What Is a Christian?


Often sites like this spend time talking about why Mormons are not Christian, and this site of course does spend a lot of time looking at areas in Mormonism that Christians would generally disagree with, and will unashamedly carry on doing so.

However I thought it would be helpful to lay out what a Christian is, without specifically relating it to Mormonism. This will hopefully speak for itself in showing why this issue comes up so often, as ever I would love to hear your thoughts.

I will do this by focusing on these areas:

  • What is our purpose in existence?
  • What is our standing before God by default?
  • Why do we need to become a Christian?
  • What is my definition of a Christian?
1, What is our purpose in existence?
So firstly I think our purpose in existence is totally and utterly to glorify God. Isaiah 43:6-7 says:

I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

We are formed or created for His glory, we even see examples in the Old Testament that when God was merciful to His people, this again was primarily for His glory.

Isaiah 48:9-11

For My name’s sake I defer my anger,
for the sake of My praise I restrain it for you,
that I may not cut you off.
Behold, I have refined you but not like silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
For My own sake, for My own sake I do it,
for how should My name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another.


For God, the upholding of His name and the declaration of His glory is more significant than anything. I think the reason Christ came and did what He did for us, again was primarily to uphold the glory of God, so that we as forgiven sinners might begin to glorify Him and live in our created purpose. We are entirely secondary in this equation. However we are also created in such a way that we find our complete satisfaction and completion in life from union with Him.


Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

There is nothing in life that compares to union with God, not spouse not kids, not family not friends not objects not anything compares with knowing God. We see Paul’s heart cry in Philippians 1:21-24

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Paul’s absolute desire was to die and be with Christ, as He knew that this was better than ANYTHING else. Yet for the sake of His work for the gospel he carried on.


God has created us to enjoy Him, glorify Him love Him and produce God honouring fruitful works for Him. My favourite preacher John Piper said this:

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

 2, What is our standing before God by default?

So my second area of discussion is what is our standing before God by default or just when someone is not a Christian.

As you likely know the Bible teaches humanity started off in the Garden of Eden with no sin and perfect union with God. However this happened.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

This union with God ended, we became dead, not in the physical sense but dead in our sins.

Ephesians 2:1 speaking to Christians but about before they were Christians says:

And you has he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins

We were dead in our sins, because of this fall, Ephesians 2:3 goes even further to say:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

We were by nature children of wrath, meaning the non Christian is dead in their sins and by nature a child of wrath. So here is a problem, God has created humanity for His glory, for this relationship, for these God honouring works yet because of this fall, because of this sinful state, humanity ceases to be able to glorify God. We actually because of this sinfullness are then fully subject to the wrath of God. Many people like to use the phrase, God hates the sin but loves the sinner, lets see what the Bible says about that

Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

God hates sinners, there is nothing but condemnation coming for them. This idea of God hates the sin but loves the sinner is not Biblical. This does not take away from love the Father displayed in sending His Son to save us, however as we saw above in Isaiah 48:9-11 this was primarily to uphold His glory, making us into children of light rather than children of wrath, no longer separated from God so much that He does not even hear us. (Isaiah 59:2 see below) Rather making us united with Him, righteous in His sight and no longer living in the condemnation of the sin that made Him hate us so much, as we saw so clearly manifest in the days of Noah.


Isaiah 59:2 also says But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

God does not even hear us in this sinful state of separation from Him. Sin is actually a nature rather than just simply actions,  Isaiah 64:6 says

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Even the good dead’s (or righteousness’s) of someone dead in their sins is worthless in Gods sight, Something had to be done in order that humanity might be able to have this union with God again. God was not glorified by this humanity As in this position there is nothing we can do to please God, therefore there is nothing we can do to get back into this union with Him. We needed to be saved.

So Christ came and died in our place as the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and rose again . This is where salvation by nothing but the grace of God starts to be important.


1 Peter 2:24 

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

So moving onto part 3. 

3, Why do we need to become a Christian?

 As I hope I have shown we are totally unable of getting ourselves out of this mess, now finally time for some good news.

 Ephesians 2:8-10 says it all here but I will obviously explain

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

By grace we are saved, meaning saved from the wrath of God, saved from having no connection with God, saved from Him not even hearing us, saved from our inability to do works that Glorify our God, the very thing we were created to do in the first place.

By grace we we are saved through faith not of ourselves, no one can boast we are HIS workmanship. Do you see where the glory is going for our salvation here, He has done it all. We are then created or recreated in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has ordained long before that we should do. 

