Why Mormonism is not Christianity– the Issue of Christology

While there are many reasons why Evangelical Christians of all stripes might disagree with Mormon theology, perhaps the most important of these is Christology and the related matter of soteriology.

I would encourage you to read carefully through the statement at the link below by a practicing Mormon scholar, presented at Harvard Divinity School a few years ago. Here is the link—http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/what-mormons-believe-about-jesus-christ (in order to actually find this page you will need to do a Google Search of ‘What Mormons believe’ and then scroll down to the entry from 2001 when Millet spoke at Harvard. It has been taken down from the Mormon website).

Please note that these views, as expressed by Mr. Millet are not unusual or eccentric, rather they are typical. While it is true that in some respects, Mormons have more disagreements with Catholics and Orthodox Christians than they do with Evangelicals they certainly have major differences with Evangelicals as well. They could not, for example, in good conscious sign a faith statement that the Evangelical Theological Society might present to them for membership in that society. What are these major differences? Here it will be worth listing just a few in this post:

1) Mormons are polytheists, not monotheists. That is, they believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate beings, thus denying the essential monotheistic statements of both the OT and NT that God is One.

2) Mormons, thus, not surprisingly, deny the doctrine of the Trinity, calling it an amalgam of Greek ideas with Biblical ideas. Their basic view is that the original doctrine of God and of the ‘priesthood’ and key ideas about sacrifice, and leadership of the NT era were lost, as the church became entirely apostate and needed to be renewed, and that the NT church was not renewed until Joseph Smith came along in the 19th century (who btw, had an interest in Methodism whilst he was in Palmyra N.Y. and apparently took part in some of the revivals in the ‘Burnt Over District’ there in the first part of the 19th century). Mormons see the ecumenical councils which produced the Nicean creed or the Apostle’s Creed or the Chalcedonian creed as in essence contradictory to what Scripture teaches.

3) Mormons believe that even God the Father has, and apparently, needs a body, denying that God in the divine nature is spirit. Indeed they believe that God the Father is an exalted man!

4) Just as they believe that the early church became apostate, they also believe the Bible as we have it is not inerrant or always truthful and trustworthy, even on major issues like Christology, and therefore needs to be supplemented (and corrected) by subsequent prophetic revelation in documents like the Book of Mormon, or even The Pearl of Great Price.

5) in terms of soteriology, Mormons deny the sufficiency of Christ’s death for salvation. They suggest, as the linked article says, that each of us must do all we can and then trust in the mercy of God. In other words, the de facto position is that Mormonism is to a significant degree a works religion even when it comes to salvation.

6) The goal of Mormon soteriology is that we all become as ‘gods’ become both immortal and divine, blurring the creator/creature distinction which was already badly blurred by a theology that suggested that God is actually a sort of uber-human being, with less flaws. One rather familiar teaching is ‘as God was, so we are. As God is, so we shall be’.

I bring this issue up now, because of the general ignorance of the American public about whether or not Mormons are actually Christians or not. If they really embrace the official positions of their religious group, they are not Christians, though they often present themselves as such, for example, calling their meeting places churches sometimes (but notice— no crosses to be found on top, or worn either).

What of course makes this whole deal slippery is that Mormon doctrine is a constantly evolving thing due to a belief in the living voice of prophecy. For example, the head of the Mormon Church in my lifetime corrected what had previously been taught by Mormonism’s original leaders (e.g. Brigham Young) that black people were the descendents of the least favored race of the big three (Shem, Ham, and Japeth), and as such could not become priests in the Mormon church. Not so, any more.

It is of course true that there are Christians who are a part of the Mormon religion. I would call them confused Christians who know neither church history very well (including the history of the origins of Mormonism in America and the actual origin of the Book of Mormon), nor do they know what the NT actually teaches when it comes to things like Christology and salvation and the nature of the Scriptures.

It is typical of groups like the Mormons (any of the branches) or the Jehovah’s Witness that they are actually split offs from some orthodox Christian group, in both cases from Protestantism. Not surprisingly then, they have more in common with Protestants in some respects than they do with Catholics or the Orthodox, except in regard to the matter of an all male priesthood and therefore the nature of worship.

Mormonism certainly is a highly patriarchal religion, modeled more in its praxis on Leviticus than say on what is said in the NT letters about male and female apostles, prophets, teachers, and this also extends to the Mormon view of the physical family which is far from egalitarian in character.

I am not suggesting for a moment that there aren’t many Mormons that would pass the test of being decent and honest and loving human beings. There are. I know some of them. Nor can one fault their zeal for their form of religion, indeed their missionaries often put actual Christian missionaries to shame. Nor would I suggest that these folks are deliberate deceivers of other people. The ones I know are not. They are sincere and committed to Mormonism, and truly believe it is the true religion.

What I would say is that they are deceived about what the Bible really teaches about the nature of God, of Christ, of salvation, and of true humanity, not to mention the nature of the Scriptures which are indeed the sufficient rule of faith and practice for all true Christians and do not require supplements or corrections from Joseph Smith’s works.

Why have I posted this now? Because of the many times I am asked these days, the question– Can Evangelicals vote for Mitt Romney? I have done a previous post, some time ago for Beliefnet about Mitt Romney in regard to his previous campaigns for high office. I will not repeat that here. I think deciding on who to vote for as President should involve a consideration of many different factors, many different pros and cons of the two candidates.

I think each person must make up their own mind who they will vote for, but the point of this post is that such important decisions should not be made on the basis of false assumptions, and particularly not on the basis of false assumptions about a person’s actual religion.

SPOILER ALERT: THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT SAY IN RESPONSE TO THIS POST

1) ‘You’re just prejudiced, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and that’s just your opinion’.

Wrong. These are the facts. I have taught classes on both world and American religions, and what I have said is based either on what Mormons themselves have said about their beliefs, and/or what their source documents say about the same.

2) ‘This is unkind and untimely. Everyone should have the right to their own religious beliefs and should not be criticized for them. If a person wants to call himself a Christian, then he or she must be a Christian.’

Yes…and no. Yes, a person has an American right to freedom of religion. No, a private individual does not get to decide for themselves what is and isn’t true or is or isn’t orthodox Christianity, and that includes me. Christian beliefs need to match up with what the Bible in fact claims, and what the historic creeds and confessions of the church have understood the Bible to say and mean. Furthermore, even if we were talking about genuine Christian groups, no single group has the authority to add additional books to the sacred canon of Scriptures, whether it be the Book of Mormon or something else. The Bible is both the necessary and sufficient revelation of God and God’s character and God’s will. All three great monotheistic religions recognize the Bible or some part of it as God’s Word. None of them recognize the Book of Mormon as the necessary appendix to the Bible.

3) ‘Aren’t we disputing about words and minor issues here.’

