Thursday, May 31, 2012

Are Mormons Christian?

My friend Jessi's son was recently rejected from a Christian private school because their family is Mormon. Their story has been covered in this article: LR Christian Academy Rejects Mormon as Pupil.

Little Rock Christian Academy is a private school, so they are entitled to accept or reject whomever they choose, and do whatever they want. As a member of the church that brought you Brigham Young University, and the famous Honor Code, I can certainly appreciate that.

I am saddened by the culture of fear that LRCA seems to be promulgating against Mormons. I especially was disturbed when one administrator quoted in the article saying, "It’s very, very sneaky when people come in, especially in elementary and junior high grades where the kids are very influenced." It's funny to think that sweet little Samuel could be an agent of corruption sneaking into the haven of their academy to lead away all the impressionable kids. Well, it is funny until you realize that she is serious, and then it is just sad.

What makes someone Christian? I always thought it was believing in Christ. To some, there are subtle connotations to the term that include pretty much every religion who believes in Christ, except Mormons. There are so many different ways that other faiths view salvation, God, the Godhead, and Christ. I don't understand how they can say all of those differences are fine, but the differences that are in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are not fine. People even go so far as to accuse Mormons of being members of a cult, claiming that we worship Joseph Smith (we don't, he was a prophet like Abraham or Moses), or that believing the Book of Mormon is scripture disqualifies us from being Christian. It reminds me of the inflammatory statement made by Robert Jeffress against Mitt Romney:

No one seems to mind that Catholics accept the Apocrypha as scripture, there are enough Catholics, and they have been around long enough, that no one wants to accuse them of being non-christian. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we have 12 Articles of Faith, which define Mormon religion. One of them is:

"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

I believe Robert Jeffress, and the administration of the LRCA have the right to believe and worship as they wish. I only wish that they would actually learn about what Mormons really believe before making sweeping claims against the entire congregation.

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