06
Jul
12

Acknowledging the Differences between Mormonism and Christianity

Lesson 27 of the Gospel Doctrines Class covers Alma 30-31.  These two chapters talk about how Korithor, an Anti-Christ, spread his false doctrine.  One of the false doctrines mentioned is recorded in the prayer of the Zoramites. “Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou was a spirit, and that thou are a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever.” (Alma 31:15)

According to Mormonism, this is a false doctrine because it teaches that God the Father doesn’t have a body.  “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.”  (D&C 130:22)  This belief that God had a body is also seen in the couplet coined by one of their past presidents, Lorenzo Snow.  “As man is, God once was.  As God is, man may become.”  As seen in that couplet, Mormonism also teaches that God was once a man.

One passage that many Mormons use as proof that God has a body is Genesis 1:27 where it is recorded that man was created in God’s image.  They say that this must refer to a physical image.  But that is not what the Bible says.  Colossians 3:10 and Ephesians 4:24 refer back to that image and obviously in those passages it is talking about a spiritual, not a physical, image.  Those passages identify it with the new man of faith which is attuned to God’s will.  When Genesis talks about God creating man in his own image, it means that Adam and Eve were perfectly attuned to God’s will.  It has nothing to do with how they looked.

But that is not how Mormonism sees it.  Therefore it says that this teaching that God doesn’t have a body is one of the main characteristics of the Great Apostasy that it says occurred after the death of the apostles.  “Soon pagan beliefs dominated the thinking those called Christians.  The Roman emperor adopted this false Christianity as the state religion.  This church was very different from the church Jesus organized.  It taught that God was a being without form or substance.” (Gospel Principles, p.92)

This then is just another in a long list of examples of the vast differences between Mormonism and Christianity.  Therefore it boggles the minds of many Christians when they hear Mormons saying that they are Christians like we are – only they have the fullness of the gospel.  Why would they want to identify, in any way, with people who believe so differently than they do?  Why does the first FAQ on mormon.org say they are Christian without any emphasis on differences?

Many LDS members, however, honestly don’t understand why this bothers, even angers, many Christians.  In an attempt to illustrate this, I have asked some of how they would feel if I said I am a Mormon, although I deny that

1) Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God

2) The Mormon Church is the true church

3) The Book of Mormon, D&C, and the Pearl of Great Price are scripture

4) The president of the LDS Church is a prophet

5) God the Father has a body

6) We are saved after all we can do

If I said I denied those and numerous other teachings of Mormonism, but claimed to be a Mormon – the only difference is that I have the fullness of Mormonism – if I went around claiming to be a Mormon under such conditions, how would they feel? How would they feel if the first thing I tell people is that I’m a Mormon and this is a Mormon blog?   Would they question me about that?  Would they be angry that I made that claim?  Honestly, I doubt if many Mormons would welcome me with open arms as a fellow Mormon.

In the same way, many Christians are dumbfounded by the thought of welcoming Mormons as fellow Christians. They feel that doing so would involve a denial of many truths they hold dear.

Openly and publicly acknowledging the differences, rather than ignoring them or talking in such a way that obscures them, is not only the honest thing to do – it is also the only way productive dialogue will ever be able to take place.

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49 Responses to “Acknowledging the Differences between Mormonism and Christianity”


  1. 1 Kent
    July 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    “One of the false doctrines mentioned is recorded in the prayer of the Zoramites. “Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou was a spirit, and that thou are a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever.” (Alma 31:15)

    According to Mormonism, this is a false doctrine because it teaches that God the Father has a body.”

    Shouldn’t that read that according to Mormonism, this is a false doctrine because it doesn’t teach that God the Father has a body?

  2. 2 markcares
    July 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    You are right. Thanks. I will edit it.

  3. 3 Robert Timmerman
    July 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Well said

  4. 4 Kent
    July 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I once had a Mormon missionary tell me that he would take the word of a living prophet over scripture any day.

    But how would Mormons feel that if I said I considered myself a Mormon but not only do I deny that the Mormon president is a living prophet, but that I won’t even listen to or consider anything he says even if he says he is speaking for God but even so, I was I Mormon with the fullness of the Mormon gospel that all other Mormons don’t have?

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  5. 5 Kent
    July 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    But, of course, Mark isn’t saying we think we are Mormons and I am not saying it as well as it is just, if anyone thinks otherwise, an analogy as to why we don’t think Mormons are Christians when they don’t share our key core beliefs.

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  6. 6 choosethechrist
    July 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    “Openly and publicly acknowledging the differences, rather than ignoring them or talking in such a way that obscures them, is not only the honest thing to do – it is also the only way productive dialogue will ever be able to take place.”

