Skip to comments.Mormonism is Mormonism; Islam is Islam; Buddhism is Buddhism; Christianity is Christianity
Posted on 10/10/2011 10:35:57 AM PDT by xzins
Kirsten Powers, Fox News commentator, opined recently that Mormonism does not disqualify Mitt Romney from the presidency. According to her, those who do not believe Mormonism and Christianity are the same are entitled to their view.
It is amazing that the lips of a liberal said such a thing. It is exactly on the mark. Those who believe Mormonism is not a part of classical, historic Christianity are absolutely entitled to their view.
Moreover, they are historically correct. Mormonism actually did not come on the scene until the early 1800's. It really did have a new leader, Joseph Smith, who was proclaimed a prophet by his followers. It honestly did develop its own set of books that are considered sacred scripture. It has its own pantheon of prophets, angels, doctrines, and practices that are singularly unique to its own heritage and to no other.
In short, Mormonism, with its redefined Jesus, is no more Christianity than Islam, with its redefined Jesus, is Christianity.
This is actually very simple to test. There is an individual by the name of Moroni in Mormonism. A word search of the scriptures of Christianity reveals no such name ever mentioned. It is the same with Lehi, Alma, Nephi, and a host of others. No such names appear at any place in the entirety of Christian scripture.
We could go into different doctrines that have been held over time by Mormons and some that have been discarded. None of them bear any resemblance to doctrines of Christianity. We could talk of the lack of doctrines, particularly the classic doctrine of the Trinity, that defines historic Christianity but is entirely absent from Mormonism.
Most striking, though, is the story of Jesus in North America. It is the story of a history long past in America, a history of vast American civilizations, of American battles, struggles, and the rise and fall of empires and peoples. These occurred hundreds and hundreds of years before Europeans set foot on North America.
None of this is hinted at in Christian revelation, so it is entirely new.
It is as new as an angel appearing to Mohammed in a cave and giving to that entirely new prophet a new scripture, a new story, and a new teaching.
Mormonism is a new religion. It is itself. It is not Christianity.
Clear, Concise and I think not perjorative just a simple case of logic.. A is A not B
It is my impression that the public rhetoric of Mormons has been shifting. I do not know what they teach in their stake houses, but the young missionaries that ring my doorbell affirm that as Mormons they believe and Mormonism teaches exactly what I say as I state to them certain basic teachings about Christianity, such as the identity and personhood of Jesus of Nazareth, God’s only begotten son, the Messiah, his miraculous incarnation, et cetera.
Like Muslim’s and Takiya, Mormons tell outsiders what they want to hear.
But this quick summary of the differences between Christianity (Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant) and Mormonism is indeed correct. And there’s much more, but the basic statement is correct.
A Christian cannot become a Mormon without converting.
I saw Chris Matthews on tv Friday berating Rick Santorum as to whether Mormonism “was Christian”. Unfortunately such a forum does not allow for any precise thinking.
The problem is, not even we Christians can agree on what is “Christian”. I am sure some of my protestant brethren on FR would not consider me “Christian” since I am a convert to Catholicism and do not adhere to sola fide or sola scriptura.
If you define it in the broadest terms, as one who sincerely tries to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, then I guess Mormons would qualify, which was more or less what Santirum said, though it was in the form of deference to the LDS as to whether they were Christians.
Had I been in Santorum’s shoes, I would have asked Matthews if belief in a triune God was necessary to Christianity; if not then they could certainly be called Christians, otherwise no.
Since there is no such thing as Jesus in America and vast civilizations in America, then historic Christianity would be insane to include in its number that which is obviously not factual.
Trinitarianism is the keystone of Christian doctrine in many ways. Mormonism lacks it. And they certainly do. I listened to an official spokesman for Mormonism on Fox News say exactly that: Mormons do NOT believe in classic trinitarianism. He said it. I didn’t.
Neat Summary Bookmark.
I’m sure Chris Matthews will agree that he works for Fox News.
After all, they both report the news.
As far as Romney, its not his Religion, it's his politics that I look at when deciding if I want to vote for him.
Do they state their belief before you do, or do they say they agree with your beliefs after you state them first?
There is an excellent book that I have by Walter Martin named “Kingdom of the Cults”. In it, he defines a cult as a religion that claims to be Christian, yet denies one or more major tenet of Christianity.
Mormons deny the Trinity. That qualifies them as a cult. When Mormons come to my door, we don’t debate. I simply state “I believe in a monotheism, you believe in a polytheism.” They say “Yes ma’am, have a nice day.” and walk off.