Romans 4:5 says But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

The reason us evangelicals go on about salvation by faith and grace alone so much is not because we are lazy, but because we know how totally worthless and like filthy rags any works we could ever do are, unless we get our righteousness and salvation first, so that we can then go on to do good works.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

If your truly in Christ you are a new creation, just like Adam again at day one, made new and able again to please God. Yet this time you are not reliant upon your own righteousness, you carry the righteousness of Christ, therefore there is no condemnation for you (Romans 8:1) and your sin is not counted against you (Romans 4:7-8 make sure you check that one) so the reason someone absolutely must become a Christian as without it, they are dead in their sin and condemned eternally. There is no way out, other than by trusting in Christ, being made a new creation and then carrying His righteousness.

If all of this has truly happened then good works MUST follow as you realize just how much you have just been given

Luke 7:44-50

44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

If you are truly forgiven and saved and you truly know the wrath that you have been saved from, by no works of your own then you are going to love and glorify this amazing God a serious amount. If you haven’t and its all lip service, then James 2 has a lot to say to you.

4,What is my definition of a Christian?

So what is a Christian? A Christian has seen the hopelessness of their situation before God, that they have sinned and fallen short of His glory, (Romans 3:23) and in their brokenness have confessed their sin, surrendering their entire self to Him in faith, trusting in what Christ did for them, this lost sinner becomes a saved, redeemed, secure individual, complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10) has no condemnation for their sin anymore, (Romans 8:1), knows they have eternal life (1 John 5:13) and therefore loves Christ and the world a great deal, which will be displayed in their actions (James 2:20). 


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Categorised in: Are Mormons Christian?, What is a Christian?

32 Responses »

  1. Dear Bob,
    I have to admit frankly that your definition of what constitute a Christian brought me to tears.
    I could hardly ponder the sheer horror of what you have posited without feeling myself moved to weep, for you and for any one else who genuinely believes this to be a true basis for life.

    Look at what you have actually said

    “A Christian has seen the hopelessness of their situation before God”

    Before God there is no hope, against this all powerful being resistance is futile

    “that they have sinned and fallen short of His glory”

    it is impossible to reach the standards set for you by Him, that even in ignorance you are and have broken his rules and even if you didn’t you carry the sinners of you ancestors anyway and are responsible for them.

    “and in their brokenness have confessed their sin, surrendering their entire self to Him in faith”

    Brokenness? Who would not have a mental collapse in such a situation? Who would not be reduced to a wreck at such overwhelming bullying?

    “trusting in what Christ did for them”

    Yes? What did Christ do for them? Acted as a scapegoat? What tortured and murdered in an act of sacrifice to his own father to appease the horrible revenge HE planned to visit on everyone for the (some might say mythical) sins OF AN ANCESTOR?
    How is this loving? How is this even Sane?
    In payment for this the Christ has the honour of saying “no man reaches the father but through me.”
    That is like standing over a bath, with a plugged in electric toaster and saying “See how much I love you, I’m NOT dropping it in the water! Now tell me you love me to or else I will!”

    “this lost sinner becomes a saved, redeemed, secure individual, complete in Christ has no condemnation for their sin anymore,”

    Lost from what, saved from what? Lost from the love of a God who threatens to burn you forever, saved from his petty jealousy, for the love of which he will torture you eternally if you don’t “love” him?
    So by accepting Christ I am no longer condemned by Christ for sins he has decided that I have committed?
    This is Jesus saying “let me in to your life so I can save you from what I will do to you if you don’t let me in”
    Under the name of Len Hazell I have written Horror stories for years and that is the reasoning of a Monster!

    “knows they have eternal life”

    To do what? It is hardly a bribe if the whole of eternity has to spent placating an omnipotent psychopath, in the hope that he will not sooner or later decide to torture you eternally anyway if you praises fall short of the expected Glory?

    “and therefore loves Christ and the world a great deal, which will be displayed in their actions”
    “If you are truly forgiven and saved and you truly know the wrath that you have been saved from, by no works of your own then you are going to love and glorify this amazing God a serious amount.”

    Remember the last lines of George Orwell’s 1984, when Winston Smith has been tortured beyond reason and sits alone in a café, mumbling over and over “I Love Big Brother” the monster who tortured him, by facing him with his own worst fears, until in the time he genuinely comes to believe it and is the model party member?

    Please Bob, this is horrible.

