Images of Christianity: How America’s Top 20 Churches “Brand” Their Message

Every church has a message to share. And nearly every established church these days has a website in which it promotes and “brands” its church and message. Doctrine aside, I thought it would be insightful to see just how the top 20 churches in America (in terms of reported membership) go about visually communicating their messages on their respective official church websites.

Below you’ll find a collection of visual images and a description of what I found in a brief survey of each website. What you’ll find may be surprising. I found that of the top 20 Christian churches, only 3 actively use images of Jesus Christ on their site. Most churches don’t visually emphasize church doctrine or principles, but rather emphasize recent news in the church or upcoming conventions, concerts, and speaking series. Most of the churches choose to advertise programs or other websites and they promote their bookstores and other products for purchase. Some churches emphasize healthy living, taking care of the poor, and providing relief during disasters. Some have a really strong emphasis on the leadership of their church, directing readers to church hierarchy and important people.

One thing you’ll want to notice from each church is whether or not they are incorporated. You’ll find an interesting connection between the churches that have a “.com” website address and their visual emphasis on money-making conventions. The .org sites tend to be focused more on doctrinal and faith-based issues (but not all).

If you’re wondering how your church visually promotes its message in comparison to the others, check out the top 20 below, listed in order of largest denomination to smallest. (Statistics from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research).

#1 The Catholic Church – 68,202,492 American members
http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm

1_CatholicChurch

The Catholic church’s official website has a heavy visual emphasis on the leadership of the church (primarily the Pope and cardinals) and on great edifices and other structures owned by the church. Some religious symbolism, such as the cross and dove can be found, but they are minimal in comparison to leadership buildings.

#2 Southern Baptist Convention – 16,136,044 American members
http://sbc.org/default.asp

Southern Baptist Convention

The Southern Baptist Convention has a heavy visual emphasis on upcoming events (revivals, speakers, and annual meetings) and donations. Other images images include small photos that promote attending camps, listening to speakers, having patience with spouses, and helping the needy.

#3 The United Methodist Church – 7,679,850 American members
http://www.umc.org

3_UnitedMethodistChurch

The United Methodist Church has a strong visual emphasis on multiculturalism and global collaboration. The website is designed much like a news magazine and also presents many thumbnails of news stories around the globe.

#4 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) – 6,157,238 American members
http://www.lds.org/

4_ChurchOfJesusChristOfLatterDaySaints

Perhaps the most image-rich of all the denominations’ websites, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church) has a heavy visual emphasis on daily living according to Jesus Christ’s teachings. Images emphasize service, strong family relationships, praying, friendship, forgiving, marriage, giving humanitarian aid, sharing the gospel, and remembering heritage. It is one of the few websites that displays actual images of Jesus Christ.

#5 The Church of God in Christ – 5,499,875
http://www.cogic.org/

5_ChurchOfGodInChrist

The Church of God in Christ has a heavy visual emphasis on registering for upcoming events, mostly large conferences and convocations. Other images encourage donations, honor church leadership, show church hierarchy.
#6 National Baptist Convention , U.S.A. , Inc. – 5,197,512 American members
http://www.nationalbaptist.com/

6_NationalBaptistConvention

The National Baptist Convention has a heavy visual emphasis on upcoming events. There is also a strong visual connection to church leadership and voting. Some imagery emphasizes black heritage and donating to the church.

#7 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – 4,274,855 American mebers
http://www.elca.org/

7_EvangelicalLutheranChurch

Another image-rich site, the Evangelical Lutheran Church has a strong visual emphasis on global outreach and service to the community. Images emphasize starting Christian conversations and giving to those in need. Images also encourage praying and reading the bible.

#8 National Baptist Convention of America , Inc. – 3,500,000 American members
http://www.nbcainc.com/

8_NationalBaptistConventionOfAmerica
The National Baptist Convention of America has a strong visual emphasis on attending upcoming events. Images also encourage subscribing to events and purchasing new books and manuals on Christian topics. Images emphasize importance of church leadership.
#9 Assemblies of God – 3,030,944 American members
http://ag.org

9_AssembliesOfGod

Assemblies of God’s website is design much a like a news website with images emphasizing articles and stories around the church. Images advertise other church affiliated websites about following Christ, purchasing Christian resources, and the Assemblies of God Trust. Images also emphasize attending upcoming conferences.
#10 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – 2,675,873 American members
http://www.pcusa.org/

10_PresbyterianChurch

A site with relatively fewer images than the others, the images from the Presbyterian Church’s website spotlight local congregations, advertise news and events, and encourage attending workshops and summer camps for youth.

#11 African Methodist Episcopal Church – 2,500,000 American members
http://www.ame-church.com

11_AmericanMethodistEpiscopalChurch

One of the least image-rich of the churches listed here, what few visuals exist on the website strongly emphasize leadership and church hierarchy. Images encourage reading messages from the leaders, show how the church is structured, and where members can find active bishops.
#12 National Missionary Baptist Convention of America – 2,500,000 American members
http://www.nmbca.com

12_NationalMissionaryBabtistConventionOfAmerica

Another site with relatively few images, the National Missionary Baptist Conventional of America has a visual emphasis on leadership in the church and attending conventions.
#13 The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS) – 2,278,586
http://www.lcms.org/

13_LutheranChurchMissouriSynod

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has a strong visual emphasis on upcoming events and conventions. Images advertise church radio stations and donating to disaster response. Other images ask “Who Is Jesus" and advertise articles that provide relief to those who suffer natural disasters.
#14 The Episcopal Church – 1,951,907 American members
http://www.episcopalchurch.org

14_EpiscopalChurch

The Episcopal Church takes an artistic approach to their website. Their images depict events within the church, both historical and contemporary that define what the church is today. This is one of the few websites that actually includes images of Jesus Christ.

#15 Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. – 1,800,000 American members
http://www.pawinc.org/

15_PentecostalAssembliesOfTheWorld

A very commercial website, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World has a heavy visual emphasis on attending their conventions. Visual emphasis is made to declare sold out events, hotel accommodations for events, and subscription magazines that advertise the church.

#16 Churches of Christ – 1,639,495 American members
http://church-of-christ.org

16_ChurchesOfChrist
With virtually no photographic images on their website, the Churches of Christ has little visual emphasis. Clipart icons and flashing bullets suggest a lack of funding to build the website.

#17 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – 1,500,000 American members
http://www.goarch.org/

17_GreekOrthodoxArchdioceseOfAmerica

With the use of artwork and imagery of older leadership, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has a strong visual emphasis on history and antiquated approaches to Christianity.

