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Darth Avlectus
05-26-2009, 01:55 AM
I know a pet peeves of moderators is quoting mod advisory notes however I was inspired by this one: The Catholicism/Protestantism debate was causing a derailment and there wasn't a good way to split it off into a new thread. I deleted the off-topic material/posts. If you'd like to continue that topic, please start a new thread on it.

I felt this was actually going to be a good discussion but where it was originating from, it was veering off (THAT) topic. Hopefully we can revive it here bring the talk back to light about Christianity and its various branches/divisions/etc. I was kind of interested as to where the debate was going with my fellow LF members. As to Christianity's history, I'm sure all of us could use a bit of refreshing. The debate seemed like it was getting interesting too. Soooo, here is a thread for those sentiments although hopefully in a better, more civil manner this time.
==========================
Now, we know about Christianity and that it has various divisions. There are various facts about each branch and its views. Perhaps as a whole Christianity steps on its own toes with all its divisions? Perhaps the arguments are due to dispute over facts? Misunderstandings? misinterpretations? While this is an old debate with multiple sides/perspectives to it through the times, it's worth at least bringing up here on LF.

What form of christianity are/were you of? What are your experiences? Your thoughts? Criticisms?

In any case, let us have a good discussion. And non-Christians are of course welcome to chime in, inquire, and discuss. Those who are Christian are encouraged to discuss of course. Let's try to have a clean and respectful discussion in this thread, please. We're all friends here.
==========================
I'll start: I am christian of the non-denominational sort. Sort of nomadic. Aware of the various sorts of it, I was never able to choose one, really.
As you may or may not know, I had a time where I did not believe. I came back to believing as a matter of open mindedness and that ultimately I could not take it upon myself to make a claim whether or not God existed; reality is what it is. Had a several personal life experiences overall that has led me to at least believe there is something more than just this life here.

I've had my times (good and bad) with it. I have utmost respect for the structure and religious part of belief systems, even if I do not actively partake in it. Not that I haven't, just don't much anymore. I am more freelance and a spiritualist type of Christian. I believe that you are defined by your heart, mind, and actions, as an expression of your very being through living.

Work ethic, self sufficiency, and keeping what is important near--that is what I perceive to bring one closer to the source of creation. Doing everything that you possibly can before asking for help. I also hold very few preconceived notions about that source of creativity. Presumptions maybe. The most I have ever heard any two agree upon (who believe) is simply that "God is".

Aware of the history that Christ studied Bhuddism for a while I am interested in some of its areas of study, mostly for the reason of the martial arts and philosophy though. However...if I could learn internal energy control for medicinal purposes, health, and longevity, great. At the very least self defense, exercise, health and longevity amongst the spiritual.

I agree with vanir: in many ways it is about getting up off your hide and becoming proactive. In your community, your life, work, everything. I will be the first to say that I could use a little improvement in this area as of late. I can really only speak for myself.

Anyone else care to join in? :)

Trench
05-26-2009, 02:59 AM
I (as a Christian) am annoyed when people see one "type" or even just one individual person who calls themselves a Christian and judges all Christians based on that. Most of the Christians that people see are either doom-saying street preachers, or preachers who don't say anything except that you're going to hell. At my church its different, we have youth services with break dancing (and I mean real break dancing), awesome sunday morning services (our pastor is crazy- good, funny crazy not bad weirdo crazy), lunchs, business fairs, etc... We are also a non-denominational church. sometimes we'll go out on Wednesdays and pay for peoples gasoline, visit retirement homes, give gifts to the less fortunate, etc...
What really disappoints me is that a recent memo which was (accidentally) released by the U.S government, has called Christians, anti-abortionists and gun-owners (even the licensed ones) terrorists. Seriously?
I'd better stop before I go off topic about the tyranny of the U.S government.

Q
05-26-2009, 03:12 AM
What really disappoints me is that a recent memo which was (accidentally) released by the U.S government, has called Christians, anti-abortionists and gun-owners (even the licensed ones) terrorists.
Could you provide a source for this, please?

vanir
05-26-2009, 03:16 AM
The debate really centred around pointing out to EW who I quite like being entertaining and informative, that whilst he might suggest as a Protestant that Papal ideology is not pertinent, history would dictate that Protestantism merely substitutes the Pope for a Monarch where any political system is formed (which Christianity is first and foremost). The division of Catholicism (ie. original Christianity as an "organised religion" or political system) and Protestantism was the assertion that only members of the Clergy were privy to the works of God. Depending upon your rank within the Clergy varying degrees of preserved scripture were made available to you. Protestantism claimed the Church was using this monopoly as a political power and anybody could interpret the Bible for themselves. But of course then you have Luther's ideals, Calvin's ideals...In the midst of this the reality was Royalty was now given the power to sieze Church property where the shift from Catholicism to Protestantism was made...on it goes. Because as head of State the Monarchy (and therefore Royal aristocracy) was by default head of the Church under this new system. Of course Calvin tossed in an assembly of peerage so Anglicanism has an inherent Parliamentary system, where Lutherism can still be authoritarian monarchies, but there is little other political difference.

Anyone go ahead and correct me on any points they feel have placed them in an unjust light.

As for the various denominations I feel they are more retroactive than selective. You discover who you are best, sometimes the hard way, sometimes by culture, for whatever reasons. The maxim of most psychologists is that where your beliefs are causing you problems or any kind of personal issues, you should do something about that.

My personal opinion is that if you think Jesus is still Mr Walks-on-water and God is a giant with a white beard you should probably pick another religion.

Trench
05-26-2009, 03:16 AM
Could you provide a source for this, please?

I heard it on the news and my dad filled me in. I can't provide a source, but if you search around the internet your bound to find it.

Web Rider
05-26-2009, 03:35 AM
I heard it on the news and my dad filled me in. I can't provide a source, but if you search around the internet your bound to find it.

I read said "memo" and it doesn't do what you say it does. It refers to any radical group that threatens violence when they don't get their way. This includes republicans who support killing democrats, democrats who support killing republicans, anti-abortionists who blow up clinics, eco-crazies who blow up hummers, and just about any group from left to right that starts making threats when they don't get their agenda supported.

here's the actual HSA document: http://www.gordonunleashed.com/HSA%20-%20Rightwing%20Extremism%20-%2009%2004%2007.pdf

here's the one about leftwingers: http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/hsa-leftwing-extremists-increase-in-cyber-attacks-dated-26-january-2009.pdf

It's actually somewhat hard to find because most of the people up in arms about the first one are conspiracy-nut bloggers and here's a surprise, radical rightwingers!

Q
05-26-2009, 04:04 AM
Hey, thanks, WR. Thanks for providing the actual documents. :)

EnderWiggin
05-26-2009, 06:45 AM
Ok, this is making a bit more sense to me now.

he might suggest as a Protestant that Papal ideology is not pertinent, history would dictate that Protestantism merely substitutes the Pope for a Monarch where any political system is formed (which Christianity is first and foremost).
I would in fact suggest that.

The division of Catholicism (ie. original Christianity as an "organised religion" or political system) and Protestantism was the assertion that only members of the Clergy were privy to the works of God. Depending upon your rank within the Clergy varying degrees of preserved scripture were made available to you. Protestantism claimed the Church was using this monopoly as a political power and anybody could interpret the Bible for themselves.
Agreeing so far.

