Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic religion

In a New York Times op-ed piece, David V. Mason admits to being a Mormon and most emphatically NOT a Christian:

I’m about as genuine a Mormon as you’ll find — a templegoer with a Utah pedigree and an administrative position in a congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am also emphatically not a Christian.

For the curious, the dispute can be reduced to Jesus. Mormons assert that because they believe Jesus is divine, they are Christians by default. Christians respond that because Mormons don’t believe — in accordance with the Nicene Creed promulgated in the fourth century — that Jesus is also the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Jesus that Mormons have in mind is someone else altogether. The Mormon reaction is incredulity. The Christian retort is exasperation. Rinse and repeat.

I am confident that I am not the only person — Mormon or Christian — who has had enough of the acrimonious niggling from both sides over the nature of the trinity, the authority of the creeds, the significance of grace and works, the union of Christ’s divinity and humanity, and the real color of God’s underwear. I’m perfectly happy not being a Christian. . . .

Being a Christian so often involves such boorish and meanspirited behavior that I marvel that any of my Mormon colleagues are so eager to join the fold.

In fact, I rather agree with Richard D. Land, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, who calls Mormonism a fourth Abrahamic religion, along with Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Being set apart from Christianity in this way could give Mormonism a chance to fashion its own legacy.

Christianity, you’ll recall, had to fight the same battle. Many early Christians grew up reading the Torah, living the law, observing the Sabbath and thinking of themselves as Jews. They were aghast to find that traditional Judaism regarded them as something else entirely.

In addition, these Christians had to defend their use of additional scripture and their unconventional conception of God and explain why they were following a bumpkin carpenter from some obscure backwater. Early Christianity’s relationship with non-Jews was even worse. Roman writers frequently alluded to rumors about the cannibalistic and hedonistic elements of early Christian rites. One after the other, Christians went to the lions because they found it impossible to defend themselves against such outrageous accusations. They did eat flesh and drink blood every Sunday, after all.

Eventually, Christianity grew up and conceded that it wasn’t authentic Judaism. Lo and behold, once it had given up its claim to Judaism, it became a state religion — cannibalism notwithstanding — and spent the next 1,700 years getting back at all the bullies who had slighted it when it was a child.

Eventually, Mormonism will grow up. Maybe a Mormon in the White House will hasten that moment when Mormonism will no longer plead through billboards and sappy radio ads to be liked, though I suspect that Mr. Romney is such a typical politician that, should he occupy the Oval Office, he’ll studiously avoid the appearance of being anything but a WASP. This could set back the cause of Mormon identity by decades.

Whatever happens in November, I hope Mormonism eventually realizes that it doesn’t need Christianity’s approval and will get big and beat up all the imperious Christians who tormented it when it was small, weird and painfully self-conscious. Mormons are certainly Christian enough to know how to spitefully abuse their power.

via I’m a Mormon, Not a Christian – NYTimes.com.

Read what Justin Taylor has to say about this.

HT:  Paul McCain

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Ooh, and isn’t Romney a Mormon? And this writer says Mormons really aren’t Christians because he is a Mormon and he knows. So, we shouldn’t vote for Romney because he isn’t a Christian. Well, it sure is a good thing that we have the NY Times to tell us these things, so we can be sure to vote for Barack Obama who is a Christian.

    Ugh, it is so transparent. Anyway, Romney isn’t running for president of the SBC, so who cares. The President isn’t a religious leader and this isn’t a theocracy.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Ooh, and isn’t Romney a Mormon? And this writer says Mormons really aren’t Christians because he is a Mormon and he knows. So, we shouldn’t vote for Romney because he isn’t a Christian. Well, it sure is a good thing that we have the NY Times to tell us these things, so we can be sure to vote for Barack Obama who is a Christian.

    Ugh, it is so transparent. Anyway, Romney isn’t running for president of the SBC, so who cares. The President isn’t a religious leader and this isn’t a theocracy.

