Mormons Are Christians Too.
Debate Rounds (5)
The Argument will start with Con's first post. Good luck. :)
Greetings, I am new to the site so this will be my first actual debate here. I'll try my best to model it after a typical Lincoln-Douglass debate, althuogh normally the Pro goes first and the Con counters it, seeing as the pro is the one normally trying to prove a point.
My argument is a simple one: Mormonism is not an actual sect in the Christian faith. Hopefully, my points will be able to convince the voters that the con has the better arguments.
Contention 1: The history described by the Book of Mormon cannot be tied to actual history.
My first contention has to do with the teachings of Mormonism itself. Mormon beliefs not only cannot be tied to history, but at times completely contradict history itself, and here's why:
The first thing I would like to address is the the lack of animals, tech, and metals found in the Americas based against those in the book of Mormon. These include, but are not limited to, cattle, horses, donkeys, oxen, sheep, swine, goats, elephants, and wheat.
Also, the general belief is that the tribes from Jerusalem came across the ocean in a boat and landed in the Americas, where they became the original Native Americans. however, there has been no linguistic links to the tribes of Jerusalem and the Native American languages, and DNA evidence cannot confirm that the two groups were even similar, let alone the same kind of people.
Therefor, I am not only questioning whether Mormanism is a Christian sect, but whether or not it can be proven to be at least possible.
Contention 2: Christian and Mormon beliefs differ greatly.
As we all know, the Bible is the main book for Christian beliefs. No matter what the difference in the seperate Protestant sects, they can all refer to the Bible for information and sermons.
However, not only do the Mormons have 3-4 seperate holy books (including the Book of Mormon), they also have information in those books that contradict the Bible, but they also claim that the majority of the Bible is false.
My main argument in this fact is Jesus Christ himself. The main Mormon claim to Christianity is that they follow Christ and believe in at least part of the Bible. Although this is true, the Mormon version of Jesus Christ is not at all similar to the Christion version of Christ.
Rather than believing that Jesus Christ is the physical embodiment of God himself (the ONE God, mind you), Mormons believe that Jesus is just one of the many gods out there, which means that they believe that there is more than one god. They also believe that Satan is Christ's brother rather than a fallen angel, and they don't even think that there is fire in Hell.
Contention 3: Some Mormon beliefs go against the ten commandments.
I'm sure we're all familiar with the Ten commandments, even those non-Christian viewers, due to it's influence in Western society. The Ten commandments are the ten basic rules that all Christians must follow, and here are a few that are broken in the Mormon faith.
1. "You shall have no other gods before me." I already discussed how Mormans worship multiple gods, and so the very first commandment is broken.
3. "You shall not take the name of the lord thy God in vain, for the lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain." Vain is defined as "In an irreverent or disrespectful manner", and because the Mormons believe that the lord is not the one true God, not only do they not believe in Christianity as that is the one chief belief among them, they are disrespecting his name, and so are breaking the third commandment.
7. "You shall not commit adultery" Adultery is defined as "Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse." (www.thefreedictionary.com) Emphasis on "lawful". According to US law and the laws of many other nations, you can only take one wife as your own. As such, the polygamy commited by some Mormon sects directly defies the seventh commandment.
And so, how can the Mormans consider themselves Christian when their own religion directly contradicts some of the rules that all Christians must live by if the worship our god?
Because of these vast differences in the Christian and Mormon religions, Mormons cannot be regarded as Christians. In fact, due to their historical inaccuracies, some might say that they are about as believable as the scientologists, and that Mormanism isn't an actual religion at all. However, that is a completely different debate entirely, and because of the differences listed in this round, and the evidence brought to light, I hope that the viewers will vote Con on this issue.
I'm afraid the point you are trying to make here is completely off topic and to keep the debate easy on the readers I will stay on topic and address contention 1 in a single paragraph.
Whether or not the Book of Mormon is true has nothing to do with the religions claim to be a Christian sect. The Catholic religion for example has its own books believed to be holy that no other Christian religion believes in, however the Catholic Church is still one of the first to establish itself after the teachings of Christ. These books include the books of: Tobit, Judith, Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch. Debating the BOM's authenticity is a whole neither topic, and yes it is debatable. If the BOM was proven to be impossible, the Mormon faith would not have over 14 million members.
Con stated in his position that ‘they also claim that the majority of the bible is false.' I find this a bit offensive because it is 100% inaccurate. The articles of faith are thirteen basic principles the LDS faith (Mormons) believe in, and they have not changed since they were written by the churches founder Joseph Smith in 1842.
