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Fourth Abrahamic religion?


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3 hours ago, Leaf474 said:

Turning the situation around, do the Saints see any substantial difference between the Christ they believe in and the one taught by Evangelicals?

When evangelicals say a different Christ or differences between the Christ they believe in and the one we believe in, do they image this as if Christ is a different person or do they see Christ as the same and we Saints just misunderstand what he does and what his godhood means?

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18 minutes ago, Calm said:

When evangelicals say a different Christ or differences between the Christ they believe in and the one we believe in, do they image this as if Christ is a different person or do they see Christ as the same and we Saints just misunderstand what he does and what his godhood means?

That's a really good question.  I have asked similar questions myself when people have refused to pray with me because I believed in a "different Christ".  I never could figure out what they meant by that. 

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Just now, Rain said:

That's a really good question.  I have asked similar questions myself when people have refused to pray with me because I believed in a "different Christ".  I never could figure out what they meant by that. 

 

20 minutes ago, Calm said:

When evangelicals say a different Christ or differences between the Christ they believe in and the one we believe in, do they image this as if Christ is a different person or do they see Christ as the same and we Saints just misunderstand what he does and what his godhood means?

I've never been able to get an answer to that question when I've asked either.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

 

I've never been able to get an answer to that question when I've asked either.

It's because those who believe it cannot even see the ridiculousness of the assertion without some kind of theological basis.

Is a river "the same river" a mile downstream?   Do we see the "same forest" when we look at a bunch of trees?  THAT is the kind of question they raise.

Again, it is all linguistic confusion also called "sophistry".

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

When evangelicals say a different Christ or differences between the Christ they believe in and the one we believe in, do they image this as if Christ is a different person or do they see Christ as the same and we Saints just misunderstand what he does and what his godhood means?

Great question. If I understand it right, Evangelicals would pick your second option: same person, substantially different characteristics.

 

It might help to view evangelicals and Muslims, get some more distance in our perspective. Both Evangelicals and Muslims agree that there was a man named Jesus of Nazareth, that he went about teaching people about God and helping them get on the right path.

 

Muslims will say that he was a prophet sent from God, nothing less but nothing more. Evangelicals will say that he is the incarnation of the God who created everything.

 

So... Same person, yes. Same Christ?

 

Evangelicals, with their focus on the bible, will tend to think of this passage.

2 Corinthians 11:4

"For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we didn’t preach, or if you receive a different spirit, which you didn’t receive, or a different “good news”, which you didn’t accept, you put up with that well enough."

 

How different was the "another Jesus" that the Corinthians had been exposed to?

 

(I don't want to derail the thread at all, just providing explanation.)

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

It's because those who believe it cannot even see the ridiculousness of the assertion without some kind of theological basis.

Is a river "the same river" a mile downstream?   Do we see the "same forest" when we look at a bunch of trees?  THAT is the kind of question they raise.

Again, it is all linguistic confusion also called "sophistry".

Or they have just never thought about it and therefore don’t have the language yet. 
 

I am not going to judge how someone thinks until I know what they think. 

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

Or they have just never thought about it and therefore don’t have the language yet. 
 

I am not going to judge how someone thinks until I know what they think. 

And what if they don't?

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8 hours ago, Rain said:

That's a really good question.  I have asked similar questions myself when people have refused to pray with me because I believed in a "different Christ".  I never could figure out what they meant by that. 

I have no idea what they mean by that. I have never heard anyone say that in any of the situations I have been in. I obviously can't deny that some Evangelicals say that, because anyone can say anything they want, especially if they don't have to go into any more depth than a declarative statement. I doubt very much that they know what they are talking about. In all religious groups a whole lot of parroting goes on, especially by children and young people who are under parental pressure to perform. Over time the beliefs become internalized and things just come out of our mouths without thinking.  I think we all would be better off if we stopped making broad generalizations about the other, especially when the purpose at some level is to lessen them or rank them as lower.

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5 hours ago, Leaf474 said:

Great question. If I understand it right, Evangelicals would pick your second option: same person, substantially different characteristics.

 

It might help to view evangelicals and Muslims, get some more distance in our perspective. Both Evangelicals and Muslims agree that there was a man named Jesus of Nazareth, that he went about teaching people about God and helping them get on the right path.

 

Muslims will say that he was a prophet sent from God, nothing less but nothing more. Evangelicals will say that he is the incarnation of the God who created everything.

 

So... Same person, yes. Same Christ?

 

Evangelicals, with their focus on the bible, will tend to think of this passage.

2 Corinthians 11:4

"For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we didn’t preach, or if you receive a different spirit, which you didn’t receive, or a different “good news”, which you didn’t accept, you put up with that well enough."

 

How different was the "another Jesus" that the Corinthians had been exposed to?

