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  #51  
Old 02-04-2018, 11:41 AM
andros andros is offline
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You left out sola denarius. Saved by money.
  #52  
Old 02-04-2018, 02:47 PM
astorian astorian is offline
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I don't consider Mormons to be Christian, much less Protestant. But they are a religion that uses Christian beliefs/ideas. The few Mormons I've known personally are fine people too.
Opinions vary. For what it's worth, the Catholic church does NOT regard Mormons as Christians.

What difference does that make? Not much, just this: an Episcopalian, a Methodist, a Baptist or a Presbyterian who wanted to become Catholic would NOT need a Catholic Baptism. The Baptisms given by their churches are regarded as valid.

But a Mormon who wanted to convert would have to be baptized.

Last edited by astorian; 02-04-2018 at 02:47 PM.
  #53  
Old 02-04-2018, 07:38 PM
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Opinions vary. For what it's worth, the Catholic church does NOT regard Mormons as Christians.

What difference does that make? Not much, just this: an Episcopalian, a Methodist, a Baptist or a Presbyterian who wanted to become Catholic would NOT need a Catholic Baptism. The Baptisms given by their churches are regarded as valid.

But a Mormon who wanted to convert would have to be baptized.
I don't think that ist quite right. The reason you need to be baptized if you convert from Mormonism is because there is a "significant defect in the intentions of the minister." I don't think they have an official take on whether Mormons are Christian, but the baptism thing is that the theological intent of baptism is different enough for Mormons that you need to get re-sprinkled.
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  #54  
Old 02-05-2018, 09:19 AM
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The Apocrypha was also translated for the KJV.
Yes, but the Greek Orthodox canon has one book that the KJV did not translate: 3 Maccabees. To answer the implied question, I tried to look up where they got their English translation of that, but found no definitive answers. I do note that, despite not being canon for Catholics, it does seem to be available several "Catholic" versions.
  #55  
Old 02-05-2018, 09:24 AM
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I don't think that ist quite right. The reason you need to be baptized if you convert from Mormonism is because there is a "significant defect in the intentions of the minister." I don't think they have an official take on whether Mormons are Christian, but the baptism thing is that the theological intent of baptism is different enough for Mormons that you need to get re-sprinkled.
My understanding is that all baptisms that invoke the Trinity (i.e. "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit/Ghost") are considered valid, but those that don't are not. And Mormons do not adhere to the Trinity, seeing Jesus and Heavenly Father as separate beings.

The Pentecostal Oneness Movement I believe also doesn't qualify. They believe in "Jesus-only" baptism, as they say that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all in one.

Last edited by BigT; 02-05-2018 at 09:25 AM.
  #56  
Old 02-05-2018, 09:27 AM
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My understanding is that all baptisms that invoke the Trinity (i.e. "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit/Ghost") are considered valid, but those that don't are not. And Mormons do not adhere to the Trinity, seeing Jesus and Heavenly Father as separate beings.

The Pentecostal Oneness Movement I believe also doesn't qualify. They believe in "Jesus-only" baptism, as they say that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all in one.
OK, we're definitely getting into Monty Python territory here.
  #57  
Old 02-05-2018, 10:00 AM
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I would consider Protestant churches to be non-Catholic churches which still adhere to the Nicene Creed: that there is a holy trinity and that Jesus was the son of God, died for our sins, was raised from the dead on the third day and then ascended to heaven until the final judgment. My understanding is that Mormons do not believe in the Trinity and believe that Jesus left heaven following the ascension to spread his teachings in America. Those beliefs are in conflict with the Nicene Creed and so Mormons may arguably be Christian but they are not Protestant.
  #58  
Old 02-05-2018, 10:41 AM
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My understanding is that all baptisms that invoke the Trinity (i.e. "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit/Ghost") are considered valid, but those that don't are not. And Mormons do not adhere to the Trinity, seeing Jesus and Heavenly Father as separate beings.

The Pentecostal Oneness Movement I believe also doesn't qualify. They believe in "Jesus-only" baptism, as they say that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all in one.
Which doesn't mean that the Catholic Church doesn't consider them Christians, but that they would need to be baptized to convert, since their first baptism didn't adhere to Catholic standards.

To the best of my knowledge, the current Catholic church tries to stay out of defining other people's religions.
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  #59  
Old 02-05-2018, 11:07 AM
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My understanding is that all baptisms that invoke the Trinity (i.e. "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit/Ghost") are considered valid, but those that don't are not. ...
To perform a Mormon baptism , one who is authorized says:

  #60  
Old 02-05-2018, 02:37 PM
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The Pentecostal Oneness Movement I believe also doesn't qualify. They believe in "Jesus-only" baptism, as they say that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all in one.
That's the faith of county clerk Kim Davis. I didn't see it come up in the news at all, but it seems that you can practice what's essentially the reason that LDS, JW, et al. are rejected. But I guess you get in the cool kids club if you don't let gays marry.
  #61  
Old 02-05-2018, 03:21 PM
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For what it's worth, Catholics believe that it's only possible for a person to be validly baptized once, as it leaves an "indelible mark on the soul". And Catholics have a much more permissive view of what counts as a valid baptism than many denominations.

