Are Mormons Christians?

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June 15, 2009
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I figured it was about time I add my USD $0.02/CAN $0.03 to this debate.

To get to the bottom of the matter I conducted a highly scientific poll in which I texted 25 random Mormon friends of mine asking them “Are you Christian?” Of those, 17 responded (the other 8 were probably busy watching the Red Sox wail on the Yankees). Here’s what they replied:

  • Yes
  • Yes i am christian.
  • Yes sir
  • I don’t know what answer you want… Yes, i am…I believe in christ and try my best to follow him
  • Yes!
  • yep
  • Yes, clearly
  • Yes
  • heretofore yes
  • Ain’t no thang. Good luck to your hide. I’ll let you know of our next potential gatherin’ (note: I suspect that this one might not be in response to my question…)
  • Yes!
  • just simple yes or not? yes. if you want more detailed let me know.
  • You bet.
  • Yes. 🙂 (an emoticon!)
  • I am and know that he leads this church.
  • Of course
  • Yes

And the last friend of mine responded by actually calling me up and flabbergastedly (probably not a word) asking me why I’d ever even ask him that — of course he’s Christian! So, there you have it, at 17 votes to none the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian religion. That is, according to Mormons anyway. They say this because Christ is the central figure of Mormon theology.  “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:26). In the words of Joseph Smith, “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” Susan Easton Black, a church scholar (and coincidentally my neighbor) calculated that Christ or His ministry is mentioned on the average every 1.7 verses in the Book of Mormon. Mormon teaching is preeminently Christ-centered.

It seems the major part of the dear Mother Earth’s population agree that we are Christians. To a Muslim, Mormons are Christians; to a Buddhist, Mormons are Christian. I’m guessing that even a Pastafarian would probably call Mormons Christians. The problem is that some members of other religions chilling out under the holy umbrella of Christianity don’t like sharing the dry space. They claim that since some of our beliefs differ from that of “traditional” Christians, we shouldn’t be allowed use of the term. And they have a point — truly we are different in many ways (and proudly so, I say).  Our view of Christ differs from a Lutheran’s point of view of Christ just as a Baptist’s view of Him differs from a Catholic’s, but it should not be these doctrinal differences that define Christianity (read more about our view of Christ here).

a very Christian treeThe question at heart here is this: who has the right to determine the definition of the word “Christian”? Let’s look at the term’s history. According to Acts 11:26, the disciples of Christ were first called “Christians” at Antioch. The term meant someone who was a follower of the man Jesus. And the term went from there, eventually being applied to the Catholic and Orthodox churches and the many denominations that later started springing up. But today, no one really owns the legal rights to such terms. Certainly Evangelical Christians (who seem to take most issue with this claim) don’t own these rights. The term should be defined in the same way as any other term: by how it has been used by the common person over the course of many years. If any one group did own the rights, it would be the Catholics—the Christians who have been around the longest.

But I say we leave the definition up to the most reliable definitional source we humans have: www.merriam-webster.com which provides the following:

Main Entry: Chris·tian

Function: noun

Etymology: Latin christianus, adjective & noun, from Greek christianos, from Christos

1: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

2: the hero in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

So as long as you’re asking me if I’m a Christian in the first definition’s sense, then yes, I’m unquestionably a Christian.  And that rounds out the 4 ways in which Mormons are Christians:  1) By self definition, 2) By majority vote of the earth’s population, 3) By original definition of the word “Christian”, and 4) By current dictionary definition of the same.

I know Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, that He lived and performed miracles and died for us. I know He rose again on that blessed third day. I know He loves me and that through His atoning sacrifice I can overcome sin and be saved.  I’m grateful to Christian friends and neighbors of the Mormon and non-Mormon type who spread the good news of His gospel.

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80 Responses to “Are Mormons Christians?”

