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Do it by thread, I'm curious too.

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At first I saw this thread and felt fearful of entering, since I assume most of the people on here are either atheist or agnostic and probably will flame me for what I believe in. I didn't even bother to read any of the pages except the most recent one. I really like the things Awdz said, since I too am a Christian and I believe in the things he/she said. I am a Roman Catholic, from the ages of 13-17 I was atheist, but since then have returned to my faith. I cannot express through words why, just that I "felt" it was right to follow Jesus. I did this on my own; nobody tried convincing me to return. I wanted to do this for me. Having nothing to believe in is a very scary place to be. Not that atheists believe in nothing, I believed in myself and myself only, except it turns out the god I made myself out to be was very flawed and did nothing but disappoint me over time. I need a "perfect" being to look up to, to try to be more of, even though all human beings are flawed and all fall short of the glory of Heaven. That is why this world is so messed up - it is people who screw it up, not God, and if he made it all better, what would we have learned? We would have continued to find another way to screw it up all over again, and the process would be neverending. This is the gift of freedom of choice. We choose to make ourselves gods because we want to enjoy life and don't like when others tell us what we are doing is wrong that we would rather sit in our sh*t because it is warm and it is ours. And when we die, no wonder God wouldn't want us in Heaven, we stink! That is what purgatory is for. At first I tried out other churches, but ultimately they all seem to preach the same thing: "Love your neighbor as God has loved you. This sums up the words of the prophets" or some such. So I just chose to make my family's sect my "home church" simply because God gave this family to me for a reason, just as he gives some kids to horrible families for his reasons, reasons unknown to many of us, but I believe everything happens for a reason, and ultimately, everything will be OK. I visit my friends churches who are not Catholic, and wish they would visit mine, but that's fine that they don't. I am rock solid in my faith, no matter how many times I visit sister churches.

 

I do my best not to annoy anyone when I talk about my faith, and I apologize if I ever offend them. I do this, because that's what I would want them to do for me when they talk about their faith, or lack of one. I do not pretend to know everything in the Catechism, and I do not believe in everything my sect says is "right" - in particular, I believe homosexuality is NOT a sin; I think it is perfectly fine - but I do have this burning sense to belong to a community, because that is one of the three things Christians are told to do: Read the Bible, Pray, and Worship with others. I know that when I go to bed at night I pray for the Unbelievers, just as I know when you go to bed at night, you are quite possibly hoping I come to my senses. laugh.gif

 

I won't lie; I'm a crappy debator. If anyone were to pick an argument about something I said, I'd probably have nothing to comment back for it, except for: "Well that's your opinion" and "Isn't it grand to have the same freedom of speech as I do?"

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I've pretty much drifted away from this subject altogether, since it has been my experience that bringing it up anywhere, especially on the internet where people can just hide behind their anonymity and be complete censorkip.gif ing censorkip.gif holes about it, is a very bad idea. However, it's nice to see a pretty much flameless thread discussing it every now and then.

 

Growing up, I was indoctrinated into the Christian cult, told again and again that the Biblical stories are accurate and must be treated as facts. (I know, biblical literalism, censorkip.gif it.)

 

Sure enough, I lived thinking those stories were true. The Flood and Original Sin and what not...

But then, around when my teens started, I think. I'm not sure exactly when, but I think my 13-14th year on this planet, my faith started being swayed by talking with these foreign kids that lived a few blocks down. I always found them very interesting, because their parents were so nice, and we often had lunch at their place. The food was good, and nothing like I've ever had before. They were Muslims, as a matter of fact, and inevitably, during one of their visits, I asked about this icon of the prophet "Muhammad". The thing was obviously intended as a religious symbol, since it looked a lot like the Jesus icons we had in our house in two of our rooms, my bedroom and my parent's room, I think. Mine was directly over my bed.

 

Anywho, we spoke of it, I kept my mouth shut as they told me about their faith, and learned a thing or two. When I got home, I spoke with mum and dad about it, asking them why in the hell are these people "different". Aaaaand that's when my faith first took it up the pooper. My family had no idea I had a Muslim friend, let alone more then just one, and when they found out, they grounded me and told me never to speak to the kids again. Why? They never told me, but I think it's obvious for you all by now.

 

I was pretty steamed at my folks. I really liked my friends and their family, they were very nice and civilised people. I think they were Turkish Immigrants, I'm not sure any more. Some time passed, I gradually started to drift away from Catholicism, mostly because deep down I had some respect for my now very distant best friends' beliefs. That's what had me confused, you see. I didn't know what to believe any more. So my faith was in pretty bad shape. It got even worse for it as the years went by, and I was gradually educated with the foundations of Physics, Biology, History, Chemistry and other subjects I liked in Middle school. By age 16, I'd stopped going to church with my folks, with the excuse that I had to study for an exam, or needed to do something else that was somehow important.

 

It was around that time that another nail in my faith's coffin was hammered in place. I got access to the internet. Ah, the glorious world wide web. A place of not only sight and sound, but of mind.

 

Needless to say, the internet took my faith by the posterior and broke the horsewhip on it. It started small, like downloading this encyclopaedia series that I loved as a child, but could never complete my collection of because I couldn't find every issue of it. Years later, came my Youtube obsession. I got hooked immediately, and naturally, on the topic of the origin of the universe, there were plenty of videos defending either side, both Creation and Naturalism.

 

Well, you can probably guess how it went from there. The vast majority of materials I found defending Creation Theory had next to no citations, and conflicted with each other so much, that looking into them made me feel like the biggest dupe on the face of the earth. I experienced one hell of an existential crisis, and no matter where I looked to reaffirm my theistic convictions, all I ever got were the same old worn out arguments that online anti-theists had handily rebutted again and again and again and again in a variety of ways, with citations and reference materials included in almost every damn video, article and blog.

 

And yet still, at that time I somehow still believed that there was a god of some kind. Sure, Creation was a load of antiquated hoo-haa, but at least there HAD to be some sort of spiritual veil beyond the physical, right? And it was only logical that there was a deity of some sort that not only created, but managed it.

 

Some time later, I grew out of that too. Honestly, I at that point I felt like I was making censorkip.gif up. I knew I didn't buy any of it any more. In my head it was, and still is, clear that these belief systems were used as nothing more then control mechanisms and coping aids for the reality of every human being's inevitable fate of being maggot food, or ashes or however your corpse is dealt with once you kick the bucket. Accepting my inevitable absolute mortality was the last step of leaving my existential crisis and moving on with my life.

 

Well, it was not that long ago that I had a long and serious talk with my folks about this, since they were kind of breathing down my neck about not attending Sunday ceremonies with them after I'd graduated from high school and was working to get enough money to buy a property of my own and finally move out.

 

I was honest with them, told them the reality of my situation, and oddly enough, they were understanding. Or, well. Sort of. "It could have been much much worse" is what describes their reactions, I suppose.

 

So, that's my story. I don't judge people who still believe in their deities, because I know where they're coming from. I've experienced indoctrination myself, and I know how difficult it can be to even consider a different reality, given that most faith systems base themselves not only on positive motivation, but negative too.

 

I know I might rustle some people's jimmies by saying this, but...

Fear tactics, the premise of eternal torture, the terrorization of innocent people's minds in order to prevent them from considering a new reality and force them into submission to anything, be that an individual, or an idea. That is something I simply can not and will not respect. That's why even if this "god" character was real, I would not have any respect for him. For he is a tyrant.

Edited by Brotato

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Republicans hate the idea of easy access to birth control even though they know women have the option to get an abortion if they do get pregnant.

 

By the way, conservatives hate tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood even when it’s not allocated to abortions (by law, it can’t).

I'm a Republican and I believe in easy access to birth control. I not only donate to Planned Parenthood but have worked as a volunteer there.

 

If you have any other misconceptions about who Republicans are and what we do, please feel free to check out the Log Cabin Republicans. That's who we are and what we do.

 

Life would be so much better if people spoke for themselves and gave their own opinions without casting dispersions and misinterpreting others.

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I'm a Republican and I believe in easy access to birth control. I not only donate to Planned Parenthood but have worked as a volunteer there.

 

If you have any other misconceptions about who Republicans are and what we do, please feel free to check out the Log Cabin Republicans. That's who we are and what we do.

Media messages and voting records seem to indicate that the majority of Republicans do think the way Alpha1 said. It is nice to know that such are not the entirety of the party.

 

Life would be so much better if people spoke for themselves and gave their own opinions without casting dispersions and misinterpreting others.

This totally applies to how many attack different religious beliefs, not just political views.

 

Fear tactics, the premise of eternal torture, the terrorization of innocent people's minds in order to prevent them from considering a new reality and force them into submission to anything, be that an individual, or an idea. That is something I simply can not and will not respect.

I do not respect it either. Your experiences with that sounds to me more like people trying to shove their ways onto folks who question them instead of faithfully working through the questions. To my mind, a solid faith thinks through tough challenges and comes out with deeper understanding when done, rather than suppressing wonder and curiosity.

 

I believe that God reaches out to each of us in ways the fit our uniqueness. I recognize that spiritual journeys are traveled along different types of paths, based on what we are equipped to navigate. I do not expect someone who has been mistreated by the church to want to attend Sunday worship any more than I expect someone with a hole in their canoe to keep paddling on the river instead of hiking the forest paths (or looking for a ride at a highway) to get to their destination.