Because as head of State the Monarchy (and therefore Royal aristocracy) was by default head of the Church under this new system. Of course Calvin tossed in an assembly of peerage so Anglicanism has an inherent Parliamentary system, where Lutherism can still be authoritarian monarchies, but there is little other political difference.

Ok, I see what you mean. However, currently, there's no monarchs to be found controlling Lutheranism (especially in the USA). So while what you said was true when discussing the Monarchs (Sweden, for example) back when Lutheranism was first spreading throughout Europe, it has no actual bearing in this day and age.

Thus, I can be critical of the R. Catholic church for employing a system in which the papacy is a requirement as a mediator for God. In the Lutheran church (and originally one of Luther's 95 theses), we believe that you can talk to God directly without the aid of a priest or clergyman of any type. No one would dare suggest that I need Barack Obama or Elizabeth II to talk to God for me.

Using the fact that the papacy was replaced with monarchy (or aristocracy) in the beginnings of the Lutheran religion to relate the two religions today is fallacious. It would be comparable for me to criticize the R. Catholic church because of indulgences - yes, they were wrong, but they've been abolished since the 1560's so what are you going to do? Just because we had a monarch to assume the role of the papacy in the infancy of our religion does not act as a counterpoint to my dislike of the R. Catholic church for the reasons of mediation.

_EW_

Jae Onasi
05-26-2009, 09:44 AM
This thread will specifically EXCLUDE the atheism/theism debate, because there are already a number of threads on this. This thread will work on the presumptions that
a. God exists
b. Christ as a central figure of the religion exists/existed and is not a myth.

Emperor Devon
05-26-2009, 07:10 PM
This thread will work on the presumptions that
a. God exists
b. Christ as a central figure of the religion exists/existed and is not a myth.

Why do these have to be presumed to recognize intra-religious differences?

Web Rider
05-26-2009, 09:05 PM
This thread will specifically EXCLUDE the atheism/theism debate, because there are already a number of threads on this. This thread will work on the presumptions that
a. God exists
b. Christ as a central figure of the religion exists/existed and is not a myth.

Why do these have to be presumed to recognize intra-religious differences?

I second this notion, not all sects of Christianity have these views.

Jae Onasi
05-26-2009, 09:19 PM
I'm not interested in seeing this turn into a theism/atheism debate. I've set some ground rules for this thread for clarity's sake.

Edit--per GTA's desire:
I wanted to have it be a respectable thread that would not devolve into theism vs anti theism flame wars. Apparently the staff agree with that. <shrugs> Also wanted to see more of the discussion between Vanir and EnderWiggin because I was interested to see where it also was going.


That's the way it is, guys. Any further discussion of any ground rules need to be done with me by PM. :)

Totenkopf
05-26-2009, 10:45 PM
I second this notion, not all sects of Christianity have these views.

Since those 2 views seem to underpin Christianity, which sects would you be referring to then?

Web Rider
05-27-2009, 03:47 AM
Since those 2 views seem to underpin Christianity, which sects would you be referring to then?

Partially, it's because "God exists" and "christ existed" would make Jews, Muslims, and several dozen other mono-theistic religions "Christians" as well. In short it's too general, considering that there's fairly sound that a person fitting Christ's description and religious polarity existed in the appropriate time.

There are some gnostic and quaker sects that are either agnostic and refuse to take a stand on god existing or outright say they don't believe god exists. Admittedly these are all very small, very fringe sects,

True_Avery
05-27-2009, 04:13 AM
It would possibly be more accurate to say:
a. A single god exists
b. Jesus was the son of god
c. Jesus died for our sins

Stuff like that, but even that is a little too general. Some sects of Christianity believe Jesus did things at different times (like the 1914 prophecy from Jehovah's witness and the Mormons stuff).

Tommycat
05-27-2009, 06:56 AM
Partially, it's because "God exists" and "christ existed" would make Jews, Muslims, and several dozen other mono-theistic religions "Christians" as well. In short it's too general, considering that there's fairly sound that a person fitting Christ's description and religious polarity existed in the appropriate time.

There are some gnostic and quaker sects that are either agnostic and refuse to take a stand on god existing or outright say they don't believe god exists. Admittedly these are all very small, very fringe sects,

Which Christian sects do not believe Christ existed?

Choosing those assumptions focuses the debate more on the differences between the sects of Christianity, AS THE TITLE SUGGESTS

vanir
05-27-2009, 12:29 PM
EW, point and counterpoint. Thoughtful and concise, and I do not wish to derail this thread, so I cede to another time. It's no biggie and I don't think you're wrong, simply felt (initially...as I said best ceded for another time) a wider breadth was in order when one sect challenges another off hand (neither and both to which I have any particular devotion). Luther himself maintained his devotion to the Catholic Church, whilst the breakaway Protestant sects were largely for political reasons and not personally supported by him. You might call him the unwitting catalyst mediaeval politics was waiting with baited breath for, only to be quickly superseded by the industrialist power base anyhow (ergo the golden triangle, WW1 yada yada yada).
And certainly I've no intention or allusion to any attempt at personal academic challenge to you. I'm happy to state I'm just a bartender with a high school education and no particular authority, just a wont to speak freely. And an appreciation for your replies :)

Which Christian sects do not believe Christ existed?
The Anglican Church has formally stated the Bible is a book of allegory and in no conflict with science. At this time the existence of the Jesus figure is unsupported by strict archaeological evidence. This itself is no discounting, it is merely a lack of resounding concert for an intentionally faith based system. From my own readings of the Bible it appears faith based devotion is a strict requirement, I know this is particularly true within the Catholic Church.
The testing of faith is considered a character development. You're not supposed to know one way or the other, that's the point. Choosing to become a good human being even though you know there's no guarantee it'll ever do anything for you. That's what makes you a good human being, it is who you are, no afterlife deals involved. It's not a matter of buying your way into heaven with good deeds. It's a matter of discovering yourself as a good human being, and there is an allowance of hope that this might do something for you. Maybe, but beside the point.
I imagine Jesus would want stand up buddies, not slaves and businessmen (working on the basis he did/does exist, etc.).

Let's say we proved scientifically Jesus and God existed, the whole thing was just like the fundamentalists say and totally literal. How could you ever trust all those people rolling up at the pearly gates were doing anything other than looking out for number one from the moment they heard? Would they even have a right to be standing there?
But the person who had no idea, and lived their life thusly just for good conscience, well you'd swing the doors wide open wouldn't you? Saying now this one actually reciprocates what we were trying to achieve.

Darth Avlectus
05-27-2009, 03:19 PM
The testing of faith is considered a character development. You're not supposed to know one way or the other, that's the point. Choosing to become a good human being even though you know there's no guarantee it'll ever do anything for you. That's what makes you a good human being, it is who you are, no afterlife deals involved. It's not a matter of buying your way into heaven with good deeds. It's a matter of discovering yourself as a good human being, and there is an allowance of hope that this might do something for you. Maybe, but beside the point.

Ah, an expression of your belief through your very being and how you live?
Hmm. What does everyone think of this? I wonder.

Totenkopf
05-27-2009, 04:58 PM
Which Christian sects do not believe Christ existed?