    This is so true! For the life of me, I just can’t understand why mormons would want to spend time trying to fit in with Christianity when they do proclaim to have “the fullness of the gospel”. Wouldn’t you think that they would want to sell their gospel based upon what they have that I don’t? The last mormon missionaries that came to my door spent a significant amount of time trying to convince me we believed the same things. It wasn’t until I asked them, “If we believe the same things, then why do I need that Book of Mormon or the LDS church?” that they abandoned their tactics and changed their direction. Trying to convert people on the premise of sounding Christian just seems deceptive to me.

    I live right smack in the middle of mormon land and have for my entire life. It sure would have been easier on me if I had just presented myself as a mormon and claimed to be one for all this time in order to be socially accepted by them. Maybe I have been doing it all wrong. This should be my new get to know you line: Hi, my name is choose, I’m a spouse, parent, friend, professional and I’m a mormon. Wow, I can see the instant social acceptance now and how free and easy life will be for sure! I should stand at the top of one of these mountains and proudly proclaim it for the whole valley to hear: I”M A MORMON!!!!!!!!!! NOT!

    Mormons, you have a different gospel. Stop trying to look Christian and start emphasizing what it is you think you have that makes you so much better than the rest of us.

  7. 7 JBR
    July 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Who Jesus is and if he was an example or subsitute is one of the biggest differences between the two.

    Christianity teaches that Jesus is God and yet with Him at the same time.
    Christiabity teaches that while Jesus walked the earth, he subjected himself willingly to a human servant level and as such was bound by the Creator \ created order. While on earth, Jesus did not fully make use of his Divinity but in certian instances he did.

  8. July 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I don’t understand this trend in Mormonism to try to fit in the traditional Christianity. It certainly isn’t the Mormonism I grew up in. Obviously it is pure deception on the part of the upper ups in the organization although I realize the followers are just doing what they’re taught to do. If the lesson manual says it-just do it. Man, I DO NOT miss that junk. And I agree that openly talking about the clear contradictions in Mormonism to Biblical Christianiy is the best way to win them. That’s what worked in my life. Brave souls who just flat out quoted Bible that contradicted what I had been taught in Mormonism. There is POWER in God’s WORDS that we just can’t underestimate. They will often times get angry or just insist that you are mistaken or claim that the verse you used “wasn’t translated correctly” but that POWER is there. Once the verse is planted it’s God’s Spirit makes that seed sprout. But it takes a willing person to plant that seed!

  9. 9 joshtried
    July 7, 2012 at 4:06 am

    So, what you are saying is that there was no point in Christ taking up his body in his ressurection?
    You consider Christ God, yet see no significance in this action? You dont see this as having purpose?
    I honestly dont know what more to say on this. Yall have truely baffled me.

    And if calling yourself by a specific title is all that matters, well then i am King of America..
    Christians definition: Noun:A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings. Mormons by definition are Christian.

  10. 10 joshtried
    July 7, 2012 at 4:21 am

    ” For the life on me, I just cant understand why mormons would want to spend time trying to fit in with Christianity…”
    Because you portray us as not believing in the same Christ you do. We do and always have. It is important for you to understand this before i present more to you. Mormanism isnt Satanic, it is Christianity+.

  11. 11 choosethechrist
    July 7, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Josh said, “And if calling yourself by a specific title is all that matters, well then i am King of America..
    Christians definition: Noun:A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings. Mormons by definition are Christian.”

    Unfortunately, the word “Christian” has lost a great deal significance and is often used by people who are religious or have high moral values but may not be true followers of Jesus Christ.

    Mormons by definition are a cult:

    “A Christian cult is a group that denies one or more of the fundamental truths of Christianity, while still claiming to be Christian.” ~http://www.gotquestions.org/cult-definition.html

    “A cult is a defined as a religion that uses the name of an astablished religion but changes its beliefs, practices, and terms. Cults often claim superiority over the historic faith.” ~http://bible-truth.org/arelds.htm

    Eight basic doctrinal characteristics of counterfeit groups (from http://www.mrm.org/8-counterfeit-characteristics):

    1. Denial in the true nature of God
    2. Works-emphasis salvation
    3. The true church
    4. Authoritative leadership
    5. Regimented giving requirement
    6. Loss of salvation for leaving
    7. Authority beyond the Bible
    8. Unique truths never before revealed

    Josh said, Because you portray us as not believing in the same Christ you do. We do and always have.

    Are you saying Gordon B Hinckley had it wrong Josh?

  12. 12 joshtried
    July 7, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Choose, it is possible for us to both be correct. The LDS church believes in the God of Abraham. In this way, He is the same.
    This does not mean you and I have the same understanding of who he is. This is the “different Jesus.”
    It is the equivolent of you saying Jesus had blonde hair, and me saying it is brown. He is the same Jesus, but different.
    Some of Christianity see Christ as static and unchanging. I have previously used the Bible to illustrate how this is false. Echo believes in a Christ that gives no choice in salvation, we have shown how that is false.
    We do not however believe He is some kind of twisted Satan Christ.