  2. Thanks Henry, I actually thought you may respond to this when writing it, though that did not influence what I said.

    If God is real then He has the right to do what He will with His creation, I am coming at this from the belief that He is and He did give us this book the Bible, clearly that is not your view and so it is understandable that you do not accept this. Christianity is not the meek and mild cuddly baby Jesus religion many think it is, I think what I have said is accurate to what the Bible teaches, though if you feel otherwise I would be happy to hear it.

    I suppose your response does confirm the idea that the gospel is offensive to some, clearly the idea of someone dying to save you is not offensive, however the reasons He did this are, I guess I just stated this part more clearly than is often done, Thanks for the comment.

  3. “If God is real then He has the right to do what He will with His creation”

    My father is my creator; he does not have the right to torture me if he feels like it.
    However, your point raises a few fundamental questions, and proceeds from the presumption that God did create us.
    I would posit that there is no independent evidence to say that that is the case, only the assurances of the Bible, which most accept to be the inspired word of God.
    So the position is that we know we are God’s creations because God has told us so.
    If he did not create is but simply claims to have done so, he is a liar and a monster.
    Of course if he is our creator, who was his creator, if he did not have a creator and was always there eternally, then spontaneous existence must be real, he is proof of it. If that is the case is it not possible we were all there anyway and he did not create anything, we are simply concomitant?
    But given that we take God at his word
    If God wanted us to be obedient why did he give us free will?
    If God wanted us to be subservient to his will why did he give us the ability to “sin” that is to say go against his will.
    If God wants creations with which he is free to do as he pleases, what are we to him? Toys? Tools? Slaves? None of these put God in a position to back up the contention that he is GOOD, or MERCYFUL or LOVING.
    Rather he is a petulant child, playing games with people’s lives. Does such a eng deserve worship? Love? Adoration?

    If God did create us why send Jesus so far along in our existence, why not at the very beginning? Why not get the horrific sacrifice out of the way at the start?
    If he couldn’t we must ask why isn’t he as omnipotent as he claims to be?
    If he didn’t we must ask why not? Was he just playing cruel games to that point?

    As to the Gospel being offensive, that is not a word I use. It is disgusting to think that someone else must die for my supposed sins just because an all powerful being decides that we need to be forgiven for being as we are, but will not give that forgiveness without a Blood atonement.
    Can you seriously say that is not outrageous?

  4. I agree. However, once we have graduated from primary or grade school there is yet more to learn. As we continue to grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ our education does not stop with the basics. I think that many are satisfied with the basics and their growth stops. Bad or wrong? I don’t think it’s a matter of good or bad. We all have the same basic map for life given to us by the Savior but we must walk the trail and that path does not stop once we find the trail. It is only the beginning.


  5. Henry the reality is that we are coming at this from entirely different worldviews, I am not sure if you believe in God or not but clearly the bible has no authority over you, this website assumes that both of those things hold weight seeing as it is aimed at Mormons, I see no benefit to pursuing this with you but I thank you for your comments.

    Ned, I of course understand your point about basics etc. My argument here is far from this being a simplified version of Mormonism but rather this outright contradicts it, this does not mean of course it contradicts your views.

    But seeing as I have you how would you take Psalm 5:5? Also are you agreeing with me that the goal to spend eternity with Christ far outranks the idea of eternity with anyone else? If so why are Mormons not proclaiming this as the Bible seems to rather than eternity with families?

    • Psalm 5:5. I don’t know anyone who is in favor of the workers of iniquity. I guess I’m missing the point your are trying to make with this reference. As far as being with Christ out ranking being with our families for eternity I don’t see this as a either or issue. Being with both is what I’m looking forward to in the next life. Whatever He sees as best for me in the great beyond is what I want. I would think that you feel the same.


      • Thanks Ned we are all workers of iniquity outside of being in Christ according to the New Testament.

        However onto the 2nd point, I think this is a matter of diluting the sufficiency of Christ for our eternity.

        We see in Philippians 1:21 Paul’s absolute longing to die and be with Christ, we see in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Christ coming for His people and them forever being with Him. In Revelation 7:9 we see the great crowd before the throne bringing honour to Christ. This is Christianity that we might know, love and adore Christ eternally.

        It may seem harmless enough just to throw the family unit in there however in doing so it dilutes the sufficiency of an eternity with Christ saying actually eternity with Him alone is not all I want.

        As well there is a massive other side to this, I think within Mormonism the family has become an idol, check out this video where many LDS people are asked what is the most important thing to them. You dont need to watch it all to get the idea.

