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November 27, 2013

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We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ
I take it, then, that your view includes the possiblity that you might be mistaken?

Mistaken that Mormonism isn't Christianity? Mistaken that Mormons ought to argue openly and clearly for their beliefs? Mistaken that people who care about truth ought to do this? Mistaken that the Bible speaks positively of arguing against false ideas?

If you're not asking one of those questions, you're way off topic, Ron.

Mistaken that Mormonism isn't Christianity?
This depends on whether you define Christianity to include Mormonism or not. Arguing about the definitions of words is either a fight over territory (which one might care about) or just a waste of time. If you have a conflict with someone about the meaning of the word, then you have to decide whether to fight for the territory or set the word aside and discuss the ideas involved instead. What a Mormon believes and why she believes it is more important than whether she calls it Christian.
Mistaken that Mormons ought to argue openly and clearly for their beliefs?
Suppose Gordon believes Mormonism is Christian. Should he argue openly and clearly for that?
Mistaken that people who care about truth ought to do this?
Generally that's what people who care about truth do. But maybe there are times when there is good reason to do otherwise?
Mistaken that the Bible speaks positively of arguing against false ideas?
But that's not all you said.

You said that you have knowledge of God.

And, you said you have knowledge of what is a speculation or a lofty thing raised up against that knowledge.

These God-knowledge claims are what I was talking about when I referred ironically to your rejection of the possibility that you were mistaken.

You could state all the same things about Mormons and Mormonism without having made or implied the God-knowledge claims.

But without the God-knowledge claims, the statements about Mormons and Mormonism would have a very different and lesser significance.

So I still think the God-knowledge claims are on-topic.

However, you are the judge here of what is on- or off-topic.

I don't think I'm following you either Ron. The point being made in the article, as far as I can see it from a plain reading, is that Gordon is making two points. 1. Mormons are Christians, and 2. Polygamists aren't Mormons.

Starting with point 2., to defend that claim, he appeals to doctrine to draw the distinction. But, when applied point 1., he doesn't appeal to doctrine, in fact leaves it entirely off the table.

He's simply not applying the same test to both points. If doctrinal distinctions are what separate Polygamists and Mormons, then it's also doctrinal distinctions that separate Christians from any other group, whether Mormon or not.

If one wants to go on to argue the truth about Christianity, that's another conversation. But one has to wonder if Gordon isn't aware of the the doctrinal distinctions, or if he only thinks they matter when applied to groups that he wants to distance himself from.

These God-knowledge claims are what I was talking about when I referred ironically to your rejection of the possibility that you were mistaken.

Ah. So you were going off topic.

Mistaken that Love is the Highest Ethic?

No.

Certainty needed for knowledge?

No.

Certainty that love is the highest ethic?

Yes.

In all possible worlds.

Doctrine: I think he mentions excommunication. I assume that on their doctrine that means then "unsaved" or some similar notion. I don't know that men can actually do such to another should Christ be that other's savior, again a point of doctrine.

Good post, Amy.

I guess Gordon sees crucial differences* between Mormons and polygamists but doesn't see a crucial difference in between Mormons and y'all.

Whatever differences he sees between your 'doctrine' and his, he thinks you are both Christian. I guess he sees the differences between you and him as more like the differences between, I don't know, Shia and Sunni - or Baptist and Luteran.

So far, there's no contradiction or hypocrisy in Gordon's view; he just sees crucial differences in one case and not in the other.

I take it you do see crucial differences between you and Gordon - differences that are defining elements of the term 'Christianity'. But is that really the important thing about such differences - their role in your understanding of a word?

If you want to fight over the territory - the word Christian, then maybe you should open up another front: Is this Christian to pray to Mary - the mother of Jesus? Or maybe you should take up that issue regardless of whether you want to fight over the word.


RonH

* In history, the difference between the polygamists and the official LDS church has been a pretty big deal.

This is a huge category error. "Mormon" is not an equivalent term to "Christian." It is an equivalent term to "Catholic."

When people hear the term "Catholic priest," they are rightly assuming that it is a priest recognized by the Vatican as a representative of the church in Rome. The Vatican (1 billion+ members) has the right to determine who is considered Catholic. Anything else would cause unnecessary confusion.

When people hear the term "Mormon," they are rightly assuming that it is a individual recognized by the Church in Salt Lake City as a representative of the church. The SLC Church (15 million+ members) has the right to determine who is considered Mormon. Anything else would cause unnecessary confusion.

On the other hand, nobody owns the term "Christian." Catholics, Mormons, Evangelicals, etc. are all subsets of that name. Nobody has the inherent right to determine who is Christian. If anybody does, it's the 1 Billion+ Catholic church, which considers Protestants to be heretical in beliefs.