  13. 13 JBR
    July 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Josh,
    No … both can’t be correct.

    What you think that has been shown as false is done by rejecting the truth first. The hair color example is not completely accurte. Jesus’ hair is “blonde” not because “we say it is” but because in the Bible God revealed that it is.

    Saying that his hair is “brown” is because of false witnesses\prophets who are claiming that are true.

    You have bought into it hook\line and sinker and are wantonly refusing to listen. You’re not going to get into heaven with the wrong understanding of what God expects for salvation to be applicable.

    It will not happen no matter how insistant you are.

    Jesus is not an example to follow but is your subsitute
    Jesus does not expect to be repaid for redemption as Mormonism implies
    God was not once a man
    Life isn’t about proving oneself worthy and usage of agency

  14. 14 choosethechrist
    July 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Josh, do you really believe the mormon doctrines regarding who God is, who Jesus is, salvation, and exaltation/law of progression or are you bringing Christian views into what you believe about mormonism?

    Josh said, Choose, it is possible for us to both be correct. The LDS church believes in the God of Abraham.

    You say mormons believe in the God of Abraham. I would say no, they don’t.

    Mormonism is not Christian because it denies one or more of the essential doctrines of Christianity.

    Mormonism denies the biblical truth of who God is, who Jesus is, how forgiveness of sins is attained, and what the gospel is.

    Mormonism has changed all of the meanings of our terms and redefined them without changing the words God, Jesus, grace, salvation, redemption, heaven, hell, etc. You can’t change who the God of Abraham is and then say we believe in the same God just because you did not change His name to something else.

    “The fact that Joseph Smith failed to represent the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob proves that he was not a true prophet. God warned the children of Israel that if any arose and attempted to entice Israel to “go after other gods” he was to be put to death (Deuteronomy 13:1-3, 5). Do you think He takes this any less serious today? To insist on following the God of the Mormon Church will result in spiritual death, a painful separation from the Creator for all eternity.” http://www.mrm.org/god-of-mormonism

  15. 15 choosethechrist
    July 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Josh said, Choose, it is possible for us to both be correct. The LDS church believes in the God of Abraham. In this way, He is the same.

    Josh, you seem to be confused about this, the LDS church does not view us as both being correct:

    “What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing …Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God” (Journal of Discourses 13:225).

    “What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world,” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 270.)

    “We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense…. Myself and hundreds of the Elders around me have seen its pomp, parade, and glory; and what is it? It is a sounding brass and a tinkling symbol; it is as corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, 1858, p. 167).

    “The worshipers of Baal were far more consistent than apostate Christendom; for they had a faint hope that Baal would hear and answer them; but modern divines have no expectation that their God will say anything to them or to their followers. Baal’s followers cried from morning until evening for him to give unto them a miraculous manifestation, in the presence of Elijah; but to even expect a supernatural manifestation or revelation now is considered, by modern religionists, as the greatest absurdity. Baal’s worshipers, therefore, with all their absurdities, approached nearer the religion of heaven, in some of their expectations, than those who falsely call themselves Christians” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No. 1 (1850), pp.12-13).

    Questions all Mormons should ask themselves:
    http://www.contenderministries.org/mormonism/questions.php

  16. 16 joshtried
    July 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

    THE FIVE BASIC DOCTRINES1. The Trinity: God is one “What” and three “Whos” with each “Who” possessing all the attributes of Deity and personality.2. The Person of Jesus Christ: Jesus is 100% God and 100% man for all eternity.3. The Second Coming: Jesus Christ is coming bodily to earth to rule and judge.4. Salvation: It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.5. The Scripture: It is entirely inerrant and sufficient for all Christian life.
    If these are to what you are refering, you are correct that we disagree with 2 of them.
    Is God one “what”? That is almost pointless to debate. Do they act as one? Yes. One speaks and the other obeys.
    Is the Bible without error? We discussed this at length previously. The Bible itself says it does… Is it sufficient to get people to heaven? Yes. Is it EVERYTHING God has given us? No. (Though i guess you could argue the catholic Bible MIGHT be complete.. I havent seen a catholic here though)

  17. 17 shematwater
    July 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I really have no desire to debate the pointless argument of titles. The real reason that so many Christians are angry at us for saying we are Christian is that they don’t want to be associated with us and so they have drawn up arbitrary lines and said “You can’t cross this line because you don’t agree with me.” That is all it is.

