Words & Mormons – Continued Again – And Again

The New Testament was originally written in Greek. In Europe, the language of the Bible was Latin, known to the priests, until we got the first English translations.


Also, I like to drink. So to make my point, eventually, take this (John, Chapter 2, Verse 10): And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now


Which is to say, verily, why does the Book of Mormon use the Greek à Latin à Olde English language of the King James Bible (the default, btw, in the 19th Century)? Well, because Mormons believe the Book of Mormon was actually written more than 2,000 years ago, on the continent of North America, in a language identical to that translation of Greek to Latin to Olde English. But I digress.


And now, Lisa. Quoting myself in the first post: “Christians get to own the definition of the term.” And quoting myself from the second post: “the definition of the word “Christian” is owned by the keepers of the book” (the bible). And from the third post: “The deal-breaker for Mormons, from an Orthodox Christian perspective, is in not requiring basic Christian tenets as the exclusive means of salvation.”


In posts 1 – 3, my point is and has always been that Mormons may call themselves Christians, but they are not.


Which apparently is very controversial.


Surely every word holds variations on meaning for every speaker. While there may be some ultimate, Platonic perfection of the essential truth of a thing, in the speaking and writing, well, like dust from a boot, some meaning may fall to the ground, lost. And so, Geoff, Lisa says Mormons are Christians while I hold they are not. Which allows for all sorts of commentary on the nature of meaning, and language, depending on your personal bent. My argument remains the same: Christians get to define what a Christian makes, and Christians hold that, exclusively, the Bible and belief in the truth thereof defines the word.


And also, Geoff, your quotes. Well, hmm. “Be reconciled unto him through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ,” sounds to me very Christian. Where I still find myself stumped is in believing that deviations – extreme deviations – from Orthodox Christianity still count as Christian. Are the Rastafarians Christian? How about the cult of Jim Jones? And then, Mormons, who believe that the Gospel of Christ has existed throughout time, and that Christianity was practiced in the American Continent before Christ’s birth and that, if memory serves, the Book of Mormon came to Joseph Smith in New York in the 19th century, and supplements the Bible. And because Mormons hold that the Bible (that book!) is NOT the only book that should be accepted as divine scripture, and that well, I still say, sorry, but Mormons are not Christians. Or at least let me say this: Mormons are not Christians, according to the classical and orthodox definitions of Christianity. Lisa says that belief in Christ a Christian makes, and so, Geoff, Lisa says that you are a Christian. Lisa, I happen to know, is a very nice lady, and she is very tough, and smart, and she agrees with you. She may be wrong, but whatever.


And at the end of the day, this non-believer is left to marvel at all this passion.



5 Responses to “Words & Mormons – Continued Again – And Again”

  1. Geoff J Says:

    Look, gypsyrob, let’s be honest together shall we? You have been talking out of your butt since you started spouting off about Mormonism and you have been called out on it every time. Every time you come up with some lame reason to exclude the obviously Christian “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” from Christianity someone points out that your lame attempt to do so is just that — lame. The appropriate reaction at this point is to write a post to say “Ok, I admit it. I don’t know very much about Mormonism and I have been mostly regurgitating the poppycock that sectarian critics of Mormonism have been feeding me in these posts”. Instead you write this latest post to embarrass yourself even further. It’s a shame really.

    Clearly you would like to be set straight again so I’ll oblige.

    First, this “why does the Book of Mormon sound like the KJV” is such weak sauce and old material it is laughable to see you bring it up as if it scores you points or something. My response is this: Joseph Smith translated the ancient record from which we got the BoM into English. The style of English he used was either a personal choice or inspiration. Whoop-dee-doo either way.

    “Christians get to own the definition of the term.”

    This was ridiculous circular logic then and is the second time as well. Mormons are obviously Christians so Mormons get to own the definition as much as any other Christian.

    “the definition of the word “Christian” is owned by the keepers of the book” (the bible).

    Again, circular logic. Mormons are as much “keepers of” the Bible as any other Christian denomination.

    “The deal-breaker for Mormons, from an Orthodox Christian perspective, is in not requiring basic Christian tenets as the exclusive means of salvation.”


    You are wrong in this assertion.

    In posts 1 – 3, my point is and has always been that Mormons may call themselves Christians, but they are not.

    Right. And you have been and remain dead wrong in your point. You have not come close to defending it yet.

    Which apparently is very controversial.

    Only because it is so obviously false to anyone who has access to an English dictionary.

    Are the Rastafarians Christian? How about the cult of Jim Jones?

    Not really my problem. I do know I wouldn’t go making bold assertions one way or the other about any religion without knowing enough about that religion to defend my assertions though.

    I mostly am amazed at your arrogance on this issue. You make sweeping claims about a religion you know very little about. When people from that religion correct your misstatements you arrogantly defend your ill-informed comments as if you are some sort of authority. Then you try to claim you are dispassionate about the debate. Perhaps you are dispassionate about the subject but just lack the self esteem necessary to simply say “Oh, I didn’t know that. I was wrong.” Seems kinda sad to me.

  2. Lisa N Says:

    Do you have links to other people arguing against the Mormons’ being Christian? I do admit that this is an argument I’ve always intuitively found stupid — for the same reasons you support the other side, I’ve generally figured, “If they call themselves Christian, who am I to argue?” — but I do have to say that I am also finding your own arguments confusing, at the very least.

    And I could do the work myself to dig up sources but, you know, I’m lazy. I guess I’m also interested if you’re responding to anyone other than Andrew Sullivan and Geoff.

  3. Lisa N Says:

    (Also, having once played Joe Pitt’s mother Hannah in Angels in America, I have a soft spot for Mormons. Or, at least, for theatrical Mormons.)

  4. Geoff J Says:

    Here is a suggestion gypsyrob: While the assertion that Mormons are not Christian is demonstrably false (you know, since dictionaries exist and all), it is not all that controversial to call Mormons heretics. So the next time you feel the irresistible desire to bash Mormons you could try that approach.

  5. gregory2425 Says:

    Mormons are not Christians but there is a way for them to become Christians

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