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This page should serve as the definitive debating arena to determine what groups, denominations, persons, or otherwise are defined as Christians, for the purposes of determining the CPOV. Also, remember Matthew 7:1, "Do not judge others, lest ye be judged...." so everyone, let's try not to judge people, we can say whether or not someone's theology would make them a non-Christian or not without judging them about things. Remember, even the most adament of Satanists could be a Christian who has been taken over by anti-Christ nanoprobes or something.

Proposed Editorial Guidelines for CPOVEdit

Wikipedia fails the Christian standard with their three basic rules of: neutral point of view, no original research, and citations needed.

First, the Biblical standard teaches me that the truthful point of view (CPOV) can be seen only by allowing & including full description and rebuttals of all points of view, especially by allowing heresy, and allowing the rebuking of heresy.

1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Second, Daniel says that knowledge is increasing, thus new & original research must be allowed.

Daniel 12:4 "...many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

Third, anything reasonable must be allowed. A person ought to be able to cite scripture, math, logic, reason, tradition, consensus, a persecuted minority of one, or evena "gut feeling" or "spiritual inclination" in order to back up a point. Citations are not needed when pointing out self evident truths, or when stating 2 + 2 = 4. Citations are unhelpful if someone is citing an author who is lying, and when cross examinations are not allowed to be published.

These three rules can be summed up as 1. Allow all points of view, including heresy, and the rebuke of heresy. 2. Allow new & original research. 3. Allow anything reasonable.

In other words, "allow, allow, allow".

Please cite your agreement or disagreement with these proposed guidelines, and state your username. --Jason Hommel, bibleprophesy.org Jason Hommel 21:48, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I support what you're proposing, Jason. And would like to to suggest the development of a "five pillars" counterpart here at Christianity Wikia. I think it's reasonable to state that "we" are representing "The Church" as a body of believers gathered here on the Internet. Since the Internet is a new and open vehicle for massive Human communication, I think it's important not to make assumtions or jump to conclusions about what Jesus thinks of all this and how the Holy Ghost may direct our progress "out here", if indeed either of them or the Father approve of us meeting this way.
I don't think Jesus, who we all should know, resides and ministers from the tabernacle in Heaven would mind if we ask each other a few questions:
  • Is the Internet part of Heaven?
  • Will Jesus log in and type into these pages?
  • How do we know what God's will is, particularly concerning this web space?
  • Who are we to stake a claim on the Internet as a definitive group representing "Christianity"?
  • many other questions

Thoughts? CQ 20:07, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Proposed solution to the question of what is the "Christian Point of View".Edit

The neutral point of view of wikipedia has been successful, because editors end up embracing truth: They calmly, and neutrally say, "this group of X number of people believes Y, and another smaller group believes Z.". This works, because it is truthful, and nobody can really debate a statement like that; although it may be updated if the numbers in the group change.

It seems to me that wikipedia is successful, because it is open to all, and the least restrictive on speech so far. And it also allows open collaberation with the most numbers of editors, which causes growth, and more users and more readers.

The problem with neutrality is when it fails to allow truth, because knowlege of mankind is increasing. New truths, increased knowledge, is sometimes disallowed in the neutral point of view/no original research theme of wikipedia.

It seems to me that Christians are unsuccessful when they attempt to ban people or statements that they don't like. Inquisitions and prohibitions don't work.

The Christian Point of View, ought to be more open, and more inclusive, not more restrictive.

The prophets were always persecuted by the religious leaders of the day, and banning speech is like to killing the prophets. God said to let the tares grow along with the wheat, otherwise, you will pull up the wheat, too. Tares, or false Chrisitans, even Satanic doctrine, must be allowed to have its say, otherwise, you will rip out truth along with it.

There must be false prophets among the people--in Christianity Wiki.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Why must heresies be allowed?

1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Because when the truth, and the false stand next to each other, truth seekers will be able to see clearly which is the truth.

Thus, the Christian point of view ought to be expressed rather simply as a "truth seeking point of view" (including that which is false, for the purpose of refuting it). The CPOV ought to be more inclusive of wrong views being able to be expressed, for the exact reason of being able to refute them, which is the process of truth seeking.

False teachers ought to be silenced not through banning, but through the process of inquiry, discussion, and proper refutations and rebukes, so that whey they have nothing left to say, it is self evident.

--Jason Hommel bibleprophesy.org/heretics.htm

I support open discussion on the one hand, but on the other hand, Wikipedia is there for any ideas that are excluded here. This is for Christian ideas - all Christian ideas, not just those that we agree with. It is not for all ideas, however, which seems to be your indication. --BenMcLean 17:00, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
BenMcLean, I appreciate that you believe that wikipedia is open to all ideas that are excluded here. But that is simply not the case. Wikipedia excludes original research, and excludes truth by its nature of presenting only a neutral point of view.
What you seem to fail to appreciate, is that in a discussion of what a certain scripture may really say or mean, typically 99.99% of the discussion will be conducted by people who care! Therefore, there is no need to set up a standard regarding who to ban. The community will be automatically removing material that is crass, gross, non-helpful vandalism, all on it's own. Look how wikipedia operates. Look at the artilcle on "money", and see how many additions by vandalism get removed regularly.
What is dangerous, is the attempt to ban commentary that is somehow not fitting with the (false, wrongheaded & immature) Christian view on what is Christian. The Bible is 100% clear that there are many immature Christians in the world, mostly those who were receiving the Epistles, and who were called foolish, etc.
What you fail to appreciate is that if you attempt to pull up the tares, you will pull out the wheat. Why can you not grasp this Bible principle and teaching? Look at this wiki. Look how barren it is. Why should I contribute if there is a policy in place that will simply destroy my work based on arbitrary sets of unknowable rules, and allows and encourages fools to rip out anything that they don't like because it does not conform to their limited and foolish and immature expectations of what a Christian is?
Inquisitions and prohibitions do not work. Free speech works. Why do you not see this?
The community will only be able to remove innappropriate material if site policy backs them up. Otherwise, it just gets put back, and there is no grounds for keeping innappropriate material off the site. --BenMcLean 17:49, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The sidesEdit

There probably are some. It might be useful to list them before we begin this so we all know where we stand.

The big one is that some conservative Trinitarians do not accept Nontrinitarians as true Christians. In some cases, the inverse is also true. Archola 22:43, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, the problem is the very word "trinity", because its not in the Bible, can be redefined as much as people want, so I suppose a "non-trinitarian" could understand and admit compleatly that Jesus is God, God is God, and the Holy spirit is God without actually calling it a "trinity". Homestarmy 03:04, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

A proposed first issueEdit

I think we might as well start with the big things, I (Homestarmy) propose that any and all groups or persons who claim that Jesus is not God or another god besides God will be considered for the purposes of this knowladge base as non-Christians, and their perspectives thereof shall be rendered invalid in all CPOV gaining endeavours. /discuss.

We already have a Jehovah's Witness editor who would disagree with you. Remember what nsandwhich said: we are not anti-Jehovah's Witnesses.
The real issue here is that Homestarmy's definition focuses on correct doctrine (orthodoxy). This could quickly disintegrate into an argument between various Christian denominations. A broader definition of "Christian" is that they believe that Jesus was sent by God, and have some concept of Jesus as Christ. Will this work? Archola 22:47, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I propose that we are also not anti-Christian either :/. if the doctrine is correct, then how is this an incorrect assertion? That editor already said that CARM was wrong in his/her opinion, and CARM says that Jehovah's witnesses do not believe Jesus was God, so how do we know what that editor even believes in the first place? Besides, the broader we go, the more we get into people who certainly are not Christians, Islam believes Jesus was sent by God, and also believe him to be the "Messiah" (They have a different definition), I think the same goes for Bah'ai, Gnosticism is also covered by that, the list goes on and on, and is precisely why I feel my proposel is quite necessary to the definition of Christianity. Homestarmy 03:02, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, Muslims and Bahai-ists don't even call themselves Christians. Modern Gnostics don't, either, although the term is used of historical Gnostics. I think everyone who identifies as Christian today at least accepts the Gospels, the epistles of Paul, and the works of John (Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Revelations). This is also known as Pauline Christianity. I think all Christians these days are Pauline Christians, it's just that different denominations interpret the texts differently. Archola 03:15, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
And there's the other thing, how do we treat liberal christians, that is to say, people who claim to be christians yet will simply ignore or groosly bend scripture out to shape to justify their own wants and needs? For instance, lets say I wanted the Bible not to condemn adultery. First, let's split "adultery" into "adult ery", then twist in a rhymed word, "adult erie" and put it back in and add some context just because, now i've got, "Thou shalt not commit the act of being an adult at lake erie". It's that kind of stuff that "different interpretations" covers, and things that ridiculous are very real, there's some group out there (I think it's Mormonism) that has twisted "atonement" in a similar fashion to how I just pretended to twist "adultery", rather than "atonement" they claim it is actually "at one ment", not because they have any real evidence for this in particular, but because they pretty much merely feel it is right, and therefore believe that rather than repent, all verses about atonement simply mean to be with God. According to the Bible, all those who do not repent will perish. This is serious stuff which can't be left up to "let's let other groups interpret scripture however they want and assume everyone who says they are a Christian is a Christian", you see what I mean? Homestarmy 03:31, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't planning on writing anything here, but now I can't help it. If you want to know where the word "atonement" comes from, you might want to check a good etymological dictionary. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, at least, it comes from "at" and "one."

Interesting point. I guess we could say that liberal Christians say x, y, z, but conservative christians say a,b,c instead. Or, you could ask our benevolent dicator Nsandwich. Just as long as we don't excommunicate each other ;) Archola 03:38, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

But that's just it, by "liberal" I mean extremely flexible to the point of they will believe whatever they wish to believe no matter what the Bible actually says. There isn't really a "liberal church of Christ", it's just a large range of people who can really be anywhere and believe anything. And it doesn't have to be obvious either, like people who think Genesis is just a "fairy tale" or an "open ended metaphor", but speaking of Genesis, that might make for a good second issue to discuss, but not yet. Going back on track, if you have a person who claims to be a Christian and doesn't think Jesus is God, how do you propose they will be born again if they are not believing in Jesus, but rather, a different Jesus? Homestarmy 03:42, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I suppose we could always nail some theses to their doors ;) Seriously, though, I don't have an answer. Archola 03:46, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

What I would suggest is the concept that the difference between Christian religious choices and non-Christian religious choices (even those that deal with Christ such as Islam, etc.) lies in the method of salvation: One way or the other, all Christian denominations state that the only way to be saved is through Christ. Whether that's before or after baptism, with or without communion, tongues, no tongues, tribulation and rapture, none of the above, whatever, all Christians are saved through Christ.

