You? More Mormon?
Mormons are wrong; right? Assuming you’re likely to define yourself as a mainstream Christian, are you really more Mormon than you’d admit?
I bet you politely but, authoritatively, close your door when the smiling Mormons come knocking. And, you’re probably deft at deflecting a hot Mormon trying to put those combo flirting-proselytizing moves on you. I’m also sure you’re not wearing those sacred Mormon undies on the sly, or reading their Book of Mormon in the closet.
However, in reality, you may be cozier with Mormonism than you’d want to disclose in your social and religious circles. Although, some of us may be so Mormon-esque, we might just as well wear an “I heart Joseph Smith but, Moroni makes me quiver all over” tee shirt to church.
I don’t want to dis Mormons here. Okay, maybe I do, just a bit; but, it’s not because they started it. An inescapable fact in the US is that Mormon bashing season is in full bloom. Not that sniping at Mormons ever goes out of style – but, with one of the rings of our political circus belonging to religion, it now has become a really big, stone hurling show.
It’s laughable how conservative Christianity and their bloodthirsty nemesis, the dinosaur media, unite in ganging up on candidates with R (for Republican) after their names and who also wear the required M (for Mormon) armband. Conversely, liberal Mormon politicians get a free pass from the media. Christians with conservative leanings may call the media hypocritical for this but; most of these Christo-cons only have a taste for eating their own, so they don’t bother biting at liberal Mormons.
God, in His comedic sovereignty, may not be laughing. However, He has instituted the funny hypocrite rule. The one that states something like: we should remove the circus tent pole from our own eye before throwing stone pies at others, or we may not see the lion about to pounce from the cage.
What is wrong with Mormons is what is wrong with the rest of us.
One of the main reasons Christians are unhinged by Mormon theology is they feel Mormons don’t get Jesus; they don’t have the proper relationship with Him and they believe many falsehoods about who He is.
The Latter Day Saints (LDS) officially list 13 fundamentals of Mormonism; as I was reading through them, I was hit hard by the paradox of one of their points being identical to what several of their most outspoken, mainstream, detractors erroneously believe about salvation.
The LDS website’s list of fundamentals states:
Article 3: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”
If that statement doesn’t make you almost soil your undies, I fear you may already have one leg in the sacred undergarment and you’re not far from reaching for the Moroni tee. Maybe, your pastor has been teaching you straight from the Mormon dope after his secret graduation from Brigham Young?
Perhaps most Christians could readily identify the blunder in LDS Article 3. The error is stating humanity may be saved by our obedience. However, I’m always surprised by Christians, across the denominational spectrum, who fall victim to the same stank wedgie of teaching on the somethings we must do to seal the salvation deal.
Some Christians insist we must keep this law, not that law to be saved – while others assert it’s keeping all laws that does the trick. Some claim belonging to only the right denomination is the ticket, while others say no, it’s believing and being baptized in only the correct manner. Others declare repentance is the key to heaven, while others add that bearing the fruit of repentance is what unlocks the pearly gates. Some state that non-tithers haven’t purchased the right ticket, while others insist the full fare to Paradise is producing enough good works. Exhaustingly, some Christians believe that to be saved you must do all the above while enduring to the end.
I’ve heard all these requirements for salvation – inadvertently – asserted at my own church. Again, what is wrong with Mormons is what is wrong with the rest of us.
When we add something to Jesus, as a requirement for salvation, we’ve undercut the completeness of His sacrifice and discounted the supremacy of His righteousness. We are saved because Jesus paid the full price for our sins – His righteousness justifies us to God. Whatever we do, we cannot add anything to what Jesus has already done.
Mormons don’t hold a monopoly on not getting Jesus. So, is it Christian to relish a good game of Kick the Mormon while we’re hands off all others sporting a grace-deficient theology? All are in need of being, and can be, evangelized.
There are scholars within the LDS who are critically examining their doctrines. However, their detractors, who are fawning for the media spotlight to gain influence in religious and political arenas, are not helping them toward the truth.
Rather than, scolding their idiosyncrasies that we think are way out in the Moroni-sphere, Christians could be clearly pointing them to the Jesus, who does it all. We could continue to engage in name-calling and endlessly bash on how bogus the Book of Mormon is but, it’s the knowing of the fullness of Jesus that would blast down all their truth barriers. Preaching the sufficiency of Jesus is always more powerful than criticizing.
Mormons, and all Christian pushers of salvation by works, need to replace their “almost savior”, their “maybe in the future, if I’m good enough savior” with The Victorious Savior. Unleash the full power of the Grace message on your friends, enemies, and Mormons too.
Whether your skivvies are holy or just holey, we all put them on one leg at a time. Mainstream Christians have commonalities with Mormons – sometimes too much in common. Don’t be a Mormon or Mormon-like; a Christian is one who knows Jesus does it all!