December 19, 2007

"It appears that GOP evangelicals see Mormons as second-class Christians."

"What a sad and incredibly ironic lesson for the Nation of Zion."

Letter published in today's Salt Lake Tribune, written by Jerry Boorda, anguishing over the Christian evangelical preference for Mike Huckabee over Mitt Romney.

But speaking of ironic... is the expression "Nation of Zion" helping Romney's cause?

31 comments:

George said...

It's not just evangelicals; the Catholic Church and the Methodists have also raised objections to Mormon doctrine.

What's weird is that, at least in the media I see, no one wants to discuss these differences, so, by default, evangelicals take the hit.

jawats said...

Odd that you would term it "objections," George. Outlining the differences in their faith from what other churches believe and teach is hardly an "objection."

Paddy O. said...

"What a sad and incredibly ironic lesson for the Nation of Zion."

Why should Israel be sad about how Evangelicals prefer Huckabee over Romney?

I doubt most Jewish folks would even get the irony. I don't even get the fact there's actual irony.

dac said...

No, not second class Christians.

Just not Christian.

They deviate from doctrine historically Christians of all of the major denominations have taught: monotheism; God as Creator of all things other than himself; the Trinity; the Incarnation; salvation by grace alone; and the virgin birth, sinless life, sacrificial atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension, and second coming of Jesus Christ.

To Evangelical Christians, if you teach something different, you are a cult.

rhhardin said...

Not a word on transubstantiation so far. Kliban had a cartoon, Jesus turning wine into water, peeing over a cliff ; and the Virgin Mary appearing to a Volkswagen in Denver.

Would that he had lived to do Mormons, bringing them all into the American fold.

Fen said...

No, not second class Christians. Just not Christian. They deviate from doctrine historically Christians of all of the major denominations have taught:

True. I almost married a Mormon. Studied her faith and found it to be too cultish for me to convert to. But the irony is that every Mormon I know is a better "christian" than any Christians I know.

Paddy O. said...

But the irony is that every Mormon I know is a better "christian" than any Christians I know.

I've known some great Christians and some really bad Mormons, so I can't say every. However, I think this is true in a whole lot of cases, especially if "christian" is defined by attitude and actions instead of doctrine or theology.

Certainly the "christian" ideal of taking care of others in the community and in one's church is significantly better expressed in LDS churches.

I tend to the Evangelical view on things, but I heartily think that Evangelicals don't have a thorough grasp on real Christian theology. They could learn a lot from those who they might not consider Christian about how to genuinely act Christian.

dax said...

Fen - I almost married a Mormon. Studied her faith and found it to be too cultish for me to convert to.

You didn't marry because of your faiths? Really??
Damn! I'm Catholic and married a Jew.........at a Justice of the Peace................27 years ago.
Ah, what do we know?

George said...

Jawats--

Re: My use of the word "objections"

The source I linked to (a Salt Lake City newspaper) published the following...

"The Methodists also objected that "the Jesus of Mormonism is not co-eternal with the Father and of one substance with the Father" and that Mormons add other scriptures to the Bible."

It is an unkind sounding word, I agree. My point was that here in 2007 America there is a great timidity about discussing such matters, especially in the media I see. What's more, it is often made to seem that the only ones who "object" are the stereotypical backwoods tub-thumpers.

Roger said...

As a full time agnostic and part time atheist, I would rather judge people by how they act in their every day dealings with the me and other members of the community. What their theological beliefs are have little importance to me. My experience with LDS is they make awfully good neighbors.

john said...

Anyone remember the scrutiny that Mo Udall endured during his presidential run in 1976? Coleman Young (Detroit mayor, Carter supporter) accused him of being a racist Mormon. Maybe back then it could have been a charge with more sticking power, not of Mo as an individual though.

Fen said...

You didn't marry because of your faiths? Really??

Oh, no. Sorry if I gave that impression. I didn't marry her because I was only 20 and wanted to experience more women, and because she freaked me out by aggressively pursuing marriage. I was raised a Methodist, was lapsed, and would have converted to satisfy her family without a problem b/c I didn't take religion seriously to begin with [the methodist churches in Dallas are more like country clubs and social functions than places of worship].

I was just saying that after researching her faith, I found it to be rather bizarre.

I married a sweet jewish girl instead, some 10 years later.

john said...