So, the primary point in our CPOV is that "Salvation is only attained through Jesus Christ." If an individual, group, or denomination disagrees with that, well, they're essentially going against 2000 years of Christian history and probably do not deserve to receive positive credence here. --Avery W. Krouse 04:39, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

For this particular proposel, (I figure we'll probably have to go through many of them) I just thought i'd stick with the what I thought was simple notion that Jesus is God, since that is the only way He could provide salvation. But basically yea, that's pretty much the idea of a CPOV. The thing is though that gets into another issue, the word choice of "only" there gets into work-based salvation and possibly certain areas of Catholicism, and well, I just thought i'd start with a simple enough proposel to agree on heh. Homestarmy 04:54, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
That is a good starting point. I am going to add that to the page as well as the CPOV. We can build on that. I still think we may eventually have to address my earlier proposal that we arbitrarily establish "major" denominations. Perhaps the largest 3 or 5 denominations, or even just Catholicism/Orthodoxy/Protestantism. Perhaps as a rule, articles would follow this format for sections:
"Introduction"/etc. (stuff that is common to all 3 or 5)
"Catholic Interpretations" (as needed)
"Protestant Interpretations" (as needed)
"Orthodox Interpretations" (as needed)
"Other Interpretations" (as needed)
This latter section would contain links to subarticles for an unlimited number of Christian denominations and their particular views, if they happen to differ. Keep in mind most articles will not have these sections at all. Christians don't disagree on every single point, hehe. When I say Christians, I am going with Avery's definition above. "all Christian denominations state that the only way to be saved is through Christ." That's my proposal. Thoughts/suggestions?
-- nsandwich 05:18, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Just an addition. This is worth looking at by everyone involved in this debate: Christian denominations by # of members as well as List of Christian Denominations.
Well see Nsandwich, therein lies the problem, I think according to modern Catholicism some exceptionally "good" people might make it to purgatory whether their saved or not :/. But then Catholicism is so widespread it gets a bit different when you cross the ocean. So I don't know. I think it's right that Jesus is the only way because the Bible comes out and says it point blank, but what I think we need is to figure out just what other denominations, even Catholicism, believe, so that we can confront it head on now rather than dealing with it later when more editors show up. It also seems to me that articles need to be from a perspective of "This is what the Bible says" as well, besides simply noting what denominations say what, because denominations can change, but the Bible doesn't. :D Homestarmy 13:53, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Benevolent Dictatorship Edit

Hi folks. I know this is off-topic but I wanted to be very clear on something. I am not the dictator of this site, benevolent or otherwise. This is a community effort. Everything I say should be subject to interpretation, suggestion, and contribution. Nothing I say should be taken as "the final word" on any matter. I may be the founder, but I am neither the sole administrator nor sole contributor, and I don't feel like I should have any special status. Just wanted to be clear on that ;) -- nsandwich 05:04, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

It was just by analogy with Wikipedia's Jimbo. I didn't mean anything else by it.
Perhaps "Benevolant Bureaucrat" would be better? I've been told that's your access level, and you seem benevolant to me. Archola 05:08, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
No offence taken. Benevolent Bureaucrat... hehe I'll go with it! :) -- nsandwich
I didn't mean to imply that you should make your opinion the final word here, I was just saying that technically, it is (even if the last word is that your word is not the last word!). You seem to be a good Benevolent Bureaucrat, and your name makes me hungry! --MonkeeSage 05:36, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Monkeys make me hungry. -- nsandwich
Monkeys? And here I thought he was taking the Last Train to Clarksville on a Pleasant Valley Sunday. Y'know, the prefab 4. Archola 05:42, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

The first musical concert I ever went to was a Monkees concert! Our Benevolent Bureaucrat looks like Davey Jones, what a dream boat! heheheh! (j/k, I'm a male) ;) --MonkeeSage 08:59, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

The first concert I went to was Charley Pride. I was a fetus at the time, so I don't really remember it. Archola 09:04, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

--128.187.157.15 21:26, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

A reciprocal definition? Edit

Okay, this is just a thought, but how about we only include in the definition of Christianity those who, by their own definition, do not exclude us. In other words, a reciprocal definition. For example, Mormons think that everyone else is apostate, Jehovah's Witness believe similarly. So we exclude them from the definition of Christian, because in the nature of the case they exclude us, no matter what definition we use.

I'm not saying that we should do this out of a vindictive spirit, like "you won't include me, well I'll show you! We exclude you too!! So there!" I'm just thinking that this might be a more objective/defensible criteria than what may be perceived as a more subjective criteria (like the Deity of Christ). The exclusion is mutual on this scheme, so if a LDS or whatever says "hey, you can't say I'm not a Christian" we can say "Well, by your definition of Christian, we are not Christians, but we consider ourselves Christians, which means that you have excluded yourselves from our definition."

Again, this is just a thought. Now have at it! ;) --MonkeeSage 05:34, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

See also User:Inkybutton. He's a JW. Also, btw, Storm Rider on Wikipedia is a Mormon, and he doesn't mind saying that the rest of us are Christians. I'm not sure if your point is valid.
For that matter, the Roman Catholic Church once excluded the Eastern Orthodox...not to mention us Protestants! Archola 05:39, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Archola's point, sadly, is a very good one. Even within the denominations, there will be some that think one way, and others that think that everyone else is a non-believer who worships the devil. That's why I started out from day one from the standpoint that we should try to be as inclusionary as possible. Anyone willing to call themselves a Christian (whatever the heck it means to them) can further our understanding of Christianity. All contributions just need to be subject to some kind of rules (as outlined above, for example). -- nsandwich
I have enough ELCA in me to be ecumenical. Archola 05:55, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't know the official LDS doctrine on the matter, but the Watchtower position has been aply exposition in their literature. For example:
A third requirement is that we be associated with God’s channel, his organization. God has always used an organization. For example, only those in the ark in Noah’s day survived the Flood, and only those associated with the Christian congregation in the first century had God’s favor. (Acts 4:12) Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it. (Watchtower, 2/15/1983 p. 12).
What is the prognosis for sick Christendom? Very poor. Should we, then, take Catholic bishop Butler’s advice, to "join [the church] without more ado and to lend our aid to her continual 'purification' from within her ranks"? No! Divided and divisive Christendom will not survive. (Mark 3:24, 25) She is part of a world empire of false religion called Babylon the Great. (Revelation 18:2, 3) This bloodguilty religious system faces imminent destruction at God’s hand. (Watchtower, 7/1/1994 p. 7).
In a way far different from how He uses the modern-day Assyrian “ax,” Jehovah has used as his instrument the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Jehovah has used it as his agency in laying bare Scripturally the falsity of the religion of Babylon the Great, including Christendom. Jehovah has used this Society in warning all peoples (especially professed Christian people) to get out of that world empire of false religion before He executes judgment upon it. The publications of the Watch Tower Society have gone out to the whole world in the hundreds of millions of copies, in now more than 160 languages. Never in all its operations for now more than ninety years has this instrument in Jehovah’s hand tried to imitate the ancient "Assyrian" and "enhance itself over" the One using it, namely, the unreachably High One, the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. (Watchtower, 1/15/1976 p. 52).
I thought that the LDS held a similar view of their organization, but I don't have any official statements to that effect offhand. But I know of some other groups who have definitions of "Christian" similar to the JW's (e.g., Christadelphians regarding the unbaptized), so I think that the concept is workable, regardless of which groups would be included/excluded.
Ps. The Catechism of the Catholic Church [1994] has affirmed that protestants are Christians [e.g., CCC 819]. --MonkeeSage 06:08, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, 1994 is a lot later than 1483. Martin Luther and John Calvin were both long dead by the time that Catholics recognized Protestants. BTW, what are you doing reading The Watchtower? Their doctrine may or may not have changed since 1976, but, well, I don't know. Archola 06:13, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Here's something else to consider: a comment from Wikipedia's Talk:Jesus page:

Yeah, after reading Homestarmy's comments there, I say "no thanks". There is more than plenty basis to say that Jesus was not God, all from the Bible. People who strive to follow all of Jesus' commands (often even moreso than most Trinitarians), believe Jesus is the Christ who was sent by God to provide salvation, stay away from pagan influences in Christianity, read the Bible daily and do their best to be the best Christians they can be, and yet do not agree with the teaching of the Trinity (for very good and justifiable reasons) do not deserve the kind of bashing that will inevitably (already) occur over there. No thanks. --Oscillate 05:23, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Also consider Matthew 7:5. Is there anything in our eyes? Archola 06:23, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Hey, I keep an open mind, even as a closed-minded fundie! ;) When I first heard about the JWs, I studied their beliefs. I didn't accept them, but I did give them an honest chance. Since then, being one who like to wrangle over theology, I've discussed their beliefs with them through various channels, mostly in person and on IRC chatrooms, so I have looked up various sources.
I'm not suggesting we exclude anyone from participating in the project, I just want to make that clear. I'm suggesting a working criteria for the definition of "Christian" (as with the suggested criteria of the Deity of Christ). I also don't mean to imply that those who don't fit under my suggested ruberic, don't really have a saving relationship with Christ -- only God knows that! -- and I am just as lible to judgment as the next sinner reddemed by Christ's blood. --MonkeeSage 06:27, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I talked to some JW's 15 years ago, so I have a vague idea of what they believe. I agree that God knows who's right. For that matter, as a wise Jew once said "God knows what God is." My concern is that we've already sacred at least one person away (namely Oscillate). What's next, the Great Schism?
BTW I first heard about the JWs when they knocked on my door! It's a humbling experienced being evangalized to by people who are sure they are just as right as you are. Eh, God only knows. Archola 06:37, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
One thing i've noticed about cult-esque groups, just as modern day Christianity has members who don't really act like Christian or barely believe the things in the Bible, even cults have a few people who don't actually follow their cults beliefs. For instance, a Jehovah's witness, even if they only read their own Bible translation, may develop their theology over time to be more in line with that Bible rather than the Watchtower, which has a very biased and sometimes preoposterous interpretation of their own Bible. What I propose is that if we come across an editor who says their part of one of these groups, we simply ask what they personally believe. And we have to ask people to define their terms too, many groups twist words around so that words like "repentence", "salvation", "faith", "Judgement day", and many others have radically different meanings than the Bible's meaning. If we simply start excluding people if they say they belong to so and so we may miss a chance to show them that their not following who they think their following because they found the truth on their own, and then we might miss a chance to help people, or we might exclude people who may be compleatly Christian simply because we might get skittish at their denominatinoal association. Im very concerned about the Great Commision in this heh. I mean, obviously if someone tells us their beliefs and their in line with any groups we can plainly observe are not Christian, then we shouldn't let their POV stand in any articles, but even after that, we can still evangelize to people. It's like we can make this wiki into a magnet for evangelism almost :D.

But going back to the original thing, I do think it's pretty reasonable that if there's an extremely small, very modern sort of denomination that has sprung up and claims that they have something along the lines of "hidden knowladge" or whatever that only they are right and all other Christians are wrong, we probably shouldn't just assume that they are actually Christian. That sort of thing actually applies to a whole bunch of groups as I understand it.

And by the way, why did Oscillate think I was blasting non-trinitarians? :/. Homestarmy 14:08, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Since I'm browsing through this trying to get up to speed on the site, I thought I'd try to clarify the Mormon view of other Christians a bit. There is a passage in the Doctrine and Covenants that refers to the LDS Church as "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth."[1]. This is related to our belief in restored priesthood authority and living prophets. I believe Catholics make a similar claim to priesthood authority. But Mormons definitely consider other Christians as Christian, where Christian would be taken to mean "someone who believes that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ." --Robert C. 22:13, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

My church believes that only men who can trace their authority back to Joseph Smith Jr have priesthood, and also that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. I don't see how you could come up with a standard that includes catholics and disincludes my church on those grounds. As to what you do with the LDS, I am not concerned with that. But remember that not everyone who belives that the Book of Mormon is divinely inspired is LDS. --BenMcLean 15:43, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

But here's the problem, to all sources that i've seen, the Jesus of mormonism is not defined the same as the Jesus of the Bible. Something about Jesus being a compleatly separate God, I don't know, but it's a thing about many groups which, if it's what the individual people believe, would make it literally impossible for a follower to be born again through the spirit, I mean, you wouldn't be believing in Him. Homestarmy 18:45, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
That may be so, if we are only speaking in terms of Mormonism. (i.e. the ideology and doctrine of the Utah LDS church) There is, however, the much broader category of Latter Day Saintism to consider. "Jesus being a completely seperate God" does not sound like anything found in my church's theology. The Book of Mormon (though I can only say for certain in terms of the RLDS 1908 Authorized Edition) certainly doesn't say anything like that. The "Jesus is a seperate God" doctrine may be what the LDS church (who are completely seperate from us) believes - I can never say for certain what crazyness they're spouting - but that is irrelevent to RLDS Christianity. --BenMcLean 16:51, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

A thesis plus antithesis makes a...synthesis! Edit

Okay, mabye here is a good synthesis (emphasis on mabye!):

Christian = One who believes that Christ is the only way to salvation, and who accepts the canonical Gospels and Pauline epistles as Scripture.

Each subgroup within this broad category can get a section/page of their own to elaborate on their own particular nuances to this definition and to mark exclusions from it (if they wish).

What do you think? --MonkeeSage

Works for me. AFAIK, no one who does not accept this definition identify themselves as Christian. Any objections?
On a related topic, the recently imported Christology article has a lot of red links. Archola 06:53, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

This synthesis is really sharp in my opinion. Another suggestion for a definition of a Christian is one who believes the words of Jesus as written in the Gospels and accepts them as truth.

After that we can explore what Jesus exactly says and we do not start from denomanational (how do you write this?) lines, but start from the words of Jesus </br> 86.80.162.206 08:11, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I Like it, as a non-denominational Christian, it still includes me and almost any other mainstream Christian Branch I can think of. My only question is, do we have any Coptic Christians here, I don't know if they are Pauline or not.

