There is quite a lot in the news of late regarding Mormonism, particularly its relationship to Christianity. Much of it stems from the fact that presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, is Mormon. Even today there were articles galore online about Christians acknowledging that Mormonism is not Christian. As expected, the media has been making hay out of all of this.
I wrote an outline for a post that talks addresses the question, “Is Mormonism Christian?” and hope to have the chance to post it soon. For now, suffice it to say that I agree with the 75% of Protestant pastors who believe Mormonism is not Christian, at least not in the Biblical or historical meaning of the word “Christian”. There is another related question that we must be careful to consider:
Should Christians distinguish themselves from Mormons? Especially in the public domain before an onlooking world?
The short answer is: Yes, but we must be careful in the manner in which we do it.
- Accuracy in the truth matters. If, it is true, as I have earlier argued, that Mormonism is far from being Biblical, faithful to the Gospel, and historically aberrant from the “faith once for all delivered to the saints”, then it is right and good that we be forthright about this fact. There is nothing that we should be ashamed of in stating the truth.
- History reveals that clarity is needed. History shows that when a robust Biblical faith is not clearly and faithfully taught, explained, and defended, the consequence can be tragic. Time and time again when believers do not make it clear what their convictions are, there is soon a loss of that truth. When the truth is assumed in one generation, it will be lost in the next.
- The Gospel is too important. The message that Christ died to save sinners is to precious to allow it to be distorted, watered down, confused, muddled, or out and out changed. Out calling to make known this Good News inherently reveals that any other thing that someone might trust is is in fact a false hope. This is offensive to some, but to those who are being saved it is the most blessed news to be freed from these false gospels.
We must distinguish ourselves carefully because:
- It is not our first, or foremost purpose. Our calling as believers is summed up in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Fulfilling those commands will mean we show true love to others by faithfully teaching them all that our Lord has commanded us. Yes, this will at times entail speaking out against a false gospel, such as Mormonism, but that is neither the primary or central aim of our calling. And we should not make it such.
- We must remember our true enemy. Our enemy is not a Mormon, nor is it Mormonism, or any other false gospel for that matter. Our enemy is Satan who would bind as many people as possible under whatever falsehood he can. Indeed, we must be on guard against the lies he would feed us. Certainly, one of these lies will be to mistreat, look down on, or speak critical of someone who does not believe as we do. We must not succumb to such lies.
- We must speak the truth in love. We are called to make known the message that God loves us, and we must do it by loving others! Yes, loves requires that we speak the hard truth sometimes, but it should always been done in sincere compassion. What is the condition of our heart when speaking to an unbeliever? It should be broken, longing that they to would accept the gift of grace that we have received. We were at one time lost and captive to sin, too. It is so very true when it is said that witnessing is like “one beggar showing another beggar where to find bread.”