Article of Faith #8- We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
The Mormons have always stood by their belief in the Bible, they have never claimed that the majority of the bible is false, they believe the King James Version is to be the most accurately translated, in fact, they require all seminary students to take a year course on the Old Testament, and a Year course on the New Testament. They require two years of study on the Bible, and one year of study on the Book of Mormon for graduation. Many will argue the Bible contradicts itself, in the same manner that the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible. I cannot find one contradiction between the Book of Mormon, and the Bible, and I have read completely, and believe very strongly in both.
I found the next segment of contention 2 a little arrogant due to the fact that it too is completely inaccurate. I quote "the Mormon version of Jesus Christ is not at all similar to the Christian version of Christ."
Con went on to argue that Christians believe, and again I quote, "Jesus Christ is the physical embodiment of God himself (the ONE God, mind you)." To sum it up, Con implied Mormonism cannot be Christians because they believe Jesus Christ is one of many Gods. Now, which Christian church was Con referring to when he stated the ‘Mormon version of Jesus Christ is not at all similar to the Christian version'? There are many, and I'm not exaggerating when I say hundreds of different sects of Christianity believe that Jesus Christ was part of what they refer to as the Godhead, including sects of Lutheran, Church of Christ, Methodist, and Presbyterian: Jesus Christ being a God, Heavenly father or God himself being a God, and finally the Holy Ghost also a member of the Godhead.
Finally Con argued that "they don't even think that there is fire in Hell." This is completely true, Mormons do not believe there is fire in what some Christians would consider to be 'hell'; however, Mormons are not the only Christian sect who believes fire in Hell is to be understood figuratively. A recent Catholic Pope stated "Hell is not a physical place!" Billy Grahm, a famous television pastor said, "Hell is separation of God forever…. The fire mentioned in the Bible is a burning thirst for God." The list goes on and on. Again, hundreds of Christian faiths believe, like the Mormons, that there is no fire in Hell, including Christianity Today, a magazine that represents today's Christian faith (ironic), "The fire is to be understood figuratively."
I've already argued a majority of these claims and I feel they do not need to be repeated, however in the spirit of debate I will quickly address them.
1- Mormons worship multiple gods just as all of Christianity who believes in the Godhead worships multiple gods for example, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and many more. The Lord states that though shalt have no other Gods 'before me'. The Lord is talking about placing other Gods above himself. Mormons do not do this, and neither do all the other Christian faiths who believe in the Godhead. We believe God is the supreme being who sacrificed his only begotten son for the saving of the world.
3- This does not even make sense: "Mormons believe that the lord is not the one true God, not only do they not believe in Christianity as that is the one chief belief among them, they are disrespecting his name, and so are breaking the third commandment." As I stated early so are the Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and many more.
7- I'd advise Con not to take things out of context, it's a dangerous game when playing with the scriptures. Mormons do not practice polygamy, they use to in the early days of the Church just as Abraham did, Moses did, Noah did, many ancient prophets were commanded to by God. Mormons stopped because they do believe in abiding by the laws of the land. Adultery is simple: Don't have sex with somebody you aren't married to. I think everybody can agree on that. The original definition of Adultery during the time Mormons had polygamy was, "Voluntary violation of the marriage bed." Every single wife they had, they were married to by a Minister. They were NOT having sex outside of Marriage.
If Mormons aren't Christian because they believe in the Godhead, or no fire in Hell, or because they believe in another testament of Jesus Christ, then neither is a majority of Christianity. Catholics aren't Christian according to Con, Lutherans, Methodists, and any Christian who reads Christianity Today. Each sect of Christianity has its own beliefs, and each sect of Christianity is still a sect of Christianity despite what version of the Bible they use, or what their beliefs on what heaven will be like. Mormons are Christians.
Biblical Canon- "A Biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community"
Yes, the argument was largely irrelevant, but that's why the pro always goes first haha. The pro is making the point, the con is negating the point. However, I will say this. Much of the BOM has been proven false in the past, and saying that people wouldn't follow something that is false is completely wrong.
"Con stated in his position that ‘they also claim that the majority of the bible is false.' I find this a bit offensive because it is 100% inaccurate."