@ ubbydubby: I was raised Lutheran too. I'm surprised the teachings were disagreeable, as I learned that Luther taught folks should study, pray, question, and trust God. I do not recall hearing of Luther's writings going on against LGBT, but I confess I did not closely study what Luther wrote. My heart wants to say that it was humans pushing their own conservative social mores that alienated you; I grew up in a liberal area, and did not come away with the same impression you did.

 

@ purplenewt: I think it is a beautiful thing that you found your faith home. smile.gif

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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I consider myself an atheistic Neopagan, which is just a fancy way of saying I don't believe there is a god and I enjoy the general Pagan/Wiccan/Druid practices. For example, the Winter and Summer Solstices are among my favorite days of the year.

 

I will say this, though. Two of my closest friends are Christian, one of them not associating with a particular denomination and the other being a devout Mormon. While the former isn't as open about religion because it rarely comes up, the Mormon (who was away for two years on his mission and only came back this May) is a lot more outspoken about it.

 

When he was on his mission, he and I kept surprisingly close email contact, which apparently rivaled the contact he kept with his own family. I was going through some extremely hard times back then, mostly having to do with relations to my mom and stepfather, and he was always ready with advice from his personal experience. Towards the end, it was very frequently advice or support with a religious connotation, and the only reason I put up with it at first was because we're friends.

 

He understands that my views are different from his and I understand he isn't trying to convert me, but the advice really helped, and some of our views in pure concept were identical. He knows my skepticism with Christianity comes from being exposed to the absolute hypocrisy is every denomination when I was growing up, and if he'd been brought up differently he'd probably agree with me. Even that level of mutual understanding is incredibly helpful and he remains one of my closest friends. smile.gif

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Advent started today. It's actually supposed to be a season of preparation for the second coming of Christ, after which we get to start the Christian calendar year over with a celebration of Christ's birth back in Bethlehem.

 

I suspect the apocalyptic versions of the second coming of Christ are as off-base as I believe the original idea of the Messiah coming as a military hero for the Jews turned out to be. Debate could be made about Pentecost as the second coming, or about some other spiritual-instead-of-physical version. Perhaps the second coming is for each individual at their death.

 

Whatever the 2nd coming may look like, I do like Advent as a time to think about what suddenly having God more obviously in charge of everything might be like - particularly wondering what that might mean for me and how I might react. Some of the predictions of the rich doing without while the poor finally get satisfaction make me wonder where I stand, given the millions of people in the world with less than I have (I think that simply because I live and work in a peaceful, industrialized country, with no lack of food, clothing, or shelter). No wonder a theme of giving developed for this time of year, eh?

 

Anyway, whatever you celebrate, I wish you a happy holiday season!

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I thought I'd drop in today to mention something somewhat humorous.

A few days ago, a topic changed towards religion during some light chatting during coffee break. I kept my quiet since my co-workers were religious and were discussing something I personally absolutely despise, bible camps, and which ones they should send their children to. I said nothing of my bone to pick with those wretched establishments, but I suppose they must have noticed me suddenly being very quiet.

 

Because I've never talked about religion with them, as a general rule of mine to avoid the topic, they inquired about my faith, or lack there of. Or rather, the conversation lead up from the topic of bible camps, to questioning my beliefs.

 

When I was asked, "Do you believe in god?" I decided for whatever reason to retort with the counter-question a comedian had once posed to sed' hypothetical inquiry. "Which god? Zeus? Odin? Anubis? Allah? Chronos? (and a bunch of other gods I can't recall right now, all except the one of the bible.)".

 

Needless to say, they stopped asking me and the conversation topic was changed without any ill consequence for myself as of yet. In addition to which, the looks on their faces were priceless. PRICELESS!

 

I'm sorry... it was funny and I figured I'd share. I'd have taken a picture but then I'd have gotten scolded by the manager.

 

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Why can't I quote all of your posts? First off, Kiryu, I am the same way, being atheist but celebrating Wiccan holidays. Secondly, Awdz, I got an Advent chocolate calendar. Who says 25 year olds don't get chocolate? Third, Brotato, that was AWESOME. I wish I could have been there xd.png

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Awdz, I got an Advent chocolate calendar. Who says 25 year olds don't get chocolate?

I certainly never said 25 year olds don't get chocolate. My kids know never to come between me and my chocolate, so have at yours! :-)

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I am atheist that is open to listening about other peoples religion, my mothers family is in fact Mormon, and talking to them and learning their religion is just fascinating.

also I really dislike religious people who "force" you into talking to them about their religion and how theirs is the greatest, as much I respect some religions I just hate when I feel forced into talking about it, and also, if you are one of those people who go around the block or something talking about your religion, you are not forcing it, and also, I like making conversation with those people :3

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When I was asked, "Do you believe in god?" I decided for whatever reason to retort with the counter-question a comedian had once posed to sed' hypothetical inquiry. "Which god? Zeus? Odin? Anubis? Allah? Chronos? (and a bunch of other gods I can't recall right now, all except the one of the bible.)".