P.S. Thanks to our Benevolent Bureaucrat for pointing me here. Dragoonmac 08:36, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Coptic Christians (e.g., Ethiopian Orthodox) accept the Pauline epistles. They have an 81 book canon, which includes more books (deuterocanonicals, Clement and others) than the Protestant 66 book canon, and doesn't subtact any that I know of.
Ps. 86.80.162.206: I'm not sure how your suggestion is any different from what I suggested. If one accepts Jesus' words as truth, then they accept:
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (ESV).
The only difference I see is if someone rejects the Pauline epistles? --MonkeeSage 08:55, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
As I understand it, Mormons for one only accept the epistels and whatnot only as far as they are "Correctly translated", in other words, they don't tend to trust what it says if it is not in line with Mormon doctrine. I think they put it up a pedastel near the BoM, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrines and Covenant, where the BoM is like preferred or something, its a bit complicated. So many people might come here and think there are grounds to somehow argue that the NT isn't right or something, I think we need to head off that possiblity somehow, but if setting policy in favor of the NT being correct in every way will do it, then by all means, do it. Homestarmy 14:13, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I believe I could help clear that up somewhat, but may end up muddling it more. Reguardless, I have some good information here for you to consider.
First of all, there is a difference between the current definition of a "Mormon" and a Latter Day Saint. Today's "Mormons" belong to the church based in Salt Lake City. I am a Latter Day Saint but not a Mormon, and would have a huge problem with being called a Mormon today, because of exactly what and whom that term applies to. Under the 1843 definition of a Mormon however, the term fits perfectly. The nickname only came to belong to the Utah church after a huge schism.
So, my input on the question of the Bible vs the Book of Mormon is from my perspective of RLDS, not Mormon/LDS. I am pretty sure the LDS agrees with most or at least some of what I am going to say, but I am not entirely sure. Reguardless, I can tell you what I, as a member of the RLDS church, think.
I believe that there are errors in the Bible - in any and all versions currently existing today. They may be as simple as print errors and/or typos. (even my copy has some problems with those in the last chapter of Malachi) Not only are there modern print errors, but every edition and/or translation of the Bible down through the ages introduced minute changes and sometimes even contradictions. Furthermore, the Bible contradicts itself. The most obvious example of this is the points that the four gospels do not agree on, like who got to Christ's tomb first on Resurrection Day for example.
So, the Bible - no matter which version you use - is not a perfect book. I think the reason most Christians would disagree with that statement is because most Christians are ignorant of how the books were written and also, in many cases, of why. It is also possible, that even the original divinely inspired writers of the Bible made some errors. Humans are imperfect, and when we write things down, we often make mistakes.
This which I have been explaining is what is meant by "in so far as it is translated correctly." That statement affirms the truths contained in the Bible apart from minor errors that obviously exist.
My church's complete cannon of scripture (at present) is:
  1. The RLDS Inspired Version of the Bible
  2. The RLDS 1908 Authorized Edition of the Book of Mormon
  3. The RLDS Doctrine and Covenants up to Section 144
Those are called the Three Standard Books - and though all of them contain errors just like the Bible, none of them are supposed to supercede the others. They are often printed as one volume. In sermons, a RLDS minister is encouraged to refer to all three of them to absolutely prove a point.
The reason the Book of Mormon doesn't or couldn't supercede the Bible in our church is because we do not see any contradiction between the two, in so far as they were translated correctly. I think the Mormons have this same position, but I am unsure.
Reguardless, a simple statement that "All Christians believe in the truth of both the Old and New Testaments" would definately include my church as Christian. (though, as I said, I am unsure about the Utah Mormons)
I don't know whether I actually cleared anything up, but I hope I did. :) --BenMcLean 14:57, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Re-reading all that I just wrote, I think I could express it better simply thus: I do not believe in Biblical infallibitiy, but I do believe in the truth of the Bible. I hope that made sense. --BenMcLean 14:59, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Statement of FaithEdit

Hi folks. I think we have made some real progress towards something which is ultimately an extremely difficult issue to tackle, namely how to define a Christian. I am pleased about this. On the article page, I am beginning to write a finalized CPOV, aka "statement of faith." I think our CPOV policy could take a similar format to the CARMpedia Statement of Faith.

If you want to post here, you have to accept:

  • God exists
  • The Bible
  • The Pauline Epistles
  • yadda yadda

*The above is an example only ;)

I think we have reached a point where discussion is slowing down or stopping because we essentially have little more to say about the topic... all of our views have pretty much been laid out. At this time I would like to call for a vote on specific proposals. Please add a section for any new proposals you have as to what should be included in our finalized statement of faith to the article page. Include a section header:
==Proposal X==
Type your proposal here. A specific, bullet statement that would actually appear on the CPOV.

To keep it organized, this would be followed by votes. for or against with optional comments, but no discussion. Discussion should be limited to relevant sections of this page. I have gotten us started on the article page, with some things I'd imagine will be universally accepted. :) -- nsandwich 06:46, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

What's yadda yadda: do we have to accept Seinfeld as scripture? <joke> Seriously, though, the mainstream churches generally accept a Nicene-Chalcedonian POV, ie, they accept both the Trinity and the Dual Nature of Christ. Orthodoxpedia limits themselves to this; ie, their viewpoint is Eastern Orthodox, but not Oriental Orthodox or Assyrian-Nestorian. CARM's statement of faith is particularly conservative Protestant.
Also, what's the Bible? The 27-book NT cannon is particularly Protestant; both Catholic and Orthodox books accept additional books within the OT and NT (and different books at that!
We have (or have tried to, portions are still missing!) uploaded the Book of Mormon. LDS folk are neither Nicene nor Chalcedonian, and disagree even among themselves as to whether their version of the three-person Godhead is trinitarian, tritheistic, or something else. Also the Jehovah's Witnesses thing is still up in the air.
Except for the "yadda yadda" thing, your statement excludes the Ebionites (but modern Ebionites identify as Jews anyway), and includes Pauline Christianity by definition (both Trinitarian and Nontrintarian). it does include both Mormons and JW's. I'm not sure about the Gnostics, but AFAIK modern post-Hag Nagabi Gnostics identify as Pagan/Occult/New Age rather than as Christian.
Finally, I know that conservative and fundamentalist Christians are going to argue for a narrower definition of "Christian." Just a heads up. Archola 07:58, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry Archie. There must be some confusion. The blockquote I have above is just an example of what a point-by-point statement of faith would look like. The actual content of it is completely irrelevant. The ACTUAL proposals will be at the article page. Please post your own proposals if you have any to that page. -- nsandwich 09:37, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the confusion is. I saw a post and I commented. At this moment I do not have any proposals. Archola 09:46, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
ok nevermind then. Cheers on the boldness by the way. Also, Seinfeld is Scripture, as far as I'm concerned. Call me a Seinfeldian. -- nsandwich 10:04, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

By definition, any definition will exclude some (e.g., Nag Hamadi and DSS adherents). So far I'm all for, on every point. BTW, I thought "Yadda Yadda" was the old Yiddish lady who lives up the block...I'm cools with her. :) --MonkeeSage 11:48, 30 March 2006 (UTC)


   * God exists
   * The Bible
   * The Pauline Epistles
   * yadda yadda 

I'm guessing that that means the part about no other "gods before me" and "no one comes to the Father except through me" right?Sairyuu 23:49, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I have an ideaEdit

I have yet another proposel. How about "The Bible is always right"? This doesn't really try to blast alternate interpretations of stuff or interpretations of things which can sometimes be pretty far out, nor does it exclude deuderocanonical or whateveronical books, but it does exclude the possibility of people coming in and saying "Weeeeell, the Bible could of possibly maybe not of been entirely accurate here" and then just making up stuff, which would be annoying and very non-Christian. It also excludes the possibility of certain denominations (cough cough) attempting to contradict the Bible by putting more "authoritative" works "above" the Bible, as if there was a set of 3 (more or less) "better" or "more accuratly translated" works. This proposel also doesn't quite address issues of which Bible's are fake and which are real, such as the NIV, KJV, NRSB, and all of those against the Mormon Bible translation, the NWT, those fake New Age Bibles, (Junk about God being a women, scarily wrong stuff) or whatever, but nonetheless, I think "The Bible is always right" is still a useful standard we could use. Homestarmy 13:48, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

One catch to that. Is the Bible always literally right, or figuratively right. That whole debate is the proverbial pink elephant in the room. From a Literal standpoint, many of the old testaments stories are, well difficult to subscribe to. I'd point to the Noah's Ark, an Article I improted from wikipedia (and will work on, school's really tough right now). From a literal standpoint, Noah's ark is difficult to believe. All issues of the deluge aside, how did Noah fit every species of clean and unclean animal on the ark. How were they cared for for 40 days and 40 nights (which some of my religion professors tell me is an idiomatic expression meaning a long time (a whole other issue Time in the Bible)) From a figurative standpoint, as a sort of Parable about the love of God, and the strength of the church, however, Noah's ark makes a lot more sense. Additionally, how do we interpret Proverbs, or (Lord help us) Psalms. Not trying to start an argument (or claiming to have an answer) but I think this point needs to be more specific. Sorry for any spelling mistakes/typos, its late and I have class in the morning. --Dragoonmac - TalkContribs. 09:49, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
If that is a pink elephant, this is probably a pink elephant with a red bowtie...but "literal" and "figurative" are not well defined...perhaps the story of the Ark is "literal" in that it speaks of a true event, but "figurative" in that it refers to the number of species necessary to propigate all the ante-deluvian species by individuation to whatever method, by the term "all/each"? I am not trying to start an argument here either, but I take issue when we bifurcate "literal" and "figurative" too strongly, as if there can't be elements of both in a single narrative (not saying that you did this, just making the point for posterity!). --MonkeeSage 11:07, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
How literal is literal? There is a theory that Noah's Ark (and similar references in the Epic of Gilgamesh and other sources) refer to a real event of c.5600 BC. Not a global flood, but a megaflood that affected a large chunk of the middle east—which was "the whole world" to its inhabitants. Archola 22:33, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
To cite sources:
  1. Religious tolerance website
  2. Ryan, William and Walter Pitman. Noah's Flood : The New Scientific Discoveries About The Event That Changed History. Simon & Schuster, 2000. ISBN 0684859203.

Archola 22:42, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Technically speaking, my idea alone doesn't really clarify figurative vs. non-figurative, I merely meant it so that nobody could come along and say "Well, the Bible was probably wrong here or incorrect, so im just going to put in the totally correct secular humanist anti-Christian POV mmmk?". Noah's ark is actually a very interesting debate, alot of the hull stress thing apparently has to do with sailing ships vs. barges and whatnot, but I don't think simply affirming that "The Bible is always right" necessarily has to get into literal vs. figurative debates on certain issues. If I may point out, even Paul said something about "And this is figurative...." for I think the 2 sons of Abraham and something about the covenants, so sometimes the Bible literally is figurative if that makes any sense :). Homestarmy 01:32, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Gonna break the mold and start responding going this way... I like that, but I still have the worry that some crazy fundamentalist ( no offense, the modifier "crazy" is there for a reason) might take the literal bit to far. I dont like the idea of Secular Humanists taking over, but I dont like the idea of Jack Chick coming along and putting (is that right, or is that a golf term?) in a bunch of stuff on the Roman Catholic Page, about how they are all all going to hell because of some esoteric piece of poetery in Psalms, or justifiying slavery on a page because of rabbinic law and something written in a letter by Paul (who was a sinner just like us). I think a possible compromise might be a line "I believe the Bible is Divinely inspired" or something along those lines, becaue I definately think we need a safeguard, but not one that could bite us later. --Dragoonmac - TalkContribs. 20:55, 5 April 2006 (PDT)
Paul was an expert at putting, you heretic, and Jesus drove for an average of 500 yards. What are you, some kind of Novatian or Marcionite or something?! --MonkeeSage 04:28, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Come on now, Jesus is God incarnate. He hits a hole in one every single time! No one can beat him. "Divinely inspired" is great, obviously there are spiritual things in the Bible that can only be approximated by earthly language. Still, it all comes from God, whether literal or allegorical. Archola 13:31, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Stop me if you heard this one, Moses, Jesus and an old men are playing golf together. Moses smacks a drive down into the water trap, sighing he parts the small lake, walks out to his ball, and hits it out. Jesus is up next and hits his ball, another water trap. He walks over, walks on top of the lake and smacks his ball, thats floating there. The oldman is up next. He hits it and as his ball is flying toward the water, a turtle surfaces. The ball bounces off its shell and up in the air, a gust of wind takes it knocking it onto a tree limb tus bouncing it out onto the green, and into the hole. Hole in one. Jesus turns to the old man and says "Dad, if you don't stop doing that, we're not going to play this game anymore." --Dragoonmac - TalkContribs. 15:42, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