  • larry

    You mean it’s not enough to say “Jesus is divine”, why that sounds like Jesus is God they used the right words “divine” and “Jesus” in the same sentence and even arranged the subject and predicate with the copula correctly for the English language. You mean we have to spell it out in a popish creed? Its not enough to say “grace” or even “grace alone” or “gospel” or “faith” or “faith alone” or “spirit” or “I just believe in Jesus” or “is”? Why if we just toss out all these long winded mean spirited, dogmatic, heresy hunting confessions and creeds it sounds like the late Rodney King’s dream would be realized and nearly everything is Christian. Why the unity is enough to make one giggle.

  • larry

    You mean it’s not enough to say “Jesus is divine”, why that sounds like Jesus is God they used the right words “divine” and “Jesus” in the same sentence and even arranged the subject and predicate with the copula correctly for the English language. You mean we have to spell it out in a popish creed? Its not enough to say “grace” or even “grace alone” or “gospel” or “faith” or “faith alone” or “spirit” or “I just believe in Jesus” or “is”? Why if we just toss out all these long winded mean spirited, dogmatic, heresy hunting confessions and creeds it sounds like the late Rodney King’s dream would be realized and nearly everything is Christian. Why the unity is enough to make one giggle.

  • James Sarver

    “For the curious, the dispute can be reduced to Jesus.”

    That’s about the only thing he got right.

    “…and the real color of God’s underwear.”

    To quote Capt. America, “There’s only one God ma’am, and I’m pretty sure He doesn’t dress like that.”

  • James Sarver

    “For the curious, the dispute can be reduced to Jesus.”

    That’s about the only thing he got right.

    “…and the real color of God’s underwear.”

    To quote Capt. America, “There’s only one God ma’am, and I’m pretty sure He doesn’t dress like that.”

  • Kyralessa

    “Being a Christian so often involves such boorish and meanspirited behavior that I marvel that any of my Mormon colleagues are so eager to join the fold.”

    For a Mormon, he sounds an awful lot like a New York Times writer.

  • Kyralessa

    “Being a Christian so often involves such boorish and meanspirited behavior that I marvel that any of my Mormon colleagues are so eager to join the fold.”

    For a Mormon, he sounds an awful lot like a New York Times writer.

  • Pete

    “Mormons assert that because they believe Jesus is divine, they are Christians by default. Christians respond that because Mormons don’t believe — in accordance with the Nicene Creed promulgated in the fourth century — that Jesus is also the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Jesus that Mormons have in mind is someone else.”

    Two points: He clearly doesn’t understand Christianity – Jesus is NOT “also the Father and the Holy Spirit” per the Athanasian creed.

    But I may not fully understand Mormonism. His assertion that Jesus is divine surprises me. I’m thinking that I’ve always understood one of the knocks against Mormonism was that they did not consider Jesus to be divine. Was I misled? Or perhaps not paying close enough attention? Or is he being disingenuous? I know there are some on this blog well-versed in Mormonism. Please advise.

  • Pete

    “Mormons assert that because they believe Jesus is divine, they are Christians by default. Christians respond that because Mormons don’t believe — in accordance with the Nicene Creed promulgated in the fourth century — that Jesus is also the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Jesus that Mormons have in mind is someone else.”

    Two points: He clearly doesn’t understand Christianity – Jesus is NOT “also the Father and the Holy Spirit” per the Athanasian creed.

    But I may not fully understand Mormonism. His assertion that Jesus is divine surprises me. I’m thinking that I’ve always understood one of the knocks against Mormonism was that they did not consider Jesus to be divine. Was I misled? Or perhaps not paying close enough attention? Or is he being disingenuous? I know there are some on this blog well-versed in Mormonism. Please advise.

  • Pete

    And sg’s observation @ 1 is spot on.

  • Pete

    And sg’s observation @ 1 is spot on.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Pete@5 beat me to it. Mason is confusing true Trinitarian doctrine (either out of ignorance or willful distortion) with Sabellianism/modalism. Beyond that, I’m glad he’s honest enough to admit a difference between us and them.