No we are not. The attempt to trivialize important theological issues, and make them a mere dispute about words is frankly an insult to the earliest Christians, many of whom died for their monotheistic and Trinitarian beliefs. Yes indeed, it does matter what the content is of your religious belief.

4) ‘But look at all the energy and zeal and earnestness and deep commitment of Mormons. Isn’t that to be commended?’

Yes and no. Zeal that is not according to knowledge does not honor the real God, and is misguided. Sincerity is not the same thing as true faith. A person can be sincerely wrong, indeed badly wrong however convinced they are of what they believe. So, yes some of these traits are commendable, if they are properly directed and guided and serving the God of the Bible and the good of humankind.’

I could go on, but this is more than enough for you to chew on. Think on these things.

  • Guest

    First, are you joking? You are saying Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Father all have to have separate human bodies – they are a team like the individuals in a football team? Silly one, God made man in is own SPIRITUAL image. Not tin he image you see when you look in the mirror! God isn’t standing in heaven looking in the mirror thinking ‘” I look good, I have to make some more of those!” That is the basic perception of the biblical verse that a young John Smith had because he wasn’t old enough to think past the literal meaning of vocabulary words. Not everything is literal. God made us in his own image – our souls! Not our bodies. Although he created us and I am sure he liked what he made. He was proud of us. Perhaps less so after we took that old free will thing and ran with it! God has never taken human form though, except in Jesus. God appeared in the OT as a cloud of smoke that lead the chosen people through the desert, and in a burning bush! I think if he had a body he would have used it! So you are saying God has a body but thinks smoke and a burning bush are better ways to communicate to humans? Personally I don’t think God had any interest in taking on a human body. He lowered himself by taking on human form. We are his creation – we are created… Jesus was begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. That is in the bible for a reason. God put his spirit in a living human body. That was the only time. I could go on forever but…As to the final statement , of course Jesus is not crazy. He is speaking to his Father. Again, why the fixation on God and the Holy Spirit having to be actual humans? Why do you think God has to take human form for Jesus to be able to talk to him. Jesus is divine and can talk to the divine God (sans body) just fine. You are coming from a very limited view of the divinity of God if you think he is just another glorified human. How sad for you. Seriously. God doesn’t have to be human to be divine, Jesus is the only one ever who has been both human and divine. And that was only to save us once and for all for our sins and bring us back into communion with God. God had to have a good reason to lower himself and tie all his power into a human form and willingly die. He was divine, he didn’t have to do that. He could have stopped it, but he didn’t. How limiting for him. How lucky for us .

  • Sheila

    So several things…No I wouldn’t want to read it because I cannot be sure who wrote it. I would rather go based on what I know Jesus said, than perhaps be mislead by the writings of a young Joseph Smith. I would ask you back – what if yours is not true, do you do more damage believing that than just sticking with the bible that we all accept? We may have fallen away, , for the church certainly strayed – paying indulgences for forgiveness, the crusades, the inquisition…all done by man in the name of God, but not done by God. His bible was always correct and true and there were always Holy men and women who never lost faith and were true. You say that isn’t so, but you are basing that off of a new holy book that you can’t prove. You have no way of truely knowing if EVERYONE fell away, and chances are , us being humans as we are, we all never do anything 100%. So someone did not fall away. We just messed up. We don’t need additional books to tell us that. We just needed to go back to the basics.
    As for the trinity Yes, three persons in SPIRIT. Jesus has the only body. What would God need a body anyway? If he had one, don’t you think he would have used it instead of the pillar of smoke and burning bush? Hmmm,God thought… Moses might be afraid if I appeared as a man, so I think I will appear as a burning bush! Really? Jesus IS in fact praying that God will accept us into heaven as co-heirs to the kingdom. So yes, he is asking us to be co-substantial depending on what you mean by that. Not in the sense of one body. More in the sense of one spirit. The only time God ever took human form – lowered himself to take human form – was with Jesus.. He did that with one specific end in mind and it was never repeated. Because it was once for all. Sad for God that he had to do it, lucky for us.

  • Sheila

    Yes, God is pure spirit. No body. That is the whole point we are trying to make! Only Jesus has the body! And that was only because he had to to save us.

  • Sheila

    Because they have a very tight knit community and if they do not behave appropriately everyone knows it. Everyone plays a part in the local Church and they have groups that “help” you along in more ways that you might want. They are very actively engaged in each others lives. Just depends on if it works for you I guess. I find it a little too Big Brother for my taste, but you could also see it as supportive, and feel you are never alone – cause you probably never are! Kidding! I just found it kind of creepy…or it could be sweet!!! But the people who want that all encompassing faith are the ones that tend to gravitate to them. But there are good believing people everywhere, and I am sure God takes all into account at the final judgement. He isn’t going to want to leave anyone out if he can help it, so I don’t worry to much about it. I say be Morman and be proud, but please don’t insult us by saying you are Christians. Just be happy being who you are. Be proud to be Morman and stop trying to pretend you are Christian. Its okay really. No Christian really believes you are Christian, we just smile and nod. Seriously,we don’t, so just be happy with your religion and go your way!

  • Sheila

    Again, Jesus was the only one of the trinity that took human form! The only one…sigh.

  • A mormon

    Joseph Smith did not correct or add to the bible. He translated it into english.

  • A mormon

    We are Christian. The definition of a Christian is one who believes in and follows Christ. We do just that.

  • A mormon

    What questions? I would love to have a go.

  • BellaKazza

    John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
    ***Spoiler alert!***
    Jesus is the Word.

    Any Christian who denies the Trinity is a heretic, this has been discussed and decided before. Check the council of Nicea.

  • BellaKazza

    John 14:15.

  • Amanda

    It’s funny because Mormon’s believe that the “Word” is Jesus and he was with God in the Beginning. We just believe they (the father, the son, the holy ghost) are three separate beings working with the same purpose to accomplish the same thing, the eternal life of man. In genesis it says “We” which implies more than one being. Also Christ calls out to the father to save him while he’s on the cross… so you’re saying he was calling out to himself to save himself? That just doesn’t make sense to me. We do believe they are “One” in purpose and that Christ was perfect. However, to each his own! Have a good night! (:

  • BellaKazza

    Council. Of. Nicea. Check it, read it, research it, explanation is there, anyone who disagrees is a heretic, plain and simple.

  • Partier

    Have read it (not from the Bible by the way), have checked it, have researched it, and it doesn’t make sense to me when I read it in the context of the Holy Bible. By the way, how do you get your undies in such a wad over the Book of Mormon when you want to add the Nicean Creed to the scriptures? I would be happy to listen to any of your arguments as the relate to actual scripture, but last I checked, the Nicean Creed is not scripture.