        We see the Christians placing Christ above all things even the family, as Christ said He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37)

        Many Mormons if they are honest would say love their family more than Christ, because thats who they are really looking forward to their eternity with, and therefore thats who matters the most. To call what I am saying simply the basics, that are ok for some not all is an insult to the greatness of Christ.

      • Perhaps your reference in Psalms is a indirect illustration of Christ’s work being perfect and our works being imperfect (workers of iniquity). I see the Old testament or Covenant as a preparation for the New Testament or the New Covenant which is in Christ. We are justified by His atoning sacrifice (no longer workers of iniquity) when we receive Him as Savior. Is this your meaning?
        I do think there are some who focus more on their families being together in the afterlife than being with God the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Just a desire to not lose their family relationships. It’s not that their families take precedence over God it’s just the sincere desire to be with them forever.


      • I think there are more than some that hold their family over God in their priorities, and as ever its fueled by the LDS Church, the more I think about it, the more it seems like Jesus is a means to an end in Mormonism. That is to help everyone gain their exaltation and eternal families, rather than the means to the end that is Himself as the Bible material I quoted seems to show.

        I appreciate this is likely not how you think, and of course others too, but I think you far from represent the majority view in Mormonism and the responses on that video does seem to support that view.

      • I think this video is one of those “planned” answer events. Almost like a political poll where you skew the question to get the answer you want. What’s the most important thing to this LDS person? What is not ask is the context of the question. What the most important thing to most people in their day to day lives? Their families. This is were we live. This is what we come home to. This is were children are reared, etc. The Church’s official teaching on this matter is this.
        Priority #1…God and our relationship with Him
        Priority #2…Our families
        Priority #3…Church responsibilities and our labors in the world to support ourselves and serve
        Lot’s of references to this priority outline in LDS publications. If you would like I can provide them for you.


      • Yeah please Ned I certainly like to see both sides thanks bud

        Sent from my iPhone


      • Just off the top of my head I found a illustration of putting God first.

        January 2014 Ensign,

        pg. 29 there is a picture of the Savior with a insert on doctrinal points.
        1. Maintain faith in the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ
        2. Put Heavenly Father first in our lives
        3. Dedicate our life and consecrate our time to the building the kingdom
        of God.


  6. First off, thanks for the blog, I enjoy reading such posts. Please forgive my critical review, it is purely academic. I feel this article whilst well intentioned appears very poorly thought through, resulting in conclusions that are inconsistent and incompatible with the very nature of God. In fact they give rise to a number of sizable theological hoops through which one must jump equal in size if not greater than any I’ve seen proposed by the LDS theology.
    I’ll quote your words if I may and sound them back to you with reflections:

    1. Your opening proposition is as follows:
    “So firstly I think our purpose in existence is totally and utterly to glorify God”.
    You cite scripture in support of this position. My first reflection is, is God perfect? Is God Omnipotent? Is God the source of all things, creator of all? If so, why would an omnipotent God need glorification? Are we saying God needs or wants praise? Are we saying that it is possible for a being that is Omnipotent (has control over all things and for which nothing is outside of his control), Omniscient (knows all that was, is, and will ever be including himself to the fullest extent) feel the need or desire for Glorification? Therefore God’s desire for Glorification can only infer the following:
    i) God is not infact Omnipotent and needs praise and glory – in essence he has confidence/self-esteem issues. This would be inconsistent with a universal creator and render God not God.
    ii) God feels we need to give him Glory for our benefit – it begs the question why? Why create a being to have it worship you if it has no lasting purpose intrinsic in its own being. If all we do is exist to worship God because it makes us happy in the eternities, then our existence is circular and rather purposeless to us, and has no meaning to an omnipotent God. This renders the whole motive behind the creation a circular argument. This is literally God saying, “No other beings yet exist, and there is no reason for them to exist, but I’ll create billions of them, and they will be happy worshiping my greatness which gives me nothing since I need nothing, and gives them a meaningless purpose, but i’ll do it as I have nothing else going on”. Further, it requires God to sacrifice himself (or his Son) to redeem these beings that did not exist and are only related to him by means of being a mere creation out of clay (a bit like dying to salvage your car). At least the LDS view seeing God as literal father creates a meaningful motive for creation, love, and the atonement.

