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Stranger in a Mormon Land
The American Spectator ^ | July-August 2013 | Jeremy Lott

Posted on 07/02/2013 5:54:59 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

...There are many things that you will recognize, including concepts and even scriptures, but they will be recast in a way that is weird, in fact, utterly foreign to you.

Sure, members of this relatively new faith will use the same Hebrew Bible, but they will call it something different, the “Old Testament,” which hints at a divide. They also use other authoritative books, and their method of interpretation has little to nothing to do with your own tradition. They have transformed the Passover meal into something barely recognizable to you. They profess faith in a messiah, but their idea of him is different from your own hopeful notion of the savior of the Jewish people and the world. They affirm the truth of your religion to a point, but insist on a newer, fuller revelation from God that has superseded yours, and invite you to join them in this final dispensation.

My visit to the Mormon ward was a bit like that, and included one young missionary’s well-drilled attempts to proselytize me in the break between the “church” and “Sunday school” portions of the morning. Latter-day Saints don’t go in for compulsion in religion, just really strong and persistent suggestion, so we kept it civil. (Missionary: “If you pray about this, God will show you.” Journalist: “Yeah, I’ll get right on that.”)

One thing outsiders usually don’t understand about Mormonism is that, outside the official power structure in Salt Lake City, it’s mostly a religion of earnest amateurs. The white-shirt, black tie-wearing, backpack-toting missionaries (known as “elders”), pastors (“bishops”), and bishops (“stake presidents”—yes, it’s confusing) don’t draw salaries and serve for fixed terms. There is thus a real sense, shared by both audience and speaker, that the guy up there talking is one of us...

(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Other Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholic; lds; mormon
There are many things that you will recognize, including concepts and even scriptures, but they will be recast in a way that is weird, in fact, utterly foreign to you....

Their method of [Bible] interpretation has little to nothing to do with your own tradition.
They have transformed the Passover meal into something barely recognizable to you.
They profess faith in a messiah, but their idea of him is different from your own hopeful notion of the savior of the Jewish people and the world...
Latter-day Saints don’t go in for compulsion in religion, just really strong and persistent suggestion...

One thing outsiders usually don’t understand about Mormonism is that, outside the official power structure in Salt Lake City, it’s mostly a religion of earnest amateurs.

1 posted on 07/02/2013 5:54:59 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy
Sure, members of this relatively new faith will use the same Hebrew Bible, but they will call it something different, the “Old Testament,”

Wut???

Looks like those dastardly Anglicans call it the "Old Teftament", too ... guess that "hints at a divide". Blasted Protestants "hint[ing] at a divide" ... what other heresies will they come up with?

Hint: If you're going to trash people for having weird theology, don't get so carried away with it that you catch yourself up in the overkill ...

2 posted on 07/02/2013 6:01:30 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Alex Murphy

3 posted on 07/02/2013 6:08:26 AM PDT by Gamecock ("Ultimately, Jesus died to save us from the wrath of God." —R.C. Sproul)
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To: Alex Murphy

My father had business dealings in Utah in the 1970’s.
As a Yankee Catholic traveling in Mormon lands, he made the following observations to me.

-The Mormon people were polite, and maintained very high ethical standards. He actually knew someone who sent his coat out for dry cleaning in Salt Lake and left $500 cash in the pocket. It came back with the cash still intact.

-Their devotion to family and to taking care of their own was truly admirable. From what he observed there was barely any need for the state to operate a welfare system, as their church was doing all the heavy lifting.

-Like the Deep South in the 1950’s, the place virtually shut down on Sunday mornings. As it would again when Family Night rolled around.

-Forget ordering a beer! It was no doubt easier to purchase a baggie of weed from some hustler on the street. Beer was only available at super-secret backdoor speakeasies where you had to pay a fee to become a member. He said they actually made our 17th. Century liquor laws in Pennsylvania seem sane by comparison.