If you believe Mormons are heretical Christians, have at it. But you have neither the standing or authority to determine who is Christian. Nobody but Jesus Christ himself has that authority.

Lorin,

I don't see why we need any kind of authority or right to say who is a Christian and who isn't. It seems to me all we need is to know what "Christian" means and whether anybody fits that description or fails to fit that description.

Sam

Point being, what a Catholic says is Catholic is not arbitrary. But when you have someone who worships Jesus Christ and believes that he alone is the source of Salvation, and then you say he isn't Christian because he believes some other things that are out of the ordinary, you ARE being arbitrary. You are choosing which differences matter and which do not.

I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and the only source for salvation AND I know that it is only through his grace that all mankind may be saved. Nobody but a Christian would make that statement. I also believe some important things that most other Christians do not.

I don't consider Muslims or Buddhists to be Christian because they do not worship Jesus Christ and look to him for their salvation. They, likewise, do not consider themselves Christian.

I don't consider it my right to say whether someone who does worship Jesus Christ is Christian or not. Nor do I consider it someone else's right to define whether I am a Christian. Nor do I believe Jesus Christ has given you that right.

Our theological differences are significant in some areas. But I can sit in another faith's Christian service and believe 95% of what I hear without qualification. I am aware that it would be a lower percentage if you were to walk into a Mormon service.

I don't want to understate the differences (although they are different than many believe), but I also don't want to understate how offensive it is to be told that I am not a Christian. I understand y'all's desire to draw a boundary, but that is simply not your call. It's the Lord's call only.

Lorin, first of all, you're doing the same thing we're doing--drawing a line between who is Christian and who isn't based on what they believe. The only difference is that you draw the line in a different place. For you, it's enough that they believe Jesus Christ alone is the source of salvation. How are you being any less arbitrary?

Second, you have no reason to think we're being arbitrary by making these distinctions. To be arbitrary is to be without reason, but there are reasons for thinking some issues are more important than others. We may be wrong in where we draw the line, but we aren't being arbitrary.

"We may be wrong in where we draw the line, but we aren't being arbitrary."

And I would add to Sam's comment, that we have not drawn an ambiguous nor historically novel/new/obscure line.

One cannot credibly claim the name Christian rightfully so long as the core attributes of Jesus' nature and Person vary significantly from the biblical revelation.

So many things I could reply to, but I'll only reply to one:

"One cannot credibly claim the name Christian rightfully so long as the core attributes of Jesus' nature and Person vary significantly from the biblical revelation."

Aha, there's the rub. The core attribute of Jesus we disagree on can be traced to what was solidified at the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) I consider myself more of a 324 A.D. kind of Christian. And yes, if you study the writings of early Christian thinkers, you can find, among them, all sorts of teachings that are compatible with Mormonism but not with 325 A.D. Christianity. Remember, we don't consider our church to be a new church, but a restoration of the apostolic church. We don't consider our beliefs to be at all incompatible with the Bible. Y'all see it another way. We're going to have to agree to disagree on this point.

I'm not going to post any other comments here because I know I have no chance of convincing anyone here otherwise, just as you have no chance of convincing me that I am something other than a Christian. I know what I am, and I know Jesus Christ knows what I am. I do know him, and I believe him to be the same being you presumably know.

I pray that we can one day not talk past each other but come to an understanding. Thanks for respectfully sharing your perspectives with me.

Satan believes. He does not abandon Self, his own Self, into the Uncreated, Immutable Other within Whom we find the innately triune E Pluribus Unum.


That is all possible worlds. Inside. Outside. Love being, necessarily, the Highest Ethic in all worlds.


The end of ad infinitum is the One God Who is love, in Whom we find love's trimotional contexts necessarily. In Him we find Love being Love, we find Love being with Love, and we find Love begetting Love. The Immutable Self-Other-Us that just is E Pluribus Unum is that All-Sufficiency Who swallows our In-Sufficiency.


Atheism's incoherence cannot contain Love.


Whatever cannot contain Love's E Pluribus Unum is to some degree mistaken.


I know nothing of Mormonism's A and Z where Immutable, Uncreated Love is concerned, not enough to rightly divide here, but if Such is that One into Whom one is abandoning oneself into, then one has found Christ.

The link in the OP of "farther apart" may offer something lesser than Uncreated, Immutable Love as Actuality's A and Z.


Person matters more, far more, than mere doctrinal degree/precision, so such may not lead one to Paris, Texas instead of Paris, France, ultimately, though it is helpful to be forthcoming when we speak of such things.


Of course, if one discovers in one's map a deficiency of Love, and carries on following that map anyway, one may in fact find a Paris void of an Eiffel Tower.

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