    2. Your second proposition is;

    “For God, the upholding of His name and the declaration of His glory is more significant than anything.”
    I have as many problems with this as with the former. God is God, the perceptions of a lesser being have no bearing on that reality. The law is the law, we may not like it or its findings but it does not cease to be law if we don’t respect it. Law is not diminished by perception but by application. Since God is perfect both his being and his application of his own law are perfect. God can’t get disappointed when his flawed creations fail to see him in a perfect light!

    3. You follow this with;

    “I think the reason Christ came and did what He did for us, again was primarily to uphold the glory of God, so that we as forgiven sinners might begin to glorify Him and live in our created purpose.”

    At least you start with ‘I think’, and confess this is your own interpretation. The Mormons would agree with you on this, but see God’s glory as being related to his eternal increase. Your interpretation again renders to either Gods self-esteem issues or to his wanting to create a being that needs him (both of which are entirely inconsistent with the thinking of an Omniscient being). You also overlook “that God so LOVED the world” scripture which evidences this was not about his own self gratification but his humanity. His love for his ‘creation’ goes beyond that of simply liking something he made – which begs the question why? An Omnipotent God could simply speak the word, all those flawed creations would vanish and be replaced with a brand new set of perfect mortal beings, or immortal creations if he so wished saving him the trouble of the crucifixion. Such an Omnipotent, Omniscient God would seek the most efficient means to his desired end, they exist to glorify me, therefore i’ll create a perfect, immortal worshiping machine…problem solved. But God does not do that which implies far more is the case. All of the mainstream Christian interpretations lack a meaningful teleological reason for God doing anything.

    With regard to the Bible. You cite biblical scripture in support of your views, yet, the Bible is not a perfect book. It is jammed pack of mistranslations, historical inaccuracies, and blatant contradictions which allowed men like Joe Smith to position themselves as prophets. For the poorly informed the Bible seems a credible source yet honest investigation shows it simply does not stand up to scrutiny. The kind of scrutiny Anti Mormons like to apply to the Book of Mormon and the other LDS books is a kind of scrutiny the Bible itself would fail to meet.

    Therefore arguing that the Bible offers a full or clear picture of the will of God, the nature of God, the purpose of God or his creations is utterly flawed. Infact Smith had it right when he said ‘we need prophets to continue’ because reliance on a 2000+ year old book in the face of modern historic, linguistic, textual, scientific, experiential analysis leaves very well intentioned people very poorly informed.

    4. I’m skipping a over some of your points, but next came;

    “47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

    You’ll note the use of the word ‘Loved’ in the above quote. Love being a verb. Love as opposed to Faith. Further we know nothing of the back story to this individual at all so forming conclusions about the individual beyond that overtly stated risks a lot of assumption seeping into the conclusion. It’s like showing up at a trial to hear the sentence and assuming you know the character and activities of the defendant – we don’t.

    Staying within the Bible, it makes it clear that Grace and Works are both required to be saved. James makes works a major emphasis. What is James saying that we work out our salvation and remove sin through works? No, but Faith without works is dead (a scripture constantly a thorn in the backside of most evangelists). I once met a fellow Christian that told me he believed in Christ and was saved through grace and because of that he could go out and commit any crime he wished and his faith alone would retain his salvation. He cited rape, murder, robbery as having no bearing because of his absolute conviction in Christ. Do you seriously believe this is the case?

    We see from the Bible that Baptism is taught after Christ as the gate through which to contract with God. Why teach anything beyond faith if faith is the only requirement?

    You’re making selective use of Biblical verse. Holding it all together shows either direct contradictions across authors or an inconsistent interpretation.

    I note in your response to comments some MASSIVE assumptions: You note that God is real as one, which I’m happy to go with otherwise this entire discussion is moot, followed by the claim that he gave us the Bible. This begs the question did he? You could say he did, but did he also give us the Quran? The Epic of the Gilgamesh? The Book of Mormon? The archaeological evidence for these books is all wafer thin. The historical evidence for these books is zero (please feel free to cite any you feel proves any of them beyond ‘nice fable’ level).

    Your argument is constructed based on the selective readings of a Book that historians agree is not historic, not written by many of the ascribed authors, not translated correctly, is infused with teachings from Egypt, Babylon, and Greece, and is compiled in the wrong chronological order. Further, it was compiled by a church that unless you are a catholic you largely disagree with. You’ll note that different editions of the bible have a different number of books, 66 is common in protestant denominations, 80+ in eastern and Ethiopian denominations (have they got it wrong?). What about the books Christ references that are not in the bible and were excluded at Hippo? Did God inspire the Catholic Church to exclude them from the Vulgate? Yet Christ happily quotes ‘it is written’ in the affirmative books like the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs’, and you’ll note from early Christian history that the Shepherd of Hermas was one of the most widely read Christian books.