  1. Kimo,

    Maybe you’re right; perhaps we should not care what anyone considers us, so long as we know we’re Christians, and God knows we’re Christians. Maybe it’s an irrational defensiveness. Perhaps it’s just a flaw of human nature to dislike hearing people tell you that you are not something that you consider yourself to be.

    Which makes me wonder again why the Evangelical Christian community (and it would appear, few others), care so much about insisting that we are not. (A quick google search on “Mormons Christian” will show which side the bulk of the noise over the matter comes from.)

    I wonder, also, why you keep saying that “Mormons aren’t considered Christians”. I’m really not convinced that that is the case. Maybe I’m reading the wrong articles on wikipedia, but it would appear that most disinterested parties do consider us Christians. And they invariably define a Christian as something like: anyone who professes that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, or: anyone professes to follow the teachings of Jesus. Both of which we do.
    (Please note the presence of the word “professes” in the definitions.)

    As for your question regarding Jehovah’s witnesses and Christian Scientists, I’m at a loss. I’m not sure who Mormons would consider Christians. We don’t generally take up the important burden of classifying self-proclaimed Christians as Really Christian or Not Really Christian.

    I can answer for myself, I suppose: if a Jehovah’s Witness said, “hey, I believe that Jesus is the Christ”, I’d say, “well, my friend, you are a Christian.”

    This conversation seems to be getting circular already. I think whatdomormonsbelieve.com is a forum to achieve mutual understanding and not universal agreement; Kimo, I know that you have different criteria for who is Christian and who is not. I think I understand them. I hope you understand why we disagree.

  2. Kimo

    Thaddeus,

    The link you gave had a much better thought out piece on this issue, however I still find that it requires a big stretch of reason and there are many holes. The biggest “hole” not really addressed is why Joseph Smith would copy over transcriptural errors if he was divinely guided. It just doesn’t make sense.

    I have read the book of Mormon because I want to be informed and understanding. I appreciated your sincere seeking of God and you seem like a great guy. You should try out some of the dramatized audio bibles in NIV or more modern translations . . . they are awesome.

  3. Kimo

    Dave,

    The term “Christian” is important during evangelism & when people decide what local church to attend. Just as Mormons do not accept Christians as Latter Day Saints and feel that Catholics/Protestants/etc. are in apostacy, many Christians feel that Mormons have introduced additional writings and theology that are not consistent with fundamental Christian beliefs and don’t want people to confuse the two. Probably more evangelicals feel this way because they seem to have a stronger desire to evangelize & reach out to others?

    The keys differences that seem to separate Mormons and Christians comes down to who they say Jesus is and who they say God is. For example, how can worthy Mormon males become Gods in the afterlife when God already said that before him no God was formed, nor will there be any Gods formed after him (Isaiah 43:10)? Mormons believe in a plurality of Gods in the universe & Christians believe in one God over all of creation who has no beginning and no end. Christians believe that Jesus has also existed eternally and is co-equal with God the Father and Mormons believe he is one of Gods created sons. If God was once just a man who progressed to becoming a God, how do you explain Psalm 90:2: “…even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God”?

  4. “Christians believe that Jesus has also existed eternally and is co-equal with God the Father and Mormons believe he is one of Gods created sons. If God was once just a man who progressed to becoming a God, how do you explain Psalm 90:2: “…even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God”?”

    Actually, Kimo, you’re a little under-informed about the nuances of Mormon thought, here. Joseph Smith actually taught that NO ONE is “created” out of nothing–that we’re all co-eternal with God. The biggest difference between LDS Christians and Traditional Christians may very well be this LDS rejection out of creation ex nihilo. I just want you to know that it doesn’t quite compute for you refer to LDS thought about Jesus (or us for that matter) as “created” beings.

  5. As to God the Father once having a mortal experience–that is essentially the same as Jesus Christ (Son of God and God the Son) having a moral experience. I don’t believe Joseph Smith was teaching that God was once not God.

