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  1. #1
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    Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

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    Enough discussion of Mormonism has taken place in the thread Not every group that uses the name "Church" is Christian. to lead me to create a thread for those interested to specifically discuss Mormonism. Here Mormon theology can be discussed and compared or contrasted to any other religion. I am particularly interested in noting the dissimilarities between LDS beliefs and historic Christianity of the last 2000 years, with the express purpose that others would not confuse two simply because of the similarity of the official name of the group "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" with other historic Christian denominations. Others may wish to make comparision contrasts to it and their own or another's religion.

    I am using the term "historic Christian denominations" to refer to those that can collectively trace their roots back through either the Catholic churches, the Orthodox churches, or the Assyrian churches. These churches would then include, among others, the denominations known as the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Coptic Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Anglican Church (also known as the Episcopal Church), the Southern Baptist Church, the Mennonite Church, the Society of Friends (the Quakers), the Presbyterian Church, the Reformed Church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the United Methodist Church. Some of these historically Christian denominations even have strongly different theological views -- for instance those of the Oriental Orthodox branch (such as the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, and the Coptic Orthodox Church) differ from the other branches in that they have a different view of the nature of Christ seeing that he had only one nature, not two (as the rest of historic Christianity holds). Yet all hold to a common history tracing their history back through the various patristic early church fathers to the apostles and thence to Christ himself.

    This common history, even with major theological differences, distinguishes them from restorationist groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Resortationist groups not only reject the historic teachings of the historic Christian denominations but believe that there once existed another teaching predating those taught by these historic Christian denominations which the restorationists have been able to recover (usually by means of some sort of new divine revelation) and then seek to "restore" and sweep aside as corrupt or apostate all other teachings (of historic Christianity) as having been based on a false teaching from the beginning.

    These restorationist groups may not agree with one another, but they have in common that they reject the teachings of the historic Christian denominations as being truly Christian in favor of their own. Whereas, the historic Christian denominations may indeed have sectarian disagreements with the conclusions reached by other historic Christian denominations regarding certain points of faith; they do not reject them as being categorically non-Christian.

    The term "cult" can have many different meanings. As I am using it here, I only mean "cult" refers to a religious group that has broken off from another religion - differing significantly in theology and/or practice. Thus, it would be correct to say that early, first century Christianity was itself a cult in that it broke off, differing significantly from Judaism. In the degree to which Christianity differs so much from Judaism as to become a new religion, so too does Mormonism differ from historic Christianity.

    It is not my goal to say that one religion is right and another is wrong. It is my goal to say that Mormonism is so significantly different from historic Christianity, or any other existent religion, that is should be considered as a unique religion of its own. (And though not the purpose of this thead, I would make the same claim regarding Jehovah's Witnesses.)
    Last edited by Grace Seeker; 12-07-2006 at 06:21 AM.

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Christian beliefs and Mormon beliefs about God differ significantly. Though some misunderstand Christian descriptions of the Trinity to be a belief in three Gods, it is not. Christianity (even trinitarian Christianity) is decidely monotheistic. Whereas Mormonism is polytheistic.


    Christian belief based on the Bible:
    "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. (John 17:3)

    Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. (1 Corinthians 8:4)

    yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (1 Corinthians 8:6)

    There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)

    Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)


    Mormon beliefs are based on more than just the Bible and include these teachings:
    LDS standard works the Book of Mormon (BoM), Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), and Pearl of Great Price (PoGP) claim that the heavens and earth were created by a council of Gods.

    “…the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was…” (D&C 121:32)

    The Gods plan the creation of the earth and all life thereon… (PoGP:Abraham 4:Heading)

    …And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. (PoGP:Abraham 4:1)

    The fourth chapter of Abraham continues a description of the creation account substituting the words "the Gods" for "God" found in the Genesis creation account. In fact, the term "the Gods" is found in every verse of Abraham 4 except 13, 15, 23 and 30.4 The idea that this was a council of Gods can be seen in Abraham 5:

    And the Gods said among themselves: On the seventh time we will end our work, which we have counseled; and we will rest on the seventh time from all our work which we have counseled. (PoGP:Abraham 5:2)

    The Gods are credited with more aspects of creation in Abraham 5 (which parallels Genesis 2).5 LDS scripture clearly teaches polytheism, in contrast to Christianity, which teaches monotheism. This is not a minor difference in theology!

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Everything about another religion certainly WILL BE blur, cause no one responsible for the autenthic story in it. No longer original. In Islam, the history based from the sanad. Sanad is a chain of naration of the hadith. And everyone who is in this chain called rawi. And each of them will be checked by the scholar, wether theyre a lier, weak memorize, or maybe the chain cut in the middle, and all. Its so accurate, so thats why the hadith which is sahih (strong) came to us from the trusty person. And if theres a lier in the chain, then teh scholar will find it out insha Allah. So thats why Islam and its hollybook always be taken care off and far away from distorsion, addition, contradiction, and all. Alhamdulillah. Not like the Christian, the Xtian them self dont know which is the verse in the bible till original, and there are so many contradiction in it. Masha ALlah
    Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity


    Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny? Woe unto the repudiators on that day!

