18 August, 2009

Discussion with Joshsy about the similarity of the Mormon doctrine of Godhood to orthodox Christian teaching

This exchange is the result of the Mormon “joshsy” equivocating the Mormon Doctrine of the Godhood to Catholic teaching

(joshsy) I know a great deal more about your church than you realize and if you re-read what I wrote you'll notice that I never criticized your church at all.

(Cristoiglesia) No, but you did equivocate your Godhood Doctrine to Catholic teaching. There is no similarity between Catholic teaching and Mormon teaching. The Catholic Church is monotheistic while the Mormon teaching is henotheistic. We worship one God and believe in only one God as the creator of all things where Mormons believe in a limitless number of Gods and kingdoms. You teach that humans and God are of one substance and that God started as a man and evolved into a God. You teach that this should be the aspiration of all men to create and populate their own kingdom. There is no such teaching in the Catholic Church and that is where you erred greatly in suggesting that we had similar beliefs.

(joshsy)Contrary to what you assume I have a great deal of respect for your religion and often defend it.

(Cristoiglesia) I have learned in apologetics not to assume anything. But, thank you for any defense of the Church that you may have made. But this is very strange for a member of a sect that teaches that they replaced Christ’s Church when it went into apostasy. Why would you defend what your leadership calls the apostate Church? I guess this sort of teaching came from the Campbellite origin of Mormon teaching where all the “restorationist” sects derived like your own. Jesus said that His Church would endure for all times and would never fall into apostasy. Your entire veracity rests on the presumption that it did. Such teaching certainly depicts Jesus at best an incompetent and at worst a liar when He taught about His Church. I guess your respect for the Catholic Church is in spite of your sects teaching.

(joshsy) While I don't have my copy of the catechisms handy and some items are hard to translate since I studied them in Italian rather than English, so my apologies that I can't state the specific section in which it speaks of this (I do remember it was around page 650 of my 880 page book).

(Cristoiglesia) I am quite familiar with the catechism and I cannot even imagine what you can be referring to when you say that your doctrine of Godhood is similar to any Catholic teaching. Please make an effort to find it. There is probably an Italian version online.

(joshsy) John 17 culminates with the eloquent potential "that they may be one in me as I am one in thee".

(Cristoiglesia) I believe that you are referring to Jesus’ plea to the father for unity among the brethren and compared it to the unity between Him and the Father. We are to be one body in His Church to be in His will. He was talking about the familial relationship that we the created have with the creator and with each other in faith.

Joh 17:21 That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them: that, they may be one, as we also are one.

How does this relate to the Godhood doctrine and where do you see the similarity?

(joshsy) To the extent that the Catholic church accepts the view of the trinity defined as the athanasian view while we follow the doctrine of the Godhead (which the majority of Protestants now believe as well however they keep with the term trinity yet have departed from it's mid historical definition) - to that extent we don't believe the same since our notion of God is slightly different. However it's probably close than you think!

(Cristoiglesia) Not only do I disagree that the orthodox Christian view of God being “slightly” different but instead contend that it is totally different from any Christian view I have ever studied. The Mormons are alone in their unlimited number of God’s among all religions and that we can evolve into becoming a god ourselves. I do not see any similarity between the Mormon view and orthodox Christian teaching and understanding. Jesus nor the apostles ever taught anything approaching the Mormon doctrine. I do not know of any Protestant teaching similar to the Mormon teaching of Godhood. You say that Trinitarian Protestants have departed from the orthodox teaching of the Trinity and I would like to know who you are speaking of and what their beliefs are exactly. I contend that they are not even close to Mormon teaching. Your notion of god/gods is profoundly different than orthodox Christian teaching.

(Joshsy) Perhaps the issue is what I alluded to in my comment - do you know what I believe? The vast majority of people believe some warped version of our doctrine as fact and thus are offended when they hear that they believe as we do.

(Cristoiglesia) I do believe I know what you teach as I have read all of the major Mormon writings as well as the writings of your founders. I did my thesis on the reason behind the appeal and growth of the Mormon Church. I am willing to listen as I do not want to bear false witness against anyone. I do not believe that you can support any similarities between the Catholic Church and the Mormon sect when it comes to the doctrine of Godhood.
God bless

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

1 comment:

  1. I do love your "defense" of the Roman Catholic Church, Father Joseph. As usual, it is well thought out and very educated, and it's obvious by "joshsy" 's last statement that you have exposed his attempt to identify with the only valid Christian faith when no such identification is possible. God Bless you, Father Joseph.