The Instigator
KnightTemplar
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
hwp460
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Are Mormons Christian?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 324 times Debate No: 108012
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

KnightTemplar

Con

My position is that Mormons are not Christian because they believe in a false Jesus and false God. Only someone who believes Jesus is God the Son, apart of a holy Trinity and believes in the what the Bible teaches about Jesus can be called a Christian. Not someone who merely says that they believe in Jesus, but that "Jesus" is different than the one in the biblical account. I look forward to debating on this topic and showing why a Mormon can't be called a Christian and is part of a different religion all together.
The first round will be introduction on our position and accepting the debate.
hwp460

Pro

I accept your debate, and no I'm not Mormon or even Christian. Now the Mormon faith is a sect of the Christian beliefs just as well as Protestantism and Catholicism. Mormon's believe in the whole entirety of the bible and just have an extra section about a whole Middle Eastern group of people travelled to America by boat. He tried to look at the files but an angel stopped him. After four annual tries, the angel allowed him to look at the files, which he translated and then got 11 witnesses to say they existed. He then spread the word of the book of Mormon.
Debate Round No. 1
KnightTemplar

Con

Thank you for accepting my debate!
So from what I can infer, the premise of your argument is that Mormons are Christian because some would label them as a "sect" of Christianity. And, it seems like you are appealing to the different branches of Christianity in Protestantism and Catholicism and placing the Mormon religion in the same category. While I will admit, I was expecting a Mormon to engage in this debate, I will definitely not lose the opportunity to show why categorically the Mormons cannot be labelled as Christian. Or better said, should not be labelled as Christian.

So why aren't Mormons Christian? The reason they are not is that they worship a different God. Now in your opening argument, you say that they are Christian because they believe in the entirety of the Bible. But the issue with that is that they plainly don't believe in the whole Bible. They believe in parts that they assume proves their case. The eighth article of faith for the LDS church is: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly;". Do you see the issue? " as far as it is translated correctly." Now, this opens up a whole other can of worms, such as biblical accuracy and textual criticism, but those can be discussed in another debate. The issue as pertains to this debate is that this Article allows the Mormons to alter biblical passages that Christians use and say that those passages weren't actually in the bible. If you take out scriptures and add in scriptures to the bible, your changing the biblical canon, which isn't believing in the entirety of the bible. It is picking and choosing what you believe in accordance to your preconceived notions.
So, if someone believes in a different God, different Hope, different scripture and has different practices, is it the same religion? I would say not. Is Islam and Zoroastrianism the same religion? No way! Different God, hope, Scripture and practices. Some practices may parallel, but why you perform the practice is different, which would translate as different. I believe it is the same with Christianity and Mormonism. We have a different God. We have a different hope. And we have different Scriptures and Practices. Those are tremendous differences. And those differences can't be reconciled with each other or exist with each other. Just like how Christians and Muslims are different religions. Muslims have similarities to Christians, i.e: worship one god, believe in Jesus, believe in the Old and New testament, etc,. But no one would say that Muslims are Christian. And vice verse. Why? Because of fundamental differences, such as the person of Jesus, the nature of God, the hope of mankind. These are huge differences. And these are the same differences that Christianity has with Mormonism. Muslims just don't claim to be Christian.

So, if a belief system is completely different on fundamental teachings of Christianity, is it then still Christianity? I would say not. The most fundamental teaching of Christianity is Monotheism. There is only one God. This teaching is core to Christianity. And in Mormonism we see a pantheon of gods, going back eternally in the past, with infinite gods, all having spirit children and going through what we are going through. God is reduced to men who have become gods and had divine children who then become men, who then become gods. This is opposite to Christianity! Christians firmly teach monotheism, not polytheism. And that is just the start of why Mormons are not Christian. I would say not even a branch of Christianity but their own religion, just as Islam and Baha'i are not branches of Christianity but different belief systems. They both believe in Jesus but a different Jesus than Christianity. It is the same with Mormons.
And the list of doctrines that differ from Christianity goes on and on. From monotheism, to the nature of God, to the Person of Jesus Christ, to the meaning of the atonement on the Cross. Every fundamental belief that makes a Christian a Christian is different. Therefore, fundamentally a different belief system, a different Religion.

