Saturday, January 18, 2014
All three of these creeds are related statements of Christian belief forming the basis of the traditional Trinity Doctrine on God. The Catholic Trinitarian doctrine is embraced by the Catholic Church, as well as Protestant, Evangelical and non-denominational Christian churches. However, the LDS Church does not accept these Catholic Creeds. Consequently, many main-stream Christians refuse to recognize the LDS Church as Christian despite our belief in Jesus Christ as both the Messiah and Divine Only Begotten Son of God.
So, what do LDS find wrong with these Creeds? Not much really. They are mostly correct. However, Christ taught that a little leaven "leaveneth the whole lump." The Athanasian Creed like the modern Nicene Creed contains the "Filioque" which says, "The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son;" The original Nicene Creed said the Holy Ghost proceeded "of the Father". Later versions added that the Holy Ghost proceeded "from the Father and the Son" This was a very controversial insertion at the time.
Wikipedia says that the "Filioque" insertion was one of several major issues leading to the Great Schism. The controversy surrounding the addition of the "Filioque" was not just doctrinal but also centered around the issue of adding to an accepted ecumenical creed. Rome didn't consult with anyone when they made the addition. Furthermore, Constantinople did not recognize the primacy of the Bishop of Rome who approved the revision.
LDS Doctrine on the Catholic Creeds focus on several factors. First, these early ecumenical councils were not unified in their conclusions. Yes, the New Testament records the great Council of Jerusalem where Paul and Peter came together to seek the mind and will of God concerning the question of circumcision. Peter and Paul began the council at odds with one another. But after revelation was received, unity followed. Unity did not follow the Creeds; instead further controversy and division.
Second, these several Catholic Creeds serve as the basis for the Trinity Doctrine on God which teaches that The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are mysteriously One God, One Being, yet three Persons. The Creeds use the word "Homoousios" to describe the Trinity which means that the Father and Son are of the "same essense". LDS would agree with most everything doctrinally in the Creeds except for the idea that the Godhead is "homoousious".
LDS equate the word essense with the word will. The essence of existence is our independent will. Will is the part of us that says, "I think, therefore I am". LDS believe that it is a fundamental Christian belief to understand that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost while One God, are also three distinct persons, beings, and individuals. Additionally, the Bible is absolutely clear that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are of 3 distinct and separate wills perfectly unified together in 1 divine purpose and 1 power.
Satan's doctrine is "do as you will". Christ's doctrine is "not as I will but as the Father wills". LDS believe that Jesus Christ is God and co-eternal with the Father. But LDS feel it is critical to understand that Jesus Christ, had a separate and distinct WILL to that of the Father. and, that Christ subordinated His unique will to the Father's will in all things. Christ continually taught, "I came not to do my own will, but the will of the Father".
Therefore, Christ was empowered to be good and do good more than any other man because He submitted His will to the Father in all things. Pride is "do as I will". Charity is the pure love of Christ-- for the Father, and our willingness to do His will and not our own.
If we say that Christ and the Father are the same person/being/essence/will than we are in danger of believing that Christ was empowered by doing His own will. Being empowered to do our own will (for good or bad) is the definition of magic. Even white magic is evil because our perception of good doesn't always match God's good. Conversely, being empowered to do the will of Heavenly Father and bring about God's will in the world is the definition of priesthood.
Catholic Trinity: God = 1, Being = 1, Person = 3, Individual = 3, Essence = 1, Will = 1, Power = 1, Purpose = 1
LDS Godhead: God = 1, Being = 3, Person = 3, Individual = 3, Essence = 3, Will = 3, Power = 1, Purpose = 1