Choosing those assumptions focuses the debate more on the differences between the sects of Christianity, AS THE TITLE SUGGESTS


Thank you. Seems some people need to read the title of the thread first before posting.

Put another way: fail to read OP properly = massive FAIL. ;)

Jae Onasi
05-27-2009, 05:09 PM
I think good works should be an outward expression of gratitude for the sacrifice Christ made for us and to serve as an example of Christ's love to others, not because they win us a spot in heaven.

Paul said in Eph 2:8,9 "for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast." It's pretty clear from that passage (among others) that salvation doesn't come from buying our way into heaven with good works, but rather God's grace.

Trench
05-27-2009, 08:07 PM
I think good works should be an outward expression of gratitude for the sacrifice Christ made for us and to serve as an example of Christ's love to others, not because they win us a spot in heaven.

Paul said in Eph 2:8,9 "for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast." It's pretty clear from that passage (among others) that salvation doesn't come from buying our way into heaven with good works, but rather God's grace.

Nice Biblical quote! Are you a Christian Mrs. Onasi?

Tommycat
05-27-2009, 08:26 PM
Vanir: Interesting take on it. Puts a whole new spin on theology and the proof/disproof of god. For faith to work one must not have definitive proof. As that would negate the liklihood of good deeds being done out of the goodness of the individual.

Hmmm sounds more Gnostic than Christian though...

I always liked Sirach. especially "Work at your tasks and in his own time and in his own way God shall reward you." While it makes no mention of what tasks and what reward it seems almost to follow in with Karma(something I am more of a fan of).

vanir
05-27-2009, 08:36 PM
I think good works should be an outward expression of gratitude for the sacrifice Christ made for us and to serve as an example of Christ's love to others, not because they win us a spot in heaven.

Paul said in Eph 2:8,9 "for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast." It's pretty clear from that passage (among others) that salvation doesn't come from buying our way into heaven with good works, but rather God's grace.

Your version sounds a little servile.
The 14-century translation of Greek scripture goes like this,

And when ye were dead in your guilts and sins,
2 in which ye wandered sometime after the course of this world, after the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit that worketh now into the sons of unbelief;

3 in which also we all lived sometime [in whom we all lived sometime] in the desires of our flesh, doing the wills of the flesh and of the thoughts, and we were by kind the sons of wrath, as other men [as and others];

4 but God, that is rich in mercy, for his full much charity in which he loved us,

5 yea, when we were dead in sins, quickened us together in Christ, by whose grace ye be saved,

6 and again-raised together, and made together to sit in heavenly things in Christ Jesus;

7 that he should show in the worlds above coming the plenteous riches of his grace in goodness on [upon] us in Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace ye be saved by faith, and this not of you [and that not of you]; for it is the gift of God,

9 not of works, that no man have glory.

10 For we be the making of him, made of nought in Christ Jesus, in good works, which God hath ordained, that we go in those works [that God made ready before, that in them we go].


Which is a totally different context to that which you suggest.

Totenkopf
05-27-2009, 08:37 PM
Curious, though, do you believe that faith is merely stating you believe in God, or does it have some other component? You could say you believe in God, but still go to Hell if faith is only defined as a simple declarative statement. If Faith is instead a combination of behavior and acknowledgement of God's existence, then perhaps Catholics and Protestants aren't really all that far apart. Afterall, it's easy to say you believe in something, but something else to put your money where your mouth is. Besides, as I recall, it was only the Cruxifiction and sacrifice of Christ that opened Heaven up to man. Simply believing in God (and living according to His laws) prior to that only kept you out of Hell.

EnderWiggin
05-27-2009, 09:10 PM
Luther himself maintained his devotion to the Catholic Church, whilst the breakaway Protestant sects were largely for political reasons and not personally supported by him. You might call him the unwitting catalyst mediaeval politics was waiting with baited breath for, only to be quickly superseded by the industrialist power base anyhow (ergo the golden triangle, WW1 yada yada yada).

Very, very true. It actually must have been rather disappointing to him, since his only objective was to unify and reform the catholic church and he ended up splintering it.

And certainly I've no intention or allusion to any attempt at personal academic challenge to you. I'm happy to state I'm just a bartender with a high school education and no particular authority, just a wont to speak freely. And an appreciation for your replies :)


Thank you, I appreciate yours as well.

Thank you. Seems some people need to read the title of the thread first before posting.

Put another way: fail to read OP properly = massive FAIL. ;)

...except for the fact that this thread is actually based off of a debate between vanir and myself in the other thread ;)

Are you a Christian Mrs. Onasi?
:ugh:

Someone's new :xp:

_EW_

JesusIsGonnaOwnSatan
05-27-2009, 09:16 PM
Some sects of Christianity believe Jesus did things at different times (like the 1914 prophecy from Jehovah's witness and the Mormons stuff).

i dont know what it looks like to anyone outside of it, but afaik JW and mormonism are a far, far way off from christianity.

just fyi :)

Totenkopf
05-27-2009, 09:22 PM
...except for the fact that this thread is actually based off of a debate between vanir and myself in the other thread ;)

Perhaps, but this thread is still about Christianity and its different sects, not monotheism in general. :)

True_Avery
05-27-2009, 09:36 PM
i dont know what it looks like to anyone outside of it, but afaik JW and mormonism are a far, far way off from christianity.

just fyi :)
Nope, they are both denominations of Christianity. Although newer than most, they both categorize themselves under that, claim relation to Judaism/Christianity and so on, and worship Jesus Christ as their savior and one God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah's_Witnesses
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latter_Day_Saint_movement

JesusIsGonnaOwnSatan
05-27-2009, 09:54 PM
Their belief system diverges greatly from traditional Christian theology, which has caused several major Christian denominations to denounce the group as either a cult or sect.[17]
^thats where i stand.
point of view, i suppose.

personally, its alarming to be put in the same boat as them. because, i have heard some freaky as stuff.

Jae Onasi
05-27-2009, 09:59 PM
Your version sounds a little servile.
The 14-century translation of Greek scripture goes like this,

And when ye were dead in your guilts and sins,
2 in which ye wandered sometime after the course of this world, after the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit that worketh now into the sons of unbelief;

3 in which also we all lived sometime [in whom we all lived sometime] in the desires of our flesh, doing the wills of the flesh and of the thoughts, and we were by kind the sons of wrath, as other men [as and others];

4 but God, that is rich in mercy, for his full much charity in which he loved us,

5 yea, when we were dead in sins, quickened us together in Christ, by whose grace ye be saved,

6 and again-raised together, and made together to sit in heavenly things in Christ Jesus;

7 that he should show in the worlds above coming the plenteous riches of his grace in goodness on [upon] us in Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace ye be saved by faith, and this not of you [and that not of you]; for it is the gift of God,

9 not of works, that no man have glory.

10 For we be the making of him, made of nought in Christ Jesus, in good works, which God hath ordained, that we go in those works [that God made ready before, that in them we go].


Which is a totally different context to that which you suggest.

I'm not sure how this creates a different context--Paul is stating that salvation is through God's grace via Christ's sacrifice, and not by any kinds of works that we do--we can't buy our way to heaven with good deeds.