-It was also very difficult to get a cup of coffee. With no alcohol and no coffee, he was awestruck by the sight of Kool Aid being served in a 3 1/2 star restaurant.

-Once they found out how many kids he had, they put on the full-court press to try and convert him. He would come back loaded down with all sorts of Mormon literature, including a Book of Mormon (which I have never seen again. She denies this, but I suspect it freaked my mother out so badly that she burned it)

-His one negative thought was that once it became very clear to them that he was not going to convert, the locals all became very cool to him and would barely give him the time of day anymore.


4 posted on 07/02/2013 6:24:23 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog
-Forget ordering a beer! It was no doubt easier to purchase a baggie of weed from some hustler on the street. Beer was only available at super-secret backdoor speakeasies where you had to pay a fee to become a member. He said they actually made our 17th Century liquor laws in Pennsylvania seem sane by comparison.

Don't know about the 1970s, but I've been to Utah recently. Beer is available on most menus of an Appleby's class restaurant on up. And if you want to buy a six-pack. you can do so in any local convenience store if you are of the proper age.

Compare that to Pennsylvania where we still have those 17th Century liquor laws, including state-owned stores

5 posted on 07/02/2013 6:37:53 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: ArrogantBustard

I’ve always considered the label somewhat misleading. The “Old Testament” might be more correctly labelled “God’s revelation before Christ walked the earth” and the New Testament “God’s revelation since Christ walked the earth”.

The first relates God’s attempts to interact with sinful man on his own terms and, since the fall of Adam and Eve, finds him unholy and unrighteous despite every attempt to bridge the gap. Even when man seeks God and is willing to clean up his act to win God’s favor, he will continue to fall short of attaining God’s holiness and righteousness.

Like Isreal itself, the constant history is of periods of sin followed by periods of atonement followed by more periods of sin.

Enter, Jesus, God’s incarnate being, to serve as the ultimate atonement to make us holy and righteous with God. It is His gift, not something we could achieve by ourselves.

The Old Testament was a religion of laws which the Pharisees then piled on their own man-made laws in an attempt to keep followers from sinning against God’s laws.

Christ did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it so that those who believed in Christ could live a new freedom built less upon laws and more on the relationship we wave with God through Christ.

That is, I think, the stumbling block of both the Jews and the Mormons (and some Christians too). Now freed from the laws of sin thanks to the grace and sacrifice of Christ, these religions still wish to deny men their freedom which Christ died for by stacking up more laws.

The thrust of Paul’s teaching is that we have the freedom to drink alcohol - just don’t get drunk or lead others to drunkeness by your behavior. We have the freedom to eat meats of all kinds - just don’t eat meats that you are aware were sacrificed to false idols. God does not care as much what goes into a man as what comes out of him and so should we.

There are, of course, social and health reasons why we should not do certain things with regard to eating, drinking and sexual activity because of the negative effects on our bodies and minds if we indulge in these things but, under Christ, these behaviors should not define us. Rather, it is what we have in our hearts and the relationship with God and Christ that we seek through a life of prayer and obedience which matters most to Him.

As I get older, I realize that we are children in God’s eyes, never in this life able to grasp and comprehend the world God understands so we must depend on His leading just as young earthly children trust their earthly parents even as they don’t understand and sometimes rebel against their wisdom. But as badly as we behave, our earthly parents love us with a special love because of our position in the family.

So, too, through Christ, we have a special position and receive a special love from God which we may at times rebel against yet our Heavenly Father is ready to forgive as long as we want to maintain that relationship. He will guide us if we will let Him do so. That’s a salvation based on status, not on laws, thus freedom so we are not constrained by a list of “dos and don’ts” that we can never adhere to no matter how hard we try.


6 posted on 07/02/2013 6:59:28 AM PDT by OrangeHoof (Howdy to all you government agents spying on me.)
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To: OrangeHoof
I may very possibly agree with your thoughts, there ... certainly I am inclined to see the Bible as a unified whole, even though of 73 distinct "books" (somewhat of a misnomer) written at different times and in different ways.

