a point of disagreement with some groups, particularly among some Christian denominations. However, disagreement about this issue may stem from lack of knowledge about what the Church believes as much as from a disagreement about what a “true Christian” is.

Most people who know what the Church believes about Christ identify Latter-day Saints as Christian

Of respondents who correctly responded that Latter-day Saints believe Christ is the Son of God:  

  • only 17%  said that Latter-day Saints are not Christian,  
  • 11% said they don’t know,  
  • and 73% identified members as Christian.

People who don’t view Latter-day Saints as Christian generally don’t know that they believe that Christ is the Son of God

Of the respondents who didn’t see Latter-day Saints as Christian, only a third were able to correctly answer the question about the Latter-day Saint belief in Christ as the Son of God.

Evangelical Protestants are less likely to view Latter-day Saints as Christian

Evangelical Protestants are 71% more likely to say explicitly that Latter-day Saints are not Christians than non-Evangelical Protestants.12

Furthermore, controlling for knowledge about Latter-day Saint beliefs about Christ does not significantly change the results, suggesting that Evangelical Protestants aren’t less likely to view Latter-day Saints as Christians due to a lack of knowledge.

Non-Religious people are more likely to view Latter-day Saints as Christian

Conversely, “Nones” who did not identify with any religious group were 24% more likely to view Latter-day Saints as Christian.13

To summarize, Evangelical Protestants like the Church and its members more, but are less willing to identify Latter-day Saints as Christians. On the other hand, those who do not associate with a faith are less favorable towards the Church and its members but are more willing to identify Latter-day Saints as Christians.  

We are "fighting" ignorance generally regarding our belief in Jesus Christ and, amongst Evangelical Protestants, we seem to be "fighting" indoctrination as well.  However, we do seem to be making friends with them more.  Friendship will, in time, probably be more effective than anything else.  

30 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Most of orthodox Christianity reject Mormonism doctrine of the godhead and will continue to expound that Mormonism presents a different heretical Jesus than the Jesus of the Bible and historical Christianity. 

The data are not in your favor.

30 minutes ago, Teancum said:

And it really is not odd at all.

I think it is.  

30 minutes ago, Teancum said:

The doctrine of the Godhead in Mormonism is very different than historical Christianity and it rejects the creeds that most of Christianity accepts.

Which speaks more to differentiated and distinguishable beliefs about the same Jesus Christ, not to belief in a numerically distinct Jesus Christ.  From Peterson's book:

Quote

The word “different” can be used in varying ways. Consider the following two sentences: “Paris today is a different city from the one I saw on my first visit many years ago.” “Berdyaev was born in Moscow, but died an exile in a different city, Paris.” Clearly, the “difference” in the first sentence is merely one of quality, while that in the second is actual or quantifiable or, if you will, numerical. Suppose that Biologist A, having learned that the “Darwin” followed by Biologist B was an entirely distinct individual from the “Darwin” he had thought under discussion, with different nationality, birthdate, location, and fingerprints, now repeated his statement to his opponent. “You certainly follow a different Darwin than I do!” It should be clear that this sentence now has a quite distinct meaning, although its wording has not changed in the least. The variation resides entirely in the shift in the word “different” from a qualitative sense to a numerical or quantitative one.

Those who trade and rely on equivocation and distortion of this sort are not situated well in the long run.

To wit:

30 minutes ago, Teancum said:

There was time Mormonism even emphasized this. President Hinckley even emphasized this at one point:

You are only demonstrating my (or, rather, Peterson's) point: "The variation resides entirely in the shift in the word 'different' from a qualitative sense to a numerical or quantitative one.  No knowledgeable Mormon would ever 'admit' that his church worships a supernatural individual numerically distinct from the God and Christ of the Bible."

I have a hard time accepting that you, even with all your antipathy towards the Church, actually subscribe to the notion that the Latter-day Saints believe in a Jesus Christ numerically distinct from the one referenced in the Bible.  You simply know too much about us to buy into or advance the semantic fallacy here.

From FAIR:

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President Hinckley is referring to the concept of Christ that has developed in the centuries since the Nicene Creed was formed

President Hinckley is referring to the concept of Christ that has developed in the centuries since the Nicene Creed was formed—He is saying that we do not believe in non-Biblical creeds. This statement is quite correct: Latter-day Saints do not have some of the same beliefs about Christ that other Christian churches do. He is not saying that we do not believe in the Biblical Christ. In fact, the reason that Latter-day Saints do not accept these creeds is because they are non-Biblical. President Hinckley continued (with words usually omitted by critics):

Am I Christian? Of course I am. I believe in Christ. I talk of Christ. I pray through Christ. I'm trying to follow Him and live His gospel in my life.

