The headline here is revealing. So I’ve been reading yet another set of press articles, where “journalists” interview a Baptist pastor about the “Mormon” faith? (Deep breath.)
Anyhow, there have been about a billion blog posts, where Mormons argue that their church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a Christian church, because they teach Christ’s atonement and resurrection, repentance and forgiveness, Grace and Faith, Hope, Charity and Love. Essentially New Testament.
They’re right, the LDS Church teaches 95% New Testament doctrine, which I would say is a higher percentage than in the mainline Protestant churches. But in any case, there is a slight difference in doctrine; there are some issues that LDS doctrine pays more attention to that the Methodist doctrine, for example. (Although the Reformation brought teaching closer to the Bible, there is much that is “tradition” rather than Bible-based doctrine.)
But what makes a person Christian? To hear people talk about it usually, the title is something one applies to anyone one likes, and withholds from anyone one doesn’t like. In other words, “Christianity” is a club, which one can belong to, and the membership rights are guarded by some, who have already established themselves as members, and have set themselves as judges.
What I’m most concerned about, however, is to do my best to live my life the way that Jesus Christ taught us; to learn to discern the inspiration of the Spirit; to help my neighbour in need; to support my family spiritually and materially and so forth. So let’s say that to me this “Christian” club thing is a ho-hum issue. I’m not really interested in others’ judgements.
In the end, if we think about what, from a Christian perspective, is important in religion, I am fairly sure that most Christians would say that your Christ-like behaviour is the best indicator. If you make people feel better about themselves, if you at least withhold judgement and give of your substance and support by your spirit, you are definitely a Christian in my book.
Whereas, if you sit in judgement of others, and give negative statements about them, it does not seem very Christian behaviour to most of us, regardless of what you believe. So please forgive me if it sounded like I was actually judging some others here. I wasn’t thinking of anyone in particular, and on the other hand, I’m quite sure that you can probably think of someone who has set himself (usually it’s himself, not herself) as judge for his neighbours.
With Faith, Hope, Charity and Love, I wish you all: