Do you think Mormons are true Christians?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Alan McDougall, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Before he was crowned, Selassie's name was Ras Tafari Makonnen. That's where the name "Rastafari" comes from.

    I don't think that's a particularly unique point of view.

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    Selassie's grandson, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, lives with his wife, Kebede, in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington DC. The Washington Post interviewed her and asked what it was like having to give up the fairy tale of being a princess. She had just returned from a supermarket that stocks food from all over the world, walking down a street so clean you could eat off of it, through air so clean you could breathe it, among a population so well integrated that a Euro-American, a Chinese, a Russian and a Latin American all smiled at her and greeted her, and was making dinner with appliances that she thought only NASA had.

    She answered, "Maybe there still are fairy tales. They just happen in lands far, far away, like Alexandria."

    Best comment I've ever heard about the good ol' USA.

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    I-rie!
     
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  3. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    There are about twice as many Christians in Ethiopia as there are Rastafarians in Jamaica. Ethopia has a role in the early development of Christianity. True Bible scholars would want to familiarize themselves with the Ethopian Bible

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopian_Biblical_canon
     
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  5. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Mormons are double Christians. They believe in twice as many Jesuses as the rest of them.
     
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  7. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Do you even think Christians are true faithful (i.e moving with faith)?
     
  8. Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History! Valued Senior Member

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    *************
    M*W: Why does it matter?
     
  9. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Yes they do, but it is not "black" but dark skin. Their prophet has eliminated race discrimination within the church. I believe that was done in the 1970's when the church came under scrutiny for its racist practices. In a way it is similar to its position on polygamy. When the church came under scrutiny for its polygamy practices, their prophet had another divine revelation which abolished the practice.
     
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    It depends on how you define Christianity. If you believe acceptance of the trinity is your line in the sand, then no, Mormons (Latter Day Saints) are not Christian. If you line in the sand is a belief in the divinity of Christ, then they are Christian. But Mormons believe that everyone is divine, that everyone will be as Christ as we are all the children of God in a very literal sense.

    So your answer depends on how you define Christianity. Traditional Christians view Mormons as apostates. And Mormons view traditional Christianity as apostate as well. So take your pick. God has given you many choices.
     
  11. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

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    No, I do not think that Mormons are true Christians. But then again, I do not believe that anyone today is a true Christian, so that is not something to revile them with.
     
  12. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Mormons believe the Bible to be the Word of God, but as others have indicated, there are some fundamental differences between Christianity and Mormons. Like many religions, they have additional writings (Book of Mormon) in addition to the Bible.

    I believe that a fundamental difference is with regards to how they view "salvation."

    The Mormon church teaches two kinds of salvation, neither of which can be found in the Bible. One of these kinds of salvation is an unconditional or general salvation which comes by grace alone without any obedience to gospel law and consists in the mere fact of being resurrected after death. The Latter Day Saint believes that all people will automatically be resurrected from the grave. This convenient belief down plays the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They choose to believe in different levels of heaven or glory rather than in the existence of a hell, therefore the savior would seem to be of no real importance.

    The second kind of salvation taught by the Mormon Church is a conditional or individual salvation. This salvation also comes by grace, but requires gospel obedience, is based on works and consists of reaching a higher level of heaven, the highest being the Kingdom of God. (paraphrasing from something I've read on Mormons and salvation)

    Another reason I don't bother with religion anymore as each one interprets "God's Word" a bit differently. If God exists, why isn't there a unified understanding of him?
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Because, apparently, that's not what he wanted so he created us this way.

    He could have made us perfect. Although that would be really nice for the roughly one hundred billion humans who have lived on this planet, I guess it would be boring for the one deity. So, selfishly, he didn't do it.

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  14. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    He did make us perfect, remember? But, Adam and Eve mucked it up in the Garden of Eden and all of humanity would forever pay the price of that 'original sin'. :facepalm:
     
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    You're not helping!
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    If we were perfect, we wouldn't be so stupid as to muck things up.
     
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed, Ethiopia was the first Christian nation.
     
  18. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, yeah. But, there’s this little thing known as ''free will.'' That’s why we muck things up, ya know.

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  19. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Where did you get that idea? Before the Roman empire?
     
  20. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Yes before the Roman Empire. It is not an idea, it is a fact…a fact I came across some 20 plus years ago while reading a text.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Ethiopia#Christian_Roots

    “Although Christianity existed long before the rule of King Ezana the Great of the Kingdom of Axum, the religion took a strong foothold when it was declared a state religion in 330 AD. Pinpointing a date as to when Christianity emerged in Ethiopia is uncertain. The earliest and best known reference to the introduction of Christianity is in the New Testament (Acts 8:26-38[4]) when Philip the Evangelist converted an Ethiopian court official in the 1st Century AD. Scholars, however, argue that Ethiopian (which in Greek means "having a dark skin color") was a common term used for black Africans, and that the Queen Candace served by this official actually ruled in nearby Nubia (modern Sudan).