    BTW, for those who don’t know the full spectrum of what has been asserted in Mormon doctrine, the following link contains assertions of doctrinal positions made by Mormons: http://carm.org/teachings-of-mormonism

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Pete@5 beat me to it. Mason is confusing true Trinitarian doctrine (either out of ignorance or willful distortion) with Sabellianism/modalism. Beyond that, I’m glad he’s honest enough to admit a difference between us and them.

    BTW, for those who don’t know the full spectrum of what has been asserted in Mormon doctrine, the following link contains assertions of doctrinal positions made by Mormons: http://carm.org/teachings-of-mormonism

  • http://www.fencepostblog.com Dan Kassis

    The ignorance of a statement from a Southern Baptist that Mormonism could possibly be an “Abrahamic” faith left me speechless last year when it was uttered. (That person’s inability to choose his words wisely has cost him his position this year in another, unrelated, matter.) To say that Mormons might trace their religious heritage back to Abraham exposes a complete lack of historical understanding. It’s to suggest that Mormons have even a shred of evidence to support such an assertion. Just because Mormons read the Bible and use the names “Abraham” (and “Jesus”!) in their religon does not automatically infer an Abrahamic connection. Also, to agree with this assertion gives unwarranted creedence to Mormonism’s claims that a “lost” tribe of Israelites found their way to “ancient America” and were incorporated into this continent’s native people groups. But again, the Mormon church has never been able to support that claim with one solid piece of evidence. The truth is that Mormonism is demonic, not Abrahamic, in origin. It began with the delusional visions of a treasure hunter in upstate New York in the early 19th century A.D., not with Abram of Ur in the 21st century B.C. Let’s get our facts straight and stop lending creedence to any belief system that gives anyone a false hope of eternal life.

  • http://www.fencepostblog.com Dan Kassis

    The ignorance of a statement from a Southern Baptist that Mormonism could possibly be an “Abrahamic” faith left me speechless last year when it was uttered. (That person’s inability to choose his words wisely has cost him his position this year in another, unrelated, matter.) To say that Mormons might trace their religious heritage back to Abraham exposes a complete lack of historical understanding. It’s to suggest that Mormons have even a shred of evidence to support such an assertion. Just because Mormons read the Bible and use the names “Abraham” (and “Jesus”!) in their religon does not automatically infer an Abrahamic connection. Also, to agree with this assertion gives unwarranted creedence to Mormonism’s claims that a “lost” tribe of Israelites found their way to “ancient America” and were incorporated into this continent’s native people groups. But again, the Mormon church has never been able to support that claim with one solid piece of evidence. The truth is that Mormonism is demonic, not Abrahamic, in origin. It began with the delusional visions of a treasure hunter in upstate New York in the early 19th century A.D., not with Abram of Ur in the 21st century B.C. Let’s get our facts straight and stop lending creedence to any belief system that gives anyone a false hope of eternal life.

  • SKPeterson

    It’s nice that someone finally allowed the heretics free rein to condemn Christianity in the pages of the NYT or WaPo, accuse them of hypocrisy, divine cannibalism, theological error, hatred of others, exclusivity, and what have you. It’s so original and refreshing.

    I will grant Mason this: Mormonism is an Abrahamic religion on par with Islam. In fact, the parallels between Mormonism and Islam are rather eerie. Almost as if an evil sentience used the same trick twice and got even more dupes in his trap. But that couldn’t possibly be, could it?

  • SKPeterson

    It’s nice that someone finally allowed the heretics free rein to condemn Christianity in the pages of the NYT or WaPo, accuse them of hypocrisy, divine cannibalism, theological error, hatred of others, exclusivity, and what have you. It’s so original and refreshing.

    I will grant Mason this: Mormonism is an Abrahamic religion on par with Islam. In fact, the parallels between Mormonism and Islam are rather eerie. Almost as if an evil sentience used the same trick twice and got even more dupes in his trap. But that couldn’t possibly be, could it?