Reminds me of what a Buddhist I know answered when a couple of door-by-door people decided to rather persistently tell him how only their religion will get God in his heart: "I have a god in my heart. I ave many gods in me. There is one in my throat, too."

(There is one meditation excercise he did which involves "making" gods in one's body; Buddhists don't worship deities.)

 

I sometimes like asking people what they believe and letting me tell how their beliefs work. It can be interesting. Not so fond of people who force their beliefs onto others, though.

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I think a lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about Satanism.. I'm a Christian and I don't "hate" Satanists. And contrary to popular belief, Christianity is not Mormonism.

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I think a lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about Satanism.. I'm a Christian and I don't "hate" Satanists. And contrary to popular belief, Christianity is not Mormonism.

Christianity is not necessarily Mormonism but Mormonism is definitely Christianity. Just like a rectangle is not necessarily a square but a square is definitely a rectangle. Mormons are indeed Christians; the full name of their church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", after all~ smile.gif

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Christianity is not necessarily Mormonism but Mormonism is definitely Christianity. Just like a rectangle is not necessarily a square but a square is definitely a rectangle. Mormons are indeed Christians; the full name of their church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", after all~ smile.gif

I'm kind of curious how Mormons see other Christians, as I cannot reconcile the teachings of Joseph Smith & Brigham Young with much of what Jesus taught. For that reason, I have a hard time calling those who believe the BOM is true as Christians.

 

That said, I do respect the culture of clean living with an emphasis on family values. However, anyone can live that way without claiming Christ as Lord.

 

My beliefs which I think are at odds with the Mormon teachings:

- God is the paradox of always having been and always will be; all else came from God. There is no father of God.

- God is not a physical body, though God came to earth in human form (Jesus) to teach us how to live by demonstration from birth to death and beyond. God also is with us as the Holy Spirit. Essentially, three aspects (Creator, Redeemer, Spiritual Guide), one God.

- Jesus is God, not merely a created being. Lucifer was created.

- Humans are creations of God, and cannot become God themselves. There is only one ultimate "I am"; anything less, is not God.

- I do not hold to the idea of "levels" of heaven, for I believe God loves all children equally. Salvation is a gift from God for all who turn to reconcile with God.

- Rituals are useful for helping us to focus on God; God does not need them. They are for our benefit in life, to strengthen the Christian community. After death, we are not exactly part of the living community anymore and so the rituals do not need to be done on our behalf.

- Jesus taught that men and women are equally redeemable; He did not teach any limitations of heavenly standing because of one's sex in life (vs. Melchizedek priesthood requirement of being male).

- Dismissing the authority of other churches seems very self-serving, especially when lack of those other churches would have meant no one knowing about Christ...including Joseph Smith.

- Jesus's ministry was done in the open. There were no hidden books. Jesus used the existing scriptures from which to teach, and humans recorded His teachings.

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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Culturally I'm Mormon (my heritage goes all the way back to the founding of the Church, I'm a direct descendant of Orson Hyde) as my parents raised me into it. I love the culture, but politically it has done some things that make me (as a trans and pansexual person) pretty uncomfortable. I haven't ever really believed what the church has taught, though I encourage people to look into it as being a part of the community really brought some good into my life.

 

I actually am still figuring out my spiritual beliefs. I believe in past lives, having recovered some memories of my own. I suppose the technical term is otherkin, but that label has some serious negative implications on the internet (as in, I've recieved death threats from other websites). Unfortunately there's really no other word to describe it, since I have also identified some of my kintypes... :/

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Culturally I'm a far-right Tea Party Christian, and I can see how some of those beliefs might help other people--the rigid structure, the surety or not having to question anything--but it doesn't work for me.

 

I ask 'why' too much. At this point I'm an agnostic pagan. I used to follow Loki as my patron, but in the last few weeks I got probably as close of a "you don't need me anymore, move on, kiddo" as I'll ever get. So right now I'm just kind of floating around spiritually and going to do some experimenting when I'm ready. For now though I think I'm content just kind of being and focusing my attention on my personal needs and how I can better align myself with the natural world.

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I'm actually atheist (Though I do believe in taking care of the 'spirit' in that I do things such as meditation, etc., and I believe in belief, if that makes any sense at all...). I suppose by some definitions, I might border on agnostic. However, religion absolutely fascinates me. I grew up Southern Baptist, which was definitely not a good fit for my beliefs.

 

As others have mentioned, I hate when people try to force religion on another. I think that it is a deeply personal thing, and that everyone should be allowed to choose what works best for them. That is the wonderful thing about humans; we can have so much individuality and still be capable of great good, so long as we strive for it.

