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I have to shamefully admit that I find the hysterical rantings about Mormons on this board to be guiltily entertaining, much like watching the Jerry Springer show. I don't know a whole lot about Mormonism, but the Mormons that I know are good people (though a bit overly conservative) who care a great deal about family, morality, and America. Therefore, to the extent that works are indicative of a person's faith and character, I see no evidence that Mormonism is a negative influence (aside from their tendency to vote republican).

It is true that Mormons have unorthodox views on certain aspects of Christianity and so it shouldn't be surprising that some of the more militant Christians (who seem to have usurped the right to define Christianity) consider them as heretics. Ironically these crusading protectors of the Faith frequently belong to denominations that were also once hounded as heretics by the orthodox of past times. Orthodoxy is in the eye of the beholder I suppose and certainly seems to change over time.

So what are these heretical Mormon views? Well, Mormons have a different view of the Trinity that seems similar to the old Arian belief. For those who don't know, the nature of the Trinity was a hotly debated topic in the 4th century. The view that we now consider orthodox (three Beings of one Substance) won out by a process that from my reading seems disturbingly more political than theological. In any case, I don't think it matters much. I don't believe anyone understands the concept of the Trinity. It is inherently paradoxical. In fact, I would suggest that anyone who claims to understand the nature of God sufficiently to condemn someone else's view is bordering on the sin of hubris. I don't understand a Being who is eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, and stands outside of space and time. I'm reasonably confident that no one else here does either.

Mormons also believe that man can become god. Ooooo, this sounds pretty heretical. The question however is what do Mormons mean by this god that man can become (as opposed to God, the Creator)? If you ask me, becoming immortal, free of illness, gaining tremendous new insight and knowledge, being able to move freely through space and time, could easily be construed as being god-like. Coincidentally, this fate is not all that different from the more orthodox view of what happens upon salvation. So perhaps this distinction between Mormons and the orthodox is primarily one of semantics.

The Mormons believe theirs is the only true Christian Church. Understandably this is probably annoying to nonMormons. However, it's not like exclusivity in representing God is a novel idea. The Catholics believe theirs is the only church descended from Christ in an uninterrupted line. The Protestants believe Catholicism became so corrupted that it no longer represents the true church. Fundamentalists believe that only a strictly literal reading of the bible (interpreted solely from their perspective) represents the Truth. Who is right? Apparently they all are and each can quote chapter and verse to prove how right they happen to be. Sigh...

Well, I have just one suggestion. This board is a unique opportunity for Christians of different POVs to explore other perspectives. Why not recognize that and spend less time trying to prove how right and righteous one happens to be and a little more time trying to understand the diversity of beliefs that make Christianity such an interesting and vibrant religion?
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