"part time athiest" -

Roger its people like you who fill up the church pews on Christmas eve and keep us faithful waiting in line outside in the cold. Just kidding, hope you enjoy the music.

Pastor_Jeff said...

I don't care about Romney's Mormon faith since we're electing a President and not a pastor.

But no, Mormons are not Christians. I don't even know what "nation of Zion" is, but apparently Joseph Smith also wrote The Matrix.

Roger said...

John: the best argument for a divine being is the sacred music of the baroque masters!! As a part time atheist, I almost always get a front row seat as the faithful fill from the rear.

Freder Frederson said...

It's not just evangelicals; the Catholic Church and the Methodists have also raised objections to Mormon doctrine.

Well gee, considering that the founders of the LDS Church considered the Catholic Church the "whore of Babylon" and continued to use language like that about all other Christian denominations until they figured out they could capture more flies with honey than vinegar (all though they still consider all other denominations apostates), it's not surprising that the mainline Christians are suspicious of the Mormons.

And I am sure some Mormon will show up and claim that church leadership never ever called the Catholic Church and the Pope the Whore of Babylon, but that is an outright lie. They will also dance around the apostate issue without ever denying it, but I guarantee you, they never will.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Roger,

My wife and I were in Strasbourg years ago and happened upon a Bach organ festival in the cathedral. It was sublime.

Roger said...

Pastor Jeff: Memphis has some Bach cantatas along with organ works at the Idlewyld Pres. church in Mid town--Great setting and the music is provided by Rhodes College students and faculty, along with the church choir and organist. It is difficult for me to comprehend that parishioners in Leipzig were treated to a Bach cantata a week for two years when a couple a year are so wonderful.

Fen said...

Roger: the best argument for a divine being is the sacred music of the baroque masters!!

Heh. I think C.S. Lewis felt the same way. You're in good company.

James M said...

Nation of Zion? Born and raised in Utah, lifelong Mormon and I've never heard the phrase "Nation of Zion." Oh, we throw around the term Zion, but I've never heard it put that exact way.

As far as evangelicals not accepting us as Christian, it bothers me significantly less than the Utah Jazz's recent losing funk. The only acceptance Mormons should be concerned with is that of AP voters accepting BYU as a legitimate football team.

Theo Boehm said...

Roger: Don't forget that the good burghers of Leipzig didn't particularly appreciate Bach, despite his superhuman efforts writing (or at least assembling) all that music during his first few years there.

Bach's music was considered too hard to understand, too over the top, for conoisseurs only, and Bach himself too difficult a character for it or him to ever be popular. "What is this? An opera comedy?" one elderly female parishioner is reported to have said about one of his new cantatas.

Bach was generally well-respected by his colleagues, and toward the end of his life achieved a modest fame in the musical world as having been the best organist and composer of "elaborate" or contrapuntal music. But among the haut bourgeiosie, he was just so much old-fashioned nonsense.

That's generally still the case.

Palladian said...

"Bach's music was considered too hard to understand, too over the top, for conoisseurs only, and Bach himself too difficult a character for it or him to ever be popular ... among the haut bourgeiosie, he was just so much old-fashioned nonsense.

That's generally still the case."

Hence the puzzling endurance of interest in the music of Mozart.

Doug Sundseth said...

dac: "Just not Christian.

"They deviate from doctrine historically Christians of all of the major denominations have taught: monotheism; God as Creator of all things other than himself; the Trinity; the Incarnation; salvation by grace alone; and the virgin birth, sinless life, sacrificial atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension, and second coming of Jesus Christ."

So the Monophysites weren't a major denomination? And nor were the Manichaeans? How about the Arians? Do you intend to declare either iconoclasts or iconodules non-Christians next?

Christianity has historically had a rather broader assortment of beliefs than your limited creed would admit; nearly every one of those points in your definition of Christianity has caused bloodshed when it was disagreed with by some group or other.

Freder: "...considering that the founders of the LDS Church considered the Catholic Church the "whore of Babylon"....it's not surprising that the mainline Christians are suspicious of the Mormons."

I take it you don't consider the Anglicans, Lutherans, and Calvinists to be mainline Christian groups then? Because they used pretty much that exact terminology for centuries.

FWIW, I don't find the LDS to have a compelling doctrine. But I don't think their doctrine is all that far from the rest of modern Christianity. It would probably have resulted in a crusade to exterminate it had it arisen before the 18th century (not an unusual qualification, frankly), but I'm pretty sure we left the 18th century behind a while ago.

