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  #1  
Old Apr 14, '05, 10:25 pm
gryskull gryskull is offline
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Default Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Are mormons considered christians or a cult? Why?
  #2  
Old Apr 15, '05, 12:20 am
BJ Colbert BJ Colbert is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Some people think members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are a cult, but in reality they are the 5th largest religion in the United States. I don't know what the definition of a cult is, but I know that we are Christian if you define Christian as someone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
I think it all depends on who you talk to. The Catholics in this forum are pretty sure that Mormons are a cult and definitely not Christian in any way. They think we all came from some weird planet and believe in millions of Gods, and there is nothing that will convince them otherwise. So there you have it in a nutshell.
Just depends on who you ask.
If you ask a lifelong Mormon (me) I would say no we are not a cult and yes we are Christians.
Look at our website and decide for yourself...www.mormon.org
Good luck figuring it out, let me know what you decide.

BJ
  #3  
Old Apr 15, '05, 12:45 am
Vox Borealis Vox Borealis is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

False dichotomy--the real question is whether Mormonism is Christian or not. Mormons argue that they are Christian, because of the prominent role Christ plays in their religion. Catholics and most other Christian denominations say they are not because Christianity is about more than just Christ. Mormon theology has a fundamentally different understanding of the Trinity; Mormmon sacred texts include books not in the bible (this is not an insurmountable objection, considering the difference between the Catholic and Protestant versions of the bible); Mormons believe in continued revelation, which is rejected by most every other Christian group.

This is not meant as a condemnation of Mormonism, and ultimately you are going to make up your own mind as to whether Mormons are Christians or not--that is, whether the they possess enough of the significant characteristics of Christianity to be considered Christian. I would direct you to the article on Mormonism on Catholic Answers, located under Non-Catholic Groups--this gives away what Catholic Answers thinks. I think you will see that there are significant differences betwen Mormonism and most Christian groups.
  #4  
Old Apr 15, '05, 12:53 am
msh msh is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

I think it depends on what definition of cult you believe.

So, I looked around for you.

Interesting source, to say the least and another definition I look at being reasonable.

And, as a bonus, a CA response one can study, as well: here.
  #5  
Old Apr 15, '05, 4:46 am
Tmaque Tmaque is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BJ Colbert
Some people think members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are a cult, but in reality they are the 5th largest religion in the United States. I don't know what the definition of a cult is, but I know that we are Christian if you define Christian as someone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
I think it all depends on who you talk to. The Catholics in this forum are pretty sure that Mormons are a cult and definitely not Christian in any way. They think we all came from some weird planet and believe in millions of Gods, and there is nothing that will convince them otherwise. So there you have it in a nutshell.
Just depends on who you ask.
If you ask a lifelong Mormon (me) I would say no we are not a cult and yes we are Christians.
Look at our website and decide for yourself...www.mormon.org
Good luck figuring it out, let me know what you decide.

BJ

BJ, Thanks for telling me what I believe, I didn't know I believed that about LDS.

I am a Catholic and frankly I'm sick of people saying the LDS Church is a cult. It's simply ridiculous and only shows a persons ignorance. I also get tired of the "Christian or not" debate. Do LDS fall into the traditional category of Christian? No, they do not mainly because they deny the Blessed Trinity and they do not worship Jesus. But, they DO believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour. Frankly, I think if a person believes Christ died for their sins then they can claim to be Christian. But, I can certainly understand why someone else would say they are not Christian.
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  #6  
Old Apr 15, '05, 5:05 am
Vox Borealis Vox Borealis is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmaque
Frankly, I think if a person believes Christ died for their sins then they can claim to be Christian. But, I can certainly understand why someone else would say they are not Christian.
Hypothetically, what would you think about someone who thought that Jesus died for our sins, but that he was not the son of God or even a prophet, but just a very wise mortal person who told had a nice philosophy but was delusional about his own divinity? Would that person be a Christian? Muslims think Jesus was a very important prophet--are they Christians?

I think ther has to be more to defining a religion as Christian than simply whether they believe "Christ died for our sins".
  #7  
Old Apr 15, '05, 5:30 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

I don't toss around the term cult, because I don't think it can ever be properly applied in our language. Mormons are definately not Christian, however, because while they claim to believe in Jesus, they do not believe what He taught about being God, they do not believe in the Trinity, and they really don't believe in any of the fundamental Judeo-Christian understandings of God. They have an entirely unique and new belief dressed up in Judeo-Christian clothing. There's absolutely no continuity between traditional Judeo-Christian thought and LDS beliefs.
  #8  
Old Apr 15, '05, 8:27 am
BJ Colbert BJ Colbert is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Gosh, I learned something, I did not know that Muslims accepted Jesus as their Savior. I guess by definition that Christians are people who believe in Jesus. BUT they have to believe that He atoned for the sins of all mankind upon the Cross, and accept Him as their Savior. I do not believe that Muslims are Christians. The big word here is Believe and have Faith and Accept Him.

See I told you everyone has a different definition of Christianity, and Cults.

So I'm sure some more will be added, I'm anxiously awaiting to hear the next opinion of who is Christian and who is not. Must be nice to be so sure of what someone else believes.

I myself believe that the Trinity is 3 seperate personages, God The Father, God The Son and God the Holy Ghost. I do not think God would want to confuse us by saying they are all one, although they are one in purpose. It is difficult for me to understand how Jesus can be His own son and why He would pray and talk to Himself, as in "Father Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Do". Can someone explain to me that if They were not two why in the world would They pretend to be. Is it like split personality, one minute Jesus on earth pretending to be His own son and the next minute in heaven pretending to be His own Father. I for one can not believe that God wants us to be confused and why would He not just tell us the truth, if He was really all three just pretending to be each of them and talk to Himself from where ever He is.
No matter how you explain your version, and even if the LDS church suddenly believed the 3 in 1 theory, I could not believe anything other than I know in my heart and that is perfectly logical and no mystery at all. It says in the Bible that "God gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". That may not be what the Catholic Bible says, but why would He call Him His Son if it were not true?

BJ
  #9  
Old Apr 15, '05, 9:22 am
Seeks God Seeks God is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BJ Colbert
Some people think members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are a cult, but in reality they are the 5th largest religion in the United States. I don't know what the definition of a cult is, but I know that we are Christian if you define Christian as someone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
I think it all depends on who you talk to. The Catholics in this forum are pretty sure that Mormons are a cult and definitely not Christian in any way. They think we all came from some weird planet and believe in millions of Gods, and there is nothing that will convince them otherwise. So there you have it in a nutshell.
Just depends on who you ask.
If you ask a lifelong Mormon (me) I would say no we are not a cult and yes we are Christians.
Look at our website and decide for yourself...www.mormon.org
Good luck figuring it out, let me know what you decide.

BJ
BJ,

As a Utah Catholic, I have been exposed to Mormonism and I struggle with your 'religion' because I see that many of your people have many similarities in their missions of charity. Mormons are outstanding when it comes to their benevlolent treatment of others. The problem, however, is that there is a difference in the origin of God, earth, Jesus, Satan, The Church and humanity. In your own BoM and D&C, you make claims of God being like us once and becoming like God....that is extremely troubling to Catholics, because that is exactly how Satan fell from grace...it is scary for us Catholics AND we are truly concerned.
I do not doubt your Christianity no more than I doubt that of Protestantism, Lutheranism, Baptists, or any others that believe Jesus is The Savior. It concerns me that so many Christians are not united and what I have discovered about many Christian denominations is that there is the fundamental belief that Christ dies for us, but there are also fundamental differences in what each believes Christ taught us...
  #10  
Old Apr 15, '05, 9:24 am
BDawg BDawg is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Hi BJ and Todd,

Here are a couple comments.

1) BJ, I think you have a false idea of the mainstream Trinity doctrine. They believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct persons, who are One Being. The idea that they are the same person is actually a heresy called "Modalism." Now, in actual fact many Catholics are Modalists, because people can understand the doctrine. On the other hand, the orthodox Trinity doctrine is supposed to be a mystery beyond the capacity of human minds. So anyway, Catholics are not supposed to believe that Jesus was praying to himself, or anything like that.

2) Todd, Mormons do worship Jesus. We just don't pray to him. (Although, the Book of Mormon has an interesting incident where Jesus appears to the people and they pray to him. Jesus then prays to the Father and explains that they are praying to him because he is right there with them.) Just look up "Worship" in McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine" if you don't believe me. To me, this seems analogous to Catholics who pray to Mary and the saints, but claim that they are not worshipping them. In both cases, praying isn't all there is to worship. Does that make sense?

3) My attitude about the "Are Mormons Christian?" debate is that we believe we adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and according to the dictionary, this means we should consider ourselves Christians. In order to call us "non-Christians" you have to make up some list of "essential beliefs of Christians" that would exclude us, but I'm sorry if I just don't buy into your list. If you want to make most people happy, and speak so everyone can understand, why don't you try calling Mormons "heretical Christians"? Then when someone hears that, they won't think we Mormons are Hindus, or something. They will think we are generically Christians, but they will understand that whoever is doing the talking doesn't think we are "true Christians." I wouldn't care if someone said that about us.

BDawg
  #11  
Old Apr 15, '05, 9:30 am
Seeks God Seeks God is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BJ Colbert
Gosh, I learned something, I did not know that Muslims accepted Jesus as their Savior. I guess by definition that Christians are people who believe in Jesus. BUT they have to believe that He atoned for the sins of all mankind upon the Cross, and accept Him as their Savior. I do not believe that Muslims are Christians. The big word here is Believe and have Faith and Accept Him.

See I told you everyone has a different definition of Christianity, and Cults.

So I'm sure some more will be added, I'm anxiously awaiting to hear the next opinion of who is Christian and who is not. Must be nice to be so sure of what someone else believes.

I myself believe that the Trinity is 3 seperate personages, God The Father, God The Son and God the Holy Ghost. I do not think God would want to confuse us by saying they are all one, although they are one in purpose. It is difficult for me to understand how Jesus can be His own son and why He would pray and talk to Himself, as in "Father Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Do". Can someone explain to me that if They were not two why in the world would They pretend to be. Is it like split personality, one minute Jesus on earth pretending to be His own son and the next minute in heaven pretending to be His own Father. I for one can not believe that God wants us to be confused and why would He not just tell us the truth, if He was really all three just pretending to be each of them and talk to Himself from where ever He is.
No matter how you explain your version, and even if the LDS church suddenly believed the 3 in 1 theory, I could not believe anything other than I know in my heart and that is perfectly logical and no mystery at all. It says in the Bible that "God gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". That may not be what the Catholic Bible says, but why would He call Him His Son if it were not true?

BJ
Then why would Jesus also claim to be the begginning and the end....The Trinity is ONE God revealed in three Persons. Jesus on earth was also a teacher by demonstrating how we should act. He is also the Savior, but ultimately He IS God.
  #12  
Old Apr 15, '05, 9:55 am
Vox Borealis Vox Borealis is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BJ Colbert
Gosh, I learned something, I did not know that Muslims accepted Jesus as their Savior. I guess by definition that Christians are people who believe in Jesus.
Come on, you can do better than that. I never said that Muslims were Christians--I used this extreme example to prove the point that such statements as "a Christian is anyone who believes in Jesus Christ" or "who believes Jesus died for our sins" or "that we must accept Jesus as our Savior" are insufficient litmus tests for Christianity, because they are vague. What does it mean to "believe in" Christ--that he existed? That he was a man? That he was a god? That he was smart guy who told good stories? What does it mean that we "accept Jesus" as Savior--that we say the sinner's prayer and we are guaranteed salvation? That if we follow his examples and teachings even if was only a prophet and not God we will get to heaven? Can we know nothing of Christ but act like he wanted us to, thereby "accepting" him accidentally?

[quote=BJ Colbert]
BUT they have to believe that He atoned for the sins of all mankind upon the Cross, and accept Him as their Savior. I do not believe that Muslims are Christians. The big word here is Believe and have Faith and Accept Him.
QUOTE]

OK, now we're getting somewhere


Quote:
Originally Posted by BJ Colbert
See I told you everyone has a different definition of Christianity, and Cults.

So I'm sure some more will be added, I'm anxiously awaiting to hear the next opinion of who is Christian and who is not. Must be nice to be so sure of what someone else believes.
Nothing personal, but that is nature of definitions--all definitions reflect a tension between internal and external construction. A hypothetical: if my wife and I use birth control, is this a sin? The Catholic church, among others, says it is; but what if I say it doesn't--whose definition of sin in this case is correct? Likewise with identity--let's assume that I say I am Catholic but reject nearly all of the teachings of the Catholic church. Am I Catholic because I say I am? What if I believe that Jesus was an alien from Mars whose death released unseen particles in the atmosphere that guarantees humans life after death--am I a Christian because I say I am? Most every Christian (individual or denominations) would say that I am not.

OK, I am getting silly. My main point is that Mormons can say they are Christian all they want, that does not make it so. Christian denominations can say that Mormons are not, and that does not make it so (any more than evangelicals claiming that Catholics are not Christians). But I assumed that the initial question on this thread sought the opinio communis, and as far as I know almost no Christian denominations recognize Mormons as Christian because many elements of their theology contradict "Christian" doctrines and Creeds. It will be up to the initial poster to decide for him or herself (with the help of whatever authority he/she believes) to determine who is "right."
  #13  
Old Apr 15, '05, 11:29 am
Tmaque Tmaque is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox Borealis
Hypothetically, what would you think about someone who thought that Jesus died for our sins, but that he was not the son of God or even a prophet, but just a very wise mortal person who told had a nice philosophy but was delusional about his own divinity? Would that person be a Christian? Muslims think Jesus was a very important prophet--are they Christians?

I think ther has to be more to defining a religion as Christian than simply whether they believe "Christ died for our sins".
I guess we all have our line of delineation when it comes to who can call themselves Christian. There are many protestants that claim Catholicism isn't Christian. I think LDS can reasonably make the claim that they are Christian becasue they believe that Jesus is divine, is the only begotten son of God, and he died to save us from our sins. But, that's just my opinion.
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  #14  
Old Apr 15, '05, 12:15 pm
Tmaque Tmaque is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDawg
Hi BJ and Todd,


2) Todd, Mormons do worship Jesus. We just don't pray to him. (Although, the Book of Mormon has an interesting incident where Jesus appears to the people and they pray to him. Jesus then prays to the Father and explains that they are praying to him because he is right there with them.) Just look up "Worship" in McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine" if you don't believe me. To me, this seems analogous to Catholics who pray to Mary and the saints, but claim that they are not worshipping them. In both cases, praying isn't all there is to worship. Does that make sense?


BDawg
My mistake. I checked out the LDS Church website and you are indeed correct. I have been out of the LDS faith for 18 years now. As an LDS child I was taught to pray to God the father only. I always assumed this also meant that I could only worship the Father. I work with six LDS people. I just went around and asked each of them if LDS worship Jesus. All but one said "no". They made the same assumption that I did as a young man. You must admit, it is confusing. If you can worship him why can't you pray to him? I don't understand that concept. What acts of worship do LDS give Jesus Christ?
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  #15  
Old Apr 15, '05, 2:03 pm
BDawg BDawg is offline
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Default Re: Mormonism...Christian or Cult?

Hi Todd,

Here is a quotation from McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine."
[quote]Worship consists in paying divine honors to a deity. This religious reverence and homage falls into two categories true worship and false worship, the one based on gospel truth and leading to salvation, the other consisting of an intermixture of truth and error and leading to damnation.

The Father and the Son are the objects of all true worship. "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8; Ex. 34:14; Mosiah 18:25; D&C 20:18; D. & C. 20:17-19.) No one can worship the Father without also worshiping the Son. "All men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him." (John 5:23.) It is proper to worship the Father, in the name of the Son, and also to worship the Son. "Believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out." ("2 ne. 25:162 Ne. 25:16, 29.) ....

Deity is worshiped in prayer, song, sermon, and testimony; by the making of covenants, offering of sacrifices, performance of ordinances, and the participation in religious rituals and ceremonies; he is worshiped by man's act of believing divine truths, by his being converted to them in their fulness; he may be worshiped in thought, word, and deed. But the most perfect of all worship comes from those who first believe the gospel, who then participate in its outward forms, and who finally keep the standards of personal righteousness that appertain to it.

Obedience is the true measure of true worship. "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:9; Mark 7:6-8.) "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." (Ps. 29:2.) Without personal righteousness, without the beauty of holiness, there is no true worship.
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