#18 The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church – 1,400,000 American members
http://www.amez.org/

18_TheAfricanMethodistEpiscopalZionChurch

Very image-rich, the website for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church has a strong visual emphasis on taking care of oneself and taking care of others. Images emphasize having health insurance, getting eye exams, helping those suffering during disasters, giving to relief programs, attending college, and going to conventions.
#19 American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. – 1,308,054 American members
http://www.abc-usa.org

19_AmericanBaptistChurchesUSA
The American Baptist Churches USA has a strong visual emphasis in highlighting church activities. Images emphasize involvement in the recent church summit, concerts, and in activities that involved giving to the poor.

#20 Jehovah’s Witnesses – 1,184,249 American members
http://www.jw.org/en/

20_JehovasWitness

Another image-rich site, Jehovah’s Witnesses emphasize the preaching of the gospel to all the world. Images emphasize the reading of the bible and subscribing to their magazine, The Watchtower. Images provoke inquiry by questioning “Should You Trust Religion" and “Is Protest the Answer"?

195 thoughts on “Images of Christianity: How America’s Top 20 Churches “Brand” Their Message

  • July 17, 2013 at 2:12 am
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    This was interesting! Thanks for sending the link. Now that I’ve finally switched from Google Reader to another blog-following site, you’re on my list. I’ll be seeing all your posts for now on. Yay! You’re very talented.

    Reply
  • July 22, 2013 at 11:53 am
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    Nicely done. Appreciate your staying positive and non-judgmental.

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  • July 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm
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    Fascinating!
    I wonder if churches refrain from displaying images of Jesus for fear of treading on the 4th Commandment about ‘graven images’

    Exodus 20:4-5

    4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

    5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

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    • July 23, 2013 at 2:01 pm
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      Very Fascinating. Thanks for putting this together.

      @Luke

      I hope that is why they don’t have pictures of Christ. I think a lot of churches have slowly forgotten why they exist and are more concerned about funding themselves.

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      • August 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm
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        I think they were never about Christ to begin with. They are only about money.

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        • August 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm
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          I’m pretty certain The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mormon church) does NOT provide any kind of funding to those in leadership positions; it’s strictly volunteer work. Probably one of the last churches that isn’t passing around a basket to pay for the leaders.

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          • August 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm
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            As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints (Mormon church), I can affirm that most (if not all) of the work done for our church is volunteer and without income. The money given to the church goes to building new churches and temples, humanitarian aid, and to help 18-26 year olds get the money they need to spread the beliefs of the church to other places.

          • August 12, 2013 at 12:48 am
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            You’re right, we only provide our leaders who are in positions that require all of their time what they need to live. We don’t give them any more than they need, and people like our bishops don’t get paid because they still have enough time to have a full-time job.

          • August 12, 2013 at 3:23 am
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            To be clear (from another member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)some leaders do get a stipend to cover expenses, travel and time away. Most ‘positions’ or callings world-wide are volunteer and members enjoy serving in those positions.

          • August 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm
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            But the church does expect tithing from its members for them to remain in good standing. The money also goes to pay for the church’s educational system from seminaries to the BYU campuses.

          • September 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm
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            If you would like to know more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, go to Mormon.org

    • July 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm
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      I don’t think anyone can calm the 2nd commandment as the reason why they don’t have pictures of Christ on their website if they 1 have pictures of Christ in their buildings, home, or anywhere else and 2 if they have pictures of anything else on the website. If you interpret the commandment to be that you can not have pictures “of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” then you wont have picture at all. I remember hearing there was some religion like that where they can only have abstract art. But I’m pretty sure most Christen denominations understand the commandment is to not make anything that you can worship, we worship only the true Living God, not images or idols (pictures are perfectly fine as decorations). So if you have pictures of anything anywhere, then you can’t clam the 2nd commandment as why you didn’t have Christ on you website.

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        • August 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm
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          We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

          We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

          That’s why we know about our Savior, Lord Jesus Christ. If you have believe in God ask him by the way of prayer Our HEAVENLY FATHER answer us by our prayer. That why we know the truth.

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          • August 11, 2013 at 1:52 am
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            Amen, Brother.

        • August 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm
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          @darryl you are clearly interested in very minute details. People like you are important in the world. But, religion is not a detail oriented instiution of knowledge. Religion explores the things that are unexplained by detail oriented institutions such as the scientific community. During the new testament times, christ was consistently criticized for not living up to the minute details that the pharisees pointed out. We have learned from his example that there are things that matter more than these relative principles of life. Wars have started over minute details. It’s clear that detail oriented people in the religious community have always created contention in almost every setting imaginable… kind of like your comment stirred in this conversation.

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          • August 15, 2013 at 9:23 am
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            Hi Alex, I believe religion can be looked at as both detail oriented and yet simple. The gospel can be summed up easily by loving God and your neighbor. But lets be honest, the Bible is pretty complex and detail oriented. Most people can’t understand it. I believe most religions have gotten away from details and moved toward “non-denominational” religions for fear of offending others. They just want to all get along. Its no wonder…look at all the divisions in Christian churches since the early days of the Catholic Church. When philosophies of men crept into the church there were many changes and divisions. I believe the right thing to do is to not avoid the details, but to seek after truth and hold to it. Instead most people go shopping for a church they “mostly” agree with or a preacher they like best. In reality there is only ONE truth and there are many details to it. Some things matter more than others – and we should focus on the things that matter most, but I believe each person has an obligation to continue searching after truth and knowledge for their entire life as much as possible (including the minute details). Yes, the scribes and Pharisees criticized Jesus and Jesus criticized the scribes and Pharisees. I don’t believe they were criticized for being detail oriented, but for going beyond the mark or adding to or changing the law. Jesus knew they had changed the true and everlasting doctrines of His gospel and Jesus had to come to restore those truths – including every minute detail.

        • August 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm
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          Also, correcting someone’s grammar in response to a discussion of this nature – seems like a bit of a scapegoat. I would love to hear your response, and mean that with all due respect.

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          • August 12, 2013 at 2:25 am
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            and scapegoat came from the old testament. Full Circle.

      • July 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm
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        Agreed. The most important thing about that commandment is that you do not bow down and worship the images. I don’t bow down and worship any images of Christ, I worship the living Christ.

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        • August 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm
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          Bowing down is not necessary for worship as you can worship an image in your heart without bowing to it. It is what is in your heart that determines what you worship and will dictate your outer actions.

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          • August 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm
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            I can see Patti’s point. But, the only problem with arguments regarding false representation and the worship of images of God is that everything in reality is a representation of something else if you really think about it. I don’t think it’s a healthy practice to become overly detail oriented with respect of these types of things, but if we are going to look at the small and less significant details of the biblical teachings… it is also important to understand that there are false representations that are even more misleading than pictures of Christ.