And I'll touch briefly on the comment made about the Protestants and Catholics and how Mormons are just like them. The problem with that argument is that Protestants and Catholics, while they have differences in the role of the church and scripture, they still believe in one God existing in three coequal and eternal persons, namely: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They agree on the Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They agree on the purpose and meaning of the atonement of Christ. So, the fundamental beliefs we agree on, so I would say Catholics are Christian and protestants are Christian. Fundamentally the same religion. Yes, minor differences on the role of the Church and authority of Scripture and Tradition, but still Christian. Mormons are not in the same category.
I look forward to your next argument! Thanks again!
hwp460

Pro

I will cover your argument of different fundamentals, recover mine about different sects and add another argument.

1.Fundamental Differences-You said the Catholics and Protestants are both Christians, but they have a huge fundamental difference. Catholics believe that only the clergy have a connection with God but Protestants believe anyone can have the connection. If the difference in your relationship with God (the most important part of religion) is different but there the same religion, then things like practices don't matter. Catholics and Protestants have different practices like Ash Wednesday the existence of the Pope. You say God but they believe in the Trinity, just interpret it differently.

2.Different Sects-You used Muslims and Christians and even they are different "religions" they still are both Abrahamic Faiths. It's more of a tree than groups. Everything is connected. Mormons are like the third group of Christianity. Catholics, Protestants, and Mormons would be these three branches. They have the same God, Holy Text (interpreted differently), and are even self-proclaimed.

3.Own Belief-Mormons believe they are Christians and that's all that matters. Since religion has no "official rules" and is no more specific than politics or philosophy, you determine what you are. For example, my mother is a self-proclaimed Republican, even though she is pro-choice. Now, even if you don't feel she is a Republican, she still votes Republican. It doesn't matter what you, the Catholic Church or anyone else thinks, they're Christians.

https://www.lds.org...
This article shows how Mormons believe they are Christians.

For the fact of similar beliefs and they're own proclamation of Christianity, vote neg.
Debate Round No. 2
KnightTemplar

Con

For the final round, I will cover your three arguments to clear up my stance on those and I will give my closing remarks.

