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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Difference Between Christianity and Mormonism: Part 2

Before I start... thanks Matt... I got the idea of doing parts from you... I felt I should at least give you the credit since I was being a copy-cat...

Now... to answer some questions...

When I talk about the major difference between the two... I don't mean "he said, she said" arguments. I understand that the different denominations in Christianity have their petty, little and sometimes/most times pointless tiffs...

So people are wondering why on earth Mormonism should not be included under the Christian umbrella... and the differences between Christianity and Mormonism simply be included in as one of those "petty, little and sometimes/most times pointless tiffs"...

As I said before... I'll say it again... it's not the practices that are different but the religion. When I make my arguments it's not... he said... she said... it's the doctrines. I compare the Bible to the Book of Mormon.

In Mormonism, they say they agree with the Bible AND the Book of Mormon. But if you read the Book of Mormon... it actually contradicts the Bible.

A does not equal B. You can't believe in both when one contradicts the other.

In the Bible... Jesus Christ not only claims to be the Son of God... He also claims to BE God incarnate. In the Book of Mormon... it says that Jesus is the Son of God and the two are soley and completely separate. So, a Mormon cannot agree with the Bible and at the same time agree with the Book of Mormon.

It's not just Christ-like attributes but the beliefs of who and what Christ is. Anyone can have Christ-like attributes like love and kindness... without even believing in Christ...

The other Christian denominations may have their "tiffs" but they ALL agree on... as I said before... those core beliefs. That is just one example... and I tried to explain more... where they really are quite opposite.

Christianity is and I quote, "Christian monotheism is Trinitarian monotheism, which holds that God is One, but made of three distinct "persons": the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

Mormonism is not a monotheistic religion. It's polytheistic... there is more than 1 deity.

13 Comments:

Blogger Jake said...

You're still not getting it, Carmel. It's not just about practices. I understand that. What I was saying was that I don't care if the doctrines (read: what they believe) are different. If they follow Christ, they are Christians. Full stop. Sure, they're a weird, unique, polytheistic Christianity, but they're still Christians.

There are major doctrinal differences between Evangelicalism and Catholicism. For example, Evangelicals believe we (you) are saved by grace alone, Catholics believe you can be saved by works. Catholics believe that dead people can intercede with God if you pray for them (which borders on polytheism (maybe ancestor worship?), if you ask me), Evangelicals do not. Catholics believe Mary was born without Original Sin, Evangelicals do not. You have not explained why these doctrinal differences are less significant than the doctrinal differences between Mormons and everyone else.

Also:

In Mormonism, they say they agree with the Bible AND the Book of Mormon. But if you read the Book of Mormon... it actually contradicts the Bible.

I don't know if you really want to go there. I mean, look:
Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Hebrews contradict Numbers and Hosea, 1 Timothy and 2 Peter contradict Proverbs, John, Romans, and 2 Thesselonians, Genesis, Job, Jeremiah, Matthew, and Luke contradict Judges, Mark, and Hebrews.

So, which sides of those contradictions does one have to be on to be a real Christian? I maintain that your argument is still of the "True Scotsman" variety.

10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Cheeto said...

Does it matter that the bible contradicts the bible?

6:16:00 PM  
Blogger IAMB said...

You're welcome Carmel. I just found early on that long projects require being split into parts, both for the stamina of the reader and the author.

8:33:00 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Jake... I have to say I understood what you were trying to say from the getgo.

I was trying to explain to you... that it's really not the case. If they follow Christ in the Bible, they cannot follow the Christ they talk about in the Book of Mormon.

Both books don't just have different religions, they have different "Christs"... the Jesus of the Bible is NOT the Jesus of the Book of Mormon because they are totally two different and separate books. One can't just say they follow a so called Christ (the Book of Mormon) when it isn't the same Jesus Christ as the one of the Bible. Just READ the Book of Mormon and see how they are NOT the SAME.

And if you want to talk about the different Christian denominations I'm the person for it. I have experience in MANY different denominations, including Evangelical and Catholicism. Most Catholics I know believe in the saved-by-grace-but-you-have-to-do-works deal.

And if you ask a Catholic about that "Catholics believe that dead people can intercede with God if you pray for them"... they'll be sure to correct you that they are merely asking for guidance from the saints, people who were called upon by God to do His work. Protestant Christians feel that that is unnecessary as one can go straight to God in prayer.

Unlike the Mormons, who do have three different deities, the Catholics do believe in the trinity.

Mary, albeit the mother of Christ, was in fact human. It says that in the Bible which Catholics read. Humans aren't without sin. So yes, Protestant Christians believe that Mary wasn't born without sin. However that doesn't change the religion, nor does it really change Jesus Christ. Catholics deem Mary holy because of her role as the mother of Christ.

If you want to talk about those contradictions in the books of the Bible, that you may or may not have read... because if you haven't read the doctrines, I don't know why you bring them up.

So I guess I am "going there" so ask away and as I have said before I will do my best to answer. And if I, personally don't know the answer, I'll even look it up...

Anyway the "supposed" contradictions that many people find are also taken out of context. All one really needs to do is READ the full passage and take a look at who the passage was originally directed at.

8:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Both books don't just have different religions, they have different "Christs"... the Jesus of the Bible is NOT the Jesus of the Book of Mormon

Aha! For me, this is the crux of the matter. I can't say whether this is true or not (since I haven't read the Book of Mormon or the New Testament), but if it is then I think you are more justified in saying that Mormons aren't Christians. I'm still not 100% convinced, but your position seems a lot more reasonable than it did before. Thanks for clarifying.

1:03:00 AM  
Blogger parodie said...

I think the strongest argument (from the position that Jake is arguing, i.e. from a "neutral" outside position) that Mormons are not Christians (and should be considered as a separate entity) is that there is the Book of Mormon. In other words, Mormons have an entire sacred text that they endorse as Word of God that no other Christian denomination recognizes.

This is similar to other faith divisions: Christians vs Jews, for example (Old Testament is a common text, right? But Christians have additional texts.). Early Christians were also Jews, and there was a rift and some grey areas similar to what we see now between Mormons and Christians - but we now recognize that Christians are not Jews. Of course, as with many group membership issues, a large part of the difference is perception and behaviour.

I must admit that my personal opinion is that both points of view are partially right. Mormons are pretty darn close to most Christians, and in a swift categorisation I might lump them in. They are more Christian than they are anything else, and since they have split off from Christianity in the (relatively) recent past they are very close to Christianity in many ways. However, they have a whole different religious text and their beliefs are vastly different from any other "flavour" of Christianity -- much moreso than the differences between any other two denominations. In that sense they are very much in their own category.

Appologies for the essay! :) Hope this is interesting to someone.

12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

That makes a lot of sense, parodie. Thanks.

12:31:00 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

It was interesting thank you.

4:03:00 PM  
Blogger Lifewish said...

Problem is that, for example, the Gnostics had a completely different set of Gospels from the Pauline Christians, yet at the time had an equal claim on the Christian name. And groups like the Oriental Orthodox Christians have entire books (in this case the book of Enoch) that no other denomination uses. How can we justify saying that these are any less Christian than your standard American Baptist?

5:11:00 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Lifewish,

I was simply comparing the Bible to the Book of Mormon. I am not talking about the differences between other denominations and fractions. The Catholic denomination has added books they believe to be a part of the canon. But they follow with core beliefs of every other denomination.

That's ALL I have been talking about. Mormonism doesn't agree with the the creed of the Christian denomination. The creed of the Christian faith is different from that of the LDS.

The Christ of the Christians is different from the "Christ" of the Mormons which makes them different all together because they follow two different people. Hence two different religions.

If that's the way it is then that's how I say it doesn't belong under the Christian umbrella. It's as simple as that.

1:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Sparrow said...

Lifewish: however, the Book of Enoch is referred to in the Book of Jude (see verse 14) whereas I've never seen the Book of Mormon referred to in any translation of Christian scriptures.

Carmel: the Roman Catholics did not add the deuterocanonical books in - those books were already included in the Septuagint. It was Martin Luther who took them out (as well as removing the Book of James which was later returned to the New Testament) when he chose to use the much later Masoretic Text (which had been changed by the Masorites in order to separate their scriptures more clearly from Christianity) in his translation of the Bible.

12:04:00 PM  
Blogger justinheather said...

You guys are not looking at the whole picture. As I read all the comments I realized you guys don't know what your talking about.
You are clearly distorting the LDS view of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon does not refer to a different Jesus but the same Jesus in the Bible. That resurrected Jesus appeared in the American Continent (where the Book of Mormon was written) and taught them the gospel as well. It was the same Jesus.

Carmel said if they follow the Christ in the Bible they can't follow the Christ in the Book of Mormon.
Why Not if they are the same person?
Why would God (all loving I assume) keep a group of people in darkness and not let them know about Jesus Christ.
I also read in the posts that the Bible says that Jesus is God the Father and the Book of Mormon says he is the Son.
Actually the Bible says otherwise, while yes it says they are one and one in the sense of John 17:20-24
If they are one physically then I guess all who believe are as well. Actually that is rediculous to believe.
If they are the same why would Jesus pray to himself and why at his baptism did the Father speak from heaven and the holy ghost decend like a dove. That sounds like a perfect incident of three people right there.
Acts 7:55-56 when stephen was being stone he looked to heaven and saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God (that draws a weird picture in my mind if they truly were the same person, Jesus would be standing on his own hand!)

One last thing someone mentioned that the book of mormon is not mentioned in the bible so it can't be true. Before I show you I will ask because Moses didn't talk about Peter James and John they must not have been real either and since Jesus' name is not mentioned once in the Old Testament he must not be true either. hmmmm
Ezekiel 37:15-20 Now sticks are what they wrote their revelations on. a Stick from the tribe of Judah and one from the tribe of Ephraim. Well the Bible is fromthe tribe of Judah (the Jews) but where does it mention once about writings from the tribe of Ephraim? It doesn't but interestingly the Book of Mormon states they are decendents of Ephraim.

Please before you guys post like you know anything about Mormonism please learn it.

4:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christianity, is a religion of faith. I just had this conversation last night. I am a Christian, and was speaking with a Mormon. He distinctly mentioned the same comment about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, all being one. This is based on faith, and what is written and believed by Christians. It is only through the Son, that you can get to the Father. How did he create the heavens and the earth? Every being? Every beauty, and every blessing. We believe, love him, and trust, through Faith. That is the real and true answer. God Bless.

11:40:00 PM  

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