    All in I find it ironic that other denominations call Mormons non-Christian. It’s a bit pot calling the kettle black. Telling Mormons that their religion is false based on this interpretation of the Bible is a bit like the KKK telling the Nazi’s they’re racist.

    Since Mormons believe that Jesus was born of Mary, that his father was God, that he died to save the world, they obviously believe in Christ. They also openly accept the idea that their salvation comes by Grace. They state that works are required to evidence that faith to God, nothing more. Many of the LDS ordinances are entirely consistent with the NT post Christ. But sticking purely with your propositions I see nothing at all that supports the view Mormons are not Christians, and overall despite the fact that I admire your devotion to Christ, know you are a fellow child of God doing your best to preach, struggle to find your remarks of merit.

    Kind regards,


    • I really wish people would note that this site is for theists directed at theists. I am not going to spend a long period of time responding to someone who does not accept the basic assumptions of this post. A: God exists. B: The Bible is a reliable place (to varying degrees) to go to find out what a Christian is. What is at stake here is eternal rather than educational.

      I would say that in fact many of your assumptions of what I am saying are incorrect, however you clearly have more time than I do and therefore I have approved your response for integrity’s sake to show that I am not only wanting the company of those that agree with me, however this is aimed at LDS people hence the name of the site, sadly I do not have unlimited time, thank you for commenting.

  7. Bobby,

    Apologies, I didn’t see any prerequisite defining background requirements for replies. However, if it helps I’m very strongly of the opinion that I do actually qualify based on the criteria you’ve cited. I’m am actually a less/semi active UK LDS, in truth more of a Deist now (based on reasoned propositions).

    Ironically I joined the LDS church aged 20 walking away from a protestant Christian perspective in doing so (largely because I felt the LDS view resolved what I felt were major theological flaws in mainstream Christian thinking). This means;

    1. I’m happy to accept that God exists because its what I believe (I’m normally in the habit of having to prove/argue that assertion on other forums).

    2. My view of the Bible is entirely consistent with that of many LDS apologists, and in fairness, reflects the anti BOM arguments when placed against the bible for purpose of internal consistency (across these items of perceived scripture).

    3. I’m very aware of the mainstream Christian view having left It behind. Although now I’m semi/less active LDS I still consider their positions far more robust in terms of theology than the protestant view (those you espoused). Although for sake of avoiding this becoming an all encompassing LDS anti Mormon debate I’d simply ask you to defend YOUR assertion of being right rather than waste time attacking them.

    Therefore, I’m entirely the demographic you’re aim at and satisfy the stated criteria of accepting that there is a God, and holding a largely LDS view of the Bible.

    So please, point by point if you would,

    Kind regards,


    • My original point stands but thank you for the response. I guess I am learning when its worth digging in and when its not, thank you.

    • Your questions in and of themselves show that the Bible is totally unreliable to you, therefore my response which inevitable will involve more from the bible, is a waste of our time, hence my lack of change in response.

      • Unless of course you are now saying the Bible is a reliable source of information on God and His will but I have simply misinterpreted it? In which case point by point I will go.

  8. Hi Bobby,

    Latter-day saints believe in the bible so far as it is translated correctly. There is no definition of ‘correctly’ used by Latter-Day Saints. You will find some that accept it near as is, others who read more widely are very sceptical of the whole hence the heavy reliance on the BOM and prophets. This is heavily supported by the LDS view that the early church went into Apostasy and that many of the original LDS doctrines are missing from the bible either by purposeful exclusion or by poor translation (if you know LDS history you’ll already know this).

    If you are simply seeking to debate who has the correct interpretation of the Bible under the ground rules that we use the Bible alone I’ll happily accept that challenge, as I can evidence the LDS position over the protestant position very quickly without touching any other book.

    I’m assuming your stating that;

    1. We only use the bible (I’m suggesting the KJV as Latter-day saints use it as their standard).
    2. We both already accept the existence of God.
    3. We’re only trying to argue who has a more robust interpretation of the Bible, as diverging into other Anti Mormon literature is a distraction.

    We can start right from the beginning in Genesis, as many LDS arguments are founded there and much Protestant theology collapses in that same place.

    If you genuinely want to prove your interpretation is superior to the LDS view then lets begin.

