The Instigator
JaxsonRaine
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
THEBOMB
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Mormons are Christians

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
JaxsonRaine
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,247 times Debate No: 20558
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

JaxsonRaine

Pro

The resolution is "Mormons are Christians". I will be arguing for the resolution.

R1 - Acceptance
R2 - Opening arguments
R3 - Rebuttals/New arguments
R4 - Rebuttals/Conclusion

Any questions or concerns will be addressed in the comments.
THEBOMB

Con

Alright, I accept this.
Debate Round No. 1
JaxsonRaine

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate.


-----Definitions-----

Mormons - Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. [1][2]
Christians - [people] who follow or belong to a religion based on the worship of one God and the teachings of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible . [3]
Christian(Biblical Definition) - A follower of Christ, from the Greek 'Christianos'[4]


-----Belief in the Bible-----

So, we can see that a Christian is one who believes in God and Jesus Christ as contained in the Bible. Mormons claim to believe in the Bible as scripture, and in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Son of God. I quote relevant sections from official Mormon websites.

"The Book of Mormon is the word of God, like the Bible. It is Holy Scripture, with form and content similar to that of the Bible. Both books contain God's guidance as revealed to prophets as well as religious histories of different civilizations."[5]

While Mormons believe in additional scripture, they believe that The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is simply another set of scripture that affirms the teachings of the Bible and acts as an additional witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior.

"Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of God. He is our Redeemer."[6]

Mormons believe in the teachings of Jesus contained in the New Testament, and quote the New Testament frequently on their page about Christ.[6]

As additional proof that Mormons believe in the Bible, they list it under their Scripture Study section on their official website.[7]

Lastly, the official name of the Mormon church is 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints'. They proclaim in their very name that they are followers of Jesus Christ, and so fulfill the definition of a Christian, both from the dictionary, and from the original Greek as found in the New Testament.



[1]http://mormon.org...
[2]http://lds.org...
[3]http://dictionary.cambridge.org...;
[4]http://www.biblestudytools.com...
[5]http://mormon.org...;
[6]http://mormon.org...;
[7]http://lds.org...;
THEBOMB

Con

I will begin my argument by stating the fundamental dogma's of Christianity that all Christians must follow to be considered Christian. Then I will state the fundamental Mormon beliefs.

Christan:

1. There is only one God. Period. No other Gods anywhere.
2. God is three in one. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three beings in one God. (This is the most confusing aspect of Christianity)
3. God is omniscient, omnipotent, infinite, etc.
4. God is Spirit.
5. Jesus Christ is God.
6. Jesus Christ became man.
7. Jesus is fully God, and fully man,
8. All people have sinned (original sin)
9. Death came into the world through Adam's sin.
10. The Holy Spirit is God.
11. The Bible is the divinely inspired word of God.

Mormon beliefs.
1. God was once a man who lived on another planet.
This is the most important Mormon belief. God was mortal at one point. This clearly contradicts well most aspects of Christianity.
2. God is a man. Once again this clearly contradicts basic aspects of Christianity. "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangilble as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Spirit has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit…"
3. Multiple God's and Multiple worlds. God created other world's with people living on it. There are also other universes with other God's ruling over these universes. This clearly contradicts the first aspect of Christianity. There is only one God.
4. Jesus was begotten by a physical union between God and Mary. Once again God is spirit in Christianity so this would be impossible.
5. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are separate beings. This contradicts another basic, yet confusing, tenant of Christianity.
6. People turn into God's when they die. Do I have to explain why this violates every tenant of Christianity? Because it does.
7. There is no such thing as original sin. This violates number 8 and 9 of basic Christian beliefs
8. Jesus visited the Americas. There is no record of this in the Bible (or have any archeological support).

As you can see Mormon beliefs violate the basic dogma's of Christian belief therefore, they cannot be Christian. They may believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ but, many of their other beliefs are NOT Christian.
Debate Round No. 2
JaxsonRaine

Pro

My opponent has presented fundamental beliefs of Christianity without any supporting source or explanation, and I will show how Mormon beliefs are in line with the Bible.