    As to Mark’s analogy, it would really be pointless, as anyone making such a claim would look completely foolish. However, in such an event I would say that he is making a false comparison.
    Simply put he is an peach who is annoyed at the citrus fruit for claiming to be a fruit a well. His justification is simple: The citris fruit would be annoyed if the peach called itself a citrus fruit, so the peach is justified in being annoyed at the citrus fruit for claiming to be a fruit.
    Of course a citrus fruit is a fruit, just as much as a peach is, but because it is not the same kind of fruit it doesn’t have the right to call itself a fruit.

    This is the basic argument being made. You are annoyed that a denomination claims the blanket title of the religious movement that it rightly belongs to. The justification you offer is that the denomination would be annoyed if you claimed to be a member of the denomination but denied everything it believed. The comparison is false (comparing a larger religious movement to a single denomination of that movement) and thus becomes meaningless.

    Now, I would understand if you got upset if we called ourselves Lutheran, or baptists, or Catholic, or any other denomination out there. But to get upset that we claim to be part of the religious movement that is Christianity is pointless at best.

    As to other comments posted here; here is a wonderfully arbitrary list that someone decided to put together in an attempt to exclude others from their little “Christian Club.”
    1. Denial in the true nature of God
    2. Works-emphasis salvation
    3. The true church
    4. Authoritative leadership
    5. Regimented giving requirement
    6. Loss of salvation for leaving
    7. Authority beyond the Bible
    8. Unique truths never before revealed

    You will note that items 2-8 apply to the Catholic church, so that must be a cult as well. Sounds kind of silly, but I have noticed that, considering that the Catholic church actually has so much in common with the LDS, the majority of what you say against us applies equally to them. That makes them a cult and not truly Christian.

    As to different Christ, I think we have miscommunication: We have the same Christ in that we both accept the Bible and the accounts that it gives. In other words, we both believe that Christ created the world; that he was the God of the Old Testament; that he listed a mortal life, died a mortal death, and was resurrected. We have different Christ’s in that we interpret the meaning of these events (as well as other passages in the Bible) in a different way.
    Going with the hair analogy, I think Josh’s could be improved, but JBR failed to do so. What the Bible really says is that Christ has dark hair; you say it is black, we say it is brown. Thus we are talking about the same God, as we are reading the same description of him, but are reaching different conclusions as to who he is because the Bible is not all that specific.

  18. 18 markcares
    July 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Shem:
    What proof do you have for your sweeping statement: ” The real reason that so many Christians are angry at us for saying we are Christian is that they don’t want to be associated with us and so they have drawn up arbitrary lines and said “You can’t cross this line because you don’t agree with me.” That is all it is.” Or are you back to reading hearts and assigning motives to people.
    Also your analogy about fruit is completely wrong. A better analogy would be that the teachings of Christianity is medicine that saves while the teachings of Mormonism is poison that tries to come off as medicine but instead of saving people sends them to an eternal hell.

  19. 19 Kent
    July 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    No one can read the hearts of anyone else only God can do so. So if anybody thinks they can read anyone’s hearts and anyone’s motivations, they can’t.

    1 Kings 8:39

    then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind)

  20. 20 choosethechrist
    July 11, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Shem said, I really have no desire to debate the pointless argument of titles. The real reason that so many Christians are angry at us for saying we are Christian is that they don’t want to be associated with us and so they have drawn up arbitrary lines and said “You can’t cross this line because you don’t agree with me.” That is all it is.

    I think it has more to do with us being upset with the whole deceiving people into a mormon system that leads to damnation thing.

  21. 21 shematwater
    July 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    KENT

    Only God can know the thoughts of the heart, but he also has the power to reveal those thoughts to others.
    I never once said I knew the thoughts of your hearts, or the thoughts of anyone elses; though I could if God choose to reveal them to me.

    CHOOSE

    You are mixing words here. What you describe is your reason for not wanting to be associeted. You believe we have a false gospel. Great. Because of this you do not want to be associated with us, and so you attempt to exclude us from Christian movement to which we rightly belong.
    So, your reasons for wanting to do this do not change the fact that this is what you are doing.

    MARK

    The proof is quite simple: This blog, and more specifically this thread. Can I quote anyone as saying “We don’t want to be associated with the Mormons” No, I can’t. But I don’t need to. Your argument is one of association. The entire message of your comments was that you don’t want to call us Christian becuase that would establish an association with you that you find undesirable. Your justification is that we also find some associations undesirable.
    It is all very phsychological, and it does not take a genius to see this in what you say.

    As to your better analogy, it is not the same; you have altered analogies to now be comparring two denominations, while before you were comparing a denominaiton with a religious movement. The second analogy is appropriate to your beliefs, but it does not illustrate your initial argument.
    If you want change your initial argument be my guest; but don’t do so while claiming not to.