Catholics also have a notion of conditional baptism, to cover one's options: "If you are capable of being baptized, then I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". This form might be used with a stillborn baby, just in case the baby is somehow just barely alive at the time. Or with a teratoma, just in case it's actually a person. Or with a person for whom, for one reason or another, it's unknown if they were baptized, such as a foundling. It wouldn't be unreasonable for a priest to use this form for a convert from Mormonism to Catholicism.
  #62  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:06 PM
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It seems pretty clear to me that they're Christians. Weird Christians, maybe, but Christians.

I would not, however, call them "Protestants", nor would I apply that label to the Jehova's Witnesses or the Christian Scientists.
I agree, but maybe not completely with "weird" - maybe unconventional might be more politic.

So, yes Christian, No Protestant.

Now, are Scientologists Christian? I say no.
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  #63  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:09 PM
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I agree, but maybe not completely with "weird" - maybe unconventional might be more politic.

So, yes Christian, No Protestant.

Now, are Scientologists Christian? I say no.
Mormons believe in and pray to Jesus, Scientologists do not.


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"Scientology's upper-level materials tout the concept of Jesus as God as being a fiction that ought to be removed by 'auditing'".
  #64  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:21 PM
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I grew up Mormon, and served a full time mission in fact.

I no longer an active member or believer, but I do remember my mindset at the time.

I never identified as a protestant. One of the things Mormons believe in is no other church is true. God told Smith that himself. The only true church was Christ's, and while I believe there is no official doctine as to the exact event when his church "died," it certainly occurred before people started calling themselves Catholics.

Mormon's believe that a Church must be organized exactly as it was in Christ's time, with apostolic succession (if you're really interested, read the 13 articles of faith) and direct lines to the priesthood. Mormons believe that the "Aaronic" priesthood restored by John the Baptist to Smith and, while this is never directly spelled out, the "Melchizedek" priesthood was conferred by apostles Peter, James and John.

So, they basically believe everything that happened after the Bible and before Joseph's first vision to be a bunch of bunk. Well intended bunk, best-you-can-do-with-what-you-have bunk, but bunk nonetheless. That basically precludes them identifying with any other Christian sect, although Smith clearly borrowed ideas from many of them, as well as the Freemasons.

As a now-outsider (and atheist), I basically view them as generic Christians who believe in a bible and and some extra "Christian fanfiction" as I like to call the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, etc. They clearly came up with some weird ideas, though I don't really consider them much weirder than anything else out there. All religions believe in some pretty weird stuff.

Make no mistake though, while their idea of Christ might not perfectly align with other mainstream Christians, they believe, revere and love Christ 100%, accept him as their savior, and tend to be HIGHLY offended by any suggestion they are not "Christian."

Last edited by Ashtura; 02-05-2018 at 04:25 PM.
  #65  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:45 PM
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I agree, but maybe not completely with "weird" - maybe unconventional might be more politic.

So, yes Christian, No Protestant.

Now, are Scientologists Christian? I say no.
Scientology is a business, not a religion.
  #66  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:49 PM
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Scientology is a business, not a religion.
In America, it is legally a religion, but yes, it has more business aspects than most.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:58 PM
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As an outsider, I see modern Christianity divided into Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant, with all the little sects and splits that happened after 1500 being various types of Protestant, no matter their ideology. The name comes from protesting the Catholic Church, and I figure any non-Catholic sect that has sprouted up since then counts. (Boy, is Mel Gibson going to be mad when I tell him his weird fundamentalist Catholic sect is actually Protestant. )

Also, you're a Christian if you worship Christ. Muslims don't, but Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses do. Ergo, they are Christians.

I like how everyone else is discussing the finer points of doctrine, but I call them like I see them. To this outsider, Mormons are just another flavor of Protestant Christian. Yes, their beliefs are weird, but not as weird as, say, a devout Baptist might think.
  #68  
Old 02-05-2018, 07:35 PM
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Scientology is a business, not a religion.
Mormonism also has a large target on its back if you want to come at things from that angle. Mormonism has always paid a lot of attention to the collection and retention of money. Which is unsurprising given its origins. (Insert rambling critical dismantling of Mormonism here.)

I was raised within the mormon church, though by all accounts I've been an atheist all my life. (I was baptized over my voiced protests.) The church considers itself christian, because of course it's christian by any definition of "christian" that doesn't cut out wide swathes of groups that claim that name. They also never once claimed to be protestant - which is unsurprising given that they think they're better -more correct- than protestants. And catholics. And everybody else. The idea is that every other religion had fallen into corruption and error by the time Joe Smith got interested in religion, so why would mormonism claim to be associated with any of those erroneous groups?

