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Author Topic: Elon Musk says that we live in a simulation
Dogbreath
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So, absent any evidence whatsoever supporting your claim, and in the face of evidence demonstrating that the opposite is true, you are so strongly convinced that a large majority of non-American Christians believe Mormons aren't Christians (a large enough majority to even overwhelm the majority of American Christians, who don't say "no") that you'd be willing to bet $1 million that you're right. You're that convinced.
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JanitorBlade
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Do you not remember saying these things?

"You need to realize, though, that most of the world outside of your religion defines Christianity in a way that excludes Mormons"

"...most other Christian denominations don't recognize Mormons as Christian."

That's a hair's breadth of space from "Most Christians don't consider Mormons Christian." Do I have a worldwide census of Christians that have answered the questions "Are Mormons Christian"? No. Nothing close. We have one poll from a US population, where we might expect it would be Mormonisms strongest showing on the Christianity question.

I do have a lifetime of experience having the conversation over and over and over. I have two years of my life in Taiwan talking to loads of people about it.

But in answer to your question, no. I don't have evidence. Would I actually spend $1M on a bet? No, I don't gamble. It was an expression of my certainty.

[ June 28, 2017, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Dogbreath
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So we're back to "my personal experience and beliefs on how things are trumps statistics that suggest otherwise." If the world is getting hotter, then why is it snowing outside?

FWIW, there's a huge difference between definition and acceptance of others who fall outside of that definition. Since you're bringing up old conversations, that was a discussion specifically about the Nicene Creed. If you ask someone "what does it mean to be Christian", most will say something in line with "someone who holds to the beliefs made explicit in the Nicene Creed". They will do so because that has been the common bedrock of what practically all Christians believe for some 1700 years and was literally created to answer the question of "what is a Christian" precisely - it wasn't invented recently in order to exclude Mormons.

But, as I said in that conversation before, just because those churches define Christianity in such a way that it is incompatible with Mormon beliefs, it doesn't mean that most Christians aren't willing to accept that Mormons call themselves Christians, or are unwilling to call them members of a Christian religion. And statistics bears that out. (I'd imagine those who do answer "no" probably do based on definition, not out of a desire to exclude Mormons in particular)

It seems like in this conversation you've been expressing a lot of anger (or at least, speaking contemptuously about "councils", distain) that most Christians have a radically different, fundamental understanding and set of beliefs about the nature of God and Christ than Mormons do. But despite those differences, most Christians are willing to accept Mormons as Christians anyway, and Mormons are free to define what "Christian" means as they choose. So it seems like you are angry that others are also free to believe as they choose, and to believe that being a Christian means believing in different things than you do?

Just because I think being a Christian means believing xyz doesn't mean I can't accept that you believe it means believing abc, even if those beliefs are mutually exclusive. If you really believed that, then logically you'd have to say that all non-Mormons are non-Christian. But since you can accept that you define Christianity radically differently than other Christians, but can still accept that they are Christians, why is it so hard for you to turn that around and accept the same is true about other Christians and Mormons?

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
So we're back to "my personal experience and beliefs on how things are trumps statistics that suggest otherwise." If the world is getting hotter, then why is it snowing outside?
No. Maybe consider your evidence doesn't actually erase all the memories I have of being told I'm not a "real Christian" or that "Mormonism is a cult." Like right now, I'm engage elsewhere in a conversation online with a Christian gentleman who is trying to show me that Mormonism is a fraud and doesn't count as Christian; I've had this conversation numerous times. A poll doesn't erase the times I've seen pamphlets specifically written to prove why Mormons aren't Christians.

Here's a poll of Christian pastors.

Link. Only 11% agree we are Christians. If you go to your pastor about this question, he/she is probably going to tell you the answer is no.

There's (the link didn't survive, and I can't find it right now) another poll that looked at voters, and it splits 50/50. And you want me to believe that if we polled Christians worldwide it really stays about the same as the US?

