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Friday, August 18, 2006

The Differences Between Mormonism and Christianity: Part 1

Now... I originally wanted to post about how my two adopted kittens are drug addicts... but the topic at hand is a more pressing issue...

First and foremost... a disclaimer... while I will be as objective as possible in my explaination... I still do not want my webpage to be simply a religious discussion... I enjoy the freedom to type whatever I feel like (mundane or not) ... and it gives me pleasure that it be about a variety of random things.

I was asked the question of why the church of the Latter-Day Saints should not be included under the Christian umbrella... first part I'll give the explanation about the material I was given using the points where the differences are key.

Now, I was given the "13 Articles of Faith" which Joseph Smith used to summarize his faith in Mormonism and asked why it shouldn't be under Christianty when the core beliefs seem so similar.

Ladies and Gents and the keyword here is "seems"...

1. The First Article: Joseph Smith said that they believed in three different God-heads. No mention of the trinity was ever included in that statement. One of the fundamental (yes, Matt, first time I used that word, eh?) Christian beliefs (or core beliefs) is that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, are three different entities and yet at the same time ONE.

*To those who don't understand the "trinity" it's like "three-in-one" objects that you buy one thing but it's really three... or H2O. Anyway... I digree...

Christians are monotheists, they believe in one deity, though three part. Latter-Day Saints do not, God the father, Son, and Holy Ghost are separate.

2. The Third Article: Christians believe that all one needs to be saved is to confess their sins and believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died for the sins of the world and rose again on the third day. Jesus did all the work 100% and all one has to do is believe. Salvation through "Faith".

Mormons feel that Jesus did die for the sins of the world, but a person must also do other things to achieve their salvation, example, they have to be baptized in the Mormon faith, and follow other Mormon doctrine. As was explained to me, by a Mormon friend, "It's like Jesus did 90% of the work, so all we need to do it about 10%." Salvation through "Works".

*Some people believe that Christians feel they need to be baptized to be saved too, that is not in accordance to their scripture, but some denominations adhere to it because they believe that one should do as Christ did, an example is the Catholic Church. But that's another post altogether.

Now... my time is unfortunately cut short... so I will continue to explain the differences at a latter date.

But before I do, here's a personal experience... A LDS had come by me while I was reading in the park and proceeded to ask me what I believed in. I told him I was a Christian, and he said, "Great, me too." Then after 10 minutes of conversing, he proceeded to tell me I was going to hell.

Ladies and Gents... even Mormons can see there's a difference.


Blogger Jake said...

2. The Third Article: Christians believe that all one needs to be saved is to confess their sins and believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died for the sins of the world and rose again on the third day. Jesus did all the work 100% and all one has to do is believe. Salvation through "Faith".

So, by this definition, most Catholics and a lot of Anglicans are not Christians either?

10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

Then after 10 minutes of conversing, he proceeded to tell me I was going to hell.

There are a whole hell of a lot of self-professed Christians who claim that other self-professed Christians who don't follow the same kind of Christianity as they do are going to hell. The Evangelicals say this about everyone who isn't an Evangelical, the Catholics say this about everyone who isn't a Catholic, the Anglicans seem not to care so much, as long as you follow Christ (or even if you don't). The Mormons are nothing special in this.

I remain unconvinced. From the outside, the key ingredient of being a Christian is that a person follows (or, really, claims to be following) Christ. Evangelicals, Mormons, Quakers, Catholics, it's all Christians. You may argue amongst yourselves about what the proper way to be a Christian is, but to a non-Christian there's no real difference. Sorry.l

10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Nope... not saying Catholics aren't Christians at all.

I was emphasizing that Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, Lutherans, Evangelicals, may have different ways of practicing, ex. Confession, Baptism, etc. And they will ARGUE AND ARGUE about it. Been there and seen enough to last a lifetime. Don't care for it.

But the core beliefs are there.

Mono-theists, Trinity, virgin birth, etc.

Mormons on the other hand... while they "agree" with the Christian Bible... have the Book of Mormon... which is actually quite contrary. If you take a gander at that site that I listed giving the facts about Mormonism... you'll see. It's not just the practice that's different.

It's the religion itself.

12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

The religion itself is different, but they still follow Christ, so they're still Christians. It really comes down to definition, and questions that come down to definition are rarely particularly interesting. Non-Christians will argue that anyone who follows Christ is a Christian because, well, what else could "Christian" possibly mean? Self-identified Christians will forever argue with each other about who really is a Christian.

I mean Mormons say that they're Christian. You say they're not. Many Evangelicals say that while some assorted Protestant denominations are Christians, Catholics and Anglicans are absolutely not. Many Catholics say that Protestants may be Christian, but they're still going to Hell.

So who should I believe?

That's why I say that from where I sit, you all look like Christians. Are the doctrinal differences between Mormons and Catholics really any more major than the doctrinal differences between Baptists and JWs? I doubt it. That's why I say that if you follow Christ, you're a Christian.

Anything else is just a "true Scottsman" argument.

12:46:00 PM  
Blogger IAMB said...