100% innacurate eh? Well, as a Mormon, I'm sure you know that Joseph Smith claimed that Christ came to teach the truth, but it was lost as the Apostles dispersed. As such, they believe that the portions of the Bible written after the Apostles is not the truth, which means it is false. I believe that you yourself said "Article of Faith #8- We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly", and so by your own explanation the Mormons only believe the portions of the Bible that are "translated correctly". However, if the Mormons claim that Joseph Smith was told the correct translation, and that the teachings of Christ were misinterpereted, it is safe to assume that they believe that the majority of the Bible was misinterpereted. And so I was correct in saying that Mormons to do not agree with the majority of the Bible, and so are not Christians.
" they require all seminary students to take a year course on the Old Testament, and a Year course on the New Testament. "
Simply knowing about different religions is not the same as believing in them, the fact that there are classes taken about the other texts does not make it true. Because of this, your argument holds no weight.
" There are many, and I'm not exaggerating when I say hundreds of different sects of Christianity believe that Jesus Christ was part of what they refer to as the Godhead, including sects of Lutheran, Church of Christ, Methodist, and Presbyterian: Jesus Christ being a God, Heavenly father or God himself being a God, and finally the Holy Ghost also a member of the Godhead."
I know this, however I don't believe you fully grasp the concept of the Godhead, or the Trinity as most call it. You see, God exists as three people, but they are all the same God. The son of course being Jesus Christ, and so we believe him to be the same as the Lord, or the Father. However, not only do the Mormons believe Jesus Christ to be a seperate God, but they believe that Mormons can become gods in the afterlife as well, rather than simple souls that serve the Lord.
"A recent Catholic Pope stated 'Hell is not a physical place!' "
Of course not. I believe that all Christians know that Hell, like Heaven, are spiritual locations where our souls go after death. I highly doubt that if you dig into the Earth's crust you will find Hell haha. However, if you want to quote people on television or a few magazines as proof, that's fine, but I'm going to quote the Bible when it comes to religious topics having to do with Christianity.
"1- Mormons worship multiple gods just as all of Christianity who believes in the Godhead worships multiple gods"
As I've already said, the Godhead represents one god, as Christianity (no matter what the branch) is a monotheistic religion. Because of this, my argument that Mormons believe in multiple gods and so are breaking the first commandment still stands.
" 'Mormons believe that the lord is not the one true God, not only do they not believe in Christianity as that is the one chief belief among them, they are disrespecting his name, and so are breaking the third commandment.' As I stated early so are the Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and many more."
I've already proven on how the other sects of Christianity are still monotheistic, and so your argument is invalid. Because this was your sole argument, my argument that Mormons break the third commandment still stands.
"If Mormons aren't Christian because they believe in the Godhead, or no fire in Hell, or because they believe in another testament of Jesus Christ, then neither is a majority of Christianity. Catholics aren't Christian according to Con, Lutherans, Methodists, and any Christian who reads Christianity Today. Each sect of Christianity has its own beliefs, and each sect of Christianity is still a sect of Christianity despite what version of the Bible they use, or what their beliefs on what heaven will be like. Mormons are Christians."
I've proven how the Godhead is one god, and so are still Monotheistic. The "another testament of Jesus Christ" that you metioned is the New Testament of the Bible that focuses on the life, story, and teachings of Jesus Christ, while the Old Testament forcues more on the Jewish biblical canon.
I have refuted all of my opponents arguments that were pointed at my points, but unfortunately he/she has not made any of his/her own arguments other than "Mormons are Christians", which I'm trying to focus on right now. He/She instead focused on refuting the Con's arguments. Because of this, I would urge the voters to vote Con.
Definitions: Proof- Evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth.
Subject 1: The BOM proven false
"Much of the BOM has been proven false in the past, and saying that people wouldn't follow something that is false is completely wrong."
The Book of Mormon has NOT been proven false; I apologize for whoever mislead you Con, however the BOM has never been proven false. Never has evidence sufficient enough to establish the Book of Mormon as false been presented.
Con, please do not put words into my mouth; I never stated that people wouldn't follow something that is false. I stated and I quote, "If the BOM was proven to be impossible, the Mormon faith would not have over 14 million members." And I stand by that quote completely the Book of Mormon has NEVER been proven false, and if it was I have a firm believe it would not have over 14 million members.
I really hope we can put this topic behind us; it is completely off the subject. Because there is a lack of Israeli DNA in today's Native Americans, or because there is a lack of bones related to horses, oxen, ext… is not grounds for proof, and it will never be. You cannot say there was never a Jesus because we couldn't find his body. A lack of evidence is NEVER considered to be proof. If we were arguing whether or not the BOM is true, I'd send you to a website called www.jefflindsay.com. This is not proof the BOM is true, but it is strong evidence that's interesting to read.
