Christianity vs Mormonism: How can they be reconciled?

Yeah, I belong to a faith that does not recognize Mormon baptism, but I was sick of the political threads. I personally believe that no reconciliation is possible because of the assumption that Jesus stayed on Earth after he ascended into Heaven. As an anthropologist and archaeologist I say, WTF? at all the claims of the Book of Mormon. As a skeptic I STILL say that and am happier with the concept of Thomas’ preaching to the Indians (of India).

Tie the two together.

They are both drivel.

To date the nearly 40,000 Christian denominations have been largely unable to reconcile beliefs among themselves. I don’t understand this question.

Mormonism is a form of Christianity because it holds as its central tenet that Jesus was the Christ and the savior and all that bullshit. That’s what “Christian” means: believing in Jesus as the Christ, savior, etc. You can certainly call it a “wacko Christian cult” if you like, but the fact is that they are Christian, no matter how much handwaving you do.

Of course, if we were to start using logic, we might as well disband the whole charade.

By one side or the other repudiating its unique beliefs in bearing spiritual authority and in the nature of God. Either the LDS is the Restored Church of Jesus Christ with the fullest Apostolic & Prophetic authority, or such authority resides in the Papacy, the Council on Orthodox Bishops, some other group, or in the Priesthood of all believers. Either God is an exalted human from a previous creation & humans can attain to the same Deity, or God is the Eternal Triune Creator & we are the time-bound creatures, called to immortality & glorification but not Deity.

Does the LDS accept other Christian groups’ baptism? If not, why should the RCC, EOC, Reformed ones recognize the LDS baptism?

It’s great that you’re able to admit that you don’t understand the question.

Calling Mormonism Christian is like calling Islam Christian. Just because it is loosely based upon Christian beliefs, having its origins in Christianity does not mean it is Christian. I think it’s skewed enough not to be considered a Christian denomination, and the majority of Christian denomination authorities would appear to agree with that. It’s the same story with Jehovah’s Witnesses’. They are closely related though and I must admit from the perspective of someone who has had little to do with religion that might be quite difficult to understand. All I can say is whatever denomination church I visit, the story is always the same about such ‘cults’.

I think the primary difference is that the Book of Mormon has precedence over the Bible, just as the Qu’ran has precedence over the Bible (and the New World Translation has precedence over Bibles actually translated by experts :rolleyes: )

Both Mormonism and Christianity are rather ridiculous though. Mormonism just takes that to whole new levels. I think even a cursory glance at the subject would reveal that Mormonism is an absolute joke, whilst although thoroughly amusing Christianity and the claims it make are slightly less unbelievable.

Also, most Christian denominations I come in contact with, the primary ones, although they may disagree with one another on various doctrines they don’t believe each other are going to hell. Mormons and other cults normally fervently believe that they’re the only denomination that is right. I think that pompous viewpoint automatically relegates them from the premiership of Christian denominations. If you think the rest of your religious team-mates are destined for the Outer Darkness then you shouldn’t even be in the league. :stuck_out_tongue:

Do the Mormons consider themselves Christian ? If so, then they are. There’s no objective definition or central authority for Christianity that can decide the issue. A Christian is simply anyone who calls himself Christian.

Irrelevant. There are also plenty of Protestants who don’t consider Catholics Christian, for example.

I don’t think so. The various supposed miracles of Jesus, transubstantiation from the Catholics, exorcisms, the Rapture; Revelations; etc. Mormonism is just younger and less entrenched, not sillier.

That standard would disqualify the vast majority of Christians throughout history as Christian. That attitude has been one of the major themes and driving forces of Christianity; you could just as easily call it “We-Are-Right-And-You-Will-Burnism” instead of Christianity, in most places and times.

The same way that Judaism and my Catholicism can be “reconciled.” By one side or the other giving up one of its most important beliefs.

Not gonna happen, nor should it.

I believe, as do most Christians, that the Book of Mormon is bogus. So, all that a Mormon would have to do to be “reconciled” with us is to give up the book that forms the basis of his faith.

I think I see a problem there!

The Mormon would undoubtedly (and rightly) answer that, if the cost of reconcliation is for him to give up his most cherished beliefs, then the cost is way too high, and he doesn’t want reconciliation that badly.

Similarly, an Orthodox (or just plain orthodox) Jew would probably say that the Trinity is an utter violation of monotheism, and that I could only reconcile with him by abandoning the belief that Jesus was a divine (I COULD, he’d generously allow, continue to honor him as a prophet of some kind).

Needless to say, I don’t want reconciliation badly enough to do that.

So, what’s the answer? There is none, and there doesn’t need to be. We don’t NEED “reconciliation.” It’s not as if Mormons, Christians and Jews in America are killing each other or threatening each other. We’ll agree to disagree, live together as peaceably as we can (occasionally trying to win converts from the other camps), and let God sort it out in the end.

There’s no need for some sort of reciprocity. As things stand right now, for instance, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the baptism of almost all Christian sects (any that baptise in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which I think includes the LDS), but a fair number of denominations don’t recognize Catholic baptism. Going the other way, several other denominations recognize the Catholic eucarist, but the Catholics recognize the Eucharist of hardly anyone else (the Eastern and Coptic churches, and maybe sort of depending on whom you ask the Episcopalians, and I think that’s it).

Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, as described in the Bible. As far as we’re concerned, that makes us Christians. I’m not sure why we would need to ‘reconcile’ a whole lot–we’re willing and eager to be friends with other Christians, while also conserving our right to worship according to the dictates of our consciences.

This isn’t true. The Bible and the Book of Mormon are pretty much equal in authority to Mormons.

This isn’t accurate either. Mormons believe that they are the only true church, in that they have authority from God (the priesthood)–somewhat like Catholics believe just the same about the RCC. However, that doesn’t mean at all that Mormons believe that everyone else is going to hell. Just about the opposite, really. And hardly anyone at all is going to outer darkness–that’s difficult to do.

I’m not sure why acceptance of others’ baptisms is the same thing as agreeing who to call Christian. Mormons don’t accept anyone else’s baptism, nor do they expect anyone else to accept theirs. No harm, no foul. It’s not an insult, just a difference of opinion as to exactly what baptism means and how it’s to be done. However, they’re willing to accept anyone else’s word on whether they’re Christian or not. If you say you’re Christian, then fine, we have no argument with that. We also prefer to be friends with mutual respect rather than nitpicking over definitions. Given the large amount we have in common with other Christians, it seems silly to fight about the differences. All denominations have differences, that’s why we aren’t all still Orthodox.

It’s telling that the holier-than-thou Protestants are being even less accepting and tolerant than the Mormons.

This is the fundamental fact for this entire discussion. Otherwise, there would be only one Christian church. Anyone who claims they know the criteria by which to separate true Christians from the rest is selling something.

Actually, I don’t get the whole question. So: why do people care about whether or not Mormons can be defined as Christians? Why does this argument come up all the dang time, even here on the Dope where there aren’t even many Christians to have the argument? I’ve already done this discussion once this week on another message board.

Why Mormons care is easy to see: Mormons consider their Christianity obvious, and find it both befuddling and irritating when people start accusing them of not being Christian (and it usually does sound more like an accusation than like an objective definition), and generally we want to get it cleared up because people have an understandable tendency to assume that “non-Christian” means “they don’t believe in Jesus”–which we do. We just like to get things straight and fight ignorance, and we pretty much leave it at that.

But why does everyone else care so much about how Mormons define themselves?

My father died while a divinity student in an Episcopalian seminary, leaving my mother (also a lifelong practicing Episcopalian) with three young kids and pregnant. Within two weeks of his death she was besieged by constant entreaties from the local Mormons to convert, who offered “help” as an enticement. Groups presented themselves at the door, called on the phone, and buttonholed her in the market. This went on for months despite her polite but firm and consistent request that they back off.

Much of the information they presented to her about Mormonism was already well known to her. In my experience, the Mormons seem to feel they have a great stake in whether “everyone else” cares about their self-definition.

Actually, Catholics don’t think we have a monopoly on the priesthood. For Catholic priesthood, what’s important is what’s called the Apostolic Succession: That is to say, a priest is someone who was ordained by someone else who was ordained by… <back through the millenia> …who was ordained by one of the Twelve Apostles. Some (but not all) Protestant denominations follow the Apostolic Succession, and the Roman Catholic Church recognizes those priesthoods as being valid in the same sense as our own. Which doesn’t change your overall point, of course, that every denomination has something that they regard themselves as having a monopoly on.

I always have the problem that Mormon services are held in private.

I’ve been to Christian services in almost every denomination.

Every single Mormon is welcome to sit beside me.

Yet, Mormons hold their services in private.

I was raised in the LDS church and I can tell you that this is not true. Sunday services are always open to anyone that would like to sit in.

I believe you’re confusing normal church services with Temple services. Only members of the church (and I believe not just any member, you may have to have special blessings) may set foot in the most holy areas of the temple. Many weddings and other services are held in LDS Temples, but many are not. My mother’s wedding was just at the local LDS church and many non-members were there (including the man she was marrying who is Methodist.)

Mormons don’t hold their normal Sunday servces in private. Heck, I’ve been to them. (When I lived in SLC I wanted the whole show).
I’ve even been Best Man at an LDS wedding. They don’t hold weddings in private.

They DO have their Sealings in the Temple, and many other ceremonies. But it’s not correct to say that they have all their services in private, or even their most common ones.

As for reconciliation between other Christian groups and Mormons*, don’t hold your breath. People are very protective of their well-defined differences. If such groups as the Episcopalians and Roman Catholics, which have a great deal in common, can’t reconcile, consider how much harder it would be for, say, Catholics and Mormons, which have profound philosophical differences. (If you want to know what some of them are, pick up a book entitled ** A Tale of Two Cities** – the one by William Taylor, not by Charles Dickens – and you can see the differences highlighted.

http://www.amazon.com/Tale-Two-Cities-Mormons-Catholics/dp/0933046022
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/12758051

*As I’ve stated in several threads, I’m one of those who do think the :LDS ought to be classed with “Christians”, but undoubtedly in a different branch from most of the others. I was shocked when I learned that virtually all Catholic and Protestant groups don’t view them as such.)

Well, I’ll admit to not understanding everything about Catholic beliefs, but we have our version of Apostolic Succession too.

Dalej42, are you talking about the temple? Because you’re more than welcome to attend any regular Sunday service or activity in the LDS Church. (The buildings all say “Visitors Welcome” on them–go look.) The temple is rather more specialized, yes, but neither do they have any equivalent in the rest of the Christian world, and they aren’t even open on Sundays. It’s not a regular service, nor do we attend weekly (most people are doing really well if they go monthly; others save up for years to make the trip once, if they live far away). Many Mormons don’t, or can’t, go at all.

For fellow Christians: Which of you believes that God would want you judging the worthiness of someone else?