Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mormons and Christianity

The comment below blew me away. Don't you just love it when someone so perfectly expresses your feelings, in a much more eloquent way than you could ever say it? Thanks CarrieT for the comment! I think your words fit my heart on this exactly.

"I read all the time but don't post much. I would say it depends on what your definition of Christian is. If you mean, in general terms, someone who believes in Jesus and follows His teachings, then I would say definitely Mormons are Christians.

But if you are being more specific about the pathway to salvation and eternal life, then I would say that I disagree with the teachings of the Mormon church. But this does not mean that there are not Mormons within the church who might believe more closely to me. I can never know someone else's heart completely, whether they attend an LDS church, a Catholic church, a Baptist church (where I grew up), or a Lutheran church (where I attend now). That is for God to know.

I have the privilege to share my faith with others and pray God uses my witness to encourage and challenge them as He sees fit. AND LDS members have this opportunity too to share what and why they believe with me--which is just fine!! Open, FRIENDLY dialogue can be eye-opening and challenging to each person's faith. In fact LDS members are often very good witnesses to their faith and definitely to moral living.

In conclusion I would say I am willing go on record as believing the LDS church differs in its understanding of salvation compared to what I believe to be the truth. BUT I certainly respect them and believe they fall under the large umbrella of Christianity as all followers of Christ do. I will leave it to God to sort out the specifics and look inside a person's heart--I can't do that anyway!

Hope this is not too controversial. And I would be happy to email you privately, Anita, about the areas I believe are different, but I also don't want to get into an argument or debate on here. Plus I would admit I am certainly not the most learned theologian out there!! (not at all!!

Thanks again everybody, for the conversation.


CarrieT 12:51 AM  

I am humbled, Anita! I came home from work to see what other comments were added to this challenging (in a good way!) post and saw you showed my response to everyone. I am humbled!! :-) I will say again that I think friendly dialogue between different denominations and different faiths is a good thing. We recognize areas where we agree, which is good, and we are all challenged in our own faith--also a good thing!

Also, when it comes to adoption agencies, even though we are Christians (the Lutheran variety! :-)) we chose to work with a more secular agency because we were turned off by the strict agencies that require you to share a testimony and sign a statement of faith before they will work with you. Or ones that exclude certain religions or even denominations. (Like the ones you mentioned that will not work with LDS families.) Those policies made us really uncomfortable. (BTW - We heard of one that wouldn't allow us to adopt because we believe in baby baptism!! Good grief!!)

There are so many children who need families!! I don't want to exclude any loving people from adopting if they feel led to adopt (and of course if they meet basic requirements of being able to care for a child safely). This is why I support gay and lesbians adopting, single men and women adopting, and I wish countries were more lenient about age, family size, economics, and health requirements too!!

But, I digress! :-) Great thread! Congrats to all of us for posting and discussing difficult things with respect and kindness.

Carrie T.