    Please see “My Take on Joseph Smith’s King Follet Sermon”:
    http://latterdayspence.blogspot.com/2009/07/my-take-on-joseph-smiths-king-follet.html

  6. The term “Christian” is important during evangelism & when people decide what local church to attend.

    I think that’s exactly what the debate is really about, Kimo. Thank you. The motivation I perceive for excluding Mormons from Christianity is more about preventing people from considering the LDS Church as an option. Our motivation for inclusion in Christianity is the opposite: to prevent people from flippantly dismissing us.

    So why do evangelical Christians not want their friends even to look at Mormonism? Is it really about a doctrinal divide? Sure, there are important differences, but the Christian umbrella has historically included a wide field of mutually exclusive beliefs. (The doctrine of deification — the issue you brought up, Kimo — is at least as old and as Christian as Saint Irenaeus from the 2nd century AD). Plus, I don’t see dry, abstract theology driving a person to campaign so vigorously against a church. Maybe if we killed babies under a new moon every year or something…

    Kimo, you’ve read the Book of Mormon. You probably know several Latter-day Saints. What is it about us that puts a pastor so ill at ease that he’d want to warn his congregation to stay away?

  7. Kimo

    Clean Cut,

    Thanks for clarifying that. I also read your blog and found it very interesting and well written. That is a great family pic & an adorable family. I also have two wonderful girls.

    As far as the word “created” goes, I’d like to use it to mean when we become self-aware entities or “offspring” spiritual or otherwise (regardless of whether one believes that matter or energy are eternal or created out of nothing). If Mormon’s view Jesus as the spiritual offspring of God and his self-aware state of being has a beginning, then I’d conclude that Mormon’s believe Jesus was created/shaped as a spiritual offspring of God and there is a beginning to his self-aware existence. Christians follow the biblical teaching that Jesus is God and has existed as an all powerful, all knowing, never changing self-aware deity with no beginning and no end. This is drastically different than the Mormon conception of God and Jesus as I understand it.

    As I understand it, Mormon’s believe that God the Father was once a spirit child of another God before he became exalted. Is this correct? If so, who was the Father of our “God the Father”? How far back does this progression stretch? Does this mean that our “God the Father” is subject to his Father & Mother?

    By the way, here is a link that I just found that has a fair discussion on what we’ve been discussing:

    http://wri.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/mormon-god.html

  8. Kimo

    Thaddeus,

    I wouldn’t say Christians are out to prevent people from considering the LDS Church. Our great country is founded upon the notion of freedom of religion, so prevent is probably too strong a word. I haven’t noticed anyone campaigning against the Mormon church anywhere that I have ever lived. I also can not remember one sermon from the thousands and thousands of sermons I’ve heard that has ever mentioned or addressed Mormonism. From my personal experience, I haven’t seen anyone out campaigning against Mormonism.

    The theological differences between Mormonism and Christianity are very big regarding the central issues of the faith (God, Jesus). The biggest difference is that Mormon’s accept “scripture” other than the Bible and consider the Bible flawed and inferior to the book of Mormon, DC, Pearl, etc. All other sects of Christianity follow the Bible as their authority. The differences are outlined pretty well in this link:

    http://wri.leaderu.com/mormonism/jesus.html

    Speaking for myself, I would want those who are seeking for God to know that there is a difference between LDS and Christianity. I would want them to know this out of Love and a deep desire for them to know God and be part of his family. I certainly don’t know how God will treat Mormon’s other than what has already been written in the Bible about the Gnostics and Judiasers who taught extra stuff that was not in the Bible and contradicted it with respect to who Jesus is. The bottom line is that any concern is out of a deep love for others and wanting them to discover the truth.

    Also speaking for myself, I love Mormons but feel a natural concern for them also. The many Mormons I know are truly wonderful loving people who are kind and generous. They probably have the same concern for me if they have deeply held beliefs in Mormonism.