            If you think about it, our eyes have to translate images that we see through our brain; we never really see anything directly. Everything we have to reference to God is a representation from something else and that puts us in a position that we have to recognize that even scriptural representation is somewhat faulty.

      • July 29, 2013 at 2:24 am
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        One of the things that is interesting to me about referencing the use of “graven images” as a reason for not putting pictures of Christ on a website, is the use by many churches now in Banner Ministries, in using banners as a symbol of God and Christ. Many people will bow before these banners, so isn’t that worse than displaying a picture of Christ on your website? Just curious what others think.

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        • August 12, 2013 at 3:56 am
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          Agreed, and again, the whole idea of a “graven image” is simply stated in a dictionary:

          graven image
          noun
          a carved idol or representation of a god used as an object of worship.
          ORIGIN with biblical allusion to Exod. 20:4.

          Thus, bowing to an image is breaking God’s commandment. The first commandment clearly states, “Thou shalt have ano other bgods before me.” Clearly the Lord wants his people to worship him, not a statue or picture. He can answer prayers and give us salvation, they cannot.

          Great comment!

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          • August 12, 2013 at 4:56 am
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            I truly believe that Heavenly Father is not displeased with His children having or admiring pictures (or statues) of Jesus Christ. They help us to visualize who He was, what He did and taught, and they help us to remember Him. Normally when I am saying my prayers it is not in front of a picture of Christ, but, I must comment that even if I was, I wouldn’t consider that worshipping the picture. My prayer is still directed to God, it is Him I am talking to, it is Him I listen for, and it is Him that I love. Not the picture. So I don’t believe that this commandment is referring to pictures or images of Christ, rather, they are other gods, or in fact they could be anything. Video games, money, our jobs, accumulations of material possessions, sex—these are all things that could be “idols” or “graven images” or “other gods” if we are not careful to remember that they are just things, and we can’t live for them and center our lives around them. Heavenly Father wants us to center our lives around Jesus Christ and our families.

    • August 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm
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      4th commandment in to remember the Sabbath day, is it not?

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      • August 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm
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        you are right. it is the 2nd commandment that is being discussed here. the 4th is to remember that Sabbath day and keep it holy.

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    • August 10, 2013 at 10:16 am
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      Fascinating!! Haha. What is the first and foremost commandment luke?! It is to love The Lord thy god with all thy heart, mind and strength. Don’t you put pictures up of those who you love most?! Especially our Father in heaven and his son Jesus Christ who has made us everything that we are?! Graven images is talking about images that are false, or that mock God, making them in vain and bring condemnation. Not pictures of himself that bring peaceful feelings to ones soul. You. Any just Interpret scripture which ever way you feel like to try and prove your point. But nice try tho.

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    • August 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm
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      The LDS church doesn’t show images of heaven but when Jesus came to earth.

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    • August 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm
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      The LDS church doesn’t show images of heaven, It shows when Jesus was on earth.

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    • August 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm
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      The LDS (Mormon) Church, frequently accused of NOT being Christian, adorns all of its building interiors with beautiful paintings of Jesus. However, they do not have any visual imagery in their ‘chapels’– the main room of worship in their church buildings– precisely for the reason given. “No graven image” is taken literally, but only in worship, as mentioned in the commandment. The hallways and foyers and offices are replete with them. Virtually every publication, building, handbook, pamphlet, etc., produced by the LDS Church includes artwork of Christ. Despite the claims of some, the very center of the LDS faith is Jesus Christ and our returning to live with Him and our Father in Heaven.

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    • August 12, 2013 at 1:28 am
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      That might be one reason why they don’t use pictures of Jesus, but also, for me anyway, it seems odd to use images of someone whose actual appearance is unknown. It seems silly to have images of a fair skinned Jesus with flowing locks, when more than likely he was dark in coloring. Personally, when imagining scenes in the Gospel, I have an image of a thin, average middle eastern man with a big nose. :)

      But like you said, it seems like the Bible would discourage us from focusing on his appearance at all, since it matters so little.

      With that, I’m done!

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      • August 15, 2013 at 10:02 am
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        Hi Crystal, why do you state that Jesus’ actual appearance is unknown. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus was a descendant of King David who was a descendant of Judah, son of Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel). Jacob’s father was Isaac. Isaac’s father was Abraham who descended directly from Noah. Through Jacob came 12 sons whose descendants are the 12 tribes of Israel and became the Hebrews that Moses led out of Egypt. Jesus was a Jew and a direct descendant of Judah. In fact, if the Romans had not conquered Israel, Jesus as the supposed first born son of Joseph would have been the literal King of the Jews by birth. Its no wonder King Herod was so anxious to kill Jesus when he was only two years old! King Herod KNEW he didn’t have a right to the throne.

        In addition the Bible provides 4,000 years of prophets from various cultures and backgrounds who spoke with God and saw Him. “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) Stephen saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God prior to being stoned to death. “And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Act 7:56) There are countless other references in the Bible. The Book of Mormon also teaches that prophets spoke with God in America anciently. I believe that God continues His same pattern and speaks to prophets in our day. God must reveal Himself, or forever remain unknown. His image reminds us that He has a resurrected body of flesh and bone. His image reminds us that He lives. I believe His image is absolutely critical to understanding who He is and who we are.

        “26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

        27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

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    • August 12, 2013 at 3:38 am
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      If you look up the definition of “graven image” it says: graven image
      noun
      a carved idol or representation of a god used as an object of worship.

      Thus, unless a church is creating these things to worship, the commandment is not being broken. I, too, as some on here have said, am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I know that our images of Christ are to remind us of his work. They help us remember, reverence, and worship him, not an image of him.

      Hope this helps!

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      • August 12, 2013 at 3:46 am
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        Correction: We worship God, the Father, in the name of Christ – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him" (D&C 59:5.)

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    • August 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm
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      At the Seventh Ecumenical Council of the Church, held in 787 AD, the church fathers discussed this issue and came to the conclusion that representations of Christ were NOT a violation against the second commandment.

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    • August 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm
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      That’s a true statement, it is a concern when people start to focus on funding the church as opposed to improving one self through the atonement of Christ. Good point mate. I know the religion I belong to focuses on the atonement and Christ.

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  • July 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm
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    Thank you for the overview and positive approach here. Also thanks to the commenters for doing the same. I learned a lot from this and gained a better respect for the various churches out there.

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  • July 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm
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    How is a picture of Christ a “graven image”? If we are Christian and we would like to exemplify any image, would it not be the very image of our Savior? If we are to take the verses literally then we should not be having pictures of anything regarding heaven and earth, really? I have a picture of the Savior in every room of my house, it reminds me and my family of whom we serve and invites Him, His image and His Spirit into our daily family life and activities. I prefer to have pictures of Jesus doing holy things and inviting me to come to Him than to have symbols of the cross. I guess I prefer to worship His life and that He still lives and can transform me to love as He loves than I do on His crucifixion, that sacred personal and private atonement is too precious to me to be displayed in my home casually, I prefer to remember it privately.

