Am I an anti-Mormon bigot for simply raising this question?
In this column two weeks ago (available here), I stated I would vote for Mitt Romney should he win the Republican nomination, and that “though I am willing to unite with and befriend Mormons in common cause to advance our shared values, I am hoping to be a voice of clarity – unwilling to allow Mormonism to be mistaken for orthodox Christianity and unwilling again to disqualify a candidate simply because he is from a faith tradition so different from my own.”
I also stated, “many Mormons in recent years have taken to calling themselves Christians, and a growing number of Christians are willing to speak of Mormonism as something akin to another Christian denomination. But, Mormonism is not a Christian denomination, nor is it merely ‘a non-Christian religion.’ To be theologically precise, though perhaps politically incorrect, Mormonism is a cult of Christianity.”
The Romney candidacy is both good news and bad news for Mormonism. It is the greatest opportunity in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to win converts because hundreds of millions of people from all over the world will be exposed to the teachings of Mormonism for the very first time.
However, that’s also the bad news.
I say this with no animus towards Mormons. I am neither “anti-Mormon” nor a bigot. But, words mean things. And we are in danger of losing a perfectly good word to the forces of political correctness.
“Cult” is in danger of becoming the new theological “n-word.”
If you winced when you read the title of this column, you’re already feeling the pressure.
Most Christians and many Mormons do not know Mormon theology, if the emails and responses from my last column are any indication.
“A cult of Christianity is a group of people, which claiming to be Christian, embraces a particular doctrinal system taught by an individual leader, group of leaders, or organization, which (system) denies (either explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the central doctrines of the Christian faith as taught in the sixty-six books of the Bible.” – Alan Gomes, Ed., Unmasking the Cults (Zondervan, 1995).