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You keep avoiding my point. Please answer this: Do you deny that the statement "Mormons are not Christians" causes confusion about what Mormons believe?
No, your definition of Christian IS obscure. If you poll people in the street as to what "Christian" means, they will give a definition that Mormons easily fit into.
It really doesn't matter to me how you define things for you. What does bother me is that you make statements, "Mormons are not Christians", that give people the wrong impression about my faith.
Based on my understanding from the discussion, Catholics believe that a Christian is a member of the Body of Christ, which they define as not just their own church, but also every other church whose baptism they accept as valid... It's really more about how one views Catholicism than how one views Christ.
Right, that's what I gather too, but it still doesn't answer my question. The reasonable Catholics here have admitted that Mormons share in their devotion to Christ. And surely they must recognize that by saying we are not Christian causes many to doubt our devotion and belief. This is misleading and wrong. Yet they insist that their obscure definition is more important than the misleading side effect. Why?
An election is far too chaotic a system to form any meaningful predictive model very far in advance. The thing that bothers me most about the Silver model is the way people have been treating it for so long. I always see liberal pundits in particular joking about how they keep hitting refresh on their browser to see how event X affects the race. And they've been doing it for months! If his methodology has any true predictive power let him apply it to weather or the stock market and lets get some real value out of the thing.
Why are other Christians more concerned with insisting we are not Christian because of a definition that very few are familiar with, than with the false impression it leaves when you do so?
Not to nitpick but I didn't say "original definition" I said "original usage", it is important to acknowledge that there is no clear biblical definition. Also, I was using disciple in the sense that Mormons use the term which is not restricted to the Apostles. It's pretty clear from Acts 26:28 that Christian did not mean Apostle which you seem to be arguing for here. So what did Christian mean? We're stuck with something close to it's practical meaning today: a follower of Christ.
Also, your analogy with the Syrophoenecian may reinforce for you what you already believe but there's objectively nothing in there that helps define a Christian.
Donald Todd:Nate Bunderson: Excellent, then you agree that it is not really the place of councils to define what a Christian is?
I disagree with that statement. If Jesus founded a Church on the apostles with the authority to make decisions... then that Church had the mandate to define what was and what was not orthodox.
A church having the right to define orthodoxy is a tautology. The question is not orthodoxy but the meaning of the word Christian. The original usage of the word (and its meaning to most today) is a disciple of Christ. We try to be that in every meaningful way. I'm not trying to downplay our doctrinal differences and I'm NOT trying to demean your councils. I just think this word is not subject to councils.
One thing that surprises me about this is that there isn't more contribution here from protestants. A protestant friend once told me he didn't think either Mormons or Catholics are Christian. Ironically the reason he gave me seems to be the reason that is at the center of Rachel's definition: baptism. The Catholic emphasis on baptism as a necessity for salvation is a thoroughly un-Christian idea to him. Is this not a widely held protestant view? Isn't an infant who is baptized a Christian to a Catholic and an unbaptized infant not a Christian? Would any protestant make that distinction?
Rachel Lu: I absolutely think it's the place of Councils to define what a Christian is...
I still sort of like your idea of finding some new nomenclature to help us refer to Christian-ish religions, which underlines the similarity. But it's still important to me that we not downplay the membership issue. Maybe it's become clear to you over the course of this discussion, Nate, that for Catholics the historical continuity of Church authority is important.
But if you have some suggestions about nomenclature, I'm all ears. · October 31, 2012 at 7:10am
I certainly have gotten a better understanding from this discussion, thanks again for starting and participating in a wonderful thread! Could you clarify Rachel? Would you be willing to call us --modifierX-- Christians given that you believe the councils have the authority to define "Christian" and we are apparently excluded from that definition? Joseph would you?
Donald Todd: At which point we arrive at the question I asked: So, is He telling us Who He is, or are we telling Him Who He is?
Once you have the answer to those questions, you'll know the answer to your question. · October 28, 2012 at 6:19am
Excellent, then you agree that it is not really the place of councils to define what a Christian is? · 0 minutes ago
By the way, as I said before I think that it's important for the group who adhere to the collective wisdom and understanding of the councils to have their own designation, and it's appropriate for Mormons to be excluded from that group. I just don't think that Christian is the right word, for reasons I pointed out in post #456 and #457.
Excellent, then you agree that it is not really the place of councils to define what a Christian is?
You have made the meaning of "Christian" subjective in that it means whatever you want it to mean.
I'm not trying to make the meaning of "Christian" anything, I'm just pointing out that to many many people it means belief in Christ as the Savior.
I'm also not arguing that there aren't very real and important differences between what we believe about Christ and what you believe. I'm actually very happy to acknowledge that.
Sorry I just read an earlier post (there are 455 before mine so forgive me for not being thorough) that I wanted to mention. I agree very much with Joseph Stanko who talks about replacing "Christian" in Rachel's post with thing X. Go read his posts (specifically #444 and #452) he says it very eruditely. If we're talking about X then I agree with Rachel entirely as I previously said. I want to emphasize though that:
1. Thing X may equal "Christian" for you but when you say Mormons are not Christian people generally DO NOT think of thing X. This can be confusing and misleading.
2. Christ is a sensitive and important name and no matter how well intentioned and historical your or my definition of "Christian" we should all probably be careful in rigidly defining it.
Thanks for your post Rachel! I really appreciate your good will in all this, and as a Mormon I'm not at all offended by what you have said. However, it doesn't quite seem like you understand our problem with this. My main problem is not with your definition of what a Christian is but with the false perception that is caused by saying we are not Christians. When most people hear you say Mormons are not Christians they don't think "I guess they don't adhere to the ecumenical councils definition", rather they think "I guess they don't believe or follow Christ".
Don't you think that since the word is "Christian" only He should be able to say who is or isn't a Christian? If it were any other word I would agree with you 100% but since it is His name it's not really fair for ecumenical councils to have the final say. My personal feeling from reading the New Testament numerous times is that Christ would be accepting of anyone who came and followed Him to bear His name.
But if his book has the answers I'm looking for why don't I hear guys on our side who have a pulpit citing it? · 0 minutes ago
1. Well if you succeed in convincing me not to try to convince anyone then I guess you get your first "win".
Nathaniel Wright: "That's not because people overwhelmingly reject facts but because 1) we rely on experience, 2) data is very often stretched to fit a worldview rather than used to inform a worldview."
One might recommend you read THINKING, FAST AND SLOW and see that this is not a unique feature of conservatism. This is how people operate. · 8 hours ago
Looked up THINKING, FAST AND SLOW and it looks very interesting. Wish I had time to read all the good stuff people are pointing out to me here. Guess I'll just put it on my "to-read" bookshelf on goodreads and hope I get to it. It also made me think of Arthur C. Brooks book about making moral arguments rather than efficiency arguments. I know that's sort of the opposite of what I'm asking for here but as I said before, I think this is sort of a special area.
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