  • Megan Riddle

    Yeah, just a question. Explain the baptism of Jesus Christ to me. Hmm, God said, “This is my beloved son” As a voice from the heavens, Christ was getting baptized, and the Holy Ghost descended like a dove. Unless someone is doing some timey-wimey stuff, they would have to be three separate bings

  • BenW3

    Hi Megan. God is a complex being who expresses himself in three personal representations, just as I am one but at the same time I am a father, I am a son, and I am a brother. This does not make me 3 separate persons any more than there three different gods involved in the Gospel story you mentioned. Blessings. Ben W.

  • SoundOn

    Actually the Jews originally were Henotheistic which is the belief in and worship of a single God while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities that may also be worshipped. Seems to me they were open to the idea of the Godhead consisting of 3 seperate beings united in purpose.

  • SoundOn

    And how exactly does John 1:1 confirm that Jesus and God are one in the same person?

  • SoundOn

    Trinitarinism claims that God is immaterial, formless, and uncreated, but the problem is that this definition is not derived from nor supported by the Bible. Correct me if I’m wrong, but mainstream, orthodox Christians believe that we are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), but that he does not have a body? You believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected with his body (John 20:3-18), and later returned to Earth with a physical body (Luke 24:39-43), but you believe that he does not have a physical body now? Is his body like clothing that he puts on and takes off, like a visible cloak? Also, God is recorded in the scriptures to be seen standing on the right hand of himself (Acts 7:55-56) or is he standing next to a different manifestation of himself? And you believe that God prays to himself (John Ch. 17) and that he speaks back (Matthew 3:17)? If not who does he pray to? Does he pray to His essence? And why does he call his own essence, Father (Luke 2:49)? Is he the only begotten Son of himself (John 3:16) and why would he use the word begotten if he is not speaking of his literal Father? And why does he call himself Abba (Daddy) under extreme anguish when in Gethsemane (Mark 14:36) if he is only referring to his essence and power?
    Stephen, in the final moments of his life, receives a visitation of the Father and the Son (Acts 7:55-56). He sees the glory of God, the Father, and Jesus standing next to the right side of the Father. Stephen’s description goes against Orthodox Trinitarian beliefs, (which came 300 years later), to explain his vision. If the language that Stephen uses is that he sees God, His Glory and Jesus, the Son, which person did he see? Jesus said that God is his Father, but how did Stephen know that Stephen saw God the Father? Because he saw the personage of God. How could Stephen describe that Jesus was standing at his right hand? Because God has a right hand to stand next to. If “God” is immaterial, formless, and uncreated, how could Stephen accurately describe the vision the way he does? Such an explanation aught to be preposterous to a modern, Orthodox Trinitarian Christian because according to Stephen, both the Father and the Son have distinguishable forms as personages. It is hardly logically possible to believe that God the Father is formless and that the Father and the Son are the same being with this description. The Trinitarian God is all powerful, but inconsistent, unknowable, unapproachable, and confusing and God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Anyone who attempts to explain the Trinity using scripture must use a rationale that is illogical and which will become more and more complicated in order to explain this false notion.

  • SoundOn

    So you believe that we are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), but that he does not have a body? You believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected with his body (John 20:3-18), and later returned to Earth with a physical body (Luke 24:39-43), but you believe that he does not have a physical body now? Is his body like clothing that he puts on and takes off, like a visible cloak? Also, God is recorded in the scriptures to be seen standing on the right hand of himself (Acts 7:55-56) or is he standing next to a different manifestation of himself? And you believe that God prays to himself (John Ch. 17) and that he speaks back (Matthew 3:17)? If not who does he pray to? Does he pray to His essence? And why does he call his own essence, Father (Luke 2:49)? Is he the only begotten Son of himself (John 3:16) and why would he use the word begotten if he is not speaking of his literal Father? And why does he call himself Abba (Daddy) under extreme anguish when in Gethsemane (Mark 14:36) if he is only referring to his essence and power?
    Stephen, in the final moments of his life, receives a visitation of the Father and the Son (Acts 7:55-56). He sees the glory of God, the Father, and Jesus standing next to the right side of the Father. Stephen’s description goes against Orthodox Trinitarian beliefs, (which came 300 years later), to explain his vision. If the language that Stephen uses is that he sees God, His Glory and Jesus, the Son, which person did he see? Jesus said that God is his Father, but how did Stephen know that Stephen saw God the Father? Because he saw the personage of God. How could Stephen describe that Jesus was standing at his right hand? Because God has a right hand to stand next to. If “God” is immaterial, formless, and uncreated, how could Stephen accurately describe the vision the way he does? Such an explanation aught to be preposterous to a modern, Orthodox Trinitarian Christian because according to Stephen, both the Father and the Son have distinguishable forms as personages. It is hardly logically possible to believe that God the Father is formless and that the Father and the Son are the same being with this description. The Trinitarian God is all powerful, but inconsistent, unknowable, unapproachable, and confusing and God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Anyone who attempts to explain the Trinity using scripture must use a rationale that is illogical and which will become more and more complicated in order to explain this false notion.

  • SoundOn

    Nice analogy. I especially like how you apply it to yourself, but unless you can appear and speak from 3 separate locations at the same time it does not explain how God and Jesus are one in the same.

  • SoundOn

    Great scripture. I believe it helps explain how Faith without works is dead if we must keep the commandments. Wouldn’t you agree?

  • SoundOn

    Stephen, in the final moments of his life, receives a visitation of the Father and the Son (Acts 7:55-56). He sees the glory of God, the Father, and Jesus standing next to the right side of the Father. Stephen’s description goes against Orthodox Trinitarian beliefs, (which came 300 years later), to explain his vision. If the language that Stephen uses is that he sees God, His Glory and Jesus, the Son, which person did he see? Jesus said that God is his Father, but how did Stephen know that Stephen saw God the Father? Because he saw the personage of God. How could Stephen describe that Jesus was standing at his right hand? Because God has a right hand to stand next to. If “God” is immaterial, formless, and uncreated, how could Stephen accurately describe the vision the way he does? Such an explanation aught to be preposterous to a modern, Orthodox Trinitarian Christian because according to Stephen, both the Father and the Son have distinguishable forms as personages. It is hardly logically possible to believe that God the Father is formless and that the Father and the Son are the same being with this description.

  • SoundOn

    Very well said

  • BenW3

    Soundon, we do not allow comments on this blog by persons who use only screen names, not their actual names. If you want to make a comment like this, then you need to have the courage of your convictions. Trinintarian thinking was not invented in the 3rd-4th century. It’s already there in the first century in the NT itself. Jesus does indeed have a resurrection body now, and it is not immaterial. The Father is spirit (as Jesus says in John 4), and so is the Holy Spirit when it comes to materiality. Your problem is you seem to have no ability to distinguish between language when it is used literally and metaphorical use of language. The question you should have asked is— in what way are we in God’s image? Genesis 1-2 says absolutely nothing about God having a physical form, and so the context does not support reading the image language that way. Nor do texts like 2 Cor. 3-4 where we hear that we are presently being conformed to the image Christ? Does this have to do with our physical bodies being transformed in the present— absolutely not! It has to do with being internally conformed to the image of Christ, in our wills, our thoughts etc.