    Thanks for mentioning Saint Irenaeus. I looked him up on Wikipedia because I know nothing about him. It seems to me that he was very much against the Gnostics who held beliefs similar to deification. The Bible speaks very clearly against the Gnostics.

  9. Kimo,

    I can certainly appreciate what you’re saying about wanting people to understand that there are differences between your branch of Christianity and ours. I’m glad that we’ve gotten to the root of the issue. Because it certainly is a valid point, and ironically enough, no one understands that better than the Mormons, who, let me tell you, spend a good deal of effort trying not to be mistaken for the fundamentalist Mormon polygamist sects, who are generally considered a “branch” of Mormonism (not unlike how Mormonism is a “branch” of Christianity, or how Christianity is a “branch” of Monotheism).

    In the case of the other Mormon sects, we wouldn’t care what they called themselves, just as long as everyone understands that we are not the same.

    Which, let me also tell you, is a very real issue with the word “Mormon”. Mormonism is so uncommon and young in the world, that I would venture to say that most strangers I meet don’t understand that there are different sects. I can’t tell you how many times while knocking on doors as a missionary (or in my life) that people have literally thought I belonged to an FLDS sect, and practiced polygamy, because I called myself a “Mormon”.

    What has never happened to me, however, is being mistaken for an Evangelical Christian or a Catholic or an Episcopalian or a Lutheran. When people ask me what religion I am, I say “Mormon” or “LDS”, because that gives the most information about me. (I imagine “Restorationist Christian” or “Christian” or “Monotheist” would be 100% correct as well, but you see how it doesn’t quite fully answer the question.) You needn’t worry about our purposely trying to be mistaken for any sort of Christian other than our own. We flaunt our differences. We believe that we are unique in the Christian world–we have more scriptures! Additional revelation!

    Here we may come to the root of the issue. If I’m in the United States, and I ask somewhat what religion they are, and they say “Christian”, I assume something like “nondenominational Christian” or “Evangelical Christian” or “born-again Christian” or something along those lines. I don’t assume that because I think those are the only “true Christians”, just because everyone else refers to themselves more specifically: Catholic, Presbyterian, Jehovah’s Witness, Greek Orthodox, Mormon, etc.

    (Incidentally, when I lived in Jerusalem, I assumed that people who answered “Christian” were Greek Orthodox, and when I was in Egypt, people who answered “Christian” were probably Coptic.)

    Which–and this is what I’ve been trying to get at– is probably why the only people I have ever heard take issue with my classifying my religion as “Christian” are those who do not generally feel the need to classify themselves more specifically. Namely, Evangelical Christians (who, I’ve been told, don’t usually use the word “Evangelical” to refer to themselves amongst themselves).

    So, Kimo, I’m interested to know if Evangelical Christians being mistaken for Mormons, or vice versa, is a common problem, in your experience?

  10. Kimo said:
    “If Mormon’s view Jesus as the spiritual offspring of God and his self-aware state of being has a beginning, then I’d conclude that Mormon’s believe Jesus was created/shaped as a spiritual offspring of God and there is a beginning to his self-aware existence.”

    That’s the debate within Mormonism. Some believe in a spirit “birth”, others believe (like Joseph taught) that spirits are uncreated and eternal. I line up with the latter, who believe that there was never a time when the Son was not. Like the Book of Mormon title page makes clear: “Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God”. Those who believe in a beginning moment of self-awareness, I believe, go beyond a sure foundation.

    Likewise, those who talk about an infinite regression of Gods before God the Father go beyond a sure foundation and into a realm of speculation. A good friend of mine once observed that we Mormons like to dwell on what’s “possible”, but he wished we would focus more on what’s “probable”. I agree. Reading through the Sermon in the Grove in its entirety shows that Joseph Smith is clearly teaching about a “Head God”, which seems to contradict this idea of an infinite regression of Gods. (But traditional ideas still persist).