    Kind regards,


  9. No I dont bud, I just want to win people for Christ this is not education for me, so in that case we are still done, thanks bud.Go find another sparring partner.

  10. Dee,

    Who are you Dee? I like to know who I am talking to. My name is Mike, I am an Evangelical Christian believer, a follower of the Way, a pilgrim. You can click through from this blog to my own blog to find out more about me if you wish.

    Lets begin with Mormon claims shall we?

    It always puzzles me that the first thing Mormons, who claim to be Christian, want to do is cast doubt on God’s Word in the Bible. Can you see how that might be puzzling to a true follower of Christ? Yours is a systematic dismantling of any claim for the reliability of God Word. Stop and think of that for a moment….If someone came to my door to tell me exciting news about the living God and began by saying I couldn’t trust this God’s written Word, that the God who, they say, is able to save from sin and death is not capable of preserving His message to mankind what should I think of that?

    Another thing that puzzles me is that, while the Bible claims for itself total reliability, “…able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim.3:15-16)

    Yet the Book of Mormon begins by pointing out its flaws:

    “An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.” (BOM Title Page)

    Did you get that? “If there are mistakes, they are the mistakes of men…”

    The Bible is able to “thoroughly equip” but the Book of Mormon cannot claim to be so reliable since the first thing we read is that it is compromised by “the mistakes of men.”

    There are 264 thousand verses in the Book of Mormon. Some 17 thousand are from the Bible. Given the Bible presents itself as a reliable source but the Book of Mormon readily admits it contains “the mistakes of men” then, simply based on the claim each book makes for itself, 17 thousand verses of the Book of Mormon are reliably God’s Word while the rest, 247 thousand verses, are subject to question, doubt, revision. That is born out by the fact that, while the Bible is intact as it was transmitted over 2 thousand years down to our day, the Book of Mormon shows over 3 thousand changes in less than the 200 years since it was purportedly translated.

    Why, if Mormons claim to be Christians, do they seem determined to cast doubt on on the Words of Christ in the Bible? Why do they insist on us accepting this pale shadow that, by its own admission, contains “the mistakes of men?”

    If, as you insist, the Bible is not reliable and, as Mormons confess, the Book of Mormon contains mistakes and errors, where are we to go for God’s truth? I suggest we go to the source, to where God first spoke, to the people charged originally with recording and passing on his word, the people of the Bible. Thankfully, they tell their story in the Bible which Mormons so easily doubt, so lets see what they have to say. At least we can be certain they existed.

    • miketea: I think you mis-read Dee’s post. He said he was willing to carry on a discussion on the following terms:

      “1. We only use the bible (I’m suggesting the KJV as Latter-day saints use it as their standard).

      “2. We both already accept the existence of God.

      “3. We’re only trying to argue who has a more robust interpretation of the Bible, as diverging into other Anti Mormon literature is a distraction.”

      Bobby has said he is not willing to do this.

      In response to this, you went into a lecture about how Mormons do not believe in the Bible. You miss Dee’s point. Dee is offering to engage in a discussion based solely on the Bible.

      I am a Mormon. I have read the Old Testament from beginning to end probably 4 to 6 times, once in Spanish and the remaining times in English. I don’t have any idea how many times I have read the New Testament, but more than the Old Testament. I have taught the Old Testament multiple times for an entire year’s curriculum in the church, as well as the New Testament. I love these books and find them consistent with the Book of Mormon, in setting forth God’s word.

      I also am a Christian. And, although I believe that you are handicapped and mistaken in your understanding of God and Christ and the good news, I fully accept that you too are a Christian, one who believes that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the only means by which we can return to our God.

      I appreciate Bobby’s attempt to write about his beliefs about Christ. As to what I, as a Mormon, believe about Christ, you may be interested in some entries I wrote a few years ago. I cited Biblical references for each of the beliefs. (It was never finished, and it does not get into really the most important aspect of my belief–that through His grace I can be saved.)


      “Grace be with you,” my brothers. May we appreciate our unity, not only our differences.

      • Hi Ted,

        Forgive me but I don’t think I have misunderstood Dee (who has offered a challenge then apparently walked off) I simply countered with a comment on the basic understanding of what the Bible is. It is no good saying, “lets talk about the Bible,” if we don’t first establish whether we trust the Bible.

        I know full well that Mormons “use” the Bible but I question whether Mormons allow the Bible to speak for itself. We both use the Bible but I trust it while Mormons don’t even trust their own scriptures, hence my quoting the introduction to the Book of Mormon.