 

Whatever religion a person is, I generally respect them so long as they are true to it. What bothers me is people who profess a religion and act completely against it. Christians who go out and spread hate rather than love, for example, really bother me. True, genuine Christians hold my deep respect. My mum is a great example. She does not agree with people being homosexual, but she understands that it is not her place to judge. Her coworkers (lesbian) got married, and she got them a gift, attended the wedding, and genuinely expressed happiness for them. That sort of loving attitude is what converts people, not enforced conversion.

Edited by harlequinraven

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I'm kind of curious how Mormons see other Christians, as I cannot reconcile the teachings of Joseph Smith & Brigham Young with much of what Jesus taught.  For that reason, I have a hard time calling those who believe the BOM is true as Christians.

 

That said, I do respect the culture of clean living with an emphasis on family values. However, anyone can live that way without claiming Christ as Lord.

 

My beliefs which I think are at odds with the Mormon teachings:

- God is the paradox of always having been and always will be; all else came from God.  There is no father of God.

- God is not a physical body, though God came to earth in human form (Jesus) to teach us how to live by demonstration from birth to death and beyond. God also is with us as the Holy Spirit.  Essentially, three aspects (Creator, Redeemer, Spiritual Guide), one God.

- Jesus is God, not merely a created being. Lucifer was created.

- Humans are creations of God, and cannot become God themselves. There is only one ultimate "I am"; anything less, is not God.

- I do not hold to the idea of "levels" of heaven, for I believe God loves all children equally. Salvation is a gift from God for all who turn to reconcile with God. 

- Rituals are useful for helping us to focus on God; God does not need them. They are for our benefit in life, to strengthen the Christian community. After death, we are not exactly part of the living community anymore and so the rituals do not need to be done on our behalf.

- Jesus taught that men and women are equally redeemable; He did not teach any limitations of heavenly standing because of one's sex in life (vs. Melchizedek priesthood requirement of being male). 

- Dismissing the authority of other churches seems very self-serving, especially when lack of those other churches would have meant no one knowing about Christ...including Joseph Smith.

- Jesus's ministry was done in the open.  There were no hidden books.  Jesus used the existing scriptures from which to teach, and humans recorded His teachings.

In my opinion, if you believe in Christ and his teachings, then you're a Christian. There are a lot of different types of Christianity - Catholic, Baptist, Protestant, Mormon, etc., and not all of them agree with each other on everything; or some cases, not much at all. That doesn't make any of them any less Christian, though. Mormons believe they are Christian, which makes them Christian in my eyes. Mormons believe that other Christians have much of the truth and are doing good as best they can, but that we have the "whole truth".

 

Before I address your points to further the discussion, I should probably state my own personal beliefs. I was born and raised Mormon, and I went along with those beliefs for a long time. However, recently, I have begun to doubt the Mormon faith (I don't feel comfortable enough to get into the details, though). I'm still very uncertain in my faith, though I still consider myself a Christian, if not maybe a Mormon. However, regardless of my own personal beliefs, I'm not old enough to make my own decisions about my activity in the church, as I am still under my parents roof and will be until I graduate high school, and they will make me to keep going to church. As such I am trying to regain my own testimony and find peace with the church because it is not something I will be able to leave any time soon, if at all. Additionally, I think that the Mormon church has a lot of good doctrine. What frustrates me the most is the fact that the church is run by people, and thus is imperfect. That I don't have a problem with by itself, but since we refuse to acknowledge this imperfection and to strive to become better, we are stuck as we are.

 

Now onto your points! I think the reason we have differing beliefs comes from both personal and doctrinal interpretations of various religious texts, as well as whatever we have felt from God through prayer or another method, and of course what our local religious leaders have taught. Another big thing about Mormonism is that we believe in continuing revelation that has come in the latter days, which we also take as scripture alongside the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Here I'm just stating what we do and do not believe, if you already know this already, I apologize - you seem to know quite a lot about us already! But it might benefit someone else, you never know.

 

- I don't ever recall being taught that God had a father Himself; if you have, it was probably speculation. What I've heard on this subject is pretty much "We don't know, it will become clear in time".

- That is true, we do not believe in the Trinity, but rather in a Godhead that is three separate beings united in one purpose.

- This falls under the above category as well. We do believe that Lucifer was created, but as another one of God's children who fell away into darkness.

- Here we also have a difference of beliefs. Mormonism teaches that if we are cleansed of sin through the atonement and achieve the highest glory after the second coming of Christ, we can be made like gods ourselves.

- Once again we do not believe this in quite the same way. We also believe that God loves each of his children equally, but alongside that we believe that no unclean thing can live in the presence of God, and thus we must be separated into different levels of glory. With the exception of "outer darkness" which is really only for Lucifer and his original followers, everyone will be in a level of glory. And along with salvation or grace, we believe that we can be saved by grace but only by doing all we can, not simply calling ourselves Christian and a disciple of Christ.