Still, that "King James" Holy Bible title page, printed in 1772 (long before Joseph Smith suffered from hallucinations), exists as an historical artifact. That Anglicans (and other Protestants) used the terms "Old Testament" and "New Testament" long before there was mormonism is simply inarguable.

7 posted on 07/02/2013 7:08:25 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

I have no dispute of that. I’m just saying the labels “Old Testament” and “New Testament” don’t exactly ring clear but that has nothing to do with Mormonism and everything to do with the revelations and clarifications received through Christ.

Plus, not everyone agrees on which “books” should be in either canon. I am no expert on that but am happy with the modern Protestant bible as is.


8 posted on 07/02/2013 7:26:16 AM PDT by OrangeHoof (Howdy to all you government agents spying on me.)
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To: OrangeHoof
that has nothing to do with Mormonism

I agree. The author is trying to make an issue of it. I think he's overreaching. Mormonism is nutty and not Christian, but the OT/NT terminology predates mormonism and has nothing to do with it. The author should (IMO) remove that bit. It's nonsense.

9 posted on 07/02/2013 7:29:10 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

I’m pretty sure the author is Jewish, in case you didn’t catch that.


10 posted on 07/02/2013 7:57:59 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: OrangeHoof
The Latin Bible had a Vetus Testamentum and a Novum Testamentum long before Martin Luther was born, and the Eastern Christian churches had equivalent terms in their languages going back to the early centuries.
11 posted on 07/02/2013 8:05:03 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: ArrogantBustard
ArrogantBustard: The author is trying to make an issue of it. I think he's overreaching. Mormonism is nutty and not Christian, but the OT/NT terminology predates mormonism and has nothing to do with it.

Boogieman: I’m pretty sure the author is Jewish, in case you didn’t catch that.

In the portions excerpted, the author identifies himself as a Catholic convert, the son of a Baptist minister. FWIW, I took his "Old Testament" comment as saying that the Mormons themselves consider the whole of the Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments) as an "Old" Testament. The Book of Mormon bills itself as "Another Testament of Jesus Christ".


12 posted on 07/02/2013 8:16:21 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Boogieman

Sorry - meant to ping you to #12


13 posted on 07/02/2013 8:17:46 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Boogieman
I’m pretty sure the author is Jewish, in case you didn’t catch that.

I didn't, but it doesn't really change my point. It makes no sense to ding the mormons for using the term "Old Testament" unless one also dings the Christians for using it. There are plenty of legitimate objections to mormonism. This one is silly.

In fact, if indeed the author is Jewish the rest of that paragraph is as much a condemnation of Christianity as it is of mormonism.

14 posted on 07/02/2013 8:18:44 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Vigilanteman

Mitt Romney supposedly fixed the beer thing as a prerequisite to landing the Winter Olympics. My dad used to go there in the mid-70’s.


15 posted on 07/02/2013 8:22:00 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Alex Murphy; Boogieman
OK.

I read the whole article again. Slowly.

Yes, the author is Catholic. Says so right there in the fourth paragraph.

The sixth paragraph is the author's imagining of how a Jew would react to visiting a Christian church.

the Mormons themselves consider the whole of the Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments) as an "Old" Testament. The Book of Mormon bills itself as "Another Testament of Jesus Christ".

Yes. All makes sense, now.

FWIW, there is a fad in some circles of using the terms "Hebrew Scriptures" and "Christian Scriptures" in place of "Old Testament" and "New Testament".

BTW, I agree with the mormon 'catechist' on one thing:

I came up to talk to the teacher about one item after class. He had called the Nicene Creed incomprehensible, so I told him, “Look, I’m Catholic. I understand if you don’t agree with it, since you don’t believe in the Trinity and all that, but please tell me what is so hard to understand about the Nicene Creed?” We struck up a conversation. He admitted, “Either we’re right or you guys are.” Then he thought about that and added, “Please don’t quote me by name.”

