Why Mormons Aren’t Christians
In a long essay, E.D. Kain defends his assertion that “Mormons are not, by any definition of the word, Christian.” A brief excerpt:
Mormons are no more Christian than Rastafarians are, regardless of their Coptic heritage. Nor are members of the Baha’i faith Muslim, despite their roots in Islam, and despite the fact that many of them believe in Muhammad as a Prophet. Remember, Muslims believe that Muhammad was the Prophet – the last of God’s messengers – how then could Muslims believe in other prophets after him, as the Baha’i do? Sikhs can hardly be considered Hindu or Muslim, though both those religions played a definitive role in the birth of Sikhism. Similarly, while Mormons believe in Christ and have sprung from the Christian tradition, they have added on an entirely new set of beliefs to that one that change their faith entirely and distinguish it from Christianity.
I’ve always considered Mormons to be Christians since they’re believers in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Kain’s argument is interesting, though. Clearly, there are vast differences between various Christian sects, ranging from Roman Catholicism to the various Orthodox faiths to Pentacostalism.
Are the differences added by the Book of Mormon and The Pearl of Great Price sufficient to transform them into something unique? Certainly, the idea that Jesus visited North America after the Resurrection is a novel addition to the canon.
UPDATE: See also Steven Taylor’s December 2006 essay “On Romney and the Politics of Mormonism,” which outlines some of the theological issues.
Link via Andrew Sullivan.