1. Fundamental differences- You said that because Catholics and Protestants have a different way in which they connect with God and that is the most important part. I would first say, that is not the most important part. The most important part is what God are you connecting with? Is it the Triune God of Scripture or one god of an infinite number of gods like the Mormons teach? Protestants and Catholics connect with God through personal prayer, the only difference is that Catholics believe that you can connect with God also through a Priest. And this comes from a different interpretation of Church Authority. But is it really a "huge" fundamental difference? I don't believe so. The bible allows for a different interpretation of Church Authority, and most Protestants believe in confessing sins to church elders, the difference is that in Catholicism they believe that the Priest can present the sin before God and absolve it. While Protestants don't believe that, it is not a fundamental difference in the core beliefs of Christianity. On the other hand, the Mormon religion does have massive differences in the core beliefs of Christianity, and it is for this reason that I and the majority of Christians will continue to deny that Mormons are Christians. I will take a few belief's individually and show how they are different and why this makes them not Christian.
a. The nature of God.
This really is the core of all of Christianity and I would go as far as saying any religion. Who is God? Christians and Mormons would answer completely different. Christians believe that there is One Eternal, Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent God over all things. This One God created all things out of nothing. In the One being of God, there exist three co-equal and co-eternal persons, namely Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three persons are not each other but separate persons, all in the One being of God. The Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the Spirit is fully God. But all One God not three gods. And this is paramount to what defines a Christian. Christians are NOT Tri-Theist but Monotheist. We believe in ONE God not two, or three or four or more. ONE. This is basic and fundamental to being a Christian and someone that does not profess this is not a Christian. If someone professes something else, they are professing a different God. No one would say that the Polytheist Greeks are Christian because they say that Yahweh, the God of the Jews is a god. They denied the fundamental nature of Yahweh, that is, that He is One God and there are no other gods. There are multiple scriptures throughout the Christian Scriptures that show this and these verses cannot be interpreted a different way. Any other interpretation is a purposeful eisegesis, or reading what you believe into the bible instead of exegesis which is reading out of the bible your beliefs. Examples of such Scriptures would be Isaiah 43:10-13. It says: "You are My witnesses," declares the Lord,
"And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
11 "I, even I, am the Lord,
And there is no savior besides Me.
12 "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,
And there was no strange god among you;
So you are My witnesses," declares the Lord,
"And I am God.
13 "Even from eternity I am He,
And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;
I act and who can reverse it?"
Deut. 6:4, the Shema: "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
And there are a lot more examples other than these two. But the point is, the Bible teaches Monotheism. End of story. Any mention of other gods are examples of false gods. Fake gods. Compare this with Mormon doctrine on their god. They believe in a multitude of gods, an infinite amount of gods stretching back from the eternal past. To most, that isn't Christian. Christian's believe in one God, Mormons believe in an infinite amount of gods. Monotheism vs polytheism. So this is a huge fundamental difference. A difference that makes one a Christian or not. To touch really quick on what you said about Mormons believing in the Trinity but interpret it differently, that's just flat out incorrect. They believe in Tri-Theism, that is, three gods of this earth. Mormon.org says: "Mormons believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct personages. They are separate beings united in the purpose of bringing all of God"s children back to His presence, but They are not one singular being. Together They comprise the Godhead." [1]
Three distinct beings, three distinct natures, three distinct gods. United in will, but not in being, so not one God. Not Monotheism. Polytheism. This difference in how many gods there are determines if one is Christian or not. It does not matter if one calls themselves Christian. What matters is, who is your God? One, eternal and almighty God, who is God alone or a god among an infinite number of gods? Everyone will see that these are two very different and opposite beliefs and the two beliefs cannot exist together in the same religion.
b. The person of Jesus Christ.
This is another fundamental difference that shows that Mormons are not Christian. The most important person in Christianity is Jesus Christ. He is the founder and leader of Christianity. And according to Jesus, to be a Christian, one must believe in Him. What does that mean? Believe in Jesus Christ? Well, it means believing in who Jesus is and what he has done. Who Jesus? If one doesn't have the true Jesus, then they have a false Jesus. If one has a false and fake Jesus, then according to Jesus, that one is not a believer of Jesus, which is what a Christian is. So who is Jesus? The bible teaches that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. He is eternal, never created, all powerful, all knowing, and all present. He was incarnate in flesh as the God-Man in the first century A.D. and came to provide a sacrifice so that sinful man can be saved if they believed in Him. They had to truly believe in Him as God and Savior. And the New Testament is full a scriptures supporting this claim. John 1:1-3; John 20:26-28: Hebrews 1:1-12; Titus 2:11,12; 2 Peter 1:1; Rev 1: 8-18. This is just a handful of verses showing this. Jesus is God, the Creator of the universe. Now what is Mormon doctrine on this? Is Jesus the One God of the bible, never created? Well, no. Mormon doctrine teaches that Jesus is a created spirit child of God, an elder brother of Gods other spirit children including Satan. He is not the Creator, but the created. He is not eternal, but came into existence. He is not he second Person of the Trinity, but a spirit son of god. A completely different Jesus than who Christians believe in. Mormons don't worship Jesus, Christians do. This is of paramount importance! The most important person in Christianity is changed and brought down to a lesser position of an angel. To Christians, this is heresy, this is blasphemy. This is not a Christian belief. This is not Christianity. But a completely different belief system.
These are just two beliefs that are fundamentally different. There are many more than this but I don't have the space or time to list these. But just these two should show that the differences are irreconcilable between Christians and Mormons. And that Mormons cannot be considered Christians no matter how much they say they are.

