LDS as merely another denomination

For the discussion of the distinctives of the various mainstream Christian denominations
Jill
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LDS as merely another denomination

Post by Jill » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:03 pm

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Murf
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Re: LDS as mearly just another denomination also

Post by Murf » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:54 am

I'm not sure I follow your logic.

If people think a few far-out claims are okay why aren't a lot of far-out claims okay?

Jill
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Post by Jill » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:28 pm

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steve
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Re: LDS as merely just another denomination also

Post by steve » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:09 pm

Karen,

I can understand your perplexity about this matter. The answer is that most evangelicals define a "cult" primarily as a group that denies "cardinal doctrines" of orthodox Christianity. To many who make this judgment, the orthodox view of the Trinity is the deal-breaker. Seventh-Day Adventists and Roman Catholics, though differing on many doctrinal points from Evangelicals, nonetheless believe in the Trinity, and thereby pass muster on one of the main issues that evangelicals use to define whether a group is or is not a cult. The LDS, on the other hand, have significantly different views about the nature of God, and even how many gods there are, so that they cannot properly be said to hold the orthodox view of the Trinity, and thus get themselves labeled as a "cult."

I personally would not define a cult strictly on the question of a group's doctrines, since many churches that have essentially orthodox doctrine may be "personality cults" centered on one teacher or on a group, like a denomination. I especially would not make belief in the Trinity out to be the litmus test, since I have known many Christians who either have trouble believing in the Trinity, or have their own conceptions of the Trinity, or even who believe that the Trinity is a perversion of biblical teachings. In any case, the Bible itself does not place this doctrine in such a determinative place in deciding who really does, and who does not, belong to Christ.

The Bible does not use the word "cult," so people may use it to mean any definition they choose. I would define a group as a cult if it requires people to allow the group or its leaders to do all their thinking for them, and expels those who do not toe the party line.

Jill
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Post by Jill » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:13 pm

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RND
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Re: LDS as merely just another denomination also

Post by RND » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:02 pm

Adventist, are staunchly "Trinitarian." However, I personally don't use the term trinity that much (lots of Adventist don't)in favor of the more representative "Godhead" designation.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788-1860

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steve
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Re: LDS as merely just another denomination also

Post by steve » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:23 am

Karen,

As far as I have heard, no one here objects to your participation in this forum. I'm glad you like it.

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darinhouston
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Re: LDS as merely just another denomination also

Post by darinhouston » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:26 am

karenprtlnd wrote:Steve,

Thank you for your candid reply. You've always been forthright with me, both on your radio show and here on the forum. If the understanding of the "Trinity" is the bottom line divisor between the LDS and Mainstream Evangelicalism, this is considerable. I was thinking that The Book of Mormon would have been the only difference. Part of its convincing power is derived from The Bible when presented, so if this becomes confusing, or seems deceptive in any way, a simple difference is that the LDS believes The Bible, as well as The Book of Mormon to be authentic, and takes them both together to be the Word of God. This might be a more solid base or truer difference in the long run, if the "Trinitarian" view ever became a bit blended at times. I would hope relations between the two schools would improve in time.... Both through open dialogue, and improved techniques in establishing historical "fact" vs. mere fiction, and also the end of publishing misleading documentation, perhaps on both sides. I would hope to continue somewhat on the forum, but If this is disagreeable in any way, of coarse not. Its been alot of fun that I'm so amateur..... that it gets to be embarrassing. Thank you again for your imput, and for your fun radio show.


(edit:-oops face)
I think there's another aspect of the LDS belief that most folks would consider when determining whether it's just a denomination of Christianity or another worldview altogether. Apart from the very important fundamental view of who God is (not in my opinion the precise Trinitarian formulation exactly), my understanding is that historic Christianity is also defined by the historic reliability of the apostolic tradition and the reliability of the transmission of its principle teachings. I understand you don't believe much of the critical writing of the LDS church (though I've yet to see any authoritative rebuttal to most of it) there is certainly a historic understanding that LDS differ on very fundamental aspects of the cosmos, the nature of God (whether He is alone in His godhood and whether He is eternal, etc). However, the reliance on extrabiblical revelation is not a trivial matter, and the historic claims of Christ visiting North America and the like just give it a very different flavor than other (perhaps "fringe") denominations.

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Post by Jill » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:32 pm

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darinhouston
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Re: LDS as merely just another denomination also

Post by darinhouston » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:21 pm

karenprtlnd wrote:Jesus Christ is the fundamental aspect of "christianity", and Jesus Christ is at the fundamental behavioral core of being a latter day saint.
Yes, but that presupposes one also already shared a common view of the nature of the Father. The Jews didn't "get" Christ, but they did share the same view of the eternal Father and the nature of the soul etc. So, with them the distinctive with Christianity was the view of Christ. The JW's are in a similar position -- they agree on the Father -- they just disagree as to the nature of Christ. The LDS seem to be the opposite -- they seem to share a common view of Christ, yet have a different view of the Father and of the nature of the soul and the relative eternality between the Father and our own souls (and that thing you call "Intelleginces", I believe).
karenprtlnd wrote:This is fundamental to what it is to be a latter day saint. There are many who still hold on to old unsubstantiated notions. This is difficult.
But, that sort of makes the case -- you're the only LDS that I've heard make some of the "concessions" towards Christianity that I've heard you make. You acknowledge above (or at least allude) that this was not the case before and that many still hold different views. So, I have to assume that either your LDS fellowship or your personal views don't reflect the historic LDS beliefs. I have no personal way to know --- I'm just telling you my impression from the influences I've had. I'm sure many LDS (like many Christians) don't even know what they believe, but all I have to go on is the "official" words and historic writings of the LDS church body, its apostles/prophets, etc. (though I acknowledge my exposure has been at least one step "removed").

Also, don't you still have apostles and prophets?

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