    BW3

  • SoundOn

    Ok, my name is David. You said that “Trinintarian thinking was not invented in the 3rd-4th century. It’s already there in the first century in the NT itself.” Really? Well if it is so crystal clearly laid out in the scriptures then what was the purpose of the council at Nicea in 325 A.D.? Was it not to clarify such an unclear doctrine? And because there were no prophets or apostles presiding at these councils the conclusion was certainly not reached by revelation, agreed? How do we know that they reached the correct conclusion at this council? Oh, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself because they didn’t reach a conclusion so easily. It took another another 125 years and three more major councils to finally provide an explanation that everyone could agree on. Now if you read the Nicene Creed it is obvious that nothing was really defined or clarified at all. In the end it is a politically correct explanation rather than a doctrinally correct one. The creed declares the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be abstract where all three members are separate persons, but they are a single being. They are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods but one. With such a weak, but safe explanation one can believe whatever they want about the Godhead. One could believe that they are separate beings, or one being, or both. The Nicene Creed is further evidence of the Apostasy where truth began to be watered down. It temporarily kept the Church Christ established unified together, but it only served as a bandaid covering a bigger problem which was that Revelation was lost, but eventually the Church could not be kept together and went into complete apostasy.

  • SoundOn

    Again my name is David. It’s comical that you think I have difficulty understanding the difference between the literal and figurative language of the scriptures just as you cite a scripture that you only choose to see so literally. So let’s analyze it. You referred to John 4:24 where it says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” I believe what this scripture says without drawing the same illogical conclusions that you do. So you really believe that God is literally only a Spirit. Yes, God is a Spirit, but this cannot possibly mean that He literally ONLY consists of spiritual matter. How can it? You correctly say that Jesus is speaking to a woman of Samaria. Does Jesus not have a physical body when he teaches this about God? If you believe that Jesus is God in this instance why did he not ONLY consist of spiritual matter? And how could God and Jesus Christ be co-substantial if they consist of different substance? You also just said to me that “Jesus does indeed have a resurrection body now, and it is not immaterial.” So, you do believe that Jesus Christ has a physical body now? Do you not believe that Jesus is co-substantial with God the Father? If they consist of the same substance wouldn’t this mean that you believe as I do that God has a physical body now?
    I find it ironic that you said to me: “Your problem is you seem to have no ability to distinguish between language when it is used literally and metaphorical use of language.” In reality it is you that has this problem. If I have a problem it is that I am too straightforward, logical and simple minded to understand Trinitarianism. You must view me like a child in my interpretation of the scriptures because the simplest explanation is that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are separate and distinct, but united in purpose just as it is described in John chapter 17. There is no other possible explanation for their oneness based on what this chapter teaches. I can explain the Godhead to my 6 year old and it makes sense. On the other hand there is no way a child could logically understand Trinitarianism because there is no logical explanation for it. I say again that anyone who attempts to explain the Trinity using scripture must use a rationale that is illogical and which will become more and more complicated in order to explain this false notion.

  • BenW3

    David, thanks for this. You seem to be unable to cope with the idea that the Son of God, who had no material form in heaven, took on flesh, as John 1 says, at a particular point in time. It’s called the Incarnation. His body is a part of his human nature as he was truly human while remaining also the divine Son of God. That physical body had nothing to do with the previous divine nature he had in heaven before being conceived in Mary’s womb. Kapish? This is what the Bible teaches us. What the councils of Nicea and Chalcedon did was further clarify what was both explicit and implicit in Scripture so we would not over emphasize either the divinity or the humanity of Jesus. That’s all. Take another look at John 1. Notice that at no point here or in any text in the NT do we hear the word gods, plural applied to the Father and the Son, even when they are mentioned together! To the contrary what is said is that the Father is the one God, and also the Son is the one God, not two gods… just one. This comports quite nicely with the statement by Jesus ‘I and the Father are One’. This obviously does not mean they are one person. No, they are two persons, so the question is— in what sense are they One? The answer is they share the one divine nature. Or as Paul puts it in Phil. 2.5-11 The Son, being in very nature God, did not consider having equality with God the Father something to be taken advantage of, but rather he emptied himself, and took on human form. And so on…..

    Blessings,

    BW3

  • SoundOn

    1.) You said: “You seem to be unable to cope with the idea that the Son of God, who had no material form in heaven, took on flesh, as John 1 says.” Not exactly right, but almost. Because you’re statement is only half true I only have a problem with the portion that you are putting forth which is not found anywhere in the scriptures. I just finished reading John 1:1 and the rest of the chapter. It states that Christ is the Word of God and here we agree. The Chapter continues to teach us that He is the God who created all things, which we agree, and that he was made flesh and dwelt among us as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (The Word). We agree on all these main points, but I did not find anything in John 1 stating that the Son of God had no material form in heaven. You and others made that part up and put it forth as if it is scriptural, but it is not. It is false doctrine. Nowhere in the Bible is it mentioned that Jesus Christ had no material form in heaven. Of course Jesus Christ did not have a physical body before he was born, but who are you to teach that he had no material form at all as a pre-mortal Spirit? What is stated in John 1:14 is that he was the only begotten of the Father. Begotten obviously refers to offspring, related by blood such as a biological child. So it makes sense that Jesus Christ cried out to His Father in Gethsemane, referring to him as “Abba” (Mark 14:36). The word abba in Aramaic means “father,” and was the intimate name used by children for their fathers as an endearing form of address and was among the first words a child learned to speak. It most closely translates to the English word “papa” or “Daddy”.

    2.) You said: “the Father is the one God, and also the Son is the one God, not two gods… just one. This comports quite nicely with the statement by Jesus ‘I and the Father are One’. This obviously does not mean they are one person. No, they are two persons, so the question is— in what sense are they One? The answer is they share the one divine nature. Or as Paul puts it in Phil. 2.5-11”. You took the words right out of my mouth because these are my thoughts, exactly! Phil. 2 illustrates the need for believers to have love, unity, and humility. This is also consistent with John 17:21 where we are to be one with God just as Christ is one with him, but we are, of course, not all to be literally one being with God, like you said. So you agree that God the Father, and Jesus Christ are not literally “one God” either, meaning “one being”, but they are separate and distinct beings? Their “Oneness” is not to be taken literally. It obviously refers to their unity and divine nature because it is quite obvious and logical that Jesus Christ is praying to God, his literal Father, the one he calls Abba (daddy), and not praying to his own essence, agreed?