ROFL! --MonkeeSage 07:37, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

The Bible can't always be right since it contradicts itself. No matter what you believe, ignoring this fact will not strengthen your faith. "The Bible is scripture" would be much better. --BenMcLean 15:45, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Well it sure strengthens my faith to know I am following a book that is without mistakes and accuratly reflects God's will whenever God is talking about something. Those perhaps thousands of apologetics sites out there people have made to show people how there are no contradictions in the Bible aren't just blowing smoke. Homestarmy 18:48, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
The written-text of the Bible (or at least the King James Version) does contradict itself. Example: who got to Christ's tomb first on Resurrection day? The four gospels give different answers to this question. While this is not a doctrinal issue, there is no getting around the fact that the version(s) of the Bible that we have in our posession do, in fact, contradict themselves.
This is not to say that the Bible is not true, or not the word of God. I personally am a Creationist for example. (I believe God literally created the world suddenly in a very short length of time, that the first man was called Adam, ect)
This is to say that the versions we have today contain errors.
This is not something that should weaken one's faith however. Do you believe in a book or in the Person the book is about? --BenMcLean 19:11, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe that the Person the book is about would not make it absolutly impossible to know for sure who He is by not giving us a way to actually verify if the records we have of His teachings are trustworthy, outside of first-hand accounts of miraculous events, we've got nothing that can have verified historical basis without the written words of His doings. Also, contradictions are only contradictory if they negate the possibility of the other thing. None of the verses about who got to the tomb first say "ONLY this person" or ONLY that person, they simply state who went without saying "This is all that happened", leaving in the full possiblity for somebody who knows more about the information to add onto the accounts. Looks like I got around it to me.... Homestarmy 00:34, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe that the Person the book is about would not make it absolutly impossible to know for sure who He is by not giving us a way to actually verify if the records we have of His teachings are trustworthy - I'm sorry, but I am totally not understanding you. It seems like you just said, "God wouldn't be God unless X" where X seems to me to be totally arbitrary. --BenMcLean 17:05, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
I mean that God would not of allowed the only version of account on His life to not be authoritative on the subject, especially after Jesus came, since Jesus could only of been Jesus by fulfilling everything inside said account of His Father's life and all of the prophets of God. Otherwise, why should anyone believe that anyone could be a messiah at all? Any of the prophecies could of been altered if the Bible is truly corrupted, which means that, at best, about several thousand years worth of people who truly believed that the accounts of the Bible were accurate would all go to Hell, whether they be pope, layman, crusader, preist, evangelist, you name it, they'd be all condemned since Jospeh Smith wasn't around then to give his "Inspired version" or whatever. If the Bible has been corrupted, then there is no way at all to know which parts are true and which parts aren't, or even if any of it is true. Picking and choosing parts that "seem right" hardly seems to me like a very good way of determining truth which will ultimately determine the fate of one's eternal soul. Besides, I read the Bible and believed what I read, and after putting my faith in Christ, that is to say, Christ the way the Bible describes Him, I was born again, proving that my faith was not in vain. I believe in the person that the Bible is about only through the Bible telling me whom the person is, I didn't just randomly pick a good name for a Messiah and then check holy books to see which one had the right sounding name in it. Homestarmy 20:00, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah I think we may be getting near the crux of the matter at this point.
Any of the prophecies could of been altered if the Bible is truly corrupted - might there be a difference between "corrupted" and "containing translation errors" ?
several thousand years worth of people who truly believed that the accounts of the Bible were accurate would all go to Hell, whether they be pope, layman, crusader, preist, evangelist, you name it, they'd be all condemned - Why? If God sent everyone who was merely mistaken on some minor points of doctrine or history to hell, why, there wouldn't be much room left for Hitler and his buddies down there. (a joke) The whole statement that "The Bible is correct in so far as it has been translated correctly" is actually an affirmation of the truth of the Bible. Even the RLDS Inspired Version contains errors. We use it because we believe it is the most nearly correct version.
If the Bible has been corrupted, then there is no way at all to know which parts are true and which parts aren't - Yes there is - ask God. That is, after all, what the Bible we are talking about says.
I read the Bible and believed what I read, and after putting my faith in Christ, that is to say, Christ the way the Bible describes Him, I was born again, proving that my faith was not in vain. - Well, amen! :)
I believe in the person that the Bible is about only through the Bible telling me whom the person is - Isn't is possible for people to be Christians by believing in the Person that the Bible is about by His telling them who He is? That is, after all, how the original Christian believers came to believe - and all they had in their hands to guide them was the Old Testament. --BenMcLean 20:06, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah, so your saying the errors your talking about are things that don't really change the content of the Bible, just wording and things like that? I don't think there would be much difference though between corruption of a prophecy and an innacurate translation, if it was an innacurate translation, i'd take that to mean that the meaning of certain words is no longer being rendered as originally intended, messing up the real meaning of the prophecy. If simple things like wording change, well, that doesn't matter much, language has been intended to convey meaning pretty much ever since it was invented I suppose, so simple stylistic differences (Both large and small) between Bible versions don't matter too much unless the actual meaning of the words is changed. (And of course, often you have to look in the cultural context of what words would of meant back when a word was translated, such as "Kill" in the KJV concerning the 6th commandment)
On the next thing, when people tell me the Bible is corrupted, im generally thinking that its to the point where everyone who reads it couldn't possibly know how to be saved :/. If we're talking minor doctrinal differences, then we don't need to say that the Bible is corrupted on that, we simply have to acknowladge where Paul I think wrote that each "Should be decided in his own mind" or something like that concerning minor doctrinal things that don't affect much of anything to believe one way or another, things such as transubstantiation and predestiation, neither of which are we commanded by Christ specifically to believe in one way or another, and neither of which will change despite the earnest beliefs of whichever side turns out to be wrong in the end.
As for having to ask God whether the Bible is true in certain places or not, what parts of the Bible do you propose should be asked about to ascertain whether the parts are true or not? Minor doctrinal perspectives on certain verses, or on things like the nature of God and who Jesus was?
Well yes, if God Himself kind of shows Himself to people, then of course they can believe in Him that way. But throughout history, how many times after Biblical times did God show up in person for people of all sorts of civilizations and countries to set them straight for having a corrupt Bible? Homestarmy 00:57, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Um ... in the start of your post there, I thought we were beginning to reach an agreement but in the middle there it gets muddled again ... hmm.

"Ah, so your saying the errors your talking about are things that don't really change the content of the Bible, just wording and things like that?"

Yes I think that is very close to what "in so far as it has been translated correctly" is supposed to mean.

"I don't think there would be much difference though between corruption of a prophecy and an innacurate translation, if it was an innacurate translation, i'd take that to mean that the meaning of certain words is no longer being rendered as originally intended, messing up the real meaning of the prophecy."

Have you ever listened to radio commentator Rush Limbaugh? (see the next paragraph)

"If simple things like wording change, well, that doesn't matter much, language has been intended to convey meaning pretty much ever since it was invented I suppose, so simple stylistic differences (Both large and small) between Bible versions don't matter too much unless the actual meaning of the words is changed."

He has this little saying that I often quote when talking about biblical translation issues: "Words means things." It is virtually impossible to convert from one language to another without the meaning of the message changing in some way, however slight. In the case of the Bible, this has happened multiple times. The King James Version being correct in so far as it is translated correctly means "It's not absolutely perfect, but it's pretty good."

"As for having to ask God whether the Bible is true in certain places or not, what parts of the Bible do you propose should be asked about to ascertain whether the parts are true or not? Minor doctrinal perspectives on certain verses, or on things like the nature of God and who Jesus was?"

I think once you accept that the Bible is true (as a general statement) then after that it's more about asking what the original authors meant than about asking whether the Bible is true. It's like, "If you don't know, study. If you still aren't sure after you've studied, ask God." --BenMcLean 21:16, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Well sure trying to translate things into different languages may change the meaning of one word at a time, that's why you gotta use more than one word to sometimes represent the idea in another language better :). If there's no English equivalent for a word, well then, just use more than one word. If the meaning of the Bible isn't really being rendered as intended, then how does one determine which parts are rendered bad and which ones arent? Simply not understanding a part can't be the only criteria, suppose that a mistranslation seemed to make perfect sense and you never felt the need to ask God about it? It's this sort of thing which would seem to me to compleatly undermine the certainty we can have in Christ's own promise. And on the KJV, the thing about it is, well, see, as I sort of understand it, the makers of the Vulgate, (I think the latin text that the KJV came from) may of, um, fudged a couple lines here and there to add in stuff....it's why sometimes you may find sites blasting basically all non-KJV Bible's, because they appear on the surface to be "missing verses", though I find these sites generally don't ask the question "why" very well. It appears that from the other translators in modern-day times standpoint, many verses of the KJV simply didn't appear in the scripts that were earlier than the vulgate, so the thing of it is, im not so sure the KJV is entirely a legitimate basis to attack the Bible in general with :/. Of course, im not saying studying the Bible is bad or that asking God for the meaning is bad, but what certainty can there be that in order to understand the Bible properly, God must give us all personal revelations Himself to correct a thousands year old mistake or 2? Homestarmy 04:23, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Attack the Bible? Who's attacking the Bible ? Certainly not me. I'm just saying that the Bible is not infallible. --BenMcLean 17:48, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

My two cents Edit

I have a problem including Mormons as 'Christians'. This is not to say they are bad people, but if we are going to go with a BIBLICAL definition of what a 'Christian' is then I point to the following:


"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they [Christians] continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayer" (Acts 2:41, 42)

and

"He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can refute those who oppose it. . . . You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine" (Tit. 1:9; 2:1)

Now, knowing this, I cannot justify what the Mormons say with regards to God having to EARN his divinity, thereby saying that God has NOT been God for all eternity. Joseph Smith stated:

"For I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see" (Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith)

Which is, of course, refuted in the Bible by:

Psalm 90:2: "From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."

and

Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding" (Is. 40:28)

There is also the little matter of the Mormons teaching that God is flesh...literally....not in any sort of representative way:

"God the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as mans" (Doctrine of Covenants, 130:22)

If we go by a Biblical standard, which we SHOULD, we cannot include Mormons as 'Christians'. This, of course, doesn't mean we hate them or kick them off of here, I'm just trying to present another side of it. TruthCrusader 19:54, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Looks spot on to me. I don't know if we're yet to where we're concentrating on specific groups yet, it seems to me some of the more wide-reaching things we are proposing can hopefully take out all possibility of conflict from many groups in some very large, highly effect swoops. Homestarmy 04:56, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the Mormon view, first let me address the easier one about God having literal flesh. Mormons believe that when mankind was created in the image of God, that this was literal—that is, that God the Father has a human form, like God the Son. But this doesn't necessarily mean that God is limited to a human form, and Mormons believe that the Holy Ghost does not have a human form. I don't see that there is a radical difference (though perhaps a dramatic difference) between this view and other more traditional Christian views of the trinity. That is, instead of just God the Son having a human form and aspects of God the Father and the Holy Ghost not, Mormons believe that God the Father has (or at least can take) a human form.

The other issue a bit more complicated, but something Christian philosophers have wrestled with for years (I'll try to come back with some sources, but much of it is related to the debate over ex nihilo creation). First, although we Mormons Joseph Smith as a prophet, that does not imply that we believe everything Joseph Smith ever uttered was in the capacity of a prophet, or that he was infallible or perfect. Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith is not part of the Mormon cannon, and I at least am not aware of any official Mormon doctrine regarding this. However, D&C 19 discusses this "mystery" in a way that suggests that although perhaps Godhood is an eternal concept, the use of the terms eternal, everlasting, and endless in the scriptures may not be meant in the literal, philosophic way we have a tendency to read them. That is, the scriptures are not meant to be read as statements of philosophical truths about God's nature, but the scriptures are written to teach us how to draw closer to God, how to live, how to serve others etc. From this perspective, God is eternal, everlasting, and endless, and there are several Mormon-specific scriptures that state these as characteristics of God.

Even though I don't believe there is an official statement of doctrine on this point, many Mormons believe/speculate (as Joseph Smith seemed to be doing) God at some point God became a god, and that God's plan is for us to become like Him. Two bible scriptures that could be suggesting this include Ps 82:6 and John 10:25-39, as discussed here. Regardless, these are doctrines that are considered mysteries by Mormons, meaning we don't have good understandings of them, and they are not central to our salvation. Instead, Mormons are continually admonished to focus on the first principles of the gospel, viz. faith, repentance, baptism, and the Holy Ghost.[2],[3] (other related Bible references are given in the last paragraph of this page on the official LDS website).