Christianity and mormonism are contradictory. They cannot both be right.

16 posted on 07/02/2013 8:37:52 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Are the Mormons perhaps referring to the entire Christian bible as the “Old Testament” in light of the Book of Mormon et al being their “new Testament?”


17 posted on 07/02/2013 8:40:47 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economiws In One Lesson ONLINE http://steshaw.org/econohttp://www.fee.org/library/det)
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To: ArrogantBustard

In the article the author claims to be Catholic. If you can legitimately make “Jewish” out of that then words truly have no meaning unless you posit that the author lied.


18 posted on 07/02/2013 8:43:17 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economiws In One Lesson ONLINE http://steshaw.org/econohttp://www.fee.org/library/det)
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To: arthurus
I feel quite certain that you know what the word "if" means.

I feel quite certain that you can read my post #16.

Peace be with you.

19 posted on 07/02/2013 8:45:50 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

My reading was that the Mormons refer to the entire Bible - both OT and NT - as the Old Testament. Am I missing something?


20 posted on 07/02/2013 8:47:24 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: ArrogantBustard
The Nicene Creed does not equal Christianity, only a majority view. Mormon's rejection of the Nicene Creed is hardly a unique position.

The original Anabaptist movement of Jan Hus, who predated Martin Luther by nearly a century, neither subscribed to nor specifically rejected the Nicene Creed.

They did say that Gospel truth could not be determined by a majority vote, be it the Nicene Creed in its era nor the gay marriage controversy today. I am quite sympathetic to this view, especially after seeing so many mainstream Christian denominations neutered and even co-opted by the Left.

I once attended a Foursquare Baptist congregation which considered mainstream Baptists sellouts for subscribing to the Nicene creed. Nice people, but lets just say that while I agreed with them on 95% of doctrinal issues, I was considered an apostate due to the 5%, sort of like the Libertarian Party.

21 posted on 07/02/2013 8:51:18 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: ArrogantBustard
He admitted, “Either we’re right or you guys are.” Interesting. I heard a Catholic (priest or seminarian, I think) who had converted from Mormonism giving an apologetics talk on Catholic Radio. He used the exact phrase "either the Catholic Church is true or the Mormon Church is." And since the Mormon Church is false, he was led to believe the Catholic Church was true. It was fascinating stuff. He traced the history of Mormonism and their tie-in with the Masons.
22 posted on 07/02/2013 8:51:54 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: old and tired
Easy enough to check out here.

FWIW, the "Mormon edition" of both the Old and New Testament are nothing more than the King James Version with footnote references to other scripture.

I have one, along with a dozen other versions published by various sects and Bible Societies around the world.

23 posted on 07/02/2013 8:56:49 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman
They did say that Gospel truth could not be determined by a majority vote, be it the Nicene Creed in its era nor the gay marriage controversy today.

Consider:

1) Jesus is God (consubstantial with the Father).

2) Jesus is a creature (not consubstantial with the Father).

(1) and (2) above cannot both be true ... I'm not sure how the Anabaptists propose to resolve that sort of dispute. The Catholic Church resolved that particular dispute in the Council of Nicea.

I agree that Truth is not determined by majority vote ... certainly not in the sense that it can be changed in the next majority vote.

24 posted on 07/02/2013 9:01:10 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
Mitt Romney supposedly fixed the beer thing as a prerequisite to landing the Winter Olympics.

Romney may have had something to do with restrictions on serving it in restaurants or something like that. I'm not sure, but I can tell you that I lived in Utah briefly in 1981 and bought a six pack at the local convenience store with no hassle other than showing an ID since I was in my early 20s at the time and looked young for my age.

25 posted on 07/02/2013 9:02:57 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: ArrogantBustard
I'm not sure how the Anabaptists propose to resolve that sort of dispute.

