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October 9th, 2011
07:42 PM ET

My Take: This evangelical says Mormonism isn’t a cult

Editor’s note: Richard J. Mouw is President of Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical school in Pasadena, California.

By Richard J. Mouw, Special to CNN

Some prominent evangelical pastors have been telling their constituents not to support Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidential nomination. Because Romney is Mormon, they say, to cast a vote for him is to promote the cause of a cult.

I beg to differ.

For the past dozen years, I’ve been co-chairing, with Professor Robert Millet of Brigham Young University – the respected Mormon school - a behind-closed-doors dialogue between about a dozen evangelicals and an equal number of our Mormon counterparts.

We have talked for many hours about key theological issues: the authority of the Bible, the person and work of Christ, the Trinity, “continuing revelations” and the career of Joseph Smith, the 19th century founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), better known as the Mormon Church.

We evangelicals and our Mormon counterparts disagree about some important theological questions. But we have also found that on some matters we are not as far apart as we thought we were.

I know cults. I have studied them and taught about them for a long time. It’s worth noting that people have wondered whether I belong to a cult, with a reporter once asking me: “Evangelicalism, is that like Scientology and Hare Krishna?”

Religious cults are very much us-versus-them. Their adherents are taught to think that they are the only ones who benefit from divine approval. They don’t like to engage in serious, respectful give-and-take dialogue with people with whom they disagree.

Nor do they promote the kind of scholarship that works alongside others in pursuing the truth. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, haven’t established a university. They don’t sponsor a law school or offer graduate-level courses in world religions. The same goes for Christian Science. If you want to call those groups cults I will not argue with you.

But Brigham Young University is a world-class educational institution, with professors who’ve earned doctorates from some of the best universities in the world. Several of the top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have PhDs from Ivy League schools.

These folks talk admiringly of the evangelical Billy Graham and the Catholic Mother Teresa, and they enjoy reading the evangelical C.S. Lewis and Father Henri Nouwen, a Catholic. That is not the kind of thing you run into in anti-Christian cults.

So are Mormons Christians? For me, that’s a complicated question.

My Mormon friends and I disagree on enough subjects that I am not prepared to say that their theology falls within the scope of historic Christian teaching. But the important thing is that we continue to talk about these things, and with increasing candor and mutual openness to correction.

No one has shown any impulse to walk away from the table of dialogue. We do all of this with the blessing of many leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, some of whom have become good friends.

While I am not prepared to reclassify Mormonism as possessing undeniably Christian theology, I do accept many of my Mormon friends as genuine followers of the Jesus whom I worship as the divine Savior.

I find Mormons to be more Christ-centered than they have been in the past. I recently showed a video to my evangelical Fuller Seminary students of Mormon Elder Jeffrey Holland, one of the Twelve Apostles who help lead the LDS church. The video captures Holland speaking to thousands of Mormons about Christ’s death on the cross.

Several of my students remarked that if they had not known that he was a Mormon leader they would have guessed that he was an evangelical preacher.

The current criticisms of Mitt Romney’s religious affiliation recall for many of us the challenges John Kennedy faced when he was campaigning for the presidency in 1960.

Some well-known Protestant preachers (including Norman Vincent Peale) warned against putting a Catholic in the White House. Kennedy’s famous speech to Houston pastors clarifying his religious beliefs as they related to his political leadership helped his cause quite a bit.

But the real changes in popular attitudes toward Catholicism happened more slowly, as Catholic Church leaders and scholars engaged in a new kind of dialogue with each other and representatives of other faith groups, most dramatically at the Second Vatican Council during the early years of the 1960s.

Cults do not engage in those kinds of self-examining conversations. If they do, they do not remain cults.

Those of us who have made the effort to engage Mormons in friendly and sustained give-and-take conversations have come to see them as good citizens whose life of faith often exhibits qualities that are worthy of the Christian label, even as we continue to engage in friendly arguments with them about crucial theological issues.

Mitt Romney deserves what every politician running for office deserves: a careful examination of his views on policy and his philosophy of government. But he does not deserve to be labeled a cultist.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Richard J. Mouw.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Cults • Mitt Romney • Politics • Rick Perry

soundoff (2,721 Responses)
  1. reddog

    My take: All religions are cults.

