Tuesday, January 8, 2008

When the Latter Day Saints Come Marching In

The New York Times asks, What is It About Mormonism?

The conflation of American evangelicalism with American conservative politics outs itself in the Republicans' consideration of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, an LDS church member.
While I wouldn't vote for the man, I am finding it difficult to see what the difference would be between a faithful Mormon in presidential office and a lapsed Methodist. Neither is going to outlaw feminism or nuke Mecca, and both would likely be "against" abortion and "for" family values. Neither -- because no one -- can make America a Christian nation again.
But as far as politics goes, I do vote my conscience, but I reserve my passion these days for the gospel of Jesus. (So, I'm sorry, Huck, but for me that makes being "in God's army" mean something different than voting for you.)

This is not political, but more of us are talking about it now because of politics.

The Jollyblogger endorses Andy Jackson's Mormonism Explained.

In my list of critical issues facing evangelicalism, I included: The push on behalf of the LDS "church" to be considered not just Christians, but evangelical Christians. And the apparent sympathy for this movement from scholars/pastors within the evangelical church.

This is not about a war on Mormonism. It is not, as the New York Times suggests (and as a recent Mormon commenter on Thinklings insinuated), bigotry. It is theological prejudice, no doubt. Because the integrity of gospel comprehension in the evangelical church is fading. Please note I didn't say "the gospel" is fading. The gospel is unassailable. It prevails because God is faithful and Jesus lives. But our comprehension of it, our fidelity to it, our embrace of it, our proclaiming of it, our all-out passion for the glory of it is fading (for many reasons), and the accommodation of a nonChristian religion into the fold of the people named for the evangel (gospel) would be and is becoming spiritual adultery.

I'm trying hard not to make this sound too dire. But I know contending for the gospel on a cultural/ideological level can come across as paranoid despondence.
This isn't about American Christian subculture; at least, not directly. It is more directly about the discipleship culture of the Church. If you see the distinction.

The gospel of Jesus Christ must be the center.

Don't believe this is a big deal?
In a Fox News interview the pastor of the largest church in America, the best-selling writer of Christian books, and the most warmly received Christian personality by the American masses since Billy Graham says Mormons are Christians too:
CHRIS WALLACE: I've got to ask you the question, because it is a question whether it should be or not in this campaign, is a Mormon a true Christian?

JOEL OSTEEN: Well, in my mind they are.


Louie said...

Right on Brother!

I wrote about this on my blog right after that horrible interview on Fox!

Osteen's ignorance or willingness to compromise the faith in order to be heard, is appalling, and needs to be confronted! Keep up the good work!
- Louie

ROD said...

I like it.