  • BenW3

    David you keep dancing around the issue. Why exactly do the writers of the OT and the NT insist on monotheism? Why do we never hear about gods plural when the NT writers refer to the Father and Son together, or the Son and the Spirit together? Phil. 2 says nothing about humans becoming divine. It talks about having the same mind the same mental attitude of servanthood as Christ. John 1 is perfectly clear in saying that the Word was God. Not a god, but simply GOD. And in the same text the Father is called GOD. Nothing about plural deities here. Nothing. We absolutely are not one with God the way the Son is. He’s the only begotten One, we are only sons or daughters of God by adoption! Not by nature. And we shall not be becoming gods either. It is amazing to me how Mormons can think that the great temptation in the garden’ ye shall be as gods’ was the great promise. Nope. We are never ever ever becoming gods. And why exactly is it that Mormons insist on turning God into the big human being in the sky with hands and feet and genitals etc.? Why the necessity to re-create God in our image rather than vice versa? This is whay got Joseph Smith kicked out of the Methodist Church, and rightly so. It’s heresy!! Not Christian thought at all. At least the earliest Mormons realized they weren’t Christians and said so. Today, they masquerade as if they were Christians, only nothing like the earliest Christians. Nothing like those who gave their life for ‘the Name’. If you read Matthew 28 you will discover that Father, Son, and Spirit make up the one Name (not names plural) of the one God. Three personal expressions, exactly one God. The earliest Christians were Jews who strongly affirmed monotheism in the face of a world of polytheism. As Paul says in 1 Cor. 8.4-6– but for us, there is only one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ. Notice, not 2,3,or 5 theoi. Never. Since elsewhere in Phil. 2 and in other texts Paul is also happy to call Jesus theos, one must draw the proper conclusion. There remains only one Theos, but he expresses himself in 3 persons. We need to end this discussion as its gone on on this blog post for months. Blessings on you, and I hope at some point you grasp the real nature and importance of monotheism, Ben W.

  • SoundOn

    1.) “David you keep dancing around the issue.” – Sorry if you feel that way. Remember the Godhead is really quite simple, but the Trinity is quite complicated. All this dancing around is because of the false and complicated philosophy that God and Jesus Christ are literally one being which is a lot to unravel and I have to chase you around in order to explain that. But, all you really need to understand about the “Oneness of God” is explained in John Chapter 17.

    2.) You said: “Why exactly do the writers of the OT and the NT insist on monotheism?” – Actually the word monotheism is not mentioned anywhere in the scriptures. The word “one God” is sometimes used, but not to literally mean that there is only one being. John chapter 17 for example makes it clear that the Godhead is one in purpose and is this is the same “one God” described in the OT and NT.

    3.) “Why do we never hear about gods plural when the NT writers refer to the Father and Son together, or the Son and the Spirit together?” – First let’s not leave out the important fact that God uses the plurals “We”, “Us” and “Our” in the OT which is interesting if there is only literally “one God”. Next, we learn in the NT that there is not literally “one God” because they are only “one” because of their unified purpose as explained in John 17. Now, I have a question for you. Why do we find so often in the NT where Jesus Christ prays to his own essence? Why does he state that he is the only begotten Son of his own essence? And why does he call his own essence, Abba (Daddy) if there is literally only “one God”? You don’t find that language odd?

    4.) “Phil. 2 says nothing about humans becoming divine. It talks about having the same mind the same mental attitude of servanthood as Christ.” – I didn’t claim that this scripture stated that humans could become divine. There are other scriptures that state this, but I agree that this scripture speaks of having the same mental attitude and Oneness just as it does in John Chapter 17.

    5.) “John 1 is perfectly clear in saying that the Word was God. Not a god, but simply GOD. And in the same text the Father is called GOD.” – Yes, Jesus Christ is our God. So if He is referred to as The Word and The Word was God that would be true, wouldn’t it? The Father is also our God. We agree. Again their oneness is only in their unity and purpose as explained in John chapter 17, but they are not literally “one God”.

    6.) “ We absolutely are not one with God the way the Son is. He’s the only begotten One, we are only sons or daughters of God by adoption! Not by nature.” I agree that we are not one with God the way the Son is. Unlike us He is the only literal, begotten Son of the Father. And unlike us Jesus Christ was perfect while on earth, suffered to save all mankind, and He has a perfect, resurrected body. He is certainly not like you and me. We are Sons and daughters of Jesus Christ by adoption for this reason and only the literal spiritual sons and daughters of God, the Father. You’re only confused because you believe God and Jesus Christ to be literally one in the same being.

    7.) “And we shall not be becoming gods either. It is amazing to me how Mormons can think that the great temptation in the garden’ ye shall be as gods’ was the great promise. Nope. We are never ever ever becoming gods.” – We cannot replace God, our Father. He will always be our God, the Eternal Father, but “if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). What does it mean to be a heir? Look it up. After all, if we are literally his Spiritual sons and daughters it makes sense that we could receive such an inheritance. Because you don’t believe this in a literal sense remember that Jesus Christ prays in John chapter 17 that we may be one with him as he is one with the Father. If you believe that they are literally “one god” then you must believe that Jesus Christ prays for us to all become literally “one god” with him as he is literally “one God” with the Father. Wouldn’t this mean to you that we are to all be in Spirit without material form like God? So essentially we believe the same thing. The only real difference is that you believe that God is a Spirit with no material form and I believe he is our literal Heavenly Father.

    8.) “And why exactly is it that Mormons insist on turning God into the big human being in the sky with hands and feet and genitals etc.? Why the necessity to re-create God in our image rather than vice versa? This is whay got Joseph Smith kicked out of the Methodist Church, and rightly so. It’s heresy!!” – God is perfect, exalted and immortal, but yes he has a body with hands and feet. Joseph Smith testified of this because he saw God and Jesus Christ appear to him as two separate beings. How could he deny that truth? He saw God and Jesus Christ separately, just as Stephen did in Acts 7:55-56. How else could Stephen describe that he saw God? Didn’t you say that the Spirit of God has no material form? Yet Stephen saw the Glory of God and Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of the Father. How did he know he saw God and Jesus Christ if God has no material form? Because God, in reality, has a right hand for Jesus to stand next to. You reject the words of Joseph Smith for heresy. Do you also reject the words of Stephen?

    9.) “ If you read Matthew 28 you will discover that Father, Son, and Spirit make up the one Name (not names plural) of the one God. Three personal expressions, exactly one God.” – You already said that the three personal expressions were separate beings. To quote you exactly: “what is said is that the Father is the one God, and also the Son is the one God, not two gods… just one. This comports quite nicely with the statement by Jesus ‘I and the Father are One’. This obviously does not mean they are one person. No, they are two persons” Yes they are two separate and distinct persons, but one God because Jesus is one with the father as you so nicely referred to John Chapter 17 this and I agree.

    10.) “The earliest Christians were Jews who strongly affirmed monotheism in the face of a world of polytheism.”- The earliest Jews affirmed that there is one God (not literally of course) in the face of a world of idolatry, but the terms monotheism and polytheism are not mentioned in the scriptures.