However, we are encouraged to do good works for God's kingdom, and James stated 'faith without works is dead', which I translate loosely as 'put your money where your mouth is'. No one is required to do good works for salvation, true. However, good works are an outward sign of our faith. If we love someone, we want to do things for them that make them happy--not because we have to, but because we desire to. It's the same with good works--we don't have to do them, but it's one way to express our love and appreciation.

Nice Biblical quote! Are you a Christian Mrs. Onasi?
Absolutely yes.

True_Avery
05-27-2009, 10:03 PM
^thats where i stand.
point of view, i suppose.

personally, its alarming to be put in the same boat as them. because, i have heard some freaky as stuff.
Cult and Sects are still technically denominations, and I'll remind every one that Christianity started as a cult itself.

Have you heard some freaky stuff, or do you know some freaky stuff? JW's are considered super fundamental on their beleifs in the bible and the Mormons are more of a sect working off of their idea of a new testament. Both follow the Bible to some extent, both worship Jesus and God, and so on. Besides differing interpretations, they're as valid as any other denomination and every group has their crazies and casuals.

JesusIsGonnaOwnSatan
05-27-2009, 10:14 PM
Cult and Sects are still technically denominations, and I'll remind every one that Christianity started as a cult itself.
as i said, POV. afaik the early roman catholics saw protestants so perverting of beliefs as to have them tortured and killed. (something which i cant really get over. :indif:)

i think mormons are weird, but im not going to go kill or do anything to them.

Have you heard some freaky stuff, or do you know some freaky stuff?
ive heard freaky stuff from people who know freaky stuff.

[edit]
Heres and excerpt from an article on mormons (http://www.cultwatch.com/mormon.html):

What they will tell you:

Mormons are Christians. (Mormons want very much to be recognised as a normal Christian denomination.)

What they won't tell you:

They believe that God is just an exalted man.

They believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers.

They believe we can become gods ourselves.

They believe that Mormon women are to be pregnant for eternity populating their own planets.

Absolutely no archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon has been discovered (except for the part that was copied straight from the King James Bible).

Over 4000 changes have been made to the Book of Mormon since it was first published - a far cry from what Smith called "The most correct book on earth."


any christian can immediately see that those points are definitely not christian.

this (www.cultwatch.com/cults) is a very informative site on why these groups are different from christianity.
check out their faq (http://www.cultwatch.com/faq.html)

but this page (http://www.howcultswork.com/) was the most informative.

EnderWiggin
05-27-2009, 11:46 PM
Perhaps, but this thread is still about Christianity and its different sects, not monotheism in general. :)

No disagreements here :)

^thats where i stand.
point of view, i suppose.

personally, its alarming to be put in the same boat as them. because, i have heard some freaky as stuff.

....Is your shift key broken? Serious discussion forum. :¬:


@Topic - I actually know a Mormon - he's very conservative and only has 1 wife. Dunno why anyone would call him un-Christian. :confused:

I feel almost sad that you are trying to categorize the outlandish Mormons with all Mormons. You do know that some Christians actually believe the World was created in 6 days, right? There are actually some here that believe that. You wouldn't want to be put in that group just as my friend would hate to be confused with a group who believes "Jesus and Satan are brothers."

Unless, of course, you actually do your research and come to find that Mormons believe that "everything was created by God" thus causing Jesus and the angel Lucifer to be "Spirit Brothers" or "Children of God" (where one is a 'fallen child of God') just like all of us are "Brothers and Sisters in Christ". My pastor says "Brothers and Sisters in Christ" most Sundays, hope that doesn't make me not Christian :(

I think most Christian sects believe this, to a certain degree, but if you place it in an ignorant context, as you have done, I guess it makes it much easier to discriminate against them... *shrug*

_EW_

True_Avery
05-28-2009, 12:48 AM
[edit]
Heres and excerpt from an article on mormons (http://www.cultwatch.com/mormon.html):

this (www.cultwatch.com/cults) is a very informative site on why these groups are different from christianity.
check out their faq (http://www.cultwatch.com/faq.html)

but this page (http://www.howcultswork.com/) was the most informative.
I'm going to go ahead and point out that, in your search to find out about mormons... you went directly to the cult watch websites. That is a pretty far cry from actually researching them, as you've decided that your first interpretation of them is going to be the worst of them, which I do not think is fair.

An example:
http://migration.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/christianity.jpg

Now, is that fair? Should I base my entire view on the -entirety- of Christianity on those words?

Your site is not informative. It is biased, discriminatory, and focusing entirely on the flaws of the belief system without taking in mind that what is supposed to be believed and what is can be entirely different.

As Ender said, there are Christians who believe the earth was created in a few days 6,000 years ago. Those that believe Hell exists, and that sinners will be sent there. People who believe in Satan, and that he was an angel of and so on and so forth.

any christian can immediately see that those points are definitely not christian.
What does this even mean? What, pray tell, is "christian" and what is not when there is no solid definition? Christianity, as a whole, is not a "religion" per say; it is a collection of religions under one name, all of which have different interpretations of the bible, Jesus, etc. To call yourself Christian is akin to calling yourself Human; humans come in many shapes, colors, and sizes and must be acknowledged to understand what the word implies. You cannot simply be Christian, as to be Christian you have to belong to one of the many Denominations.

Also, "any christian" includes Mormons and JWs, so your point is moot as they are defined as a Nontrinitarian Denomination (Which includes Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter Day Saints, Unitarians, Christadelphians, and the Oneness Pentecostal).

The only real definition of "Christian" we have is a belief that Jesus was the son of a one and only God, and that he was the savior, etc. Mormons and JW fit that description regardless of if you want to see that as a point of view or not. The fact is they believe it, and unless you have a better definition for me to work off of the statement stands that they are indeed Christian.

It was once considered Christian to stone people to death. Treat women like trash. A lot that is written in the Bible is tradition that has either gone out of style, or is now interpreted differently as to save from scrutiny. Many of the Nazis were also Christians in belief.

Now, I do not think you appreciate being put into those categories in the same way you see to hate being put into the same category as JW and Mormon's. So, instead of tainting your belief of the system with ignorant slander on random internet sites you should probably go out and meet some JWs and Mormons. Go to their forums and speak with them and ask them about their beliefs instead of outright assuming they are all terrible cultists.

As I said, Christianity was at one point a Cult. But, really, the definition of "Cult" is incredibly poor as, by definition, anything that does not follow orthodox Christian is a cult. Which, then you come to the problem of picking out what exactly the correct sect of Christianity -is-.

As well as these articles, you seemed to have gone directly to the "terrible cultists" part of the Wiki I linked, so I, again, recommend finding out more about Mormons and JWs than Cultwatch and information from a guy who knows a guy, as I doubt you or any other Christians here want me generalizing you all with your... flavorful fundamentalists.

If, however, you still want to push the terrible cult idea I'd be more than happy to re-post an old post of mine pointing out the origins of Christianity. That, or I can PM you if this is conversation is off-topic.

Rev7
05-28-2009, 01:58 AM
Denominations are movements that differ on doctrinal issues, but hold to a common core of beliefs about God, Christ, and the Scriptures.

Sects agree with denominations, but they also often have some characteristics that place them on the fringe of Christianity.

Cults are connected to Christianity in that they employ Christian Scripture and appeal to Jesus, but they also differ from the 'traditional faith'. They many deny or reinterpret the Trinity, they may have novel views about Christ, or may reject parts of scripture and add new texts.

