Mormonism and Christianity and Politics
I wonder why it took so long.
Finally, the fuss is out in the open about the differences between Rick Perry’s evangelical Christian faith and Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. The bruhaha came from remarks made by the Baptist pastor who introduced Perry at a Republican forum. The pastor described Perry as “a committed follower of Christ,” and some read that as code language that Romney falls somewhere outside of that description. Asked later for comment, the pastor said that Mormonism is a cult and is not Christian. And now Perry is suffering some political blowback as a result.
Two things: First, in 2011, that isn’t politically correct to say. It’s apparently more important these days to be politically correct than factually correct. And secondly, what the pastor said about Mormonism IS factually correct.
Mormonism is not Christianity. Space does not allow a full explanation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormonism). But “cult” is a term reserved for fraudulent attempts to counterfeit Christianity that obviously miss the mark on at least one of these three: Who God is, what God’s’ Word is, what salvation is. Mormonism is 0-for-3. Mormonism doesn’t believe in the Trinity, and is polytheistic – believing not only in several gods, but that faithful Mormons should aspire to BECOME gods. Mormonism believes the Bible does not get the job done, and calls it’s Book of Mormon “another testament of Jesus Christ.” Mormonism does not believe – as orthodox Christianity does – in salvation by grace through faith. CLICK HERE for a slightly expanded treatment of those issues.
What muddies the theological water is that Mormons and other cults use our vocabulary, but not our dictionary. They talk of Jesus, but it’s another Jesus. “Saved” means something different. Even “God” has different attributes than the God described in the Bible.
There are plenty of nice, decent, religious Mormons. Some Mormons may even be Christians, but only IN SPITE of Mormon belief. This is possible because many Mormon missionaries recruit very heavily at the doors of former church attenders. And sometimes those doors are opened by people who attended churches with very little theological depth. That is evidenced by the fact that only 75% of surveyed pastors believe Mormonism is not Christianity. Translation: 25% of pastors reeeeally need to find another job.
Some things are more important than political correctness or potentially hurting someone’s feelings. One thing that is exponentially more important is the gospel – the good news that the God of grace loved sinners so much that He orchestrated payment for their/our sins by the bloody death of His own Son. How important is it to safeguard the real gospel? Well, Paul put it this way in Galatians 1:8,
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!”