IME, the median Mormon is nicer and more tolerant than the median Christian of the remainder of Christianity. En masse, they can be problematic, but that's really no different than any other sect.

mguy said...

Having read the SL Tribune letter, I would like to point out that it probably wasn't written by a devout, right-wing Mormon. It is more of a, "ha ha, stupid Mormons, you blindly followed the Republicans for 35 years, and look where it got you," type of letter commonly found in the trib.

The letter was probably written by someone who isn't Mormon, as no self-respecting Mormon would ever use the term "Nation of Zion."

Pastor_Jeff said...

Doug,

The Monophysites, Manichaeans, and Arians were all heretical sects condemned by universal church councils. I'm not sure they help make your point.

By their own doctrine, Mormons are not Christians. The foundation of their faith is that the entire Christian church had been in error for 1800 years (until Joseph Smith) and that was no faithful church on earth.

"I don't think their doctrine is all that far from the rest of modern Christianity."

It's already been pointed out that they disagree on the most fundamental theological concepts. In what ways are they similar to modern Christianity?

former law student said...

For what it's worth, evangelicals see Catholics as second-class Christians, because they rely on tradition and interpretations as well. Evangelicals are like Jews before the Talmud.

TMink said...

Speaking as an Evangelical Christian, most of us consider Mormons as heretics. Most of us consider Catholics as just wrong about the infallibility of the Pope and more practical matters. So to most of us, Catholics are not heretics, they are just wrong!

Now this has absolutely no impoact on my voting for Romney. My primary candidate now is Fred Thompson who is a nominal Christian at best. But I support his policies and think they would be good for the country.

Huckabee is probably a good Christian man, but I hate his policies and record and will not vote for him.

We Evangelicals are not as simple minded as we are perceived. Well, not all of us, not all the time.

Trey

Synova said...

My reaction is a hearty, "Well, DUH!" as well.

If people didn't think their religion was the right one they wouldn't bother. If they didn't think their doctrine was right they wouldn't bother. That means that every last one of them thinks the other guy is *wrong*.

Funny thing... when you believe you're right?.. it doesn't matter that the other guy believes you're going to hell. What difference does it make what the other guy believes?

The idea that a Mormon would not realize that evangelicals consider Mormons not-Christian is just silly. Evangelical Lutherans and Baptists believe the other is going to hell half the time, too.

Being annoyed that it matters *politically* is different and while it undoubtedly does matter a whole lot for some it won't matter much for others. (I simply don't find Romney interesting. And I suppose I'm reacting to his looks more than anything else, to reference other recent posts.)

John Stodder said...

My experience has been evangelical types are simply scathing on the topic of Mormons. It is their avowed association with Christ that burns them up the most. Anti-Semitism is unacceptable for Christians, but anti-Mormonism is casually accepted and supported.

Which is not to say evangelicals would oppose Romney because of his Mormon faith. The mistake was Romney and his backers thinking he could be regarded as "just like us" by the evangelicals, that his Mormonism could be seen as a substitute for it.

If he hadn't called attention to his religion, he might've gotten a pass.

Pastor_Jeff said...

"Anti-Semitism is unacceptable for Christians, but anti-Mormonism is casually accepted and supported."

Dang! How'd you find out about our concentration camps for Mormons? Guess we'll have to tear those down.

Nichevo said...

I'm glad to know anti-Semitism is out for Christians, but what do the Mormons think of us? And if evangelists don't like Catholics because they are too Judaic, well, shucks, I better dig a hole somewhere!

On the bright side, all of you Gentiles are fine with us as long as you behave properly on Earth.

Stick to the seven Noachide commandments and everything will be A-OK. Just remember, no eating flesh torn from a living animal!

Being Christian or even Christlike is fine inasmuch as he was a nice Jewish boy worthy of serving as a role model. (Such a nice boy, he could have been a doctor maybe...)

But when the Messiah comes, I promise I will post, if BitTorrent isn't clobbering my browser.


...


Anybody feeling patronized yet? Even so I have said nothing that was not true or nice AFAIK. How difficult it is to discuss the religions of others with sensitivity! Maybe we should all shut up.

All I can say is I have looked into the Book of Mormon and found it a little goofy. However the few Mormons I have met seemed to be nice people. And I have it on record that Mormon girls put out (from a Mormon girl), so how bad could they be?