    October 10, 2011 at 7:07 am |
    • Frank

      That's intelligent.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:13 am |
    • Jebbb

      Yep.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:13 am |
  2. Rayzak

    A religious cult has more to do with keeping it's information secret than anything else. Ask a Catholic Priest, Jewish Rabi, or Muslim Cleric about their religion and they will be happy to tell you absolutely everything and even had out free literature.

    A leader of Scientology will never tell you everything up front. First you need to come to a meeting and sign a non-disclosure waver... then you need to pay a specific dollar amount to take the 'test' to see if you're worthy of entry. Even after that, they make you pay for every level of 'enlightenment'.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:49 am |
  3. Katie

    All religions are cults.. They are all bad and they all create violence.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • hesalive

      Christianity is relationship not religion. People who raise intellectual arguments against Christ are just masking their sinfulness and human pride.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • Steven Brooks

      @hesalive Ignorance and submission to fantasy are bliss, eh?

      October 10, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Neal

      This is not true. There has been much violence in the world as a result of religion, THAT is true. But religion is also the basis for every free government and much of our art and culture. Every government that looks to root out religion is also every government that is under scrutiny for human rights violations.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Steven Brooks

      @Neal Human rights violations are the key, then?

      So America is obviously not a religious country since we are under investigation for human rights violations.

      Got it – thanks for the clarification.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:00 am |
    • proof in the puddin!

      JW's a cult? is this guy truly a scholar? when was the last time you saw a cult made up of over 7 million people around the world? Yeah, Christ ran for president, chose the educated and elite of his contemporaries to preach and teach and make disciples to the extremeties of the earth. Sure, all Christians believe the same thing.... well those who refuse to pick up the Bible and read it maybe..... if there is one group of people who are law abiding, peaceful, responsible, exemplary citizens it is the witnesses. Scholars, like the Pharisees are drowning in their own self importace and so called knowledge...... I don't have to be religious to see that the proof is in the way religious people live and act especially towards their neighbors.... and I am not a witness.... I do appreciate people for who they are and if any of them ran for public office.... I'd vote for them.... but they are too good for such garbage.....

      October 10, 2011 at 7:01 am |
    • Bill Sargent

      The #1 definition of cult: A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.... Now that sums up all religion to me. And Neal, you're just wrong. Not every country that religions nonsense as its primary center of government for example, is free. Look at the countries that have a primary religious political stance, those are the countries you're seeing where war is rampant and people are starving and women have no freedom and gays are being killed and children used as human bombs.
      And "Hesalive" is just wrong too. It's not a relationship, it's a mental disorder or a chemical imbalance that makes people believe in imaginary beings without any proof. It makes them do irrational things based on no evidence and only "faith". It's nonsense and it's crazy. If I were talking to invisible people other than God, I'd be locked away as insane.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  4. hesalive

    You will be judged by how you respond to God's risen Son. Believe that his sacrifice atoned for your sins, and follow him with everything you've got, and you'll be welcomed into Paradise. Reject him, however, and you'll be rejected then. You don't have to go that route. God forgives every sin and daily invites you to follow Christ. His goodness is meant to lead you to repentance. Don't take it for granted. The longer you wait the harder your heart becomes and your window of opportunity closes. It's never too late, though.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:40 am |
    • Mirosal

      We raise intellectual arguments because you cannot use intellect for your side of the debate. You throw a book at us and tell us that some invisible being is going ot sitin judgement upon us. That just tells me your sky-fairy is a meglomaniac and an egotist. History has proven that all.. ALL religions of the past are now relegated to the realm of mythology. It's only a matter of time before yours will be also. Do you honestly believe that every single word of that "bible" is true??????

      October 10, 2011 at 7:02 am |
    • Bill Sargent

      Shut up, Hesalive, nobody cares what your point is. Your preachy bat-s#1t doesn't mean anything to rational intelligent people.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:06 am |
  5. Chuck

    It's not like the evangelicals have done such a great job running the country; they've screwed it up royally.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:36 am |
  6. sdgman

    It is a cult. But that doesn't make it less legitimate than the Christian, Catholic, Protestant or Muslim cults.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:36 am |
  7. Roto

    The fact that Romney is a Mormon should not be an issue. Religion in about faith, less about facts. You cannot PROVE faith based beliefs and so arguing about whether Mormonism is a religion or cult seems pointless. People believe what they believe and is boils down to personal overt and covert choices-I am Catholic. Romney has not made policy decisions based on fringe religious beliefs in the past. I have many friends who are Mormon and they seem to be family oriented and patriotic individuals with very mainstream values. Who cares what they do in church, they are great members of our community-and do not have as violent a history as Catholics and Muslims.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:36 am |
    • Abu

      I do agree with you. If someone is good enough to be governor of a state then good enough to run for President.Christians profess to "Love thy neighbor as they love themselves".

      October 10, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  8. Eddiejay

    The author has GOT to be joking. Joseph Smith was a scam artist who finally latched onto a profitable idea that not only got people to do his bidding, but propped him up to be a conveniently polygamous leader of an organization of followers who were lured out of a sense of belonging and community. WOW – sounds a lot like David Koresh and Charles Manson, Jim Jones, etc., doesn't it? Only Smith's death elevated him to "martyr" status, a remembered savior of sorts. When the Mormons finally moved to Utah, they created their own kingdom under the rule of Brigham Young, himself a polygamist. There, they perpetrated the Mountain Meadows Massacre – certainly ordered by Young himself – yet only John Lee – one of Young's closest deputies, was convicted of the murder of scores of innocent men, women and children – betrayed by the leader of the Mormon Church himself, who sacrificed Lee to appease the federal government. And Utah was only allowed into the Union after the Mormons swore against one of their greatest tenets – polygamy. Yes, abandon a religious belief out of convenience for the economic benefits of Statehood. There are countless contradictions in the Book of Mormon when compared to the Bible. There is simply NO way both cound be the Word of God – and with Joseph Smith's background as a scam artist, no doubt he wasn't scholarly enough to learn enough about the Bible to make the too more complementary. The TWO primary reasons the Mormon Church continued to attract followers after Smith's death were the virtual communist aspect of its economy and the fact that with Smith's death advertised as a martyrdom, his memory could be seen as inspiration. But the real facts are that despite popular Mormon folklore, Joseph Smith did not give his life innocently "like a lamb to the slaughter" in martyrom. He died after shooting three men with a pistol that had been smuggled to him, and desperately trying to prevent his death even with his last utterance. Martyr's do not try to kill others and then attempt to escape. Cult? ABSOLUTELY! It has simply lasted longer and has been given legitimacy, embedding itself like a tick as a legitimate religion born of Christ....it was born from the greed and slovenliness of Joseph Smith.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:35 am |
    • hesalive

      I agree. I researched Mormonism a little and the story is too fantastic to believe. Any saved person knows that Christianity begins and ends with King Jesus. Everything else is deception.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:45 am |
    • Neal

      I cannot begin to tell you how wrong every part of your statement is.

      First, let's look at the Book of Mormon. Have you ever read it? If you haven't, then you can make *no* pronouncement on it's truthfulness. Period. You cannot make a claim for or against anything that you haven't read and/or studied. The book is 531 pages of nothing but gospel related themes. It covers 1000 years of history of a people, identifying their culture and traditions, and how Jesus Christ's gospel was interwoven in the fabric of their lives. He translated this book when he was about 21. How many 21 year olds do you know that could write a book like that? It never contradicts itself. It has different writing styles from different authors. Joseph Smith, for a fact, had about a 3rd grade education. How many 3rd grade graduates, who were farmers, could produce it? If he were evil, he could not have written a 500+ page book about the Love of Jesus Christ. And if he were good, but not inspired, he would not have tried to have written it. So, either the Book of Mormon is *exactly* what Joseph Smith said it is...a translation of an ancient people and their relationship with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or he is the evil perpetrator of the largest scam ever pulled in human history that has brought in MILLIONS of people...including some of the smartest and brightest scholars of every field of research. And what did Joseph gain? He made no money off of the religion. He was never rich from it. He had children die as a direct result of his beliefs. He was mocked and scorned in public throughout his life. He was arrested time and again, accused by the religious leaders of his time, of everything from disturbing the peace to treason, but yet he was released every time because they never had any proof. And in the end, he died for it. Yes, he tried to defend himself...do you blame him? A mob of 200 armed men came after him, and he had a lot to live for. What would you do?