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  • July 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm
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    I only have one question: HOW did the Mormon church get ” actual images of Jesus Christ”???

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    • July 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm
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      Either they’ve got a time machine or “image” does not equal “photograph.” I’m not sure which one.

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      • July 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm
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        @John Gardiner- it’s the time machine. We have it in the vault next to the machine that puts horns on our heads :-)

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        • July 29, 2013 at 2:29 am
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          Very funny! You made my day.

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        • August 9, 2013 at 11:53 am
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          Great come back Ryan, it always makes me chuckle regarding the mis-conceptions people have about us.

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        • August 10, 2013 at 3:08 am
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          @Ryan, Love your comeback! Today at lunch some of us were discussing the misconceptions about our religion and us in general — some made us laugh.

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        • August 12, 2013 at 2:35 am
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          Awesome Ryan! That comeback just made my day

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        • August 13, 2013 at 3:25 am
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          Those aren’t horns. They’re “halo hooks”. :-)

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    • July 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm
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      It is not actual. It is an image of what we think christ might look like from the descriptions in the scriptures.

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        • August 9, 2013 at 11:55 am
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          Very interesting link, thanks for sharing.

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        • August 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm
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          Except that Jesus was the literal Son of God. Mary was His mother, but God the Father was His Father. Mary provides one half of the dna from the region you are describing, but you have to take into account the other half of the dna – the Divine. I would imagine that Jesus Christ did look a bit different than his peers, with his Father being God and all…

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          • August 11, 2013 at 11:29 pm
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            Well aren’t we created in god’s image?

          • August 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm
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            I would have to believe that if God was to give Christ as much of a chance to “fit in” and be listened to he wouldn’t make him different than His peers. But it might be possible that the resurrected Lord has lighter skin and therefore that’s what people envision Him as or He has been described as.

          • September 11, 2013 at 2:53 am
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            I thought I remembered there being a Bible verse where the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus but couldn’t pick Him out of a crowd without help? That would suggest a fairly nondescript appearance, I’d assume.
            (Though I do think the Discovery Channel thing takes the looked-like-his-peers notion a bit far. I mean, if you had photos of my closest neighbors to go by, you probably wouldn’t draw a very accurate picture of me.)

        • August 15, 2013 at 10:25 am
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          I think I saw this on the Discovery Channel. It amazes me how archaeologists came to a conclusion of what they believe Jesus looked like and so many people instantly believe it to be fact. Direct quote from the article, “In the absence of evidence, our images of Jesus have been left to the imagination of artists.” In other words, “we have no idea, but we will throw this picture out there anyway”. From what I remember, they found a skull of a person who lived in that area during the time of Jesus and reconstructed the face from it. That would be like randomly finding a skull in Virginia from the 1700’s and suggesting it must look like George Washington.

          And don’t forget the fact that our knowledge of science never changes and is never wrong!

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    • July 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm
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      In addition to the historical descriptions that are available, Joseph Smith saw Christ and the Father much like Moses and other Prophets have done. If you think that is not true, find out for yourself. I did.

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      • July 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm
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        this was on an article on doctrine, but one on visual survey of websites.

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      • August 11, 2013 at 1:56 am
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        Same here. God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ look very much alike.

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        • October 2, 2013 at 4:06 am
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          Christ is in tee exact likeness of his Father. that is how he could sayto thomas you hae seen the father,looking upon me

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    • July 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm
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      Darryl – Since you use the nickname “Mormon”, maybe you are not aware of the official name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or you just have difficulty in using the name of a church that has always had the name of Jesus Christ in it.

      As for pictures/paintings, anyone who is educated knows they are just renderings of what an artist sees. And of course YOU would never, ever have a painting in your possession. Now a “photo” would be so much more different. . . but then someone might construe that as something one could worship as well, and many do if you look at the world we live in today. So don’t carry any photos in your wallet.

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      • August 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm
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        “… that has always had the name of Jesus Christ in it.” – Slight correction. The Mormon church was actually called the Church of Latter Day Saints for a time before adding Jesus Christ to the title.

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        • August 10, 2013 at 2:34 am
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          No, no. Jesus Christ has always been at the center of our faith and at the center of the name of our church. The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints.

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        • August 10, 2013 at 3:34 am
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          No Micheal Baily. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was always, from the beginning, the same name. They have always been Christian and Jesus Christ has always been their redeemer and Savior. Please go to LDS.org to get correct facts.

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          • August 10, 2013 at 5:56 am
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            No, Cheryl and Cathy, Michael is correct. From 1834-1838 the church was officially named the Church of the Latter Day Saints. It wasn’t until 1838 that the church received its current name.

          • August 10, 2013 at 6:57 am
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            Actually, Michael Bailey’s right. you women don’t really know your church history.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Christ_(Latter_Day_Saints)

            and in case you don’t believe wikipedia, here’s something from lds.org:

            “By what name was the Church called when it was organized? (See D&C 20:1.) Explain that the Church was also called by other names in its early years, but in April 1838 the Lord revealed the name by which His Church was to be known. What name did the Lord give His Church? (See D&C 115:4.) Why is it important that the Lord’s Church be called in His name? (See 3 Nephi 27:8.)”

            funny how there’s nothing but mormons on this page.

          • August 10, 2013 at 7:02 am
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            Actually, I believe that Michael is correct – the church was organized on April 6th, 1830, but the revelation to have the name changed to “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” was not until April 26th, 1838. ( see Doctrine and Covenants, 115:4 or the online version: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/115.4?lang=eng#3 )

            Even though the name was changed, that does not make it a different church. But after all, what´s in a name? “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

          • August 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm
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            The name of the church in the beginning was CHURCH OF CHRIST…

      • August 23, 2013 at 6:29 am
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        If you are going to give Daryl a hard time, at least be sure to have your facts correct. I am a “Mormon” and the name of the church has not always had the name of Jesus Christ in it. You should know that.

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    • July 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm
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      I think they have an inside connection…

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    • July 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm
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      I think what the writer means by “actual images” is that they are images of what he may have looked like as opposed to images of symbols used to represent him, such as a cross.

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      • August 10, 2013 at 3:37 pm
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        I think the writer was probably referring to the fact that they were “actual images” taken from the respected church’s website…..just my two cents worth of opinion….

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      • August 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm
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        The church had an artist pray about what Jesus looked like, and he received revelation about how he looks. That’s why they say actual image, because that is how he actually looked.