 

(I don't want to derail the thread at all, just providing explanation.)

Don't forget the context of II Cor 11 - virtually the entire chapter. Paul is under fire himself in this chapter and is responding in a defensive manner. Paul constantly was challenged because he did not know Jesus, so how could he preach Him or claim to be an apostle? He seemed to have a bit of a short fuse about that - maybe it was his "thorn in the flesh" that he had to pray to control his reactions to in his ministry. I am not sure it wasn't  the Corinthians accusing Paul of preaching another Jesus, another gospel and he was reacting to that in this passage? The context is important. Read the very next verse! Wow! It is not Paul at his best! Just my two cents.

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55 minutes ago, Navidad said:

I have no idea what they mean by that. I have never heard anyone say that in any of the situations I have been in. I obviously can't deny that some Evangelicals say that, because anyone can say anything they want, especially if they don't have to go into any more depth than a declarative statement. I doubt very much that they know what they are talking about. In all religious groups a whole lot of parroting goes on, especially by children and young people who are under parental pressure to perform. Over time the beliefs become internalized and things just come out of our mouths without thinking.  I think we all would be better off if we stopped making broad generalizations about the other, especially when the purpose at some level is to lessen them or rank them as lower.

One was a pastor.  He was actually the first who told me.  I didn't know what to say because it surprised me so much.

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1 minute ago, Rain said:

One was a pastor.  He was actually the first who told me.  I didn't know what to say because it surprised me so much.

On my mission, there was a town that had recently had missionaries and a few people converted.  Many of the leaders of the town did a "rescue" of the new converts to save them from the "non-christian mormons".  Those that survived that experience were the core of the branch.  It was really impressive to me.

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2 hours ago, Rain said:

One was a pastor.  He was actually the first who told me.  I didn't know what to say because it surprised me so much.

I've heard the "Mormons believe in a different Jesus" routine almost my entire adult life.  From a neighbor in Arizona who invited me to attend a couple of meetings at "Concerned Christians" (the name of their group, they "minister" to Mormons).  From multiple hecklers and street preachers at the Arizona Easter Pageant (I still have some of their tracts somewhere).  From a presentation on "Mormonism" at my friend's church (I was invited by my friend, not because she wanted me to hear what was said, but because she wanted to know if what they were saying there was accurate).  From multiple visits with my friend's pastor after that (they couldn't figure me out).  From multiple people in the Beliefs Christian and Bible Fellowship chat rooms on AOL.  And numerous times on message boards.

Robert L. Millet even wrote a book on it, with the foreword and Afterword written by Richard J. Mouw (President and professor of Christian philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary):   

51EzXAhPv1L.jpg

Incidentally, there's a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley on first page of this book:

"Are we Christians?  Of course we are!  No one can honestly deny that.  We may be somewhat different from the traditional pattern of Christianity.  But no one believes more literally in the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ.  No one believes more fundamentally that He was the Son of God, that He died for the sins of mankind, that He rose from the grave, and that He is the living resurrected Son of the living Father."

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17 hours ago, Rain said:

That's a really good question.  I have asked similar questions myself when people have refused to pray with me because I believed in a "different Christ".  I never could figure out what they meant by that

Because I have so many conversations with other Christians, I am certain that we adhere to two distinct interpretations of Christianity. Wouldn't you be a little offended if a new religion (LDS) came along and said that about your faith? But first, it is crucial to realize that we are the new kids on the block, and we are telling them that their form of Christianity has been affected by Satan and Pagan rituals. In my perspective, we are attempting to have our cake and eat it too. We wish to be acknowledged as legitimate members of the Christian faith, but at the same time, we proclaim to the world's more than two billion Christians that their gospel is deficient in fundamental and essential facts. Even if they may have previously been baptized into Christianity, we send messengers to their door to baptize them into our gospel. This action tells volumes about how we consider Christianity. When another religion comes along and tells Christians that they don't have any authority from God, they take it personally, and I can't say that I blame them for doing so. Christians are wonderful people, and they have a deep love for their faith. They feel a need to protect their gospel just like we feel a need to protect ours.

So, to illustrate how we have thought about Christianity throughout the course of hundreds of years, here is an example From Milton R Hunter. The majority of Christians with whom I interact have the impression that this is how we view their faith. In my perspective, this is an illustration of the disconnection that exists between Christianity and the LDS church. This is not a trivial matter to be debated; rather, it involves us informing Christians that their gospel has been corrupted. How on earth are we going to get beyond this? Maybe a fourth Abrahamic religion?

