Skip to main content

MORMONS ARE NOT CHRISTIANS BECAUSE...?


As I was reflecting on some of the reasons why our Evangelical Christian critics insist that Mormons are not Christians, I began to realize that many of the issues raised ultimately boil down to how all-powerful and all-loving we really believe Christ is. When put in that perspective, it seems downright ridiculous to dismiss us as Christians for some of these things. Consider five here…

1. Salvation for the Dead

Critics: Mormons are not Christians because they believe that even after death we have a chance for salvation, and so they perform baptism for the dead so that their ancestors can be saved. 

Response: You mean that because we believe that Christ’s atonement is so powerful that He can – and that His love is so great that He will – even save those who could not accept Him in life (but then did accept Him in the life after), we are not Christians?
 
2. Godhood

Critics: Mormons are not Christians because they believe that men can achive Godhood, becoming gods just like God Himself

Response: You mean that because we believe that Christ’s atonement is so powerful that He can – and that His love is so great that he will – truly make those who accept Him free and clean from sin, spotless, and perfect, even as the Father is perfect; that He can – and will – make His followers gods; that He can – and does – offer Godhood to those who fully accept Him, we are not Christians?

3. Degrees of Glory or Universal Salvation/Resurrection

Critics: Mormons are not Christians because they believe in a universal salvation and resurrection – even to those who do not accept Christ! They also believe that those who do not accept Christ will receive a degree of glory. 

Response: You mean that because we believe that Christ’s atonement is so powerful that He can – and that His love is so great that he will – resurrect and save (so some degree) even those who do not accept Him, that He can – and will – offer some degree of salvation to everyone, we are not Christians?

4. Additional Scripture

Critics: Mormons are not Christians because they believe that there is more scripture (primarily the Book of Mormon) than just the Bible

Response: You mean that because we believe Christ is so powerful that He could – and His love is so great that He did – call prophets among another civilization, one here in the Americas; that He could – and did – show Himself to them so they too could know that they have been reconciled back to God; that He could – and did – provide the record of their history for us to be able to learn from their experiences; that He could – and did – call a prophet and provide more authoritative revelation (scripture) in our modern era, for our modern era; and that He can – and does – continue to call prophets and apostles to testify of Him, we are not Christians?

5. Keeping the Commandments

Critics: Mormons are not Christians because they put too much emphasis on works and keeping the commandments, and they believe it affects their salvation.

Response: You mean to say that because we love Christ so much that we strive to follow everything He has taught us; we believe it is important to keep His commandments and strive to become better, even to become like Him, we are not Christian?

Conclusion

The purpose of this little exercise is not to demean, belittle, or put down the faith that others have in Christ, nor is it meant to suggest that others limit the power or love of Christ. All this is meant to do is show two things: (a) how everything we believe – even things that others think seem “non-Christian” – are ultimately rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ, the love He has for all, and the power of His atonement, and (b) how ridiculous it is to suggest we are non-Christians for these Christ centered beliefs.

Obviously, I haven’t even come close to addressing every little thing our critics complain about when we try to insist we are Christians, and I readily admit that much of this is an oversimplification of both the criticism and the actual LDS belief. Still, I think this sufficiently makes my point.

Comments

  1. No one has commented on this yet, eh? I'm not really in a position to respond, so I hope a Christian offers a rebuttal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, I figured this post wasn't really up you alley. Unfortunately, I think you are the only consistent traffic that I get to this blog. haha.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I directed a Christian friend of mine to this post. He said he wrote a response. Are there any comments that are waiting for your approval?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nope, with how I have it set right now comments don't have to go through my approval. They should just show up.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Responding to the New Video on Nahom as Archaeological Evidence for the Book of Mormon

Many of my (few) readers have probably already seen the new video by Book of Mormon Central on Nahom as archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon, starring my good friend (and co-author on a related paper) Stephen Smoot. If you haven’t, check it out:


As usual, comments sections wherever this video is shared have been flooded by Internet ex-Mormons insisting this not evidence for the Book of Mormon. I’ve actually had a few productive conversations with some reasonable people who don’t think Nahom is, by itself, compelling evidence—and I can understand that. But the insistence that Nahom is not evidence at all is just, frankly, absurd. So I’ll just go ahead and preempt about 90% of future responses to this post by responding to the most common arguments against Nahom/NHM now:
1. The Book of Mormon is false, therefore there can be no evidence, therefore this is not evidence. First, this is circular reasoning. It assumes the conclusion (Book of Mormon is false) which the evidence pre…

The 15 “Best Books” to Read BEFORE Having a Faith Crisis

Elder M. Russell Ballard recently stressed that it is important for Gospel educators to be well-informed on controversial topics, not only by studying the scriptures and Church materials, but also by reading “the best LDS scholarship available.” I personally think it is imperative in today’s world for every Latter-day Saint—not just Gospel educators—to make an effort to be informed on both controversial issues as well as knowing reliable faith-building information as well.
(Given that Elder Ballard’s CES address was published to general Church membership in the Ensign, I think it’s safe to say that Church leadership also feels this way.)
An important step in the process of getting informed is reading the 11 Gospel Topic essays and getting familiar with their contents. But what’s next? How can a person learn more about these and other topics? What are the “best books” (D&C 88:118) or “the best LDS scholarship available”?
Here are 15 suggestions.
1. Michael R. Ash, Shaken Faith S…

New Paper on Isaiah in the Book of Mormon

Joseph M. Spencer, an adjunct professor at the BYU religion department, recently published a paper in the non-LDS peer review journal Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception, titled, “Isaiah 52 in the Book of Mormon: Note’s on Isaiah’s Reception History.” Spencer is a young scholar who is doing exciting stuff on the Book of Mormon from a theological perspective.
The paper is described as follows in the abstract: Despite increasing recognition of the importance of Mormonism to American religion, little attention has been given to the novel uses of Isaiah in foundational Mormon texts. This paper crosses two lines of inquiry: the study of American religion, with an eye to the role played in it by Mormonism, and the study of Isaiah’s reception history. It looks at the use of Isa 52:7–10 in the Book of Mormon, arguing that the volume exhibits four irreducibly distinct approaches to the interpretation of Isaiah, the interrelations among which are explicitly meant to speak to nineteent…