Monday, August 30, 2010

Are Mormons Christians?

In my earlier and more evangelical years, I believed that it was my duty as a Christian to prove that Mormons were wrong.

I was a tool about it.
A huge tool

Egged on by my Josh McDowell, Ravi Zacharias, Chuck Colson & Hank Hanegraaff books (among others) I talked about the 'subversive claims' of Mormonism to anyone who would listen in my Christian circle.

I knew that the claims of Mormonism and Christianity were incompatible.
I knew that I needed to be able to defend the righteous cause of Christianity against all those who would attempt to defame it.
I knew that Mormons were not Christians.

A few years have passed. And I'm not quite in the same boat anymore.

I'm no longer entirely sure that Mormons aren't Christians.

If you share my previous evangelical viewpoints, you may need to let that statement linger for a second.

First of all, how crazy is it lump all Mormons together? Or all Christians? Faith is such a nuanced and complicated matter, can I really say that I believe exactly the same thing as another person, no matter how we label ourselves?

Or even more importantly, who am I to say who is or is not really a Christian? Do I share fewer beliefs in common with your average Joe Mormon than I do a member of Westboro Baptist Church?

Or an Eastern Orthodox Christian?

Or Roman Catholic?

Or Southern Baptist?

Or neo-reformed Calvinist?

Where does that line of doctrine come in where once you cross it, you are deemed acceptable to be called a follower of Christ?

Do we put it at the point of believing that God sent Jesus to die for the world? That Jesus' death, burial & resurrection has some kind of redemptive power for all of humanity? What do we add on top of that before you can be called a follower of Jesus?

Or in the case of Mormonism, what do we say can not be added on top before we say you're no longer a follower of Jesus?

What do you think? Do you count Mormons as Christians? Why or why not? How do you reconcile this? Stay civil please.