Mormonism is connected to Christianity in some sense, however that is not enough. Other religions claim some connections to Christianity such as Islam--Muslims believe in the second coming of Christ. The Baha'i also claim connection to Christianity. In the Mormon scriptures, The Pearl of Great Price we are told that the world was fashioned "by the Gods". Mormon theology teaches that Jesus is an incarnation of Elohim, conceived as the literal son of God; however, 'He' is not the unique incarnation, since we too can be incarnations of the Father. In Mormonism we are not saved by the atoning work of Christ but by the obidience to Mormon principals. Mormons have also placed three other texts alongside the Bible--The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants , and The Pearl of Great Price. The last two books in particular, the Mormon doctrines can be found.

Because of these differences from standard Christian teaching, Mormonism falls outside "Orthodox" Christianity.

True_Avery
05-28-2009, 02:25 AM
Because of these differences from standard Christian teaching, Mormonism falls outside "Orthodox" Christianity.
While I agree to a point, I again have to ask what "orthodox" Christianity means, and what exactly "christian teachings" are as the many Denominations are at odds with each other in a number of ways.

And I'm not sure how Islam, Muslims, etc are Christians as they do not believe Jesus is the son of god, savior of sin, and so on and so forth. They are linked in the same way the Jewish faith is linked, but that does not make them Christian. Mormonism and JWs fit the only definition of Christianity I can find thus far, so I need a better definition to work off of to necessarily agree with you.

Denominations are movements that differ on doctrinal issues, but hold to a common core of beliefs about God, Christ, and the Scriptures.
They believe in one God, and identify that God as the "Christian" God. They believe in Christ as the son of god and the savior of sin, born of the virgin mary and so on. Their scripture includes the books you listed, but they also read and follow the bible.

So, how exactly are they not Christian if they follow what you've listed? Is it because they've added more? Wouldn't that make Catholicism not Christian for having a Pope? Or Protestantism for not?

They are Denominations as you said and Mormonism fits your definition of a Denomination. If doing something unorthodox didn't make you Christian, then Christianity as a whole has been a cult for 2,000 years now as the original Church is long gone to be replaced by new age beliefs and traditions of modern day society.

What makes them "unorthodox" would be they do not believe in the Holy Trinity. That the Holy Spirit, God, and Jesus were all the same person. If believing -that- is the requirement for being Christian, then I'll agree with you but so far I've met self proclaimed Christians who do not believe Jesus was God incarnate, but a son. Some people pray to Jesus, others to God, and some consider them the same and others do not.

Rev7
05-28-2009, 03:00 AM
While I agree to a point, I again have to ask what "orthodox" Christianity means, and what exactly "christian teachings" are as the many Denominations are at odds with each other in a number of ways.
I define 'orthodox' Christianity as...I hate to say it like this, but I cannot think of any other words...but I would describe it as 'normal' or traditional Christianity--monotheistic, Belief in Jesus Christ, following the Bible, going to church ect...

The denominations are "at odds with each other" because they differ in certain beliefs and they think their denomination is correct, and the other denomination believes that theirs is correct.

And I'm not sure how Islam, Muslims, etc are Christians as they do not believe Jesus is the son of god, savior of sin, and so on and so forth. They are linked in the same way the Jewish faith is linked, but that does not make them Christian. Mormonism and JWs fit the only definition of Christianity I can find thus far, so I need a better definition to work off of to necessarily agree with you.
They all fall under the word (loosely) Christian--believing in Christ. The word has a connotative meaning and as far as I know can refer to two things. Belief in Christ (I say this very loosely) and it can refer to the world religion of Christianity. We most often connotate the word Christian to the world religion. Hopefully that helped because when I read over what I just said I don't feel that I am being very clear.


They believe in one God, and identify that God as the "Christian" God. They believe in Christ as the son of god and the savior of sin, born of the virgin mary and so on. Their scripture includes the books you listed, but they also read and follow the bible.
Mormanism could be considered neither monotheistic not, technically trinitarian. As I said In the Mormon scriptures, The Pearl of Great Price we are told that the world was fashioned "by the Gods". In his (Joesph Smith) famous King Folley sermon, Smith stated that God was once as we are and that we may become as He is--a God. Mormonism teaches that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all God, but it denies the historic Christian view on the Trinity. Mormon Scholar Robert Millet has written that the Trinity is comprised of "Three Beings". Mormonism is not trinitarian but tritheist.

Trench
05-28-2009, 03:30 AM
:ugh:

Someone's new

_EW_

Of course I'm new. I only discovered this site last month.


About the trinity: People who study the Bible thoroughly know that when the Bible makes references to "Father, Son and Holy Spirit", it isn't referring to three people. Its referring to one person who is all those things.
For more info look up John James I, or The Walking Bible (my grandfather). He has a lot of good sermons that explain this stuff (and he should know, he goes through the bible a few times a year, and has a library full of study books- each of which he has red thoroughly).

EnderWiggin
05-28-2009, 06:59 AM
They all fall under the word (loosely) Christian--believing in Christ. The word has a connotative meaning and as far as I know can refer to two things. Belief in Christ (I say this very loosely) and it can refer to the world religion of Christianity. We most often connotate the word Christian to the world religion. Hopefully that helped because when I read over what I just said I don't feel that I am being very clear.


No, not clear at all. Perhaps you could try again?

_EW_

Q
05-28-2009, 12:07 PM
This is the universal definition of Christian belief:


Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the catholic faith.

Whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally.

Now this is the catholic faith: We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being.

For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another.

But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty.

What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit.

Uncreated is the Father; uncreated is the Son; uncreated is the Spirit.

The Father is infinite; the Son is infinite; the Holy Spirit is infinite.

Eternal is the Father; eternal is the Son; eternal is the Spirit: And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal; as there are not three uncreated and unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited.

Almighty is the Father; almighty is the Son; almighty is the Spirit: And yet there are not three almighty beings, but one who is almighty.

Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God.

Thus the Father is Lord; the Son is Lord; the Holy Spirit is Lord: And yet there are not three lords, but one Lord.

As Christian truth compels us to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords.

The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten; the Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father; the Spirit was neither made nor created, but is proceeding from the Father and the Son.

Thus there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three spirits.

And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other; but all three persons are in themselves, coeternal and coequal; and so we must worship the Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons.

Whoever wants to be saved should think thus about the Trinity.

It is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh.

For this is the true faith that we believe and confess: That our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, is both God and man.

He is God, begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father, and he is man, born in the world from the being of his mother -- existing fully as God, and fully as man with a rational soul and a human body; equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity.

Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ.

He is united because God has taken humanity into himself; he does not transform deity into humanity.

He is completely one in the unity of his person, without confusing his natures.

For as the rational soul and body are one person, so the one Christ is God and man.

He suffered death for our salvation. He descended into hell and rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

At his coming all people shall rise bodily to give an account of their own deeds.

Those who have done good will enter eternal life, those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.

This is the catholic faith.

One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully.
Please note that the word "catholic" in the creed does not refer to Catholicism in the modern sense, as it was written about a thousand years before there were any separate Christian denominations at all.

This creed is the basis of Christian doctrine, and any doctrine that does not meet all of these requirements is not Christian.