  22. 22 Kent
    July 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    We don’t call Mormons Christians because Mormons don’t share the core beliefs that Christians do, pure and simple. By the way, we don’t want to exclude you on the contrary, we want to bring you into the flock.

    Besides, the whole Mormon religion was founded on the concept that none of us are true followers of Christ, hence that we are not Christians, by Smith saying that the Lord told him that all of our statements of faith (creeds) are an abomination in God’s sight (disgusting and hated by God), all of our churches are wrong, and that all of our professors of our faith are corrupt.

    You can’t explain away by stating what your church now says, that we have some glorious truths found in our churches and among our believers as that is diametrically opposed to what Smith said about us and our churches.

    Again, from Joseph Smith’s first vision:

    “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)–and which I should join.

    I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  23. 23 shematwater
    July 12, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    KENT

    Most of your comments are misplaced on this thread.

    I will also say that not being a true follower of Christ does not prevent one from being a Christian.

  24. 24 joshtried
    July 12, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Kent, are Catholics Christian?

  25. 25 joshtried
    July 12, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Sorry, that question applies to any who are willing to answer.

  26. 26 Kent
    July 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Josh, I believe that any Catholic who believes in who Jesus is and that eternal life is solely by what He did by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day is a Christian. It isn’t about a church, it is about a personal relationship with God, a one on one relationship.

    Catholics, unlike Mormons, believe that Jesus was never a spirit child, a created being, that He has always been fully God, that He never progressed to be fully God, that He is not the spirit brother of Satan whose salvation plan was accepted over His brother’s plan because the only salvation plan there has ever been is the salvation plan we have been given to us by God, Satan never had a salvation plan, and they believe that all things were created through Him, not just this earth, as nothing that was made was made except through Him. Hence Jesus is the creator not a part of the creation.

    So a key destinction, besides Jesus dying on the cross and rising again on the third day, is who Jesus is. I do not believe the Jesus of the Mormon Church is the Jesus of the Bible. By the way, I also don’t believe the Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is the Jesus of the Bible either.

    As far as the extra stuff that I believe the Catholic Church has added on to the gospel, that I don’t agree with, I don’t think they necessarily exclude a person who attends a Catholic Church from eternal life.

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  27. 27 Kent
    July 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Shem said, “Most of your comments are misplaced on this thread.

    I will also say that not being a true follower of Christ does not prevent one from being a Christian.”

    Pointing out that what you are saying and what Geoge Albert Smith said about there being glorious truths in our churches that we should hold onto and the contradtiction with what Joseph Smith said about out churches is not misplaced.

    Also, not being a true follower of Christ does prevent someone from being a Christian. Can anyone honestly claim that being a false follower of Christ (as opposed to a true follower) is a Christian?

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  28. 28 shematwater
    July 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    KENT

    Catholics do believe in the requirement of works, and also believe in the praying to saints for grace as well as Christ.
    So, are they Christian despite these doctrinal differences.

    As to your comments, I never said they were wrong, I said they were misplaced. That subject is being discussed in the next thread, and that is where those comments belong.

    “Can anyone honestly claim that being a false follower of Christ (as opposed to a true follower) is a Christian?”

    Yes. After all you are not a true follower of Christ, having rejected the fulness of his gospel, and yet you are a Christian because you believe you are a true follower.
    That is the distinction to be made.

  29. 29 joshtried
    July 13, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Kent, do you agree with this list posted by Shem?

    Not Christian if:
    1. Denial in the true nature of God
    2. Works-emphasis salvation
    3. The true church
    4. Authoritative leadership
    5. Regimented giving requirement
    6. Loss of salvation for leaving
    7. Authority beyond the Bible
    8. Unique truths never before revealed

  30. 30 Kent
    July 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Shem and Josh, I am talking about individual believers not a church. Notice in the seven letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation Jesus is talking about what He has against various churches about how they fall short and what they must do, the church and its teachings, not the individuals, to be in His favor. I believe there are true believers in each of those churches that have eternal life based on their individual belief in who Jesus is and what He alone did to save them by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day.

    There is one church that is talked about in the Book of Revelation that Jesus is not critical of but rather than be one particular church as an instittution, I believe it is the body of individual believers worldwide, not one particular church.

    I believe the key deciding factor is who Jesus is so individual Catholics, not the church which has let falsehood creep in, can have eternal life. A church itself, if it doesn’t conform to what Jesus is telling them, for example, can be removed, as an institutution, from its lampstand.

    The main reason I don’t consider the Mormon Church as one of the churches is because the Mormon Church teaches a different Jesus. The Bible does say, “whoever calls on the the Name of the Lord shall be saved” but who you are calling upon is the key. Are you calling upon the Jesus of the Bible who has always been God and who has never been not God and who will always be God or are you calling on a different Jesus who was a created being, a spirit child who hasn’t always been God but who somehow became God?

