Sunday, October 9, 2011

Are Mormons Christians? Or a cult?

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...Image via Wikipedia

As a Mormon, I'm always interested in hearing about other groups' views of the church.  There has been a fairly long standing debate on whether Mormons are Christians.  What surprises me is all this talk about the difference being over the issue of the Trinity concept.  There are many differences between Mormons and any other Christian church.  Picking this one difference of the Trinity is such a minor thing.  Basically, Trinitarian Christians think that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are mysteriously and unknowably one.  Mormons think that they are physically separate, but completely one in purpose.  The trinity concept does not come from the Bible.  It comes 300+ years later. 

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...Image via Wikipedia
The preceding link is from a talk by Jeffrey R Holland, an apostle of Jesus Christ.  Or, for those that aren't Mormons, he would be called a "Mormon apostle."  He talks about the trinity idea vs. the LDS (Mormon) idea of the Godhead, which means physically separate but otherwise united in all ways.  For the most part, he uses verses from the King James version of the Bible.  And yes, Mormons believe in the same Bible as other Christians, although we believe in several other inspired works as well. 
US LDS percent 2006Image via Wikipedia

Percentage of Mormons in the population of each state as of 2006, I think. 

Anyway, one of my major peeves with this issue is, who gets to decide if a church is Christian or not?  Another article touching on the subject is:  I would guess this was written by a Mormon as well, because what is written seems to me to reflect the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints perfectly, and I don't read anything negative or attacking the church in it.  Either she is LDS or she is very objective and well studied about Mormons.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...Image via Wikipedia

Enhanced by Zemanta

1 comment:

JC said...

I think that the term "cult" is generally pejorative, and it is typically used to identify groups as "the other". To my mind, the main difference between a mainstream religion and a cult is a function of how long the former has been around and how much societal acceptance both have garnered. I don't think that Mormonism is any more or less odd than Catholicism or other "mainstream" Christianity. Also, as you say, it's pretty unclear who actually gets to decide what beliefs are part of an acceptable Christian dogma.