Mormonism's Moment

A conservative Christian says that, no, Mormons are not Christian, despite the hype.

Reprinted with permission of Breakpoint.

Last week many of us watched more TV than usual as we cheered our athletes on at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. But these games were morethan about skiing and ice-skating. As the shots of the Mormon Temple behind Bob Costas reminded us, they're also about Mormonism's place in American life.

The Mormon church with 11 million members and estimated worth of 25 billion dollars has an image problem. That's why, as NEWSWEEK puts it, "Mormon leaders . . . regard the Games as a God-given opportunity to flash the many facets of their faith around the globe."

And the key facet the leaders wish to communicate is Mormonism's tie to Christianity. For instance, they want the media to stop using the term "Mormon."Instead, shorthand references to the church, whose official name is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," should simply be "Church of JesusChrist."

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Films shown to the foreign press emphasize the relationship with Christianity by pointing out the role of the Bible in Mormon faith and practice.

But none of this alters the fact that Mormonism is an entirely different religion. For instance, Mormonism believes in many gods, not just one. Christians believe that God is eternal and is a spirit. Mormons believe that the god of this universe -- like other gods in other universes -- was once as we are. God "progressed" in knowledge and became divine, but retained his body.

God is married to a being the Mormons call "the Mother." The "Mother" is not the same person as Mary, who Mormons believe was impregnated by God physically. For Mormons, Jesus is God's son in a very different sense than that taught by Christianity.

Well, these are just a few examples of how different Mormonism is from Christianity. And that's why no Christian body, even those liberal ones, acceptsMormon baptism as valid. It's not a Christian baptism because Mormonism is not Christian. And we must be ready to lovingly point out these differences whenopportunities arise.

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