The Mormon factor…

After all of the media spotlights and lefty-righty-indie political pundits expertly weighing in on every crumb of the recent Presidential debates… I’m sure we’re all getting pretty tired of the debate on who believes “what” and “why” by now. The battle lines have been drawn and the choice between the candidates…their basic political, economic and moral values, beliefs and strategies seem to be more defined each week.

Image -source – cbsnews.com

One area that seems to be a bit awkward for the mainstream Christian is the confusion and quiet controversy that swirls about and around the overlap between the beliefs of the Mormon faith and the historical theology of the Christian church.

The recent endorsement of Billy Graham of Mitt Romney  (See Washington Post Article) and the resulting delicate walk between endorsement and agreement on “all” things, reminded me of the ongoing confusion that occurs within families about to go to the polls in November.

So I thought I would grab a couple of online resources with more knowledgeable theologians for you to read and review and decide yourself. I’ll let you know my opinion at the end… 🙂

This is a serious topic and is worthy of our full attention and respect. I encourage you all to carefully consider not only what our learned brethren and sistern think, but ask God personally to give you wisdom in the upcoming election decision that faces our nation.

—————————————————–  (Source – Christianity Today) ———————-

“…Mormon doctrine is quite different from historic Christian orthodoxy on the Incarnation, the origins of Jesus’ divinity, his relationship to the Father, the Trinity, monotheism, human nature, and the creation of this cosmos.

These differences must not be ignored or minimized. The Mormon views of Jesus and God are different from those of the classic Christianity. Therefore it can be said with accuracy that the Mormon Jesus and the Mormon godhead are not the ones which the mainstream Christian churches have been pointing to for 2000 years.

Gerald R. McDermott – Professor of Religion at Roanoke College

But if we should not ignore the differences, we must also not ignore the overlap between Mormon views and mainstream Christian views. For one thing, Mormons insist they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

They also affirm solidly—more so than many mainstream Christians today—the moral theology which historic orthodoxy has taught for two thousand years. They believe in what Luther called the third use of the law—that God’s moral teachings in both Testaments help guide Christians in making moral decisions and knowing what a faithful life looks like. They believe, with the historic church, that the Ten Commandments are not simply ten suggestions….”

( The above is an excerpt of a recent Theology article – to read the entire article – “The Real Differences Between Mormons and Orthodox Christians…And whether they really matter in the presidency.” by Author: Gerald R. McDermott– 10/12/2012 on the Christianitytoday.com website.

—————————–  (Christian Research Institute) ————————————

Hank Hanegraaff – CRI Institute

The Basics Of Mormonism / Article ID: DM550

By: Hank Hanegraaff

The saga of Mormonism began in 1820, when a young man named Joseph Smith, Jr., purportedly expe­rienced a spectacular vision. Two celestial personages appeared to him, claiming all existing churches were wrong, all their creeds were an abomination, and all their professors were corrupt.1 These beings made it clear to Joseph that he had been chosen to restore, rather than reform a church that had disappeared from the face of the earth.

In 1823 the angel Moroni was said to have visited young Joseph and divulged the location of gold plates con­taining the “fullness of the ever­lasting gospel.” These plates — abridged by Moroni and his father, Mormon,2 fourteen hundred years earlier — were written in “reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics.” Smith supposedly found, buried along with the plates, a pair of magi­cal eyeglasses3 that he used to trans­late the cryptic writing into English. The result was a new revelation called the Book of Mormon4 and a new religion called Mormonism….

( Many more articles, opinions and informational resources are available at the  CRI website – Christian Research institute – Author and “Bible Answer Man” Radio Talk Show host – Hank Hanegraaff)

—————————— (Road Trip Blog) —————————

So…. if you read those articles in full and research this further you’re going to find that MANY well-respected mainstream Christian theologians struggle with this issue. As an ordained pastor, with bible school/seminary under my belt, I know more clearly where I can agree with a Mormon believer and where I can’t. The essentials of the Christian faith (Apostles Creed) force me to conclude that some of the teachings of Mormonism conflict significantly with my personal & foundational Christian beliefs, but the actual people who have a Mormon faith are almost without exception amazing examples of true devotion and live in balanced moderation.

Image Courtesy of breitbart.com

 I’m voting with my conscience this election and you should too. I’ll not take a public opinion on my choice, but I can say that Mitt Romney’s “Mormon” faith is not going to be a negative factor for my decision, nor is President Obama’s declaration of being a “Christian” going to be a positive factor.

I’ll decide based on who I believe best represents my Judeo-Christian life values and the essential founding principles of our nation. Which I believe, God inspired.

God bless you and yours in this historic season of American life….make sure to talk about the election and it’s issues at the dinner table  with your kids, include them in the political discussion… and please go VOTE!

Peace out.

b

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