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    • July 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm
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      Probably where others received images of Christ. That was an ignorant comment, where this site was being non judgmental. We all realize that these pictures come from scripture definition and at times individuals who have had the opportunity to leave his life and then come back.This second you probably will laugh at, but is a fact. I am comfortable with the images we have of our Savior.

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    • August 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm
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      Not sure what you mean by your comment. It is a criticism of the Church, I am quite sure. If you truly knew much about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you would know that Jesus Christ, His Father, and His teachings are the central and principle focus of the Church. It is His Church, established by Him yet again in these latter days of the history of the world. God reveals His mind and will through a living prophet today . . . as He has always done. (If I misinterpreted your comment, please forgive me.)

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    • August 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm
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      There is no need of a time machine, since Joseph Smith saw God himself and Jesus Christ in 1820. 😉

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    • August 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm
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      You guys all need to calm down. I think Darryl was making fun of the authors word choice not the Church. The author said “actual images of Jesus Christ” not the Church website. The author meant that the Mormons actually have images of Christ. This was a point he made a few times that other church websites seem to have lost their focus on Christ. But the way he wrote it made it sound like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints had real photographs of Him. Both the author and Darryl were very objective and neutral. It was you guys that took offense.
      I know Mormons get “persecuted” a lot but not everything is an attack on the Church. Quit being so defensive all the time.

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      • August 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm
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        Agreed Taron. In fact, I sell lessons in understanding and properly responding to sarcasm, should anyone here be interested. 😉

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      • August 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm
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        I agree Taron, I thought he was making fun of the wording as well… and I’m LDS.

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        • August 10, 2013 at 3:19 am
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          @Taron,
          I too am LDS, Taron you make a good point and I agree. Being defensive does not portray a good image of any religion.

          But I am still having a good chuckle over Ryan’s comment.

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    • August 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm
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      They are paintings and depictions of Christ

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    • August 10, 2013 at 12:36 am
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      I must contend with your interpretation of what “actual images of Jesus Christ” means. I think you are reading it as saying more along the lines of “images of actual Jesus Christ.” The position of “actual” is critical. With “actual” coming before “images,” it just simply emphasizes the fact that actual images exist in the website, the subject matter being Jesus Christ. If “actual” came right before “Jesus Christ,” then you could question how they got images of real Him (not just a painting or impersonator).

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    • August 10, 2013 at 2:50 am
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      Wow. I guess its a huge secret that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been making “Bible Videos” depicting the life of the Savior.
      ya’ll should check the website “www.lds.org/bible-videos” that’s where they got the pictures.
      then there are also the obvious ones that are artists interpretations.

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    • August 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm
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      They are not actual images. They are paintings from different artists. You will notice that not all paintings of Christ resemble the same Christ figure because they may come from different artists.

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    • August 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm
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      It is “actual images of” not “images of the actual” and that makes a huge difference! They are actually images, not just allusions to or implied honorifics or a fleeting mention to the person Jesus Christ. They did not say they were images of the actual Jesus Christ; they were saying that they were actually images. I don’t know if I am making the difference plain, here, but it is a crucial difference in meaning. Precision of language and of listening to language is vital to true communication.

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    • August 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm
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      I had that same thought with the wording of “actual images”. Didn’t think there were any photos from that age/time. :-)

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    • August 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm
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      I thought it meant that the picture is actually a digital image, and not a picture or a painting. why it was needed to say “actual,” i dont know.

      Reply
  • July 24, 2013 at 1:39 am
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    Yes, this is indeed a sad collection. Someone made the comment that these churches have lost their focus. That is all too clearly evident with these images. It’s that critical contrast between man-centered and God-centered. The vast majority of churches today are man-centered, with a little dab of Biblical theology – if one can really call it that – thrown in. The Lord expects the opposite. And wse forget that we cannot possibly serve each other properly if we do not first hear, trust and serve God, our Savior Jesus Christ.

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    • July 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm
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      Jonathan, you are correct. . . their focus should be on the living Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior and Redeemer for all. . . they should be doing all they can to follow His commandments and live as He taught us to live.

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    • July 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm
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      Rupprecht, if you are so God-centered (as inferred by your comment), then why do you even have an internet connection? Why not wear camel hair and eat honey & locusts while wandering in the wilderness?

      The answer is that religion is organized to enhance spirituality within a social context. Spirituality (as practiced by many non-church attenders) lacks the necessary saving ordinances and priesthood authority that Jesus and all of the ancient prophets taught and led under the direction of God the Father. Best wishes to all in their search for the true religion which contains all of the doctrine, ordinances, and priesthood authority practiced in the ancient church as described in the scriptures.

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      • July 29, 2013 at 6:34 am
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        If you are searching for a church that has those saving ordinances and priesthood authority
        That you are talking about the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does have that and would be happy to tell you more about it! (:

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        • July 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm
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          Yep, I’m a member, but I just didn’t want to sound biased. :)

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        • February 14, 2014 at 8:12 am
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          Actually, the Catholic Church holds that authority through apostolic succession that can be traced back to Jesus. The Church didn’t disappear for 1800 years and suddenly reappear with Joseph Smith, as the LDS claim. Consider Ephesians 3:20-21:

          Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

          “This Church that St. Paul is describing in Ephesians will be here to all generations (pasas tas geneas, “all the generations") forever and ever. This biblical text eliminates the possibility of a total apostasy for even one generation, much less 1,800 years!” There are much more biblical texts that eliminates the possibility of a total apostasy, and therefore eliminates the need for the creation of the LDS church.

          It is also quite incredible how American Mormonism is and how much it is influenced by Joseph Smiths ‘pre-revelation’ life as a money digger and Freemason. He used a seer stone to write the book of Mormon and borrowed his temple practices from the free mason’s. His book of mormon contained translation errors that were present in the king james bible, despite his claim that what he wrote was a revelation from God. His whole story is incredibly sketchy and without any authority but his own. The Mormon Jesus can’t even be compared to the true Christian Jesus described in the bible. For Christians, Jesus has always been the only son of God, the Word made flesh, conceived by the holy spirit and born of the virgin Mary. But for Mormons he is the “spirit brother of lucifer,” which is completely un-biblical and false. Things such as polytheism, polygamy, celestial marriage, and temple ceremonies were all inventions of Joseph Smith and are anti-Christian. “The Book of Mormon abounds in textual errors, factual errors, and outright plagiarisms from other works. ”

          I know a lot of Mormon people because of where I live and sure, you guys are good people and your religion has a lot of alluring qualities in as much as it teaches you to be service oriented, to tithe, and to be family oriented, but as far as being the true church and having authority, it is void of those qualities. God bless you guys.