      Anyway, it all boils down to this. Either the Book of Mormon is true, or it isn't. And you can't know unless you read it, think about it, and pray about it. And if it's true, then it proves that Joseph Smith was exactly what we, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believe him to be. A modern-day prophet of God. And if *that's* true....well, you can connect the dots for yourself.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • Bud

      Yeah, you really don't know as much as you think you do.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:18 am |
  9. lastofall

    For me, I´d rather take the word of a carpenter over any scholastic achiever any day.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:33 am |
  10. Mirosal

    Don't you just love how Richard Dawkins gets death threats from so-called "christian people"? I love how they expose their own hypocrisy, talking about love thy neighbor, then telling one man who disagrees that they want him dead

    October 10, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • kenny

      You make a crucial mistake here by calling people who believe that way "christian" bcause that is not christianity at all. If you were to read the words of Christ you would know that and recognize that just because someone says they are something it doesn't mean that they are. The proof is in the pudding, right. In the same way that if I were to go around telling people that I am Superman because I believe that I am wouldn't cause you to call me Superman. You would logically and rightly conclude that I was either joking or that I was insane. Think about it. Also, Richard Dawkins isn't blameless either; I have heard a lot of hateful things come out of his mouth.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:00 am |
  11. Mtnmedic

    Mormonism isn't a cult. It's a DISEASE. All organized religion is a disease.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:28 am |
    • hesalive

      Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • god says stfu

      christianity is a CUUUULLLLLLLLLTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!

      now STFU ALREADY AND WORSHIP ME!!!

      October 10, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  12. Mirosal

    KIMSLAND .. you will also see us eating what we'd like, dating who we'd like, whether straight or gay, we find humor in most everything, we're a happy bunch. All because we do NOT have the silly restrictions placed on us by people who tell us it will upset some imaginary sky-fairy, who will then get mad at us and send us to a place of pain aguish torture and suffering, all because we didn't inflate its ego by telling it how great it thinks it is. Golly gee whiz, didn't hitler and stalin and others do that as well? We atheists are unrestricted by rules set forth by people who want nothing but to control us and our wallets. Long live logic, reason and sanity

    October 10, 2011 at 6:23 am |
  13. Mormons Are First Century Christians

    Who is buried in Grant's Tomjb? Answer: Grant

    Is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints a Christian? Answer: Yes, they are a Christian.

    Are they a Creedal (Fourth Century) Christian? No . . . they are a New Testament Christian. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) restores Early Christianity's practices and ordinances.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:19 am |
    • kimsland

      Yes we know they are crazy.
      But there's still hope for their kids.
      Kids your religious parents are WRONG, they think that you are better off dead. Leave as soon as possible. It is NOT safe there.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      None of the Mormon church's exclusive doctrines existed in the earliest churches. Mouw even states as much.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:26 am |
    • hesalive

      Mormons are not Christians. Christianity begins and ends with Jesus, not Joseph Smith or Brigham Young or the Book of Mormon. I read once where there are more former Mormons than active ones. There's a reason for that.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • kenny

      You have got to be kidding. Where in the New Testament does Jesus preach about holy underwear, baptism of the dead, or God being a man in the flesh before becoming ruler of this world by adhering to the tenets of mormonism?

      October 10, 2011 at 7:04 am |
  14. kimsland

    Join the NON religious people, we are everywhere.

    You will see us on Sundays ALL day enjoying our time happily with our family.
    You will see us laughing outside churches, whilst the church doors are closed
    You will see us enjoying any movie no matter what fictional character is in it.
    You will see us enjoying life to the fullest and not wasting time praising death.