    11.) “As Paul says in 1 Cor. 8.4-6– but for us, there is only one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ.” Notice, not 2,3,or 5 theoi” – Did you not notice that Paul is speaking of two beings here, one God and then one Lord, Jesus Christ?

    12.) “There remains only one Theos, but he expresses himself in 3 persons.” Yes, the three separate persons is obvious to both you and me, but it is the verses in the Bible where they become literally one being that we can’t find.

    13.) “We need to end this discussion as it’s gone on this blog post for months.” – Yes, I can understand why you want to end this discussion with me after I called you to repentance for preaching false doctrine. I’m sure that doesn’t sit well with you. Sometimes I get carried away with my boldness, but if I have been overbearing I really am sorry if I offended you in any way. I too wish blessings on you. Thanks for the discussion.

  • SoundOn

    Here is the author’s opinion about Mormons: “What I would say is that they are deceived about what the Bible really teaches about the nature of God, of Christ, of salvation, and of true humanity”. And here are some facts: In 2012, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life released a survey, the first ever published by a non-LDS research organization to focus exclusively on members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Findings revealed that Mormons exhibit higher levels of religious commitment than many other religious groups. A 2001 study released by the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California identified that outside of Sunday church sermons (meaning in the home), Mormons were more likely to have read the bible (not the Book of Mormon, but the Bible) than any other religion polled. A national 2010 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge, including understanding of the Bible, core teachings of different faiths and major figures in religious history: on just the questions about Christianity and the Bible, Mormons scored the highest. They also scored second only to Jews in knowledge of Judaism.” So the facts suggest that Mormons understand their own doctrines and the Bible better than other Christian denominations.

  • Ben Witherington

    Dear Dave: Would it surprise you to know that George Barna, the founder of that Institute (read his book done with Frank Viola, entitled Pagan Christianity) himself thinks Mormons are not Christians precisely because, among other things, they are not monotheists? Until you really come to grips with the essential monotheism of both Judaism and Christianity, you will not understand these religions at all. Go back and read Galatians 3, for example, especially vs. 20. God, says Paul, is One. Not ‘there is a oneness between the Father and the Son or the Son and the Spirit, but simply God is One, because there is only one God, not three or ten but one. This is simply the further affirmation of the Shema of the OT, ‘the Lord our God, Yahweh is One’. OT Jews were not henotheists, if by that one means they believed in multiple deities, with Yahweh at the top of the pantheon. As a historical observation, this is false. They did however believe that there were other spiritual beings out there ‘called’ gods by other people, which were not real gods at all. Paul says the same in 1 Cor. 10. No, only the God who created it all was God. Period. Thus the affirmation in Ephesians 4 is correct— there are a series of things that are one, and God is the big one.

    My hope for Mormons, because many of them are diligent seekers after truth, and indeed many of them do know the Bible in an English translation better than many orthodox Christians, is that since Mormons are shape shifters, believing in the living voice of prophecy, and they can change their views at the drop of hat when a new prophecy comes in (compare what Brigham Young said about black people, and what the pronouncement of the Mormon President said about them in my life time— reversing the previous racism), my hope and prayer would be that they would come to realize the false hermeneutic of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and begin to read the Bible as what it is…..a monotheistic book from start to finish, and in the NT a clear advocacy of one God, with one name which is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This will be the last comment on this long running blog post. All future comments will be spammed. Since we have reached an impasse, we must agree to disagree on these matters respectfully… and move on. Blessings BW3

  • SoundOn

    The author, Ben Witherington, states several reasons he believes that Mormons are not Christians. Reason #1 – “Mormons are polytheists, not monotheists. That is, they believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate beings”. I like how he puts the word “separate” in bold letters. Yet, there is nothing in this statement that is not consistent with scripture so it is not surprising that other Christians believe the same thing. In fact, when I confronted the author with biblical scripture to support this view he made this statement to me, while referencing John Chapter 1: “what is said is that the Father is the one God, and also the Son is the one God, not two gods… just one. This comports quite nicely with the statement by Jesus ‘I and the Father are One’. This obviously does not mean they are one person. No, they are two persons”. Yes, they are clearly 2 separate persons. So why bold the letters and reject Mormonism for believing that God and Jesus Christ are separate persons when in fact you believe the same thing?
    Reason #3 – “Mormons believe that even God the Father has, and apparently, needs a body, denying that God in the divine nature is spirit. Indeed they believe that God the Father is an exalted man!” – If you believe that Jesus Christ is God you must believe the same thing. After all he was resurrected with his body (John 20:3-18), and later returned to Earth with a physical body (Luke 24:39-43). There is no scripture stating that he does not currently have a body so why reject someone that believes this?
    Reason #4 – “Just as they believe that the early church became apostate, they also believe the Bible as we have it is not inerrant or always truthful and trustworthy, even on major issues like Christology, and therefore needs to be supplemented (and corrected) by subsequent prophetic revelation in documents like the Book of Mormon, or even The Pearl of Great Price.” – We use the King James version of the Bible. We believe in the Old Testament, the New Testament and also we believe that The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. Because The Book of Mormon is true scripture it is in complete harmony with the Bible. We believe in continuing prophetic revelation and therefore that scripture is not closed. We also believe the early church became apostate, but this is hardly surprising to Protestant Christians. The Apostasy is well documented. It is mentioned in the Bible (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12) and it is also explained in detail in the Encyclopedia. Professor Witherington may not believe in an apostasy, but if not he also doesn’t agree with the man who founded the Methodist sect of which he belongs. The Methodist branch of Protestant Christianity traces its roots back to 1739 where it developed in England as a result of the teachings of John Wesley. The same John Wesley believed the original Church went into apostasy. If Professor Witherington has a problem with a Church that believes in the apostasy he should start with his own.
    Reason #5 – “Mormonism is to a significant degree a works religion even when it comes to salvation.” – We believe that without the grace of Jesus Christ no man can be saved, but we also believe that Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). If you believe keeping God’s commandments is necessary to show him that you love him (John 14:15) and accept him then you also believe that works is an important aspect of your faith, do you not?
    Reason #6 – “The goal of Mormon soteriology is that we all become as ‘gods’ become both immortal and divine, blurring the creator/creature distinction which was already badly blurred by a theology that suggested that God is actually a sort of uber-human being, with less flaws. One rather familiar teaching is ‘as God was, so we are. As God is, so we shall be’. “ – We believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected (which included having a physical body as the bible teaches) and that we too will also be resurrected (1 Cor. 15:12), but to state that Jesus Christ simply has less flaws than us is significantly understating what the scriptures teach. Jesus Christ was the only begotten of the Father, was perfect while on earth, and suffered to save all mankind. He now has a resurrected body, but He is certainly not like you and me. We are Sons and daughters of Jesus Christ by adoption for this reason. He will always be looked to, revered and worshipped by us as our Savior, Redeemer and our God.