Hinckley: "Believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the greatest figure of time and eternity"

Consider the following words by President Hinckley:

Believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the greatest figure of time and eternity. Believe that His matchless life reached back before the world was formed. Believe that He was the Creator of the earth on which we live. Believe that He was Jehovah of the Old Testament, that He was the Messiah of the New Testament, that He died and was resurrected, that He visited the western continents and taught the people here, that He ushered in this final gospel dispensation, and that He lives, the living Son of the living God, our Savior and our Redeemer. [2]

In the statement above, there is no question that President Hinckley is professing belief in the Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Critics, however, ignore clear statements such as these, and instead look to justify their claims that Latter-day Saints are not Christian by mining the quotes of church leaders for phrases which seem to support their position.

In order to strengthen their claim, critics of the Church sometimes even modify these quotes

Consider the use of President Hinckley’s quote in the critical Search for the Truth DVD. The critics have actually added a phrase to the quote:

No I don't believe in the traditional Christ. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the dispensation of the Fullness of Times. [3]

President Hinckley understood how the critics would attempt to portray Latter-day Saints with regard to their belief in Christ:

As a Church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. They spoke to him. He spoke with Them. He testified openly, unequivocally, and unabashedly of that great vision. It was a vision of the Almighty and of the Redeemer of the world, glorious beyond our understanding but certain and unequivocating in the knowledge which it brought. It is out of that knowledge, rooted deep in the soil of modern revelation, that we, in the words of Nephi, “talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that [we and] our children may know to what source [we] may look for a remission of [our] sins” (2 Nephi 25:26). [4]

President Hinckley was quite clear in his position regarding Christ:

Are we Christians? Of course we are Christians. We believe in Christ. We worship Christ. We take upon ourselves in solemn covenant His holy name. The Church to which we belong carries His name. He is our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer through whom came the great Atonement with salvation and eternal life. [5]

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Actually, I think we are doing pretty well.  See, e.g., here: National Survey on Perceptions of Latter-day Saints

On page 13 of the linked survey, we get this:

We are "fighting" ignorance generally regarding our belief in Jesus Christ and, amongst Evangelical Protestants, we seem to be "fighting" indoctrination as well.  However, we do seem to be making friends with them more.  Friendship will, in time, probably be more effective than anything else.  

The data are not in your favor.

I think it is.  

Which speaks more to differentiated and distinguishable beliefs about the same Jesus Christ, not to belief in a numerically distinct Jesus Christ.  From Peterson's book:

Those who trade and rely on equivocation and distortion of this sort are not situated well in the long run.

To wit:

You are only demonstrating my (or, rather, Peterson's) point: "The variation resides entirely in the shift in the word 'different' from a qualitative sense to a numerical or quantitative one.  No knowledgeable Mormon would ever 'admit' that his church worships a supernatural individual numerically distinct from the God and Christ of the Bible."

I have a hard time accepting that you, even with all your antipathy towards the Church, actually subscribe to the notion that the Latter-day Saints believe in a Jesus Christ numerically distinct from the one referenced in the Bible.  You simply know too much about us to buy into or advance the semantic fallacy here.

From FAIR:

Thanks,

-Smac

Mormonism used to be proud of its distinctive doctrine and differences between it and historical Christianity.  What happened?

How may Christian sects accept LDS baptism?  Can you find me one?  How may other Christian sects baptism does Mormonism accept? I do not know personally and knowing protestant or Catholic that know their own doctrine and Mormonism's about the Godhead that accept Latter day Saints as having the correct salvific knowledge of Christ. Wrong Jesus, False Jesus.  Anecdotally perhaps.  Why not own it? Mormonism does not accept the creeds either.  

Does not matter to me really. I don't think anyone knows what god is. But if you think the rest of Christianity view Mormonism as on par with Historic and Orthodox Christianity you are simply mistaken.

And yes I think distinctions about the godhead are silly and I also think Mormonism's doctrine is better than historic Christianity.

By the way I don't have antipathy towards the church. There is much I don't like.  Much I do.  But nothing rises to antipathy.  You need to clean up your excessive hyperbole.  It is old and tiresome.

