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Love, Christianity, Jesus and Salvation

It seems like Christianity and Jesus are increasingly under attack. What's going on? What we'll be looking at is what happens when Christians use human wisdom to interpret the Bible, twisting scripture away from its intended message. This blog is dedicated to using Scripture itself to interpret and help us understand Scripture. You are welcome to add your comments and thoughts. Other viewpoints are welcome. Disagreements are welcome.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Are Mormon Christians?

It has become very important for Mormons to think of themselves as Christian... as just another denomination of Christianity. They don't understand why the rest of Christianity considers the LDS church to be a cult. One of the tools they have created to use in the battle for recognition as Christians is a book by Stephen Robinson called "Are Mormons Christians."

I decided to read this book. It is not very long. Only 114 pages. It is written in simple language that is easy to understand. But I had a tough time getting through it. A part of the foundation of Christianity is truth. Jesus Christ said he was the truth (John 14:16). Not that he told the truth, but the he is truth. I had a tough time getting through this book because Robinson has little regard for the truth. He yanks quotes out of their context, twisting their meaning. He changes quotes. Or, in some cases, just makes them up. But what is really disturbing is that he entirely misses the definition of Christianity.

Over and over he questions why some parts of Christianity accept other parts as being Christian, even though they have differences of doctrine. For example, evangelicals for the most part accept Catholics as Christian. Why then, can not evangelicals accept Mormons as Christian? Sure there are some differences, but there are differences between Catholics and evangelicals.

He totally misses the point that to be a Christian you must believe in Jesus Christ. Using the name of Jesus Christ is not enough. An example I frequently use is a group of guys who are getting a basketball team together to play in a tournament. I'm on their team and that makes them real happy because I'm Michael Jordan. How can they lose? Yes, I'm tall. But I'm white. I'm slow. And I don't play basketball. They can call me Michael Jordon, but I'm not really Michael Jordon.

That is what the LDS church does. They believe in Jesus Christ, but it is a Jesus Christ they have created. A total fiction. Just like I am tall, some of the characteristics of the Mormon Jesus are true. But, just as I won't win the basketball game for you, neither will their Jesus save them. (See Mormon Jesus Christ.)

Evangelicals believe in the true Jesus Christ, Mormons do not. That is the difference.

Catholics believe in the true Jesus Christ, the LDS church does not. That is the difference.

Jesus asked his disciples, "But whom say ye that I am?" Who is the Jesus you believe in? Is he truly Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), who has existed eternally, who is and always has been fully God?

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posted by BrickBalloon -- Love, Christianity, Jesus & Salvation Archive
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10 Comments:

At 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

like you said Evangelicals and Mormons have their differences and so do cathlics and Evangelicals, so why can't mormons have a little differen't view on Christ. Christ is the son of god, how can he be the son of god and god at the same time. christ is also a god, but the Evangelicals and Cathlics believe that this makes him the one and only god, mormons believe that Christ is also a god but they do not worship him in that sense, we only worship God our eternal Hevenly Father, Cathlics and Evangelicals believe that god is a spirit, and eternal spirit, I am taking Philosophy and they say that god can't have a body because he is eternal and matter is not eternal, how then does Christ have a body and is still god. these are all contradictions, just as you say mormons have contradictions here is one of your own.

 
At 8:14 PM, Blogger BrickBalloon said...

To have a little different "view" on Christ, means to have a different Christ. But the LDS church's doctrine of Christ is more than a little different. As you point out, the Mormon Christ has very little in common with the Christian Christ. That means one of us is believing in a fiction that has been created by man and has been falsely called Christ. That fictional character has no saving power.

Which one of us believes in the fictional Christ?

Satan has been using the same method to turn people away from God since the beginning. Go to Genesis chapter three where we can see the three lies Satan uses to lead people away from Christ:

Lie #1 - Genesis 3:1 Satan says to the woman "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden.'?"

Satan lies about God's word to lead us to not believe what God says. Satan leads us to believe God's word means something different than what God said. Satan gives us another testament that adds more/different meaning to God's word... just as the LDS church does.

Lie #2 - Genesis 3:4 - Satan says, "You will not surely die." Satan tells us God's word is wrong. God said that if Adam and Eve eat the fruit they will die. But Satan leads us to doubt the truth of God;s word. This is just what the LDS church does when it claims the Bible (God's Word) has been corrupted, and can not be fully trusted. Instead we must trust the more recent "truth"... just like the serpant told Eve.

