I’m contemplating sending this message to a friend of mine who has been talking with me about Christianity on Facebook:
Sorry for the delayed response. My wife and I were visiting my brother and sister-in-law.
I agree with what you said: “A Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ first and foremost. I believe the Gospel which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I also believe that the Bible is “God breathed” or inspired by Him and that the Word is “profitable for reproof, sound doctrine, and instruction in righteousness”.”
To me, this describes exactly what I believe about Jesus Christ: that he came to Earth, was born of Mary in Bethlehem, lived a perfect life free of sin, taught the Gospel, was crucified, and was resurrected 3 days later and that He lives today.
I believe that He continues to guide us today via Apostles and Prophets, just as He did while He was on the earth. I believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8) and that He loves all people, not just the people in Jerusalem.
I also agree that “Interpreting scripture is the key for sound doctrine…”
I believe the Bible to be the word of God – however, I often have asked myself if there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5), why are there so many churches that interpret the Bible in so many different ways, thus confusing the teachings of Jesus so much?
My belief in the Book of Mormon comes solely from reading it, in conjunction with the Bible, thinking about what it says, and then asking God if it is true. Not only have I received personal answers through the power of the Holy Ghost, but I’ve also seen this same affect on many people I met while serving a mission in Santiago, Chile.
This would be in response to his message to me:
Totally beleive in the “five fold ministry” as you mentioned and do believe in modern day prophecy however, as a Christian I believe the canon of scripture is closed meaning there is no more infallible, inherent holy script for us to write. Can modern day prophets be inspirid by the Holy Ghost? absolutely. Can they add to the “Word” ( Bible)? No.
I think in order to discuss what Christianity is first, we must realize what a Christian is. A Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ first and formost. I believe the Gospel which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I also believe that the Bible is “God breathed” or inspired by Him and that the Word is “profitable for reproof, sound doctrine, and intruction in righteousness”. Not sure if I got that exactyl King James but anyway you get the point. Interpreting scripture is the key for sound doctrine or right teaching and not to jump the gun or sound preachy but I cannot accept the LDS interpretation of John 10:16 that when Jesus says “other sheep” he was refering to the Americas or a Mormon church. For me it is clear in the context that He is refering to the gentiles as the other sheep because his conversation was with the Jews.
What I DON’T want this to become is a battle back and forth on scriptural interpretation.
What I DO want to share is that we’re not a lot different than what he believes and that he’s not completely WRONG.
I did some research on LDS.org and found this information about the whole question if Mormons are Christian:
The term “canon of scripture” refers to the collection of books accepted by any group as the authoritative word of God. For most Christians the canon of scripture is limited to the Bible. But Latter-day Saints have a larger canon of scripture that includes the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. The canonical exclusion, in its simplest form, says that since Latter-day Saints have books of scripture in addition to the “traditional” Christian Bible, they cannot be Christians.One of the problems with this canonical exclusion lies in the assumption that there is only one “traditional” Christian Bible. Over the centuries, there have been a number of different versions of the Bible, and many Christian churches and individuals have disagreed about which books should be included. Even today, the Bible used by Catholics contains a number of different books than the Bible used by Protestants. Yet Catholics and Protestants continue to call each other Christians—even though they have different canons of scripture.
When revelation stopped after the death of the early Apostles, people were forced to draw one of two conclusions: (1) either revelation had stopped because God had already said everything they would ever need, or (2) revelation had stopped because the church lacked apostles and prophets to speak for him. Traditional Christians accept the first explanation; Latter-day Saints accept the second.
Sometimes critics cite Revelation 22:18–19 [Rev. 22:18–19] as evidence that the Bible forbids adding to or taking away from the canon of scripture. In these verses, John curses those who would add to or take away from “this book.” But when John wrote Revelation, the Bible in its present form did not yet exist. He was simply referring to his own book, the Book of Revelation, rather than to the whole Bible.
The truth is that prophets have usually added to the scriptures—almost all the biblical apostles and prophets did this. There is, in fact, no biblical statement whatever closing the canon of scripture or prohibiting additional revelation or additional scripture after the New Testament.
Some non-LDS Christians believe that the Bible contains all religious truth. However, the Bible itself says nothing of the sort. The word Bible never appears in the Bible—for the Bible never refers to itself. Thus all these claims about the Bible are unbiblical. The Bible itself never claims to be perfect, never claims to be sufficient for salvation, and never claims to grant its readers authority to speak or act for God. Rather, such claims are made by those who have lost priesthood authority and have lost direct revelation and, instead of trying to find them again, are trying desperately to maintain that their loss doesn’t matter.
I thought about sending this to him as well but feel that is too preachy.
I’m going to think about this more and get back to him.