  • rlewer

    How can a religion that was made up in the 1800′s be Abrahamic?

    Still as has been said, we are not electing a religious leader. We are electing a President. The Times continues it blatant partisanship.

  • rlewer

    How can a religion that was made up in the 1800′s be Abrahamic?

    Still as has been said, we are not electing a religious leader. We are electing a President. The Times continues it blatant partisanship.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    My beef is that the problem with the Romney candidacy is not whether he’d be a good or bad president, but that having the topic of Mormonism in national political dialogue becomes a campaign by Christian (and others, notably Denis Prager recently on NRO) conservatives to undo every part of Christian doctrine. This isn’t important to you if you have a works-righteous theology which most people do. After all, Mormons behave well! They behave like Christians should. Doesn’t that make them Christians?

    The most common narrative is NOT, “So, they’re not Christians, but one should vote Mr. Romney regardless.” The common narrative is “If Mormons say they’re Christians, then they are, and if you don’t agree you just a bigot.” Or worse, there is the argument: Mormon religious claims are irrational? Yes, but ALL religious claims are irrational (and by implication, untrue or meaningless) That’s the one Prager makes on NRO. I thought that conservatives where suppose to be the one who take religious truth claims seriously.

    Mormonism isn’t merely non-Christian. Judaism, and Islam aren’t Christian but they don’t pose the threat that Mormonism does. Mormonism intends to redefine Christianity. It uses a post-modern application of words to do so. ‘Jesus is divine.” They’ll say. But ‘divine’ has nothing to do with monotheism. I’ve had Mormons take offence at me saying that they think that Jesus and Satan are brothers, and a minute later admit that that is what they believe.
    Sadly, American culture is particularly susceptible to this kind of attack, because of religious illiteracy, and the prevailing belief that words really have no steady meaning. Postmodernism is the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and Mormonism is the opportunistic disease.

    I admit that part of the problem is the well intentioned but wrong headed mixture of politics and religion. Ross Douthat addresses this well in his book Bad Religion, which I heartily recommend!

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    My beef is that the problem with the Romney candidacy is not whether he’d be a good or bad president, but that having the topic of Mormonism in national political dialogue becomes a campaign by Christian (and others, notably Denis Prager recently on NRO) conservatives to undo every part of Christian doctrine. This isn’t important to you if you have a works-righteous theology which most people do. After all, Mormons behave well! They behave like Christians should. Doesn’t that make them Christians?

    The most common narrative is NOT, “So, they’re not Christians, but one should vote Mr. Romney regardless.” The common narrative is “If Mormons say they’re Christians, then they are, and if you don’t agree you just a bigot.” Or worse, there is the argument: Mormon religious claims are irrational? Yes, but ALL religious claims are irrational (and by implication, untrue or meaningless) That’s the one Prager makes on NRO. I thought that conservatives where suppose to be the one who take religious truth claims seriously.

    Mormonism isn’t merely non-Christian. Judaism, and Islam aren’t Christian but they don’t pose the threat that Mormonism does. Mormonism intends to redefine Christianity. It uses a post-modern application of words to do so. ‘Jesus is divine.” They’ll say. But ‘divine’ has nothing to do with monotheism. I’ve had Mormons take offence at me saying that they think that Jesus and Satan are brothers, and a minute later admit that that is what they believe.
    Sadly, American culture is particularly susceptible to this kind of attack, because of religious illiteracy, and the prevailing belief that words really have no steady meaning. Postmodernism is the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and Mormonism is the opportunistic disease.

    I admit that part of the problem is the well intentioned but wrong headed mixture of politics and religion. Ross Douthat addresses this well in his book Bad Religion, which I heartily recommend!

  • DonS

    “Eventually, Christianity grew up and conceded that it wasn’t authentic Judaism.”

    When did we do that? Not only are we authentic Judaism, we are completed Judaism.

    The NYT is a shameless rag.