You weren't in the church when there was a major shift in emphasizing Christ in our missionary materials, classroom discussions, conference talks, even our logo, expressly because we wanted to be counted among Christians. We'd tried boldly standing alone, and being a peculiar people, and being happy with just being called Mormons, it was getting in the way of who we actually believed ourselves to be.

quote:
It seems like in this conversation you've been expressing a lot of anger (or at least, speaking contemptuously about "councils", distain) that most Christians have a radically different, fundamental understanding and set of beliefs about the nature of God and Christ than Mormons do. But despite those differences, most Christians are willing to accept Mormons as Christians anyway, and Mormons are free to define what "Christian" means as they choose. So it seems like you are angry that others are also free to believe as they choose, and to believe that being a Christian means believing in different things than you do?

Just because I think being a Christian means believing xyz doesn't mean I can't accept that you believe it means believing abc, even if those beliefs are mutually exclusive. If you really believed that, then logically you'd have to say that all non-Mormons are non-Christian. But since you can accept that you define Christianity radically differently than other Christians, but can still accept that they are Christians, why is it so hard for you to turn that around and accept the same is true about other Christians and Mormons?

Are you asking me why it's hard that Christians allow that I'm a Christian but define it differently?

If so, I don't think I've ever even tried to say that. If not, I'm not sure I understand.

[ June 29, 2017, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
So we're back to "my personal experience and beliefs on how things are trumps statistics that suggest otherwise." If the world is getting hotter, then why is it snowing outside?
No. Maybe consider your evidence doesn't actually erase all the memories I have of being told I'm not a "real Christian" or that "Mormonism is a cult." Like right now, I'm engage elsewhere in a conversation online with a Christian gentleman who is trying to show me that Mormonism is a fraud and doesn't count as Christian; I've had this conversation numerous times. A poll doesn't erase the times I've seen pamphlets specifically written to prove why Mormons aren't Christians.
BlackBlade, I never tried to "erase all your memories". You didn't just say "I've had a lot of experiences being told I'm not a Christian", you said "I'd be willing to be $1M that if you polled Christians and asked if Mormons are also Christian, a large majority would say no." That's not a statement of personal experience, that's a categorical statement that applies to an entire group of people, specifically one you believe can be backed up by polling. You saying that me refuting that claim by providing poll data that contradicts it is somehow an attempt to discredit your memories is, frankly, disingenuous.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
So we're back to "my personal experience and beliefs on how things are trumps statistics that suggest otherwise." If the world is getting hotter, then why is it snowing outside?
No. Maybe consider your evidence doesn't actually erase all the memories I have of being told I'm not a "real Christian" or that "Mormonism is a cult." Like right now, I'm engage elsewhere in a conversation online with a Christian gentleman who is trying to show me that Mormonism is a fraud and doesn't count as Christian; I've had this conversation numerous times. A poll doesn't erase the times I've seen pamphlets specifically written to prove why Mormons aren't Christians.
BlackBlade, I never tried to "erase all your memories". You didn't just say "I've had a lot of experiences being told I'm not a Christian", you said "I'd be willing to be $1M that if you polled Christians and asked if Mormons are also Christian, a large majority would say no." That's not a statement of personal experience, that's a categorical statement that applies to an entire group of people, specifically one you believe can be backed up by polling. You saying that me refuting that claim by providing poll data that contradicts it is somehow an attempt to discredit your memories is, frankly, disingenuous.
And I still stand by that statement. But then you keep bringing up my anecdotes as my refusing to let evidence have the final say.

Are you saying that when Christians define Christianity however they wish, I need to accept that it may or may not exclude me, and be OK with it?

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
And I still stand by that statement. But then you keep bringing up my anecdotes as my refusing to let evidence have the final say.