    Wanna know more sunnah: Go to http://www.islamicboard.com/islamic-...do-u-know.html. No muslims can life without sunnah.

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    More differences in beliefs regarding the nature of God.


    Christianity teaches, as does the Bible, that God is not like human beings, having flesh and blood, but is a spiritual being, something wholly other and different from humanity.

    "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)

    Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God... (1 Timothy 1:17)

    Even though Christians believe that God did manifest himself in the flesh in Jesus, it was just that a manifestation, a showing of himself to humanity, it was not his essential nature. God is not made of earthly materials and to create images of him from such is to commit idolatry.
    "...and [they] exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures." (Romans 1:23)

    Thus, even though I recognize how some might be confused because of historic Christian views regarding Jesus as God in the flesh, the historic Christian understanding is that the Bible states that God is an invisible spirit that cannot be contained even within the entirety of the universe.

    Not surprisingly then, it follows that Christianity teaches that God is an eternal being. Both the Old Testament and New Testament affirm that eternality is an essential characteristic of God's nature. According to the Bible, God has always existed:

    Thy throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting. (Psalms 93:2)

    The Bible also claims that God is the uncaused cause of everything in the universe:

    "It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands, And I ordained all their host. (Isaiah 45:12)

    "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created." (Revelation 4:11)




    Contrast this with the Mormon teachings regarding God:

    The Mormon scriptures teach that God has a body of flesh and bones.

    "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us." (D&C 130:22)

    The official Mormon teaching book, Gospel Principles, teaches that God "was once a man like us":

    "This is the way our Heavenly Father became God. Joseph Smith taught: 'It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God. . . . He was once a man like us; . . . God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth... (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-46)."

    Gospel Principles goes on to state that not only did God once have a mortal body, but He still possesses a body "that looks like ours" and is made of "flesh and bones":

    Because we are made in his image (see Moses 6:9), we know that God has a body that looks like ours. His eternal spirit is housed in a tangible body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22).9

    According to Mormon theology, God was created. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, taught that God began His existence the same way as all men did - He was created and lived a mortal life as a man on "an earth." The principle is still taught by the Mormon church, as seen in Gospel Principles: “This is the way our Heavenly Father became God. Joseph Smith taught: ‘It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God. . . . He was once a man like us; . . . God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did’ (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-46).”

    One of the most radical departures from historic Christianity is the Mormon teaching that humans can become gods through obedience to "the gospel." Gospel Principles says that Temple Mormons (select Mormons who go through special rites) can progress to Godhead, just as God the Father did:

    "If we prove faithful to the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted, just like our Heavenly Father. Exaltation is the greatest gift that Heavenly Father can give his children (see D&C 14:7)."
    "These are some of the blessings given to exalted people:
    1. They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C 76).
    2. They will become gods."
    "When we lived with our Heavenly Father, he explained a plan for our progression. We could become like him, an exalted being." (Gospel Principles, chapter 47)


    I don't think I have to get to the differences between Mormon and Christian views of Jesus Christ to illustrate how decidedly different their teachings are from historic Christianity, that despite their claims to be Christian, that they mean something so different from the rest of Christendom, that you cannot speak of the two groups by the same name.

    If Mormons are Christians, then by their definition all others who historically call themselves Christians are really Gentiles -- "Gentile: A person who does not belong to the chosen people. The scriptures use the word to mean (1) non-Israelites, and (2) nonmembers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka, Mormons)."

    For more Mormon terms and theology see Gospel Principles.

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhulqarnaeen View Post
    Everything about another religion certainly WILL BE blur, cause no one responsible for the autenthic story in it. No longer original. In Islam, the history based from the sanad. Sanad is a chain of naration of the hadith. And everyone who is in this chain called rawi. And each of them will be checked by the scholar, wether theyre a lier, weak memorize, or maybe the chain cut in the middle, and all. Its so accurate, so thats why the hadith which is sahih (strong) came to us from the trusty person. And if theres a lier in the chain, then teh scholar will find it out insha Allah. So thats why Islam and its hollybook always be taken care off and far away from distorsion, addition, contradiction, and all. Alhamdulillah. Not like the Christian, the Xtian them self dont know which is the verse in the bible till original, and there are so many contradiction in it. Masha ALlah

    Interestingly enough, Mormons make the same claim regarding their scriptures which were revealed to Joseph Smith: The Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price that Muslims make for the Qur'an. That is they claim that God revealed it to one man, and that it corrected all the errors which had existed before in corrupted Christianity.

