Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mormons claiming they are Christian is deceptive

If you do not read the Mormon Coffee Blog then let me highly recommend it to you. There are so many Christians who do not understand the differences between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity. I would contend that there is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING alike between the two. They are as opposed as fire and water. From Salvation to who Jesus Christ is; the differences are glaring. Even the morality issues we have completely different motives and have even differences in why they are important. I read this article on the Mormon Coffee Blog and I think Sharon lays it out very well.

Myths Be Gone
January 9, 2008

By Sharon Lindbloom

Myths & RealityThe LDS Church has posted a 10 minute video on it’s web site titled, “Myths & Reality.” Originally produced to answer common questions from journalists during the 2002 Olympics, the video has been updated and is now available to the public.

“Myths & Reality” opens with a minute and a half of man-on-the-street clips of people stating what they “know” about Mormons. Most of the statements are incorrect; the video subsequently seeks to dispel three of the “misunderstandings” raised. The spokesman, Steve Young, explains,

“In the next few minutes we want to show you some things we hope will dispel some myths about us, because the myths are still out there, alive and well.”

The first myth addressed is “Mormons Practice Polygamy.” The video spends 50 seconds on this topic, stating that Mormons discontinued the practice of polygamy over 100 years ago. Steve Young then explains that Mormons are “bothered” when Fundamentalist Mormons are called “Mormons” because these people are not Mormons. Gordon B. Hinckley “state[s] categorically that this church has nothing whatsoever to do with those practicing polygamy,” and the video moves on.

Myth number 2 is “Mormons Care Only For Their Own.” The video deals with this by spending 1 minute and 55 seconds highlighting the LDS Church’s laudable humanitarian efforts worldwide.

The final myth addressed is “Myth #3: Mormons Are Not Christian.” This topic is apparently considered the most important of the three; more time is given for this issue than the other two myths combined: about 3 minutes and 50 seconds.

The spokesperson during this segment is Sharlene Hawkes, a former Miss America. She says that it’s hard for Mormons to understand this myth because “We are Christian to our core.” Ms. Hawkes suggests one reason people might think Mormons are not Christian is because of the nickname “Mormon.” Mormons prefer that the full (correct) name of the Church be used because “it includes the name of the Savior” and that’s important to Mormons.

Ms. Hawkes tells viewers that Mormons love the Bible and try to follow the example of Jesus Christ, but that they are “different from other Christian faiths in important ways.” Ms. Hawkes talks about these important differences, including the Book of Mormon (a “companion to the Bible”), the belief in modern prophets and continuing revelation, the commitment to temple-building, the LDS Church as a restoration of the ancient church, the large missionary force, the focus on families, the work of compiling genealogies and how “even those who have passed on can be linked to us in an eternal family chain.” The video then concludes with Gordon B. Hinckley extolling Christ.

We can’t really expect much more than this in a 10 minute video. Still, it doesn’t seem to me that many bona fide myths were dispelled. In fairness, the LDS web site says these are the questions journalists were raising in 2002, but it also says the video “has been updated and posted on Newsroom today to help counter persistent myths about the Church.”

Are these really the questions people are asking today — the “misperceptions” they struggle with? How could anyone in America today who watches television or reads the newspaper think Mormons still practice polygamy? Are people really hung up on the misperception that Mormons aren’t actively engaged in humanitarian relief? In fact, the man-on-the-street which initially raised the issue spoke in glowing terms of how Mormons care for one another, not criticizing that they don’t care for others. Could this be a straw-man myth?

I do think “Myth #3″ is a current and persistent question coming from those outside of Mormonism. But the video did next to nothing to address the question and inform people in a meaningful way.

Journalists today clearly know and promote every “reality” contained in this video. The LDS Church’s Public Relations department has publicized all of these things many times over. I wonder if it has ever occurred to the LDS Church that perhaps the things they call “misperceptions” persist because they never adequately answer the questions.