 

 

 

 

Screenshot_20230912_062430_Messages.jpg

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5 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I've heard the "Mormons believe in a different Jesus" routine almost my entire adult life

Please reassure me that you are aware that for the past nearly two hundred years, we have been telling Christians that we have come to earth to restore the original form of Christianity. This is because we believe that the Christians' interpretation of Christ has been tainted by pagan beliefs and practices. Naturally, they will suppose that we adhere to a different Christ because of this! They are entitled to the same degree of protection for their faith as we are for ours. You cannot, in my opinion, expect to be received with open arms while at the same time telling an entire group of people that they have numerous heathenistic beliefs and practices and expect them to believe that you're a Christian. That is completely absurd! 

Screenshot_20230912_071135_Messages.jpg.e81c80cd571390f56c6dfbe47e9a59f3.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Sara H
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1 hour ago, Sara H said:

How on earth are we going to get beyond this? Maybe a fourth Abrahamic religion?

I am still confused as to how you think this is going to solve anything.   How will this improve relations or diminish defensiveness on either side?

I don’t see the severed relationship between Muslims and Christians as a better model to follow.

Once we abandon Christianity, we are still going to believe in and teach about an apostasy of Christianity.   The Joseph Smith history isn’t going to disappear.  All the disparaging remarks/beliefs will remain.   The message will still be clear that we are the only church with authority from Christ.  Our baptisms are valid - yours are not.

Also, if you think for a second that Mormons are going to abandon their identity as Christians, as they identify with the Saints /Christians from the time of Christ and claim the same authority as bestowed upon Joseph by the original Christians/apostles of Christ, then I don’t think you are fully appreciating what restorationism is all about.  

Honestly, what is to be gained?

While I acknowledge your point about why some Christians are defensive and offended at our beliefs, I don’t see how this will improve things.

 

 

Edited by pogi
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Also, you seem to be portraying the rest of Christianity as a monolithic faith.  It isn’t!  They disagree and argue about authority, mode of baptism, what is valid, what is not…

According to one Evangelical poster on here, most Evangelicals accept us as Christians.  He argues it is more an issue with fundamentalists.  But they take issue with everybody!  Why should we drop our identity to appease radicals, when so many others accept us as Christians?
Wouldn’t that be the ultimate crude hand gesture to all those Christians, like @Navidad, who have long defended our identity as Christian - even when they feel like they don’t belong in our wards?

“Thanks for your efforts in defending us, but you have been wrong this whole time.  We are not really really Christians. We are not like you, even on that fundamental level.  We are better in EVERY way.  Thanks again for your support when you falsely thought we were fellow Christians, but you are now officially othered.  

Edited by pogi
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30 minutes ago, pogi said:

Also, you seem to be portraying the rest of Christianity as a monolithic faith.  It isn’t!

Can you name one of the thousands of Christian groups that the restored message of Christ isn't here to restore? See, that's what I mean! We think of Christianity as a monolithic faith in the sense that all of it needs to be fixed, not just a portion, ALL. I've never talked to an LDS person who thought that some Christian sects were part of the restoration. Have you?

Screenshot_20230912_084437_Chrome.thumb.jpg.8c0f075d87e070a1ccdf76957630f464.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

Thanks again for your support when you falsely thought we were fellow Christians, but you are now officially othered.  

We "other" them when we say that our faith is the only one on earth that God has given power and authority to. We make them "other" by not accepting that they were truly baptized as Christians. We make them "other" by telling them they can't go to God's temple. We treat them as "other" when we send missionaries to their door to convert them to our true and living faith. We "other" them when we say that their Christianity is dead and ours is alive. It keeps going and going. We have been "othering" Christians for almost two hundred years.

Edited by Sara H
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22 hours ago, pogi said:

I am still confused as to how you think this is going to solve anything.   How will this improve relations or diminish defensiveness on either side?

I don’t see the severed relationship between Muslims and Christians as a better model to follow.

Once we abandon Christianity, we are still going to believe in and teach about an apostasy of Christianity.   The Joseph Smith history isn’t going to disappear.  All the disparaging remarks/beliefs will remain.   The message will still be clear that we are the only church with authority from Christ.  Our baptisms are valid - yours are not.

Also, if you think for a second that Mormons are going to abandon their identity as Christians, as they identify with the Saints /Christians from the time of Christ and claim the same authority as bestowed upon Joseph by the original Christians/apostles of Christ, then I don’t think you are fully appreciating what restorationism is all about.  

Honestly, what is to be gained?

While I acknowledge your point about why some Christians are defensive and offended at our beliefs, I don’t see how this will improve things.

 

The Christians who are most offended in my experience don’t look that kindly on the Muslim faith nor do they generally view Jews as equals, even when they support Israel as they do that generally based on end times beliefs rather than a fondness for Israel or misguided Jews (in their view).

If anything identifying ourselves as a 4th Abrahamic religion is likely going to intensify their negative feelings about the Church as well as confuse others into thinking we don’t believe we should be disciples of Christ and most important believe he is God given the other two faiths most definitely do not.