1. There is only one God. Period. No other Gods anywhere. - Mormons believe in only one God[1].
2. God is three in one. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three beings in one God. - Mormons believe in one God, namely the Godhead, consisting of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.[1] This is just another viewpoint on how God can be three yet one.
3. God is omniscient, omnipotent, infinite, etc. - Mormons believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent through his spirit.[1]
4. God is Spirit. - This is from John 4:24. Note that this scripture doesn't say 'God is a spirit'. This means the word Spirit in this sentence is being used as an adjective, describing God. John 4:8 says 'God is love', another description of the characteristics of God. If I were to say 'I am happy', I wouldn't be saying that I am made up of 'happy'. Just as I have many attributes that can be described(tall, male, human), so does God have many attributes. If we look further, spirit in this verse comes from the Greek pneuma, referring to the Holy Ghost, as well as the spiritual characteristics of God.[2] Mormons believe as well that the Holy Ghost is part of the Godhead, and that God has spiritual characteristics.
5. Jesus Christ is God. - Mormons believe Jesus is part of the Godhead, along with the Father and the Holy Ghost.
6. Jesus Christ became man. - Mormons believe this. Christ came to earth, born mortal, died and was resurrected.
7. Jesus is fully God, and fully man - I would like to see scriptural reference for this, for to be fully one thing, you cannot be another. The problem is probably simply with the word 'fully'.
8. All people have sinned (original sin) - "All have sinned" is biblical from Romans 3:23. Mormons believe in this. Original sin could be debated.
9. Death came into the world through Adam's sin. - Correct. Mormons teach that the Fall of Adam is the process by which man became mortal, and therefore subject to death.[3]
10. The Holy Spirit is God. - Along with the Father and the Son. Mormons believe this as well.[1]
11. The Bible is the divinely inspired word of God. - Mormons believe this as well.[4]


I will now address my opponents' claims about Mormon beliefs.

1. God was once a man who lived on another planet. Con doesn't provide biblical source for why this is incorrect, but it is important to note that this isn't an official doctrine of the Mormon Church. It is a teaching that has been presented outside of official scripture. That being said, Christ called himself the Son of Man[5].
2. God is a man. Again, this is outside the scope of official Mormon doctrine. That being said, Christ called himself the Son of Man[5]. We know Christ to be the Son of God, and just as God is capitalized to represent a specific personage(the Father), so is Man capitalized, showing us that Man is one of the names or titles of the Father.
3. Multiple God's and Multiple worlds. The word 'God' refers to the creator of the universe. We only know of our own universe, so our universe can only have one God. Mormons only believe in one God. Anything outside that is outside the scope of official Mormon doctrine. But, just to show the biblical possibility, Christ commands man to be as perfect as the Father, and it can be argued that means being identical in character and nature.
4. Jesus was begotten by a physical union between God and Mary. God is spirit, not a spirit. I have addressed this. That being said, I would like to see official support for both the biblical stance and Mormon stance on this issue, rather than just words.
5. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are separate beings. How could Jesus cry out to the Father if they are the same being? How could Jesus be seen standing on the right hand of God if they are the same being? There is no biblical support for the idea that the Father and Son are the same being.
6. People turn into God's when they die. This isn't the actual teaching of the Mormon church, and is being misrepresented. I ask my opponent to specify what he means, and provide a source for the Mormon and biblical stances on this issue.
7. There is no such thing as original sin. I ask my opponent to substantiate his claim that original sin is a biblical topic. I would also ask con to clarify what he means by original sin.
8. Jesus visited the Americas. Mormons use John 10:16 to reference the Americas, those people being the 'other sheep' Christ referred to. That being said, just because the Bible doesn't say Christ visited the Americas doesn't mean it didn't happen. Lack of evidence doesn't equal evidence that something didn't happen, so it isn't in direct contradiction with the Bible.


As you can see, my opponent hasn't substantiated any of his claims, and has therefore failed completely to provide any reasoning as to why Mormons aren't Christians. On the other hand, I have clearly shown the Mormon's official claim that they are Christians, shown how their official doctrines are in line with the Bible, and how they fit both the dictionary and biblical definitions of the word Christian.

