First, let me start by saying that I do not refer to the “Latter Day Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ” because
1) That takes forever to say.
2) I disagree theologically with that entire title.
3) The title itself is misleading, and keeps changing anyways…Used to be just LDS, but then a revelation came down and dictated some PR for the group…
So what are my objections to Mormonism? Are they based in hatred, Satan, anger, or a general dislike of the “Leave it to Beaver” sort of feel-goody-ness?
Or are they based in objections to the actual theology of the religion, based on logic and reason, bolstered by faith, and backed up by sources from both the Bible and Mormonism?
Nah…its gotta be the devil in me.
Although I will tell you that Mormons are just as sinful as the next person (however, like the Christian Reformed in my area, as a group they’re more obsessed with the image of plain good ole folksy people…) and that I object to some of their practices that are decidedly *not* respectful…or even that you can’t judge a religion solely by its people and a warm fuzzy feeling that may be the Holy Spirit, or may be a bad case of heartburn….
All of that isn’t all that important.
The very fact of the matter is that Mormonism is not Christianity. Its not a third branch, after Catholicism and Protestantism, its not an “alternative Christian view” it is quite simply NOT Christian.
First, let me set one thing down- you are not Christian if all you can claim is a general happy feeling towards Jesus. Muslims and Jews alike are actually quite respectful to him if they know any theology of their own.
Christianity can not be measured by the fuzzy feeling for Jesus or any other figure in the Bible. It is measured by what you believe. I do hesitate in naming one religion Christian and another one not, when that religion is purporting to be Christian. This is because a good chunk of people like to cite the Catholic Church as, among other things, the anti-Christ, or Whore of Babylon, or something similar.
However, there can not be found in Catholicism anything that will be denied in the Bible. Some of our teachings may not be found explicitly in the Bible, but those teachings will not be refuted in the Bible.
And before some of you Protestants go on the old and tired dead horse about “Call no man father” I’d like to ask you to cite the verse, specifically, that deals with the Trinity. Find the verse that specifically lays out the doctrine of the Trinity. Found it? No? Hmm wonder what Sola Scriptura has to say about that? This verse below is as close as it gets.
Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. 17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; Isaiah 48:16-17
But, anyway, Christianity is a belief, not a fuzzy feeling. Like it or not, there are correct beliefs, and incorrect beliefs. Its similar to believing something about your father.
Lets say your father is 6 feet tall, and has 3 kids from a previous marriage, from which he was widowed. Lets say that you, his kid from a new marriage, decides to believe that your father is actually 6 feet, 6 inches tall, and that he is divorced, not widowed, and that his kids are not actually your siblings.
No matter how hard you believe it, it isn’t true. Your father is still 6 feet tall, those kids are from a dead mother, and they are genetically your siblings.
Its the same exact thing with Christianity.
In Mormonism, Jesus is not God. He is an exalted man (which is saying that he is a god, but not God).
In John, we have
In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God.
Its important to note here that, if you know anything of the history of the Bible, the Word referred to here is obviously *not* the Bible. Its Jesus. Mormons have explained the first part away as evidence for a pre-existence. The pre-existence is an incorrect concept that I will discuss later.
The second part, that the word was God, is harder. I suppose someone could grasp at straws if I were to say that it is significant that the word “god” is capitalized.
Mormons also have a hard time explaining the whole “I AM” that Jesus answered when asked about his nature and just who he thought he was. (I AM is how Moses was answered by God in the burning bush.) That was the whole reason the Jews went nuts and started tearing their clothes off- they knew Jesus just said he was God. If he had just claimed to be a prophet, they wouldn’t have further called for the proper punishment at the time for what they thought was blasphemy.
Mormons tend to shy away from that, especially as they will eventually ask someone who questions Mormon doctrine “Where does Jesus say that he was God?”. This will get asked after numerous New Testament writers have been invoked, as if thinking that Jesus would actually have to argue with them.
So for reason #1 Mormons actually aren’t Christian, they deny basic beliefs set down by God himself about His own Nature. If Jesus said he was God, and if the facts were otherwise, then Jesus would not be a prophet worth following. Who wants to follow a psycho that thinks he is God, unless he actually is God?
I haven’t even gotten to the denial of the Trinity yet! ^_^