Edited by Teancum
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45 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Mormonism used to be proud of its distinctive doctrine and differences between it and historical Christianity. 

I'm not sure what "historical Christianity" means.  It seems like a moving target.

The Latter-day Saints find many of their "distinctive doctrine{s} and differences" to be important, even integral to our faith.  Continuing revelation, restored priesthood authority, an open canon, the whole nine yards.

None of this has much to do with false characterizations of our faith in He who is the "author and finisher of {our} faith" (Moroni 6:4).

45 minutes ago, Teancum said:

What happened?

Nothing.  We still find these doctrines to be important.

45 minutes ago, Teancum said:

How may Christian sects accept LDS baptism? 

How many accept our baptism?  And what does that have to do with false characterizations of our faith?

45 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Can you find me one?  How may other Christian sects baptism does Mormonism accept? I do not know personally and knowing protestant or Catholic that know their own doctrine and Mormonism's about the Godhead that accept Latter day Saints as having the correct salvific knowledge of Christ.

Which speaks more to differentiated and distinguishable beliefs about the same Jesus Christ, not to belief in a numerically distinct Jesus Christ.

45 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Wrong Jesus, False Jesus.  Anecdotally perhaps.  Why not own it?

Why not own a falsehood?  That's fairly self-evident.

45 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Mormonism does not accept the creeds either.  

We're not speaking of creeds.

45 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Does not matter to me really. I don't think anyone knows what god is. But if you think the rest of Christianity view Mormonism as on par with Historic and Orthodox Christianity you are simply mistaken.

I don't know what "on par" means.

I also don't know what "Historic and Orthodox Christianity" means, either.  What are the rules of membership to this particular club?

45 minutes ago, Teancum said:

And yes I think distinctions about the godhead are silly and I also think Mormonism's doctrine is better than historic Christianity.

I have a hard time accepting that you, even with all your antipathy towards the Church, actually subscribe to the notion that the Latter-day Saints believe in a Jesus Christ numerically distinct from the one referenced in the Bible.  You simply know too much about us to buy into or advance the semantic fallacy here.

45 minutes ago, Teancum said:

By the way I don't have antipathy towards the church. There is much I don't like.  Much I do.  But nothing rises to antipathy.  You need to clean up your excessive hyperbole.  It is old and tiresome.

"Antipathy" refers to "a strong feeling of dislike, opposition, or hostility towards something or someone."  I am surprised you find this to be a "hyperbolic" characterization of your posture towards the Church.  I did not mean it as such.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 minute ago, smac97 said:

I'm not sure what "historical Christianity" means.  It seems like a moving target.

The Latter-day Saints find many of their "distinctive doctrine{s} and differences" to be important, even integral to our faith.  Continuing revelation, restored priesthood authority, an open canon, the whole nine yards.

None of this has much to do with false characterizations of our faith in He who is the "author and finisher of {our} faith" (Moroni 6:4).

Nothing.  We still find these doctrines to be important.

How many accept our baptism?  And what does that have to do with false characterizations of our faith?

Which speaks more to differentiated and distinguishable beliefs about the same Jesus Christ, not to belief in a numerically distinct Jesus Christ.

Why not own a falsehood?  That's fairly self-evident.

We're not speaking of creeds.

I don't know what "on par" means.

I also don't know what "Historic and Orthodox Christianity" means, either.  What are the rules of membership to this particular club?

I have a hard time accepting that you, even with all your antipathy towards the Church, actually subscribe to the notion that the Latter-day Saints believe in a Jesus Christ numerically distinct from the one referenced in the Bible.  You simply know too much about us to buy into or advance the semantic fallacy here.

"Antipathy" refers to "a strong feeling of dislike, opposition, or hostility towards something or someone."  I am surprised you find this to be a "hyperbolic" characterization of your posture towards the Church.  I did not mean it as such.

Thanks,

-Smac

I am simply speaking to how much of Christianity views Mormonism and its teachings about the Godhead. I did not say I agreed or whether they are right or wrong. But it is clear that Mormonism has doctrine about the Godhead that most, if not all, the rest of Christianity rejects and may even find it heretical. And I think you certainly know what I mean when I use the terms historic Christianity and Orthodox Christianity.  

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3 hours ago, Teancum said:

And I think you certainly know what I mean when I use the terms historic Christianity and Orthodox Christianity.  