That having been said, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:
Jesus is acknowledged as God's "only begotten" Son. As such, he began his life in heaven. He is described as God's first creation and the "exact representation of God", but is believed to be a separate entity and not part of a Trinity. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beliefs_and_practices_of_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses)
They believe that Christ was created by God, not that He is God and part of the Holy Trinity. As a matter of fact, they do not believe in the Trinity at all. Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christian.

To the casual observer, Mormons are a bit harder to differentiate from Christians, but:
They are three separate and distinct beings. Thus, the church's view of the Godhead breaks with Nicene Creed tradition. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beliefs_and_practices_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Chris t_of_Latter-day_Saints)
Put simply, Mormons believe that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three separate beings, not three incarnations of the same being as defined in the Athanasian and Nicene Creeds. Mormons also have their own scripture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Mormon) that is unique to them, while the sole scripture used by all of the Christian denominations is the Bible, and nothing else. Therefore, the Mormons are not Christian.

Neither one of those sects meets the definition as spelled out in the Athanasian Creed.

vanir
05-28-2009, 02:45 PM
James stated 'faith without works is dead'

Cheers, Jae for understanding. I think this point was most prudent to our quick back and forth.
You did have me worried there for a second, I pictured this angry disciplinarian yelling at her children, it wasn't the nicest thought :P

we can't buy our way to heaven with good deeds.
Clearly outlined in the passage, only where your intention is to buy your way into heaven (line 10 within the context of the passage in entirety). It is the distinction that these are no longer good deeds but are part of a business proposition and defy the faith requirement. This is what I originally stated...though on second thought was ambiguous about being high and mighty on the basis of personal deeds, which would be to display no humility or appreciation of life and is not a good thing, my apolegies there as this is obviously your point and is also clearly stated and probably more obviously than my point. I am a sucker for subtleties.

I think the confusion is that some regard faith as a servile intention but Grace is not some sort of payment plan (though it is definitely true neither can it be simulated-though this is getting beside a proceding statement).
Hence I'm not a big fan of "karmha" myself, it makes no sense. Good things do nothing for you, there is no reward and if anything are most likely to disadvantage you in any competitive environment. They are about personal expression only, and thus require no reason. But you do tend to accumulate fewer personal issues which can influence your naturally considerate behaviour. That's all. If anything to be honest my life has most convinced me I would be excluded from any comfortable follow up, I'm a virtual fatalist, but I do feel some small part of me has already been eternally saved and only some really dumb mistakes would unseat it, kind of like a big brother following you around nobody else can see, that helps you out in small ways and that kind of thing, just a sense of some small belonging.

Totenkopf
05-28-2009, 03:16 PM
Hence I'm not a big fan of "karmha" myself, it makes no sense. Good things do nothing for you, there is no reward and if anything are most likely to disadvantage you in any competitive environment. They are about personal expression only, and thus require no reason. But you do tend to accumulate fewer personal issues which can influence your naturally considerate behaviour.


Well the idea behind karma is clearly not so pointless as you suggest. It doesn't say that you should do good things just so that good things will happen to you. Afterall, bad things happen to good people too. I think it has more in common with the passage about how you reap what you sow. Even if you took God out of the equation, doing good can either be its own reward or maybe even lead to people doing nice things for you as well. While it could lead to be a disadvantage in a competitive environment, that is not necessarily axiomatic.

vanir
05-28-2009, 03:35 PM
Well it may not be axiomatic, it is the most common result. Karma is ridiculously limited as a behavioural philosophy. It's like trying to explain the workings of an axial turbine with a paper plane.

Rev7
05-28-2009, 06:15 PM
This is the universal definition of Christian belief:

Please note that the word "catholic" in the creed does not refer to Catholicism in the modern sense, as it was written about a thousand years before there were any separate Christian denominations at all.

This creed is the basis of Christian doctrine, and any doctrine that does not meet all of these requirements is not Christian.


That having been said, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:

They believe that Christ was created by God, not that He is God and part of the Holy Trinity. As a matter of fact, they do not believe in the Trinity at all. Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christian.

To the casual observer, Mormons are a bit harder to differentiate from Christians, but:

Put simply, Mormons believe that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three separate beings, not three incarnations of the same being as defined in the Athanasian and Nicene Creeds. Mormons also have their own scripture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Mormon) that is unique to them, while the sole scripture used by all of the Christian denominations is the Bible, and nothing else. Therefore, the Mormons are not Christian.

Neither one of those sects meets the definition as spelled out in the Athanasian Creed.
Precisely, good post

Jae Onasi
05-28-2009, 10:09 PM
Good things do nothing for you, there is no reward and if anything are most likely to disadvantage you in any competitive environment.
I would disagree on that point. Doing good things (volunteering, praying for someone, making a meal to take to someone who's just lost a loved one or just had a baby, etc.) can all have positive physical effects on you, the person doing the good deed, aside from the generally positive human interaction in such settings.

Is it disadvantageous in a competitive environment? If everyone is playing by the rules, no. If you're the only one who's honest/honorable, it could be, but that doesn't stop me from trying to be as ethical in my job as I can.

EnderWiggin
05-28-2009, 10:34 PM
Good things do nothing for you, there is no reward and if anything are most likely to disadvantage you in any competitive environment.

Biological Reasoning behind Altruistic Behaviors in the Wild (http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/vecase/behavior/Spring2002/Perry/altruism.html)

_EW_

Jae Onasi
05-28-2009, 10:46 PM
Biological Reasoning behind Altruistic Behaviors in the Wild (http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/vecase/behavior/Spring2002/Perry/altruism.html)

_EW_

That's a batty site, EW.

Q
05-28-2009, 10:52 PM
Boo. :p

JesusIsGonnaOwnSatan
05-28-2009, 11:44 PM
....Is your shift key broken Serious discussion forum. ¬

ive never bothered with capitalization except for referring to God and creating threads. but if it bothers you, then heck, ok.

I feel almost sad that you are trying to categorize the outlandish Mormons with all Mormons.
JC: Why 'almost'
You do know that some Christians actually believe the World was created in 6 days, right There are actually some here that believe that. You wouldn't want to be put in that group just as my friend would hate to be confused with a group who believes Jesus and Satan are brothers.
Do you know all your friend's views and standpoints?

I won't be put in that 'group of Christians'. I'll jump in. I do believe the world was created in 6 days.



I'm going to go ahead and point out that, in your search to find out about mormons... you went directly to the cult watch websites. That is a pretty far cry from actually researching them, as you've decided that your first interpretation of them is going to be the worst of them, which I do not think is fair.

Who said I was researching them? That was just one site. It was to clarify only what I was saying. (that/how Mormons arent Christians)
I agree that my first impression is negative, but it is based on what I know of the Mormons, which is not too much, and not good stuff. But if i was actually researching them, I would try to adopt a neutral standpoint and go from there.
An example:


Now, is that fair? Should I base my entire view on the -entirety- of Christianity on those words?
Even though that picture exaggerates things, (and this is quite funny,) but as far as iI can see, everything it says is true. lol (except for one thing: 'symbolically eating His flesh' has nothing to do with 'Him making you live forever' ;) )
But you make a good point nonetheless. :)

Your site is not informative.
If its not informative for you, I asume you already knew those things? I sure didnt. (love bombing, character assassination... yow)
It is biased,
:
Since you're Christians, doesn't that make you biased

Yes of course it does. But the reality is that everyone - you, me, and even the person who claims to be unbiased - is biased.

