Monday, 6 August 2012

Mormonism and Christianity

Mormonism and Christianity have a complex theological, historical, and sociological relationship. Mormons express the doctrines of Mormonism using standard biblical terminology, and have similar views about the nature of Jesus' atonement, bodily resurrection, and Second Coming as traditional Christianity. Nevertheless, most Mormons agree with the typical non-Mormon view that the Mormon conception of God is significantly different from the Trinitarian view of orthodox Nicene Christianity, derived from the eponymous Nicene and Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creeds of 325 and 381. Though Mormons consider the Bible as scripture (insofar as it is translated correctly), they have also adopted additional scriptures. Mormons not only practice baptism and celebrate the Eucharist but also participate in religious rituals unknown to traditional Christianity. Although the various branches of Christianity have diverse views about the nature of salvation, the Mormon view is particularly idiosyncratic.

Focusing on differences, some Christians consider Mormonism "non-Christian", and Mormons, focusing on similarities, are offended at being so characterized. Mormons do not accept non-Mormon baptism nor do non-Mormon Christians usually accept Mormon baptism. Mormons regularly proselytize individuals actually or nominally within the Christian tradition, and some Christians, especially evangelicals, proselytize Mormons. A prominent scholarly view is that Mormonism is a form of Christianity, but is distinct enough from traditional Christianity so as to form a new religious tradition, much as Christianity is more than just a sect of Judaism.
The Mormonism that originated with Joseph Smith, Jr. in the 1820s shared strong similarities with some elements of nineteenth-century Protestant Christianity. Mormons believe that God, through Smith and his successors, restored these truths, and thus restored the original Christianity taught by Jesus.

For example, Smith, in result of his "First Vision", primarily rejected the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity (History of the Church); and instead taught that God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct "personages"--Jesus Christ and the Father having glorified immortalized bodies and the Holy Ghost a spirit body. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the largest Mormon denomination, while acknowledging its differences with mainstream Christianity, often focuses on its commonalities.

No comments:

Post a Comment