- By rituals I assume you mean baptism, specifically baptism for the dead. We believe that to reach the highest level of glory in the kingdom of god, one must be baptized and made clean. Since dead people who did not receive the gospel in their life cannot be baptized, we believe we must do it for them posthumously as proxies. Whether they accept the ordinance done on their behalf is up to them.

- This is actually an issue I have had with the doctrine myself. I do believe in the equality of the sexes and the concept that only men can receive the priesthood rubs me the wrong way. The people who I have talked to about this issue, however, justify it by saying that all can receive the blessings of the priesthood, just not the actual power itself. This still seems sexist to me, though, and added to the issues I mentioned above with the church claiming to be perfect but not actually being so. I think you might be partially misunderstanding this one, though - not having the priesthood, if you are a woman, will not stop you from achieving the highest degree of glory in the kingdom of God.

- I do not know what you mean by "dismissing the authority of other churches". If you mean that we think that we have the correct beliefs and not the other churches, well, you can say the same for pretty much every church. If you mean that we dismiss them as completely incorrect, that's not true to my knowledge...we believe they have some of the truth, just not as much as we have.

- The Book of Mormon is not exactly a hidden book. Anyone can read it; I'm sure there are some Mormons in your area who would love to give one to you. We believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God to His disciples in the Americas, just that it was not discovered and translated until much after the Bible was.

 

If you have any other questions or thoughts to share, feel free to do so! This is a very thought-provoking discussion and I'm glad to be having it.

 

holy cow this was longer than I thought it would be

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I actually am still figuring out my spiritual beliefs. I believe in past lives, having recovered some memories of my own. I suppose the technical term is otherkin, but that label has some serious negative implications on the internet (as in, I've recieved death threats from other websites). Unfortunately there's really no other word to describe it, since I have also identified some of my kintypes... :/

Welcome to the internet my friend.

It is the sad sad state of things, that there are still people out there willing to kill or even threaten to kill for whatever hokum it is they believe in.

I've experienced it myself as well, but mostly from christian fundies back in my dark ages when I was a christian teen and had the bad habit of asking too many questions. Skepticism didn't win me any answers from the people I once regarded as decent.

Ultimately that's what helped kill off my faith the most.

These days I've recently been following my own religion.

"Dontgiveadamnism".

 

Whenever someone asks me about my faith, I tell them I'm an "Idontgiveadamnist".

I just want to live my life, without having some mystical mumbo jumbo about what could happen after I kick the bucket shoved down my throat. And to those who do try doing that to me, I present with my religion's designated peace sign: The highway salute.

I usually follow it up with our slogan: "Bite me." or something more vulgar depending on how hard they've been shoving their faith into my face.

 

But in all seriousness, I guess you can call me an agnostic atheist.

Edited by Brotato

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Wow this topic is sooo interesting and awesome ^^ i am wiccan my self tho i am in learning process and i dont mind learning other people beliefs ^^

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In my opinion, if you believe in Christ and his teachings, then you're a Christian. There are a lot of different types of Christianity - Catholic, Baptist, Protestant, Mormon, etc., and not all of them agree with each other on everything; or some cases, not much at all. That doesn't make any of them any less Christian, though. Mormons believe they are Christian, which makes them Christian in my eyes. Mormons believe that other Christians have much of the truth and are doing good as best they can, but that we have the "whole truth".

 

Before I address your points to further the discussion, I should probably state my own personal beliefs. I was born and raised Mormon, and I went along with those beliefs for a long time. However, recently, I have begun to doubt the Mormon faith (I don't feel comfortable enough to get into the details, though). I'm still very uncertain in my faith, though I still consider myself a Christian, if not maybe a Mormon. However, regardless of my own personal beliefs, I'm not old enough to make my own decisions about my activity in the church, as I am still under my parents roof and will be until I graduate high school, and they will make me to keep going to church. As such I am trying to regain my own testimony and find peace with the church because it is not something I will be able to leave any time soon, if at all. Additionally, I think that the Mormon church has a lot of good doctrine. What frustrates me the most is the fact that the church is run by people, and thus is imperfect. That I don't have a problem with by itself, but since we refuse to acknowledge this imperfection and to strive to become better, we are stuck as we are.

 

Now onto your points! I think the reason we have differing beliefs comes from both personal and doctrinal interpretations of various religious texts, as well as whatever we have felt from God through prayer or another method, and of course what our local religious leaders have taught. Another big thing about Mormonism is that we believe in continuing revelation that has come in the latter days, which we also take as scripture alongside the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Here I'm just stating what we do and do not believe, if you already know this already, I apologize - you seem to know quite a lot about us already! But it might benefit someone else, you never know.

*chuckles* Yeah, all churches are the only ones who have it "right".