[1]http://lds.org...;
[2]http://www.biblestudytools.com...;
[3]http://lds.org...;
[4]http://lds.org...;
[5]Matthew 12:40
THEBOMB

Con

Christian beliefs:

1. There is only one God--Mormon's believe multiple God's exist: "In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it" (1). This quote shows there MUST have been multiple God's in Mormon belief.

2. God is three in one--there is biblical support showing that God is three in one (2). Mormon's believe that these three are separate. (3)

4. God is spirit. Christianity believes God is spirit. (4) Mormons believe that God is made of "flesh and blood"(3). Therefore, Mormon's cannot be Christians.

7. Jesus is fully God and fully man (4). Mormons do not believe this therefore, are not Christian.

8. All people have sinned--Christians believe in Original Sin. Mormons do not believe in original sin. Mormon's are not Christians.

Mormon beliefs:

1. God was once a man who lived on another planet. Christian's do not believe this simple as that. Mormon's do believe this and it is an official doctrine. (5) Mormon's are not Christians. "As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become" (6).

2. God is man. No it is not outside the scope of official Mormon Doctrine. (6)

3. Multiple God's and Multiple Worlds. Mormon's still believe there is more than one God, even if He is in another Universe. This goes completely against "There is ONLY one God".

4. Jesus was begotten by a physical union between God and Mary. "Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost... if the Son was begotten by the Holy Ghost" (7) . "Jesus our Elder Brother was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven." (8) God physically had sex with Mary and conceived Jesus. Christianity teaches, Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus. Therefore, it would be impossible for God to have sex with her. Furthermore, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. (9)

5. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are separate. Christianity teaches this and it is in the bible (10). Whether possible or not possible is still a basic Christian tenant. Since Mormon;s do not accept this (and you have conceded that Mormons do not accept the Christian teaching). Mormon's cannot be Christian.

6. People can become God when they die. Yes it is an actual teaching, "As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become" (6). In other words, Man may become God. This goes completely against all teachings of Christianity ("there is only one God"). Mormons are not Christian.

7. There is no such thing as original sin. Original sin is the concept that every man and woman is born into sin because of Adam's transgression. Christianity teaches this. Mormons do not (11). It's as simple as that.

8. Jesus visited America. Well Christianity does not teach this is correct. Mormon's do teach it is correct. Once again, Mormon's are going against Christian teachings. Therefore, they are not Christian.

1. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 349
2. Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; John 14:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Acts 2:32-33, John 10:30,17:11, 21; 1 Peter 1:2
3. D&C 130: 22-23
4. Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21
5. Journal of Discourses Vol. 6 Page 4, 1844
6. Prophet Lorenzo Snow, The Gospel Through the Ages, 105-106
7. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vo1 15, Page 770 1853
8. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vo1 1, Page 51 1852
9. Luke 1:26-38
10. Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19, John 14:16-17, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Acts 2:32-33, John 10:30, John 17:11&21
11. Article 2, Articles of Faith
Debate Round No. 3
JaxsonRaine