I know that these concepts are very different than a normal Christian reading of the Bible (the latter issue being radically different), and hence very different than the normal Christian view, which is why Mormons are often not considered Christian, and why the cult label for Mormons is not uncommon. I don't really think it's my place to say whether this site should consider Mormons Christian or not, I'm just trying to clarify the Mormon views on these issues as I understand them. (Sorry for the length here, this probably should be moved to a more appropriate page at some point....)

--Robert C. 22:40, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that when Joseph Smith, in a discourse to the congregation, basically says "Lots of people are ignorant of what God is really like: I'm going to tell you exactly what God is like..." then you pretty much have to believe that he was not just speculating, but claiming to be giving revelation (see King Follet sermon). Also, D&C 130 makes it clear that the Father has flesh and bones like any other man 130:22. Gordon Hinckley has said as recently as 1994:
On the other hand, the whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342-62) and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is this grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become! (See The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984, p. 1) Our enemies have criticized us for believing in this. Our reply is that this lofty concept in no way diminishes God the Eternal Father. He is the Almighty. He is the Creator and Governor of the universe. He is the greatest of all and will always be so. But just as any earthly father wishes for his sons and daughters every success in life, so I believe our Father in Heaven wishes for his children that they might approach him in stature and stand beside him resplendent in godly strength and wisdom. (Conference Report, 1994).
And even if this is somehow not "official," it is certainly the practical belief of every LDS elder I've ever met. --MonkeeSage 00:23, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks esp. for the 1994 Hinckley quote, I wasn't aware of that. To nit pick, there's still a bit of an issue as to how authoritative this statement was since the statement was made before Hinckley was the president/prophet of the Mormon church, and he seems to have distanced himself a bit from claiming this as official doctrine in interviews with the press once he was became the prophet (e.g with Time, Larry King Live, and 60 Minutes). But you're right that "God was once like man" is a generally held belief among Mormons. And you're right that General Conference statements are considered "fairly authoritative" (King Follett Discourse is considered less authoritative since it wasn't a general conference, it was transcribed by someone else, and it didn't go through the same kind of write-out and review process as General Conference reports, or the canonization process that would make a statement approved as scripture for Mormons, i.e. accepted into the D&C today; so oftentimes recorded statements made by prophets are considered simply opinions as opposed to authoritative doctrine...). --Robert C. 02:01, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. :) --MonkeeSage 06:53, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

hr=100%>

MORMONS AREN'T CHRISTIANS: THEY'RE MORMONS! Saying that Mormons are Christians is barely at all the truth. They don't even think that the Bible is the whole truth: they think that it's leaving out the part where they become Gods and rule a planet! Mormon -not Christian. Holy Cow 04:52, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
That might be true generally in some cases, (about Mormons) but the Book of Mormon doesn't say that, and there are a whole range of different groups that believe a lot of different things. Blanket statements like this aren't right. --{{SUBST:User:BenMcLean/sigs}} 19:29, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Hey wait a second! Edit

"Now, knowing this, I cannot justify what the Mormons say with regards to God having to EARN his divinity, thereby saying that God has NOT been God for all eternity."

  • Neither can I! I absolutely do not believe in that absurd "Adam-God Theory" and neither does anyone in my church that I am aware of. Latter Day Saint issues are rarely that black-and-white, since the saints tend to disagree alot.

"Joseph Smith stated: "For I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see" (Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith)"

  • I dispute that. I think either 1. Smith (Joseph, Jr.) never said it or 2. it's being taken out of context. (not by your but by the Utah Mormons)

There is also the little matter of the Mormons teaching that God is flesh...literally....not in any sort of representative way: "God the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as mans" (Doctrine of Covenants, 130:22)

  • That is the Utah Mormon's version of the Doctrine and Covenants. The RLDS Section 130 is completely different and in no way connected to it. --BenMcLean 15:05, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Two Mormon churches? Yeesh, I thought keeping up with the beliefs of one of them was hard enough X_X. Homestarmy 18:52, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
There are more than two. Reguardless of what you all decide about Mormons, the RLDS is a whole different ballpark. --BenMcLean 22:15, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
Then should we focus the above section on the LDS and FLDS as opposed to the RLDS? Homestarmy 20:01, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't really know the difference between the LDS and the FLDS ... is the FLDS the group that still practices polygamy or spiritual wifery or whatever they call that nasty buisiness with the multiple spouses? (my group never followed Brigham Young or believed in polygamy - we're just as appalled by the Mormons strange practices as the Baptists are)
I don't know what to do about the LDS - so long as the RLDS gets recognized. We get ignored alot by the anti-Mormon types. --BenMcLean 20:14, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:History of the Latter Day Saint Movement may be helpful in resolving this question. (particularly the list of different denominations) --BenMcLean 20:17, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Yea, im pretty sure the FLDS is the one with polygamy and all that stuff. We might want to simply focus on the LDS for now then, I feel that LDS's non-Christian status is far more cut and dry than many things out there. Homestarmy 00:59, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Since this wiki is supposed to document the beliefs of Christians, the focus would be off the LDS if it was decided they were not Christians, wouldn't it? --BenMcLean 21:23, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Well I mean focusing on it as in focusing on it in particular for this debate to determine whether their doctrines are Christian or not :). We could lump the FLDS in with them though, I think they're fairly similar to LDS anyway. Homestarmy 04:11, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Well ... about the LDS. You might consider that the LDS church itself might not be a Christian organization but a large portion (or even of a majority) of it's members might be Christians personally. I think a blanket statement of "Mormons are not Christians" really wouldn't be true, but "The LDS church is not a Christian organization" might be true. --BenMcLean 16:44, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
That's the sort of thing I normally want to think of, is whether an organization's official beliefs and whatnot are Christian, as opposed to its followers. Homestarmy 20:29, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
OK, well my point in starting this "Hey, wait a second" thread was to stop people from painting with a broad brush. It's really unusual for a person to know what somebody else believes better than they do. :) --BenMcLean 17:06, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
===Edit

With all this trying to differentiate, I sometimes wonder if it's better to stop labeling everyone, including ourselves. It's usual to try to categorize...that's what we humans do...but sometimes it gets so complex and divisive....and not just divisive but ridiculously divisive. There's too much focus on little details. That is actually one reason I have left the Mormon church. It's so much about details, so much of a burden in "doing" as opposed to balancing "doing" with accepting God's grace. We do have to do good because it's right to do so, but we also have to remember God is Good Himself...merciful...FULL of mercy, that is. -Sorry I'm not signed-up yet. One of those things about "belonging" and thus having to adopt the whole of statements of a group of people....details, details.

==Edit

Proposal 5 Edit

[moving comment here for discussion]

Actually, the Bible does outline another path to salvation. Simply keep every single word of the Law, and you'll be without sin and be saved :D. Of course, that's impossible because the Bible says all have sinned, but still, semantics can sometimes be important, and Jesus did as I recall tell this to that rich person in the "eye of the needle" thing.... Homestarmy 13:33, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

But, aren't you born a sinner? --Hayson1991 23:41, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I know, that's part of the point, but i'm just saying, even though it is impossible for any person to actually keep the law, it's just a semantics thing :D. I guess the proposal works anyway. Homestarmy 05:01, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
But a human (son/daughter of Adam and Eve) is born unholy, he/she cannot go to Heaven anyways because no free-will is given to them (true free-will is only given to Adam and Eve and they screwed it up), they are and will always be unholy unless they accept Jesus.--Hayson1991 14:49, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Someone having kept the law perfectly is not in need of salvation, since there would be nothing to be saved from. Since this is, as has been pointed out, impossible (except for Christ Himself) there is no point in arguing over it, unless someone wants to claim that it is, in fact, possible, in which case, then we would have to argue over whether that person is a Christian or not. --BenMcLean 15:47, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposal 3 Edit

[Comment moved here for discussion]

What is the definition of intolerant here, in my experience, this often means "If you show disagreement with minority opinions, you will be ostracized." and that's not really acceptable for a debate. "Intolerant" could be defined as "Not acknowladging that other sides could be a Christian", and that would be bad. Homestarmy 13:31, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree, we may have to flesh this description out a little more. I still think it needs to be in there, but perhaps we could have a more explicit definition of what constitutes intolerance. I think in general, people can figure out what "be respectful" means. -- nsandwich 19:59, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Im not challenging the respect part, (Though some people might define respect weird too, but the dictionary definition is pretty clear) it's just the tolerance part that's plain up in the air to me. Homestarmy 04:54, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposal Z Edit

I think one of the issues that we're going to have is that mainstream Christianity does regard several groups as "cults" or "false doctrines." LDS, Jehovah's Witness, Unitarian Universalism are the three big ones that come to mind. Whereas their doctrinal differences aren't always that numerous, a lot of them are very, very severe. Insinuations about divinity, salvation, and so forth cause a lot of division in the "church" and it always seems to be "them vs. everyone else."

We need to realize, we cannot accept every single doctrinal standpoint. We cannot say "Jesus was not God. Jesus was God." We cannot say "The Bible is the only inspired word of God. The Bible, along with the Book of Mormon, are the inspired words of God." We cannot say "All can be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Only those who were chosen by God can be saved. Only those who profess a certain doctrinal view can be saved."

I'm not saying we need to whip out the Baptist Faith and Message. I am saying, we need to be ready and willing to exclude. As much as we are going to externally exclude Islam, Buddhism, and Wiccanism from being "Christian" perspectives, we need to be ready to internally exclude practices and doctrines that do not fall in line with the general concensus of Christian scholarship. That is not to say that we aren't going to list them here in full article detail, but we need to be fully willing to say "this denomination does not fit the perspective of mainstream Christianity and therefore may not be Scripturally accurate or follow established CPOV."

This is why the councils met hundreds of years ago. They realized that they had to exclude in order to clean out what was not divinely authorized. The Gospel of Thomas didn't make the cut. The Gnostics didn't make the cut.

I do not mean to be offensive to any individual, but at the end of the day, some people are just going to be wrong, and it's up to the Word of God and the concensus of this group that will determine what we do and do not sanction. --Avery W. Krouse 21:52, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Avery: You raise good points. This also brings up the question of whether our definition of "Christian" should focus on institutions/beliefs, or personal status -- I think we are talking about the former rather than the latter, which means that we should seriously consider your points. --MonkeeSage 06:57, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Related to Avery's point, which I think is a very good one, I think there should be an addendum to proposal 7 (or a new propsal) regarding the general acceptance of the Bible, and only the Bible (and whichever books are agreed upon as canonical), as Scripture. As a Mormon, I think it would be absurd and offensive for me to post something to this site in a way that assumes others believe the Book of Mormon as scripture. Similarly, if apocryphal works are mentioned, I think it would make sense to mention them only in a way reflecting the fact that they are not considered canonical by the general Christian community. I think this site can (and probably should, if it wants to be inclusive) be agnostic about whether these writings are inspired of God or not. Seems to me there should be a policy somewhere that makes this view, or something like it, explicit. --Robert C. 23:33, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

  • If we were to say that "The Bible is the only inspired word of God." then we'd be cutting out the majority of Christians in our definition of being a Christian since most Christians (for example, most Protestants) do not believe that. --BenMcLean 15:38, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

On Avery's point, "I do not mean to be offensive to any individual, but at the end of the day, some people are just going to be wrong, and it's up to the Word of God and the concensus of this group that will determine what we do and do not sanction." : Just a word of caution in making sure that whatever the final draft of this Christian POV, readers around the world and of other faiths are not let to think that we are the authority on the subject of who is pleasing God and who isn't. Or the authority of who is saved and who isn't. The POV just has to make clear that God is every believer's Authority. Because we also have to remember that no matter how much we discuss all of this, God IS, Jesus is ALIVE with Him, and the Holy Spirit is active on the earth as we speak. So our religion is not dead, but active, and we are not the ones that define Truth -though we may have a better understanding of it as we follow Christ. So: any POV of those who follow Christ must make sure to point to Christ, and not ONLY to His followers.

CPOV vs. Administrative Policy vs. What is a Christian Edit

We need to reevaluate the placement and topicality (is that a word?) of our current discussions here.

