Sunday, March 26

Nicene Creed vs the Mormon Church

My friend Brad Haas over at the Defensor Veritatis web site has written an excellent post about comparing the Nicene Creed to the beliefs of the Mormon church. I would highly recommend reading this post and really digesting the points that he makes in it. Here's a paragraph which I feel really summarizes up the question of "Are Mormons Christian?" very nicely:

So after all that, are Mormons Christian? In all my experience, I've concluded that the answer to that question is: it depends on who's asking and who's answering. They vigorously claim to be Christians, and if one considers "Christian" to mean "one who loves and serves God the Father and Christ His Son," without concern for right doctrine, LDS definitely fall into that category. But if one considers "Christian" to include following the teachings of God as revealed through Christ and handed on through the Church, then they are definitely not.

6 Comments:

At 1:07 AM, Blogger Carlos Williamson said...

"Christian" should not mean some kind of club where you set the rules, no matter how old the rules.

Any fair reading of the scriptures will find much more evidence for the simple belief that Jesus is the son of God and Mary, and is a different person than His Father. And the fact that the Creeds a few hundred years later taught that God the Father and Jesus are one person and were accepted as doctrine by the Catholic leaders does not make it the "Christian" belief, even if nearly all Christian leaders believed it.

 
At 2:02 AM, Blogger Brad Haas said...

Cynthia - thanks for this post. ... Is there a discreet way to tell you that it's "Haas" with two a's? :)

Carlos, the point of my commentary on whether Mormons are Christian is that whoever is answering the question is setting the rules.

Also, a fair reading of the actual beliefs of the early Church Fathers, the Council Fathers, the Catholic Church, or most of Christianity will find that we do not believe that God the Father and Jesus are one person. In my post I showed that I can understand and impartially explain at the basic beliefs of LDS. Will you please do the same before you criticize Catholic Christianity?

 
At 8:01 AM, Blogger Cynthia said...

Carlos:

The Nicene creed is a slightly more detailed version than the Apostle's Creed, which was around since, well, the Apostles. The Nicene creed simply clarified what has been taught for the 300 years before that point.

And I find it odd that you say that the Christians "should not mean some kind of club where you set the rules, no matter how old the rules." And yet the Mormon church has temples which no one without a Club Pass can enter, and you can't get into heaven without the club pass.

The Trinitarian God, understanding the concept "The Word was with God, and the Word was God, and became flesh", is to understand the #1 most important tenet of any traditional Christian church. Then again, that concept is still rather over my head. So instead of understanding it, I simply accept it.

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Joel said...

I've been known to point out to LDS that the Nicene Creed predates the NT canon. They accept the one; why not the other?

I don't do that to the missionaries, though. Those kids are sent out so unprepared it feels like shooting fish in a barrel.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Cynthia said...

Joel:

Yes, missionaries are sent out there pretty much without a clue. I always feel so sorry for them when I see them. I've got a pile of "poor missionary" stories, and I'll spare them from you, but I will say this - intellectually armed anti-Mormons are among the least of their problems, and that makes me really sad.

 
At 5:45 PM, Anonymous John said...

And the fact that the Creeds a few hundred years later taught that God the Father and Jesus are one person and were accepted as doctrine by the Catholic leaders does not make it the "Christian" belief, even if nearly all Christian leaders believed it.

Is it possible for one to "beget" the same person? Maybe if you learn your catechism from sacrament meeting, then it's plausible.

Carlos, please take this to heart. Catechism lessons are given quite often in sacrament meeting, even more than Mormons will admit. I know, because on rare occassions I have to sit there and listen to it. And it is all I can do to sit there, and not stand up and shout, "If your faith was as true as you endlessly proclaim it to be, then you wouldn't have to lie about mine!" It is so frustrating to sit there and hear the ward told that "those other people" teach that unbaptized babies go to Hell, as I hear in testimonies on a fairly consistent basis.

Please, if you are going to credit your faith by discrediting Catholicism, you'd stand on firmer ground by actually knowing what it is you are talking about. You can do so for free, with complete anonymity and no bicycles launched to your home. In the first couple of audio files, you will learn that what you claim the Church teaches is what in fact the Church has defined as a heresy. Once you know what it is that you are actually supposed to be arguing against, then you can do the good Christian thing of correcting your brothers and sisters when they invent Catholic doctrine.

And please develop a bit of a more universal perspective when arguing to a diverse audience. After all, discrediting a creed for being three centuries removed from Christ is not real productive for someone who believes in a faith that was introduced 18 centuries removed from Christ. It just seems so situationally applied.

The Lord bless you and keep you, Carlos.

 

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