Pro


-----Rebuttals-----

Christian Beliefs:
1 - This quote is Joseph Smith's interpretation on the true meaning of the Hebrew in the Bible. The multiplicity of 'Gods' in this sense is the same as the multiplicity of the Godhead, being the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all separate yet one God. Once again, Mormons believe in only one God, as I have shown in official reference.
2a - Matthew 3:16-17 talks about Jesus, in a physical body, being baptized, while the voice of the Father was heard coming from Heaven. How could the Father talk from a different location than where Christ was if they were the same being? The bible clearly shows that the Father and Christ are separate individuals. Matthew 28:19 speaks of three individuals, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If they were one individual there would be no need to speak about three different individuals. John 14:16-17 speaks about the Father sending the Holy Spirit to abide with man, and that the spirit will be in us. Does this make us the Holy Spirit? No, it is clear that the Holy Spirit is a companion, individual from us, as the three individuals of the Godhead are unique beings. 2 Corinthians mentions different individuals. Acts 2 speaks of different individuals.
2b - John 10:30 "The Father and I are one". It is clear this means one in purpose. The Greek word is heis, and is used elsewhere as in John 17:21. Christ prays to the Father asking that his followers can be one in Christ and the Father as they are one in each other. Are we then to take this to mean that we will literally be absorbed into God and be God? No, it is clear what is meant by one. Unity, agreement, etc...
4 - I addressed this, and Con needs to refute my argument about the meaning of 'God is spirit'. In any sentence with a noun, the verb 'to be', and one other word, the last word will be an adjective describing the noun. 'The car is red' doesn't mean that the car is made out of red and is only red. A car can be red, metal, large, expensive, etc... So can God be spirit, love, perfect, and have a body. Jesus himself has a body of flesh and bone, so why can't God?(especially in traditional Christianity where they are the same?)
7 - 1 Timothy 2:5 calls Christ the man, mediator between God and man. Colossians clearly states that the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form. The Greek word for bodily form somatikos refers to the exalted spiritual body visible only to those in heaven[1]
8 - Again, my opponent fails to define exactly what he means by Original Sin. Mormons acknowledge that all have sinned, but my opponent hasn't provided scriptural basis for Original Sin.

Mormon Beliefs

1 - This was addressed in my previous argument. My opponent cites Journal of Discourses as a source of official Mormon Doctrine. This excerpt is from the Mormon website:

""The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published. It includes practical advice as well as doctrinal discussion, some of which is speculative in nature and some of which is only of historical interest. ... Questions have been raised about the accuracy of some transcriptions. Modern technology and processes were not available for verifying the accuracy of transcriptions, and some significant mistakes have been documented. The Journal of Discourses includes interesting and insightful teachings by early Church leaders; however, by itself it is not an authoritative source of Church doctrine."[2]
2 - This was addressed in my previous argument. Christ called himself the Son of Man. My opponent again doesn't differentiate between official Mormon Doctrine and non-official sources.
3 - Completely unfounded, misrepresented claim. My opponent must back up his claims, as the burden of proof is on him in any claim he makes. Until such support is provided, arguments like this have no value. Mormons only believe in one God as I have shown(the Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost)[3]
4 - Again, my opponent doesn't use official sources for Mormon beliefs. Luke 1 states that he would be called the Son of God, meaning God would be his father. Nor does this state that Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, only that the Holy Spirit would be with Mary.
5. - Mormons believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate. My opponent misrepresents my argument, I never claimed that Mormons believe them to not be separate. In fact, my opponent has criticized Mormons previously for believing that they are separate. Apparently my opponent can call Mormons wrong no matter what side they take.
6 - Again, not an official doctrine of the church. Nor does this state that man can become God, only that man can become like God. God, our creator, will always be our God. Nothing will change that.
7 - My opponent hasn't provided any scripture to show why man and woman is born as a sinful person, other than saying it is a Christian teaching. As with other unfounded claims, unless my opponent can proved proof for this claim, it must be dismissed.
8 - The Bible doesn't teach that this is incorrect, so it is not a contradiction. The Bible doesn't claim to contain every event and every truth.


My opponent needs to provide proof for many of his claims, and has failed to address my rebuttals. I have shown using official Mormon doctrine that Mormon teaching agrees with the Bible, where my opponent has attempted to use non-official sources for his basis.


[1]http://www.biblestudytools.com...
[2]http://lds.org...
[3]http://lds.org...
THEBOMB

Con

My burden was to show Mormons are not Christian. All this takes is one example of their beliefs contradicting Christianity.

Christian Beliefs

1. He still said this quote and since Joseph Smith started the religion and his interpretation of the bible is part of the religion therefore, a multitude of Gods is part of the religion.

2a. Christianity teaches they are one being. Mormonism goes against this belief therefore, they are not Christian.

2b. Yes the Father and I are united. They are one being. Christianity teaches they are one being. Mormonism goes against this fundamental dogma. Therefore, they are not Christian.