Yes, because so far the only evidence you've provided that supports that claim has been anecdotal. Your claim depends on a rather absurd belief that while a minority of Americans (where the Christian group probably most hostile to Mormons and most obsessed with who is a "real Christian" (they don't accept Catholics as Real Christians either) - Evangelicals - has a massive foothold) say "no", but that Christians literally everywhere else overwhelmingly say "no." You haven't provided any data to suggest non-American Christians have a much harsher view of Mormons being Christians than American Christians do, and the high diversity in denominations and beliefs among American Christian groups makes it a pretty decent sample of global Christianity. (Again, controlling for Evangelicals)

In other words, you're holding a belief about how a whole group of people behaves with no evidence to support your claims - and in spite of evidence presented that contradicts it - because of bad experiences with individuals of that group. Do you see how that kind of thinking is problematic?

quote:
Are you saying that when Christians define Christianity however they wish, I need to accept that it may or may not exclude me, and be OK with it?
Yes. Though to flip it around, those Christians have defined Christianity that way since 325 AD, and those definitions make up the core of what they believe and how they interpret the Bible. Your "not being OK with it" is, in effect, asking them to change their fundamental beliefs on the nature of God to accommodate contradictory beliefs.
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JanitorBlade
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Dogbreath: I've provided one poll (Two, if I could find the URL again). I've never said anything about Evangelicals. I never said anything about non-American Christians being harsh. They probably think they same thing you've described. If they've heard of Mormons its in the context of their not being like other Christians and probably distinct.

I've tried to find other polls about this question and other than the poll you've linked, and the two I found, I can't find any others. I'd hardly call that definitive.

quote:
In other words, you're holding a belief about how a whole group of people behaves with no evidence to support your claims - and in spite of evidence presented that contradicts it - because of bad experiences with individuals of that group. Do you see how that kind of thinking is problematic?

I do have evidence for myself, my own experiences. I'm not arguing it's compelling for anybody else. I'm not refusing to look at further evidence. But your poll doesn't by itself make me wrong. My not having evidence makes my beliefs unproven.

quote:
Yes. Though to flip it around, those Christians have defined Christianity that way since 325 AD, and those definitions make up the core of what they believe and how they interpret the Bible. Your "not being OK with it" is, in effect, asking them to change their fundamental beliefs on the nature of God to accommodate contradictory beliefs.
You mean like we just did in a generation about the definition of marriage?
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
Dogbreath: I've provided one poll (Two, if I could find the URL again).

Neither of which indicates that "a large majority of Christians" would say no.

quote:
I do have evidence for myself, my own experiences. I'm not arguing it's compelling for anybody else.
Your own anecdotal experience do not count as evidence for a categorical statement about an entire group of people. Even if it's only for yourself.

quote:
I'm not refusing to look at further evidence. But your poll doesn't by itself make me wrong.
Sure it does. Unless you're suggesting Pew's methodology is so wildly inaccurate that it shows 32% saying "no" when it's really 80% or 90%? (What qualifies as a "large majority" for you?)

quote:
My not having evidence makes my beliefs unproven.
Then you are choosing to believe something that is entirely unsupported by facts. And in this case, something that polling suggests is untrue.

quote:
You mean like we just did in a generation about the definition of marriage?
Marriage is not a religion. And also, it's possible for me to accept that two men can be married, call them a married couple, and treat them as such, without me having to marry a man myself. Your analogy doesn't hold there.
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JanitorBlade
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Dogbreath: Alright. You've made your point. I can't at this time prove a majority of Christians worldwide would fail to identify Mormons as Christians. Or at least provide evidence stronger than the Pew Research poll you linked.

quote:
Marriage is not a religion. And also, it's possible for me to accept that two men can be married, call them a married couple, and treat them as such, without me having to marry a man myself. Your analogy doesn't hold there.
It's possible for you to accept that Mormons are Christian, call them Christians, and treat them as such, without your having to be Mormon in order to do so.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
It's possible for you to accept that Mormons are Christian, call them Christians, and treat them as such, without your having to be Mormon in order to do so.