  • Discussions of appropriate language to use, images, and editor behavior falls under administrative policy, and has nothing to do with "What is a Christian".
  • CPOV should pertain to the format, tone, and presentation of our articles. The content should be judged on a Christian Point of View, based on a concensus. We're going to quickly get into issues when it comes to how to CPOV Homosexuality, Abortion, and so forth. We have to establish what the "Christian" point of view(s) is/are, and be very clear about our presentation about them.
  • The page of "What is a Christian" should be relegated to "A Christian believes...", "A Christian does...", "A Christian practices...". Currently, there's very little on the adjoining page that reflects this.

Just some thoughts for consideration. --Avery W. Krouse 21:57, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Yup Avery, I am planning on moving the stuff we agree upon here to the appropriate pages afterwards. I just enjoy having a single place to vote for now, for the sake of convenience until we have more established policies. -- nsandwich 22:06, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposal 4 Edit

Just a quick note: I've reworded Proposal 4. I'd consider this an established matter of CKB Policy, not a part of this actual page, and I've added the term "elected" to reflect the future state of CKB administration selection. --Avery W. Krouse 22:11, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. Your version was better. I have changed it again slightly on the final CPOV policy page. Of course, by "final", I mean: still undergoing furious revamping :) -- nsandwich 07:14, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposal 6Edit

I'd perhaps suggest that we agree to recognize the 27 books of the New Testament as confirmed at the Council of Trent to be our authoritative list. Apocrypha and deuterocanonical books not included. --Avery W. Krouse 22:11, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Which is not the Council of Trent, but the books Martin Luther included in his German translation of the Bible. The Council of Trent affirmed the Catholic deuterocanonical books. Tobit, Judith and the like. Archola 22:32, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Go ahead and slap it up there as Proposal 7, Avery! -- nsandwich 22:36, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I can think of no legitimate reason why any deuterocanonical or pseudographical or whatever books would be helpful for any reason :/. And if I understand some finer points of Macabees correctly, they could be quite harmful.... Homestarmy 04:59, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
If we are aiming to be a "Christian Knowledge Base" we need to take into account that the duterocanonical gospels are the basis for a good deal of (Usually Orthodox and Catholic) beliefs. Most of the lore surrounding the Lance of Longinus and the Holy Grail, two relics of the Catholic Church, is rooted in the Gospel of Nicodemus. The foundation for Pugatory (I think) is in Maccabees. Regardless of, as individuals, we believe in these concepts or not, we should cover them. I think for that reason we should include and cite duterocanon, but when doing so, mention that it is duterocanon we are citing. --Dragoonmac - TalkContribs. 21:09, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, maybe now I can think of a good reason. (Or several). Some of the lore-related stuff I suppose would kind of need them to be mentioned, but the knowledge base doesn't have to present them as authoritative.... 01:38, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

A Notice Edit

Wanted to inform everyone that the CPOV page has been updated to reflect some of the recent developments and decisions here. Let's keep up the good work.

Please note that a couple of the proposals (e.g. no porn) seemed like they didn't fit with the CPOV, but would be more appropriate at an "Editorial Guidelines" or "Rules and Regulations" policy page or something (as per Avery). We could have other guidelines like the 3RR on there as well. I have yet to create such a page, because I am now going to sleep :)

-- nsandwich 07:19, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposal 7 Edit

[commenting here for discussion]

I submitted proposal 7 mainly because of John 1:1 in the Mormon bible: In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God. (Joseph Smith Inspired Version, John 1:1). Compare that to the Christian Bible NIV: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 New International Version). I was shocked when I read the difference, so, this is why I submitted proposal 7. If any version of the Bible does not say something bizarre like the Mormon bible, I will include it into the proposal. --Hayson1991 14:50, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Three suggestions:

  • RSV: Revised Standard Version. As widely used as KJV and NIV.
  • TEV: The Good News in Today's English Version. Meaning-for-meaning rather than a literal translation, but still better than a paraphrase like The Living Bible.
  • Bible, World English: Our online Bible. Used mainly because it's in the public domain. Archola 15:01, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
  • What about New World Translation? Yes I know some people like it but well, we can use it compare to other Bibles and see the difference... --inky 22:53, 31 March 2006 (UTC)


Our online bible is not bad, but I never intended for it to be the only one. I am planning on putting up other versions as soon as I can do so, and as long as I can get around the copyright. That being said, I think we should try to stick to just a couple versions (2 or 3) at the most. For one thing, I'd like to be able to have a link to any one of the online bibles directly from the citation. Secondly, most of the bibles are 99.9% similar. There is little point in having 2 dozen "acceptable" bibles if they are all essentially the same. That would just confuse people.

In cases where a particular bible belonging to an accepted Christian denomination (as per the rules on CPOV) really differs from the KJV, I am cool with having a section allowed on that particular article. Such as: "Mormon views on the Trinity" which could explain that Mormons have a different view, and could cite an offline LDS Bible. AS LONG AS it is clear that these views and this bible are unique to Mormonism and differ from the mainstream. Those are my thoughts.

The main idea here is lets stick to just a couple of bibles. KJV, WE, and NIV would be my candidates since they are good quality translations with wide acceptance. Pretty sure I can get around the KJV copyright (need to investigate further.) Not sure at all about the NIV since I haven't looked. As long as they're free to repreint for non-commercial use, we're good, and will soon have them online. -- nsandwich 23:18, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Obviously not the Joseph Smith Inspired Version (even the LDS edition of the scriptures use the exact KJV with Joseph Smith changes put into footnotes; it's not clear that these changes should be considered canonical even by Mormons...). My sense of Biblical scholarship is that the RSV is the most common version used. The others I would vote for would be KJV, NIV, and maybe the NASB (though only a few changes from the RSV in the NASB). --Robert C. 23:46, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

[snip: moved from article]

I propose that we leave the New World out of the discussion for now, im sure if we need to we'll get to that eventually. Homestarmy 15:16, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. A good many Christians would find the "translations" of the NWT in several key passages to be rather disturbing. By the same token, we should leave out the Joseph Smith "translation" (see, e.g., the "not" Rom. 4:5 in the JST). An article on each should be created and templated accordingly, but they are too controverial to be listed in the KB list. --MonkeeSage 23:03, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

[snip]

The ESV is also becoming widely used (especially among conservatives here in America). It is an update to the ASV. The Greek scholar Bill Mounce was head of the NT translation committee. --MonkeeSage 00:33, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

The KJV is still under a perpetual (British) crown copyright. Outside of the UK, though, it is public domain. I'm not sure what that means on the internet, since obviously people in the UK can access our site.

NIV is copyright Zondervan Publishers. Last time I checked, quotations were limited to 1/4 of a book of the Bible, and there may be additional restrictions.

AFAIK, RSV is used far more often than ESV or ASV. Archola 00:38, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

As far as I'm concerned, NIV is out for the reason stated above. Regrettable, I agree. What's the story on RSV's copyright? Anyone know? -- nsandwich 00:59, 1 April 2006 (UTC)


Actually, BibleGateway.com has complete copyright information. Archola 01:30, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

RLDS Inspired VersionEdit

There is a completely different claiming-that-Joseph-Smith-Jr.-worked-on-it Inspired Version used by the RLDS church. [4] It is considered cannonical by the Restoration Branches, and is different from the Mormon's version. I think perhaps some special rules should be made for when it is and is not appropriate to quote "Inspired Version"s here, if the project is interested in documenting Mormon, Temple Lot Church, RLDS, CoC or Restoration Branches beliefs. --BenMcLean 16:02, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't think anything from the LDS or RLDS should be used. If you go to John 1:1 in the link you gave, it does not line up with the original greek and is heresy. --Tom 20:25, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Now wait a minute here - I think you don't get what I'm saying we should use it for - (ie, the "special rules" I mentioned) - the purpose of using the Inspired Version would be to show what LDS / RLDS people believe - reguardless of whether you believe it's heresy or not. The logical chain goes something like this: "If any RLDS members are Christians and this site's purpose is to build a knowledge base of the different beliefs held by Christians then some articles should use RLDS books to explain RLDS beliefs."
I looked up 1 John 1:1 by the way ... it looks like the KJV and the Inspired Version are basically the same in that chapter. But I could be missing something. --BenMcLean 00:53, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh wait ... that was First John. You were talking bout John. OK, so John 1:1 is one of the places where the KJV and the Inspired Version are different. Those differences are what I'm saying we should write articles about.. --BenMcLean 00:57, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Basically what I'm saying is that LDS/RLDS material, no personal offense to you, is not worth writing articles about, atleast not on a Christian wiki. It is all based on a lie. Sure, there may be some truth in there, but that doesn't make it okay if it's mostly true, it has to be all true. --Tom 02:52, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
PS: I was comparing it to the greek, although the KJV of that verse is basically a literal translation. --Tom 03:03, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
So, according to your view, do Christians have to believe in the doctrine of Biblical infallibility in order to be called Christians? (i.e. that there are no mistakes in a specific Bible that we have) Do people have to put their faith in the perfection of a certain set of documents written in Greek to be called Christians?
I say no. Christians are people who follow (or at least claim to follow) Christ and His teachings, as described in the New Testament. (in a general sense)
Just because you believe something is "truth" personally doesn't mean that a site like this doesn't need a certain level of objectivity. I am for open discussion on this point - it is contraversial, so articles should present both/all sides. The fact that we are having this discussion shows that it is a contraversial issue among Christians and should be treated as such in the knowledge base. Q.E.D. --BenMcLean 14:48, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Okay, so that is a postmodern response. Yes, I do believe Christians should believe in the infallibility of the Bible. Why wouldn't they? If it is truly God's word as it claims, then is it that hard for the God that created the universe to preserve a text? Come on now... Besides, once you bring in the possibility of error, then you can start picking and choosing which doctrines you like and which you don't!
Christians are not those who claim to follow Christ! They are those who actually follow Christ! And following Christ doesn't make you a Christian, following Christ is something that happens after Christ saves you through His sacrifice and resurrection.
As far as the greek is concerned, first off, yes people should have faith in the original greek, because that's what God used to communicate to us the New Testament! Should everyone have to read it to get God's truth? No. Can people gain insight and be saved through translations? YES. Should people read the "Inspired Version" that you linked to? NO! As far as translation goes, there is simply no controversy when it comes to the "Inspired Version", it is just wrong! --Tom 19:42, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

New International VersionEdit

The NIV text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.

When the NIV is quoted in works that exercise the above fair use clause, notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page or opening screen of the work (whichever is appropriate) as follows:


Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. The "NIV" and "New International Version" trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

These Scriptures have been made available on the Internet for your personal use only. Any other use including, but not limited to, copying or re-posting the Scripture on the Internet is prohibited. These Scriptures may not be altered or modified in any form but must remain in their original context. These Scriptures may not be sold or otherwise offered for sale--to include online banner ads that encapsulate linkages to these Scriptures for the purpose of selling online ad space. These Scriptures are free for all online use. These Scriptures are not public domain. These Scriptures are not shareware and may not be duplicated.

When quotations from the NIV text are used in non-salable media such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies or similar media, a complete copyright notice is not required, but the initial NIV must appear at the end of each quotation.

Any commentary or other Biblical reference work produced for commercial sale that uses the New International Version must obtain written permission for the use of the NIV text.

Permission requests for commercial use within the U.S. and Canada that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530.

Permission requests for commercial use within the U.K., EEC, and EFTA countries that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., a member of the Hodder Headline Plc. Group, 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH.

UPDATE: I have sent an email to the publisher requesting permission to use it. I don't think it's too likely that it would be granted, but it was worth a shot! -- nsandwich 01:39, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Revised Standard VersionEdit

Sorry, Biblegateway.com does not have this. According to Wikipedia: Copyright 1971, National Council of Churches. Here's some things I didn't know: it's an update to the ASV, and there have been two updates to the RSV itself: the 1989 New RSV, and the 2001 ESV.

King James VersionEdit

Perpetual crown copyright in the UK, public domain elsewhere.