    The time to give up church and religion is now, before you waste your entire life away.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:09 am |
    • Bryan Hughes

      Amen brother! Richard Dawkins rules, as does science.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:26 am |
    • Robert Burns

      By your own argument you don't have to "join" non religious people. You start out that way.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • hesalive

      Anyone who rejects Jesus Christ now will be rejected then. You don't have to go there. He forgives all your sins and invites you to follow His son. Real life begins when you meet King Jesus. Before that you're dead in sin.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:35 am |
    • Robert Burns

      If Christians are wrong and we die so what? We lived our life trying to be the best we could and then thats it. If atheist are wrong....ooops.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:39 am |
  15. Bill the Cat

    Mormonism does not follow the Christ of the Bible, nor of history. They declare that their Christ was created, earned his godhood at some point after his creation, and that he is lucifer's brother. These traits do not describe the true Christ, so while Dr. Mouw is too engaged in "soft evangelicalism" to declare their beliefs heretical, I am not.

    October 10, 2011 at 5:54 am |
    • Bot

      Do you have a Father in Heaven who created all things? If you answer yes, you would agree with the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) theology.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Yes. And He is Trinity, not tri-theistic, or polytheistic if you look more into Mormon belief. There is only ONE GOD.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:28 am |
  16. comfortmd

    so many of all religions are blind to their own faults, as are so many who are so willing to use character attacks to accomplish their goals. before judgement can be passed on the book of Mormon, think of this. Why was the Bible, a compilation of word of mouth histories and passed down accounts of the first Apostles of Jesus, allowed to survive down through the years to our time? The Word of God is not writ plainly, but must be viewed with the eyes of the Spirit for any lessons to be gained. Read the book of Mormon in this wise. It is there.

    October 10, 2011 at 5:54 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      You have no way to determine if something you feel is the Spirit, or your own delusion confirming what you want to be true.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:55 am |
    • Kris

      Bill, Have you ever read the Bible? Countless times it tells us how we may know if what we feel or think is of the spirit. Before you start spouting off I ask you sir to please be educated in that which you are claiming. Otherwise you are just another ignorant spreading ignorance.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:21 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Yes, I have read it, and have been refuting the Mormon claims for years. The Bible does NOT tell you how to "feel the Spirit". I challenge you to give a verse that tells you what the Spirit speaking feels like.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • Eddiejay

      PuhleeeasE!!! Don't even whisper the "book of mormon" <–lower case intentional – in the same breath as the Bible. First of all, your characterization of the Bible as a book of stories passed down through generations is a CLEAR indicator of yoru lack of understanding of the TRUE Christian faith. To answer your rhetorical question – the Bible has been allowed to survive for two+ millennia because it is the inspired Word of God. Your so-called Prophet Joseph Smith claimed to have revealed the so-called golden tablets to

      Oh, and the so-called origins of the original descendants of Abraham in America (Lehi, and his descendants – the Nephites and Lamanites)? Preposterous. Not a SINGLE piece of archeological evidence exists that can even come close to substantiating that – and the archeological record is in STARK contrast to the origins of American Indians (Mormon theology says they are descendants of Abraham). Oh, and how does this gel with the 1976 discovery of the remains of three American Indians in California that date back about 9-10,000 years. Since Abraham lived and breathed about 4-5,000 years ago, he woulda been hard pressed to have had descendants pre-dating him by 5-6,000 years, don't you thnk? Find ONE pice of pottery...ONE trace of a dwelling that would have accommodated a family of Lehi...anything? I hear only crickets chirping.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  17. kimsland

    According to ALL crazy christian religious people.
    If you don't praise the lord (pretty sure they mean that dead guy jesus, not god ironically) you'll go to Hell for eternity!

    That's got be the most important reason NOT to be religious, since non religious people don't believe in make believe hell.

    October 10, 2011 at 5:53 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      You declare the existence of hell as false. Have you ever been dead to confirm it scientifically? Or are you merely speculating based on your own tastes?