Lie #3 - Genesis 3:5 - Satan says "your eyes will be opened and you will be like God" Satan promises us the ultimate, we too can be like God. The exact thing the LDS church promises.

The LDS church is based on the three lies of Satan. Satan continues to use the same strategy to turn us away from God and into the eternal fire. Only the true Jesus Christ can save you from the fires of hell. The Bible talks much more about the reality of hell than it does about heaven, because for there to be justice... there must be a hell. When you break the law there is punishment. And no matter how hard you work, the truth is you can never be good enough to avoid justice for your crimes against God. The only way is through the true Jesus Christ.

 
At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, the book you read is not a representation of the LDS church and Robinson is no authority on it. Therefore, please do not base your opinion solely on this. If you really want to know if Mormons are Christian, please go to www.lds.org, and click on "Faith in Christ". There you will see the testimony of the leaders of the LDS church.

You, brickballoon, are the one who is lying.

1. You write, "Satan gives us another testament that adds more/different meaning to God's word... just as the LDS church does." The LDS church does not give a different meaning to God's word. We believe every word of the Bible just as you do.

2. Then you write, "This is just what the LDS church does when it claims the Bible (God's Word) has been corrupted, and can not be fully trusted. Instead we must trust the more recent "truth"... just like the serpant told Eve." LDS church doctrine has NEVER said the Bible cannot be fully trusted. The doctrine is very clear that the Bible is the word of God.

3. "Satan says "your eyes will be opened and you will be like God" Satan promises us the ultimate, we too can be like God. The exact thing the LDS church promises." Totally taken out of context brickballoon. You must know that when Satan says, "you will be like God." He is implying that Eve will understand good and evil. When the LDS doctrine says you can be like God (not a 'promise' made to everyone), they are speaking of eternal progression. Two totally different things. And if that is your argument, than you too have been deceived by Satan in saying that we should be Christlike.

Get your facts straight before you decide to post something so ignorant as this. What is your purpose anyway? Do you think God is happy to have you bringing good people down? That's real Christian of you!

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger BrickBalloon said...

Thank you for your comments anonymous. I apprerciate your checking back and taking the time to write.

I'll respond to each of the three points in three separate comments, as quickly as I have time available.

By the way, I'm not basing what I say on the book "Are Mormons Christians." There is no meat at all in that book... I'm surprised that Robinson was willing to put his name on it. I base what I say mainly on official LDS publications.

By the way, would it be proper for me to ask if you at the milk or meat stage? Are you are the point where LDS teachers can tell you about LDS doctrine, or still at the stage in which they must avoid answering your questions?

I have an interesting video of an LDS mission training class in which the teacher instructs the young missionaries in how to not answer the questions people ask. Instead they should answer the questions they "should have" asked... even though it is not related in any way to the original question. That's not Christianity.

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger BrickBalloon said...

"1. You write, "Satan gives us another testament that adds more/different meaning to God's word... just as the LDS church does." The LDS church does not give a different meaning to God's word. We believe every word of the Bible just as you do."

First, you are changing the subject in the middle of your answer. I find this happens a lot. Giving a different meaning to God's word and whether or not you believe what you've been taught are two different things that are unrelated. I have no doubt you believe what you've been taught. What I'm saying is that the LDS Church has mislead you and taught you something that is not true.

The question is not whether you believe, it is whether or not the LDS church has changed the meaning of God's word.

There are many examples, but let's look at just three Christian terms. I will give two definitions for each term. Which of these definitions is the right one?

(A)

God - One of countless gods in existence. An exalted man from another world who created the earth who's name is "Elohim." He became a god by following the laws and ordinances of his god on the other world. He has a body of flesh and bones.

God - The one and only God in all the universe.

(B)
Atonement - The sacrifice of Christ that made resurrection possible. This then allows us the opportunity to overcome our sins with the result that we are entitled to the highest glory.

Atonement - Christ died in our place, fully paying the penalty we owe for all our sins. There is nothing we can do that entitles us anything, earnsd us anything, or obligates God to give us anything.

(C)
The Fall - A blessing. A necessary step in the progression of humanity to the level of Godhood.

The Fall - A curse. The rebellion of Adam and Eve against God resulting in their condemnation and sin becoming part of mankind.

-----------

Which is which?

In each case the first definition is the LDS definition. The second is the Christian definition. The LDS church is changing the meaning of God's Word, just as Satan did with Eve. The following are the references used as sources.

(A)
LDS Source: D&C 130:22-23

Christian Source: Isaiah 44:6,8

(B)
LDS Source: Doctrines of the Gospels Student Manual, page 91, Section A.1.

Christian Source: 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2.

(C)
LDS Source: Mosiah 3:11-16

Christian Source: Genesis 3. There is only one God (1 Corinthians 8:4). To claim anything or anyone as a god is making an idol.

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger BrickBalloon said...

"2. Then you write, "This is just what the LDS church does when it claims the Bible (God's Word) has been corrupted, and can not be fully trusted. Instead we must trust the more recent "truth"... just like the serpant told Eve." LDS church doctrine has NEVER said the Bible cannot be fully trusted. The doctrine is very clear that the Bible is the word of God."

Yes, the LDS church considers the Bible to be scripture... one of four books of scripture. But it is not considered as infallible. The logical conclusion is there may be errors in it, so it can not be fully trusted.

The LDS church also raises an issue about whether the Bible is translated correctly. But it is so easy to demonstrate it is translated correctly that I've not recently met a Mormon who was willing to make a stand on that.

But that's not the main point. First some background:

Here is what Brigham Young said about Christianity. This is from Discources of Brigham Young, page 107 as quoted in the LDS Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual page 61, section A:

"In the days of Jesus and his Apostles the same power [Satan] was operating, and, actuated by that men hunted them until the last one was banished from human society, and until the Christian religion was so perverted that the people received it with open hands, arms, mouth and heart. It was adulterated until it was congenial to the wicked heart, and they received the Gospel as they supposed."

This says that all of Christianity, for over 1,800 years, was perverted and not true. That the people who where reading the Bible and putting what they learned into practice where following their wicked hearts and a false gospel... not understanding the word of God.

If you'd like to, you may say that the problem described here was not with God's word. That had not changed. The problem was that people did not understand the Bible correctly. Their understanding was being perverted by Satan.

That's exactly what Satan was doing with Eve!

Satan did not dispute that God said they would die. He disputes the truth of that statement. He disputes the understanding of that statement. Satan was saying, God said you will die, but surely that will not happen... you misunderstood.

Just as the LDS church does.

[Note: convincing someone that something is not true is the same as convincing them they did not understand correctly. The outcome is the same. The outcome is a different truth, that is not the truth.]

The LDS church says the Bible can only be correctly understood through the use of another source of "truth" -- just as Satan told Eve... in that case Satan himself was the source of the other truth. Without the other truth, with just the Bible alone, the LDS church says the result is a perversion, as Brigham Young described the historical Christian church.

The LDS church is doing exactly the same thing Satan did with Eve.

The truth is that God's word does not need anything else. No other sources of "truth" are needed to tell us what the Bible means.

What's also interesting is that what Satan was doing to Eve was telling her that God's word as 100% wrong. God said she would die. Satan says, "Surely you will not die." It is the same with the LDS church. LDS doctrine is perfectly 180 degrees opposite to Christian doctrine. What Christianity affirms, the LDS church denies. What Christianity denies, the LDS church affirms... just as Satan did.

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger BrickBalloon said...

"3. "Satan says "your eyes will be opened and you will be like God" Satan promises us the ultimate, we too can be like God. The exact thing the LDS church promises." Totally taken out of context brickballoon. You must know that when Satan says, "you will be like God." He is implying that Eve will understand good and evil. When the LDS doctrine says you can be like God (not a 'promise' made to everyone), they are speaking of eternal progression. Two totally different things. And if that is your argument, than you too have been deceived by Satan in saying that we should be Christlike."

Seems like the same thing to me. In both cases if the person does what Satan says, they are promised a "reward."

Satan promises Eve she will have the characteristics of God. She will be like God, having God-like knowledge. If she eats the fruit.

The LDS church promises you that you can have the characteristics of god... become god yourself! If you have been obedient. Yes, the LDS church does promise a bit more, you can actually be a god over your own planet, just like God is the God of this planet.

Both promises have the same basis, if you do something, you will have the reward of having the characteristics of God.

Satan has not needed to change his strategy for 6,000 years.

How are you doing at being obedient? Have you told a lie? Have you looked at a woman with lust? (Jesus says that is adultery of the heart.) Have you wanted something another person has? (coveting) Have you taken something that does not belomng to you? (stealing). Have you gotten angry at someone? (Jesus said to be angry at another person is the same as murder.) These are just five of the Ten Commandments. Are you good enough? The Bible says that you will never be good enough. The BEST we can do, your most righteous deeds are like filthy rags to God. Our efforts to be good are puny, insufficient and totally worthless. There is nothing we can do to earn any righteousness or merit in the eyes of God. There is nothing in ourselves we can boast about (Ephesians 2:8,9). Not here on earth nor in heaven. Listen to your God-given conscience. It will tell you whether or not you are good enough.

 
At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"1. You write, "Satan gives us another testament that adds more/different meaning to God's word... just as the LDS church does." The LDS church does not give a different meaning to God's word. We believe every word of the Bible just as you do."

First, you are changing the subject in the middle of your answer. I find this happens a lot. Giving a different meaning to God's word and whether or not you believe what you've been taught are two different things that are unrelated. I have no doubt you believe what you've been taught. What I'm saying is that the LDS Church has mislead you and taught you something that is not true.

Not so, I did not change the subject. My point is that if we believe the Bible to be the word of God just as you do, then how are we changing it from what you believe? How is that changing the subject?

The question is not whether you believe, it is whether or not the LDS church has changed the meaning of God's word. The LDS church has not CHANGED the meaning of God’s word. LDS prophets have received revelation expounding upon it, but not changing. Big difference.

There are many examples, but let's look at just three Christian terms. I will give two definitions for each term. Which of these definitions is the right one?

(A)

God - One of countless gods in existence. An exalted man from another world who created the earth who's name is "Elohim." He became a god by following the laws and ordinances of his god on the other world. He has a body of flesh and bones.

God - The one and only God in all the universe.

These are both true and proclaimed by LDS doctrine. God is the only God IN ALL THE UNIVERSE. What about beyond the universe?

(B)
Atonement - The sacrifice of Christ that made resurrection possible. This then allows us the opportunity to overcome our sins with the result that we are entitled to the highest glory.

Atonement - Christ died in our place, fully paying the penalty we owe for all our sins. There is nothing we can do that entitles us anything, earnsd us anything, or obligates God to give us anything.

First, your LDS reference is bogus. The atonement is not even discussed on page 91. And your “Christian” references do not say anything about there being nothing we can do, and therefore, I do not think your definition is correct. They do talk of the sacrifice that Christ made, but do not say anything about our eternal outlook. What about the man in Luke 15:11-32? He obviously did something to gain a reward from the Lord.

(C)
The Fall - A blessing. A necessary step in the progression of humanity to the level of Godhood.

The Fall - A curse. The rebellion of Adam and Eve against God resulting in their condemnation and sin becoming part of mankind.

Mosiah 3 does not give this definition of the Fall. We recognize the Fall as when Adam and Eve rebelled against God and were cast out of the garden just as Genesis 3 states. We do believe that it was a necessary part of God’s plan for us. How else would we have known good from evil? Isn’t it important that we learn good from evil? Otherwise, how can God ask us to do good to those who hate us if we didn’t know what good was? And if we didn’t ever know, why are we here? Yes, we believe it is a step in reaching the level of Godhood. Genesis 3:22 states, “And the Lord God said Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” In this scripture, God is saying that there is a tree of life in which we can eat and live for ever (just as God does).


-----------

Which is which?

In each case the first definition is the LDS definition. The second is the Christian definition. The LDS church is changing the meaning of God's Word, just as Satan did with Eve. The following are the references used as sources.

(A)
LDS Source: D&C 130:22-23

Christian Source: Isaiah 44:6,8

(B)
LDS Source: Doctrines of the Gospels Student Manual, page 91, Section A.1.

Christian Source: 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2.

(C)
LDS Source: Mosiah 3:11-16

Christian Source: Genesis 3. There is only one God (1 Corinthians 8:4). To claim anything or anyone as a god is making an idol.
You failed to quote the words, “in the world.”
So, I have just discussed this one of your posts. I am sure I can go through your others and point out just as many falsehoods and misrepresentations, but since I have better things to do with my time, I think I will pass on that.

Please do not try to tell me I am not a Christian, or a true Christian, or that my Savior is not as good as your Savior. That is exactly what Satan wants. He loves that you are doing His work, even if you may not realize it. However, you are free to believe as you wish. That is the great thing about free agency isn't it?

 
At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and yes I am good enough. I am not perfect, but I am working on it, and that is what my Heavenly Father wants for me.

With that last comment, I now realize why you are so quick to disprove the doctrine of the LDS church. If in fact someone made you feel as though you were not good enough, they were wrong, and clearly did not understand LDS doctrine. The doctrine is perfect, the people are not.

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger BrickBalloon said...

Hello anonymous,

By the way, I'm not trying to be contentious and contradictory just to vex you. I truly pray that your eyes will be opened and you will receive Jesus Christ as your savior... realizing with nothing else required on your part.

Savior in this case does mean someone who washes you clean so you can then live in obedience to the ordanances of the church and earn your way to a higher heaven. Savior means God does everything... God gets all the glory. ALL the glory.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." - Ephesians 2:8&9

It is a little hard to pick out your comments, but I think I found them all. I'll quote each so we know what is being discussed.

Your comment: "Not so, I did not change the subject. My point is that if we believe the Bible to be the word of God just as you do, then how are we changing it from what you believe? How is that changing the subject?"

I do not dispute that you believe the Bible, nor that you believe the Bible to be the word of god, but your believing it does not make what you believe true. It just makes it something you believe.

When key words have been redefined to have different meanings than Christian meanings, then when you read the Bible you read God's word, but put LDS meaning in it. When verses are ripped out of context and given different meanings, then you may be reading God's words, but you are not reading what they say.

Saying you believe it, which was your response, is meaningless. Muslims believe the Quran, and that the Quran came from God, but that does not make the Quran true nor does it mean it actually came from God. It is possible to believe, but belief does not create truth.

Again I say that I do not doubt your belief. I do not doubt your sincerity. I do not doubt your conviction. I do not doubt your honesty. But the LDS church has changed the meaning of God's word, fed you that changed meaning, and left you believing something that is not true. Just as Satan did to Eve.

Your comment: "The LDS church has not CHANGED the meaning of God’s word. LDS prophets have received revelation expounding upon it, but not changing. Big difference."

The list of words that have meant one thing to Christians for 2,000 years, and mean something totally different to a Mormom is very long. Moromons directly oppose the beliefs Christians have held for 2,000 years. Mormons believe in a different God, a different Jesus, a different heaven, they have eliminated hell and the lake of fire as punishment for disobeying God, a different salvation, and on and on.

See Mormon Terminology.

But I also ask about Mormon prophets, show me the proof. God's true prophets were validated through miracles and prophecies about the future that came true. God's true prophets were validated by speaking God's word which never contradicts what God has said previously. God's true prophets never contradict history, nor contradict nature. On the other hand LDS prophets have created a religion that is 180 degrees opposite of Christianity. Mormon prophets, and scripture, fails in all these areas.

Not only that, proof is available in writing. The original scroll that some of Mormon "scripture" was "translated" from has even been found and translated... and found to say nothing close to what the LDS church claims it says. The Book of Abraham is not scripture. It is a scroll that is an ordinary and common Egyptian funeral scroll.

Your cpomment: "These are both true and proclaimed by LDS doctrine. God is the only God IN ALL THE UNIVERSE. What about beyond the universe?"

Mormon scripture, descibes this universe as being created by multiple Gods: Abraham 4:1-2 says: "And then the LORD said, 'Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and earth. And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth; anddarkness reigned upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters."

It is nice that you emphasised in ALL THE UNIVERSE. But that has nothing to do with the question. LDS doctrine says there are many gods. That is in direct opposition to what the Bible says. The Bible makes it clear there is one God. Here are just two of the many verses:

ISAIAH 44:6,8 — "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Fear ye not, neither be afraid; have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any."

JAMES 2:19 — "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

To clarify, I will should restate what Christians believe. There is one God. In the universe and outside the universe. Everywhere in all places, and places that are not places, and in all time and outside of time.

By the way, I don't understand something. Is your comment implying that if you are good enough you will not just become a god of your own planet, but a god over your own universe? That would be the logical assumption if there is just one god of this universe.

To be continued...

 

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