Yes! Exactly. [Smile]
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su56BsIJpq0


Not exactly. "Spirit" has several definitions. One of those could be a non-body part of us. Or it could be the Holy Spirit which is god in us. Or it could merely mean life/breath rather than soul. Or it could be a synonym for soul. Depends on context. It is sometimes used generally rather than specifically.

So do Catholics believe people have spirits as in a non-body part of themselves?
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kmbboots
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Can you give me a context? "Spirit" can be what makes us alive. What animates us. It comes from the same word as "breath" or "wind" - ruah ( ruʹach?) or pneu'ma. But sometimes "anima" is also translated to spirit. Or even psyche. It can also mean feelings ("poor in spirit"). It can be sometimes used interchangeably with "soul".

Spirit can mean life-force. Like a computer requires electricity to run. Perhaps you could think of spirit as electricity and soul as programming? But it is so much more fluid and non-specific than that. Remember that the scriptures we read now are translations and collections by different writers. Sometime "soul" and "spirit" seem to be interchangeable. Sometimes they are definitely separate things. "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart."

And then there is the Holy Spirit which is another kettle of fish.

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JanitorBlade
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I understand spirit can mean lots of things. Do they have a non-body spirit identity. You mentioned Bluebird. Like that.
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kmbboots
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Before we have a physical existence? No. And i wouldn't say "spirit identity" even after. Sounds like you are trying to get at "soul". "Spirit" is not who we are; it is what creates life. "Kate's spirit" is what makes Kate live and be not a spirit that is Kate.
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JanitorBlade
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I'm sorry, you are confusing me. Ignoring a pre-existence right now.

Is there a spirit part of me distinct from my body that retains my identity when my body dies? If you want to call that a soul that's fine too.

[ June 30, 2017, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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kmbboots
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I believe so.
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Dogbreath
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I'm not Catholic so what I say may or may not jive with Catholic theology, so take it with a grain of salt. But in the tradition I grew up in:

Just as God is three persons in one being, humans, created in God's image, are also three persons in one being. So if you were to say "Taylor" or "Taylor's identity" you would mean, "the person made up of Taylor's body, soul, and spirit."

And in a reflection of the Trinity, your soul is your will, your consciousness, the driving, progenerative aspect of your being. Your body is your physical manifestation - the animal you're inhabiting and controlling, so to speak. And your spirit is the relationship that proceeds from between the two, the thing that connects your body and soul, and also the person with whom the Holy Spirit interacts, prods, guides, and leads. In the personhood of God, there is perfect love between all three parts so they act in harmony. Whereas for humans, the relationship between body, spirit, and soul is damaged and fallible - thus verses like "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."

In that sense, I guess your "soul" is what you might think of as being the part of you that remains existing after you die. Whereas your body obviously isn't there, and your "spirit", being defined by the relationship between body and soul, probably isn't definite in that state.

But this is why the resurrection of the dead is so important to most Christians - it's only in the resurrected body that you become "you" again, Body, Spirit, and Soul, as opposed to just Soul. I'm not sure if a soul has memories, for example, or can properly said to be able to think, since it doesn't have a brain. To convert it into computing terms, I would maybe think of the soul as a self-aware program or something, something that has its own set of directions and drives the action, but which requires a processor to think and a hard drive to store data, and printers, monitors, scanners, and robotic limbs to access the world around it. So I'm not sure if, after you die, you continue to exist in the sense of having memories or being able to think about such things as existing, but I think you'll still be aware of existing. I'd like to think that you'll somehow regain those memories or an analogy of them in your resurrected body, though.

In other words, I'm not sure if there's a precise analogy to the Mormon idea of one's "spirit" since I think Mormons have a different conception of what a person actually is, but I think "soul" might be closest?

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JanitorBlade
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kmbboots: Would you call the part of you the remains after death your spirit or your soul?

Dogbreath: Mormons think the resurrection is important for several reasons.

1: Having a resurrected body brings us that much closer to being like God. Our obtaining mortal bodies we a prerequisite step for obtaining a resurrected one.