  • DonS

    “Eventually, Christianity grew up and conceded that it wasn’t authentic Judaism.”

    When did we do that? Not only are we authentic Judaism, we are completed Judaism.

    The NYT is a shameless rag.

  • Grace

    SKPEterson @9

    Statement by SKP: “I will grant Mason this: Mormonism is an Abrahamic religion on par with Islam. In fact, the parallels between Mormonism and Islam are rather eerie. Almost as if an evil sentience used the same trick twice and got even more dupes in his trap. But that couldn’t possibly be, could it?”

    SKP, you’re right. I’ve studied Mormonism for a long time. Watching this election unfold, all the dithering from Christian Believers regarding Romney and Obama. There is more here than meets the eye.

    “The first account we have of the visitation of divine beings in this dispensation, is the account that is given to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith himself, concerning the visit of the Father and the Son. There had been men, doubtless many men in the various ages of the world, who had light and who had a degree of the Spirit of God. I believe myself that Mahomed, whom the Christians deride and call a false prophet and stigmatize with a great many epithets—I believe that he was a man raised up by the Almighty, and inspired to a certain extent by Him to effect the reforms which he did in his land, and in the nations surrounding. He attacked idolatry, and restored the great and crowning idea that there is but one God. He taught that idea to his people, and reclaimed them from polytheism and from the heathenish practices into which they had fallen. I believe many men were inspired who lived after him and before him, who, nevertheless, did not have the Holy Priesthood, but were led by the Spirit of God to strive for a better condition of affairs and to live a purer and higher life than those by whom they were surrounded were living. But while this was the case it was the Spirit of God that did it. We have no account—no authenticated account at least—of angels coming from heaven, or of the Father manifesting Himself unto the children of men.”

    Discourse by President Geo. Q. Cannon, delivered in the Meetinghouse, Provo, Sunday Morning, September 2nd, 1883
    Journal of Discourses Volume 24 – page 371

  • Grace

    SKPEterson @9

    Statement by SKP: “I will grant Mason this: Mormonism is an Abrahamic religion on par with Islam. In fact, the parallels between Mormonism and Islam are rather eerie. Almost as if an evil sentience used the same trick twice and got even more dupes in his trap. But that couldn’t possibly be, could it?”

    SKP, you’re right. I’ve studied Mormonism for a long time. Watching this election unfold, all the dithering from Christian Believers regarding Romney and Obama. There is more here than meets the eye.

    “The first account we have of the visitation of divine beings in this dispensation, is the account that is given to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith himself, concerning the visit of the Father and the Son. There had been men, doubtless many men in the various ages of the world, who had light and who had a degree of the Spirit of God. I believe myself that Mahomed, whom the Christians deride and call a false prophet and stigmatize with a great many epithets—I believe that he was a man raised up by the Almighty, and inspired to a certain extent by Him to effect the reforms which he did in his land, and in the nations surrounding. He attacked idolatry, and restored the great and crowning idea that there is but one God. He taught that idea to his people, and reclaimed them from polytheism and from the heathenish practices into which they had fallen. I believe many men were inspired who lived after him and before him, who, nevertheless, did not have the Holy Priesthood, but were led by the Spirit of God to strive for a better condition of affairs and to live a purer and higher life than those by whom they were surrounded were living. But while this was the case it was the Spirit of God that did it. We have no account—no authenticated account at least—of angels coming from heaven, or of the Father manifesting Himself unto the children of men.”

    Discourse by President Geo. Q. Cannon, delivered in the Meetinghouse, Provo, Sunday Morning, September 2nd, 1883
    Journal of Discourses Volume 24 – page 371

  • Jerry

    There is an implied state religion in the documents of the US founding fathers– there is a god from whom we receive our individual rights and freedoms. Part of our freedom is coming to understand god on our own.

    Unfortunately, the current president would place religion second to government thereby pulling out one of the country’s principal foundations of freedom. If you agree, then you certainly will not vote to re-elect him.