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  • July 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm
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    One of my favorite things to do when I visit another church is look at the art. I love the pictures of Christ that have been created through out history. Stain glass windows are my personal favorite. Any Christian would most likely agree that such pictures brings Christ spirit into their hearts or brings their thoughts and focus to Christ. Not really an argument worth having. However one chooses to remember Christ is pleasing unto him. Why are we judging each other? I was more impressed with the numbers of each church. Add them up, that is a lot of people trying to follow Christ and do good in a troubled world.

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    • August 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm
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      @Ann Agreed! As a Mormon, one of my favorite places to sing is the local Catholic church. The stained glass windows and other art is absolutely amazing. It helps me to think of and reverence Christ.

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  • July 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm
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    I find it interesting that many Christian churches claim that Mormons are not Christian. Yet the Mormon site has more images of Christ than any other site. Only two others had pictures of Christ. I also find it interesting that only 3 churches (Mormons being one of them) reference Christ in their name. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary a Christian is defined as “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ” With that simple definition aren’t Mormons Christian regardless of differences in points of doctrine?

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    • July 25, 2013 at 1:35 am
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      No, that wouldn’t make a particular religion Christian by definition. I realize this will likely start a huge debate, but I will try and be succinct. If a group of people worshiped a false Christ, then they would not be professing belief in the true and actual Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Thereby not fulfilling Webster’s definition (using the secular to define the non-secular is inherently problematic anyway). LDS believe in a Jesus who was created by a flesh and bone God. They recognize them as distinctly two different people. Furthermore, LDS doctrine and apostolic “modern-day revelations” teach that Jesus and Lucifer are spiritual brothers, conceived by a god who was married to Mary. All such doctrine is contrary to what Christians recognize as Biblical truth. If Mormons are pursuing a false Jesus, they are not Christians…Some of them may be, but those who really dig into the theology and pursue the Mormon “Jesus” are in grave danger of worshipping a false god.

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      • July 25, 2013 at 7:54 am
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        I would kindly clarify that LDS (myself being among them) do not believe that there is evidence that God was or is married to Mary.

        Addressing a few of your points:
        LDS do believe that God has a body of flesh and bone, and that we (all humanity) chose to come to Earth so that we could become like God by receiving bodies of our own and following His commandments to the very best of our ability. Then, since we are imperfect, we can only be saved by grace through the Atonement of Christ. All this possible because of God’s love for us. Because He wants us to be righteous and to become like Him.

        LDS believe that not only Jesus and Lucifer, but all people are spirit sons and daughters of God, and that Lucifer became the devil by rebelling against God. That Christ, simply put, can be considered a big brother to us all.

        Forgive me if any of these things are redundant or if portions repeat any concept believed by any Christian faith, but I would like to establish this foundation of belief both as briefly and precisely as I can in this setting.

        I would argue there can be seen much evidence in the Bible which supports the belief that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings, yet one God united in purpose. I can also see the interpretation in the reverse, but for me I feel that the former fits more fully into the patterns of the scriptures.

        I appreciate your willingness to share your views and to engage in civil conversation. We have different interpretations on how God works, but I would reason it is the same God.

        I believe in a Jesus who suffered for not only me personally, but for all men, women, and children who come to Him. I believe in the man the Bible tells of, who walked, taught, healed, loved, and showed us the way to live. I believe in a Savior who conquered death so that we might live again.

        I would call myself a Christian because I believe the words written of Him. I believe His teachings: among them to love one another, to have faith on His name, and to keep His commandments. I would call myself a Christian so that I might become a worthy example to those who don’t believe in Him, and thus do not know the sweet joy of His love. I would Call myself a Christian because I love Him with all my heart. I praise God for the gift of His Son.

        I would say that “my” Jesus isn’t so very different from “your” Jesus as long as we both believe that He lived for us, died for us, and was resurrected for us, making it possible for us to live with Him again.

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        • August 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm
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          This. This was touching. I’m going to look into joining the LDS church because of this wonderful set of paragraphs here. Very well stated, no vile arguing statements… just calm response, not stepping on any toes.

          Thank you!

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          • August 12, 2013 at 4:04 am
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            The full-time missionaries can answer ANY questions you have! Check it out and click here for more info on how to get in touch with them: http://mormon.org/missionaries

        • August 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm
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          Beautifully stated, Daniel! I love your comment. I am also LDS but I love any Christian art and personally believe Jesus Christ rejoices when anyone follows his teachings and tries to make themselves a better person. This is such a scary, selfish and corrupt world we live in (you only have to turn on the news to see that) and I hope the pictures of Christ in my home help me to remember to be more like Him.

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      • July 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm
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        Andrew – – your difficulty is not with official church doctrine as it is more with men’s opinions and writings. . . yet, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or LDS, or Latter-day Saints, or saints, or commonly nicknamed: “Mormons") believe and teach as doctrine –

        That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, a member of the Godhead, with God the Father and the Holy Ghost. [official LDS doctrine]

        That Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, foretold in the Old Testament of the Bible. [official LDS doctrine]

        That he was born in Bethlehem of Judea of an earthly mother, a virgin named Mary, the Only Begotten Son of God, the Father. [official LDS doctrine]

        That he was born with a physical body of flesh and bone. [official LDS doctrine]

        That he suffered and then died on the cross to atone for all mankind, was resurrected, and lives. [official LDS doctrine]

        That Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah and Savior of the world. [official LDS doctrine]

        That God loved us so he allowed His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer for our sins. [official LDS doctrine]

        That he was resurrected with a “glorified/incorruptible” body of flesh and bone. [official LDS doctrine]

        That he will return in the same manner that they saw him leave. [official LDS doctrine]

        That we must accept Jesus as our Savior, and only through him can we return to live with God our Father. [official LDS doctrine]

        That we are not saved by our works, but through the grace of Christ. [official LDS doctrine]

        Simply put – LDS doctrine teaches to worship Jesus Christ as the Savior, Redeemer, Lord, Creator, Prince of Peace, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Mighty one of Israel, and the author of their Faith.

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        • August 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm
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          Correction: Jesus was born with Flesh and BLOOD, not flesh and bone. Flesh and bone is an indication that one has been resurrected already, having no blood, and cannot die again.

          God is the only one with flesh and bone — and after we are resurrected, we shall also be without blood, having flesh and bone, unable to die again.

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      • July 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm
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        LDS doctrine is that we are all spiritual children of God. Satan and his followers rebelled and were expelled from Heaven, thus forfeiting the opportunity to come to earth, receive a body, and be tested to see if we will obey God.

