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MORMON CHRISTOLOGY: A CHRIST-TEST FOR CHRISTIAN IDENTITY - OPEN
ONTRUTH.com ^ | 2000 | Cky J. Carrigan

Posted on 07/15/2010 7:46:51 AM PDT by greyfoxx39

MORMON CHRISTOLOGY: A CHRIST-TEST FOR CHRISTIAN IDENTITY     

or

Is The LDS Jesus Christ Exclusively Different from the Biblical Jesus Christ?

This paper will establish the nature of the controversy, set forth an

exegetically derived, succinct christological test for identifying genuine Christianity

and compare Mormon Christology with this test. It will be argued that Mormon Christology

does not pass the Christ-Test and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

should not be identified with Genuine Christianity. And it will be demonstrated that the

LDS Jesus Christ is exclusively different from the Biblical Jesus Christ.

***

THE NATURE OF THE CONTROVERSY

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are generally outraged about the evangelical assertion that Mormons are not Christians, or that the Mormon Church is not a Christian church. Consider the following remarks uttered by President Boyd K. Packer, in his role as acting president of the Quorom of the Twelve.2 Packer directed his comments to contra-Mormon apologists as he addressed a large gathering of Brigham Young University students and faculty five months before the 1998 annual June meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Salt Lake City.3

My message is for those who teach and write and produce films which claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a Christian church and that we, the members, are not Christians. . . . Such individuals are uninformed and unfair . . . I bear witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives. He is our Redeemer and is our Savior. He resides over this church. He is no stranger to his servants here and as we move into the future with quiet confidence, his spirit will be with us.4

Frankly, I can empathize with President Packer and the Mormon people for their oft' expressed outrage. I too would be more than a little livid if anyone asserted that I was not a Christian or that my Church was not a Christian Church. For this reason, when engaging a Mormon person for the purpose of leading them to genuine repentance and faith in the genuine Jesus, I distinguish between the two religions in the following way. I use the terms "LDS Christianity" or "Mormon Christianity" in contrast to "Biblical Christianity," "Traditional Christianity," "Historical Christianity" or sometimes even "Genuine Christianity."5

On the other hand, informed evangelicals are generally concerned about the Mormon assertion that Mormons are Christians, or that the Mormon Church is a Christian church, an for good reason. Consider the following remarks made by Republican Presidential Candidate, the Honorable Orrin Hatch, at a recent meeting of the Christian Coalition in Washington, D.C. Hatch was only politely received at the largely conservative evangelical event when introduced. Referring to a poll that indicated that 17% of Americans would never elect an LDS member to the presidency, Hatch remarked, "Well, I can't do anything about bigots or bigotry, but I can do a lot about people who are misinformed. . . . I take my Christian faith very, very seriously." 6 Then Bishop Hatch bore his testimony saying,

I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that he lives. I know that he died for you and me. I know that he has provided a means by which we may go back to our Father in Heaven to live in peace and prosperity . . . It is from this land that true freedom has gone all the way around the world . . . God bless America, and God bless all of you.7

There are at least two features of Hatch's speech that demand a non-conciliatory apologetic response. Hatch enjoyed a rousing standing ovation from the Christian Coalition after his testimony of Christian identity in light of the cool reception he got at the time of his introduction. And the Deseret News gloated openly when it issued the headline, "Hatch wins over skeptical Christian group--Standing ovation after he stands up for his religion."8

Now, consider also the concluding comments from Stephen E. Robinson's book, "Are Mormons Christians?" Robinson poses the criteria for Christian identity as simply knowing, loving, or worshipping Jesus Christ. He writes,

Though all the world may say that Latter-day Saints do not know or love or worship Jesus Christ, I know that we do, and if this is not the issue in question, or if this is not enough to be counted a Christian, then the word has lost its meaning.9

LDS apologists Daniel Peterson and Stephen Ricks also weigh in. "By every New Testament standard, Mormons are Christian," they write.10 They also assert, "What made a person a Christian in the first century, and what makes a person a Christian today, is, simply a commitment to Jesus Christ. Such commitment is central to the religion of the Latter-day Saints." 11 This Peterson-Ricks definition, commitment to Jesus Christ, is indeed a suitable working test for Christian identity. What remains unsettled is a suitable biblical description of commitment and of Jesus Christ. A description of the latter term is the subject of this paper.

The representative LDS comments above which claim LDS Christian identity demand an apologetic response that compliments the evangelistic approach suggested above. The price is simply too high to ignore or patronize the unsubstantiated and false claims of LDS Christian identity which are made in the public arena. To do so necessarily gives ground to pluralism since Historic Christianity and LDS Christianity make mutually exclusive truth claims about the object of religious commitment, Jesus Christ, and mutually exclusive truth claims about the nature and practice of that commitment to Him. If pluralism prevails Christianity itself is stripped of its distinctive truth, distinctive way of salvation and distinctive eternal life. And if pluralism is true, then Christianity of any description is irrelevant.

THE CHRIST-TEST

The Bible strongly suggests that a christological test is a legitimate way of discerning Christian identity or redemptive status. In other words, one's redemptive status before God in this life and the next may be directly related to what one believes about the person and work of Jesus Christ. For instance, Scripture clearly asserts that one must not reject the Sonship, incarnation, death, burial and resurrection of Christ to enjoy the blessings of salvation.12 Consider especially 2 John 7-9,

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son (NKJV).

Matthew 16:13-20 also makes a very strong claim that identifying Jesus correctly is a proposition that constitutes the Rock upon which the very Church is built,

When Jesus came into the region of Ceasarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But whom do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock [of confession] I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (NKJV) [italics mine].