    According to church historian Nicephorus, the apostle St. Matthew,[5] later preached the Christian Gospel to modern-day Ethiopia (then called Colchis) after having preached in Judea.[6] Rufinus of Tyre, a noted church historian, recorded a personal account as did other church historians such as Socrates and Sozemius. The Garima Gospels are thought to be the world's oldest illuminated Christian manuscripts.” - Wikipedia

    Christianity didn't become the Roman state religion until 380 AD with the Edict of Thessalonica issued by Theodosius the 1st.
     
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    So: having free will makes us "imperfect." Therefore, computers are more perfect than we are?

    Only a twisted philosophy like religion could come up with that!
     
  22. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    sniffle, sob. yes. :bawl:

    :scratchin:

    Aw, you say that like it's a bad thing.

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  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not convinced that 'Christianity' is a single thing, or that there's really such a thing as 'true' Christians. In my view Christianity is a diverse and heterogeneous family of historical tradition, defined by having its origin and by finding its inspiration in the person of Jesus.

    We can identify several different varieties of very early Christians, such as the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem, centered around Jesus' brother James, the churches established by Paul's evangelical mission to what is now Turkey, the so-called 'gnostics' that became popular in places like Egypt, and so on. It might be kind of an historical accident that the Jewish Christians were wiped out in the Jewish wars of 70 and 130 CE, and the gnostics divided up into lots of little mystical sects and fizzled out several hundred years later. So it happened to be Paul's community up in Turkey that collected the most important of its own in-house writings in the form of the 'New Testament', which has come to represent what most people today think of as normative Christianity.

    Certainly the Mormons adding new inspired writings alongside what mainstream Christianity had already come to think of as a fixed Biblical canon does separate them from mainstream Christianity.

    We can look at historical parallels of that. The early Pauline Christians' addition of their 'New Testament' to the existing Hebrew scriptures was never accepted by mainstream Jews. And during and after the Jewish wars, when the Jewish Temple was destroyed by the Romans and the Jews were driven out of Jerusalem, passions grew so hot that traditional Jews refused to accept that Christians really were Jews at all, not even heretical ones, while the Christians insisted that they enjoyed a brand new covenant with God, through Jesus' incarnation, death and triumphant rise, and that they were in fact God's new chosen people. So the two traditions split like a Y. The mainstream Jews, originally far more numerous than what was originally a small Jesus cult, retreated into themselves after losing the Jewish wars and became a closed hereditary caste. Simultaneously, the Pauline Christian side of the Y became the Hari Krishnas of their day, busily evangelizing their 'gospel', trying to convert everyone who would listen, and eventually became vastly more numerous and powerful than the old and shrunken Jewish community.

    Contrast that with Buddhism. The Buddha lived in the 400's BCE, and his early monastic community evolved and elaborated for several hundred years. Around the same time as Jesus, the mainstream Buddhists established a fixed canon of writings (actually several variants on it, native to different schools) embodying the tradition of the early centuries. The Pali canon is an example of this. These writings represented the traditional doctrine of conservative Buddhism, the Buddhism that tried to remain true to the earliest teachings.

    And alongside this, more avant-garde monks were continuing to write a whole host of new sutras, containing new ideas and new doctrines. These came to be called (by their proponents) Mahayana sutras. Interestingly, the vastly enlarged Mahayana canon never really closed. New writings continued to be added to it for many centuries, and today nobody really knows precisely how many Mahayana sutras there are.

    So Buddhist history has kind of a Y shape as well. But unlike the Jewish-Christian split, the division in Buddhism didn't result in two self-consciously different religions. Buddhists on both sides of the Y continued to think of their opposite numbers as Buddhists. Of course the conservative Theravada sometimes thought of the Mahayana as espousing fantastic and heretical ideas, while the Mahayanists sometimes thought of the conservatives as following a crude and inferior form of Buddhism suitable only for lesser aspirants. I guess that the Theravada/Mahayana division in Buddhism might be more akin to the Catholic/Protestant division in Christianity. While both sides of that split criticize each other, they still acknowledge the other side as 'Christians'.

    So it's interesting to speculate on which way the LDS/traditional Christian split is going to go in coming centuries. Will the Mormons gradually deviate to the point where they and other Christians no longer recognize themselves as belonging to the same religion? The Jews and the early Christians evolved that way. Or will the LDS/traditional Christian split be more like the Theravada/Mahayana split in Buddhism, expanding the scope of what the word 'Christianity' contains and adding new scriptures to it, without totally rupturing it?

    It's religious history in the making, as we speak.
     

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