“Since there is no such thing as Jesus in America,,,,,,historic Christianity would be insane to include in its number that which is obviously not factual”
True, and i agree that it would be very odd to count them in with traditional Christianity. BUT,, every Catholic i know says that in 1531, Mary herself met with an Indian named Juan Diego near Mexico City and told him that Mexicans should all be Catholic. Thats about the same thing,,,Just sayin,,,
Apples and oranges. The small minority of protestants who claim Catholics are "not Christian" (and note I said there is a very small group... the vast majority of Protestants would agree Catholics are Chrisitans) are simply basing arguments on personal prejudice. Their argument falls apart when you look at history because if it's true that Catholics "aren't Christian", then Christainity didn't exist until 1600 years after Christ when their brand of protestantism was developed. Indeed, instead of 2 billion Christians in the world, their interpretation of "Christianity" would mean there's probably less than 50 million "Christians" on the whole planet, and great centers of Christianity that were developed by the first apostles and have stood for 2000 years, like Greece and Rome, are "not Christian" in their eyes. Basically we're all going to hell if we don't accept the teachings of their denomination.
Mormonism is different. It didn't exist until the 1800s and developed entirely in America. Its doctrines are vastly different from historic Christianity shared by Catholic/Protestant/Orthodox denominations that otherwise have very little in common. Thus, all the major Christian churches in the world do not accept Mormonism as a Christian denomination. It is a radical departure from accepted Christianity during the 1800 years Christianity existed. One could argue that it's simply a very different "new denomination" of Christianity, but that's like how Christianity was seen as a radically different, "new denomination" of Judiasm for the first 70 years of Christianity. It wasn't a new denomination, it was a new religion based on ideas from the previous religion, but went in an entirely new direction and broke ties with the old religion. The same is true with Mormonism. This shouldn't imply that Mormons are bad people are all going to hell because they're "not Christian", in fact, alot of Mormons are much devout and lead "Christ-like" lives than many praticing Christians. But the religion itself is not Christian, and vastly different Christian communities like Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists agree on that point.
>> If you define it in the broadest terms, as one who sincerely tries to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, then I guess Mormons would qualify <<
The problem is that if you define "Christian" in those terms, then many other faiths could be counted as "Christian" including many Muslims, Hindus, Ba'hai, deist, etc., followers, because many of those adherents will tell you they sincerely try to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (even if they don't believe Christ was divine and their interpretation of Jesus is quite different from what Chrisitan churches believe)
>> I saw Chris Matthews on tv Friday berating Rick Santorum as to whether Mormonism was Christian. Had I been in Santorums shoes, I would have asked Matthews if belief in a triune God was necessary to Christianity; if not then they could certainly be called Christians, otherwise no. which was more or less what Santirum said, though it was in the form of deference to the LDS as to whether they were Christians. <<
It was pretty much a lose-lose scenario and Matthews knows that, asking whether Santorum thinks Mormons are Christian is like asking him if he stopped beating his wife. If Santorum points out they don't share the beliefs of most Christians, the media would take the clip out of the context to make it look like Santorum is bashing Mormons. Heck, even some freepers joined the media in claiming Huckabee was an "anti-Mormon bigot!!!" when he (correctly) asked whether Mormons believe Jesus and Satan were "brothers" (Mormon doctrine teachings that both were children of God the Father but that Satan was the black sheep of the family and disowned or whatever)
Basically if I had been in Santorum's shoes I would have probably given an indirect answer as well, and just pointed out that many Mormons uphold Christian virtues and that I get along with them well.
As I noted on another thread today, the simplest way around this one is for politicians to simply acknowledge what I do... that my personal belief about the person's faith is irrelevant because I don't judge a person's qualifications for office on whether or not they're a praticing Christian. I would much rather vote for a solidly conservative Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jew, etc. than I would a socialist who professes to be a devout "Christian"
I'd add another point, as I mentioned Matthews was going for a "have you stopped beating your wife?" line of attack. The liberal media loves to portray conservatives as intolerant bigots. If Santorum had tried your scenario, I think the exchange would have went something like this:
Do you believe Mormons are Christian, Senator?
It's hard to say because there's different ways people define Christian. Are you going by the premise that Christianity means a belief in the trinity?
That's what your church, the Roman Catholic Church teaches, correct?
Yes. I believe in the trinity.
So politicians who do not profess a belief in the trinity aren't Christian in your eyes?
Well, I didn't say --
But that's what your church believes, how it defines Christianity, and you claim obidenence to the Catholic church.
Are Quakers Christians?
I thought we were discussing Mormons.
We were discussing a belief in the trinity. Quakers do not believe in the the doctrine of the trinity. So your faith tells you that they are not Christians, correct?