    The reason why I believe that Jesus has to always have been God is that if He was ever less than God, then He couldn’t have been the perfect innocent blemish free sacrifice to take away the sins of the world foretold by the sacrifices in the old testatment temple. Remember, those innocent animals had to be without blemish in the first place oherwise they couldn’t be used in the old testatment sacrifices. How can an animal be with blemish and then somehow become blemish free? Answer, it can’t. The same way with our Savior, He couldn’t be blemish free (completely without sin) if He had any blemishes (had sins before) previously.

    So as far as the church that teaches that homosexual unions are OK, I would say they are an example of the lukewarm church talked about in the Book of Revelation that isn’t taking a stand on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality so they are lukewarm, trying to be politcally correct, as to not offend anyone who might not like what the Bible teaches on the subject. So, unless this church repents and takes a stand based on biblical principles, as an institution, as there can be true believers in that church, it will be vomited out of Jesus’ mouth.

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  31. 31 Kent
    July 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    add on to my last post. Churches are flawed institutions made up of flawed human beings so by that very reason it excludes saying, for example, anyone testifying “I believe such and such a church is true.” It is Jesus Christ who is true, not some church.

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  32. 32 joshtried
    July 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
    So, what your saying is that i do not have any chance of ever being blemish free, yet this scripture seems to indicate otherwise. I have already shown how Christ had to be given at least one of his “powers,” and Christ makes it very clear that there is already a system in place to make one “without blemish.”
    I obviously do not know the Lords doings prior to our perception of creation. But there is enough in the Bible alone to say that Jesus did in fact progress, and that by the very same system that makes it possible for us to be “white as snow,” it is POSSIBLE this system was in place prior to him, since he had to progress to that point to begin with. I am not saying he ever did sin, in this life or any other. I am saying if He had, it would not matter as he would have most likely been able to be washed “white as snow” just like we are today.

  33. 33 Kent
    July 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Josh, no, we can never be blemish free this side of heaven and this side of heaven is our only chance as once we die that it is it and we will either be judged on our own works for our salvation and fall short or we will be seen as though we are blemish free by our complete faith in who Jesus is and what He did by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day.

    Josh, we are washed white as snow by the blood of Jesus and nothing else but we really aren’t white as snow but that is how God sees us because of Jesus and His saving work on the cross, the perfect innocent blemish free sacrifice who has always been blemish free.

    Josh, can’t you see how the priests of the old testament would look for the blemish free animals for their sacrifices. They didn’t try to make animals with blemishes blemish free, they discarded them as not being worthy of the sacrifice. So the sacrificial lambs were worthy and always ready for the sacrifices which pointed to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God who was always worthy and always ready to be the ulitmate sacrifice to take away the sins of the world.

    Hebrews 9:27

    27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment

    So please let go of the false notion that Jesus wasn’t always God who somehow became God because by holding onto this false notion you hold onto the false notion that you too somehow can be a god. I know you don’t like to hear it but that is a different Jesus.

    Mormons want to be a god

    While Christians want to return to God.

    Isn’t being with Heavenly Father and Jesus for eternity enough?

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  34. 34 Kent
    July 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Josh, if we say we are blemish free (have no sin) then the truth is not in us. So, no, we can’t be blemish free.
    But, as I pointed out, we can be seen as being blemish free by our faith in Christ.

    Philippians 3:9

    9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith

    1 John 1:8

    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    In closing again:

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  35. 35 joshtried
    July 15, 2012 at 12:02 am

    You act like i am saying i have never sinned, which is the point of that scripture. I have never said that and wont ever say that. You are also acting like God cant change us to blemish free, that he can only “see” us that way. That is not what the scripture says. It says we WILL be washed clean.

  36. July 17, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Josh said: “So, what your saying is that i do not have any chance of ever being blemish free”

    Kent is right. You will never be blemish free in your lifetime through your own righteousness. Unless we are perfectly sinless, we aren’t even considered righteous. The thing is, we all must die blemish free or we go to the lake of fire for all eternity. (No unclean thing can enter God’s presence which rules out the three kingdoms of LDS heaven since God’s presence is in all 3 kingdoms i.e. The Father in one, Jesus in another, the Holy Spirit in the last) Jesus has already made us blemish free. He has *imputed* his righteousness to us. Read these verses slowly, don’t add anything to them…

    Romans 4:5 ” However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”

    Romans 5:17 “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

    Romans 4:6 ” David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:”

    Romans 9:30-31 ” What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.”