Now if a Christ-Test in general is legitimate for discerning Christian identity or redemptive status, and I believe it is, then what remains are the particular test questions for the LDS context. A particular test for LDS Christology is required because Mormons happily confess the Sonship of Christ together with His incarnation, death, burial and resurrection. What they do not happily confess, I will demonstrate, is the biblical meaning of some of these terms. Now, I should like to set forth my biblical Christ-Test primarily derived from a thorough theological-exegetical analysis of the Christology of Colossians 1:15-20 stated in consideration of LDS Christology.13

There is an abundance of evidence in this Colossians christological passage to assert confidently at least six essential aspects of the person and work of Christ:

1) Jesus Christ is uniquely fully divine, yet a distinct person.

2) Jesus Christ is uniquely fully human, yet without sin.

3) The fundamentally distinct human and divine natures of Jesus Christ are uniquely unified in one person without confusion, change, division, separation or identity.

4) Jesus Christ is the unique perfect revealer of God's essential nature.

5) Jesus Christ is the absolute LORD-Creator of all creation ex nihilo.

6) Jesus Christ is the unique and efficient reconciler of creation.

1) Unique Full Divinity

The two strongest witnesses in this passage for the unique full deity of Christ may be found in the image of the invisible God phrase of 15a together with the firstborn phrase of 15b. These two phrases paint a glorious picture of Christ that depicts Him as the unique, eternal, visible, representation and manifestation of God who is otherwise unobservable. Christ is exactly equal to God and exactly like God, so exactly equal to and like God that He does what only God can do. He creates ex nihilo. Additionally, Christ is so exactly equal to and like God that He BE-s what only God can BE. He necessarily BE-s. To be exactly like God is to BE necessarily. And to BE necessarily is to BE eternally. And Christ is so exactly related to God that He is called only what God may be called, the Image of the invisible God and the Firstborn over all creation.

2) Unique Full Humanity

The two strongest evidences in this passage for the unique full humanity of Christ also lie in the words image of the invisible God of 15a and in the phrase firstborn of 18c. These expressions describe Christ as the full revelation of true humanity, as Man par excellence, as the Ideal-Human who is created in the image of God, able not to die on the one hand, but certain to die because of Adam's sin on the other. As the Firstborn from the dead, Christ is fully human on the basis of His dying and fully human, as well, on the basis of His bodily resurrection.

3) Unique Unification of Two Fundamentally Distinct Natures in One Person

This christological proposition is not derived from one biblical proposition, but is, however, a necessary derivation of the assertion of the two above propositions: Christ's unique full deity and unique full humanity. Full divinity and full humanity are two fundamentally distinct kinds of beingness. Only Jesus Christ is fully both. The exact relationship between these two fundamentally distinct natures in one person is a profound mystery, but cogent thinking and biblical thinking demand an isolation of certain incorrect descriptions of this relationship. Ancient incorrect descriptions include Apollonarianism, Nestorianism and Eutychianism.

4) Unique Perfect Revealer of God's Essential Nature

The image phrase together with firstborn in v. 15 harbor the strongest proof for the revealing work of Christ in this passage. As an exact visible representation of what God who can not otherwise be observed is like, Jesus Christ is the ultimate revealer of who God is and what God does. What makes Christ the perfect revealer is that He shares attributes with both God and Man-in-the-image-of-God. He is, in one person, both Creator ex nihilo and Inhabitant of His creation. He occupies two realms: the realm of God and the realm of man. And Christ reveals God to man, in his created realm, what Creator-God of another fundamentally different realm is like.

5) Absolute LORD-Creator of All Creation Ex Nihilo

Firstborn in v. 15, especially amplified by before all things in v. 17, offers the strongest testimony of the work of Christ as Lord of creation ex nihilo in this passage. These phrases depict Christ as supreme over the creation that He creates ex nihilo. And it follows necessarily that whatever He creates, He is prior to in time. Christ is the uncreated and unprocreated Creator ex nihilo over His creation. But His special creation, man, fell prey to temptation. Man's sin brought a curse on all creation and creation stood in desperate need of re-creating or reconciliation.

6) Unique and Efficient Reconciler of His Creation

The strongest evidences in this passage for the redeeming work of Christ as efficient reconciler of creation, or in other words efficient LORD-Re-Creator, are found in the phrases reconciles all things (v. 20a) and the Firstborn from the dead phrase of 18c. Jesus Christ is the peacemaking mediator between God and fallen man, and between God and fallen creation because He is both God and man, Creator and Inhabitant of creation. Christ makes this peace with God on behalf of all creation by His substitutionary death on the cross. He makes recreation-reconciliation possible through His shed blood on the cross, and He models re-creation through His resurrection.

MORMON CHRISTOLOGY & THE CHRIST-TEST14

1) On Unique Full Deity

The LDS christological program suggests the derived, or progressive deity of Jesus Christ rather than the full deity as described by the Christ-Test above. The fully divine status of the Son of God is the subsequent result of His procreation and resurrection, therefore His deity can not be an eternal state or an exactly-equal-with-supreme-God state. An official LDS manual reads, "Jesus Christ is literally the son [sic] of God the Eternal Father."15 In a guide for LDS family home evenings, the writer remarks, "How are children begotten? I answer just as Jesus Christ was begotten of his father."16 Heber Grant wrote Jesus is the "Son of God just as much as you and I are the sons of our fathers."17 And Ezra Benson wrote, the Son of God was "sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father."18 LDS Christology suggests that there was a time when the Son of God was not was not the son of God, by suggesting there was a time when the Son of God was not begotten.19

Additionally, Jesus Christ did not even achieve what Mormons term "the fullness of deity," until after his resurrection. Consider Joseph Fielding Smith's comments, "The Savior did not have a fulness [sic] at first, but after he received his body and the resurrection all power was given to him both in heaven and in earth. . . . There were some things lacking which he did not receive until after his resurrection."20 The LDS Jesus Christ is a radically different Jesus Christ with reference to His unique full deity on the grounds that the LDS Jesus Christ does not enjoy exact likeness or eternal likeness with God.