As far as mormonism is concerned they're the direct continuation of the church started by Christ in the 0030s. Protestants are just a corrupted spinoff.
  #69  
Old 02-11-2018, 04:18 AM
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I’ll throw my two senum in here as an ex-Mormon (and ex-Christian).

Mormons are unequivocally Christian, just a different brand of Christianity.

In my experience, they do not see themselves as Protestant, and tend to view protestant churches as being either
a) the product of well-meaning people trying to interpret the bible as best they can without the necessary authority and guidance of divinely appointed leaders, or
b) the result of Satan seeking to pervert the true teachings of god and lead people astray.
They kind of play it both ways, depending on the audience and the lesson they’re trying to teach in the moment.
Short story: theirs is the only true religion and the only path to salvation.

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In my opinion, no. Protestantism arose with people like Luther and Calvin who felt that the Pope and the Catholic Church had wandered away from the original form of Christianity. They believe that they are going back to that original Christianity as it was created by Jesus and Paul. They felt they were restoring an old religion not founding a new one.

Latter Day Saints, to my understanding, do not follow this kind of doctrine. Their religion is based on a relatively recent divine revelation that was received in the 19th century. So they don't feel they are going back to a religion that existed in the first century. Their religion is based on a new set of teachings.
A story that many Mormons seem fond of (recorded in LeGrand Richards’s A Marvelous Work and a Wonder) tells of some Catholic priest berating a Mormon congregation for failing to realize the strength of their own position as one of only two possibly true Christian religions: the Catholic church, or the LDS. The logic being that if the Catholic church did indeed hold the apostolic authority from Christ, then the Protestants were apostates, but if the authority had been lost, then it would need to be restored by divine manifestation, as the Mormons claim, and could not exist in any of the Protestant churches. I don’t know whether this nameless priest even existed (the sharing of made-up stories is a bit of a thing in the church), but the message that the LDS would take from this tale is “see, even the Catholics know that we’re the real deal.”

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My understanding was that it was Peter, James, and John who appeared to Joseph Smith as angels under the authority of God to restore the Melchizedek priesthood, (as John the Baptist appeared to him and Cowdery to restore the Aaronic), rather than the Trinity.
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It appears as though the church asserts that the entire priesthood (Melchizedek as well as Aaronic) was restored in the revelation of 1829, through Peter, James, and John who appeared to Smith and Cowdery.

I'm not sure where I got John the Baptist in there.
You are correct. As Ashtura explained, Mormons believe that the Aaronic priesthood (which includes the authority to baptize) was restored to Joseph Smith by John the Baptist, and that the Melchizedek Priesthood (which includes the authority to bestow the holy ghost and lead the church) was restored to Smith by the apostles Peter, James and John. They also teach that a bunch of other angelic beings appeared to Joseph Smith to restore various other Keys of the Church, to cover all the bases.

Since Jonathan Chance has nixed discussions of any cultish aspects of Mormonism, I’ll wait for someone to start a separate thread to offer my take on that.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:05 AM
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I agree, but maybe not completely with "weird" - maybe unconventional might be more politic.

So, yes Christian, No Protestant.

Now, are Scientologists Christian? I say no.
I’m not even sure Scientology is a monotheistic “religion” (or theistic, for that matter).
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:41 AM
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I've heard people claim you can be Scientologist and Christian. I don't know if that's an official doctrine or something to make the "faith" more appealing.
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:26 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is online now
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there are a small group of fundamentalist Christians who claim Catholics are not Christian .
  #73  
Old 02-14-2018, 09:25 AM
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In the GQ thread mentioned in the OP, there was a link to a Mormon blogger who argued that Mormons could be considered Protestants because of the historical origins as well as the theology in the Book of Mormon. That argument is interesting but flawed as it fails to point out that the theology in the Book of Mormon is actually not representative of the unique, characteristic theology of later Mormonism.

Joseph Smith's beliefs evolved radically over the roughly two decade span from his first accounts in 1823 of the buried records which would become the Book of Mormon until his death in 1844 at the hands of a mob. The theology continued to change profoundly after his death, not becoming fixed until the early twentieth century.

The initial period from about 1823 to the later part of the decade was characterized by the Smith family interest in folk religion and magic. Joseph and his father used magical means to search for lost treasure remarkably similar to details to the origins of the Golden Plates.

Smith used the same "seer stone" to translate the Book of Mormon as he had used to locate buried treasure. (Although he claimed success in locating the treasure, they were never able to recover any.) Oliver Cowdery and other early key members also utilized seer stones or diving rods to communicate with God.

The Book of Mormon was written starting in 1828 and published in early 1830. The church was organized in 1830 and was moved to Kirtland, Ohio in 1831. The theology in the Book of Mormon and reflected in Smith's teaching was grounded in the religion of the time and place as noted by biographer Fawn Brodie and quoted here.
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In the speeches of the Nephite prophets one may find the religious conflicts that were splitting the churches in the 1820's. Alexander Campbell, founder of the Disciples of Christ, wrote in the first able review of the Book of Mormon: "This prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles, wrote on the plates of Nephi, in his Book of Mormon, every error and almost every truth discussed in New York for the last ten years. He decided all the great controversies:—infant baptism, ordination, the trinity, regeneration, repentance, justification, the fall of man, the atonement, transubstantiation, fasting, penance, church government, religious experience, the call to the ministry, the general resurrection, eternal punishment, who may baptize, and even the question of free masonry, republican government and the rights of man. . . . "
Campbell was a key figure in the Restorationist movement, looking to recreate the primitive Jesus movement. Sidney Rigdon, one of his followers and a leader of a congregation, converted to Mormonism and became one of the top leaders. Early Mormon meetings often had manifestations of the spirit, including speaking in tongues. Early Mormon doctrine appears to be also influenced by the seeker movement and the debate over Universalism.

Smith produced several scriptures during this time, including a revision to the Bible as well as a Book of Moses. Reflecting the theology in the Book of Mormon, these scriptures emphasized many contemporary beliefs, including the Trinity.

Had Smith's theology been frozen at that point, it would have been much easier to call Mormonism a Protestant religion, although they would not have seen themselves as such.

However, from the mid 1830s, Smith's thinking had changed sufficiently that the Book of Mormon and the Book of Commandments (predecessor to the Doctrine and Covenants) needed to be revised in order meet the changed doctrine. Smith viewed God the Father and Jesus as separate beings now, for example, so BoM verses which referred to Mary as the "mother of God" in the original 1830 text were altered in 1837 to say the "mother of the Son of God."

The priesthood became more important as Smith's position in the church was challenged. The 1833 Book of Commandants did not contain the supposed revelations concerning the restoration of the priesthood (which Morgenstern inexplicably conflates with the account of the First Vision) but were added to the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, and backdated to 1829. The fundamental role of the priesthood within Mormonism was not mentioned in the Book of Mormon or other early scriptures produced by Smith, but became a central theme of the Book of Abraham, published in 1842 in Nauvoo, IL.

The Book of Abraham also plays a part in Smith's evolution to polytheism, and a belief in the "preexistance" in which God had spirit children, (which then are born into human babies).

Also in Nauvoo, Smith expanded on the then secret practice of polygamy, and further developed the theology that God the Father had once been a mortal man and that we could become gods and goddess ourselves. In sort of a MLM scheme, gods had human children who then went on to become gods in their own right, forever adding to their upline's glory.

Following Smith's death, in the headly days of open polygamy and the Utah theocracy, Brigham Young further developed this unto the Adam - God doctrine in which God the Father took one of his Heavenly Wives and came down to Earth as Adam and Eve. Later, this doctrine was rejected -- and buried -- by the church.

The concept of "eternal progression," man's ability to become a god, has never been renounced by the LDS church, although it is emphasized much less publicly than when I was still a member. Of course, as missionaries, we did not teach such deep doctrines to potential converts.

Mormon theology is so different from Protestant churches, it really cannot be classified together. While there is no doubt that they consider themselves as Christians, their beliefs are different enough that I can see why some would say they aren't.
  #74  
Old 02-14-2018, 07:33 PM
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They're Western Christians who don't follow the Papacy, so they get lumped with Protestants a lot. They're culturally similar to "other" North American "Protestants." But they're not "Protestants" in a strict sense, because they don't quite follow the principles of "Reformed Christianity." Notably, the LDS have "Prophets" who keep writing new scriptures, which runs counter to the Protestant idea of the sufficiency of Scripture, as part of "sola scriptura."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_solae

More significantly for modern Evangelicals, the LDS completely change the theology of Christianity. Protestants typically believe in a universally singular God who is the Prime Mover. Mormons really don't.

They're Protestant-like, but not Protestants.
I registered just to weigh in on this one. Having been raised as an LDS Mormon (but currently a reformed atheist), the above quote is the best answer in this thread IMHO.

If you define Protestant as Non-Catholic, then sure, they'll fall in that category. But their teachings are quite unlike those of Lutheran/Calvinism roots. So take that as you may. Now the debate as to whether or not they are Christians is only a debate outside of that church. I say with absolute certainty, any member of the LDS church will unequivocally proclaim that they are indeed Christian. Now whether or not other Christians accept them as such is ... I liken that debate to the GOP's tendency to brand its own members with the "RINO" label.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:40 PM
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Hiya, GottaBeMeh, and welcome! Appreciate your perspective, hope you stick around.
  #76  
Old 02-14-2018, 10:43 PM
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Thanks! I will definitely stick around. This seems like a pretty cool place.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:36 AM
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Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board, GottaBeMeh!

I already knew a little bit about the history & culture of the LDS. I've actually learned a lot in this thread. But it's nice that someone acknowledged my post! I was pretty proud of it.