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Thanks for this interesting thread, Grace Seeker.
    I am about to be swept away by the getting-ready-for-school-thing, but hopefully I will have some time for more thorough reading later ...

    I came across a Book of Mormons in a charity shop the other day, and was amazed by how totally different it is from the Bible ...
    I nearly bought it for more careful reading, but in the end chose not to.

    Peace
    Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Peace
    glo

    Here I stand.
    I can do no other.
    May God help me.
    Amen.

    Come, let us worship and bow down •
    and kneel before the Lord our Maker

    [Psalm 95]


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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    glo, in truth, very little Mormon theology comes from the Book of Mormon. I wouldn't buy it. You could probably find a Mormon missionary some place who will be glad to give you one. Now the other books that I have referenced here, they do have a lot of Mormon theology in them. And Smith had is own sort of hadeeth too that still influences much of Mormonism. But begin with the website I have provided the link for (it is straight from the Mother Church in Salt Lake City, Utah). You may not need anything else.

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    But why World Christian Encyclopedia describes the Mormons as Marginal Christians?
    Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Assalamualaykum... I am back!!

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Narrated by: Abu Musa Al-Ashari

    The Prophet said, "None is more patient than Allah against the harmful and annoying words He hears (from the people): They ascribe children to Him, yet He bestows upon them health and provision ."

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by north_malaysian View Post
    But why World Christian Encyclopedia describes the Mormons as Marginal Christians?
    You probably would get your best answer by actually asking them. I understand that the encyclopedia is basically the work (and opinion) of one man, so you might actually get a response. In the meantime I'll suggest two probable reasons:
    1) there is general lack of agreement as to a definition of "Who is Christian?". Snakelegs says anyone who claims themselves to be is. Keltoi restricted it to people who believed some specific set of things about Jesus. Who knows what definition this particular encyclopedia used? That's why I elected not to even try to define it, but just to make note that even Mormons themselves will agree that they have very different beliefs from what historically has been called Christianity.
    2) by terming them "marginal" they are saying that they can hardly be classified the same as "traditional". In the first century, persons like Nero probably thought of Christians as "marginal" Jews.

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    Christian beliefs and Mormon beliefs about God differ significantly. Though some misunderstand Christian descriptions of the Trinity to be a belief in three Gods, it is not. Christianity (even trinitarian Christianity) is decidely monotheistic. Whereas Mormonism is polytheistic.


    Christian belief based on the Bible:
    "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. (John 17:3)

    Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. (1 Corinthians 8:4)

    yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (1 Corinthians 8:6)

    There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)

    Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)


    Mormon beliefs are based on more than just the Bible and include these teachings:
    LDS standard works the Book of Mormon (BoM), Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), and Pearl of Great Price (PoGP) claim that the heavens and earth were created by a council of Gods.

    “…the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was…” (D&C 121:32)

    The Gods plan the creation of the earth and all life thereon… (PoGP:Abraham 4:Heading)

    …And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. (PoGP:Abraham 4:1)

    The fourth chapter of Abraham continues a description of the creation account substituting the words "the Gods" for "God" found in the Genesis creation account. In fact, the term "the Gods" is found in every verse of Abraham 4 except 13, 15, 23 and 30.4 The idea that this was a council of Gods can be seen in Abraham 5:

    And the Gods said among themselves: On the seventh time we will end our work, which we have counseled; and we will rest on the seventh time from all our work which we have counseled. (PoGP:Abraham 5:2)

    The Gods are credited with more aspects of creation in Abraham 5 (which parallels Genesis 2).5 LDS scripture clearly teaches polytheism, in contrast to Christianity, which teaches monotheism. This is not a minor difference in theology!


    Peace Bro,

    all that G-d(S) stuff can get confusing. iirc, and it may be a translation problem with Hebrew. the problem get's down to what is meant by "divine" and G-d vrs gods.

    Islam seeks to clarify this as ascribing "divinity to other than Allah(SWT)" is the greatest sin, along with hypocrisy. May Allah(SWT) keep us all free of both! Ameen!

    even in the OT, any translation (eek, haven't checked Farah Fenton {erm, recently}yet) ends up using words such as "divine" to deal with beings that we can't see. thus, divinity is ascribed to angelic forces but i think it refers more to the "spirit realm" than to "being a G-d". kwim? "unintentional" shirk, maybe, as it, imho, can pro'lly be attributed to the actually Hebrew words. Elohim is plural, iirc.

    so we might be close to agreement on whether Mormons should be classified as Christians, i'm not sure that passages you quoted really differ that much "in intent" than the OT. the OT DOES say "We created man in Our image". see what i mean?

    in the Qur'an, different pronouns are used when "Allah(SWT) is quoted directly", but in any annotated Qur'an, this is usally explained EACH & EVERY time, which i why i don't recommend "translations" that lack thorough explanation.

    i read that you can read Greek, do you own a Septuagant? it would be interesting to hear how creation is described in there!

    in relation to another statement :
    That is they claim that God revealed it to one man, and that it corrected all the errors which had existed before in corrupted Christianity.
    i don't think you understand the nature of the Qur'an and Islam quite fully. i view more in the lines of: Christiany claims a "new Covenant" with G-d, yet we don't have a "book" that informs us just what that "covenant" should be, hence, all the different "Chrisitan" interpretations of what it is. whith Islam however, you put the Qur'an together with Sunnah you have something that 90% of Muslims are in agreement with.

    the Qur'an doesn't say "here's what wrong with the bibles and here how we correct them". as in Surah Al Fatihah, it's more like: Jews have angered Allah(SWT)[by repeated rejecting Him], and Christians have gone astray, by "ascribing partners" with Allah(SWT). it dosn't go back and "fill in the blanks" so to speak, as those topics are covered somewhat, but the more imoprtant thing is "not to anger Allah(SWT)" and don't "ascribe partners" to Him.

    Understanding the "Oneness" of Alllah(SWT) and not angering Allah(SWT), obeying and not "ascribing partners" to Allah(SWT) could thus be a sentence that describes Islam.

    does that make sense to you?

    Peace,



    Yusuf

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    I was slightly uncomfortable with "defining" Christianity, but I assumed that one should look at the basic foundation of Christianity, which is the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is only my personal opinion that to be Christian you must accept Christ as the Son of God who died for your sins and was resurrected. Although that seems a fairly practical definition to me.
    Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    "Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."

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    May Allah have mercy on him رحمة الله عليه

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Religious definitions are defined by the purpose of the author defining them. If the information is to be used as a reference of a religious organisation, the definition will probably be limited to what every place of worship an individual attends and would be very limited, but very specific.

    If the information is written to show the demographics of a region the definitions would be whatever a person calls thems self.

    To fully understand any reference work it is important to know who wrote it and for what prpose it was written and what method was used to gather the information.

    Most general referance works are broad and will count a person as being of what faith they are based on the person's preference. The source gathering is usually individual rqandom surveys and recorded public religious records.
    Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity




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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Hi,

    So from what I understand so far, Congregations like LDS and JWs do not hold any place under the umbrella of Historic Christianity.

    But what it is that they believe is that their understand was the original message which died out or became curropted but then was revived in various ways.

    In conclusion they may not be under our present or past view of Historic Christianity but they are under the wider definition that Keltoi gave of a Christian.

    Am I following correct?
    Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    The path is long but I hope we meet,
    After the grave and the Day, in paradise in bliss upon a reclined seat.

    A traveler traveling - travelled from shirk to tawheed,
    If I'm remembered for anything - let it be the Mercy I seek.

    Your Bro. Abu Hurayra, al-Habeshi

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Habeshi View Post
    Hi,

    So from what I understand so far, Congregations like LDS and JWs do not hold any place under the umbrella of Historic Christianity.

    But what it is that they believe is that their understand was the original message which died out or became curropted but then was revived in various ways.

    In conclusion they may not be under our present or past view of Historic Christianity but they are under the wider definition that Keltoi gave of a Christian.

    Am I following correct?
    I know the JWS are not trinitarian and do not believe Isa died for sins, but set an example, So they would not meet Keltoi's definition. As far as Mormons I am totaly lost as to what they believe. I have read the book of Mormom and I still can not say what they do believe.
    Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity




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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    today I just saw a book and it was like this one (see the link below) and it says 'Another Testament of Jesus Christ'.

    http://www.intellectualconservative....ges/mormon.jpg

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    May Allah have mercy on him رحمة الله عليه

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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    That is the "Book of Mormom" Jesus is not mentioned in it. It was allegedly give to Joseph Smith on golden tablets. It is basicaly the history of North and South American and was allegedly given to Joseph Smith by an Angel named Moroni. It tells mostly about the American Natives living in South America and how they were the chosen people.
    Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity




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    Re: Please don't confuse Mormonism with historic Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodrow View Post
    I know the JWS are not trinitarian and do not believe Isa died for sins, but set an example, So they would not meet Keltoi's definition. As far as Mormons I am totaly lost as to what they believe. I have read the book of Mormom and I still can not say what they do believe.

    Here again is the link to Gosepl Principles which is a website provided by the Mormons which makes clear their theology. Also you might note the quotes I cited above from the various Mormon scriptures they use in addition to the Book of Mormon. Those books include: The Pearl of Great Price and Doctrines and Covenants. There is much more Mormon theology in those books than in The Book of Mormon.

    Mormons would not meet Keltoi's definition of Christian either (though they would probably meet Snakeleg's definition).
    Last edited by Grace Seeker; 12-10-2006 at 01:12 AM. Reason: added the link and listed the actual book's names


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