You forgot the 14th article of faith:

We believe that women should stop having children after 36... because 37 is just too damn many!

Sorry, I couldn't resist. One of my exes had a Mormon Bishop for a dad and he had some great Mormon jokes.

4:14:00 PM  
Anonymous The Brutal Gourmet said...

I am afraid I am going to have to go with Jake here, Carmel. Despite some startling differences of theology from most (or perhaps all -- I am no expert) Christian faiths, the bottom line is that they try to follow Christ's teachings. The fact is that they believe that they have a larger body of said teachings than any other sect.

That I disagree with this belief is not particularly relevant to the identification of those who do hold it. Like Jake, I look at all those who profess Christianity in whichever form, and say to myself “if you say so”. After all, who am I to say who the “right” Christians are?

4:51:00 PM  
Anonymous DRock said...

To Jake-

I believe in facts. Facts speak for themselves. If you can't believe in facts, then you are ignorant.

You have your opinions and it's well formed at that, but you obviously are misinformed, either by yourself or the general populace around you. If you cannot see the blatant differences (as Carmel said) in the core beliefs in the way they live their daily lives.

Matter of fact, let me pose you a question, what do you believe? That when we die we just cease to exist totally? Or some further explanation for it? Even as Einstein said, "I believe in the after-life because energy never ceases to move." And you, are you the genius Einstein was?

Whereas I'm very upset that you would slander my beliefs and soil the very thing that I hold dear to my heart, by lumping me together with everybody and everything. And making it out to be that we "Christians" are out to destroy everything that you hold dear.

Christians by nature should be loving, forgiving, and understanding. Our main purpose is not to shun people or turn them away. I feel as if the Christian way of life has been poorly represented most likely throughout your entire life. As it states in the Bible, we are supposed to turn the other cheek. And as most people on this site may not agree with my decision, I will try to open up my arms and accept you with the love that Christ shared with the world.

I don't hold a grudge against you. But whereas you may not approve, I will pray for you.

11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous DRock said...

Jake, I feel as if the whole Christian faith has been misconstrued and turned into a monstrous beast that it's not supposed to be. Whereas we sit here and argue about petty details, lots of Christians miss the real point.

It's not to tear each other apart but to build each other up that is the trick. We, as humans, as Christians believe, are fundamentally flawed. We're not perfect, but then again no one is.

I wish I could turn back the hands of time and see what it is that made you so bitter and hard to people of faith.

I'm not here to preach to you just to add more perspective to your argument. I just hope that you don't find us all to be as fanatical and sadly said, "a little dumb" as Annie (IAMB's resident troll) made herself out to be.

If you will, I would like to discuss faith with you. I just hope that you keep as much a open mind as you do with women's rights.

11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Woah! When did this become a convert jake thread? Drock, you are attributing attitudes to me that I don't have. If you think that my comparing your flavour of Christianity to Mormonism is slander, I would suggest that that has more to do with your feelings about Mormonism than anything I've said.

Furthermore, your crack about Einstein was an appeal to authority (a logical fallacy), and a very weak one at that. Einstein was a mathematical genius. He was not in a better position to know about spiritual matters than anyone else.

I'm happy for you to talk faith at me (hell, you can even email me if you want: jakobknits@gmail.com) with one proviso: Anything you write to me may be reposted on my blog, with my commentary. So have at.

Oh, and feel free to talk to your imaginary friend about me. I'm sure I won't notice, let alone mind.

10:20:00 AM  
Blogger IAMB said...

Jake, you might not want to do that (be okay with someone praying for you). Remember that Templeton study about the effects of prayer on surgical patients?


5:16:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Heh. Well, since I'm not recovering from bipass surgery, I'll take my chances.

9:10:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

And by "bipass" I of course mean "bypass". Yeesh.

9:11:00 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Yeah... I'm pretty sure he's safe Matt... lol...

11:35:00 PM  
Blogger IAMB said...

Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Correct. XX/XY. Mistake.

8:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Thanks Matt. I do actually prefer if you don't. If it's relevant to the discussion I'll do it myself. If not, why bother?

9:43:00 AM  
Blogger IAMB said...

Sure thing. Keeping mouth shut in the future...

9:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Important distinction between Judaism, Christianity, and Mormon faith I've been taught has to do with God's intervention in the course of his relationship to humanity. First he comes down himself to set us straight....a few thousand years lapse and he comes down again as a man....the church that follows becomes corrupt, protestants branch out on all fronts basically its a mess. God comes down a third time in the form of an angel to translate the book of mormon and get us on course again. Mormons are about as much Christians as Christians are Jews.

8:37:00 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

To Anonymous:

I left you a response in an actual post here http://nocaramel4u.blogspot.com/2006/09/difference-between-mormonism.html.

None the less I hope you didn't just read part 1 but also the part 2 after that at http://nocaramel4u.blogspot.com/2006/08/difference-between-christianity-and.html.

3:08:00 PM  
Blogger stacy said...

Christian - A person that has a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have that you already know the truth.

11:38:00 PM  

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