Joel Osteen, minister of America’s largest church, joins David Barton among others Christian leaders, in believing that Mormons are Christians:
Megachurch pastor, best-selling author and perennial optimist Joel Osteen has good news to share.
“I see faith in America at an all-time high,” he told editors and reporters at The Washington Times on Monday.
Yes, people are struggling, but “our message is so much about hope,” said Mr. Osteen, whose weekly television services are seen by 7 million people in the U.S., as well as by people in almost 100 other countries. . . .
Mr. Osteen expressed admiration for home-state Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry — “I pray for his candidacy, I pray for him as a friend” — and disagreed with another pastor who said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is “not a Christian” because he is a Mormon.
“I believe that [Mormons] are Christians,” Mr. Osteen said. “I don’t know if it’s the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with. But you know what, I know Mormons. I hear Mitt Romney — and I’ve never met him — but I hear him say, ‘I believe Jesus is the son of God,’ ‘I believe he’s my savior,’ and that’s one of the core issues.
“I’m sure there are other issues that we don’t agree on. But you know, I can say that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics don’t all agree on everything. So that would be my take on it.”
The usual question has been “are Mormons (or some of them) Christians?” I think we should turn that around: “Are Christians (or some of them) Mormons?”
There are lots of people today in churches and in various ministries that are dismissive of historical Christianity and care nothing for theology. They don’t care about the Trinity and they never say anything about the Incarnation. They focus on attaining a happy life in this world. They are moralists. They have a ramped-up civil religion. And they think Christianity is mostly about having a certain kind of family. Isn’t that Mormonism?
So without thinking that Mormons are Christians, I do think some people who think they are Christians are actually Mormons. Is that fair to say?