2. It is irrelevant to say that Islam and Christianity are Abrahamic Religions. First, we aren't debating that. Second, my argument was to show that Islam and Christianity are different religions and not considered the same because of fundamental differences in who God is and who Jesus is. I think anyone reading this debate would agree that Islam and Christianity are different religions. There really isn't an argument there. And third, you said so yourself, "Abrahamic Faiths". That is a plural word. Different faiths. If you want to consider Mormons a branch of the Abrahamic Faiths, I have no qualms with that. But to lump them in with Christians just because they say they are, but they show to be a completely different faith by their beliefs, is just incorrect. You said same God, but i have clearly shown it is not the same God. You will have to prove it is the same God if you say that it is. My examples above show clearly you can't. And you said that they are the third branch of Christianity. Not true, my arguments show they could be more considered a branch of Abrahamic Faiths, not a branch of Christianity. Like Islam and Judaism are. The real three branches of Christianity are Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Greek Orthodoxy.
3. Own belief- This is an irrelevant argument. Just because someone says that they are something doesn't mean they are. I could say that I am rich and have a billion dollars but that doesn't make it true just because i say it. We are talking about objective reality not subjective reality. Objectivity doesn't care about subjectivity. I am sorry if you were under the impression that this is what this argument was about. And i know some argue that everything is subjective, but what about that statement? Is that subjective or objective?
All in all, my opponent tried to say they have similar beliefs as Christians, which they do not. Do the research and you'll see how large and many the differences are. He tried to say that they were a branch of Christianity, which i believe i sufficiently showed they aren't a branch of Christianity or Christian at all. For the fact of different fundamental beliefs that make a christian a Christian, we must assume they are not Christian's objectively.
[1]https://www.mormon.org...
hwp460

Pro

I will cover the three arguments and add a closing statement.

1.Fundamental Differences- You said the nature of God is most important, but they believe in the same God. The most important part of being CHRISTian is you believe in Christ. They believe in Christ in a different and they interpret it differently, but they still fundamentally believe in Christ. I might have misunderstood this but I want to cover this just in case you did hit on this. It's a sin to believe in more than one God, but sinning doesn't make you not Christian. It just means you broke God's rules, so that's not a legitimate argument. All in all, they have the same fundamental, they just changed the details.

2.Different Sects-Mormonism is on the tree we both agree. The only question is if it's part of the Christian branch or not. Well if they aren't Christians themselves, they are equal to Christians. The only problem with that is religions such as Islam, Judaism, and Christianity has subclasses under it. Mormonism lacks these subclasses meaning it is a subclass of something else. They believe in the Holy Trinity, they just view it differently.

3.Own Belief-Since religion isn't anything specific and has no evidence or proof of it, you are what you say you are. You also said that we are only talking about objectivity, but I haven't heard this till the last speech. I think that's a little unfair to spring up this rule on me now. It's not in the resolution, so saying it's not part of this debate is wrong unless you established it within the first speech (which you didn't). Their self-proclamation matters just as much if not more than any amount of evidence.

For the sake of the Mormonism's shared base with Christianity and their own claims, say that Mormons are in fact Christians.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by KnightTemplar 1 month ago
KnightTemplar
@mossbeboss2 i would be happy to share with you where I got my information. Could you give me specific examples? Just saying"your information" doesn't narrow it done since I have referred to many different things.
Posted by mossbeboss2 1 month ago
mossbeboss2
I just want to say that I am a Mormon.
First off, I am very grateful for hwp460 for supporting that we are Christians. You did a very good job, so thumbs up to you!!
Second, KnightTemplar.....um what??? I just want to start off by asking you where you got your information about my church. Because there was a lot that you said that was completely incorrect, which I guess I'll talk about another time. Also, I too think that it wasn't fair to spring up the extra rule thing until the closing statement. so yeah, let me know about where you got that info. thanks!
Posted by judaism 3 months ago
judaism
Too bad a real Mormon didn't debate you. I once had a Mormon missionary tell me that there is no genetic evidence for the whole theory that Native Americans are Jews, but he still believed it.
Posted by judaism 3 months ago
judaism
Too bad a real Mormon didn't debate you. I once had a Mormon missionary tell me that there is no genetic evidence for the whole theory that Native Americans are Jews, but he still believed it.
No votes have been placed for this debate.