2: Our scriptures describe post-mortal spirits being uncomfortable almost tormented in some way as they wait for the day of resurrection.

To me it's not exactly clear what attributes a spirit has prior to being born. I mean appearance seems hard to fathom because DNA plays a huge role in how we look and even act. But we do believe we were all distinct personalities with a will of our own prior to being born. Upon death, that same spirit now carrying experiences gleaned in mortality goes into paradise or prison awaiting the day of the resurrection and then judgement.

But as for terminology. Soul/Spirit isn't exactly fixed. But I think we have a two part system (Very interesting about the trinity connection for you). The Spirit, The Body. The Holy Ghost interacts with our spirit but can also interact with our body which is why The Holy Ghost has no body at present, so he can enter into us.

When Jesus speaks with Legion in the NT those are what we would call evil spirits (Ignoring the baggage I have about demonic possession). They too enter into people's bodies.

Sometimes the word soul is used to describe a spirit united with a body. But the scriptures even our extended canon are not consistent in this usage.

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Dogbreath
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That's really interesting, BB. Thanks!
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kmbboots
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I would probably say "soul".

I would say that when people die, their soul enters into eternity. In eternity, time is different - non-linear so "waiting" is not what we think of as "waiting".

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JanitorBlade
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How would you describe it.

[ July 04, 2017, 11:30 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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kmbboots
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If time as we know it is a line, eternity is a plane.
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JanitorBlade
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OK. How does that affect how we experience things?
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kmbboots
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What are you asking? Obviously, my understanding of eternity is purely theoretical rather than experiential.
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JanitorBlade
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I guess I was hoping you could give me an understanding of what Catholicism teaches about souls and what they do after death.
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TomDavidson
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This thread has become entirely hilarious.
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Nick
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So I've been lurking on the forum for a while. This topic interested me.

While I don't have anything to add beyond what Dogbreath or kmbboots contributed to the discussion in regards to the theology, I do have some thoughts for you BB.

You seem to be frustrated to not have the LDS doctrine included in christianity as a whole. My question is, does it matter? I have periods of doubt and seasons of frustration. I've read the bible a number of times, but I don't know it like I should. I don't really care if I'm considered a christian or not. I personally don't think it really matters. Certainly not when we die. Does God care about our labels? Hell, I'm probably a lousy christian according to most church governing bodies. I swear and likely drink beer too much. Oh well. [Smile]

My best friend is LDS. We grew up together. I grew up going to a lutheran church, he went to his local ward. We've had countless discussions about our differing beliefs. He even bore his testimony to me with tears running down his face about how sincerely he believes the doctrines of the LDS church and wished I would too. He got married a few years back, I was the best man but couldn't participate in the sealing ceremony as a nonbeliever. During a visit last year, I got in another hours long discussion about the nicene creed for the umpteenth time. We discussed a lot of the same bible passages as this thread has, especially the gospel of John since it's likely the best example of the origins of the trinitarian belief.

I'm sharing this because we're still good friends. The reason we're still friends because at the end every discussion when we both realize we're not changing our minds, we both understand that we both believe in Christ's atonement. We both acknowledge
that it's impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God or any other doctrinal beliefs originating from spiritual revelation.

I told him if we both croaked at the same time and stood before Jesus in heaven and professed faith in the atonement, I think he'd let us both in, regardless of difference in doctrine. [Smile] I'm sure one of us would have to resist saying I told you so...

I know a lot of "christians" that say mormons are going to hell, but I'm not one of them. And I would never attend a church that teaches that. They're not "christians" either then. Just my two cents.

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JanitorBlade
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Nick: I don't think you understand why it's important to me. It has absolutely nothing to do with how God feels about me.

I have no worries that God will care one wit about in the judgement of other people do I make the grade. So why do I care?