OtherEdit

Any other versions I could look up? Archola 01:30, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Hehe "Young's Literal Translation" is in the public domain, but good luck trying to read it! It's horribly inaccessible: Check out Genesis 1

I know Crosswalk has the RSV available, though I'm not sure if there's copyright info given. Here's an interesting chart describing the different translations in terms of how literal vs. how paraphrasing they are.
Since many commentaries (at least scholarly ones, e.g. Word Biblical Comentary and The Anchor Bible) use their own translations (usually using a mix of the Pentateuch, Septuagint, Masoretic text, and Textus Receptus, at least for the Old Testament, as do most of the translations being discussed here—I think...), and since it's not too hard to look up Hebrew and Greek words nowdays with online interlinear bibles, it might be worth putting a policy statement about using original language texts. That is, as I think was suggested above somewhere, have a few "standard use translations" available and typically used on this site, but not close the door on discussing original language issues when they arise....
--Robert C. 01:48, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Agree about the original languages. I'm not sure it has to be a policy issue, though. --MonkeeSage 01:50, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

NETEdit

The NET Bible project was commissioned to create a faithful Bible translation that could be placed on the Internet, downloaded for free, and used around the world for ministry. The Bible is God’s gift to humanity – it should be free. (Go to www.bible.org and download your free copy.) Permission is available for the NET Bible to be printed royalty-free for organizations like the The Gideons International who print and distribute Bibles for charity. (from Preface). --MonkeeSage 01:50, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

On its face, NET looks to me like a great candidate. I can write a bot to import it. Do we know anything about the quality of the translation? Does it have any crazy/ridiculous verses? Anyone have a judgments regarding its quality? I would need to know before I explicitly support it. -- nsandwich 02:15, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Here's a positive review that looks carefully thought out and reasoned. Another review is here. It seems the main advantage of the NET is the extensive footnotes. How would you use the footnotes on this site? If you can take advantage of the footnotes, I'd say the NET makes the most sense for web-based study.
On the other hand, I looked up Isaiah 28:9-13 b/c it's a tricky passage to interpret the punctuation for (here's some discussion of some the issues). Whereas the NAS, RSV, ESV, ASV, NKJV, and HCSB all use question marks in v. 9, the NET uses exclamation marks (the KJV uses periods...). The fact that it's such a minority opinion on this makes me a little nervous about using it.... --Robert C. 03:05, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh no that's bad news for me! I will have to rewrite the "B_Cite" template to accomodate NET Bible! NOOOOO!!! :) --inky 03:03, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
The question of footnotes was one I was wondering about also. The whole text+footnotes is around 10 mb, in hypertext format, so it would take up alot of space! Here are some reviews and comments from notable Christian personalities at bible.org. I have not found anything really objectionable, and I've been using it for several years (I even have a hardcopy). Minor issues of syntax, emphasis and the like aside, I haven't found anything to make me suspicious of it. The translations committees were composed of evangelical scholars of all different denominations; including, Robert B. Chisholm, Richard A. Taylor, Eugene H. Merrill, Darrell L. Bock, and Daniel B. Wallace. --MonkeeSage 03:43, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

NET Bible and Apocrypha

Since these [Apocryphal books] are not considered canonical by a majority of Protestant churches, an explanation as to why we are including these books is warranted. Access to the completed translation of the Apocrypha in future editions of the online version of the NET Bible is based on a desire to minister to as many different Christians in as many different Christian traditions as possible. Of all the major Christian traditions, the Protestant tradition is the only one to exclude all the books of the Old Testament Apocrypha from the canon. The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches (both Greek and Russian) accept some of them, although not the exact same ones. Our intention is to impact the body of Christ as a whole, not simply Protestant believers, and for the NET Bible to be acceptable to those different church traditions, the Apocrypha will be available
By doing so we are not making any claim to canonical status for these books. We are simply acknowledging that they are an important part of many church traditions and that they have inherent value for understanding the historical and theological background to the New Testament. The Apocrypha provides understanding of the intertestamental period, and it provides understanding of the Judaism of Jesus' day. To understand the New Testament, both of these areas must be understood well. Giving people access to the Apocryphal books with the same depth of notes as in the NET Bible Old and New Testament will help Bible readers understand the Old and New Testaments better than they have before.
Many Protestants oppose the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the Bible, arguing that mere association of the Apocrypha in the NET Bible is an implication that it is inspired scripture. A quick look at the NET Bible and many other published Bibles will show that Bibles include a great deal of material between their covers which would never be considered scripture such as: maps, study helps, applicational notes, poetry, etc. The NET Bible itself includes thousands of notes that explain the Biblical text, but they are not regarded as scripture. The guiding rule for inclusion of extra material is that it is material the editors believe will be helpful in understanding the inspired text of the Bible, and that is the attitude the NET Bible translators and editors are taking toward inclusion of the Apocrypha. These books are important for understanding the historical and theological background to the New Testament, and this is a worthy reason to include these books as a separate section within the translation of the NET Bible. (NET Bible, Preface to Apocrypha).

Even though it has a preface disclaiming it, we still should not be including the Apocrypha, what will other people think when they see something in the Apocrypha contradicting the other parts of the bible? If we really want to use it, we should include a disclaimer on every page that mentions any quoting from it. --Hayson1991 14:48, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I imagine that Christians who accept the Apocrypha will appreciate it, and those who balk at it will disapprove, and those who are secure in their convictions and realize that the Apocrypha is a intertestamenal source of history will not think twice about it and those who are onfused will consult the preface. But mabye that is a simplistic assessment. In any case, since this is going to be an ecumenical project, and some christian do accept the Apocrypha (or some parts of it) as inspired, it stands to reason that we will need to be able to quote from some translation of it. Even just for historical purposes, e.g., to explain the origin of Hannaka in the Maccabaean revolt. --MonkeeSage 15:09, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
As long as we say which tradtions accept which books of the Apocrypha. Template:Books of the Old Testament already makes this cleat for the Dueterocanonical books. I don't know about the NT Apocrypha.Archola 11:50, 7 April 2006 (PDT)
Yup, I agree. BTW, Hayson was meaning the Deuterocanonicals, I assume (NET doesn't translate any of the NT pseudepigrapha/apocrypha). So that template should be fine. --MonkeeSage 02:56, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Last time I looked, the top 13 or so most wanted articles were all about the Deuterocanonicals. Here's the list:
  1. Psalm 151 (20 links)
  2. 2 Maccabees (20 links)
  3. Book of Enoch (19 links)
  4. 3 Maccabees (19 links)
  5. 1 Esdras (19 links)
  6. Book of Tobit (19 links)
  7. Odes (18 links)
  8. 2 Esdras (18 links)
  9. Book of Wisdom (18 links)
  10. 1 Maccabees (18 links)
  11. Book of Baruch (18 links)
  12. Letter of Jeremiah (17 links)
  13. Jubilees (17 links)

Archola 03:19, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

ESVEdit

  • You may only access 500 verses per query, and you may only perform 500 queries per day.
  • You may not locally store more than 500 consecutive verses or one-half of any book of the Bible (whichever is less).
  • The text may be redistributed further (for example, via email or an RSS feed). You may distribute up to 500 verses, as long as the verses quoted do not amount to 50% of a complete book of the Bible and do not make up 50% or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.
  • You may not display more than 500 consecutive verses or one-half of any book (whichever is less) on any page. (from ESV site). --MonkeeSage 01:50, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
This site sounds quite greedy. --inky 03:05, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
From what I understand, that's a pretty standard Bible copyright, similar to the NIV, NASB, NRSV, et al. --MonkeeSage 03:45, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Standard or not, it seems a bit unhelpful. Besides, what are they gonna do if we copy it all, sue us? Cus that'd be blatant hypocracy.....(Im pretty certain the Bible specifically, clearly, and literally tells us not to take other brothers to court.) But whatever, we've got other Bible's we can copy :D Homestarmy 18:44, 5 April 2006 (PDT)

Christian Think TankEdit

Is this discussion still open? Because I found this page at the Christian Think Tank that gives one answer to the question. Archola 13:47, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know but we're running late, any day now a war could break out because now it seems Jehovah's witnesses opinions don't seem to be looked at critically on this, what seems to me, passive assumption that its totally Christian. And who knows, I might not even start the war. But this issue won't probably just go away. Homestarmy 16:03, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, Inkybutton is a JW. I'd hate to see a Crusade break out, which is why we need to be sure we know exactly what our policy is. At least we don't have to deal with the Jesus Myth folks here. Archola 17:26, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah, but what if a unitarian Jesus-myther shows up? I can see one now....."God is love Archola, (Even though I don't think he exists) so let my edits in! Unless....your an ETer....(Eternal tormenter)" Homestarmy 01:18, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm actually more concerned about this guy showing up. Besides, ET was a good movie. Archola 13:14, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
We could do an arbitration committee type thing for each denomination there are questions about, you know, presenting evidence, an ArbCom committee, wee! :D Homestarmy
I don't like the idea of an arbitration committee, it sounds to me like a fighting (non-physical) ground where people just go "blah blah blah... I am a Christian!" and who is going to be the judge, by the way?
But it sounds like a decent idea if more people are to come. So bring it on!
Also regarding JW's standpoint... Explain what's not obvious about it? I really don't know what's unclear... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]]).


Who is going to be the judge? Who indeed. Archola 13:19, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Open vs Closed Cannon Edit

Pretty much everyone agrees that the validity of the Bible should be affirmed by the "Christian Point of View". Apart from that, I see no reason to say that the Bible is the only word of God, particularly since it doesn't actually record everything God ever said.

Therefore, I think that the "Christian Point of View" policy should cannonize the Old and New Testaments, as defined by say, the Baptists, (I'm talking about which books to include here, irrespective of biblical version) but remain neutral on whether or not any other books are inspired or not. So, CPOV's cannon would only state what definately is scripture, and not take a position on what is not scripture. --BenMcLean 15:56, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. abyssal_leviathin 20:41, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I dunno, there's alot of pretty well-used standards people use to determine what is and isn't scripture, you know, basic things like "claims apostolic authority" "doesn't contradict the rest of the Bible" etc. etc., and with this sort of policy it seems to me that one could use it to argue that the Gospel of Judas should not be treated as as a gnostic heresy, which im pretty sure it is. Homestarmy 23:53, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
But gnosticism is basically gone, and even if it was around, they probably wouldn't consider themselves Christians enough to be reading here, so we wouldn't really have to worry about offending them by leaving them out. abyssal_leviathin 03:07, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
True, but many still try to use Gnostic ideas to support various weird things, and the Gospels of Judas isn't just it, the Gospel of Barnabas (Or Epistle, I can't remember which, one is fake but the other isn't) was apparently probably written by some Muslim to trick people into thinking Barnabas knew secretly that Jesus wasn't God, and Muslims certainly haven't died out, and could hide their identity to force the wiki to not denounce that work. And what about the LDS approved version of the Bible, Ben, would you think that to be representative of scripture? Homestarmy 03:16, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I doubt that muslims would go through such elaborate lengths just to protect the Gospel of Barnabas. I doubt they would even come here in the first place. As far as the LDS approved Bible... well I suppose it's representative of Mormon scripture. :-P abyssal_leviathin 15:40, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

What I am saying is, we should say "The Bible is Scripture". Period. And not address the Book of Mormon or the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible or the Inspired Version or the apocrapha or the non-cannonical gospels. Why touch the issue at all? --BenMcLean 18:55, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you. abyssal_leviathin 00:44, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Well what happens if somebody tries to bring in a "Bible" which is one of those crazy feminist Bibles which says God and Jesus were women and all sorts of other junk I guess, and we aren't allowed to say "Ok, that's wrong, that things POV is not Christian", and somebody looks here and says "Oh look, this Wiki doesn't say whether this Bible is correct or not, maybe i'll go read it for myself!" And they read it, are sucked into believing in a Jesus who doesn't exist, (Jesus ain't no woman) and later on the person becomes much harder to reach with the Gospel because of this? I realize it's a limited example, but I think you can see where this kind of thing could lead. And yes, Muslims do sometimes go to very elaborate lengths to defend the Gospel of Barnabas, its just fortunently not many people trust the nonsense contained therein :). Homestarmy 20:58, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
... I'm not understanding the logical chain of cause and effect you are trying to construct here ... could you try to explain that a little better please ? Specifically, answer "What is your alternative? How would what I am advocating cause what you are forseeing? How would your alternative, which you have not yet made clear, avoid the negative results you are forseeing?" --BenMcLean 15:19, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
My alternative is that we don't have a set-in-stone policy of "Anything can be right even if we can't confirm if it's right", and let people question and examine any books which claim to be scripture as they come along so that we can indeed say, for specific instances at a time of course, what is and is not scripture. For instance, I don't think we've even discussed the New World translation, we absolutly need to be able to say that pseudographical works are indeed wrong should the issue ever arise somehow, and I don't see the reason to take risks and not allow us to condemn books which claim to be scripture yet say something like "Jesus was a woman who had 5 children!". Homestarmy 19:04, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. I guess you are probably right. We'll have to work on a case-by-case basis. But I think adding the word, "generally" to my proposal would fix the problem you bring up. Something along the lines of: "The Bible is scripture, and CPOV generally doesn't take positions on any additional scripture(s), except in extreme cases" where materials that do not blatantly contradict the written text of the Bible could not be considered "extreme cases". --BenMcLean 15:58, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