You see we all have our own beliefs about reality, and we color what we see by those beliefs. Since it is impossible to be unbiased the best we can do is try our very hardest to recognize our bias and try to not let it affect our judgment.

All that we ask of anyone is to carefully read or listen to our information and come to the point where they understand what we are putting forward. Once they understand our position then we ask them to consider it carefully and come to some conclusions. That really is all we can ask of people.
...discriminatory,
:
CULTWATCH believes most cult members to be sincere people. One of the primary purposes of CULTWATCH is to help those people see the “other side of the story” - the side their leaders would rather they not see. Our dislike is for the various cult systems and organizations, but not for cult members themselves. Therefore we recommend that you never treat a cult member unkindly. Instead encourage them to research their group independently; help them to discover the other side of the story.
...and focusing entirely on the flaws of the belief system without taking in mind that what is supposed to be believed and what is can be entirely different.

Their purpose is to inform people in cults of the things that their cult leaders will not tell them, which are the flaws.




What does this even mean What, pray tell, is christian and what is not when there is no solid definition Christianity, as a whole, is not a religion per say; it is a collection of religions under one name, all of which have different interpretations of the bible, Jesus, etc. To call yourself Christian is akin to calling yourself Human; humans come in many shapes, colors, and sizes and must be acknowledged to understand what the word implies. You cannot simply be Christian, as to be Christian you have to belong to one of the many Denominations.

Also, any christian includes Mormons and JWs, so your point is moot as they are defined as a Nontrinitarian Denomination (Which includes Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter Day Saints, Unitarians, Christadelphians, and the Oneness Pentecostal).

The only real definition of "Christian" we have is a belief that Jesus was the son of a one and only God, and that he was the savior, etc. Mormons and JW fit that description regardless of if you want to see that as a point of view or not. The fact is they believe it, and unless you have a better definition for me to work off of the statement stands that they are indeed Christian.

The Nicene Creed has been used for the definition of Christianity for about 1700 years. Its universally accepted to be a solid comparison tool for situations like this. And like Q said, Mormons aren't Christians.

But look at it from another standpoint:
In the first century opponents of the early church started calling them "Christians", a derogative term referring to Christ. Its just like if I start calling Mormons "Smithies". The term "Christian" can be taken as "of Christ". I would call Mormons "Smithies" because they follow the teachings of Joseph Smith.
Those teachings of Mormons are not what Christ taught or endorsed. They are not "of Christ". Now some teachings that are not "of Christ" aren't too damning, but the Mormon belief about salvation, which would be the core aspect of any religion, is not "of Christ". If their core belief is not "Christian", then Mormon ≠ Christianity.

It was once considered Christian to stone people to death. Treat women like trash.
Old Testament.

As I said, Christianity was at one point a Cult. But, really, the definition of "Cult" is incredibly poor as, by definition, anything that does not follow orthodox Christian is a cult. Which, then you come to the problem of picking out what exactly the correct sect of Christianity -is-.

Personally, I believe that there is no 'correct' denomination.

As well as these articles, you seemed to have gone directly to the "terrible cultists" part of the Wiki I linked, so I, again, recommend finding out more about Mormons and JWs than Cultwatch and information from a guy who knows a guy,
Sure, I didn't read all of your wikis but apparently you didn't read most of the site I posted, which is ok; I didn't/don't expect you to.

as I doubt you or any other Christians here want me generalizing you all with your... flavorful fundamentalists.

OK, whats with the 'fundamentalist = crap' undertone?

I'm not entirely sure, but I think I'm fundamentalist (but not a gay-basher, mind you).
(The following is slightly off topic, hence the hide.)

I believe the literal account of creation not because I refuse to accept any evidence, but because I haven't looked into the subject. I haven't had any need to. I suppose I'm not hard out fundamentalist, but rather grew up in a fundamentalist environment.
If I ever really need to look into the subject, I'll find out more about it than "They found all the 'facts' from a frikkin pig's tooth."
This is my situation with a lot of things.


If, however, you still want to push the terrible cult idea I'd be more than happy to re-post an old post of mine pointing out the origins of Christianity. That, or I can PM you if this is conversation is off-topic.

Please do post your comment, or a link to it. I'm interested to hear what you have to say. :)

Rev7
05-29-2009, 12:23 AM
You do know that some Christians actually believe the World was created in 6 days, right There are actually some here that believe that. You wouldn't want to be put in that group just as my friend would hate to be confused with a group who believes Jesus and Satan are brothers.
One question--the Bible says that by the 7th day He created the World.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested [a] from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

So why exactly would I not want to be categorized like that? Just curious...

True_Avery
05-29-2009, 04:25 AM
They believe that Christ was created by God, not that He is God and part of the Holy Trinity. As a matter of fact, they do not believe in the Trinity at all. Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christian.
So, Holy Trinity = Christianity?

Sure, I'll accept that for now. Thanks for the quote.

Who said I was researching them? That was just one site. It was to clarify only what I was saying. (that/how Mormons arent Christians)
I agree that my first impression is negative, but it is based on what I know of the Mormons, which is not too much, and not good stuff. But if i was actually researching them, I would try to adopt a neutral standpoint and go from there.
Fair enough, but I'm sure you get why I pointed out the site and facts being presented. From my point of view, it looked more like slander than research but thank for clarifying.

If its not informative for you, I asume you already knew those things? I sure didnt. (love bombing, character assassination... yow)
True, I did know most of that before hand but a few of the things pointed out are general beliefs upon any belief system so things eventually become predictable when pointing out the flaws of a belief system.

Their purpose is to inform people in cults of the things that their cult leaders will not tell them, which are the flaws.
Yes, they are a muckraker site.

I would aplaud them for this, except I see more slander towards their faults than a fair showing of both sides. Regardless of what they claim (helping people understand), they show a negative side with emphases on negative and not much on positive.

The quote on Bias is indeed true, but it applies to those individual bias. If they were truly trying to show a side, they certainly decided to justify only looking at one side and only encouraging them to look at he positive side themselves. That makes the site biased, regardless of the people who created it.

And I still have a problem with the name of the site being "cultwatch", as it 1) uses "cult" in a negative connotation and 2) labels these groups as cults off the bat and not valid religions which I find adds to my point on their bias scale and the credibility of the website.

Fact is, every religion has radical beliefs and radical people. This is a Christian site focusing on groups they have deemed to be non-christian and worthy of being watched, which I find hypocritical as it seems to almost undermine the point of their supposed job to spread the word about so called cults.

That is the best I can explain it.

The Nicene Creed has been used for the definition of Christianity for about 1700 years. Its universally accepted to be a solid comparison tool for situations like this. And like Q said, Mormons aren't Christians.
Fair enough. Is that the thing that Qliv posted?

In the first century opponents of the early church started calling them "Christians", a derogative term referring to Christ. Its just like if I start calling Mormons "Smithies". The term "Christian" can be taken as "of Christ". I would call Mormons "Smithies" because they follow the teachings of Joseph Smith.
Those teachings of Mormons are not what Christ taught or endorsed. They are not "of Christ". Now some teachings that are not "of Christ" aren't too damning, but the Mormon belief about salvation, which would be the core aspect of any religion, is not "of Christ". If their core belief is not "Christian", then Mormon ≠ Christianity.
Not sure I entirely understand, as this logic could be used to call any denomination unchristian due to leaders, differing beliefs, interpretation of scripture and so on.

