Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are Mormons Christian?

Up until this semester, my answer would have always been yes.  Absolutely.  I believe that Christ is my Savior and he died and suffered for my sins.  He is my God and my Creator.  I thought that was everything that was necessary to be considered Christian.

But I guess that I was wrong.  Apparently the term Christian has a much more complicated definition than I first thought.  There is much more to being Christian than I would have expected.  I don't understand the definition, nor do I know all of it, but I think that in order to be a "Christian" church, the church has to believe in the Trinity.  And Mormons do not believe in the Trinity.  We believe that Christ is the literal son of God the Eternal Father.  We believe in the Holy Ghost as a personage of spirit.  We believe that they are three separate beings, but that they are one in purpose.  This is very different from the view of the Trinity, which I don't understand at all, but I think it has something to do with God being Three in One, and that they are all the same person, or something.

When we were discussing this I felt that I was back in the middle of a Lincoln-Douglas Debate from High School.  I felt that the answer to the question, "Are Mormons Christian?" depends entirely on which definition you prefer.  I remember definition debates and how much I hated them.  We would argue that if a definition came from Black's Law Dictionary then it would be preferable to another definition, and then people would argue over what edition the definition came from.  The idea of debating a definition is laughable and strange from my current perspective.  In math you don't debate definitions.  You accept definitions and then work from there.  A word does not determine a definition, but rather the definition is the word.   However, sometimes a word will have two or more conflicting definitions and it is important to determine which definition you are using to avoid confusion.  This is a very complex and confusing process in determining the worth of a definition and which one should be used in a given situation.

I would much rather avoid a definition debate.  They are long and tedious and nothing is really established.  The whole argument boils down to what you personally believe, which is a very hard way to convince anyone else that you are right.

Are Mormons Christian?  Perhaps.  I have always thought so, and I will continue to think so.  However, that is only by my understanding of the word Christian?

Are Mormons Christian?  I don't really know.  There are better questions to ask:

Do Mormons believe in Christ?  Do they worship Him as their Savior?  Do they believe that He is the Creator of the Universe?  Do they consider Him to be God?  Do they believe that He died to save them?  The answer to every one of these questions is yes.  Absolutely yes.

Am I Christian?  I don't know.  But I do know that Christ is my Savior.  I know that He died to save me.  I know that He created this world, and rules it as God.  He knows me, and knows how to help me in all of my trials.  He is my God, and I love him.

1 comment:

  1. I think one of the biggest things that people are stuck on about calling us non-christians is that we are not connected with the two thousand year old tradition of what they call "Christianity." Claiming that ours is the true and only church that has been restored after a long and complete apostasy, along with more of our doctrines that conflict with their beliefs apparently makes them believe that we are so far removed from "Mainstream Christianity" that they can classify us as an entirely different religion. I read this really convoluted article about the plethora of reasons that they don't consider us Christians, and it was quite confusing.