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11.27.2004    |    'We Have Sinned Against You'
Thus confesses Fuller Theological Seminary president Richard Mouw. Professor Mouw, along with another evangelical Christian, preached to the Saints in Salt Lake City on November 14. From Beliefnet:
For the first time in 105 years, non-Mormons mounted the pulpit at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Nov. 14. The event, dubbed an "Evening of Friendship," was organized by Standing Together, a network of 100 evangelical churches trying to improve relations with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Historical animosity dating back to the founding of the LDS Church has heightened in recent years between the two groups, particularly in the 1990s, when high-profile evangelical leaders said that Mormons are not Christians and the Southern Baptist Convention held one of its annual meetings in Salt Lake City, partially with the goal of converting Mormons to evangelical Protestantism.
Well, isn't that nice. Interfaith outreach, and all of that. Feel-good. Small problem remains, however.

Also from Beliefnet, that pesky Charles Colson, opines that, no, Mormons are not Christian. To support this heretofore unexceptional position on the part of Christians, he writes:
But none of this alters the fact that Mormonism is an entirely different religion. For instance, Mormonism believes in many gods, not just one. Christians believe that God is eternal and is a spirit. Mormons believe that the god of this universe -- like other gods in other universes -- was once as we are. God "progressed" in knowledge and became divine, but retained his body.

God is married to a being the Mormons call "the Mother." The "Mother" is not the same person as Mary, who Mormons believe was impregnated by God physically. For Mormons, Jesus is God's son in a very different sense than that taught by Christianity.
Clearly, if what Mr. Colson writes is true, Mormons are not Christians. That they've taken the name of our Savior doesn't make them His disciples.

My personal experience with Mormons is mixed. On the one hand, their decency and industry is undeniable; they are very admirable. On the other, they're quite agressive on trying to convert us gentiles (which is what I was called; I'm lovin' it...). They also believe some quite fantastical things, such as that the Indians of North America are, somehow, descended from Jews who emigrated from Jerusalem. I don't think so, boyos.

My reading on Mormonism in the secular literature paints them as a personality cult, vesting life-and-death power in their leader, who is considered to have been appointed directly by God. In this, of course, they're not terribly different from Catholics of the Middle Ages, and, no, I'm not among those evangelicals who considers Catholicism to be a cult.

All things being equal, I'd have to consider them heretical Christians, at best. To deny Scripture by adding a new gospel in the Book of Mormon is the very least of their problems with calling themselves Christians.

If we Christians believe that there is truth, make that Truth, in the canonical Gospels, then those who confess a new gospel deny that truth. Those who join with them in this error,such as Mouw, are, themselves, at the least, confused. My suspicion is that these Christians preached to the un-Christian Mormons out of a sense of Christian love, and, just maybe, with the secret hopes of turning them from their apostasy to the true path of Christ.

Or they could be fools.


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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.