    You really need to read “My Take on Joseph Smith’s King Follet Sermon”, including the comments: http://latterdayspence.blogspot.com/2009/07/my-take-on-joseph-smiths-king-follet.html

  11. Love

    I like all of these posts, great conversation. I am a Christian, and one of those “far out” Christians – an evangilist! (oh no!). I must say that sometimes I am disturbed at some of my fellow man spending so much time trying to figure out who is or who isn’t a Christian, or who’s religion is right and who’s is wrong. Most religions have a common “commandment” – love. Love thy neighbor, love thine enemy, do unto others . . . etc.

    Let’s stop worrying so much about who or what someone is, just love them anyway! If you think they need “saving” or guidance, then pray for them. I recommend one prays “give so-and-so the guidance they need, and bless me with the guidance I need.” – not “make them believe what I believe”. God knows what every single person needs, He’ll handle it! Just raise a person’s name up to Him, and He’ll take care of the rest.

    I don’t believe that the after-life, Heaven, or whatever you may believe is segregated into religions anyway.

    Just love each other and let God handle the rest. He’s really good at it!

    God bless you all.

  12. Jessica

    I DONT KNOW ANY OTHER RELIGIONS THAT BELIEVE SO MUCH IN GOD AND CHRIST THAT WOULD GIVE THEIR LIFE AND TIME FOR HIM. HAD 2 MORMONS NEIGHBOURS AND HAVE SEEN THE GOOD THEY DO. I HAD NEVER BEFORE MET PEOPLE AS KIND AND HONEST. IF WE DON’T CALL THEM CHRISTIANS THEN WE ARE MISUNDERSTANDING THEIR RELIGION.

  13. Spring

    I did not read all the posts on this blog having today be the first time I took a look at it, however I must say WOW! Although I am not even sure why I am so shocked seeing as a couple years ago I not only didn’t know anything about the beliefs of mormans, I also believed the hundreds or even thousands of false accusations made about the religion because I simply didn’t know any better. I went a very long time in my life searching for the truth because I could not find a religion that I could truely believe in. I have studied and asked questions to so many people about so many things to clear up the things I had been told. I am a morman, I do believe in the Bible, I am a follower of my savior Jesus Christ, I do believe in the trinity God the father God the son and God the holy spirit, and I do pray to my heavenly father. I have come to my beliefs only on a small % because of the answers I have found from other believers, but mostly on the faith I have in God and the answers I got from asking for his guidence with an open heart and mind. I can give doubt to a man and his words, however nothing any man says can make me doubt what God shows me through faith. As humans all we can do is plant that seed in other people and hope they take it to God and let it grow.

    Also to the person/people who say that mormons do not try to share their religion, we are all human none of us are perfect, and we do not all do as we should. Please do not base your belief of the religion on the acts of a small group of people. I as well as most of the mormons I know do try to spread the word as much as possible. I also do restrain myself from forcing my beliefs on people everyday, because if it would bring everyone to the religion I would scream it all the time, however we have a MUCH better chance at reaching most people if we approch slowly and let them into our lives to see for themselves before sharing all the things that would overwhelm them and possibly turn them away from the lack of understanding.

    I am in no way a speaker I am horrible at speaking to a group of people, and also not very good at writing my feelings, however I feel very strongly about this so I felt I needed to share my thoughts.

  14. Kimo

    Dear Mr. Love,

    Love isn’t all you need – The Bible teaches us that there is no righteous person who has ever lived (Romans 3:10), all fall short (Romans 3:23), all deserve death and separation from God (Romans 6:23) & it is only through the heartfelt belief/following of Jesus Christ that we can be forgiven and brought into God’s eternal family (John 3:16, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Titus 3:5). Apart from that is still death and separation from God (2 Thess 1:9).

    God uses man to reach the lost (Mark 1:17, 2 Corinthians 5:1-21) – Prayer is important and only God does the work on people’s hearts, but God also actively uses people to reach out to others in his name.