I get what you are getting at, but you and Qliv had me convinced at Holy Trinity making them unorthodox, to not christian altogether.

Old Testament.
Moot point, as some denominations of Christianity look at both the New and Old Testament. If it was a truly invalid thing, then why include it in any Christian bibles at all, and why ever study it if it is not valid anymore?

It is important to note that strong fundamentalists still look at the Old Testament and the New, and pick and choose between the two what is true and what is not.

Its still in the Bible, and its still looked at and believed in some Christian groups. I'll rethink this stance, however, if it is pointed out to me that believing anything in the Old Testament is also unchristian.

Personally, I believe that there is no 'correct' denomination.
So, Holy Trinity and as long as that is believed they are still Christian regardless of Denomination.

Sure, I'll take that as a definition then.

Sure, I didn't read all of your wikis but apparently you didn't read most of the site I posted, which is ok; I didn't/don't expect you to.
I read them, but as I said above my feeling stood and still stands that the site itself is biased in concept. I wont buy "we're all biased anyway" as an excuse to pick on a group that a Christian site has labeled as "Cult".

OK, whats with the 'fundamentalist = crap' undertone?
As it has already been stated in this thread that this is not a place for me to explain this. It would be a thiest/athiest convo, so my stance on religion is sociological in nature and would be off topic for me to go further.

You could start a thread on fundamentalism, however, as myself and others, including some Christians and thiests on this board, would certainly have points for and against it.

I believe the literal account of creation not because I refuse to accept any evidence, but because I haven't looked into the subject. I haven't had any need to. I suppose I'm not hard out fundamentalist, but rather grew up in a fundamentalist environment.
If I ever really need to look into the subject, I'll find out more about it than "They found all the 'facts' from a frikkin pig's tooth."
This is my situation with a lot of things.
As I mentioned above, I will respond to this a more fitting thread as to not take the thread off-topic.

Please do post your comment, or a link to it. I'm interested to hear what you have to say.
Alright then:

In the years following the ascension of the resurrected Jesus to heaven, the Christian church grew rapidly. Christians soon found themselves to be the subjects of persecution by both the Romans and the Jews. In many locales, it became dangerous to be known as a Christian. Thus, when two strangers met and thought maybe they were fellow believers, one of them would draw, on the ground, the upper half of the fish symbol.
http://www.eureka4you.com/fish/fishhalve1.gif
Recognizing the symbol, the stranger would add a second curved line and complete the drawing of a fish.
http://www.eureka4you.com/fish/fishhalve2.gif
It is a very simple shape to draw - just two curved strokes. It could be drawn quickly, and erased just as quickly if there was no sign of recognition on the part of the stranger.

http://www.eureka4you.com/fish/fishsymbol.htm
http://www.albatrus.org/english/reli...ish_symbol.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthys

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The word "Cult" means this:
1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3. the object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
7. the members of such a religion or sect.

The literal and traditional meaning of the word cult is derived from the Latin cultus meaning "care" or "adoration", which from ancient times meant a traditional practice of religion or the tribal beliefs which preceded formal religions.

Since at least the 1920s to 40s, the approach of orthodox, conservative, or fundamentalist Christians was to apply the meaning of cult such that it included those religious groups who used (possibly exclusively) non-standard translations of the Bible, put additional revelation on a similar or higher level than the Bible, or had beliefs and/or practices that were not held by current, mainstream Christianity.

By some definition, cult could hold the same meaning as any normal religion. By other definitions, it is something that is not a formal religion, or something that does not follow fundamentalist Christian beliefs.

By some of those definitions, Christianity could be considered a cult, or could have started out as a cult. The early Christians had to hide from the Romans, thus making them below what was a formal religion back then. Or, a cult.

"Cult" is commonly accepted as a negative belief system, but a cult is simply an unorthodox religion for its time. Christians, as said before, use "cult" to refer to something that is, by some definition, not Christian.

In common society today, "cult" is a word given to a group of brainwashers, exploiters, "witchercraft", and other groups that may or may not manipulate people into a belief system. Depending on the situation, the person, and the point of view, nearly any religion (including modern day Christianity) could be considered a cult. The documentary "Jesus Camp" is an example of how Christianity today could fall, under some situations, into the modern day definition for the word "cult". Being raised and taught to be a tight Christian could be considered by some to be a form of brainwashing, manipulation, or indoctrination, thus also putting it into the current day definition of "cult".

What I'm trying to say is, the word has been manipulated for so long that it is hard to give it a meaning anymore. It is commonly accepted as a negative, but what it is an unorthodox religion for its time. Brainwashing is unorthodox now, but I'm sure throughout history that was even seen as a social norm once.

I'm not calling Christianity a negative in this sense. I'm calling it what it was at the time when the Ichthys (fish) was a sign of secrecy and digression. Today, I'm sure a religion that runs around making fish signs would be persecuted and called a "cult" by some, because that is exactly what it would be.

And, A religion that followers a science fiction novel could be considered unorthodox. Thus, by definition, Scientology is a cult, or an informal religion.

Christianity was informal and unorthodox once. Thus, a cult.

EnderWiggin
05-29-2009, 03:42 PM
That's a batty site, EW.
:p

JC: Why 'almost'


More disappointment than sadness, hence 'almost'.


I won't be put in that 'group of Christians'. I'll jump in. I do believe the world was created in 6 days.


That's unfortunate. I guess my point doesn't hold then.

I won't start in about sola scriptura, I guess, but then flip it around: How would you feel being put in the 'group of Christians' who believe in Evolution?


I believe the literal account of creation not because I refuse to accept any evidence, but because I haven't looked into the subject. I haven't had any need to.

So you're using ignorance as a basis for belief? Interesting.


One question--the Bible says that by the 7th day He created the World.

So why exactly would I not want to be categorized like that? Just curious...
Because it's wrong.

The bible isn't the end-all-be-all, and it doesn't disprove the overwhelming evidence for evolution.

But evolution isn't the topic here, I digress. Go to the Senate and make a thread if you're interested in learning more about why sola scriptura is a bad strategy.

_EW_

Fair enough. Is that the thing that Qliv posted?
Q posted the Athanasian Creed, whereas jesus is talking about the one that came out of the First Council of Nicea. They say the same relative thing, but Q's is more indepth and specific.

Totenkopf
05-29-2009, 04:42 PM
They believe that Christ was created by God, not that He is God and part of the Holy Trinity. As a matter of fact, they do not believe in the Trinity at all. Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christian.

So, Holy Trinity = Christianity?

Sure, I'll accept that for now. Thanks for the quote.

Not quite. It is a necessary component, however.

vanir
05-30-2009, 08:17 PM
The word means this:
"A monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior"

period.

What's more, it is clearly stated by the man himself. No no, wait. He lied?

EnderWiggin
05-31-2009, 12:22 AM
The word means this:
"A monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior"

period.

What's more, it is clearly stated by the man himself. No no, wait. He lied?


Thus, includes Mormons :)

_EW_