And for all those who might look more kindly on us distancing ourselves (they tend to know more, especially that we see ourselves as believers in Christ, but not enough to understand the Church’s actual position), my guess is there will be more who will see us as snobs, elevating our importance, isolating ourselves, condemning the rest of humanity, hog Christ to ourselves, etc.

Edited by Calm
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10 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I've heard the "Mormons believe in a different Jesus" routine almost my entire adult life.  From a neighbor in Arizona who invited me to attend a couple of meetings at "Concerned Christians" (the name of their group, they "minister" to Mormons).  From multiple hecklers and street preachers at the Arizona Easter Pageant (I still have some of their tracts somewhere).  From a presentation on "Mormonism" at my friend's church (I was invited by my friend, not because she wanted me to hear what was said, but because she wanted to know if what they were saying there was accurate).  From multiple visits with my friend's pastor after that (they couldn't figure me out).  From multiple people in the Beliefs Christian and Bible Fellowship chat rooms on AOL.  And numerous times on message boards.

Robert L. Millet even wrote a book on it, with the foreword and Afterword written by Richard J. Mouw (President and professor of Christian philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary):   

51EzXAhPv1L.jpg

Incidentally, there's a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley on first page of this book:

"Are we Christians?  Of course we are!  No one can honestly deny that.  We may be somewhat different from the traditional pattern of Christianity.  But no one believes more literally in the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ.  No one believes more fundamentally that He was the Son of God, that He died for the sins of mankind, that He rose from the grave, and that He is the living resurrected Son of the living Father."

And there is this quote as well. He mentions our critics and how we may have differences. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2002/04/we-look-to-christ?lang=eng (bold is mine)

When the great War in Heaven was fought, Lucifer, the son of the morning, came forth with a plan that was rejected. The Father of us all, with love for us, His children, offered a better plan under which we would have freedom to choose the course of our lives. His Firstborn Son, our Elder Brother, was the key to that plan. Man would have his agency, and with that agency would go accountability. Man would walk the ways of the world and sin and stumble. But the Son of God would take upon Himself flesh and offer Himself a sacrifice to atone for the sins of all men. Through unspeakable suffering He would become the great Redeemer, the Savior of all mankind.

With some small understanding of that incomparable gift, that marvelous gift of redemption, we bow in reverent love before Him.

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 Ne. 25:26).

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13 hours ago, Navidad said:

Don't forget the context of II Cor 11 - virtually the entire chapter. Paul is under fire himself in this chapter and is responding in a defensive manner. Paul constantly was challenged because he did not know Jesus, so how could he preach Him or claim to be an apostle? He seemed to have a bit of a short fuse about that - maybe it was his "thorn in the flesh" that he had to pray to control his reactions to in his ministry. I am not sure it wasn't  the Corinthians accusing Paul of preaching another Jesus, another gospel and he was reacting to that in this passage? The context is important. Read the very next verse! Wow! It is not Paul at his best! Just my two cents.

It's possible my experience of evangelicalism was of a more fundamentalist variety then yours 😀

 

Do you believe it's possible to preach another Jesus, or another Christ, today? If so, what would that look like?

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10 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I've heard the "Mormons believe in a different Jesus" routine almost my entire adult life.  From a neighbor in Arizona who invited me to attend a couple of meetings at "Concerned Christians" (the name of their group, they "minister" to Mormons).  From multiple hecklers and street preachers at the Arizona Easter Pageant (I still have some of their tracts somewhere).  From a presentation on "Mormonism" at my friend's church (I was invited by my friend, not because she wanted me to hear what was said, but because she wanted to know if what they were saying there was accurate).  From multiple visits with my friend's pastor after that (they couldn't figure me out).  From multiple people in the Beliefs Christian and Bible Fellowship chat rooms on AOL.  And numerous times on message boards.

Robert L. Millet even wrote a book on it, with the foreword and Afterword written by Richard J. Mouw (President and professor of Christian philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary):   

51EzXAhPv1L.jpg

Incidentally, there's a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley on first page of this book:

"Are we Christians?  Of course we are!  No one can honestly deny that.  We may be somewhat different from the traditional pattern of Christianity.

 

10 hours ago, InCognitus said:

  But no one believes more literally in the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ.  No one believes more fundamentally that He was the Son of God, that He died for the sins of mankind, that He rose from the grave, and that He is the living resurrected Son of the living Father."

Hopefully this is not off-topic for the thread, but I just wanted to respond to this idea and ask a question:

 

The Jehovah's Witnesses would say a hardy Amen to all those things. Yet they say that Jesus is not Jehovah in any way. Is that enough of a difference to make it a different Christ?

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