  • David

    Your logic is underwhelming. Is your argument the following?

    1. Other God’s exit.

    2. Jews believe in a single God.

    3. Therefore the Jewish God is three separate gods (little g).

    That is nonsense. The belief in other gods has no relationship to who and what the Jew’s believed in as their God. The result you propose is Tritheism not the Trinity. Mormonism is polytheism and is contrary to Jewish and Christian Theology. Based on your other posts here, you misrepresent Christian Theological history and enjoy taking the scripture you quote out of context. You continually confuse the nature of God with the persons of God. Singularity of nature does not preclude multiple centers of consciousness in the single divine nature of God.

    As Ben points out above you may want to study up on the nature of God. God is incorporeal. As a necessary being who created everything from nothing He existed eternally without a body. He existed before He created anything. A body is not essential to His existence. John 1:1 translated from the Greek confirms that Jesus was with God eternally and therefore existed in eternity with the Father without a body.

    I would also study the difference between nature or essence and personhood. When the apostles wrote the new testament, there was no philosophical vocabulary to discuss or explain personhood. They were fervently monotheistic and suddenly had to explain three rational minds within a single Divine Nature who is God. Read the history and discussions led by Tertullian and Athenagoras. The Mormon model or Aranism was a late comer and actually something that forced the church fathers to call the Council of Nicea in order to debate and declare the ‘of other substance’ concept heresy in Christian Theology. Arius introduced the idea that Jesus was ‘created’ and ‘of another substance’ about 300AD. This was almost 150 years after Tertullian and Athenagoras wrote about the Trinity. Athenagoras wrote the following in 177AD (Chapter 10, A Plea for the Christians)

    “But the Son of God is the Logos of the Father, in idea and in operation; for after the pattern of Him and by Him were all things made, the Father and the Son being one. And, the Son being in the Father and the Father in the Son, in oneness and power of spirit, the understanding and reason of the Father is the Son of God. But if, in your surpassing intelligence, it occurs to you to inquire what is meant by the Son, I will state briefly that He is the first product of the Father, not as having been brought into existence (for from
    the beginning, God, who is the eternal mind, had the Logos in Himself, being from eternity instinct with Logos); but inasmuch as He came forth to be the idea and energizing power of all material things, which lay like a nature
    without attributes, and an inactive earth, the grosser particles being mixed up with the lighter. The prophetic Spirit also agrees with our statements. “The Lord,” it says, “made
    me, the beginning of His ways to His works.” Proverbs 8:22 The Holy Spirit Himself also, which operates in the prophets, we assert to be an effluence of God, flowing from Him, and
    returning back again like a beam of the sun.”

  • SoundOn

    1.) My argument is simply that the Godhead (Trinity) consists of three separate persons all united in purpose and that they are not literally one being. Let’s be clear that although Aranism differs from the Trinity, it is not the “Mormon model”. Arius’ views showed the deep misunderstanding of the Godhead within the church and he certainly had some false views, but his teachings were no less false than the current understanding of the Trinity. Arius teachings simply showed the beginnings of the Great Apostasy and highlighted a major division over a simple doctrine. The Church struggled to define God and therefore it was doomed to eventually split apart. Only a few hundred years after Christ’s ministry and the Church couldn’t even accurately define God anymore. The debate at the Council of Nicea lasted not just those few months, but it took another 125 years and three more major councils to finally provide an explanation that everyone could agree on. And it’s not surprising that if you read the Nicene Creed it is obvious that nothing was really defined or clarified at all. In the end it is more of a politically correct explanation rather than a doctrinally correct one. The creed declares the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be abstract where all three members are separate persons, but they are a single being. They are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods but one. And so the explanation of Trinitarianism emerged using language not from the scriptures, but from philosophers like Tertullian. Trinitarianism is not to be confused with Monotheism (One Being) and not to be confused with Tritheism (3 beings), but it is in fact a convenient combination of the two. With such a weak, but safe explanation one can believe nearly anything they want about the Godhead. One could believe that they were separate beings, or one being, or both. Because the trinity is explained best using language from the Nicene Creed (or that of Tertullian) some of the language in it is also not to be found within the scriptures. For example, the Creeds claim that God is immaterial, formless, and uncreated. Scholars refer to this concept as creation ex nihilo (creation from nothing), but the problem is that is not derived from the Bible. There is no scripture to be found in the Bible to support the concept that God has no form. Yet this false doctrine has crept its way into the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Not to mention that Trinitarianism is far too confusing to be true and God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). A child should be able to understand something as simple as the Godhead and the simplest explanation for the Godhead is that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are separate and distinct beings, but united in purpose just as it is described in John chapter 17. However, anyone who attempts to explain the Trinity using scripture must use a rationale that is illogical and which will become more and more complicated as it is explained because it is not true.

    2.) Likewise, it very telling that you use language not found in the scriptures to define what you believe. There is plenty of truth to learn in the scriptures without referring to the words of philosophers to explain yourself. The words and phrases Monotheism, Polytheism, Tritheism, Logos, Trinity, incorporeal, natures of God, centers of consciousness, etc., are not explained in the Bible and yet you use them to describe your beliefs. Why distance yourself from the words of scripture? You claim that the Bible contains all the necessary truths for salvation and then you refer me outside the scriptures to explain what you in fact actually believe. I can only assume that you must not trust the words of prophets if you refer to the words of philosophers like Athenagoras and Tertullian instead. I know that Tertullian is probably most famous for being the oldest Latin writer to use the term Trinity, but he was never canonized by the Catholic Church which felt that several of his teachings directly contradicted the teachings of the apostles. The Church was well on its way to apostasy even before the Nicene Creed thanks to those who embraced the non-scriptural theories from philosophers like Tertullian and Athenagoras.

    3.) You said: “When the apostles wrote the new testament, there was no philosophical vocabulary to discuss or explain personhood. They were fervently monotheistic and suddenly had to explain three rational minds within a single Divine Nature who is God.” Actually, the apostles weren’t nearly as confused as you are because they taught the simple truths contained in the scriptures. Where in the Bible does it mention that the apostles were monotheistic? The term wasn’t even invented until the 1600s which was well after the apostasy was already in full effect. Let the dictionary define Monotheism and the Bible define what one God means. Certainly the apostles and the Jews believed in the one God that was their creator. Yet, even you must admit that the one God worshipped is in reality 3 separate persons. Am I wrong? The scriptures teach that these 3 separate persons are only one in their love, unity, perfection, etc. (see John 17). Nowhere in the scriptures does it say that they are literally one being. I agree with you that Jesus Christ did exist with the Father before he had a physical body because he did not have a physical body until he was physically born on this Earth. But, if Jesus Christ existed with the Father before he was born then he could not have been the same being as the Father himself could he? Otherwise he would have “been God” rather than “been with God”, correct? And again, where in the scriptures does it say that God the Father and Jesus Christ are the same being? Nowhere. And you say there was no vocabulary for the apostles to explain personhood? Personhood is simply defined as the status of being a person and God and Jesus Christ are clearly separate persons. The scriptures say nothing about 3 rational minds in one divine nature so don’t complicate something so simple and confuse yourself. God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33).