    Romans 10:3-4 ” Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

    Romans 10:6 “But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”

    Galatians 2:21 “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

    2 Corinthians 3:9 “If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!”

    Philippians 3:9 “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

    Romans 3:20 “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”

    Romans 3:21-24 ” But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

  37. 37 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 7:23 am

    You know… These assumptions are getting pretty old and repetative. Did i say that it was by my own power i become spotless? Have i ever even come close to that? No i havent. Yall act like this stuff can never be done. You attempt to say you are christian, but act like this life is all anythig can ever be accomplished in. You act like Gods powers are limited to today, forgetting about eternity. Forgetting how it is we get to stay in heaven. This is the same thing that is happening over and over again. Yall want to tear down a single point without considering EVERYTHING else..

  38. July 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Josh, the Bible teaches these things. They are not assumptions.

    Josh said: “Did i say that it was by my own power i become spotless? ”

    Did I say that you said that?

    I am not talking about LDS teachings, I am talking about biblical teachings.

    The Bible teaches that you need to be spotless right now, this very minute.
    You could die today, the bible teaches that our eternal permanent destiny (either heaven or hell) is decided upon our death. Once we die, we CANNOT change destinations. So there is an urgency here. Especially since you could die today, tommorow, next week or next month. The Bible teaches that this life is the only time given to us for this all to be accomplished.

  39. 39 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Josh said: “So, what your saying is that i do not have any chance of ever being blemish free”
    Kent is right. You will never be blemish free in your lifetime through your own righteousness.
    Josh said: “Did i say that it was by my own power i become spotless? ”
    Did I say that you said that?

    Yes, you did say that.

    The Bible teaches that you need to be spotless right now, this very minute.
    As a side note, if i am spotless right now (based on Christs power), then i am a worthy sacrifice for the human race, am i not?

    This whole spotless thing was only brought up to show that Christ could have been made spotless at some point prior to our understanding of creation. I did not say that He was, merely that if He had need He would have been. We do have need, and will be as is appropriate. Once we are “blemish free,” we become worthy for sacrifice, do we not? Is this not another way that we become “like God”?

  40. 40 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    So, no, we can’t be blemish free.
    But, as I pointed out, we can be SEEN as being blemish free

    Kent also said this… but i again dont see you correcting him. you are correcting me, who is right concerning this issue. You are fine letting things go as long as it is not in the name of LDS belief…

    Kent said: Josh, no, we can never be blemish free this side of heaven and this side of heaven.
    Echo said: The Bible teaches that you need to be spotless right now, this very minute.

    I say one of you is wrong. since you ARE saying TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. Perhaps yall should discuss this and get the “Christian” story straight.

  41. 41 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Kent said: I believe the key deciding factor is who Jesus is so individual Catholics, not the church which has let falsehood creep in, can have eternal life. A church itself, if it doesn’t conform to what Jesus is telling them, for example, can be removed, as an institution, from its lampstand.

    Is it not the church who teaches most people who Jesus is? Didnt you leave a church based on what it was teaching about Jesus, and the nature of God? Oh right, you wont answer this question because it will solidify my point. And you never really answered my question, or Shem’s… Are Catholics (as a church) Christian or not?

    Kent said: Josh, we are washed white as snow by the blood of Jesus and nothing else but we really aren’t white as snow…..
    So, when i was my clothes, i dont really wash them, they just look clean?

  42. 42 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Just another example of how both of you can say something different, and one of you agrees with me, and the other calls that person christian, but i am not for the same belief… Great going guys. stand up work.

  43. 43 Kent
    July 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Josh, the Lutheran church and the non denominational church I attend teach the same thing about the nature of God, about who Jesus is, and what He alone did to save us from the lake which burns with fire and brimstone by dying on the cross in our place and rising again on the third day. By the way, I haven’t severed my ties to the Lutherans like ex LDS do when they leave their church.

    By the way, there are certain things I agree with the Lutherans on and certain things I agree with the non denom. church about but I don’t see a conflict as the key beliefs, things that make or break whether I would attend a church or not, are in complete agreement. For example, I would not attend an LDS church based on, about what it teaches about the nature of God and who Jesus is, and by what it teaches about what the gospel is. I also woud not attend a Jehovah’s Witnesses church for same reason, they teach something different than my make or break key beliefs.

    Josh said, “Kent said: Josh, we are washed white as snow by the blood of Jesus and nothing else but we really aren’t white as snow…..”

    This is what I actually said, “Josh, no, we can never be blemish free this side of heaven and this side of heaven is our only chance as once we die that it is it and we will either be judged on our own works for our salvation and fall short or we will be seen as though we are blemish free by our complete faith in who Jesus is and what He did by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day.

    Josh, we are washed white as snow by the blood of Jesus and nothing else but we really aren’t white as snow but that is how God sees us because of Jesus and His saving work on the cross, the perfect innocent blemish free sacrifice who has always been blemish free.”

    Josh, you can’t leave out part of what I said as people will not see what I was trying to say.

