With the hubbub surrounding Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress’ endorsement of Gov. Rick Perry with a denouncement of Mitt Romney and his Mormanism, the bigger, more important point may be easily overlooked.
It is easy to get caught up with the politically related issues. I for one wonder what the opponents of California’s Proposition 8 think about Jeffress’ statement. They vilified the Mormons after that referendum in defense of marriage was passed, accusing LDS activist of mobilizing a force that distorted the views of the population. (Click: here and here). Those who protested this proposition will certainly not find Jeffress’ Consevative Southern Baptist ideals a viable alternative. Jeffiress’ morality views will be nearly identical (as are mine). But as much entertainment and intrigue as this political dilemma may offer, there is a question far more important to me: Are Mormons Christians?
Despite the commendable moral values of the LDS, the answer is unequivocally “No”. Morality is a by-product of Christianity, a demonstration of it, not the substance of it. It is what one believes about Jesus Christ that makes one a Christian. And the Mormons have a dramatically different view of Jesus than do Christians.
Two respected Evangelical leaders recently expressed their own thoughts:
- Al Mohler has gone on record declaring Mormonism a “Rival Worldview“.
- Ed Stetzer has penned a post that that I think offers significant insights, and might explain Mohler’s assertion: Momonism, Cults, and Christianity.
I think what Mohler & Stetzer have to say should be considered. It is far more foundational than the simplistic pragmatic question whether an Evangelical should vote for a Mormon. The question of whether Mormons are a form of Christian will likely linger, lasting long beyond the outcomes of the Republican Primaries next year.