2) Unique Full Humanity

Whatever distinctions there may be on this point are subtle, highly complex, and related to the findings of the first and third test and therefore warrant no special treatment in this brief analysis.

3) Unique Unification of Two Fundamentally Distinct Natures

Mormon Christology, its Doctrine of God and its Anthropology, effectively annihilates the fundamental distinction between humanity and deity. In other words, LDS Christology basically disagrees with the premises upon which the traditional doctrine of the hypostatic union is based, that is, deity and humanity are different states of being. Robinson wrote,

The soil from which the LDS doctrine of deification grows is the belief that humans are of the divine species and that the scriptural language of divine paternity is not merely figurative. . . . The strict wall of separation between the human and the divine . . . in my view is not really biblical but, once again, philosophical. . . . It rests on the same objection to the clear sense of Scripture that led to the equally unbiblical doctrine of the two natures in Christ, which was added to historic Christianity by the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451. . . . According to Chalcedon, Christ's divine nature never became human, never suffered, never died--the claims of Scripture notwithstanding. Latter-day Saints reject all that.21

Therefore, the LDS Jesus Christ is a radically different Jesus Christ compared with the Traditional Jesus Christ described as possessing both fundamentally distinct human and divine natures uniquely unified in one person without confusion, change, division or separation. Perhaps a new phrase "without identity" should be added to traditional christological formulations to exclude clearly the erroneous LDS view that annihilates this essential distinction.

4) Unique Perfect Revealer of God's Essential Nature

Jesus Christ is not, in the LDS program, the perfect revealer of God because of the differences that exist at the ontological level between the Eternal Father and the Son. The Son is, for instance, not eternal nor presumably capable of creating mankind (see below) and can not reveal in his own person eternality or anthropological creation. In Traditional Christology, the Son of God is ontologically the same as the Father, and therefore reveals exactly what God 's essential nature which can not be perceived otherwise is like. Mormons are, however, "thoroughly subordinationist in their theology of the Godhead."22 They "believe that the oneness of these three [persons of the trinity] is not ontological oneness of being . . . but a oneness of mind, purpose, power, and intent."23 In this way, the LDS Jesus Christ is incapable by definition of revealing exactly what the Father is like, because the Son is essentially different in person and essential being-ness.

5) Absolute LORD-Creator of All Creation Ex Nihilo

Mormons affirm several distinct doctrines on Christ's role in creation as well. The Son of God is not the absolute Lord-Creator of all creation ex nihilo in LDS Christology. The earth and everything in it were spiritually "created" (spiritual matter reorganized) by the Father before the physical "creation" (physical matter reorganized) by the Son and others. Bruce R. McConkie wrote, "This earth was created first spiritually. . . . Then came the physical creation. . . . Man and all forms of life existed as spirit beings and entities before the foundations of this earth were laid."24 Joseph Smith revealed, "In the beginning [of the physical creation], the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it. . . . Now the word create came from the word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize. . . . The pure principles of element . . . had no beginning, and can have no end."25 Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, "It was Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, who, under the direction of his Father, came down and organized matter and made this planet. . . . It is true that Adam helped to form this earth. . . . I have a strong view or conviction that there were others also who assisted them. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why not Joseph Smith?"26

Perhaps the most distinct of all LDS Christ-the-Creator doctrines is that the Son of God did not "create" mankind in any sense of the word. Bruce R. McConkie wrote, "We know that Jehovah-Christ, assisted by 'many of the noble and great ones' (Abr. 3:22) of whom Michael is but the illustration, did in fact create the earth and all forms of plant and animal life on the face thereof. But when it came to placing man on earth, there was a change of Creators. That is, the Father became personally involved. . . . Man was created by the Father."27 It is very clear that the LDS Jesus Christ is a radically different Jesus Christ compared with the traditional Jesus Christ on His role in creation and the basic definition of the nature of the creative act itself. The Colossians passage leaves absolutely no room for the LDS interpretation that rejects Christ's role in the creation of mankind.

6) Unique and Efficient Reconciler of His Creation

The Mormon Jesus Christ is very different on this test as well. For starters, the LDS doctrine of atonement tends to minimize the central work of Christ on the cross itself. Consider an official LDS missionary training manual that reads "The atonement made by the Savior began in Gethsemane and ended at the empty tomb."28 The careful reader will also note the strange absence of the very word "cross" in Mormon documents in general. In five entire pages of propositions and official quotations on the subject of the atonement of Christ in Doctrines of the Gospel, there is not one occurrence of the word "cross." More important, however, than the notable absence of references to the cross itself is the limited nature of the atonement itself. Jesus' atonement only effects universal immortality, it does not effect the fullness of salvation. The Articles of Faith collected in the Pearl of Great Price states, "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."29 And Gospel Principles states, "When he became our Savior, he did his part to help us return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation."30 In other words, the work of Christ on the cross is not reconciling at all, it does not make total peace between God and man, it only makes partial peace and restores immortality to all mankind. Whether one enjoys the full benefits of salvation, called exaltation or deification, depends on the conduct of man himself. This is definitely not the traditional doctrine of the atoning work of Christ. Therefore, the LDS Christ is very different on this point as well from Traditional Christology.

In sum, the LDS Jesus Christ is not uniquely fully divine. He is not a bearer of the fundamentally distinct human and divine natures uniquely unified in one person without confusion, change, division, separation or identity. He is not the unique perfect revealer of God's essential nature. He is not the absolute LORD-Creator of all creation ex nihilo. And He is not the unique, efficient reconciler of creation. In short, the LDS concept of Jesus Christ is not the Traditional concept of  Jesus Christ described by Colossians.

A critic might successfully demonstrate that I have misinterpreted LDS Christology or biblical Christology at some point. But, there is little chance that a critic could convince any informed observer that LDS descriptions of the person and work of Christ are the same or even similar to traditional descriptions. Even the present prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints admits as much to Mormons. According to an LDS publication, President Gordon B. Hinckley bore his testimony describing Christ in Geneva, Switzerland at an LDS gathering of five stakes in France and Switzerland on 6 June 1998. The article reads,

In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints "do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fulness [sic] of Times. He, together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph Smith left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.

Am I a Christian? Of course I am. I believe in Christ. I talk of Christ. I pray through Christ? I'm trying to follow Him and live His gospel in my life."31

Paige Patterson, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, penned a letter to President Hinckley in September of 1998 in response to his Genevan christological remarks commending Hinckley for his refreshingly candid remarks in light of many other church leaders and missionaries who generally tend to minimize the christological distinctions. Patterson wrote,

In my opinion, that [Hinckley's remarks] enhances both your credibility and the reality that traditional Christians and Mormons believe in two different and distinctive views of Christ. . . . Baptists, as you know, hold to a view of Jesus Christ that is based strictly on biblical revelation and that believes that Jesus was and is eternal God. This view is clearly at odds with your own faith that, as I understand it, confesses that he was sired by God, the heavenly father, in consort with his wife. He was in that sense a literal son of God. I also realize that you believe that Jesus existed as an eternal spirit form, but not in the sense as God or as the Son of God.32

The director of media relations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, later reinterpreted President Hinckley's Genevan remarks in a way that sought apparently to minimize the Christological differences between evangelicals and Latter-day Saints when asked to comment on the prophets straightforward declaration. Apparently, the message to Mormons is "We believe in a very differently described, better, Jesus than other Christians," while the message to the public is "We believe in the same Jesus described by other Christians." One can only speculate about the reason for the mutually exclusive messages, but perhaps the different messages are related to the LDS general desire to join the ranks of mainline Christianity and be publicly perceived as so for proselytizing purposes, while remaining distinctive in comments to its distinctive membership.

CONCLUSION

If a christological test for Christian identity is a legitimate test, if my particular christological test is a valid one, if my description of LDS Christology is on the mark, and if President Hinckley is correct when he observes that the Traditional Christ is not the LDS Christ, then it necessarily follows that Mormonism may not rightly claim Christian identity. At a bare minimum, it necessarily follows that Biblical Christology and LDS Christology are mutually exclusive truth claims that can not both rightly claim Christian identity. When either Evangelicals or Mormons minimize these differences, it only trivializes the deeply held beliefs of both. Perhaps Evangelicals and Mormons will have to agree to disagree vigorously about Christology, but that would be a good start toward advancing the TRUTH about Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, whatever it may be.

(END NOTES  AT LINK)

 



TOPICS: General Discusssion; Other non-Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: christian; inman; lds; mormon
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Disclaimer: I am former LDS and "anti" mormonism. I post articles from official mormon sources that often relate to current discussions taking place on the forum to provide a means for open discussion in the Religion forum.
 
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1 posted on 07/15/2010 7:46:55 AM PDT by greyfoxx39
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To: colorcountry; Colofornian; Elsie; FastCoyote; svcw; Zakeet; SkyPilot; rightazrain; ...

Ping


2 posted on 07/15/2010 7:47:55 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (If voters follow the democrat method of 2004 Obama will be named the worst president in history.)
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To: greyfoxx39

The LDS is about as Christian as Gandhi was.


3 posted on 07/15/2010 7:52:51 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: greyfoxx39

I’m a live and let live kind of guy, so I really don’t care what they believe or claim to believe. But when they come to my house, and knock on my door, I have a problem with them. Now the Jehovah Witnesses... I don’t mind so much... cause the ones in my area always use the hot chicks to evangelize. Maybe LDS should do that...


4 posted on 07/15/2010 7:55:32 AM PDT by StolarStorm
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To: greyfoxx39

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are generally outraged about the evangelical assertion that Mormons are not Christians, or that the Mormon Church is not a Christian church.


I’ve known many mormons in my life. They were all, to a person, extremely nice, helpful people. But they are not Christians anymore than a scientologist is a Christian.


5 posted on 07/15/2010 7:58:35 AM PDT by Grunthor (I like you but when the zombies chase us, I'm tripping you.)
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To: greyfoxx39
he (Jesus) was sired by God, the heavenly father, in consort with his wife.

Add in the mix that you can die, become God, and get your own planet, and that God is one of many gods who came before.

I like Mormons. They are some of the nicest people you'll meet.

But there is no "nice" way to put it - their religion is blasphemy.

6 posted on 07/15/2010 8:00:34 AM PDT by stinkerpot65 (Global warming is a Marxist lie.)
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To: greyfoxx39
“progressive deity of Jesus”......lds is not Christian.
7 posted on 07/15/2010 8:01:45 AM PDT by svcw (True freedom cannot be granted by any man or government, only by Christ.)
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To: colorcountry; Colofornian; Elsie; svcw; Zakeet; Tennessee Nana; FastCoyote; aMorePerfectUnion; ...
Photobucket
8 posted on 07/15/2010 8:09:01 AM PDT by reaganaut (ex-mormon, now Christian - "I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see")
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To: greyfoxx39

I’m going to worry about the log in my eye(and it’s a sequoia) before I start passing judgment on other peoples beliefs.


9 posted on 07/15/2010 8:09:07 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: greyfoxx39

Sadly, too often Christians hear comments like Hatch’s and don’t parse the meaning. “Provided a WAY” what he doesn’t say is that ‘way’ is works.

The LDS use Christian terms, yet mean VERY different things. They, by their own admission, believe in a different Christ than Traditional Christianity and claim theirs is the ‘only true Church’.

Far too many Christians are ignorant of LDS beliefs and assume because they SAY things that SOUND Christian, they must be Christians without doing any research.

The fact the LDS will lie, obfuscate or leave out part of their beliefs when talking to ‘gentiles’ (anyone NOT LDS - even JEWS) only compounds the problem.

Having been LDS, I know how impossible it is to be a true Christian and be Mormon.


10 posted on 07/15/2010 8:14:30 AM PDT by reaganaut (If we could "CTR" we wouldn't need a Savior)
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To: Le Chien Rouge

But how is your Christology?

Are your beliefs Biblical?

That isn’t passing judgment. I can post many Bible verses about how Christians ARE to judge the beliefs of others who are CLAIMING to be Christians.


11 posted on 07/15/2010 8:17:11 AM PDT by reaganaut (If we could "CTR" we wouldn't need a Savior)
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To: greyfoxx39
Fire is hot, water is wet, Mormons do not follow the real Christ.

These are permanence of the Earth level facts that no amount of debate can alter.

12 posted on 07/15/2010 8:20:32 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: Le Chien Rouge
I’m going to worry about the log in my eye(and it’s a sequoia) before I start passing judgment on other peoples beliefs.

You don't need to "pass judgment" on other people's beliefs. However, the Bible calls you to use discernment. If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

13 posted on 07/15/2010 8:25:02 AM PDT by Guyin4Os (A messianic ger-tsedek)
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To: Le Chien Rouge
Matthew 7:1-5 (New International Version)

Judging Others

1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

-----------

Since this is an often quoted versus from the Bible, I decided to post the entire reference with some explanation.

The Christian is not to judge hypocritically.

We are to obey Christ's commands, we must first evaluate a person's character IE as in a dog or false prophet, what do the fruits show.

The Bible repeatedly exhorts believers to evaluate carefully and choose between good and bad people. There are those who masquerade as angles of light.

We are to test everything.

The "speck of sawdust" phrase is to drive home that point.

14 posted on 07/15/2010 8:28:08 AM PDT by svcw (True freedom cannot be granted by any man or government, only by Christ.)
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To: svcw
The problem with the LDS doctrine is their jesus is NOT the Jesus of Biblical Christianity. Though they say they are a christian church, the doctrine of the Book of Mormon is far different then the Christian Bible. They say it is an addition to, and another testament of Jesus. Well, that cannot be further from the truth. The BOM is based on one man's vision of an angel. What is written in the BOM contradicts the Word of God in so many ways..

People have the right to worship as they believe...and decieve. It is up to the Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to be a witness of Him even if it means speaking out against those who spread untruth.

I am not anti-Mormon, I just have a huge problem with the church pretending to be the way the truth and the light. By doing this they have led millions away from the True Jesus.

15 posted on 07/15/2010 8:34:11 AM PDT by hope
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To: greyfoxx39
Mormons understand Jesus differently than traditional Christians. That doesn't make them not Christian. Just take a look at all the evangelical denominations and tell me the all understand Christ the same way. They don't, and as an inhomogeneous group themselves they therefore do not have authority to pass judgment on the matter.
16 posted on 07/15/2010 8:35:59 AM PDT by Blowtorch
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To: hope
Yep.

When you teach that the Jesus of the Bible is a created being and not eternal, you can not be Christian.

When you teach the God is God because of progression, you can not be Christian.

When your leader Joseph Smith says he is greater than Jesus, can not be Christian.

When you teach that the Jesus of the Bible is not sufficient for Salvation and you must work for it, you can not be Christian.

17 posted on 07/15/2010 8:39:50 AM PDT by svcw (True freedom cannot be granted by any man or government, only by Christ.)
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To: Le Chien Rouge
’m going to worry about the log in my eye(and it’s a sequoia) before I start passing judgment on other peoples beliefs.

Be careful about quoting snippets from Bible verses out of context. Christianity is either true, or false. If it's true (and you believe Jesus when said that He is the ONLY way to the Father), then other religions HAVE to be false (no matter how nice their adherents are, how cute their babies are, etc.).

If it's false, then all that matters is how nice any of us are and how cute our own babies are.
18 posted on 07/15/2010 8:41:21 AM PDT by Quality_Not_Quantity (A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth. (J.I. Packer)
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To: Blowtorch

lds believe Jesus of the Bible is a created being.
lds believe that God is God because of progression.
lds believe you can become god of your own planet.
Tell me what traditional Christian group teaches that?


19 posted on 07/15/2010 8:42:07 AM PDT by svcw (True freedom cannot be granted by any man or government, only by Christ.)
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The author compares non-biblical teachings with Mormon teachings and then proclaims that Mormons are not Christians.


20 posted on 07/15/2010 8:42:55 AM PDT by webboy45
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To: Blowtorch
Mormons understand Jesus differently than traditional Christians. That doesn't make them not Christian. Just take a look at all the evangelical denominations and tell me the all understand Christ the same way. They don't, and as an inhomogeneous group themselves they therefore do not have authority to pass judgment on the matter.

There is a distinction to be made between the minor differences that exist among various Christian denominations and the major differences that Mormonism holds relative to any of those minor variations.

One can't reject the divinity of Jesus and claim that they're just another Christian denomination. And I have enough personal experience with LDS folks to see how some of the other 'variations' in their belief system shine through in their daily lives and how they interact with the world around them. All of it ain't pretty, no matter how much you admire their well-dressed, polite families.
21 posted on 07/15/2010 8:52:03 AM PDT by Quality_Not_Quantity (A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth. (J.I. Packer)
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To: Blowtorch
Nice try, and we know why you must attempt it, but sorry you are incorrect.

Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions all follow the same truine God and understand Christ in the same fundamental manner. There is a reason we share the same creeds and other doctrines. We quibble over procedural issues and such but not over who Christ is, how he came to be, the value of his sacrifice and what he means to mankind.

Anyone who can read the Bible and the doctrines of the LDS with reason and honesty knows that the christ of the Mormons is a fabrication, a hollow and slanderous impostor of the most import man to ever walk this Earth.

Even Mormon leadership has clearly stated that the LDS follow a different christ.

22 posted on 07/15/2010 8:53:08 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: greyfoxx39
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Q: I read recently that the Catholic Church had rejected Mormon baptism, since their view of Christ and the Trinity is so unusual. But I have to ask: Are Mormons considered separated brothers and sisters? While their views are strange to say the least, they are still separated, and we should reach out to them. If we view them as something other than separated, doesn't that exclude ecumenism? I know that many view them as a cult, but aren't cult members separated as well?

"A: The reason Mormons are not considered separated brethren is not because they aren't "separated" from the Church-they are-but they aren't "brethren" in the sense required.

The phrase separated brethren refers to those who, though separated from full communion with the Catholic Church, have been justified through baptism and are thus brethren in Christ. The Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) of Vatican II teaches that "all who have been justified by faith in baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church."

Because Mormonism is polytheistic and rejects the Trinity, Mormon baptism is not valid, and Mormons are not considered separated brethren. For the same reason, outreach to them, while certainly a good thing, is not ecumenism, though it can include dialogue and social cooperation as well as efforts to evangelize them."

23 posted on 07/15/2010 8:54:32 AM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: Blowtorch; greyfoxx39
That doesn't make them not Christian. Just take a look at all the evangelical denominations and tell me the all understand Christ the same way. They don't, and as an inhomogeneous group themselves they therefore do not have authority to pass judgment on the matter.

I beg to differ with that observation blow. Evangelical denominations accept the Trinitarian doctrine expressed in the article - mormonism does not. Evangelical denominations accept the God-man descriptions from the article - mormonism does not. Evangelical denomination accept that Jesus' sacrifice provides the FULL means of salvation - mormons only recognize a 'universal resurrection' with works required to progress past that. So I don't know where you get your definitions of evangelical denominations from, but it is erroneous.

24 posted on 07/15/2010 8:55:39 AM PDT by Godzilla ( 3-7-77)
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To: webboy45
And yet your “proclamation” of “fact” is devoid of any citation to support your conclusion.

I would act shocked if it would help...

25 posted on 07/15/2010 9:00:27 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: Quality_Not_Quantity
There is a distinction to be made between the minor differences that exist among various Christian denominations and the major differences that Mormonism holds relative to any of those minor variations.

Minor variations, huh? Sounds pretty subjective - you'd think they'd all go to the same church. Your minor differences are major to one, and your major differences minor to another. As a religion, LDS will always consider themselves Christians. As individuals, we must come to understand Christ on our own and must therefore beware of demonizing whole groups. It all is a matter of interpretation, which is not agreed upon and will never be agreed upon.
26 posted on 07/15/2010 9:01:35 AM PDT by Blowtorch
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To: ansel12

I always like the very diplomatic way the Catholic Church says things...


27 posted on 07/15/2010 9:04:18 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: Godzilla
Evangelical denomination accept that Jesus' sacrifice provides the FULL means of salvation - mormons only recognize a 'universal resurrection' with works required to progress past that.

Christ said we must be born of the body and of the spirit to enter the kingdom of God. Sounds like work to me.
28 posted on 07/15/2010 9:07:06 AM PDT by Blowtorch
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To: Blowtorch
To those not following the True Christ it would be work...
29 posted on 07/15/2010 9:08:26 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: Godzilla
So I don't know where you get your definitions of evangelical denominations from, but it is erroneous.

Mormonism in a nutshell...

Let me point out to you that after Mormons achieve the Celestial Kingdom, they cease to be Christians (Christ followers). They use Him as an end to a means, then it’s adios as they achieve your own godhood and go off to rule their own world.

30 posted on 07/15/2010 9:09:18 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (If voters follow the democrat method of 2004 Obama will be named the worst president in history.)
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To: Blowtorch
Minor variations, huh?

I was referring to differences related to the nature of Christ, not in denominational differences in general. I would say that the predominant belief among Christian groups is fairly consistent, and all of them at odds with Mormonism.

I agree with you that LDS will always self-identify as Christian. as another poster stated: People have the right to worship as they believe...and deceive. It is up to the Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to be a witness of Him even if it means speaking out against those who spread untruth.

I would agree with that as well - and add that the speaking out is often best done on a person-to-person basis, and done in love.
31 posted on 07/15/2010 9:12:58 AM PDT by Quality_Not_Quantity (A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth. (J.I. Packer)
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To: Blowtorch
Well you do hold the company line...

Feel free to declare yourselves whatever you wish, call the water sand if you so desire...

But I would advise swimming lessons before hopping into the desert...

And don't expect us support the deception...

32 posted on 07/15/2010 9:13:13 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: ejonesie22

My use of the word is singular of “works,” the same word you used. You misrepresented the meaning behind my use of the word work, knowingly I think.


33 posted on 07/15/2010 9:14:03 AM PDT by Blowtorch
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To: Blowtorch

Sorry, as a follower of the Truth I have no need to practice the word games of the LDS...


34 posted on 07/15/2010 9:16:48 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: Blowtorch

Sorry, as a follower of the Truth I have no need to practice the word games of the LDS...


35 posted on 07/15/2010 9:16:57 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: Blowtorch
Christ said we must be born of the body and of the spirit to enter the kingdom of God. Sounds like work to me.

I take note then that by skipping the other points, you are unable to disagree with my observations on other evangelical denominations and their common view of Jesus. That is good to know.

Who does the work in the 'birth' blow - the baby or the mother? Who did the work - Jesus or you? Where in the bible does doing temple endowments, ceremonies, special underware or other work place a person in heaven with heavenly father?

Paul wrote that we are saved by grace (something unearned or deserved), through faith and not of works. Isaiah wrote that ALL our works of righteousness are as filthy rags (literal translation - bloody menstrual cloths). Sounds like works are out of the picture according to the bible.

36 posted on 07/15/2010 9:18:14 AM PDT by Godzilla ( 3-7-77)
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To: Quality_Not_Quantity; Blowtorch

The thing is, Mormons HAVEN’T always self identified as Christian. For most of their history, they have separated themselves from Christianity. This drive to be considered Christian or ‘just another Christian denomination’ (the cry of ‘we are Christians TOO) is fairly recent (last 20 years or so).

When I was LDS in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, it was just getting started. We still called ourselves Mormon as opposed to ‘christian’. We made fun of Christians (especially ‘gracers’) and while we occasionally cried “we are Christians, too”, especially when told we weren’t Christians at all, among ourselves we patted each other on the back and said “well, we are the only TRUE Christians, the others aren’t really Christians”.

Also, blow, there are no differences between Christian churches on the person, work and Nature of Christ. There is however major differences between the LDS and Christianity.

Since you seem to think there are major differences, please enumerate them.


37 posted on 07/15/2010 9:22:47 AM PDT by reaganaut (If we could "CTR" we wouldn't need a Savior)
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To: ejonesie22
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Marriage, Divorce, and Mixed Marriages
"Though the Church would prefer that all Orthodox Christians would marry Orthodox Christians, it does not insist on it in practice. Out of its concern for the spiritual welfare of members who wish to marry a non-Orthodox Christian, the Church will conduct a "mixed marriage." For this purpose, a "non-Orthodox Christian" is a member of the Roman Catholic Church, or one of the many Protestant Churches which believe in and baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity. This means that such mixed marriages may be performed in the Orthodox Church. However, the Orthodox Church does not perform marriages between Orthodox Christians and persons belonging to other religions, such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any sectarian and cult group, such as Christian Science, Mormonism, or the followers of Rev. Moon."

38 posted on 07/15/2010 9:23:31 AM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush")
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To: greyfoxx39
The doctrines of the Trinity and of the nature of Christ were not generally agreed upon until the councils of the fourth and fifth century.

So I think an argument can be made that the "original" church as it existed prior to that time was not bound by the rulings of Nicaea and Chalcedon.

Imagine how different this thread would have been if the Arians had prevailed.

By the way, I am not LDS and tend to the view that old Joe was making it all up.....

39 posted on 07/15/2010 9:24:09 AM PDT by Notary Sojac (I've been ionized, but I'm okay now.)
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To: Blowtorch; Godzilla

Christ said we must be born of the body and of the spirit to enter the kingdom of God. Sounds like work to me.

- - - - -
Then you apparently have NO clue either what the Bible teaches or what that verse means or what being ‘born of the spirit’ is.

Wow. Just wow.


40 posted on 07/15/2010 9:26:05 AM PDT by reaganaut (If we could "CTR" we wouldn't need a Savior)
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To: ejonesie22
I always like the very diplomatic way the Catholic Church says things...

Yup. Just like Jesus.

41 posted on 07/15/2010 9:30:05 AM PDT by T Minus Four ("All religion ever made of me was a sinner with a rock tied to my feet" - FFH)
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To: ansel12
I was married in the Greek Orthodox Church in Mobile Al in 1988, and I was a practicing Methodist at that time. All I had to provide was a copy of my Baptism record.

Later I converted, again I was not re baptized, the Methodist record stood as acknowledgment of my commitment TO THE SAME CHRIST. (emphasis added for our LDS friends)

I cannot think of two traditions that could be seen as being "opposites" more than the GOA and the Methodist Church, yet in the end they stand for the same thing.

42 posted on 07/15/2010 9:30:08 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: Notary Sojac
Yet the Arians did not prevail...

Sometimes God knows what he is doing...

43 posted on 07/15/2010 9:32:02 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Christians: Stand for Christ or stand aside...)
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To: Quality_Not_Quantity
I was referring to differences related to the nature of Christ, not in denominational differences in general. I would say that the predominant belief among Christian groups is fairly consistent, and all of them at odds with Mormonism.

Separating Christ belief from denominational belief is tricky, but in doing so you do have a point. My point is that the LDS church may desire camaraderie with traditional Christian denominations, but in the end doesn't need their consensus to call themselves Christians. My belief is that trying to have personal relationship with Christ makes you a Christian, however misguided your church or doctrine may be. So being Baptist doesn't make you any more or less Christian than being Mormon, except in the eyes of the world. God will judge our hearts. Far to many people are too busy judging others, Mormons included. Regretfully, there is a degree of being judgmental when you call others judgmental, so I am guilty of the same.
44 posted on 07/15/2010 9:41:58 AM PDT by Blowtorch
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To: Blowtorch; reaganaut
Christ said we must be born of the body and of the spirit to enter the kingdom of God. Sounds like work to me.

(Yeah, be sure to emphasize every Mothers' Day to your Mom how much labor you had to do in that hospital room yay # of years ago)

45 posted on 07/15/2010 10:05:05 AM PDT by Colofornian (If we could "CTR" we wouldn't need a Savior. [See 1 Corinthians 1:30])
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To: Le Chien Rouge; greyfoxx39
I’m going to worry about the log in my eye(and it’s a sequoia) before I start passing judgment on other peoples beliefs.

Translation: So if you have kids, or will have kids, you won't advise them to steer clear of...
...premarital sex -- homosexual or heterosexual...
...cohabitation...
...substance abuse...
...etc...
...All because you've got constant eye logjams?

Tell us: What beliefs and convictions will you take a stand on? (And why, if any, some but not apparently others? IOW: Where do you draw the line and why?)

46 posted on 07/15/2010 10:08:51 AM PDT by Colofornian (If we could "CTR" we wouldn't need a Savior. [See 1 Corinthians 1:30])
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To: Blowtorch
My point is that the LDS church may desire camaraderie with traditional Christian denominations, but in the end doesn't need their consensus to call themselves Christians.

I really don't care if mormons wish to call themselves "blue-faced magic underwear gods-to-be" as long as they stop demanding that Christians call mormons Christians! They have been happy to be at the end of the "Christian" line for 170 years in their desire to not be associated with the "abominable gentiles", and NOW they are shoving and browbeating in order to force their way to the FRONT of the Christian line because they actually, really believe mormonism to be superior to any other belief.

 

The Seven Deadly Heresies (Excerpt)

"Now, in order to have things in perspective, let me identify the three greatest heresies in all Christendom. They do not prevail among us, fortunately, but they are part of the gross and universal darkness that covers the earth and blots out from the minds of men those truths upon which salvation rests.

The greatest truth known to man is that there is a God in heaven who is infinite and eternal; that he is the creator, upholder, and preserver of all things; that he created us and the sidereal heavens and ordained and established a plan of salvation whereby we might advance and progress and become like him. The truth pertaining to him is that he is our Father in heaven, that he has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's, that he is a literal person, and that if we believe and obey his laws we can gain the exaltation that he possesses. Now that is the greatest truth and the most glorious concept known to the human mind, and the reverse of it is the greatest heresy in all Christendom.

The Christian heresy, where God is concerned, is that Deity is a spirit essence that fills the immensity of space; that he is three beings in one; that he is uncreated, incorporeal, and incomprehensible; that he is without body, parts, or passions; that he is a spirit nothingness that is everywhere and nowhere in particular present. These are concepts written in the creeds had in the churches of the world.

The second greatest truth in all eternity pertains to the divine sonship of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It includes the eternal verity that he was foreordained in the councils of eternity to come to earth and be the redeemer of men, to come and ransom men from the temporal and spiritual death brought upon them by the fall of Adam. This second greatest truth is that Christ worked out the infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice because of which all men are raised in immortality and those who believe and obey are raised also unto eternal life.

Now the second greatest heresy in all Christendom is designed to destroy the glories and wonders of the infinite and eternal atonement. It is that men are saved by some kind of lip service, by the grace of God, without work and without effort on their part.

The third greatest truth known to mankind is that the Holy Spirit of God is a revelator and a sanctifier, that he is a personage of spirit, that his assigned ministry and work in the eternal Godhead is to bear record of the Father and of the Son, to reveal them and their truths to men. His work is to cleanse and perfect human souls, to burn dross and evil out of human souls as though by fire. We call that the baptism of fire.

Now the opposite of that is the third greatest heresy in all Christendom. It is that revelation has ceased, that God's mouth is closed, that the Holy Ghost no longer inspires men, that the gifts of the Spirit were done away with after the death of the ancient apostles, and that we no longer need to follow the course they charted. "

MORE AT LINK TO BYU ARTICLE

47 posted on 07/15/2010 10:20:42 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (If voters follow the democrat method of 2004 Obama will be named the worst president in history.)
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To: Colofornian

‘if you have kids, or will have kids’

-—Not going to have Kids, I’m smart enough to know I would be a horrible parent-—

‘What beliefs and convictions will you take a stand on’

the Sanctity of Life and devotion to God.

My crisis in my Roman Catholic faith is my own personal cross I must carry alone and I need to focus on strengthening my faith and devotion to God, Individually, before I ‘discuss’ others beliefs.

Perhaps ‘judgment’ was a poor choice of words....and I’n not your enemy.


48 posted on 07/15/2010 10:26:37 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: Godzilla
I take note then that by skipping the other points, you are unable to disagree with my observations on other evangelical denominations and their common view of Jesus. That is good to know.

I agreed with that point in my post 44. As to your other point that we are saved by grace, that belief is also held by Mormons. But as you know, faith without works is dead, so glossing over works as "out of the picture" is not biblical. I don't mean to skip over other comments but have other things - more later.
49 posted on 07/15/2010 10:26:57 AM PDT by Blowtorch
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To: greyfoxx39
I really don't care if mormons wish to call themselves "blue-faced magic underwear gods-to-be" as long as they stop demanding that Christians call mormons Christians!

I attend LDS church weekly and have never heard any leader or member for that matter make such a demand. We call ourselves Christian, but that is freedom of religion. Your point is valid in that we can call ourselves anything we want, but regarding your word "demand," if you have anything that resembles that in your arsenal, feel free to show it. I haven't seen it.
50 posted on 07/15/2010 10:33:48 AM PDT by Blowtorch
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