Because while salvation is a deeply personal experience, it's also a communal one. To use Paul's words, we are "Joint heirs with Christ." We are "The Body of Christ" and to be told by other Christians, "You don't really fit in" it hurts. To be told how I should feel about it, bugs me because I've been accused of tone policing numerous times on this board. Yes, I get that not everybody who says, "Lord, Lord" is going to heaven anyway.

But my entire life I've tried to be a Christian. The word was so important to people in the past they suffered and died as martyrs for it. I want to belong with others who follow that same God, and believe in Christ.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
This thread has become entirely hilarious.

Do go on.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
To be told how I should feel about it, bugs me because I've been accused of tone policing numerous times on this board.

Where has anyone told you how you should feel about it
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JanitorBlade
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Dogbreath: Nate said, "You seem to be frustrated to not have the LDS doctrine included in christianity as a whole. My question is, does it matter?"

My translation of that is "Is this a valid thing to be frustrated about?"

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Dogbreath
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That's a pretty hostile reading of Nick's post.
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JanitorBlade
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I've posted repeatedly that this is important to me, and when somebody says, "Does it matter?" your response is that I'm being hostile if it rubs me the wrong way.

If somebody went on about how important marriage was to them, but because they were in a SSM people wouldn't validate it the same way, and somebody on this board said, "Does it really matter?" Would you call them hostile for saying it bothered them?

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Dogbreath
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I didn't call you hostile.
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JanitorBlade
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I'm not interested in further discussing how I'm feeling about this.
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Dogbreath
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Okay then.

---

Nick: I appreciated your post, and hope you stick around for a while. [Smile]

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JanitorBlade
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I'd like to echo that I was glad to see Nick around.
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scifibum
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Yo BlackBlade, I enjoyed this thread and the discussion you had with Kate and DB. I'm sorry it has been a frustrating experience for you. (Same goes to DB and Kate to the extent that it applies.)

One thing I noticed is that you were asking some questions about Catholic (or Nicene) theology where the question was framed in LDS theology. Which I get. LDS theology is my own reference point whenever I think about religion and try to understand other religions.

But, I've been outside for a while, and here's the outsider perspective: I think it's going to be tough for you to grok the theological answers you seek when you are looking to reconcile or compare to your own beliefs. Just for instance, starting from the Mormon concept of the spirit and then asking, effectively, "what do Catholics call this"? I think it leads to confusion and a less complete understanding than if you asked an open ended question, or for a reference to read.

This wouldn't be worth pointing out except for the desire you have expressed for inclusion and community with other Christians. I think you'll get farther with that if you go farther with understanding their beliefs.

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TomDavidson
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The (main) reason I find it funny, BB, is that a lot of Mormons really just don't get the issue here.

I mean, you guys have at least two completely additional scriptures above and beyond the "traditional" Christian set that espouse doctrines and beliefs that are no more compatible with most readings of those original scriptures than the Qu'ran is. At least most Muslims acknowledge that they aren't Christians (although their belief in "progressive revelation" makes that distinction largely moot from some perspectives); at least most Christians acknowledge that they aren't Jewish. But Mormons not only call themselves Christian (and demand a seat at the Christian table) but often call non-Mormons gentiles and in some cases think of themselves as a Jewish tribe (and a direct inheritor of Jewish religion.) I don't think this is particularly rude or outrageous of them, mind. But it always amazes me when they're surprised by resistance, as if they really don't realize the ways in which their beliefs are literally anathema to most other Christian sects (and certainly Jewish ones, which are pretty explicit about what you'd need to do to qualify to be Jewish).

I understand that terminology is important. And I think self-identification is important, too. I have no problem calling someone a "woman" even if she has a penis, and I have no problem calling Mormons "Christian." But I think there may well be meaningful distinctions between the way we treat a woman with a penis and a woman without a penis when they show up at the hospital with certain medical complaints, and I think there may well be meaningful distinctions between Christians who think their souls have always existed and might someday ascend to godhood themselves and pretty much all the other Christians everywhere.