    However, the question then becomes do Mormons have the same understanding of what’s termed the anonymous god? Or is their religion more a political system posing as a religion? There is certainly evidence to support the notion.

    Or to re-phrase the question, does Romney understand the basis for American freedom any better than Obama?

  • Jerry

    There is an implied state religion in the documents of the US founding fathers– there is a god from whom we receive our individual rights and freedoms. Part of our freedom is coming to understand god on our own.

    Unfortunately, the current president would place religion second to government thereby pulling out one of the country’s principal foundations of freedom. If you agree, then you certainly will not vote to re-elect him.

    However, the question then becomes do Mormons have the same understanding of what’s termed the anonymous god? Or is their religion more a political system posing as a religion? There is certainly evidence to support the notion.

    Or to re-phrase the question, does Romney understand the basis for American freedom any better than Obama?

  • Philip

    At last a honest Mormon. Just when I was sick of arguing with family, friends, and co-workers about their inclusion in Christianity.

    Temple Mormons have been encouraged to mock Christian pastors and ministers. So why do most insist on claiming Christianity? I can’t say why without being labelled a bigot. But a Mormon grade school classmate who sneered at me one day that as a Christian I would be his slave in the Celestial plane of existence.

    I’m nearly 60 and still remember his statement.

  • Philip

    At last a honest Mormon. Just when I was sick of arguing with family, friends, and co-workers about their inclusion in Christianity.

    Temple Mormons have been encouraged to mock Christian pastors and ministers. So why do most insist on claiming Christianity? I can’t say why without being labelled a bigot. But a Mormon grade school classmate who sneered at me one day that as a Christian I would be his slave in the Celestial plane of existence.

    I’m nearly 60 and still remember his statement.

  • Trey

    The rebuttal by Justin Taylor is good, but he teaches limited atonement or particular grace, which the Bible does not teach (1 Timothy 2:4, John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9). Jesus died for all people’s sins. What condemns is unbelief in the promise.

    I think it is fair to call Mormons an Abrahamic religion as a description since they hold that the Old Testament is an authoritative document. Islam and Judaism also, but the true Abrahamic religion is the Christian religion when it is purely taught and administered. Basically, Islam and Mormonism is very similar as they both claim to have the next revelation after Jesus. It’s quite ironic that these two are supposedly the fastest growing religions.

  • Trey

    The rebuttal by Justin Taylor is good, but he teaches limited atonement or particular grace, which the Bible does not teach (1 Timothy 2:4, John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9). Jesus died for all people’s sins. What condemns is unbelief in the promise.

    I think it is fair to call Mormons an Abrahamic religion as a description since they hold that the Old Testament is an authoritative document. Islam and Judaism also, but the true Abrahamic religion is the Christian religion when it is purely taught and administered. Basically, Islam and Mormonism is very similar as they both claim to have the next revelation after Jesus. It’s quite ironic that these two are supposedly the fastest growing religions.

  • Grace

    Trey,

    YOU WROTE: “Basically, Islam and Mormonism is very similar as they both claim to have the next revelation after Jesus. It’s quite ironic that these two are supposedly the fastest growing religions.”

    I don’t agree they are the “fastest growing religions” – they are two very similar.

    Trey, what else do you see between these two beliefs?

    .

  • Grace

    Trey,

    YOU WROTE: “Basically, Islam and Mormonism is very similar as they both claim to have the next revelation after Jesus. It’s quite ironic that these two are supposedly the fastest growing religions.”

    I don’t agree they are the “fastest growing religions” – they are two very similar.

    Trey, what else do you see between these two beliefs?

    .

  • fws

    My hesitation to vote for Romney is that it is most certain that the Mormons will use this new found respectability to legitimize Mormonism and “mainstream ” it.

    Interestingly, my concern is the same concern most conservative Christians have for legalizing gay marriage. It will make being gay
    socially acceptable and “ordinary”.