      October 10, 2011 at 5:57 am |
    • Aztrazolo

      The grown ups are talking here. When you learn to talk like one come back and we'll talk.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:03 am |
    • SCAtheist

      You can't disprove unicorns scientificallly either. That's a first grader fallacy.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:04 am |
    • Robert Burns

      Try this
      http://rwburns3rd.hubpages.com/hub/Atheist-Want-Proof-I-Say-Prove-Christianity-Wrong

      October 10, 2011 at 6:06 am |
    • kimsland

      Seriously Robert, that link is like Ned Flanders saying science is not good for you, it only shows us important things.
      I REALLY hope you don't feel that was intelligent, try reading it again, its one of the most pathetically ignorant passages I've read.
      Good luck with your fairytales, and by the way WE (atheists) debate with you to help you, it actually doesn't make you an extra soul or something ludicrous.
      Robert WAKE UP, please.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:14 am |
    • Robert Burns

      So defensive, but your comment lacks content. You have made no point. Here's my point. If Christians are wrong and we die so what? We lived our life trying to be the best we could and then thats it. If atheist are wrong....ooops.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:21 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Don't need to disprove it. There are animals that are classified as "unicorns" because they only possess one horn. While they are abnormailities, they still exist.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:32 am |
    • hesalive

      Christianity in two words: He's alive.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • FReligion

      So Robert Burns, you really don't believe that religious nonsense, you are just hedging your bets against something really bad happening when you die. So you pretend and that guarantees good things will happen when you die. And somehow that omniscient god of yours is too dense to see through your elaborate ruse. Got it!

      October 10, 2011 at 6:44 am |
  18. Mirosal

    JDD.. then these people are extremely gullible and will believe almost anything about "god" you tell them. maybe they'll buy a bridge from me, or better yet, how about i deliver a BIG thermos of kool-aid to the Mormon temple in my city and tell them it's god's divinve elixir?

    October 10, 2011 at 5:52 am |
  19. DiscipleofElijah

    Mr. Mouw's views are somewhat confusing. First he states;

    "So are Mormons Christians? For me, that’s a complicated question.

    My Mormon friends and I disagree on enough subjects that I am not prepared to say that their theology falls within the scope of historic Christian teaching. But the important thing is that we continue to talk about these things, and with increasing candor and mutual openness to correction."

    Next, notice his statement from above; "I am not prepared to say that their theology falls within the scope of historic Christian teaching."

    If their theology DOES NOT fall within the scope of histioric Christian teaching, then they must not be Christian.

    Where the LDS Church makes their mistake is trying to "tag" themselves as mainstream Christians. If they simply stated they were as such as "stand alone" religion as the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. there would be no problems. The problems arise when they try to apply the Christian "tag" to the LDS Church. People would react the same way if Muslims attempted to "tag" the Muslim religion as Christian.

    I accept the LDS Church as being the LDS Church, but I don't accept it as being a Christian Church just as I don't accept Muslims as being Christian. There is simply too much difference in the LDS beliefs to be accepted as Christian, just as there is too much difference in Muslim beliefs to be accepted as Christian.

    October 10, 2011 at 5:50 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      they didn't try to de-emphasize their uniqueness until Hinckley took over. Uo until him, they were firm believers that they were the only true Christian church, and everyone else only had "a little truth"

      October 10, 2011 at 6:00 am |
    • Bot

      Are Mormons Creedal (Fourth Century) Christians? No . . . they are New Testament Christians. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) restores Early Christianity's practices and ordinances

      http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot.com

      October 10, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts do NOT reflect Christian practices, Bot. Quit spamming to promote your blog.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • Kris

      So am I to understand being christian as something other than believing that Christ is our savior? You know... the one that died on the cross for us, suffered in the garden, and was resurrected? The Christ from the new testament, that old testament prophets spoke of? Because that is what I have been taught for the last twenty seven years every Sunday in the LDS church. Oh, and at home during the week while we do family and personal scripture study. Yes that includes the King James Bible and the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Christ. I really think it just comes down to a difference in our definitions of "christian". We take it to mean true followers of Jesus Christ, ie. those willing to follow his example, serve their fellow men, and keep the commandments outlined in the scriptures. I assume if you are saying that we are not christian you have a different definition.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:35 am |
  20. hethathathanear

    flake

    October 10, 2011 at 5:50 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.