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Dogbreath
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I would largely agree with your post, Tom, with the caveat that things like gender identity, sexual orientation, or ethnicity are innate and personal. Something you're born with, not something you chose, and not a group you choose to join. I think a better analogy to religion would be a political party or a club or a fraternity. Edit: Or maybe nationality. (In the sense that one can be "born" into a religion/religious culture. Though religious affiliation is generally much easier to change than nationality)

[ July 06, 2017, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: Dogbreath ]

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kmbboots
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BB, I'm just not sure what you are trying to accomplish. I'm happy to try to explain points of doctrine as far as it can be explained and as far as I understand it. But what if feels like you are trying to is overturn 1700 years of fundamental Christian tradition and the beliefs of billions of people.
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JanitorBlade
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I'm going to try again.

scifibum:
quote:
One thing I noticed is that you were asking some questions about Catholic (or Nicene) theology where the question was framed in LDS theology. Which I get. LDS theology is my own reference point whenever I think about religion and try to understand other religions.
I don't see how you can arrive at that conclusion at present when I'm presently using the terminology Kate gives me to work with, and asking only what her and Catholicism makes of those things.

I can certainly see how earlier when we were discussing Nicene creed that was a problem. I'm trying to avoid it by just understanding what Christians are talking about.

------------

Tom:
quote:
I mean, you guys have at least two completely additional scriptures above and beyond the "traditional" Christian set that espouse doctrines and beliefs that are no more compatible with most readings of those original scriptures than the Qu'ran is.
I disagree that's the case. They certainly go against the majority opinion on what most Christians assert those scriptures mean, but they are not incompatible with the original text, and particularly in the past other Christian branches in some instances had similar views as we do on certain points.

If the shoe were on the other foot, and most every Christian agreed that the Book of Mormon was Christian scripture along with the Bible for example, but there was a group that insisted the BOM did not belong in the canon and that they wanted to stick with the Bible, their belief that they were Christians too should be heeded and accepted.

quote:
At least most Muslims acknowledge that they aren't Christians (although their belief in "progressive revelation" makes that distinction largely moot from some perspectives); at least most Christians acknowledge that they aren't Jewish
This is irrelevant. Muslims themselves would disagree with being called Christians, and would argue their own doctrine makes that descriptor uncalled for. I wouldn't even need to point out that Christ has no exalted status for them.

quote:
But Mormons not only call themselves Christian (and demand a seat at the Christian table) but often call non-Mormons gentiles and in some cases think of themselves as a Jewish tribe (and a direct inheritor of Jewish religion.)
I have rarely ever heard the term gentile in these days ever used to describe non-Mormons. Like I would actually find it distracting were it used today. Non-Mormons are typically referred to as non-members. Referring to Christians as "Other Christians" is very common in our discourse.

We don't consider ourselves Jews. But we do consider ourselves outsiders adopted into the House of Israel. I thought historically it was fairly typical for Christians to refer to themselves as "Israel" is it not?

quote:
But it always amazes me when they're surprised by resistance, as if they really don't realize the ways in which their beliefs are literally anathema to most other Christian sects (and certainly Jewish ones, which are pretty explicit about what you'd need to do to qualify to be Jewish).
I've never heard a Mormon make a point of trying to tell a Jew that they ought to call them Jews too. I've never heard Mormons discuss wishing to have the descriptor applied to them. I'm pretty sure we're comfortable with who is being called Jewish and who is not.

As for our beliefs being anathema to Christianity. Again, this cuts both ways. We see many of these differences as apostasy from what the scriptures (Including the Bible) say. But we don't say these differences disqualify one from being called a Christian. Call it being a minority and that if we were in the majority we'd be whistling a different tune, but at present that's how we feel about it.

quote:
I understand that terminology is important. And I think self-identification is important, too. I have no problem calling someone a "woman" even if she has a penis, and I have no problem calling Mormons "Christian." But I think there may well be meaningful distinctions between the way we treat a woman with a penis and a woman without a penis when they show up at the hospital with certain medical complaints, and I think there may well be meaningful distinctions between Christians who think their souls have always existed and might someday ascend to godhood themselves and pretty much all the other Christians everywhere.
We already draw those distinctions. We're called Mormons too. We call other people Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, etc. We call people what they think they are.

