The role of faith in the 2012 Presidential election, part 2
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) was birthed in 1820 by an alleged vision in which two celestial personages appeared to Joseph Smith, claiming all existing churches were wrong, all their creeds were an abomination, and all their professors were corrupt. According to those personages, Smith had been chosen to restore (not reform, but restore) a church that had disappeared from the face of the earth. The Mormon doctrines that have evolved from that vision compromise, confuse, or contradict the nature of God, the authority of scripture, and the way of salvation.
The question arises for us, is Mormonism a Christian belief system or is it a cult? For this, we turn to Sandra Tanner, Co-Founder of Utah Lighthouse Ministry. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Brigham Young and a leading expert on the Mormon religion.
Tanner: “Well, certainly, it represents a great heresy. If we’re going to say we’re Christian, we’ve got to adhere to some sort of standard; otherwise Buddhists could say they’re Christians. If the true test of Christianity is morality and good living and being a nice neighbor, I’m sure people in all kinds of religions would qualify under that kind of definition. But Christianity has always embodied a certain set of doctrines, and one of those doctrines is the absoluteness of the one eternal God, and that Jesus has eternally been God. Mormonism rejects both those concepts. Christianity has traditionally said God has spoken through the Bible, and that the New Testament is the standard for Christian beliefs. Mormonism rejects that and takes additional books of scripture that they believe supersede the Bible. The Bible is only secondary in their chain of authority; their other scriptures are paramount. So they get to redefine all the terms. But we also have to keep in mind that Joseph Smith himself was claiming that Christianity was in a total state of apostasy when he started Mormonism in 1830, and that what he started was the “only true church.” So when people become excited because we want to say Mormonism doesn’t fit under the Christian umbrella, you have to understand that Joseph Smith didn’t claim to fit under the Christian umbrella. He said he was doing something totally different than the Christian churches.”
Romney delivered an important speech on faith on December 6, 2007. In the speech, it’s obvious he wants to distance his public campaign for President away from his Mormon faith, to shield it from pressing questions. We can only speculate why but it leads us to question his ability to reason and to think logically, given the claims and history of the faith he adores. He claims that he will live by his faith as a Mormon while president, yet he refuses to answer questions about that very faith on the campaign trail. He addresses that in the speech by ducking behind the Constitution, saying, “There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution.” Later in the speech, he makes it very clear that he will not put any church above the Constitution or the sovereign authority of the law. That is reassuring, of course, but it still does not satisfy those that have questions about his faith or his heartfelt personal beliefs on important issues that face the nation.
To be continued…
Comments are closed.