Surely there is a better way, even in under 4 minutes, to clarify the charge, “Mormons Are Not Christian.” Maybe they could have done something like this:

“This is a complex issue and not easily explained in a short video. We believe we are — and define ourselves as — Christian. In fact, we believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the truest form of Christianity on earth today and that Mormons are better than any others at following the teachings of Christ. Though we share some things with other Christian churches, Mormonism is different and unique in important ways. The foundational differences that cause some to claim Mormons aren’t Christian are found in the way we define the nature of God, the nature of Christ, and the content of the Gospel. Mormons differ significantly from traditional Christians in each of these areas — and others. Our Prophet has explained that we worship a different Christ than the Christ worshiped in traditional Christianity. Some people believe this strips Mormons of the title ‘Christian’; we disagree. We are Christian to our core. That is, we accept our Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world; differences in theology — who or what God is, and who Christ is — don’t affect that.”

What are your ideas for a myth-buster reality-promoting video segment discussing “Mormons Are Not Christian”?


EcoTheos said...

Christian means following Christ. There is an interesting debate on this at the video:

Messian Dread ,Jamaica Rasta Mutabaruka discuss Jesus


Andy said...

Thanks for posting Ecotheos and that is an interesting video. I have not yet figured out where you stand from your website.

However a Christian does not mean following just any Christ. It is the Christ of the Bible and the Bible speaks of those who are believers and those who are not see this post.

EcoTheos said...

Thanks for the reply.

I am not sure where I am coming from myself, but generally post perspectives on early Christian beliefs, especially of those who followed James the brother of Jesus, and contrast this with the teachins of later Roman Christianity, heavily influenced by Paul.

I believe there are good Christians, followers of the teachings of Yeshua Messiah, in all denominations, and also in non-orthodox Christian groups such as JWs, Mormons, Unitarians, and Muslims (yes Jesus is a big part of hte Koran).

I hope we all seek the understanding of the will of YAHWEH for ourselves and the creation.

Shalom. Salaam.

Andy said...


While I appreciate the fact that your are honest in where you are coming from, you imply much in your statement.

I do not think you can with all honesty and history try and pit the teachings of James and Paul against each other. In fact they completely harmonize with the exception of focus of people group. James focused on Jews and Paul focused on Jews and Gentiles.

Not to get into that point any further but you make a great claim that the teachings of the religions you mention follow the same God, which they do not, they are diametrically opposed. Not one of them even follows the Historical Jesus let alone the Biblical one.

I will tell you the will of Yahweh, and that is this REPENT of your sins and TRUST in the Messiah who is Jesus Christ. Then you can be saved.

Thanks again for stopping by.

EcoTheos said...

I challenge you to watch the video on "Paul Washer: Is American Christianity really Christian.", and then tell me this is a Christian nation.

I see no similarity between mainstream Trinitarian Christianity and the teachings of Yeshua Messiah. But there are thousand of learned mean at seminaries that teach otherwise. Some also teach that Paul was gay, and that God was ok with that. Others teach pagan and wicca post modern Christianity.

Go figure.

EcoTheos said...

Also, thank you very much for letting me visit. post a comment on http://ecothearcy.blogspot.com/ if youd like to chat about Paul.

There is much evidence there on the historical Trial of Paul by the Apostles in Jerusalem.

Best regards

Andy said...

I agree with Paul Washer about American Christianity. Decisional Regeneration, Emergent Churches, and the lack of holiness are huge issues. I listen to Paul Washer and his Pastor Jeff Noblit as frequently as possible.

So your argument is then to deny the Trinity and believe in the JW that there is god and that Jesus was really the Angel Micheal. And you also then believe that god sired a child through intercourse with Mary and had a child named Jesus who is the brother of Lucifer. Unitarians dont really ascribe to the ontological understanding of Jesus since they believe in open theism and that god is an entity that expanses to all things. Muslims believe Jesus was a Prophet and Allah is god which is not Yhwh by the way. Just to be clear you cannot believe they are all right because not one of them has even a semblance of the same god.

I do not need Paul (Biblical Paul) to explain the Trinitarian Orthodox view, the Gospels do that just fine. In addition the other writings outside of the Bible from guys like Jospehus validate much of what Jesus claimed.

Jesus claimed to be God, he allowed himself to be worshiped, he forgave sins, etc. These were all things that Yhwh claimed as being the only one to be able to do. The Jews killed him because he claimed to be God. I will take up your challenge, however take up mine and go look at all the prophecy about Jesus in the Old Testament and how he fufilled more than 300 prophecies concerning Himself.

Grace and Peace,

Andy said...


One more thing I think the reason that you like the gods of the religions you mentioned is because not only do they obscure the truth, but they will not hold you accountable to your sins. They take away the Grace of God and put in place a works based righteousness that leads to a violation of the 1-3 commandments. It is pride that keeps these religions moving and adding to scripture. I have studied Mormon doctrine and I am not sure you can find anywhere where they even pronounce Yhwh as God. They prefer the name Elohim, which if you are a true name fanatic would go against what you are saying.

Again thanks for your comments,

Travis said...

The Mormon church gets this a lot. Apparently, it's a hot enough topic that one of the leaders of the church gave a pretty detailed talk on it a few months ago.

Here's the link: http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html
The video version http://broadcast.lds.org/genconf/2007/10/20/GC_2007_10_27_HollandJR__02381_eng_vc1.wmv

EcoTheos said...

Andy I do not subscribe to JW or Mormanism, just make plain that their Christology, that Jesus is not YHWH, God the Father, is closer to original Christianity, and to doctrines taught by Christ Jesus, than that taught by Rome, and those that follow Roman teachings in mainstream Protestant Theology.

One can believe in the Trinity sincerely, but not sincerely say that early Christians believed in it--it was invented centureis later by the pagan god-Emperror Constantine, at that time, high priest of te Pagan cult of Sun worship.

But, as Ive said, there are righteous people in all faiths, who love and wish to please the one YHWH one G-d the Father, even including those in the Pagan Man-God faith of Rome. These righteous abhor the work of their church in its depraved and carnal Western "Christendom" culture which has always promoted the rules and values of the kingdoms and principalities, in never ending war, slavery, genocide, and now slave goods trading system, and instiutionalized atheism, and hatred for G_ds instructions to us for happiness, the Torah's definition of right and wrong.

Andy said...

Travis, thanks for stopping by, even if a Mormon leader argues that they are today, Brigham Young, Joesph Smith and even Gordon Hinckley all explain that Mormons believe in a different Jesus, hence just because we call our God by the same name does not allow you to rob the name Christianity for your own manipulation and use.

Ecotheos- I am not even sure where you are coming from, honesty it appears that you subscribe to some distant and fringe belief set that allows for a multitude of conspiracy theories in order to discredit Protestant Theology. If you are going to make claims like you do you need to have some proof. The First Christians ABSOLUTELY believed in the Trinity, we see it in ACTS and in record of the early Church pre-Nicene Council. Please study what happened at the Council of Niceae before you claim that Mormonism Christology is more closely related. It is not it is a form of Arianism which is the exact heresy that Christians fought against at that Council and others. I have spent time on this and wrote Master's Papers on this exact subject so unfortunately when people come making unfounded and conspiracy claims that have ZERO backing I have to outright call them out on the issues. Every Heretical Church makes the same claims on Chrisitanity. They are Anathema.

Travis said...

I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this topic. I don't know ecotheos but he might be referring to some of these sources regarding the doctrine of the Trinity coming into play after the 3rd century:
-Paul F. Achtemeier, ed. (1985), 1099; emphasis added.
-Constantinople, A.D. 381; Ephesus, A.D. 431; Chalcedon, A.D. 451.
-Quoted in Owen Chadwick, Western Asceticism (1958), 235

Also, regarding Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and Gordon Hinckley... a summary of their witnesses of Christ can be found here: http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/latter-day-prophets

Thanks again for the opportunity to post.

EcoTheos said...

Related Video

LDS Mormon Church Leader Affirms Islamic Muslim Teaching