        As for our doctrine of three separate beings, here is one of the most recent and direct talks given by one of our apostles on the subject. This was delivered in a setting where it can be considered official doctrine.
        http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/the-only-true-god-and-jesus-christ-whom-he-hath-sent?lang=eng

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      • August 4, 2013 at 6:36 pm
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        Saying that members of the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS are not Christians is an old, very tired claim and argument. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints IS Christ’s Church on Earth today. I make no apologies for that. As they say, some things ARE TRUE whether you choose to believe them or not.

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      • August 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm
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        Please don’t tell me what I believe and I won’t tell you what you believe!

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      • August 10, 2013 at 7:17 am
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        May I point out that the doctrine of the trinity as practised by mainstream Christian churches was conceived and decided upon at the Council of Nicea when the Nicean creed was developed and this is about 400 years after the death and resurrection of Christ.
        I was studying to be a Lutheran Minister (Missouri Synod) when I discovered the separateness of the triune Godhead. For example at the baptism of Christ, God the Father and the Holy Spirit appeared. This makes all three appearing at once but as separate beings. Are we going to suggest then that they are bodies that can separate at will or use logic to say they are indeed separate beings. Also after his resurrection, Christ appeared as a body of flesh of bones to the disciples. The Mormon church teaches that this was a perfected body and thus different from what we normally experience in a body and that God the Father is the same way. This makes sense to me.
        It was my studies in the Bible, starting with John 1:1 and then cross-referencing from there that lead me to the fact that the Bible teaches three separate and distinct beings who are one in purpose just as a married couple or a family or any group may be one in purpose. And this discovery lead me to abandon my ministerial aspirations in the Lutheran Church and into a search for someone teaching the Bible as it actually reads. I found the LDS Church as the only one teaching that.
        I did not leave Christianity behind but actually embraced it more when I joined the LDS Church as they teach service to your neighbours, love to your enemies and striving to live a Christ-centered life so that I can return to live with my Heavenly Father.
        And now my question…have you ever considered why the Lord’s Prayer says Our Father who art in Heaven instead of My Father who art in Heaven? Does not Christ indicate through this that His Father is also our Father? Does this not show that Christ is then our brother? How can He be our brother if he is not a separate entity from Our Father? Would He not be then Our Father?

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        • August 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm
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          David I find it interesting how you left Biblical bases Christianity to become a member of the LDS church, as I was a born and raised LDS member who left it for Biblical based Christianity. Here’s the problems I have with what you shared on your comment. The Christians I know and worship with believe that the Godhead are separate persons within one God. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, and the Spirit is not the Father nor Son, but they are all God and have very specific roles within the Godhead. As for the LDS church they are a very good organization that teaches all to follow Christ live a Christ like life but at the core and foundation of Doctrine is where it the major problems are such as God the Father once being a human man that progressed to Godhood which is found nowhere in any ancient scriptures. The teaching that Jesus and Lucifer were spirit brothers in the beginning: The problem with this one is that Jesus is the creator and created Lucifer as his highest ranking Angel/Cherib in the beginning, he was never his brother but his maker Col 1:16-17, John 1:3. Those two teachings alone are enough to not follow after it but there are literally hundereds of problems when you really study the bible and then study all of the teachings of the LDS church. I just hope you continue to search and find the truth my friend. May God bless you.

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          • August 11, 2013 at 2:16 am
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            One thing I like to ask people who believe in the “Oneness theory as opposed to the Father,Son and Holy Ghost is this.
            Look in the accounts of Christ’s experience in The Garden. If they were all one and The same as some believe, then Who was Jesus praying to?
            Same question for when Jesus rove the money changers from the Temple.”My Father’s house (not my house) is a house of prayer. But you have made it a den of thieves.” The are more examples through out the scriptures but. The idea of Oneness is not valid,and can not be proved in Scripture.

        • August 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm
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          David,

          I find the history of your conversion interesting, because it is somewhat similar to what happened to me.

          I had been thinking of entering the Seminary to become a Catholic Priest. Therefore, I started studying the Catholic Church in depth; both in doctrine and History. I was truly amazed by what I found out. We had been given a lot of negative teachings from public school teachers that always spoke evil of the Catholic Church (even though I did not pay attention to them!), but when I started reading similar things about the Catholic Church even in books that had the “Nihil Obstat” and “Imprimatur” granted by the Catholic Church I was totally dumbfounded.

          In those days I became very doubtful about the Catholic Church but I still believed in a God and a Christ, but I was also very opposed to anything coming from the Protestant Churches because I felt they had come from that same source which had departed from the teachings Christ initially established in his Church.

          In those days I met by accident a Lady from Salt Lake City that was in Mexico City because she had gone there to meet her son who was coming back from a “Mission” to Argentina. One of the first questions she asked was “Which religion do you belong to”? I told her I felt like I was a Christian, but that I did not believe in the Catholic Church any longer and (anticipating an invitation to one of those Protestant Churches existing in Mexico) promptly told her I did NOT believe in ANY of the Protestant Churches either. Her eyes shone and she invited me to go meet her returned missionary son.

          I met him and they left me the address of one of the local Mormon Chapels and in two months I was baptized. Two years later I went on an LDS Mission and my Mom, a lifetime Catholic and a non-Mormon at the time, supported me on that mission.

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      • August 15, 2013 at 11:28 am
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        Hello Andrew Gundlach, Do you believe that after Jesus died he was resurrected with a body of flesh and bones as the Bible teaches? With that body He made a point of making sure the apostles and others SAW his resurrected body and felt the wounds in his hands and feet. With that resurrected body He ate fish and honey. Then with that same resurrected body he ascended into heaven. In heaven did he ditch that body or does He still keep it? The entire focal point of Christ’s life on earth was his death and resurrection. It means something! Jesus did it for a reason. A resurrected body is what everyone needs to receive a fullness of joy. Then in the New Testament Paul constantly teaches us that WE TOO will be resurrected! It teaches us that we are like Jesus.

        It wasn’t until around 200-300 AD that the old Greek philosophies crept back in teaching that God was a spirit that filled the universe and was an non-gender “it”. In 325 AD there was a huge fight which came to be known as the Nicene Creed. Arius and Athanasius had a big argument & others joined sides. Emperor Constantine did not want any divisions in the empire and called the bishops together to “vote” on a decision of who God was. A decision was made, Arius was banished and his books were burned. One of the questions was whether the Father and Son were made of the “same substance”(homoousios) or of a “similar substance”(homoiousios).

        http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/270595/homoousios

        In other words, is there one or two Gods? Removing the Greek letter “i” made all the difference or one small “iota”. This teaching that was not given by revelation from God to prophets, but created by man continued to evolve over hundreds of years and is what “traditional Christians” teach today. When Mormon’s came along in the early 1800’s and claimed God had restored the original truth’s lost from Bible times – that the Father and Son are two distinct and separate beings with resurrected bodies of flesh and bones – we were said to not be Christians or “traditional Christians” whose teachings of God stem from the Nicene Creed.