Subject 2: Mormons belief in the Bible
The LDS church does in fact believe that a small portion of the New Testament was lost over the years of translating; a very small portion, four pages, or 55 verses, compared to the KJV Bibles 2,774 pages, and endless verses, so as I sated earlier, your claim that 'Mormons do not believe in a majority of the bible,' is completely 100% false. Joseph smith did not add these translations to the Bible; instead he put them into a book called The Pearl of Great Price. The LDS faith uses the same translation of the King James Version that can be found in a book store, word for word.
"it is safe to assume that they believe that the majority of the Bible was misinterpreted." I believe con is trying to state that because the Mormons belief a portion of the Bible was misinterpreted, they cannot be considered Christians? If this is true then I'd like to enlighten Con, there is over 100 different versions of the Bible in English. Many Christian sects believe that the KJV was mistranslated over time. As a result they use the New International Version, the American Standard Version, the Amplified Bible, the Contemporary English Version, or the Emphasized Bible, the list goes on and on. Keep in mind readers that if Con is correct, and Mormons are not Christians because they believe four pages of the King James Version was mistranslated over time, neither are hundreds of Christian sects that have completely retranslated the entire bible, Including the Old Testament.
"Simply knowing about different religions is not the same as believing in them, the fact that there are classes taken about the other texts does not make it true. Because of this, your argument holds no weight."
The two Years of seminary we spend learning the Old Testament and the New Testament has absolutely nothing to do with understanding different religions. It is required because Mormons believe strongly in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Mormons study them for two years to understand their own faith, and their own belief in these books.
My entire argument has complete weight.
Subject 3: Trinity vs. Godhead
"I know this however I don't believe you fully grasp the concept of the Godhead, or the Trinity as most call it."
Con, I spent many years exploring the different sects of Christianity, until I found the one I believed to be the most accurate. I truly believe YOU do not understand the concept of the Godhead, or the Trinity for that matter, because it is two completely different beliefs.
Christian sects that believe in the Godhead believe there is three distinct Gods in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. What you described in your argument was the trinity; it is NOT to be confused as the Godhead. There are many Christian sects that believe what you just said actually is blasphemy. I sat down the other day with a Minister form the Iglesia Ni Cristo Church of Christ. He told me that he was happy the Mormons got one thing right, there view on the Godhead. The members of his congregation would be extremely upset if Con explained to them they are not Christians because they believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three completely different beings. In fact, I had a debate prior to this one with another Christian, and we were arguing that exactly, which one is more biblically accurate, the Godhead, OR the Trinity.
Subject 4: Hell's Relevance to the Authenticity of a Church's Christianity.
"I believe that all Christians know that Hell, like Heaven are spiritual locations where our souls go after death."
Not true, all Christian sects reserve there right to have their own view on Hell, I've talked with some who literally believe it is a place in the middle of the earth, and you burn in fire for all eternity.
"If you want to quote people on television or a few magazines as proof, that's fine, but I'm going to quote the Bible."
Con, we are not arguing a topic in the Bible sir, we are arguing if Mormons are Christians, and the people I'm quoting on television or in magazines are ministers and pastors of very prominent Christian Church's who are explaining their Christian Churches stance on hell, and they happen to have similar views with the Mormons in this issue.
All the different sects of Christianity very tremendously, which is exactly why we have thousands of different sects of Christianity. If all of Christian's views were exactly the same we would not have religious debates, we would not have a religious forum, and we would not have thousands of different sects. We would all be one church with the same views. Mormons call themselves Christians because they belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They love Jesus Christ very much and they strive everyday to become more like him, therefore, Mormons are Christians.
I shouldn't have made this debate 5 rounds: / it seems like it's kind of lengthy. I vote we end this debate on round three or round four. If you feel like you have more points to make we can keep the debate going, If not let me know which round you want to conclude on and we can finish.
TheOrator forfeited this round.
Definition- Christians: of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ:
Article of Faith #1- We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
By the very definition, Mormons are Christians. Mormons believe in, and belong to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Mormons belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'd like to say that I am a Mormon; you do not have to believe in my religion to accept it as a sect of Christianity. I love my Religion very much, as do many of you; I also love Christ very much. It pains me when people try to tell me I'm not a Christian when I place my love and my faith in the savior on a daily basis. Christianity is by definition a religion based on belief in Jesus Christ, and his teachings. I love, follow, and try everyday to be more like the Savior. I'm a Mormon, and I am a Christian.
No votes have been placed for this debate.