I'm not sure how the Catholics (or the Nicene majority, for that matter) resolve the dispute about Jesus praying to God in the Garden of Gethsemane or later on the cross. Is he praying to himself?

Then there is the account of his baptism, when he arose out of the water, God's voice spoke from the heavens and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove.

And, yet, I am not so arrogant to say that any sect in the Nicene majority is not Christian. Certainly not those (including the Catholics) who have steadfastly refused to embrace homosexuality as part of their doctrine.

FWIW, this is the big part of the 5% of my disagreement with the Foursquare Baptist denomination which I used to attend and why I eventually felt unwelcome there.

26 posted on 07/02/2013 9:11:01 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Boogieman
"I’m pretty sure the author is Jewish, in case you didn’t catch that."

It doesn't matter, in Utah he would still be considered a "Gentile".

27 posted on 07/02/2013 9:18:00 AM PDT by anoldafvet
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To: Vigilanteman
resolve the dispute about Jesus praying to God in the Garden of Gethsemane or later on the cross. Is he praying to himself?

There is no dispute. Jesus (the Son) is speaking to, praying to, the Father. Similarly at His Baptism, all three Persons manifested themselves. Likewise, during the Transfiguration, the Father spoke directly to all concerned. We hold that the Godhead, or the Divine Nature, is held equally by three distinct Persons (the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit).

IMO, your terminology is flawed, leading to a flawed understanding of what was going on in the Jordan, on the mountain, and again in Gethsemane. IMO, correct terminology does not resolve the dispute, but shows that there is in fact no dispute at all.

28 posted on 07/02/2013 9:19:23 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Sorry, I just assumed he was Jewish from the use of “Hebrew Scriptures” and the way he disliked the term “Old Testament”.


29 posted on 07/02/2013 9:22:48 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: ArrogantBustard
IMO, your terminology is also flawed, leading to a flawed understanding of what was going on in the Jordan, on the mountain, and again in Gethsemane.

Likewise flawed is your claim that non-Nicene subscribers believe your second statement "Jesus is a creature (not consubstantial with the Father)".

Some do. Most, in my experience, do not.

Just another reason why we have hundreds of different Christian brands and why we will have to agree to disagree.

I'm far more concerned with the 90-95% of what we agree upon and would hope that we would have the common sense to work together to defeat the forces of Satan rather casting stones at each other over the 5 to 10%.

30 posted on 07/02/2013 9:30:50 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman
IMO, your terminology is also flawed,

Naturally. I'm a little curious, though ... In your particular church, how would you and a hypothetical fellow member of that church who believes as I do resolve your hypothetcial dispute?

Likewise flawed is your claim that non-Nicene subscribers believe your second statement "Jesus is a creature (not consubstantial with the Father)".

Cool your jets, brother. I did not and do not make that claim.

"Jesus (is|is not) of the same divine substance as the Father" is the dispute addressed by the Council of Nicea. That's an historical fact. Also an historical fact is that the Council resolved the dispute in favor of the proposition: "Jesus is of the same divine substance as the Father".

Now, as to modern groups which don't like the Nicene Creed (or creeds in general), I have said nothing. I don't know how they resolve disputes, nor do I know how they codify their beliefs. That's their problem, not mine. If they wish to explain it, that's wonderful.

31 posted on 07/02/2013 9:40:36 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Vigilanteman

BTW, you really should visit Louisiana ... if for no other reason than to complete the map. Also the fresh Gulf shrimp are awesome.


32 posted on 07/02/2013 9:43:14 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard; Vigilanteman
....as to modern groups which don't like the Nicene Creed (or creeds in general), I have said nothing. I don't know how they resolve disputes, nor do I know how they codify their beliefs. That's their problem, not mine. If they wish to explain it, that's wonderful.

