Why is this question so important? Why does it deserve its own post? Does it really matter what another person says about me?
Absolutely. Particularly in cases when it leads to the confusion of others who are sincere.
Labels are a powerful thing.
For example, we’ve all known for a painfully prolonged period of time that we are in a recession. We’ve all felt it. We’ve even called it that. But Monday morning (Dec 1, 08), when the National Bureau of Economic Research made it official, announcing that we are in a recession, and have been since Dec ’07, the Dow plummeted almost 700 points by the end of the day. Nothing was different that day, from the day before, other than the fact that now it had been given an official label from a trusted source, and because of that label, the market lost almost a billion dollars in just one day.
Labels are powerful things.
So are words. Words are the way we convey meaning, how we communicate. And the words we choose have strong bearing on those that they’re given to. If you ever doubt the ability of words to affect human events, think for a moment about Adolf Hitler and his book Mein Kampf. On the other end of the spectrum you’ve got the Bible. Words are powerful, and the words you choose determine the way people look at things.
So when a trusted source, say a pastor, preacher, priest, or even a close friend tells you that Mormons are not Christian, that’s a big deal. For many people, particularly those who lack the personal motivation and courage to research it themselves, that singular statement is sufficient for their wholesale dismissal of Mormonism. And those who made those statements will be accountable for that impact.
But who can say if someone else is Christian or not? Who has that authority? Certainly not a man. Only Christ has that capacity to judge.
There are several excuses offered up to justify such statements, each of which will be covered in the other supporting posts in this series. But in the end, they are just excuses, the skin of reason, stuffed with lies. For none of us are in the position to judge another.
But why then do so many work so hard, to perpetuate such claims?
Because it’s an effective mechanism for deterring souls from finding the truth. It’s a superficial argument meant to take advantage of members of congregations or peers who are willing to take their word, rather than finding out for themselves. Often it’s an illustration of the effects of commercialized religion’s influence on ecclesiastical leaders. For their very business stands to fail, and their structures crumble around them unless they can stop the onslaught of the growth of the LDS church. And they’re incented (financially) to sufficiently pollute public opinion with baseless propaganda, such as statements and claims that Christians are only those who are exactly like them. Why? Why not rely upon solid doctrine, sound reason, and pure facts, trusting in the truth to make itself evident? Why resort to labels, and name calling?
And so it behooves us as Latter-day Saints (Mormons), to have a public voice, to speak out, to ensure the facts are heard, that people may know that indeed, Mormons are Christian. Mine is the intent to teach the truth about Mormonism, with God as my witness, that the truth may be made known and the children of men may determine for themselves, rather than trusting in labels others would force upon us in their endeavors to ensnare and mislead.
Please, take the time to read the posts in this series. And if you still doubt the Christian claims of Mormonism, tell me why, that I we may address it openly together.
But it is my testimony to all that Christ lives, and I believe in Him.