Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Different Jesus?

I made a post about this stinging question some time ago (Worshiping Jesus differently does not equal "a different Jesus") but I like the way Stephen Robinson puts it much better:

"Evangelicals often accuse Latter-day Saints of worshipping a 'different Jesus' because we believe some things about Jesus that cannot be proven from the Bible. However, I would point out that John thought Jesus was crucified the afternoon before Passover (John 19:14; 18:28), so that the Last Supper was not the Passover meal, while Matthew, Mark and Luke say Jesus ate the Passover with the disciples and was crucified the morning after (Mark 14:12, Matthew 26:17-19; Luke 22:13-15). Is John (or the Synoptics) writing about a 'different Jesus,' or do they simply disagree on the details concerning one Jesus?

If some Christians think Jesus had siblings and other Christians think that he did not, or if some think he stayed in Egypt for years while others think it was merely for weeks or months, do they worship different beings? If I think Jesus liked his veggies and you think he didn't, are we therefore talking about two different people? Some Evangelicals, like the Mormons, do not accept the Nicene and Chalcedonian definitions, I am told, but limit their Christology to the New Testament data. Do these people also worship 'a different Jesus' than other more creedal Evangelicals, and are they therefore not Christian?

This charge, that people worship 'a different Jesus' if they disagree over any detail of his character or history, is simply a rhetorical device, a trick of language. All I can say to it is that Latter-day Saints worship that divine Son of God of whom the apostles and prophets of the Old and New Testaments bear record, and we believe all that they have to say about him. There is no biblical information about the Son of God that the Latter-day Saints do not affirm. If Evangelicals truly worship 'a different Jesus' than this, I shall be greatly disappointed." (Stephen E. Robinson, "How Wide The Divide?")


Clean Cut said...

I also like the way Elder M. Russell Ballard put it in a talk entitled Building Bridges Of Understanding:

"There are many who say that Latter-day Saints believe in a “different Jesus” than do other Christians and that we are therefore not “Christian.” Here is another place that we can agree to disagree without being disagreeable. We believe in the Jesus of the New Testament, and we believe what the New Testament teaches about Him. We do believe things about Jesus that other Christians do not believe, but that is because we know, through revelation, things about Jesus that others do not know. It is a twisting of language to call this a “different Jesus,” as though we have created some other individual by that name."

Jeff said...

No I don't believe in the traditional Christ. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the dispensation of the Fullness of Times.