        Why do some have such a problem with Jesus and Lucifer being spiritual brothers? We are all brothers and sisters of Father in heaven – every one of us including Jesus and Lucifer. The Bible teaches that Lucifer was cast out of heaven for rebellion:
        “12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

        13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

        14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:12-14)

        There was a war in heaven, Lucifer became known as Satan (the dragon) and a third part of heaven was cast out with him.

        “7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

        8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

        9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)

        “4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth”(Revelation 12:4)

        To this day Satan and his angels are on the earth as spirit beings tempting us to do evil. They will never have bodies and will never be resurrected, but they desperately want a body as they have often proven.

        This is all clearly taught in the Bible!

        Reply
  • July 26, 2013 at 2:53 am
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    As a Southern Baptist, we dont deify a cross. Nor do we put Jesus on a cross. The cross is merely a symbol, and we dont encourage people to pray to a cross forged in “Tennessee.” If you pray you pray to God, not some brass hunk of metal that God created.

    Why make an image of Jesus? Its wrong. Especially “white Jesus” the Mormons love so much. He could have had the face of Abe Vigoda. So why assign him a false face? “No no no his face is perfect” According to who? Cultural definitions of aesthetic perfection? Yea! Thats perfect.

    One other thing people should realize, and someone hit on it earlier: the focus on conventions. That has nothing to do with brand. Each baptist church is independent, 120%. They have their own budgets, they have their own bylaws, they have their own stance on minor doctrine. A convention is basically a bunch of independent churches coming together to pull resources for missionary efforts and discuss doctrine. If a church wishes to withdraw, no hard feelings. Its about as decentralized as you can get.

    So who cares if the Pentecostal Assembly website got a partnership with the Marriott? I would wager that 99.9% of people who are Pentecostal or interested never go to the Pentecostal “Assembly” website, they go to their local churches website.

    I would be more weary of a church that flaunts their hierarchy and iconography.

    Reply
    • August 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm
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      Dear Not Important:
      I completely agree with you regarding the cross being a symbol and that we shouldn’t pray to or worship some brass hunk of metal. We should only worship and pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. But there is a big difference between having a picture of Jesus to remind you of Him and worshiping a picture of Jesus. In the same way, the words in the Bible are a reminder to us that Jesus lives.

      Why assign Jesus a white face? I don’t think there is any offense intended for people of other races. However, the Bible clearly shows the geneology of Jesus. It states he was a Jew. How many black Jews do you know? I don’t mean to be offensive, it’s just a fact. The Bible states Jesus was a direct descendant of David & Judah. The Bible clearly states they descended through Abraham who descended from Shem who was Noah’s son. The Bible states that Noah had three sons — Japheth, Shem and Ham. It states by these sons and their wives, the entire earth was populated following the great flood. The Bible indicates their descendants and lands they inherited. In our day these three groups are generally known as Asian, white and black.

      Why is it wrong to believe what the Bible teaches? The Bible doesn’t teach that Jesus’ face was perfect but that “he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2) Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

      We don’t believe in one superior race or group of people. We believe that all of us are children of God with infinite potential.

      The Book of Mormon states: “For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” (2 Nephi 26:33)

      Reply
  • July 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm
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    No use debating or questioning to make you understand me or something, Faith and religion is not discussed, I’m Mormon and I am very happy for that, and I’ll tell you why we prefer to stay quetos Mormons and let that speak ill of us or our religion, and because “we have always had the privilege of seeing the truth triumph over error” try to be better people following the example of Jesus Christ, I will talk something had happened … after the earthquake in Haiti, after a while the press and various media organs left and went away, that news was no longer giving audience, and together they left also several churches and other organs that estam there to help but the press was not there to show that ”they were helping” gone too, but we’re still there helping Mormons today is we do not need the media to show anything because we love for our neighbor, we will do our best not to expect the man see, do not speak of these things to prove we Mormons are better, because they do not think so … we hope that through the example we give people who may find that the Church is not what they thought of evil, more and more than they thought, so people will see that truly seek to follow Christ.

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  • July 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm
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    Can I just say, thanks, I believe, to the tone set by the author of this blog, all of the comments here have been fairly positive and non-confrontational. Thank you! As Christians all, we should behave as Christians with love and respect one for another regardless of differences in theology. I really appreciated the clarification that “Not Important” made that each congregation in the Baptist church has their own site and the main site is more for bringing them together for discussion among themselves than for teaching others of their beliefs. Just a little information like that can make a difference in one’s opinion. I understand and appreciate that the author just described what was seen on each site without judgment or condemnation.

    Again, thank you all for keeping this civil and Christ-like.

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  • August 8, 2013 at 1:20 am
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    What a nice list comparing the websites. Thanks for putting this together. Of this list I think the top 4 from both a visual standpoint and message content are these in this order:

    1-http://www.lds.org/
    2-http://www.jw.org/en/
    3-http://www.episcopalchurch.org/
    4-http://www.lcms.org/

    Some make you want to learn more, others make you want to hit the back button.

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  • August 8, 2013 at 4:17 am
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    I felt as if I was actually learning until mud began to be slung. At that point, non-judgmental was no longer the case.

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  • August 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm
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    The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, It is one of the few websites that displays actual images of Jesus Christ.
    His church!

    Luke 9:1

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  • August 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm
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    I thought this article was very interesting. I honestly had not thought about the messages being sent by the overall appearance of different church websites. I appreciate the forum that was created for beliefs to be shared among different denominations in this stream of comments. I think it is beautiful to think that there are so many people seeking to follow Christ. I wonder what are some other ways we could share our faith more with each other in spite of different ways we choose to worship or believe. I would love to hear other’s thoughts about how you share your faith and strengthen/draw strength from other Christian friends of yours who are not of your own denomination.
    I am grateful for the reason we are all conversing, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that He loves us and for the things he did and does to enable us to change, find strength, become more than we are, and overcome death. What an incredible miracle! Thank you, Christian friends. Thank you for sharing your faith.
    Another result of this article for me is to move me to reflection on the message my life sends to others by what I do, say, and who I am. If someone could look at my life in the same way these articles have been examined what conclusions would be drawn?

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  • August 9, 2013 at 6:39 am
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    First off, I thank the author for a well-put-together blog. Very non-judgmental and unbiased.

    Second, I too am pleased to see the vast number of people trying to live as Christ lived and trying to be more like Him.

    Thirdly, I am amazed that of all the comments the vast majority are about Latter-Day Saints specifically. Just curious why?

    Again, kudos to the author.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm