Why do Mormons claim to be Christians?


#166

In response to the original question, “why do mormons claim to be christians” I’m providing this link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Pholosophy which is clearly not a mormon source. If any of you take the time to actually read it youwill notice a few facts about the history of Christianity.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/trinity-history.html

  1. The earliest desciples of Jesus Christ did not understand God as a “trinity” as he is viewed by most Christians today. Their veiw did not have a oneness in essence or substance, but a clear distinction of three seperate persons.

  2. Even when the word “trinity” started being used (190-200 ad.) the understanding was still of three seperate persons with God the Father having supremacy over the Son and the Holy Spirit (subordinationism).

  3. The ideas about God being three equal, homoousius, were developed not from the bible or from tradition handed down from the apostles, those ideas were developed from concepts pioneered by ancient Greek pholosophers like Plato and Aristotle.

Mormons reject the “trinity” and still call ourselves Christian because we assert that the concept of a trinity was not taught or believed by the earliest Christians, history bears this out.
We also believe the the trinity concept should not have developed over the centuries by way of Greek pholosophy.
If you say that mormons are not Christian because we do not believe in the trinity, you are also rejecting the earliest christians who overwhelmingly worshiped three seperate beings.


#167

The Jesus Christ Mormons believe in isn’t the Biblical Jesus Christ Spyridon. The Mormon Jesus was a human being who only became a god after being voted in and initiated into the godhood by the gods that came before him.

Mormons also don’t believe in the Trinity. They believe in 3 gods not 1 God in 3 Persons.

Mormons believe that Lucifer is the brother of Jesus (tho they will also claim “spirit brothers”). No Christian, Catholic or Protestant, believes that Jesus and Lucifer are/were brothers/spirit brothers.

The Jesus Christ Jews and Christians believe in has always been God and didn’t give up His Divinity in order to become human. Our Jesus was born with two natures, one, fully Divine, the other, fully human. A Divine Person, the second Person of the Trinity.

No, Spyridon, sadly, Mormons are not Christians even though they will try to make you believe they are. Even one of their leaders admitted that they aren’t Christians. (Oh, to have that link Kevin provided on Amazon.)


#168

You’re judging them through a Catholic lens, and myself being Catholic I agree.

But take off the Catholic lenses for a moment and put on secular glasses. Then re read what I wrote.

They ARE Christians from a secular standpoint.
They are NOT Christians from a Catholic standpoint.

It depends on where you are looking at them from.


#169

That’s an incorrect statement.

The Trinity was believed and taught explicitly as early as the second century, and was believed and taught implicitly in the first century.

Polycarp (70-155/160). Bishop of Smyrna. Disciple of John the Apostle.

“O Lord God almighty . . . I bless you and glorify you through the eternal and heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be glory to you, with Him and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever” (n. 14, ed. Funk; PG 5.1040).

Justin Martyr (100?-165?). He was a Christian apologist and martyr.

“For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water” (First Apol., LXI).

Ignatius of Antioch (died 98/117). Bishop of Antioch. He wrote much in defense of Christianity.

“In Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom and with whom be glory and power to the Father with the Holy Spirit for ever” (n. 7; PG 5.988).
“We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin. For ‘the Word was made flesh.’ Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts.” (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The ante-Nicene Fathers, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975 rpt., Vol. 1, p. 52, Ephesians 7.)

Please refrain from historical revision done for a Mormon agenda.


#170

You obviously didn’t bother to read the article I provided a link to, the pionts that I made are not “mormon agenda” they’re facts of history, well documented. You’re just denying my argument without actually looking into it. None of the quotes you provided refute my argument or the facts unless you try to read them with the pre assumption that the trinity is a true concept, even then it’s a stretch to read tem that way.


#171

Claiming early Christians were polytheistic tritheists is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard about the Trinity.

Had you claimed early Christians were strict monotheists who only worshipped One God in a Unity, and not One God in a Triunity, I may have given you some thought.

But to claim that early Christians were not Unitarian Monotheists, they were not Trinitarian Monotheists, AH BUT they WERE Polytheists is flat out absurd.

