Do you ever have the experience of going through the motions of every day life and then, out of nowhere (seemingly) something triggers you to react almost opposite to your own nature? It’s like a stick of dynamite that is suddenly lit…an explosion is imminent. Initially you may think that I’m explaining something that was negative. But what happened to me the other day…well…I guess you can call it righteous anger. What bothers me is that, except for this blog and talking about it to others, there’s nothing I can really do about it…something that every guy is hardwired to try and “fix”.
Here’s what happened:
I was listening to the radio on my way home from work. My radio stations are pretty set…I’m either listening to KLOVE, the news or a conservative talk station. That night, I was listening to the conservative talk station talking about the current GOP candidates (since I know that people can read this post years after the fact, the field of candidates being talked about was Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum & Ron Paul). The candidate they were focusing on at the time was Mitt Romney. Now, let me start out by saying that Mitt Romney is not my favorite candidate…for a bunch of reasons. As many people know, Mitt Romney is a Mormon…a fact that has caused uneasiness in the conservative community. My guess is that uneasiness stems from not really knowing what Mormonism is and the differences between it and others religions. That guess was solidified when I heard one of the talk show hosts (technically, the one that said this line was a guest co-host) say that Mormonism was the same as Christianity.
What?!?! How in the world could this guy say that? Saying the Mormonism is the same as Christianity is like saying that milk is the same as apple juice…there is only 1 characteristic that’s the same (in the milk/juice scenario it’s that they’re liquids. In the Mormonism/Christianity scenario, it’s that they are both religions). Though I was driving in my car, I wanted to pull over, call the station and tell them that they’re different…but then it hit me: to the world (that doesn’t know better because they aren’t actively attending church, reading their Bibles, engaging in theological conversation such as the Elephant Room, etc.) there is no difference. See, because I hold the Bible in the highest regards, as the Word of God, I can point out several differences between the two faiths…to the point that it’s CLEARLY obvious that they are no where near the same. However, if you (or in this case, the guest co-host) don’t have that firm foundation, it won’t make any sense to you.
So many of you might be wondering why I’m making a big deal about this. I mean, “Mormons believe that Jesus is God and that should suffice…can’t we all just get along?” In a word, no. Not about this. Mormonism is not a denomination of Christianity!! Paul preached about unity in the church, but he also preached about certain areas that are foundational to get fired up about…areas that Mormons and Christians differ on. In Ephesians 4, Paul gives us the list:
There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4:4-6, ESV
You might be wondering (as a lot of people are), “Where exactly to Mormons and Christians differ?” I know I wondered. I mean, I knew enough to know that they were different…enough to get angry. But at the time, I didn’t know in what specific areas they’re different. After all, the majority of my life I’ve focused on learning/accepting/following the teachings of Christ, found in the Word of God…not what other faiths teach or where they’re taught from. So I looked it up online and came across this comparison where the two faiths differ theologically. Later (as I was writing this blog post) I came upon a blog post from Justin Taylor, one of my wife’s co-workers, who gave a similar comparison. As you can see, there are (through worldly eyes) similarities…but also some major differences. Different enough to be a cult? Well…I won’t get into that discussion at this point, but I will say that it’s definitely NOT the same as Christianity.