One definition ... Edit

Hmm ... that won't work, but maybe we should put whatever definition we come up with there instead. --BenMcLean 21:02, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Early Church Fathers Edit

Maybe it's already been mentioned, but it seems to me that instead of focusing on the denominations that have been spawned over the years, we should go back to the source and see what the Apostles/Disciples of Christ and the Early Church Fathers have to say, and how they conducted themselves. In addition, I think there's a lot to be gained from the Nicene Creed as a standard for this wiki. --Tom 17:00, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

um ... if you want a wiki that talks exclusively about the early new testament church ... I don't think that's what this is. --BenMcLean 17:46, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
well, that's not really what I mean, I mean when we are defining what a Christian is, we should look to the Early Christians for guidance... --Tom 17:55, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh ... according to what? The early Christians you are referring to lived 2000 years ago. There are many differing accounts and interpretations of their actions. (lots of different Biblical translations) These differing interpretations are precisely the points that seperate the modern denominations. So I don't think to appeal to the early church fathers as guiding factors would really change anything. --BenMcLean 18:02, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Rather than just taking sides though, I think what we can do is ask, "What did Jerome and Agustus say about such and such?", then compare that to the Bible. In order to settle at a decision, we will have to actually look at the issues and reasons (theological reasons) why denominations are separate, not just accept that and ignore the word of God... I'm not saying that you have or others have, but I think that can be easy to do, we can get so caught up in an argument with people, and rarely go back to the word of God. --Tom 02:35, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
doesn't that make the wiki's POV exclusive to fundamentalists though? (you'll have to excuse me, this is a very Wikipedia-esque objection) --BenMcLean 16:42, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
What's wrong with a lil fundamentalist POV? I mean we even made that cool book, "The Fundamentals"..... Homestarmy 04:48, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
The question is whether non-fundamentalists are Christians. this is supposed to be Christianity wikia not fundamentalist wikia. (though I'm sure there would be no problem with starting a fundamentalist wikia) --BenMcLean 15:28, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

(I hope nobody thinks I have anything against fundamentlists or fundamentalism - I'm just trying to figure out who we are including and who we aren't) --BenMcLean 15:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Well if that's the question it certainly depends on fundamentalism according to who's perspective. For example, a Calvinist fundamentalist might think that a sign on a church which says "Free Will Baptist Church" might more aptly say "Straight to Hell" because of the predestination thing. Fundamentalism simply means going back to original doctrines and practices and whatnot, so the question it would seem to me is what perspective of fundamentalism are we talking about. I for one don't like leaning towards denominational stuff, so kind of by default, all I can do is just use the Bible really and just kind of read it as it says rather than what I might prefer it to mean. Now technically speaking, one could argue the early church fathers don't quite classify as their own group of fundamentalists, I mean if you want to get technical about it, things like the duality of Christ and the trinity were not the most fundamentalist of things at the time because the particular understanding of those things kind of, well, didn't really exist yet mostly.....so the early church fathers aren't necessarily the greatest of sources for a good POV because they were kind of only human like the rest of us. That's not to say Christ is not both God and a man, or that the trinity is somehow a lie, but all im saying is that I really don't think we should be defining a Christian POV by just people's standards. Homestarmy 16:30, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
We don't know whether the doctrine of the Trinity was preached at that time or not. I'm not sure you all have thought this through enough. --BenMcLean 16:39, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Vague on PurposeEdit

I'm new here so I don't know if this debate is still going on, but couldn't a Christian be defined as one who studies the teachings of Christ. Similar to a Berkelean is one who studies the teachings of George Berkely or an Aristotellian is one who studies Aristotle? I know it's vague, but is that bad for the purposes of this wiki? By the way, four tildas is an easier way to sign your name. FurciferRNB 14:41, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

That won't work. --BenMcLean 17:27, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


Proposal 8: A "Christian" is one who believes all stipulates of the Nicene CreedEdit

The easiest and most straightforward way to deal with who is and who is not a Christian is to create a policy that defines "Christian" as exclusively those who adhere in totality to the stipulates of the Nicene Creed. This includes all Catholics and Protestants and branches thereof (e.g., Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostals [except Oneness Pentecostals], etc), and excludes groups like Mormons and Jehovah's Wittnesses, and the like. http://www.christianforums.com/ has dealt with the issue this same way, for example. This issue needs to be dealt with NOW--actually, before the site was even opened, but it is too late for that--before thorny articles begin popping up. Otherwise this site will probably be doomed to arguments like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints#.22Consider_themselves....22 CyberAnth 01:52, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Does that mean you think people have to be Ecumanists (people who belive in Ecumanism ... Ecumanicists ... whatever you call them) to be Christians? Because I would disagree with that very strongly. --BenMcLean 16:40, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
No. Ecumenism is not mentioned in the Nicene Creed except to mention that there is one Body of Christ. Basically, the take home message of my proposal is that only Trinitarian Christians should be defined as Christians. CyberAnth 02:53, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
I believe in the Trinity myself, and would have no problem with someone proposing a Trinitarian Wiki(a) but I think Christianity is broader than Trinitarianism, isn't it? I think that, according to most people, Christianity depends on belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, not on the Trinity. But if the rest of the community is with you on that, I'm not going to leave or anything. --BenMcLean 03:11, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, it's not just the idea of the trinity, but also the idea of triunity (and the Hypostatic union). Because one can believe that Jesus is the Son of God and not believe that He is also fully God at the same time. What people think about the nature of God and the Nature of Jesus is a great way to categorize different beliefs on the Christianity Wikia! --Tom 20:40, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, now we've gone from Nicea to Chalcedon. BTW, the Oriental Orthodox don't believe in the hypostatic union. They're miaphysites. Archola
I dunno ... something doesn't seem right about this. Particularly since Christ didn't require any kind of oath of loyalty to become one of His followers that we know about. What about people who take the position that it is wrong to swear any kind of oath? Wouldn't that exclude them? --BenMcLean 00:28, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Latter Day Saint Scriptures Proposal Edit

Latter Day Saint scriptures will be used, but only to explain Latter Day Saint beliefs and to contrast them with those of other faiths. All references to Latter Day Saint scriptures must always be clearly labeled as such.

This is based on an existing part of CPOV:

"In instances where there is disagreement about particular issues within the Christian faith (i.e. different biblical interpretations by different denominations), there can be sections within the article that explain the diverse viewpoints (eg. Catholicism's view of Abortion). No denomination shall, under any circumstance, be considered superior, more correct, or more righteous than any other." --Christianity_Knowledge_Base:Christian_point_of_view#General_Information
  • I think that should solve this question. I don't know if admins are really supposed to vote ... but um, if we are, then For --BenMcLean 01:13, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't consider LDS/RLDS to be a denomination, I consider it a cult. There's a difference. --Tom 02:55, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes but the question is not what you think, it's about what the knowledge base should say. You may personally consider this group or that group to not be Christian(s), but the knowledge base ought to cover all sides. You may be interested in participating in the discussion I've been having with Homestarmy Forum:RLDS christian? about this issue. (Are RLDS members Christians?)
If your beliefs are correct in respect to Latter Day Saintism, then a neutral / independent observer should be able to see that when they read about these issues here. It seems to me that what you're trying to do is hush up or exclude people who disagree with you, instead of letting your beliefs speak for themselves. --BenMcLean 14:19, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
The very fact that LDS/RLDS go outside of the Old/New Testaments makes it not even worth the time to write about those religions on this wiki. The fact is, those religions are true Christianity look-alikes. It may sound harsh in today's culture to *gasp* leave someone out and possibly *oh no* offend people, but the fact is that the Book of Mormon and all other related LDS/RLDS material is junk. --Tom 19:39, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I do understand your position. I myself am very committed to absolutist ideals. (the idea that there is an objective absolute truth, therefore anything that comes into conflict with it is not true, or as you put it, "junk")
But what you are basically trying to do is limit Christianity to only include people that you think believe in a certain kind of Christianity that you specify.
Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about: I believe that the Pope and all the paump and circumstance in Rome that has to do with the international Catholic church is "junk". I don't see any basis in the Bible for much of what the Catholics do or believe. But are they Christians? Yes. Why? They say they follow Christ. I don't see how you could construct any reasonably valid definition of what a Christian is that includes Catholics and excludes Latter Day Saints. You can believe someone is a Christian (and thus, that their beliefs should be documented here) and yet believe that their doctrines are "junk" at the same time. --BenMcLean 13:57, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
What I am having trouble with is that you are making RLDS/LDS to sound as though it is similar to the Bible. It's not even close. This is not just some small difference of opinion, this is huge! As much as the catholics are messed up, the RLDS and LDS go even further to point of flat out lying. We can go into specifics if we need to, but that's my thinking, that this is bigger than just a little quarrel on a small doctrinal thing. This is infact the very opposite! --Tom 18:38, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
"What I am having trouble with is that you are making RLDS/LDS to sound as though it is similar to the Bible. It's not even close. This is not just some small difference of opinion, this is huge!" - I think we need to define what "it" is. Particularly since you are putting the RLDS and the LDS in the same category there, which I don't think makes sense in this context. The differences between the LDS and the RLDS are like night and day. I've tried to make that clear on this site before.
"As much as the catholics are messed up, the RLDS and LDS go even further to point of flat out lying." - Whoah, hold on there. I think we need to be a little more specific on that. I mean, there's a difference between lying and telling a falsehood. Lying is, "I know this isn't true, but I am going to try to make people believe it anyway". Telling a falsehood is, "I believe this is true so I am going to tell other people about it" when what the person believes isn't really true - but they don't know that. Lying is both incorrect and intentionally wrong. (in the moral condemnation sense) Telling a falsehood is incorrect and unintentionally wrong - thus I don't think that telling a falsehood is a sin.
Now, with that difference in mind, people in both the LDS and the RLDS have both lied and told falsehoods on occasion. And so have people in the Baptist church and in the Methodist church and in the Catholic church and in the Orthodox church and in every other church on the face of the earth - because all those churches have people in them and people tend to sin - quite often in fact.
I believe that lying is wrong. So any real lying that probably has taken place that you may have observed was wrong.
I want people to know what all the different religious groups we are discussing really believe so they can make up their own minds for themselves about what they are going to think about them. To put it bluntly, I don't want people to say, "You're going to hell" because of a misconception. I want people to at least say, "You're going to hell" because of a clear objective understanding of the real issues. (I'm not saying that "You're going to hell" is what you're saying - it's just an example of what someone might say - try to take the emotions out of this and think logically)
I am for what I call "Open Discussion" where "You're going to hell because you believe X" is a completely legitimate "informed opinion" if X is something that the other person really believes. But "You're going to hell because you believe X" would not be a legitimate "informed opinion" if the other person didn't actually believe X.
"We can go into specifics if we need to" - I have been going into specifics on this site for a while now, at least as far as the RLDS goes. If you'd take a look at this forum page you can read what I've written to someone with a similar position to yours on the Latter Day Saint issue. If you'd like to discuss that question, I'd strongly urge you to skim what's already been written and then start posting there, since this discussion has gotten somewhat off the subject of whether this is a good proposal or not.

Let me clarify this: My own personal belief in the Book of Mormon has nothing to do with this. I would vote FOR using the Qu'ran (the Muslim scriptures - that I think are basically false) or any other group's religious texts so that we can compare and contrast them with the Bible in our articles. This proposal is not intended to recognize the Inspired Version as a legitimate version of the Bible. (and certainly not as a translation - the Inspired Version is not a translation and doesn't claim to be - it is what it is, an "Inspired" version) This proposal is not intended to recognize the Book of Mormon or Doctrine & Covenants as scripture. It is intended to say that "Latter Day Saint scriptures will be used, but only to explain Latter Day Saint beliefs and to contrast them with those of other faiths. All references to Latter Day Saint scriptures must always be clearly labeled as such."

Perhaps using the word "scripture(s)" to refer to what different groups of Latter Day Saints interpret as scripture isn't grammatically correct. It seemed pretty solid when I wrote it, but maybe we're dealing with differing interpretations of what using the word "scripture" in connection with a document really means in what grammatical contexts. Should the proposal perhaps be re-worded with some more "what these people define as" type qualifiers in there? --BenMcLean 04:13, 29 October 2006 (UTC)