(Oh, no, does almost everyone in this thread have me on ignore?)
  #78  
Old 02-15-2018, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
As an outsider, I see modern Christianity divided into Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant, with all the little sects and splits that happened after 1500 being various types of Protestant, no matter their ideology. The name comes from protesting the Catholic Church, and I figure any non-Catholic sect that has sprouted up since then counts. (Boy, is Mel Gibson going to be mad when I tell him his weird fundamentalist Catholic sect is actually Protestant. )
Except that's not what 'Protestant' means. It's kind of insulting to Reformed Christians to interpret their religion as merely rejecting Rome. And it's kind of insulting to LDS to fail to recognize that they explicitly rejected Protestantism and that identity more strongly than Calvin or Luther rejected Catholicism.

Or it would be insulting, except that these days 'the little sects and splits' don't really advertise their differences enough that you'd know that. So you're excused.
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:05 AM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Mel Gibson has also never claimed to be anything than orthodox (lowercase) Catholic. His father was the weird sedevacantist.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:44 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is online now
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Mel Gibson has also never claimed to be anything than orthodox (lowercase) Catholic. His father was the weird sedevacantist.
Yeah, I would call Protestants schismatics by (direct or indirect) way of Calvin or Luther. I don't know enough about Presbyterians or Unitarians to know if they're covered by this narrow definition, but Gibson, Sinead O'Conner and Hans Kung are not, and I'm getting the feeling that Mormons aren't either.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:02 AM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Presbyterianism is the archetypical Calvinist faith. Not all of them are hardcore predestinationists (what? The Canadian Presbyterians joined the Methodists? Really?), but classically most Calvinists were either Presbyterians or Congregationalists.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:30 AM
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Mel Gibson has also never claimed to be anything than orthodox (lowercase) Catholic. His father was the weird sedevacantist.
Lots of Catholic schismatics claim to be orthodox Catholics. It's pretty much a hallmark of traditionalist schism.

But, yeah, even if you are in schism from Catholicism, that doesn't make you a Protestant. Protestantism had definite historical and theological connotations which go well beyond just "not Catholic" or "not Catholic and not Orthodox".

It's true to say that , historically speaking, Mormonism emerged from Protestant Christianity, and still has certain inheritance from Protestantism. But it is sufficiently theologically distinct that it's not helpful to think of it as still being one of the Protestant traditions of Christianity.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:58 AM
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. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
The concept of "eternal progression," man's ability to become a god, has never been renounced by the LDS church, although it is emphasized much less publicly than when I was still a member. Of course, as missionaries, we did not teach such deep doctrines to potential converts.
Yea, verily that was a deep assessment of the issue! You’ve really done your research. (I’ve forgotten most of mine.) I salute you sir.

I do remember teaching eternal progression as a missionary back in the mid to late 90s.
I also remember Gordon B. Hinckley downplaying the long-touted adage “as man is god once was” (I think in an interview with Larry King) and wondering at the time, “why are you trying to downplay what I’ve been taught all this time and have been instructed to teach to others?”


Welcome GottaBeMeh. Nice name and nice perspective.
And foolsguinea, I thought your post was a good, succinct response to the OP. Well put.
  #84  
Old 02-15-2018, 07:33 AM
senoy senoy is offline
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Mormons are Protestant in the same way that Muslims are Syrian Orthodox. In both cases they developed out of the tradition, but rejected some theological claims inherent to their parent faith while adding revelatory claims not seen in their parent faith. I think that calling them a related Abrahamic faith is probably the best classification.
  #85  
Old 02-15-2018, 07:50 PM
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OK, we're definitely getting into Monty Python territory here.
I don't entirely disagree. I've tried my best to argue that the Oneness concept really isn't all that important. There's nothing in the Bible that declares that the Trinity is the only possible way to interpret the three forms of God. And there's definitely nothing that says that salvation is dependent on it.

They still believe that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so, as far as I'm concerned, they're still baptizing in the name of all of them. They just disagree about this concept that's not even in the Bible at all.

It seems to me that the only things that should really matter are the bare essentials, and that those essentials should be concepts that are in the shared Scriptures Christians have in common.

The rest is just what Paul condemned in Romans 14:1 "Accept those who faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters." Exactly how the Mysteries of God work is disputable.
  #86  
Old 02-15-2018, 07:59 PM
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That's the faith of county clerk Kim Davis. I didn't see it come up in the news at all, but it seems that you can practice what's essentially the reason that LDS, JW, et al. are rejected. But I guess you get in the cool kids club if you don't let gays marry.
The argument I mention in that previous post was most recently with a Catholic on Facebook who very much was arguing against Kim Davis because of that situation. I argued that the Oneness thing didn't matter, just the fact that her own belief system didn't agree with what she was doing. I didn't like the idea of her condemning any non-Trinitarian Christians and making them defensive.

To me, the working argument right now is simply that, even if you think homosexuality is sinful and think homosexual marriage is invalid, there's nothing in the Bible saying that you should discriminate against people over it. You can do business with them. You can give them a cake. You can sign off on their marriage, since that's a legal thing.

Though I am also working on the idea that the Bible doesn't actually condemn homosexuality but actually pedophilia/pederasty.
  #87  
Old 02-17-2018, 07:45 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is online now
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Though I am also working on the idea that the Bible doesn't actually condemn homosexuality but actually pedophilia/pederasty.
As I understand it, the Old Testament was going through one of its periodic rewrites when a Canaanite sect took an opportunity to snub a rival sect famous for embracing homosexuals.
  #88  
Old 02-17-2018, 12:07 PM
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To me, the working argument right now is simply that, even if you think homosexuality is sinful and think homosexual marriage is invalid, there's nothing in the Bible saying that you should discriminate against people over it. You can do business with them. You can give them a cake. You can sign off on their marriage, since that's a legal thing.

Though I am also working on the idea that the Bible doesn't actually condemn homosexuality but actually pedophilia/pederasty.
Mostly the OT does.

But in the NT, those who commit homosexual acts are condemned along with adulterers, fornicators and drunkards: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 King James Version (KJV)
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.


So, if you wont make a cake for a gay couple, better not make it for that drunk either. Or that fornicator. Or that adulterer.
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  #89  
Old 02-18-2018, 06:26 AM
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Yea, verily that was a deep assessment of the issue! You’ve really done your research. (I’ve forgotten most of mine.)
Since it's a hijack to the debate:
SPOILER:
I think former members know a lot more about LDS church history than most active members.

I left for theological reasons -- after living in Japan for a while, I couldn't see why Mormonism or even Christianity in general was so Western Centric in philosophy and culture. It wasn't until after I had already left that I stumbled on the historical problems.

Once I had decided for myself that the actual history did not match was I was taught growing up, I was fascinated by the question if Joseph Smith was misguided, a fraud, or something else. Apparently scholars who have studied him extensively find him to be complex.

Anyway, that lead me to study early Mormonism and to see what was happening and when. Why did Smith decide on Gold Plates for the record? As a fifth or sixth generation Mormon, obviously I knew the official story very well. However, learning about the religious and cultural beliefs of the time make it so much more plausible that young Joseph started off with the Gold Plate story as one of his father's and his many tales of buried treasure and then things morphed from there.

Quote:
I do remember teaching eternal progression as a missionary back in the mid to late 90s.
I also remember Gordon B. Hinckley downplaying the long-touted adage “as man is god once was” (I think in an interview with Larry King) and wondering at the time, “why are you trying to downplay what I’ve been taught all this time and have been instructed to teach to others?”
My mission was in Japan in the early 80s and we had a special set of discussions which were written by Elder Kikuchi, the Japanese General Authority. I'm not absolutely certain that it wasn't taught, but I don't remember it.

Continuing the discussion of the evolution of Mormonism, there seems to be concerted efforts since the 90s to make it appear to be part of mainstream Christianity. I think it may have come from Hinckley, although because I was in Japan and this was pre-Internet, I didn't see it in real time.

This is quite different from my childhood experiences in the 60s and 70s when we thought of ourselves as a "particular people" and were quite happy to be seen as vastly different than the poor souls who didn't know the truth. To have a member suggest that the Church could be considered Protestant, like that Mormon blogger did, would have raised eyebrows back then.
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Mormons are Protestant in the same way that Muslims are Syrian Orthodox. In both cases they developed out of the tradition, but rejected some theological claims inherent to their parent faith while adding revelatory claims not seen in their parent faith. I think that calling them a related Abrahamic faith is probably the best classification.
I donno. If the Adam-God doctrine continued past Brigham Young and had been further developed by subsequent prophets then you could be right, but I don't think that a majority of Christians now would consider Mormons to not be in the same group. Obviously some do, but probably not the majority.
  #90  
Old 02-20-2018, 05:08 PM
Ashtura Ashtura is offline
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They still believe that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Are you talking about Mormons? Because no, they definitely do not. Sorry if you weren't.

Hinkley definitely tried to make the Church more mainstream. And the Church has been whitewashing its "quirks" for a long time. Many mormons born in the 90s probably don't know half the stuff we used to call "deep doctrine."

Benson was the last hard core President in my opinion.

Anyway, found it interesting that most of the Ex Mormon Dopers here are now atheists. I guess the "if Mormonism is ain't true, none of them are!" attitude stuck, haha.

I haven't even stepped into another church.
  #91  
Old 02-20-2018, 07:20 PM
Not Carlson Not Carlson is online now
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My mission was in Japan in the early 80s and we had a special set of discussions which were written by Elder Kikuchi, the Japanese General Authority. I'm not absolutely certain that it wasn't taught, but I don't remember it.

Continuing the discussion of the evolution of Mormonism, there seems to be concerted efforts since the 90s to make it appear to be part of mainstream Christianity. I think it may have come from Hinckley, although because I was in Japan and this was pre-Internet, I didn't see it in real time.
I also served in Japan, at the time Hinckley became president. (I met Elder Kikuchi a few times.)
The missionaries who preceded us had employed special strategies intended to make it easier for Japanese people to accept the church, including lots of friendly social activities and emphasizing various perceived links between Christianity/Mormonism and Japanese culture -- the so-called Amon Project.
By the time I arrived in the field, that had been abandoned in favor of the standard 5-part lesson plan.

Shortly after I arrived, the Ohm-Sinri cult attacks occured; so missionaries were urged to emphasize the mainstream, not-at-all weird nature of the church.
But at the same time, teaching about the apostasy and restoration through Joseph Smith (ie, the idea that Mormonism is unique and the only path to salvation) was a key component of the standard lessons; as was teaching the principal of exaltation and eternal progression (ie, you too can become a god and create worlds without number). So, it was a bit of a balancing act trying to convince people we were both completely normal and very special.
My senior companion once chided me for mentioning in our first lesson with one investigator that Joseph Smith was only 14 when he met god and Jesus in his first vision, even though that was part of the standard lesson plan.
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Anyway, found it interesting that most of the Ex Mormon Dopers here are now atheists. I guess the "if Mormonism is ain't true, none of them are!" attitude stuck, haha.
Well, I was Deist for a while. Now I'm agnostic.
  #92  
Old 02-22-2018, 10:34 AM
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Well, I was Deist for a while. Now I'm agnostic.
Same. Except I lean now towards atheist.

What do you call an atheist that hopes he's wrong?
  #93  
Old 02-22-2018, 12:44 PM
Not Carlson Not Carlson is online now
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I don't know.
What do you call an atheist that hopes he's wrong?

. . .
Oh, sorry.
I thought that was a set up for a joke.

Last edited by Not Carlson; 02-22-2018 at 12:45 PM.
  #94  
Old 02-22-2018, 01:07 PM
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I don't know.
What do you call an atheist that hopes he's wrong?

. . .
Oh, sorry.
I thought that was a set up for a joke.
It might be I'd be surprised if there wasn't a term for that though.
  #95  
Old 02-26-2018, 09:23 AM
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I also served in Japan, at the time Hinckley became president. (I met Elder Kikuchi a few times.)
The missionaries who preceded us had employed special strategies intended to make it easier for Japanese people to accept the church, including lots of friendly social activities and emphasizing various perceived links between Christianity/Mormonism and Japanese culture -- the so-called Amon Project.
By the time I arrived in the field, that had been abandoned in favor of the standard 5-part lesson plan.
I was there in the early 80s at the tail end of the Kikuchi Groburg fiasco where the entire missionary discussions were abbreviated down to 1.5 to 2 hours and teenagers were targeted because of their naivety. I've written about this before:
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Originally Posted by me
I'm one of the few who had negative numbers [of baptisms].

(. . . )A few months later, the replacement [to Kikuchi] came over and there were a bunch more area conferences. This time, we had a new mission (no pun intended). The system was overloaded. Well over 90% of all the people who had been baptized in the previous five years were completely "inactive." There were branches with several thousand members of record, and 16 people showing up. You can't even begin to know where to start to fellowship.
And I go on to explain how we were sent out to talk to people to see if they wanted off the roles. Although that wasn't technically called an "unbaptism" that was essentially what we did.

If you google "kikuchi groberg" (the latter is the missionary president in Tokyo who was responsible for the chaos) you can get all of the dirt on the sordid tail. It was pretty ugly and many missionaries later left the church because of it.
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Well, I was Deist for a while. Now I'm agnostic.
I was agnostic for a while then became an atheist.
  #96  
Old 02-26-2018, 10:59 AM
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Yeah, I would call Protestants schismatics by (direct or indirect) way of Calvin or Luther. I don't know enough about Presbyterians or Unitarians to know if they're covered by this narrow definition, but Gibson, Sinead O'Conner and Hans Kung are not, and I'm getting the feeling that Mormons aren't either.
One small quibble. I see a few people say Protestants come from Calvin or Luther leaving Rome. It would be more accurate to say they come from Zwingli or Luther. Calvin converted about a decade after the big splits from Rome (he was after all born in 1509). Though he definitely was highly influential (he is arguably more influential than even Luther), I'd say he followed from Zwingli's work.

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I don't entirely disagree. I've tried my best to argue that the Oneness concept really isn't all that important. There's nothing in the Bible that declares that the Trinity is the only possible way to interpret the three forms of God. And there's definitely nothing that says that salvation is dependent on it.

They still believe that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so, as far as I'm concerned, they're still baptizing in the name of all of them. They just disagree about this concept that's not even in the Bible at all.

It seems to me that the only things that should really matter are the bare essentials, and that those essentials should be concepts that are in the shared Scriptures Christians have in common.

The rest is just what Paul condemned in Romans 14:1 "Accept those who faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters." Exactly how the Mysteries of God work is disputable.
Eh... if the theology depends on Jesus as God incarnate defeating sin and death through His death and resurrection, then it definitely DOES matter if Jesus and the Father are the same. It's not just splitting hairs as it has profound consequences for how one looks at salvation and justification.
  #97  
Old 02-26-2018, 12:11 PM
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It's not just splitting hairs as it has profound consequences for how one looks at salvation and justification.
How so? I can maybe see it between Catholicism and Protestantism, but I can't see it between Protestantism and Mormonism, which have a fundamentally different view of the trinity, yet still believe that you need to accept Jesus as your savior and be baptized. I don't see the big difference there.
  #98  
Old 02-26-2018, 01:26 PM
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How so? I can maybe see it between Catholicism and Protestantism, but I can't see it between Protestantism and Mormonism, which have a fundamentally different view of the trinity, yet still believe that you need to accept Jesus as your savior and be baptized. I don't see the big difference there.
I think that there's a big difference between sending your son to die and sending yourself to die. Non-trinitarianism has a number of philosophical differences with trinitarianism. The biggest is that it is a denial of monotheism. For the sake of ease, we'll define non-Mormons as 'Traditional Christians.' Traditional Christians believe in a single God. The Trinity is three persons within a single being. We anthropomorphize the Trinity into differing shapes because it's a difficult concept, but in Traditional Christianity, the being of God is singular - Father, Christ and Holy Spirit are aspects of a singular eternal entity. In Mormonism, the Godhead is much more like a committee where God is the oldest and Christ and the Holy Spirit came later. When we say 'God sent his son to save the world.' What Traditional Christians mean is that God sent an aspect of himself, not merely one member of the committee. It's important in soteriology because Christ bridges the Man-God gap which he could not do if he were not God or somehow below God or even one of three Gods who happen to agree most of the time.

Joseph Smith's conception of God was not even the anti-trinitarianism of the Arians or the Gnostics, but rather an uneducated person's attempt at reconciling common language regarding the Trinity with the essential One-ness of God. What he arrived at was that God was not one and from that basic logical leap, he jumped into a place where God is not even eternal and simply created by another God and who then created Gods himself and in fact created us who will one day become God and I guess then free to run our own little universes. This idea may or may not have merit, but it's pretty far from Traditional Christian conceptions of what God is and isn't. Drawing lines is always hard, when does Temple Judaism become Rabbinical Judaism? When does Christianity cease being Temple Judaism? When does Islam stop being Syriac Christian and become its own thing? They aren't as set in stone as we believe. At the same time though, they are all different things and I think that the Mormon conception of God is very, very different from the Traditional Christian conception of God and thus its own thing.

Last edited by senoy; 02-26-2018 at 01:27 PM.
  #99  
Old 02-26-2018, 01:41 PM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is offline
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How so? I can maybe see it between Catholicism and Protestantism, but I can't see it between Protestantism and Mormonism, which have a fundamentally different view of the trinity, yet still believe that you need to accept Jesus as your savior and be baptized. I don't see the big difference there.
If God did not take on human form and die and then conquer that death (which are the 'wages of sin'), then is one really absolved of one's sin if you accept Jesus as your savior? I think most Protestants would have some form of issue with that.

I do also believe that Mormonism tends to be more (for lack of a better term) 'works righteous' than most Protestant denominations. 'Grace alone' isn't a part of Mormon soteriology. In that, accepting Jesus as your savior isn't enough - you also have to do good works / cooperate with God. It is more Catholic or Orthodox idea of salvation than a Protestant one.
  #100  
Old 02-26-2018, 03:10 PM
Ashtura Ashtura is offline
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I do also believe that Mormonism tends to be more (for lack of a better term) 'works righteous' than most Protestant denominations. 'Grace alone' isn't a part of Mormon soteriology. In that, accepting Jesus as your savior isn't enough - you also have to do good works / cooperate with God. It is more Catholic or Orthodox idea of salvation than a Protestant one.
Yeah, you're right. Definitely is more to "getting to heaven" than just accepting Christ and baptism. But it is even more complicated than that in that there are 3 degrees of heaven, and the closest thing to hell is so awesome you'd kill yourself to get there (not counting Outer Darkness, which Mormon's won't commit that even Hitler would go to). Yeah there's the traditional stuff, plus getting endowed, blah blah blah to get to the highest.

I have always thought that Mormons viewed Catholicism as their "closest opponent" as far as who is "right". Protestants are basically disregarded altogether since they are simply an offshoot of Catholicism. And I always thought the "get baptized and accept Jesus" was a lazy way into heaven.

The funny thing is, from an outside perspective, I think Mormonism is closer to Islam than any other religion!
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