And you also believe Seventh Day Adventists are not Christians. In fact, you would say the Christian Science faith founded by Mary Baker Eddy isn't Christian, even though that's the name of the church.
Are we done yet?
Mormons want Christians to consider Mormons to be fellow Christians. But they do, Mormons will never return the favor.
Yeah, as I said, the forum (i.e., Matthews’ show) does not allow for precise thinking.
Perhaps the best thing to do is not go on there at all. I don’t know why anyone from the right does.
The mystics only present a problem when they start a new religion or change the basic doctrine of their current religion. So far as I know Catholics are still trinitarian and they haven’t created a fanciful history of America hundreds of years before their own arrival.
I would make a confused face and say “Yeah Mormon is a kind of Christian isn’t it? Why are you asking about this, voters are concerned about the economy not about a candidate’s religious views, this is the 21st century.”
And I refuse to go into it any further. “I am not interested in playing this game Chris, let’s move on.”.
“Do they state their belief before you do, or do they say they agree with your beliefs after you state them first?”
Good point. They agree with my stated beliefs.
Next time I’ll aim to get them to state their beliefs regarding the identity and the works of the only begotten and incarnate Son of God.
“Clear, Concise and I think not perjorative just a simple case of logic.. A is A not B”
Indeed it is.
Muhammed “made it all up”. All of his phony “religion”.
And so did Mr. Smith....
Also, Mormons believe that the Father lived a mortal life, died and was resurrected and achieved godhood
Now this is a fundamental difference between Christianity (or Judaism or even Islam) and Mormonism
I see no problem in people speculating like this and having their own religion (which is distinct from Christianity) -- philosophically even Scientologists believe what they believe, so ok for Mormons
BUT as a historian, the way in which the LDS beliefs hinge on fiction makes it far more a fiction religion than Scientology -- the religion was cleverly made up by J Smith by taking aspects of Baptist philosophy (the Great Apostasy) and British-Israelism -- in the latter he made the biggest long-term mistake. Mormon belief states there were Israelites, i.e. Semitic people before Columbus who had large populations, large cities and civilisations, cultures and whose descendents are the modern day Native Americans and who used a language called "Reformed Egyptian" -- the problem is that there were no Semitic peoples in pre-Columbus America: there is zero archaeological or historical evidence for large cities with Old World technology or culture (pottery etc.) or religious aspects and the Native Americans are genetically, linguistically, anthropologically and historically (by their OWN history) not Semites.
There is no such and never was such a language as Reformed Egyptian -- the only evidence given is scribbles -- and it seems strange that Israelites who had left egypt 400+ years earlier should revert to using the Coptic language in any "reformed" way and the one used is completely unlike the demotic of late Egypt.
The "Book of abraham" given as proof was actually a cut-out of the Egyptian book of the Dead showing the god Anubis.
J Smith was the L Ron Hubbard of his day, but his fiction cannot hold know in the light of discoveries made since the late 1800s in Egypt (remember - hieroglyphs had not yet been deciphered during J Smith's time) and the strides made in genetical and linguistic studies
Well said. And its so easy to reject a Rino like Romney without even bothering WHAT he believes in!
err.. the apparition never said all Mexicans should be Catholic...
Precisely true about J Smith being the L Ron Hubbard of his day.
There is no way that anyone today would insist that Scientology be incorporated as a Christian denomination.
Nor should they insist that mormonism be considered Christian.
I honestly think these media types simply don't have a clue about the enormity of the differences.
None of this is to say that Mitt Romney is disqualified from consideration to run for President. It is true that there should be no religious test.
On the other hand, we should not pretend that Mormonism has never had beliefs that are political negatives, even radioactive. It is for exactly that reason that mainline Mormonism had to jettison their belief in polygamy. That belief had a real and discernible impact on our culture.
There are other beliefs of Mormons that have immediate impact on our culture. Many of our current Mormons believed for years in the inferiority of minorities due to God's curse being on those of darker skins.
And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing . . . wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:21).
This belief was not changed until 1978, only 33 years ago. Mitt Romney was born in 1947 so is currently 64 years old. For 31 years of his life he believed in the cursed inferiority of dark-skinned Americans, particularly African blacks.
Conservatives have many concerns about Romney's political viability given his many flip-flops. Moreover, there is great concern about Romney's electability due to Mormonism's continuing rejection of African-Americans during Romney's adult years and Romney's failure to speak out against it despite opportunity to do so. What weapon against Romney this issue could become in a heated campaign against a black president is ALREADY hinted at in this wikipedia article on Romney's life:
At culturally conservative Brigham Young, Romney continued to be separated from much of the upheaval of the era, and did not join the few protests against the ...LDS Church's policy against giving full membership to blacks.
