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Pollsters: 75 percent of pastors say Mormons “not Christians”

Most U.S. pastors feel strongly that Mormons are not Christians, according to a survey by LifeWay Research.

In a poll of 1,000 American Protestant pastors, a response was asked to the statement: “I personally consider Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) to be Christians.”

Three-quarters — 75 percent — said they disagree with the statement. Of those, 60 percent said they “strongly disagree” while 15 percent said they “somewhat disagree.” Only 11 percent “somewhat” agreed, 6 percent strongly agreed and 9 percent did not know.

“Though pastors believe overwhelmingly that Mormonism is not Christianity, their opinions should not be confused with personal scorn for Mormons,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. “A person can respect a religious group and even appreciate their commitment to traditional moral values without equating their beliefs with Christian orthodoxy.”


Mormonism has gained public attention with the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney and John Huntsman. Other highly visible Mormons include U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid and conservative talk show host Glenn Beck.

According to a 2009 study by the Pew Research Center, Mormons comprise 1.7 percent of the U.S. adult population and 58 percent of Utah’s population. By comparison half of Americans call themselves with Evangelical Protestants or Roman Catholics — 26 percent and 24 percent respectively, reported the Christian Messenger.

In the LifeWay Research survey, pastors’ self-identification as either Mainline or Evangelical was a predictor of their opinions regarding Mormons. While two-thirds (67 percent) of Evangelicals strongly disagree that Mormons are Christians, just 48 percent of Mainline pastors feel the same way.

Pastors 65 and older are the least likely age bracket to strongly disagree that Mormons are Christians, with 48 percent holding that opinion.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dandini

    Having been raised as a Lutheran (Missouri Synod) I know that “orthodox” or “traditional” Christianity uses as their standard the “doctrine of the Trinity” as defined first by the Nicene “Creed”, not found written or taught any where in the Holy Bible, but developed several hundred years after the last Apostle, under the direction of the Roman Emperor Constantine.

    Maybe it’s time to use the Holy Bible as the standard for defining Christianity?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Laurence Ringo

    Listen up,pastors,teachers,pew-sitters,etc.You don’t have to “feel strongly”,”somewhat strongly”,or anything in between-even a cursory examination will show that Mormonism is radically different from classic,historical,orthodox Christian faith-even Mormons admit that!! Unless the average Christian is ignorant of what he or she believes,no one should be confused about that,political correctness notwithstanding.While one doesn’t necessarily have to use the word “cult”to describe Mormonism in a perjorative sense,from a theological perspective the word is aptly descriptive.So…there you have it.Mormonism isn’t even monotheistic as is Christianity;it’s polytheistic to its core;that alone puts it outside the pale of Christian orthodoxy.—Stop being lazy,Christians!Know what you believe!!!!

  • Arnie Petro

    You know, most people running for office who said they were Christians, weren’t Christians either. So maybe we should judge the man on what he says he believes about issues and what he has done in his life.

  • http://Christiansaretrinitarian;mormonsarenot Kathleen O’Hagan

    The confusion is that Christians and Mormons use the word “Christ,” as in their title, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” However, their concept of what “Christ” means is simply different than the vast majority of Christians. The bottom line of what it means to be Christian is the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God in three persons. Jesus was God incarnate – a divine being born into a flesh-and-blood human being, who lived a human life and ws crucified. After ascending to heaven, he once again became God in spirit, not flesh. This is a complicated theology, and is indeed called a mystery, because it’s hard to explain, but it is ESSENTIAL to being Christian. There are lots of theologies that differ between Christian denominations, but all Christians share the Trinity, and if they don’t, they are not Christian. Mormons do not believe that Jesus was God incarnate; they believe that Jesus was a mortal human being, born of a mother and a father, and that Lucifer (Satan) was his brother. Further, they believe that Mormon men will become gods (and their wives, godesses) in heaven, and will be peers of Jesus and Lucifer. This is NOT Christian theology. It’s not a putdown; it’s just a fact. But having this conversation (or poll) without discussing the Trinity, is useless and misleading. Mormons are wonderful, moral people, and the best of neighbors, but they are not Trinitarians/Christians. Just ask them.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Michael Black

    I am a 51 year old scientist residing in Endgland. I testify that Jesus is the Christ; He suffered agony in Gethsemane that my sins may be forgiven, and he died, rising again that I too may have eternal life. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a “Mormon”. Above all I am a follower of the Lord, Jesus Christ. The fact that I follow a belief system which, to many, seems a bit alien or unusual, has eternal consequences for me and my family.
    I don’t normally post my testimony on pages like this, but felt it needed to be shared.
    According to our 11th article of faith, which contains the words: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may”, I wouldn’t proffer criticism regarding the worshipping habits and patterns of others, or the beliefs which they hold. May we all find the blessings we seek.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kalo Taumoepeau

    Kathleen O’Hagan, we are Christians. Whether you believe it or not, isn’t important. Truth is, that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, are Christian. If you’d like to share your personal beliefs it would be more convincing than for you to share what you merely think another religion believes. It is not responsible Christian behavior to speak on a topic that you are so unfamiliar with and call it fact. Speak about what you are and what you believe. That’s always more interesting than hearing one talk about something they know nothing about. Just real talk from a Christian, and I am Mormon.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Whitney

    [Great topic, Beliefnet. Saw this on the net. Note hints of LDS.]

    The Living River of History

    by Bruce Rockwell

    Can you name a meandering river which can affect the 2012 US Presidential election? I can. And are you aware, as I am, that a Presidential candidate can be influenced by a 19th century teenager’s occultic “revelations”?
    All humans are affected by the Living River of History. The “headwaters” of it was Adam, according to Judaism, Christianity, Islam and some other faiths.
    In the Old Testament (Deut. 28) we find that “tributaries” (those who choose to be part of this River) will be blessed while “distributaries” (those choosing to flow away from it) will be cursed. Those deciding to be totally disconnected from the fresh Living River soon find themselves in polluted, dying “oxbow lakes.”
    The OT period was notable for its fluidity: Israelites repeatedly flowing away from God and then repenting and returning back to Him numerous times; heathen “oxbow lakes” creating their own “gods” and being allowed by the true God to take into captivity the erring Israelites.
    Then, at the right moment, came the arrival of the only One who could fulfill all of the OT’s detailed predictions of a future Messiah, His arrival happening before the 70 AD destruction of the Jewish temple which contained records proving that Jesus was a descendant of Abraham – records that would be unavailable to anyone after 70 AD who might falsely claim to be the long awaited Promised One. The same timely arrival guaranteed that the Living River, led by the One who offers “living water,” would take on new life.
    Since the emergence in the 7th century of Islam – which drew greatly from both OT and NT, yet chose to be a distributary away from the River – many scholars have viewed it as the final “scourge” or Antichrist (note references like “Assyrian,” Euphrates,” “land of Nimrod” in Daniel, Micah, Revelation etc.).
    The end-time Islamic “scourge” will be allowed by God to temporarily persecute and purify Jews and Christians who have “fallen away” from their faiths. (Jews, especially those in entertainment, are more expert in apostasy than Christians since they’ve been at it 2000 years longer than Christians have – but Christians seem to want to catch up to the Jews!)
    I should add that Islam won’t play its predicted role all alone; it has more than enough oil money to “buy” leaders of foreign countries while at the same time bribing disloyal American leaders to turn against true American patriots.
    Re the occultic “revelations” by a 19th century teenager (above) – who heavily “appropriated” many King James Bible verses in order to create one of the most delusive distributaries of all time – see the internet which has tons of data on this religious innovation of 1830.
    Finally, if you ignore the God-ordained Living River of History or (much worse) try to destroy or even dilute it, you will be swept down it to an ocean made by your own never-ending tears of agony and despair!

  • Michael R. Collings

    It would have been more helpful if the questioner had at least attempted to define “Christian” in any meaningful way. As it stands, the poll is essentially worthless, since every person hearing the word “Christian” is capable of defining it in different ways.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment bluebuss

    it’s a cult. plain and simple.

  • Eric

    I’m sorry, but I have to respond to the speculations on Mormonism which Kathleen O’Hagan presented as fact.

    The confusion does not just come, Kathleen, in the Trinity belief. There are, after all, plenty of Christians accepted in the world who do not believe in the Trinity–such as many of the denominations known in the Middle East and Egypt as Coptic Christians. Coptic Christians do not believe in the Trinity, and yet no one claims they are not Christians.

    The confusion comes when, for Mormons, the definition of a Christian is thought to be “anyone who believes in the historical reality, and divine Son-ship, of Jesus of Nazareth.” For us, it should be that simple. It is others who try to complicate it. When we don’t communicate, there are problems.

    So, nevermind what we believe from there that is unique to us (like the Book of Mormon), or what you believe from there that is unique to you (like the Trinity), if you believe Jesus Christ is the Way the Truth and the Life, then you are a Christian.

    Now, as for the other things you claimed were Mormon theology: they aren’t. I don’t know where you got your information, but I have been a practicing member for 31 years. Jesus is Divine. Yes, He was born of a mortal Mother Mary, but Joseph was only his Adopted father. His true Father was Our Father in Heaven.

    Jesus and Lucifer (Satan) are not “peers” and they are ONLY brothers in the same sense that you and I are brother and sister–because we are ALL children of our Father in Heaven (Romans 8:16). And not just Mormons, but all of us, every man and woman on this planet, may become “gods” (that is, “joint-heirs with Christ”) and receive all that The Father has (Romans 8:17, Revelations 3:21).

    Also, when Christ was Resurrected, He kept His body, although a much more enlightened and Perfect one (Luke 24:39).

    Hope you are well.

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