Christianity grew out of Judaism, which was militantly unitarian monotheistic. The most important Jewish prayer is from Deuteronomy 6:4, the Shema Israel, “Hear O Israel the LORD is One.”

Your claim early Christians were polytheists is so absurd it doesn’t warrant an apologetical refutation - it should simply be brushed aside as absurdly untenable.

Certain Jewish and Muslim polemical material claimed early Christians were polytheists, but there is absolutely no proof that the majority of early Christians were anything but Trinitarian Monotheists.

Outrageous conspiracy theories do not warrant a dignified response. Do you bother refuting people who claim the Moon landing was a hoax or nuclear weapons don’t really exist?


#172

I already proved to you in a previous debate we had some weeks ago that the BOM is Modalistic.


#173

I never said early christians were “polytheistic tritheisit” or not "unitarian monotheists"or any other philosophical label you want to apply to what I said. the early christians dealt with the same argument that you are putting forth now. Their response was to stress the SUPREMACY of God the Father, but the Son and the Holy spirit are unified with him. READ THE ARTICLE. This is not a “conspiracy theory” honest christian historians will admit that early christianity was not trinitarian and that trinitarian theology developed over many centuries.


#174

You said early Christians believed in three gods.

Polytheistic tritheist = someone who believes in more than one God, specifically three gods.

I will argue that early Christians were falsely accused of being polytheists.

But if you go to primary sources, it’s very clear they were trinitarian monotheists, not polytheists.


#175

So many accusations on this forum that mormons refuse to look into the history of their church. Why wont you read my link? are you afraid of learning something that is different from what you have been taught?
I can’t believe how many rocks are being thrown in this glass house!


#176

I just skimmed through section 3.1.1 of your article in response to you claiming I’m afraid of history. As if you know that I’ve never read anti-Catholic polemical works before, lol. I’ve probably read more books in the past year than you’ve read in your life, and I’m only 29. I’m a voracious reader and a bibliophile.

The article says nothing about early Christians being polytheists. It claims they were subordinationists, what we today would call Arians.

They didn’t believe in three gods, they believed in One God with two subordinate divine persons.

From your link:

Many scholars call this strain of Christian theology “subordinationist”, as the Son and Spirit are always in some sense derivative of, less than, and subordinate to their source, the one God, that is, the Father. One may also call this theology unitarian, in the sense that the one God just is the Father, and not equally the Son and Spirit, so that the one God is “unipersonal”.


#177

That sounds like polytheism …


#178

Congratulations! you just learned something new.
the Arian controversy was not a small group of radicals that just came up with new ideas in the beginning of the 4th century. Their main theology (subordinationism) went all the way back to the 1st century and was the belief of the majority then. the following among the Arians in the 4th century was just as large as the folowing among the trinitarians.

Right. I never claimed anything different from that.

finish the article.


#179

I did.

I think Arianism is an abominable heresy from the pits of hell. If you want a refutation of it, Doctors of the Church have been writing tomes answering the Arian heresy for centuries upon centuries.

St. Nicholas of Myra was so incensed at the vial blasphemies spewing from the mouth of Arius that he broke his jaw for him.

VgSeP


#180

No, Spyridon, I’m not. Being Catholic or Protestant has no bearing in whether Mormons are Christians or not. Remember, at one time, I wanted to be a Mormon. When I first began my research, I was under the mistaken impression that I had to become a Mormon in order to learn about them.

In the case of Mormonism, I judge their own words and their own writings. I go to their official websites like lds.org which is where the teaching about Lucifer being the brother of Jesus is found as well as other teachings they deny teaching. I speak to Mormons and former Mormons. I can tell which ones have an axe to grind and which ones are being honest.

Go to the source, Spyridon and watch the truth be revealed. Talk to Mormons long enough and things they once said will be replaced by the truth because they won’t be able to keep up the facade.

I used to believe that Mormons were Christians until I started researching their beliefs and teachings for myself and was, many years later, after I’d joined what was then termed the “Internet Revolution,” encouraged to continue the research I’d had to stop so many years earlier. The Internet makes it so easy.

I respectfully disagree with your view that from a secular viewpoint, Mormons are Christians. The one word that has come up from the secular sources I’ve researched calls them far worse than not being Christians. Google is your friend when it comes to research,Spyridon. Use it well and be well informed.

Note If someone lets me know that giving one of the Mormons official websites is against the guidelines, I’ll delete the reference to it.


#181

And I respectfully disagree with your viewpoint.

From a secular scholarly viewpoint, Mormons can be classed as Christian.

The secular definition is simply “one who professes to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ”.

Therefore from a secular POV, using the secular definition of Christian, Mormons are Christians.

However, from a Catholic viewpoint with a Catholic definition of Christian being “one who is a validly baptized member of the Body of Christ”, they would be classified as non-Christian.

So it depends on which lens you’re viewing them from.

Why do I get the feeling I’m repeating myself? Also that you’re not actually reading what I’m writing?

What is your definition of Christian which you are using to say Mormons are not Christian? Because words have more than one possible definition. Words can have dozens of meanings.


#182

The Mormon nature of God was never believed by the earliest Christians or current Christians.
Greek philosophy is a tool used by Christians to better explain their belief in the nature of God.
While the earliest Christians had various understandings to how the three persons related to each other, they worships only one being; not three beings like Mormons do.


#183

Well, I read what you wrote the first time about the Catholic view and secular view of the word “Christian.”, Spyridon. I simply disagree with your view that they can be considered Christians by one definition of the word. What about the fact that one of their leaders admitted that Mormons are NOT Christians?

Where viewpoints are concerned, I’m not talking about scholarly. I’m talking bare bones get out among the people and talk to them directly and then research all the writings of the church in question.

Whenever anyone the Amazon discussion forums would ask about a dictionary definition of a Christian, I would post this from Oxford Dictionaries,

Christian
adjective

Relating to or professing Christianity or its teachings.
‘the Christian Church’
‘the Christian faith is based upon the Bible’
‘Mendelssohn was inspired by both Jewish and Christian values’

noun

A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Christianity.
‘a born-again Christian’

It didn’t matter whether the person was Catholic or Protestant. The definition of a Christian was clearly understood.

My own definition of a Christian is someone who believes in Jesus Christ and follows and obeys His teachings.

Sadly, from having spoken to Mormons and researched on my own, the Jesus Mormons believe in is not the Jesus of the Holy Bible. And that’s something I don’t like saying about anyone,

I continue to pray for all Mormons and pray that one day, they’ll not only know the real Jesus, they’ll be able to be in Heaven with Him.


#184

haha! yes, I’m sure Jesus Christ would have reacted the same way. In later centuries, trinitarians took st nicholas’ behavior a step further by torturing and killing anyone who dared to question the infalibility of the church.


#185

Respectfully, and I honestly mean respectfully, I think you are wrong. From an epistemological standpoint, one ought to seek truth first when forming definitions, particularly objective truth if at all possible. When speaking of definitions we need to first understand that concepts presuppose definitions. The concepts at play here are diametrically opposed (LDS conception of what it means to be Christian, Catholic conception of what it means to be Christian, and the secular definition of what it means to be Christian). The fact that a secular definition qualifies in one sense our LDS brothers and sisters as being Christian is not compelling enough an argument such as to move myself to accept its soundness. Why? Because lenses or perspectives are not what gives meanings to definitions; concepts are. I think the real issue here is the desire to want to extend an olive branch to some very well-intentioned, if not misguided friends.
Either one of us has the correct conception of what it means to be a Christian and therefore possesses the correct definition of the word Christian or all definitions merit equal attention. I do not believe this to be the case. As when given the evidence and the teaching of the early church fathers it is apparent that belief in the Trinity is requisite for calling oneself Christian. To mean no LDS are not Christian in any sense of the word. Why? Because there is a very real misunderstanding as to which conception gives meaning to the definition of that word. Just my thoughts spewed out on the web. God bless!


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