  • BenW3

    You seem to be rather like the energizer bunny. You just keep going and going, even though I told you this conversation was over. You’re welcome to continue it somewhere else. But if you want to claim you are a Christian, then do the Christian thing and respect the wishes of the person whose blog this is. And as for your continued misreading of Scripture, how about you meditate for a while on Galatians 1.13ff. It is no accident that Paul talks about the church of God— there is only one church and only one God. He never talks about the church of Gods plural. When Paul wants to talk about glorifying God or telling the truth, it is ‘before God’ that he swears. And for a good reason— there is not more than one. When billions of Christians and Jews over 2,000 plus years tell you there is only one God, because that is exactly what the Scriptures say, whether we use the term monotheism or not….. you should have listened. Blessings on you anyway, and now its time for you to hush…… Ben W.

  • SoundOn

    I also thought our conversation ended. David replied to my comment and I was conversing with him when you chimed in. I realized you were frustrated with me, but didn’t realize you intended to kick me off your blog entirely. I must have really ruffled your feathers. My only intention was to defend my Faith. As far as Galations 1:13, we both believe that we worship one God that consists of 3 separate persons. That scripture fits both our views here, but it also says there is only ONE church. Jesus Christ established one church and there are over 20,000 protestant Churches today. What is interesting to me is that these many churches with various beliefs unite to call themselves the Church of Christians, but Ironically and sadly they exclude those believers in Jesus Christ who belong to his restored Church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ, restored in these latter days. It is Christ’s Church and it is led by Him. If you have the right to slam it I don’t see why I don’t have the right to defend it, but it is your blog and you are welcome to silence me. But realize that if you choose to do so it is because I speak the truth.

  • BenW3

    David I didn’t kick you off the blog, I simply told you this particular conversation was over. It’s utter nonsense to say that if I told you the conversation was over, that that must mean I am silencing you because you were telling the truth. You seriously need to do more research about your own faith…. by which I mean the work of that complete charlatan Joseph Smith and his creation of the Book of Mormon, based in part on a 19th century novel and the King James translation of the Bible , not to mention the utter lie about the existence of tablets written in the non-existent language called reformed hieroglyphics. There were no such tablets, and their is no such language, and while we are at it, the genetic evidence does not support the notion of any connection between American Indians and the lost tribes of Israel. Mormonism is not the restored church of God at all. It is a departure from orthodox Christianity whether we want to talk about Catholics, Protestants, or the Orthodox Christians. I admire your zeal and desire to defend what you believe, but it is a blind zeal, and not according to knowledge even about your own religion. Blessings, anyway…. and once more with feeling…. this conversation is over…. BW3

  • SoundOn

    It is clear that Ben wants to end this conversation with me so I will reply to myself rather than him to wrap this up. Ben said, “David I didn’t kick you off the blog, I simply told you this particular conversation was over.” No, that’s not all. You also marked my comments as spam so it would not appear on your blog. That’s ok I forgive you and I thank you for letting me repost those remarks. I agree that Mormonism is a departure from orthodox Christianity whether we want to talk about Catholics, or Protestants. Those branches of Christianity all stemmed from the original Church of Jesus Christ that apostatized. This is not new information. It is well documented. Even Ben must admit, if he is honest with himself, that the founder of his own church, John Wesley, acknowledged the apostasy. We now have over 20,000 Christian churches with different doctrines. How could they all be entirely true? In reality the true Church of Jesus Christ has been restored through Joseph Smith. It is the true Church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is true. It is not a 19 Century novel, but it is in complete agreement with the King James version of the Bible. Certainly if you read it you will be able to distinguish the difference between a novel and scripture. I would encourage all to read the words on its pages so that you may also know that it is true. Critics may scorn and fools may mock, but they cannot discount the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ben, I have nothing against you personally. You are my Christian brother and I wish you the best.

  • nonya

    frist of all, the book of mormon was written in the americas and the bible was written on the other side of the wrold, now the bible was written by prophets chosen by god, to bring messages to the children of men here in earth… now just think of this example ….if you where to be in the middle of the americas and the middle east.. and you have two sons …. one of them goes to the americas and the other one goes to the middle east…. now let me ask you a question…. wich one of your kids would you write all the time or call them?? if your a loving parent you would say both..

    now god loves all his children the same and he wouldnt just send prophets and the athority of god to the middle east where the bible was written … thats why he sent prophets and the athority to the americas too cuz he also loves all his children and thats why the book of mormon was written in the americas.. and when jesus christ died and resurected he visited the americas and told them what says in the new testament in ( jhon 10:16 ) and he also told the people in the middle east the same thing … now if you know that the book of mormon is true, you will know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of god and that he restored the church of jesus christ.. and i know that the book of mormon is true and,. the book has been attaked more than any book in the religious history .. and its still out … and i know that no wiked man would writte such a book… or even the most ritchest man would not be able to do it….

    unless it was asked by god… and done by the power of god… read the book and then pray about it and you will know.. god loves you and he will always tell you the trueth… if you need more info… go to … https://www.lds.org/?lang=eng

    http://www.mormonchannel.org/

    http://www.mormon.org/spa

  • Heather

    1. The Mormon church
    teaches that “God is only one of many gods”, because human beings can
    progress to become gods and godesses in the celestial kingdom (see: Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball , pp.28,
    51-53).

    Mormon founder Joseph Smith describes the creation of the earth: “And
    they (the Gods) said, ‘Let there be light’…And the Gods
    pronounced the dry land…And the Gods organized the earth…And the
    Gods planted a garden in Eden” (Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 4:3,10,25; 5:8). A reference to
    a plurality of ‘Gods’ occurs at least 43 times in the book of Abraham.

    According to Joseph Smith: “The doctrine of a plurality of
    Gods is prominent in the Bible. The heads of the Gods appointed our
    God for us…you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves…the same
    as all Gods have done before you” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,
    p.370-372, 346).

    Mormon Apostle and leading apologist Bruce McConkie states: “Three
    separate personages—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—comprise the Godhead…As
    each of these persons is a God, it is evident from this standpoint alone,
    that a plurality of Gods exists. To us…these three are the only
    Gods we worship” (Mormon Doctrine,
    p.576-577).

    Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt wrote “there are more gods than
    there are particles of matter” (Journal of
    Discourses, vol.2, p.345).

    Mormon Prophet Brigham Young wrote: “How many Gods there are,
    I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods” (Journal of Discourses v.7, p.333).


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