Thank you for taking the time to speak to my post.

 

- I don't ever recall being taught that God had a father Himself; if you have, it was probably speculation. What I've heard on this subject is pretty much "We don't know, it will become clear in time".

The paradox/no father belief of mine seems at odds with the Mormon concept of the Father having a perfect physical body as well as Jesus having one. The Mormon belief does not fit with my understanding of the triune God.

 

- Once again we do not believe this in quite the same way. We also believe that God loves each of his children equally, but alongside that we believe that no unclean thing can live in the presence of God, and thus we must be separated into different levels of glory. With the exception of "outer darkness" which is really only for Lucifer and his original followers, everyone will be in a level of glory. And along with salvation or grace, we believe that we can be saved by grace but only by doing all we can, not simply calling ourselves Christian and a disciple of Christ.

I believe that only God can truly cleanse our souls, and God does not do it only part-way. We do need to repent (ask for forgiveness, make amends if we can, and try not to sin again) and we often backtrack and need to repent again, but when God forgives, our redemption is complete.

 

- By rituals I assume you mean baptism, specifically baptism for the dead. We believe that to reach the highest level of glory in the kingdom of god, one must be baptized and made clean. Since dead people who did not receive the gospel in their life cannot be baptized, we believe we must do it for them posthumously as proxies. Whether they accept the ordinance done on their behalf is up to them.

God can cleanse the soul of anyone whether or not they are/were baptised; the ritual is for the living community. If the baptism for the dead brings you, the living, closer to God, then I guess there can be some good out of it. I just do not see any actual benefit to the dead with it and do not like the way some people have been driven further away from God by those insistent about doing it against opposition.

 

- This is actually an issue I have had with the doctrine myself. I do believe in the equality of the sexes and the concept that only men can receive the priesthood rubs me the wrong way. The people who I have talked to about this issue, however, justify it by saying that all can receive the blessings of the priesthood, just not the actual power itself. This still seems sexist to me, though, and added to the issues I mentioned above with the church claiming to be perfect but not actually being so. I think you might be partially misunderstanding this one, though - not having the priesthood, if you are a woman, will not stop you from achieving the highest degree of glory in the kingdom of God.

As far as I can tell, being a woman will prevent you from getting there if you do not submit to the right man. A woman cannot get there independently of a man. I believe God created man & woman as partners, equals. Only after sinning was a woman made subservient. Jesus came to restore us to our created perfection - equals again. And as I indicated above, God does not restore us only part-way.

 

- I do not know what you mean by "dismissing the authority of other churches". If you mean that we think that we have the correct beliefs and not the other churches, well, you can say the same for pretty much every church. If you mean that we dismiss them as completely incorrect, that's not true to my knowledge...we believe they have some of the truth, just not as much as we have.

This came from the Wikipedia, which may not be accurate, but reflects what I've heard: "Mormons believe the Catholic line of succession is invalid because of a Great Apostasy that occurred soon after era of the apostles. The line of succession was restored through Joseph Smith when biblical prophets and apostles appeared to him and ordained him through the laying on of hands with lost priesthood authority. Thus, Mormons believe that non-Mormon clergy have no heavenly authority and that sacraments performed by clergy of other faiths are of no effect in the eyes of God."

 

Does that mean that Mormons should be baptizing everyone through the ages, else most of humanity is lost?

 

- The Book of Mormon is not exactly a hidden book. Anyone can read it; I'm sure there are some Mormons in your area who would love to give one to you. We believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God to His disciples in the Americas, just that it was not discovered and translated until much after the Bible was.

I'm alluding to the fact that the gold plates were always kept hidden; only the closest circle to Joseph Smith ever claimed to have seen them. Jesus was very open with source material.

 

If you have any other questions or thoughts to share, feel free to do so! This is a very thought-provoking discussion and I'm glad to be having it.

I found these stated on another site as Mormon beliefs. Are they really? They are totally at odds with what I understand of God.

What does Mormonism Teach?  Well, here are some of the basics, plain and simple.

1.God came from another planet

2.God is a man with a body of flesh and bones

3.There is a mother goddess

4.God and his goddess wife are married

5.You can become gods

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I personally think of God/Gods as one massive entiny sytem witch created us and every one of us as independent as we are have our right to understand it as we wish eather it is trinity god of crhitianity or god pyramid of greeks or egyptians in the end it all comes to 1 entiny who created us and speaks to us time to time wheather we understand it correctly or use it to do our own thing is up to our level of spirituality to connect to God you have chosen cause there are as manny truths as are people so its bound to be understood diferently by every being

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Whenever someone asks me about my faith, I tell them I'm an "Idontgiveadamnist".

I just want to live my life, without having some mystical mumbo jumbo about what could happen after I kick the bucket shoved down my throat. And to those who do try doing that to me, I present with my religion's designated peace sign: The highway salute.