In my mind, this is a huge issue that combined with others would make Romney totally unelectable in a general election campaign against Obama.
They say that because within their minds mormonism has gutted the Christian definitions of those terms/teachings and replaced them with their own definitions.
You mention the identity of Jesus - in your mind do you define that as Jesus - God the Son, Second Person of the Trinity - eternal God? Mormons define Jesus as another 'god' in their polytheistic view - who floated around for an undeterminable amount of time as an 'intelligence' before being 'begotten' as the first 'spirit child' of one of the 'gods' named Elohim and one of is spirit wives.
Does the difference in definitions clarify things a little bit.
“I honestly think these media types simply don’t have a clue about the enormity of the differences.”
To the media types religion consists entirely in being nice to one’s neighbors, behaving reasonably well, and in the realm of public affairs supporting the agenda of the Democrat Party. This includes advocating abortion and the societal deconstruction agenda of homosexual radicals.
A personal relationship with God, belief in life after death, etc., are deemed to lie in the realm of arcanery.
If you're real name was the unique "NavyCanDo" -- and if a person went around the Web saying his name was your unique one, NavyCanDo. But his real name was NavyCan'tItGetItDone. And he did great acts of identity theft in counterfeiting you, then it ain't gonna matter what anybody says the false "NavyCanDo" appears to have "blossomed" into.
The fact is that he's a counterfeit. Someone trading on your reputation. Someone afraid to fully step out in their own identity.
Sorry, I wouldn't give a "graduation certification" to such a NavyCanDo wannabe.
...no wonder people slide down a religious Bahai-like pathway where they run everything together about God and begin to conclude a fundamentalist Mormon-is-a-Mormon-is-a-Christian-is-a-Jonestownite-is-a-Branch-Davidian-is-a-Heavens-Gate-ian-is-a-Urantia believer-is a Church Universal & Triumphant-is-a-Wicca-Witch-is-Voodoo practioner-is-a-New-Ager-is-a-whirling dervish-is-a-Hindu-is-a-Sikh-is-a-Muslim!
I guess you consider them all the same, then, huh?
But how can that be?
The "Jesus" of the Marharishi of Transcental Meditation is a Jesus who never suffered.
The "Jesus" of Guru Maharaj Ji supposedly merged with Krishna, Ram and Buddha.
The only difference between the Moonie "jesus" and the rest of us, says, Sun Myung Moon, is that Jesus had no original sin nature.
The "Jesus" of Christian Science think of themselves as "Christian," yet they don't believe Jesus is God.
The "Jesus" of the Jehovah's Witnesses is not Almighty and is "a god," but not "THE" God; nor did He bodily resurrect.
The "Jesus" of many gnostics would in no way incarnate a human body -- because that to them would be too "corrupt" of a thing to do.
The "Jesus" of Brigham Young is one redeemer-savior among who knows how many? "He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. On every earth. How many earths are there?...Consequently every earth has its redeemer..." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, p. 71, 1870)
The "Jesus" of Mormonism is a pre-existent spirit-creature; a son of a God-man whose next-in-line brother is "Lucifer/Satan" -- a "Jesus" who had to work out his own salvation; and whose blood didn't cover all of our personal sins (thereby rendering him as an incomplete, inadequate "savior").
Perhaps you could tell, us, then how can all these "Jesuses" be the same One? How can we have...
...a Jesus who suffers & a TM "Jesus" who doesn't?
...a Jesus who resurrects bodily & a JW "Jesus" who doesn't?
...a Jesus who transcends us in every way & a Moonie "Jesus" who only transcends us sin-wise?
...a Jesus who is united with the Father & the Spirit vs. a Hindu offshoot/New Age "Jesus" who merges as part of a divine flame or divine ocean?
...THE fully-God, fully-man incarnant son of God vs. a less-than-human embodied gnostic "Jesus"?
...a Jesus who is THE Savior vs. a Mormon "Jesus" who competes with ALL kinds of "saviors" on other planets (per Brigham) & ALL kinds of "saviors" on THIS planet (per Lds "prophet" John Taylor's description of Baptism of the dead "saviors")??
...a Jesus who is THE Creator vs. a Mormon "Jesus," a mere spirit-creature?
...a Jesus who is THE Savior vs. a Mormon "Jesus" who is touted by Lds leaders as a "saved being?"
...a Jesus who created Lucifer (Col. 1:16-17) vs. a Mormon "Jesus" who "lucked out" on being ahead of Lucifer spirit-birth assembly line, only because of spirit-birth order???
...a Jesus who died BOTH for our sin nature AND ALL of our personal sins vs. a Mormon "Jesus" who didn't?