As I've opined elsewhere, the various creeds and confessions of the historic church have been a useful means of codifying and focusing key Biblical doctrines, and by extension are very useful in matters of church membership (covenants) or forming definitions of heresy for Protestants. Many "Protestant" churches, especially evangelical and non-denominational ones, reject all historic creeds as binding on themselves re matters of discipline or doctrine, and thus there is no simple way of determining whether they are "in the fold" (i.e. orthodox) or not.

By refusing to profess/acknowledge a creed, or at least publish an "articles of faith" / "doctrinal statement", these anti-creedal churches and believers functionally accomplish five things:

And with that, I yield the floor.
33 posted on 07/02/2013 10:22:06 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy
...There are many things that you will recognize, including concepts and even scriptures, but they will be recast in a way that is weird, in fact, utterly foreign to you.

Sure, members of this relatively new faith will use the same Hebrew Bible, but they will call it something different, the “Old Testament,” which hints at a divide. They also use other authoritative books, and their method of interpretation has little to nothing to do with your own tradition. They have transformed the Passover meal into something barely recognizable to you. They profess faith in a messiah, but their idea of him is different from your own hopeful notion of the savior of the Jewish people and the world. They affirm the truth of your religion to a point, but insist on a newer, fuller revelation from God that has superseded yours, and invite you to join them in this final dispensation.

NO!!! [/ironic sarcasm]

34 posted on 07/02/2013 10:33:08 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu!)
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To: Alex Murphy

Congratulations ... that’s a step in the right direction. Or at least a refusal to take a bunch of steps in the wrong direction.


35 posted on 07/02/2013 10:46:13 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Says Jeremy Lott, “The son of a Baptist minister, I converted to Catholicism as an adult...”

Making it all the more shocking that he would even recognize the analogy!


36 posted on 07/02/2013 11:05:35 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Alex Murphy; ArrogantBustard
Both of yinz make interesting points and I congratulate you for your civility, a civility which is too often absent when some of the extreme fundamentalists get into the fray.

Too many of these are the 5% crowd. i.e. you are an apostate and an enemy if you disagree with them on just 5% of their doctrinal dogmas.

And make no mistake that they are dogmas, often in the extreme. A friend of mine observed that they are really no different than "cafeteria Catholics," only in their choices of what they select in the cafeteria.

Or, put another way:

  1. Catholics take the "body of Christ" thing very literally.
  2. Mormons take the "children of God" thing very literally.
  3. Fundies take their private interpretation of the Bible very literally.

37 posted on 07/02/2013 11:11:45 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman

“I’m not sure how the Catholics (or the Nicene majority, for that matter) resolve the dispute about Jesus praying to God in the Garden of Gethsemane or later on the cross. Is he praying to himself?”


Obviously you don’t understand the doctrine you disagree with. The scripture does not teach Modalism. It teaches there is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three persons who are yet one God. They have different roles all throughout the scripture, yet are the same God. For example, the Father elects. The Son Redeems. The Holy Spirit applies.


38 posted on 07/02/2013 11:35:49 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Vigilanteman; ArrogantBustard
Too many of these ["extreme fundamentalists"] are the 5% crowd. i.e. you are an apostate and an enemy if you disagree with them on just 5% of their doctrinal dogmas. And make no mistake that they are dogmas, often in the extreme.

It's one thing to claim that someone else is damned based upon their adherence/refusal to a particular creed or statement. It's quite another thing for someone to refuse to document their own doctrines (or to change them on a whim), and then damn you for having violated them. Personality cults are spawned out of the latter behavior.

39 posted on 07/02/2013 11:36:26 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Vigilanteman

“Just another reason why we have hundreds of different Christian brands and why we will have to agree to disagree.”


Denying the deity of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit places you outside of Christianity. Therefore, not only can we not simply “agree to disagree” as if the issue is unimportant, we must condemn your theology as damnable and always fight it in whatever manifestation it appears.