    Convincing others of the truth contained in the Bible – The apostle Paul, who wrote the majority of the New Testament, traveled all over sharing the truth of Jesus Christ with others. The Bible says that Jesus is the only way. If we love others, we want to share this good news of the Bible with them. The big question with LDS is that they follow another prophet who has introduced additional writings that are accepted by LDS as scripture and is seen as their primary source of truth over and above the Bible.

    On a side note, what denomination of Christianity do you associate yourself with as an evangelist? Your views seem very “new age” and not very centered on the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

  15. Candice

    I understand why many people feel that “Mormons talk in circles when trying to defend their beliefs.” As a response, let me offer this story related by Elder Boyd K. Packer, current president of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

    “I will tell you of an experience I had […] which affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. “You are wrong,” I said, “there is a God. I know He lives!”

    He protested, “You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!” When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question on the subject of testimony. “All right,” he said in a sneering, condescending way, “you say you know. Tell me how you know.”

    When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate. […]

    When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” The words prayer, discernment, and faith, were equally meaningless to him. “You see,” he said, “you don’t really know. If you did, you would be able to tell me how you know.” […]

    [Then suddenly] an idea came into my mind and I said to the atheist, “Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.”

    “Of course I do,” was his reply. […]

    “Then,” I said, “assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.”

    After some thought, he ventured, “Well-I-uh, it is not sweet and it is not sour.”

    “You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.”

    After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, “I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come than you are to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!””

    -“The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan 1983, 51.

    I also know that there is a God, that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet on the earth today.

  16. Bus

    Job 1:1 says that Job was PERFECT. What’s the deal? Does Romans contradict Job? If so is the Bible infallible?

  17. Kimo

    Dear BUS,

    When the Bible says that Job was blameless, it does not mean that he was absolutely sinless. It means that he was a God-fearing man who sought to do what was right before the Lord. Job’s awareness of his own sins is acknowledged by the fact that he sacrificed animals to the Lord as atonement for his sins in chapter 1.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17

    16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

  18. Spring

    I have really liked being a part of the conversation on these blogs, however I must say I was very curious when I saw the post from “BUS” about Job… So I looked it up, I read Job, and I found that it DOES say that Job is PERFECT not “blameless” as “Kimo” put it. This is very confusing to me from what I have read and been taught since I was a child. I did talk to the elders of my church about this, and they didn’t have an answer for me either. So, Bus you have every right to question that! By the way, where did Bus’s original post go? PLEASE tell me it wasn’t removed because you didn’t like it.

  19. Thaddeus

    Spring, we didn’t delete Bus’s comment. We just put this new feature in that keeps comment conversations together. Please be patient while we iron out the bugs.

    Also notice what Kimo did, and what we all must do to understand the Bible: interpret it. This is an important lesson. The Bible does not interpret itself; it says what it says and at face value the words might even contradict each other! (For example, compare Acts 9:7 to Acts 22:9)

    There are a variety of ways to interpret. One way (as Kimo demonstrated) is to search for other clues in the text that make the meaning clearer; the footnotes are helpful for this. It is also good to learn about the historical and cultural context (ancient Israelites didn’t think and speak the same way we do). And you should always remember that “we believe the Bible to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly” (Articles of Faith 8).

    The most beneficial way to interpret the scriptures is to ask the Lord about it in prayer.

  20. Jan

    Spring,

    Plus, if Thaddeus deleted Bus’s comment, he’d probably get grounded 🙂

  21. Kimo

    Hi Spring. I thought you might like this follow up on your comment even though it has been some time. Sometimes when we have questions about words used in the Bible, it helps to go back to the original greek/hebrew/aramaic word to get the intended meaning. Thankfully there are plenty of resources on the internet to do this these days. The Hebrew word used in Job 1:1 for blameless was “tam”.

    The Hebrew word “tam” means “complete, morally innocent, having integrity”.