    Josh said, “Kent said: Josh, we are washed white as snow by the blood of Jesus and nothing else but we really aren’t white as snow…..

    So, when i was my clothes, i dont really wash them, they just look clean?”

    Again, you left out part of what I was saying but anyway, no you really don’t wash them (you) Jesus washes them (you). Let go of you and don’t reject that Jesus did everything by shedding His blood for you and rising again on the third day.

    I will have to go back to your question about the Catholic Church on another post when I get a chance.

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  44. 44 Kent
    July 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Josh, is that a common Mormon practice when discussing issues to leave out part of what someone else says when you quote them? Shem seemed to do that quite but you do it as well.

  45. 45 Kent
    July 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    “Kent said: Josh, no, we can never be blemish free this side of heaven and this side of heaven.
    Echo said: The Bible teaches that you need to be spotless right now, this very minute.”

    I say one of you is wrong. since you ARE saying TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. Perhaps yall should discuss this and get the “Christian” story straight.”

    But I am spotless right now (in God’s eyes) by my faith in Jesus and I have eternal life and I will be in the mansion where Heavenly Father and Jesus are forever. So there is no conflict there at all! Echo, don’t you agree?

    Like I said, Josh, let go of you it will set you free!

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  46. July 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Josh said: “Kent also said this… but i again dont see you correcting him. you are correcting me, who is right concerning this issue. You are fine letting things go as long as it is not in the name of LDS belief…

    Kent said: Josh, no, we can never be blemish free this side of heaven and this side of heaven.
    Echo said: The Bible teaches that you need to be spotless right now, this very minute.”

    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Josh, you are mixing facts. This is how it really goes…

    Kent said: “Josh, if we say we are blemish free (have no sin) then the truth is not in us. So, no, we can’t be blemish free.”
    Echo said: “You will never be blemish free in your lifetime through your own righteousness”

    Kent also said: “But, as I pointed out, we can be seen as being blemish free by our faith in Christ.”
    Echo said: “Jesus has already made us blemish free. He has *imputed* his righteousness to us.”

    Kent and I are in 100% agreement.

  47. 47 Kent
    July 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Josh said, “Is it not the church who teaches most people who Jesus is? Didnt you leave a church based on what it was teaching about Jesus, and the nature of God? Oh right, you wont answer this question because it will solidify my point. And you never really answered my question, or Shem’s… Are Catholics (as a church) Christian or not? ”

    No, I have never said tha Lutheran Church doesn’t teach what I believe about Jesus and the nature of God (see post 43).

    I left the part about your question about the Catholic church so I would not be leaving out part of your quote like you and Shem do at times. I will have to get back to that question.

    Also, if i meant I left the Lutheran church because they don’t teach what I agree with on with regarding Jesus and the nature of God I would have said so. So it is you saying it not me saying it again, I have never said that so you can’t assume or imply that I did say it.

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  48. July 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Josh said: “I say one of you is wrong. since you ARE saying TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. Perhaps yall should discuss this and get the “Christian” story straight.”

    and…

    “Just another example of how both of you can say something different, and one of you agrees with me, and the other calls that person christian, but i am not for the same belief… Great going guys. stand up work.”

    Can you take some loving advice? It’s not wise to mock people and say things like this about your neighbor when in fact they aren’t true but are based on your own fault for not getting the facts right or attempting to understand first. It really just reveals the truth in scripture that “pride comes before the fall.” In your pride, you assume you know so many of the facts but really you know so little. And even if you knew the facts and got them straight, is it really Christ-like to mock people who are caught-up in error?

  49. 49 choosethechrist
    July 17, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Josh said,
    Are Catholics (as a church) Christian or not

    Again, religion is going to be the death of you Josh.

    What matters is, has each individual Catholic person accepted Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. Does the Catholic person believe the right things? Is the Catholic person saved by grace through faith or is that person attending mass and going through the motions thinking that belonging to the Catholic church and performing certain rituals has saved them? It has nothing to do with the Catholic church or any church for that matter.

    There are unsaved people who THINK they are saved in EVERY church!

    And even more importantly, which is more important than who else is saved, are YOU saved by grace through faith? Do you believe the RIGHT things about God, Jesus, and how to avoid eternity in hell? If you are saved after “all you can do”, then no, you are NOT SAVED by the grace of God as stated in God’s Word.

    “The defining moment in your relationship with God is the moment you choose to put your faith in Jesus Christ.
    The Bible teaches that when you put your faith in Jesus, everything changes. Your life is re-defined. You are given a new sense of joy and freedom. It’s even more life-changing than a person’s wedding day. This moment – the moment of faith – is the single most important decision of your life. This chapter is designed to lead you to that moment by laying out three fundamental principles taught in the Bible.”~http://alpinechurch.org/foundations/101-2/


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