40 posted on 07/02/2013 11:37:52 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Alex Murphy
It's one thing to claim that someone else is damned based upon their adherence/refusal to a particular creed or statement. It's quite another thing for someone to refuse to document their own doctrines (or to change them on a whim), and then damn you for having violated them. Personality cults are spawned out of the latter behavior.

Flame wars and all manner of other uncivil conduct are also spawned from it.

41 posted on 07/02/2013 11:44:09 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Vigilanteman
"Fundies" ....

Perhaps you mean "Fundamentalists"? That is, people whose beliefs are more or less codified in a series of books called The Fundamentals?

I (obviously) disagree with them on a number of topics, but I congratulate them for at least being consistent and open about the nature of their beliefs.

42 posted on 07/02/2013 11:56:17 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Alex Murphy; Greetings_Puny_Humans
Yes they are. But much as global warming dogmatists claim it is settled science not subject to discussion, so do some Nicene dogmatists with their favorite dogma. See post #40 for a case in point.

Like Jan Hus, I do not even claim the Nicene Creed is false. I simply reject the notion that a majority of Christian religious leaders representing even a majority Christian denominations and called together by a political entity at one point in time can pronounce a doctrine or dogma as binding on everyone as some sort of litmus test to earn the right to call themselves Christian.

I hold that Jesus Christ himself will make that determination in his own way and time. In stating that belief, I concede that the Nicene Creed is as important to some as freedom of conscious is to me.

By the same token, I do not refuse the right of any liberal to hold and proselyte any belief which they wish, I only refuse to allow them to impose them on me.

43 posted on 07/02/2013 12:01:07 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman; ArrogantBustard; Greetings_Puny_Humans
I simply reject the notion that a majority of Christian religious leaders representing even a majority Christian denominations and called together by a political entity at one point in time can pronounce a doctrine or dogma as binding on everyone as some sort of litmus test to earn the right to call themselves Christian. I hold that Jesus Christ himself will make that determination in his own way and time. In stating that belief, I concede that the Nicene Creed is as important to some as freedom of conscious is to me.

Who is this "Jesus Christ" fellow of whom you speak? The name sounds familiar, but I'm not sure that any of us have heard of him.

44 posted on 07/02/2013 12:14:32 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: ArrogantBustard

That part of the story was written rather poorly, but in the paragraph before the “hinting of a divide” language, he says he is going to use an analogy of a Jew attending a Christian service for the first time.

So that’s why he says they use the same Hebrew Bible. He’s not talking about Mormonism, he’s talking about Christianity in general. That’s why he talks about Passover. The opening paragraphs have nothing to do with Mormonism.


45 posted on 07/02/2013 12:58:00 PM PDT by Publius Valerius
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To: Vigilanteman

“I’m not sure how the Catholics (or the Nicene majority, for that matter) resolve the dispute about Jesus praying to God in the Garden of Gethsemane or later on the cross. Is he praying to himself?”

I’ve witnessed this argument put forth by those in the mormon cult many, many times. They consider it convincing in some way. It is not.

I’ve come to understand this is a persuasive argument to mormons because it rests on the foundation of a misunderstanding of the nature of God. Mormon teaching perverts the image of God by making Him into a mere created being. It perverts the nature of God by making god into less than god. It multiplies gods instead of rightly dividing the Scriptures to understand the true image and nature of God. All of these theological errors lead to statements like the one quoted above.

In the end, Satan’s Fashion Show continues to bring back heresies from the past, time and time again. Mormonism has plenty. Jehovah’s Witnesses have plenty. They often overlap as to their favorite falsehoods. Both cults are American Made.

Bonus: Mormonism has 4 Earth Gods: Mormon God the Father, who was created and later became a mormonic god. Mormon Jesus, who started life as a created spirit-being (just like Satan), The mormon Holy Ghost, who was created, but did not get a body because he did something naughty and finally Mormon Heavenly Mother, who was a created spirit being, who got a body and is now eternally sealed to Mormon God the Father. They breed in the heavens. She is eternally pregnant and pops out spirit children to populate the earth.

There may be more than one Mormon Heavenly Mother... the mormonic verses and cult teach there is eternal polygamy.


46 posted on 07/06/2013 8:36:41 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” - Tacitus)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion
Did you ever read anything about the squabbles between the 4th century Nicene Branch and Arian Branch Christians? Yeah, the Nicenes won by majority decree, book burnings, executions and the like.

But I fail to see how that makes them any more sound doctrinally than the defeated Arians. Notwithstanding that I find a few things wrong with Arian branch theology as well.

Nor do I see how taking literally repeated scriptural references to Jesus being the only begotten son of God somehow makes him less than God.

Meanwhile, I notice both of your identified cult sects (Mormons and JWs) which you so heartily condemn are still very much standing their ground against homosexual marriage whereas the Nicene mainline protestant sects have, for the most part, surrendered to the gay mafia. Said surrender really makes them little different than the "cafeteria Catholics" like Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden.

47 posted on 07/08/2013 11:17:35 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman

Vigilanteman,
Like your scree name.

You wrote:

“Did you ever read anything about the squabbles between the 4th century Nicene Branch and Arian Branch Christians? Yeah, the Nicenes won by majority decree, book burnings, executions and the like.”

Yes, extensive study of Church history that included original sources, church historians and classroom. Your summary misses that Arianism was a false understanding of the nature of God and was condemned by the Church. During the early centuries, the Church was under attack from all kinds of heresies that were being presented as truth. The Church had to come together and publicly state what the Apostle’s teachings and understanding of Christianity actually was and what it was not.

“But I fail to see how that makes them any more sound doctrinally than the defeated Arians. Notwithstanding that I find a few things wrong with Arian branch theology as well.”

If so, this is evidence that you should do more study theologically and then historically. If you start with false teaching and bring it into the Scriptures, your premise defines the conclusion. That is eisogesis FRiend. Start with the Bible apart from the teachings of Mormonism.

“Nor do I see how taking literally repeated scriptural references to Jesus being the only begotten son of God somehow makes him less than God.”

Here it appears that your problem is understanding the theological term “Only Begotten Son of God.’ Mormons look at all of Scripture from an earthly perspective. Again, when you are entering the room, you are carrying a curelom with you. Leave him outside the door and study what is said - instead of looking for what you were taught. I mean that in the kindest way.

“Meanwhile, I notice both of your identified cult sects (Mormons and JWs) which you so heartily condemn are still very much standing their ground against homosexual marriage”

They are right to do so. That does not make them right theologically when they pervert the image of God. JWs are hard workers. A great ethic. That does not make their perversion of Christ valid. Mormons are (largely) nice and I’ve had a number of friends and business acquaintances that are mormon. That does not make their bad theology correct.

“whereas the Nicene mainline protestant sects have, for the most part, surrendered to the gay mafia. Said surrender really makes them little different than the “cafeteria Catholics” like Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden.”

God is perfectly capable of “taking away the lamp” from Churches that have died. Of course Churches like that no longer have Biblical Standards. God warned us against this and He will judge them.

That has nothing to do with the perversion of the image of God by cults or by “mainline denominations”.


48 posted on 07/08/2013 12:46:02 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” - Tacitus)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion
What you say might be right. Or it may be just your own way of looking at things.

Bottom line is that I maintain a healthy suspicion of any dogma which is enforced with executions and book burnings, either now or in the past.

49 posted on 07/15/2013 10:51:48 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman

“Bottom line is that I maintain a healthy suspicion of any dogma which is enforced with executions and book burnings, either now or in the past.”

I think we agree.

I certainly agree that there is no reason for fallen humans to kill or burn books. Truth can withstand scrutiny.

I cannot help the failings of others in the past - or I would believe absolutely nothing today!


50 posted on 07/15/2013 11:22:37 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” - Tacitus)
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