    Job 1:1 records Job was blameless. In Job 1:8 and 2:3, God declares Job was blameless. In Job 7:20-21 and 14:16-17, Job admits he had sinned. In Job 42:6, Job confirms his own sinfulness: “Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” It is therefore obvious being blameless before God does not mean permanent sinless perfection.

    Be careful when some take passages out of context or especially if they are trying to make a point by misusing scripture. It really helps to understand the context of what is said, sometimes the cultural meaning, and of course how it fits in with the rest of scripture. Seek for truth and you will find it.

  22. Mormons’ theology is First Century Christianity,  not Fourth Century Creedal theology:

    http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot.com

    Mormons’ mode of baptism, structure, authority, view of the Trinity, views on man’s ability to progress to be like Jesus Christ, grace vs. works, etc.  are all more in line with First Century Christianity than other Christian denominations.

  23. that guy

    hey thaddeus what do you mean when you say that the words may even contradict eachother do you mean thatthe bible does contradict itself because the way i have always been taught is that if the bible does contradict itself the it could not have been the teachings of god and if one part is false then all of it must be

  24. Thaddeus

    that guy,
    Look at  Acts 9:7 vs. Acts 22:9; both refer to the vision Paul had when the Lord appeared to him. In the first it says Paul’s travel companions heard a voice, but saw no man. In the second it says Paul’s travel companions saw a light, but didn’t hear a voice.
    This is an example of a contradiction in the Bible. Does this mean we should throw the Bible out? I don’t think so.
    There are many ways to make sense of this, the first is to realize that not every verse of the Bible was a direct quotation from God. In these verses, we are hearing Paul recount the story of his vision at different times in his life. Paul was human. He may have forgotten or mixed up some details. Or it may have been the author of Acts, Luke that was confused.

    I don’t know what caused the contradiction, but it is there. I’d like to hear your interpretation of it, that guy. Do you throw the Bible out? 

  25. that guy

    well i looked both those passages up and acts 9 it does say that the men heard a voice but didnt se a man but in chapter 22 it says that the men saw a light but heard not the voice that spoke to saul i think that last little bit in twenty two has a huge significance i believe that the men did ideed see a light but not a man because god does not look like a man and is usually described as emmitting some sort of light and i think that when god spoke to saul thatit was comprehensible to him but god was not speaking to men around them so they just heard a voice but not the same voice that spoke to saul so in my mind both of them may be true if my translation is accurate i cant do parenthesis on my mobile phone on this websit but i read those verses in a kjv bible    unparenthesis also i believe that if not all of the bible is from god then the bible is not at all true because it is near impossible to decipher which verses are from man and which are from god but lastly i think that if god were to make a book he wouldnt get lazy and allow corruption into it

  26. Thaddeus

    You’ve hit on an important concept, that guy: when we encounter a contradiction (“hearing a voice” vs. “they heard not the voice”), very often it is only a surface contradiction, and we just don’t get a full enough picture to see how they harmonize. Thus, it takes some educated interpretation, like you’ve done.

  27. In my opinion it comes down to what one defines as “Christian”. To disclose I am a Mormon, and I define “Christian” as one who believes in Christ. With that definition Mormons would undoubtedly be considered “Christian”.
    Why complicate it anymore?

  28. I don’t understand why this has to be so complicated. Often times it’s not even so much believing but acting as if Christ would.

  29. that guy

    doctrine i strongly disagree with you there are many godd wonderful people on this earth that will go to hell because they do not have a personal relationship with the one true living god and also mormanism there are many people that believe in christ on earth and this is understandable because it is a proven fact that christ walked the earth belief is nothing without acting upon this belief and i personally believe that the bible is the only god inspired book that teches you how you should act upon this

  30. I really like the way you introduced this topic about Mormons.  I thought it was clever and entertaining.  You must live next to a large Mormon population in order to have 25 LDS friends.  I was wondering if you wanted to to trade links with my site.  You can email me at the email listed above if you want to trade blogroll links.  Thanks for much!