Sunday, February 27, 2005

Are Mormons Christians?

I know you may be starting to feel a bit tired of all these posts about Mormonism so don’t worry the light is at the end of the tunnel. In this, my second to last post on the topic of Mormonism, I wanted to focus on a comparison between Mormon doctrines and Christian Doctrines. Often times I’ve talked with Mormon’s who try to convince me that they are Christians just like me. They’ll tell me they believe in God, they believe in Jesus, the plan of salvation, and they believe in the Bible too. In the past when they would say this, I’d be stuck not knowing what to do. Then I learned an important lesson I’d like to pass on to you. Whenever they say they believe in the same thing you do, the most important thing you can do is stop and define your terms. In other words, you could say "We both believe in God, but who do you believe God is?" What is the authority of the Bible? What is your understanding of who Jesus is? Another way would be to explain your beliefs. For example, you could say “Well I believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all three persons of the same God. Do you believe that?” This is critical to avoid any misunderstandings about exactly what you are talking about. After all, both Muslims and Christians believe in Jesus; however Christians believe Jesus to be fully God and fully man while Muslims just believe he was a good prophet. Does that make Muslims Christian? Of course not. So in this post I wanted to briefly look at some of the differences between Mormonism and Christianity in some very fundamental areas and let you decide for yourself if Mormon’s are Christian.


Christians believe:
1. God is a spirit without flesh and bones (John 4:24, Psalm 139:7-10)
2. God is not a man (Numbers 23:19, Romans 1:22-23)
3. There is only one God (Isaiah 44:6,8, 45:5, John 10:30)
4. God has always been God (Psalm 90:2)

Mormons believe:
1. God the Father has a body of flesh and bones, (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22).
2. God exists in the form of a man (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, pg. 3.)
3. There are many gods (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 163., pg 576-577)
4. God was once a man (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 345)


Christians believe:
1. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18, 23-24)
2. Jesus was the creator of all things and therefore was not the brother of the devil (Colossians 1:16-17)
3. Jesus is the second person of the Trinity (John 10:30)

Mormons Believe:
1. God had sexual relations with Mary to make the body of Jesus (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 218, 1857; vol. 8, p. 115.)
2. Jesus was a created being and therefore Jesus is the brother of the devil. (Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie pg. 192, 589. Gospel Through the Ages by Milton Hunter, P. 15)
3. Jesus is one of three gods (Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie pg. 319)

The Bible

Christians believe:
1. The Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God. It is authoritative over all (2 Timothy 3:16)
2. The word of God will live forever (Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:25)

Mormons believe:
1. The Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. (8th Article of Faith of the Mormon Church)
2. The gospel was lost from earth (Doctrines of Salvation Vol. 3, pg. 265-326, Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie pg. 44)


Christians believe:
1. Those who don’t believe in Jesus are condemned to hell (John 3:16-18, Matthew 10:28, Revelation 20:15)
2. The blood of Jesus can cleanse us from all sin (Romans 5:8-9, 1 John 1:7)

Mormons believe:
1. Some degree of salvation will come to everyone. In other words, the atonement [the atonement is a fancy word used to describe Jesus’ act of putting humans in correct standing before God] was universal for all. (Articles of Faith by James Talmage, pg. 85, 91-92)
2. Some sins cannot be paid for by Christ’s blood (Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie pg. 93, Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph F. Smith Vol. 1, pg. 135)

I could show many more but space doesn’t allow but I think you get the point. Although the same terminology is used, Mormons and Christians mean very different things when talking about issues central to their faith. Christians who are reading this, I want to encourage you in that anytime you are sharing your faith with someone and they say “Oh, I believe in God too” or “Oh, I believe in Jesus”, please don’t stop there and assume they believe in the same God or the same Jesus you do. Ask questions. Ask about who this God is? What did Jesus do? How come Jesus was qualified to pay the price on the cross? If you are like me, you’ll quickly be surprised at how often we assume the people we are talking to hold to the same beliefs we do, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

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