I think very few Christians today really know what was taught in the earliest "historic Christianity" and even what might have been considered "Orthodox Christianity" in the first three centuries A.D..   Most people today think only in terms of how it all turned out after the Protestant Reformation, and that is their "historic Christianity".  I really wish more people would study what was taught in the writings of the earliest Christians.  I think they would cut us some slack if they did.

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10 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I think very few Christians today really know what was taught in the earliest "historic Christianity" and even what might have been considered "Orthodox Christianity" in the first three centuries A.D..   Most people today think only in terms of how it all turned out after the Protestant Reformation, and that is their "historic Christianity".  I really wish more people would study what was taught in the writings of the earliest Christians.  I think they would cut us some slack if they did.

It seems to me that the very earliest Christians were all over the place. Jesus really did not establish a church, per say.  That came later. Paul and the other apostles clearly had differences. Other sects sprang up with competing doctrine and "scripture, some of which made it into the eventually accepted canon, and some did not. Eventually a more dominant proto-orthodox group began to dominate.  Eventually that became the Catholic church and things developed from there.  Today there is a body of Christian Orthodoxy that the Catholic, Eastern Church and most of the body of protestant sects accept.  Mormonism deviates from such orthodoxy in many significant ways. A Latter-day Saint should not be surprised when much of The Christian world rejects such differences as non Christian and the worshipping of a "different" Jesus. Apologists can cry in their cheerios all day long. I understand the LDS position as well as the non LDS position quite well.  As a former apologist for Mormonism I always argues against the different Jesus criticism. Hey we believe everything in the Bible about Jesus as much as you do, I would often say.  But I also argued it was they, and their historic creeds that got Jesus and  the Godhead wrong, not us.  If there was a "false" Jesus being worshipped it was they who had the wrong exalted dude. So I am sympathetic to the LDS view.  But I highly doubt Mormonism will even be considered a valid Christian denomination by theologians who are knowledgeable about such things.  Nor should they want to be.

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2 hours ago, Teancum said:

It seems to me that the very earliest Christians were all over the place.

The earliest Christians weren't as all over the place as those that came later, but I agree with your point (they weren't completely uniform in their teachings).  And this was really my point about saying that Christians of today might cut us a little slack if they actually studied the teachings of that time, and also because it certainly wasn't the same "Orthodoxy" and beliefs about God at that time as they might understand under the term "historic Christianity" today. 

2 hours ago, Teancum said:

That came later. Paul and the other apostles clearly had differences. Other sects sprang up with competing doctrine and "scripture, some of which made it into the eventually accepted canon, and some did not. Eventually a more dominant proto-orthodox group began to dominate.  Eventually that became the Catholic church and things developed from there.  Today there is a body of Christian Orthodoxy that the Catholic, Eastern Church and most of the body of protestant sects accept.  Mormonism deviates from such orthodoxy in many significant ways. A Latter-day Saint should not be surprised when much of The Christian world rejects such differences as non Christian and the worshipping of a "different" Jesus. Apologists can cry in their cheerios all day long. I understand the LDS position as well as the non LDS position quite well.  As a former apologist for Mormonism I always argues against the different Jesus criticism. Hey we believe everything in the Bible about Jesus as much as you do, I would often say.  But I also argued it was they, and their historic creeds that got Jesus and  the Godhead wrong, not us.  If there was a "false" Jesus being worshipped it was they who had the wrong exalted dude. So I am sympathetic to the LDS view.  But I highly doubt Mormonism will even be considered a valid Christian denomination by theologians who are knowledgeable about such things.  Nor should they want to be.

I agree completely.  Regarding the Godhead, the earliest Christians taught that Jesus was the "second God" and "another God subject to the Maker of all things", for example.  That doesn't sit well with their modern ideas about "historic Christianity".

But all of this really underscores the problem in defining "historical Christianity".  And what does a person mean when they say "Mormonism" is different than "historical Christianity"?  "Historical Christianity" is all over the board.

I really don't think the church is trying to be considered a "valid Christian denomination" as much as they are just trying to be understood for what we actually believe and teach.  We believe in Jesus Christ and salvation through him.  If someone doesn't classify us as "Christian", then it projects a perception that we don't believe in Jesus Christ and salvation through him.  That is the underlying problem in the "Christian" comparison, in my opinion, and the message the church is trying to address.

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