        I am happy to discuss faith based only on the Bible but I doubt any Mormon could do it because Mormons don’t get their faith from the Bible, rather, they take their faith to the Bible. But if you – or Dee – want a discussion I am up for it.

  11. Bobby
    I have read the above exchange with interest, as well as you replies to me, obviously the tone of this blog has turned away from one of public discussion and discourse.
    That’s a shame.

    • Far from it Henry however this site has a purpose and I felt entering into that dialogue with you as with past discussions with you, are distractions as you deny the entire basis on which I am working, and therefore that is hard to really have a meaningful dialogue without simply being told my position is ridiculous repeatedly is all. I only saw this resulting in that being repeated a large number of times.

      • Though I do admit I could have handled this better. My purpose in this post is too have dialogue with LDS people on what is a massive issue, not to dialogue with people that deny there is such a thing as true Christianity. Dee I may have spoken too soon with you and have emailed you, apologies for any offense caused by my speaking before thinking. Also I will be more clear on the purpose of posts like this in the future.

  12. Okay Bobby I hope you will read this before deleting it, but since the title of this article was “What is a Christian?” and the conclusion of the article ended with your own definition of a Christian, I had assumed, not unreasonably that you might value another person’s opinions on that definition, perhaps later to be followed up with a counter proposal.
    I my be as you know anti-Mormon and an atheist with a strong dislike of fundamentalist attitudes to the bible, but those same attitudes to unwise literalism in reading scripture are shared by many Christians, does that make their attitudes worthless?
    You know I have helped you both with information, documentation and discussions with Mormons on this blog, you know I have refrained from comment when I had nothing constructive or helpful to say and you know I am as keen as you are to see people rescued from the LDS, all be it for different reason.
    You also know I have never called your position ridiculous, nor have I ridiculed you personally, but I will discuss a publicly made point by you, in a public forum when I feel you are laying yourself open to unwise or unconsidered doctrine as I would with anyone else participated.
    However it seems I and others am no longer welcome to participate here unless fully aligned with you theological stance, that my biblical scholarship is considered worthless unless it accepted as literal truth and that my theological stance (atheism) is unworthy of respect no matter how much respect I afford to the beliefs of other.
    Therefore I reiterate the tone of this blog has turned away from one of public discussion and discourse.
    That’s a shame and I shall not bother you again.

  13. Thanks for that Henry and I am not going to delete the comment, I freely admit I could have handled this better, I had a target audience in mind and when I did not get it I guess I spat my dummy out. You have my apologies and an open door to comment in the future. We all handle things badly at times however I just went and did it publically, I was tempted to delete a lot of these comments for that reason but I will spare myself that luxury, sorry again.

  14. Hi Bobby.

    You won’t be surprised to hear that my response to your article is not a ‘follow-on’ from the responses to what people have said so far.

    I wanted to focus on your point about hating the sin, not the sinner v hating the sinner. I think I would interpret the verses you’ve quoted in a subtly different way. Perhaps it could be said that God hated/hates what humanity has become, but loves us sinners enough to do something about it, something that fundamentally changes the situation instead of leaving us in our hateful circumstances.

    How does that interpretation sit with you?



    • Thanks Stephen

      Yeah I would agree with that just fine and I dont think I emphasised that enough. We see the true manifestation of psalm 5:5 when God flooded the world. However He then said He would not do that again. It would have been perfectly righteous and just for God to simply wipe the world out, however instead Christ comes as a sacrifice for us. This as I said was still primarily to satisfy the wrath of God against sin and satisfy Gods purpose in creating humanity by making us able to glorify Him again, however we see throughout scripture a love for the humanity that God created. I think in my enthusiasm to uphold Gods glory I missed something of this, rather than change anything I may well add something to reflect this.

      thanks for that.

  15. From a Mormon Perspective:
    1, What is our purpose in existence?
    Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
    John 17: 20-23 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
    John 4: 19-21 We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
    All of 1 Corinthians 13
    Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
    2 Nephi 2:25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
    Moses 1:39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
    3, Why do we need to become a Christian?
    I would add to Bobby’s comments:
    John 14: 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    Luke 22: 41-44 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
    Alma 7:11-12 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
    2 Nephi 2:6-9 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
    4. What is my definition of a Christian?
    I would add to Bobby’s comments which I wholeheartedly agree with and appreciate very much: John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.


  1. “Some have claimed that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a Christian church.” | Mormon Coffee

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