Call us Mormons, I'm not taking any offense with that. I might have back when it was pejorative, and for some it still is, but whatever. Do you have some better way of determining what to call us?

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
BB, I'm just not sure what you are trying to accomplish. I'm happy to try to explain points of doctrine as far as it can be explained and as far as I understand it. But what if feels like you are trying to is overturn 1700 years of fundamental Christian tradition and the beliefs of billions of people.


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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
BB, I'm just not sure what you are trying to accomplish. I'm happy to try to explain points of doctrine as far as it can be explained and as far as I understand it. But what if feels like you are trying to is overturn 1700 years of fundamental Christian tradition and the beliefs of billions of people.

At this point between you and me, and others who are willing to talk about it. I just want to understand how other Christians understand these concepts. I have no desire to evangelize or demonstrate for others some sort of compatibility. I am always eager to share how I/Mormons see these concepts.

It's become clear to me (Particularly by my failing to realize other Christians don't believe in a pre-existence) that there is quite a bit other Christian's beliefs that I am ignorant or misunderstand. I don't know if you recall, but I had a long-running Q&A with Judaism thread here for the exact same reason.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
I have no desire to evangelize or demonstrate for others some sort of compatibility.

Then why do you keep bristling at the fact that, at its core, most of Christianity is fundamentally incompatible with Mormon beliefs?

You've made it clear that it isn't good enough for most Christians to define Christianity in terms of adherence to the Nicene Creed but still accept that Mormons call themselves Christians, you actually want them to change that definition. Which is simply impossible without them changing their core beliefs as well.

So if you don't want others to change their fundamental religious beliefs, what exactly are you trying to accomplish?

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
I have no desire to evangelize or demonstrate for others some sort of compatibility.

Then why do you keep bristling at the fact that, at its core, most of Christianity is fundamentally incompatible with Mormon beliefs?

You've made it clear that it isn't good enough for most Christians to define Christianity in terms of adherence to the Nicene Creed but still accept that Mormons call themselves Christians, you actually want them to change that definition. Which is simply impossible without them changing their core beliefs as well.

So if you don't want others to change their fundamental religious beliefs, what exactly are you trying to accomplish?

At present in my interactions with Kate specifically, and to the extent you are willing, I would like to understand how Christians define their own core beliefs since there are gaps in my understanding. That is my purpose.

I'm still going to respond to people who want to continue our previous lines of inquiry. But on my end going forward I'd prefer to at least understand.

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kmbboots
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I can't speak for Christians in general. Or even Catholics in general except in very broad strokes.
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PSI Teleport
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Are we taking into consideration the fact that many Christians (I'm looking at you, Evangelicals) use the word Christian to mean two completely different things and conflate the hell out of them? In one sentence a man might be referred to as a Christian, meaning that he practices a Christian belief system, and then immediately afterward have his Christianity questioned because he doesn't seem to have a "saving faith." They're not really the same thing, but we continue to use the word "Christian" to mean both.

Insofar as Mormons practice a type of Christ-based religion, I don't see how it could be argued that they're not Christian. But ask a random Evangelical and he will probably argue that a Mormon is not a "Christian" because the Mormon hasn't experienced the faith-based Spirit birth as the Bible seems to define it. I'm sure that's insulting, but they say the same thing about Catholics, Lutherans, the Amish, and half of the people they go to church with every Sunday.

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Dogbreath
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*nods* As I mentioned a few times earlier in the thread, Evangelicals are the only ones who are super into telling people they are or aren't Christians. The poll I posted earlier said they were (unsurprisingly) the most likely to say Mormons are not Christian at 49% saying no. Most other groups seem to be pretty cool with "we define our religion this way, but if you call yourself a Christian then I'll call you one too."
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