4. Christianity teaches God is spirit. Mormonism teaches God is man. Therefore, Mormons are not Christian.

7. Christianity teaches that Jesus is both man and god. Mormonism does not. Mormons deny this dogma of Christianity. Mormons are not Christian.

8. I do not have to provide a definition Christianity teaches it is correct. Mormons do not. Mormons are not Christian.

Mormon beliefs.

1. But, you still have not addressed Prophet Lorenzo Snow's quote. Therefore, you hold it as true. Since Christianity teaches God is a spiritual deity and Mormonism teaches God is "flesh and blood" then Mormonism is not Christian.

2. I cited Prophet Lorenzo Snow. You have not proven he is an non-official source. He is a Mormon prophet how much more official can you get?

3. No, you stated that there was a possibility of other God's. Christianity states there is no possibility of another God.

4. Alright I shall drop this point because my source is not authoritative in Mormon belief. Yet, I still have more than enough to prove Mormonism is not Christian.

5. It's a fundamental dogma of Christianity that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one. You have doomed your case by stating Mormons believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate. As they are violating a dogma of Christianity.

6. I apologize for misrepresenting an un-authoritative source for an authoritative source. As such I will drop this point.

7. I do not have to provide proof for it. It is a Christian doctrine. Remember the Resolution at hand "Mormons are Christians" Mormons do not believe in Original Sin therefore, they are not Christian.

8. I'll refer back to number 7s logic. Christianity does not teach it is correct. Mormonism does. Mormons are not Christian.

My opponent has failed to meet his BOP in showing that Mormons undoubtedly are Christian. To be a Christian you must follow the basic tenants of Christianity. Mormons deny some of these basic tenants. They are not Christian.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by JaxsonRaine 4 years ago
JaxsonRaine
Thanks wiploc, I appreciate your comments.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
Both sides did well.

Con gave us a list of "Christian" beliefs, without offering a source even when challenged. He said that if you don't believe even one of those, then you aren't a Christian. It's an interesting claim, but is it true? How do we know? What makes it true? Where did this list of claims come from? How do we know all Christians believe these things? Con never supported this, the core of his argument.

Aside from that, Con was good, articulate and forceful. Pro was good too, though, responding well.

I think Pro had the best of it. He made a plausible case, and he nicely parried criticisms of that case.

Pro was actually persuasive. I'm not going to click that I agreed with Pro after the debate, because I'm an atheist; I have no standing to decide who is or is not a Christian. But I've read a defense of Mormons-as-Christians before, and came away thinking it was slippery and evasive, deceptive. But now I wonder if Mormons aren't really Christians.

Not for me to decide. I only vote on who debated better, and I think that was Pro.

Grammatically, the posts were clean. One party, I think Pro, had a persistent problem with inappropriate apostrophes (God's instead of Gods). It wasn't enough to be worth a grammar point (because it didn't make comprehension hard) but it's something to look up and get right for the future.

And Con might look up original sin.
Posted by THEBOMB 4 years ago
THEBOMB
and Original Sin could be a good debate what would the resolution be? In a biblical context?
Posted by THEBOMB 4 years ago
THEBOMB
I know I have BOP for claims...but, for your overall claim you have BOP.
Posted by JaxsonRaine 4 years ago
JaxsonRaine
THEBOMB, for your information, you have burden of proof for any claim you make in a debate. Things like

"I do not have to provide proof for it. It is a Christian doctrine." Don't work, you have to back up all of your claims.

Would you like to debate Original Sin next?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Angelo 4 years ago
Angelo
JaxsonRaineTHEBOMBTied
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: He had better sources. I would like to abstain an arguments vote.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
JaxsonRaineTHEBOMBTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro showed how mormons are basically christians with just a few different, curious tweaks to christian beliefs and ideas.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
JaxsonRaineTHEBOMBTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Crayzman2297 4 years ago
Crayzman2297
JaxsonRaineTHEBOMBTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't mean to appear a votebomber... but Pro used sources, deftly maneuvered around Con's arguments, and solidly defended his side to the end. Points to Pro.