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Mormons aren't Christian?

I have to be honest, all of this hubbub about Mormons not being Christian makes me think people can be awfully silly sometimes.  I mean, yes, I had heard many times before that other Christian sects don't accept Mormons as Christian, and I've even heard the silly reasons for this claim.  But, what does it all boil down to?  "They're not Christian because they disagree with us."  It seems that all so often religious people are over-zealously concerned with making sure that everyone else believes exactly the same thing they do.

Why do so many churches send missionaries all over the world?  (It was, I believe, much more common a few centuries ago than it is now.)  Why do people of different sects Bible bash each other?  Why do sermons on Sunday often include "such-and-such church is wrong because they believe..."  I'm just imagining a playground full of children all arguing things like "My dad's faster than yours."  "Well, my dad's stronger." blah blah blah.

So, what's the definition of a Christian?  As far as I'm concerned, it someone who believes in Christ--that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (and, sometimes also God Himself) and the Savior of the World.  Certainly, whatever definition you choose to use (perhaps you're an evangelical who wants to teach that Christians are only people who believe that the heavens are closed and God no longer speaks), it is quite obvious that Mormons talk of Christ often, and worship him in their services.  Having been Mormon for 28 years, I would have to say that of all the things Mormons are obsessed about (Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, not viewing pornography, etc), Christ is definitely the main one.  Whether you think it's good or bad to be Christian, I would have to say that in my honest opinion, Mormons fit the mold.

But, I suppose the question I have is, why does it really matter?  They believe what they believe.  If you don't like what they believe (I know I don't), that's fine.  If you do like what they believe, that's fine too.  If you want to think of yourself as a Mormon who isn't a Christian, that's cool.  If you want to think of yourself as a Mormon who is, that's cool too.  If you want to think of yourself as a Christian who's not Mormon, good for you.  But, why do you feel the overwhelming need to prove to the world that Mormons aren't Christian?  So, they believe a few things that are different than what you believe, so what?  Each sect has its own different beliefs, that's why there are myriad Christian denominations all over--including those who claim to be "non-denominational" (isn't that a denomination?).  Ok, so let's just hypothetically suppose that you've proven unequivocally that Mormons aren't Christian, and now everyone believes it, including the Mormons.  Now what?  They're still the same people they were before you proved that, so what have you accomplished?  I mean, if you have a personal problem with them--you don't like the way they dress or the fact that they broadcast a conference worldwide twice a year--why not just address that problem directly?  Why do you have to claim to know their religion better than they do?

I've heard a few people say that they left the LDS church and "found Christ".  (That's always been a funny phrase to me.  What do you mean you "found Christ"? Was he under a rock?  Did you stumble upon him as you were cleaning out your back yard?)  That's cool that you feel that way.  But that doesn't mean that you have to conclude that no one else can "find Christ" while remaining in the LDS church.  It doesn't mean that its members are lost to Christ.

As for me personally, I would say that I am not Christian.  There are many beliefs in Christianity that I believe do little more than induce unnecessary guilt, and some other negative side-effects.  I believe in loving other people, no matter who they are or what they have done with their lives.  I believe in "live and let live".  I don't mind my Mormon friends being Mormon, and I expect them to not mind me being otherwise.  Yes, certainly, I have said some negative things about the church.  But its members, as far as I have been able to discern, are good people.  They are kind.  They care about others.  They want to help out in their communities.  They donate their money to charitable causes.  They participate in service projects.  They give everyone on their block a can of homemade jam for Christmas.  So, if one of them wants to run for president, let him.  What's he going to do?  Jell-o attack all of the people who voted for his opponent?  And, so what if the Christ that he believes in is slightly different than the one you believe in?  When he's elected, he's not going to oppress your religion by saying you have to accept his definition of Christ.  Mormons believe in freedom of religion just as much as anyone else.  (In fact, more than some other people.  I saw a YouTube video the other day of a man who claimed that the freedom of religion expressed in the First Amendment only applied to Christianity, not to all religions.)

Anyway with the sate our country's in--with thousands of people lining the streets of New York protesting--can't we find something more worthwhile to argue about than whether Mormons are Christian?  Like, for example, how to avoid situations that make it seem like giving $800 billion dollars to the richest people in America is actually a good idea and will somehow stimulate (or preserve) our economy?

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