I usually follow it up with our slogan: "Bite me." or something more vulgar depending on how hard they've been shoving their faith into my face.

 

I might start doing this too biggrin.gif you had me laughing at the 'designated peace sign'

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The paradox/no father belief of mine seems at odds with the Mormon concept of the Father having a perfect physical body as well as Jesus having one.  The Mormon belief does not fit with my understanding of the triune God.

Yes, we do believe that God has a physical body as well as Jesus. I see where you're coming from about God having a father as well - I'm kind of confused about this myself, now that I think about it! I'll ask one of my church leaders what the official church stance on this is.

 

I believe that only God can truly cleanse our souls, and God does not do it only part-way. We do need to repent (ask for forgiveness, make amends if we can, and try not to sin again) and we often backtrack and need to repent again, but when God forgives, our redemption is complete.

Yes...we believe this as well. The levels of glory thing is mostly dependent on how much we are willing to repent of. We believe that God can and will restore us completely, but only as completely as we ourselves allow. We can't be forgiven if we don't repent, and we can't be completely forgiven if we don't completely repent.

 

God can cleanse the soul of anyone whether or not they are/were baptised; the ritual is for the living community. If the baptism for the dead brings you, the living, closer to God, then I guess there can be some good out of it.  I just do not see any actual benefit to the dead with it and do not like the way some people have been driven further away from God by those insistent about doing it against opposition.

Well, that's what we believe. Whether or not you agree with it and believe it as well is up to you.

 

As far as I can tell, being a woman will prevent you from getting there if you do not submit to the right man.  A woman cannot get there independently of a man.  I believe God created man & woman as partners, equals.  Only after sinning was a woman made subservient.  Jesus came to restore us to our created perfection - equals again.  And as I indicated above, God does not restore us only part-way.

No. A woman can get to heaven without "submitting" to a man. That has nothing to do with it. Since a woman cannot have the priesthood, that's not a factor in salvation.

 

This came from the Wikipedia, which may not be accurate, but reflects what I've heard:  "Mormons believe the Catholic line of succession is invalid because of a Great Apostasy that occurred soon after era of the apostles. The line of succession was restored through Joseph Smith when biblical prophets and apostles appeared to him and ordained him through the laying on of hands with lost priesthood authority. Thus, Mormons believe that non-Mormon clergy have no heavenly authority and that sacraments performed by clergy of other faiths are of no effect in the eyes of God."

 

Does that mean that Mormons should be baptizing everyone through the ages, else most of humanity is lost?

Well...yes. If that's what you mean by dismissing the authority of other churches, that we don't recognize their ordinances, then yes, I suppose we do.

Yes, we are trying to baptize everyone. I think we realize we won't be able to on our own and probably not before the Second Coming of Christ, but we believe everyone who accepts our gospel will eventually be baptized.

 

I'm alluding to the fact that the gold plates were always kept hidden; only the closest circle to Joseph Smith ever claimed to have seen them.  Jesus was very open with source material.

Yes, that's right. If that is too secretive for you to believe their credulity, then that's your judgement and you don't believe it.

 

I found these stated on another site as Mormon beliefs. Are they really? They are totally at odds with what I understand of God.

Yeah, I wouldn't count that as a completely credible source of the Mormon faith. It's in opposition to the church, so should be taken with a grain of salt, and while they do cite their sources, they interpreted the doctrine we teach differently in some cases. If you want a site that is officially approved by our church, you should try mormon.org, which is nonmember friendly.

 

1.God came from another planet

The source I saw for this on that website was not from official doctrine, but from the writings of Joseph Smith. That was his interpretation as a mortal man, his opinion, rather than scripture. The teachings of the prophets were sometimes later proved to be incorrect, because it's not all from God, and it's mixed with their opinion. But I think this falls under the point of God having a father of His own, so I'm not quite sure. I'll tell you after I get an answer.

 

2.God is a man with a body of flesh and bones

Yes, we do believe God has a body of flesh and bones.

 

3.There is a mother goddess

I'm not sure if this is scripture-canon, but it is a common belief amongst members.

 

4.God and his goddess wife are married

If God has a wife, then they are certainly married.

 

5.You can become gods

"Becoming" gods is kind of a stretch. We believe that if we are faithful and do everything we're supposed to, making it to the highest degree of glory, we will be able to receive all of the blessings God has to give us. This is probably where that idea comes from.

 

 

In the end, what you believe and what Mormons believe is not going to be completely the same. But my understanding of the word "Christian" is not "one who belongs to the one and only perfect church of Christ" but "one who believes and follows Christ", which can be a Catholic, a Mormon, Baptist, etc, or even a nondenominational Christian, like someone who believes and follows Christ but doesn't go to any particular church. So calling us not Christians isn't very accurate.

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