    It is also most interesting that they have a far greater concern for this as to the homos than they do for mormonism from what I am reading and hearing. This is actually sort of alarming.

  • fws

    My hesitation to vote for Romney is that it is most certain that the Mormons will use this new found respectability to legitimize Mormonism and “mainstream ” it.

    Interestingly, my concern is the same concern most conservative Christians have for legalizing gay marriage. It will make being gay
    socially acceptable and “ordinary”.

    It is also most interesting that they have a far greater concern for this as to the homos than they do for mormonism from what I am reading and hearing. This is actually sort of alarming.

  • larry

    Pastor Spomer that is spot on the money and you are one of the few I’ve heard actually state it.

  • larry

    Pastor Spomer that is spot on the money and you are one of the few I’ve heard actually state it.

  • http://www.gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Thanks larry,
    I don’t understand why we don’t see this more from Christian, liberal or conservative. Four years ago, when Romney was running the first time, Christianity Today was kind enough to publish my letter to the editor concerning this issue. First Things (God bless ‘em) has been nice enough to publish two of my letters. They have also had some excellent articles on this. Thanks Pastor Neuhaus! (There see? I’m praying to the Saints.)

  • http://www.gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Thanks larry,
    I don’t understand why we don’t see this more from Christian, liberal or conservative. Four years ago, when Romney was running the first time, Christianity Today was kind enough to publish my letter to the editor concerning this issue. First Things (God bless ‘em) has been nice enough to publish two of my letters. They have also had some excellent articles on this. Thanks Pastor Neuhaus! (There see? I’m praying to the Saints.)

  • fws

    Pastor Spomer @11

    “Postmodernism is the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and Mormonism is the opportunistic disease.”

    Excellent pastor Spomer! This is the simple truth.

    Pick any topic. No one starts out any longer by insistence on a definition of terms. We need to, especially, include LCMS Lutherans, especially those who call themselves “confessional Lutherans” in this as well Pastor Spomer right?

    And just as you say, those who do insist upon a fixed definition in the middle of something controversial, are told that that is narrow minded and/or that it is beside the point or wrong to ask for that.

    And we LCMS Lutherans are just as guilty of that as anyone aren’t we? There are obvious examples of that all over the place.

    We LCMS confessional/conservatives will allow manipulation in language.

    WeLCMSers, enconsced in our own cultural battles, don’t flinch when seeing “freedom fighter” vs “terrorist” rather than use neutral terms. Yet this is editorializing and manipulation in what should be objective reporting. It is leading the reader manipulatively. There is no question of this. Yet we scream and hairsplit when Obama or one of his minions use religious sounding terms in a way that seems to indicate a meaning shift (postmodernism) that may or may not be there.

    And we LCMSers, personally, also often employ the same tactic against those with whom we disagree, somehow justifying that tactic. We insist on the word homosexual rather than gay, abortion on demand and prolife, liberal vs conservative, etc etc. Why? To more clearly define an argument? No. This is define an entire group of people who disagree with us as the unrighteous “them” vs the righteously correct “us”.

    And so you are right. When we do this, on abortion, homosexuality, marriage, clean livin, we must then include Mormons as part of us! Why? They can’t be “them”. Look at their good works! LCMS confessional/conservative Lutherans do this!

    See that article about that woman who was an atheist and who has now embraced Thomist Natural Law. “yeah she is one of us now!” “praise God!” says Pastor Paul McCain! As though she has said even one little thing that is about Christ…

    True and Godly repentence refuses to separate “them” from “us” in even the slightest way when we talk about sin and sinfulness and active righeousness.

    True and Godly repentence is truly terrified at ALL of our very best righeousness as the moral-equivalent-of-used-Tampon that Saint Isaiah describes them as.

    So the truly repentent, that is, those repentent in Christ, restlessly seek ways to invite ALL sinners to join them in hiding their own righeousness in the Works of Another.

    The problem with the fact that we LCMS Lutherans do post modernism too, is that we won’t be able to identify the same error in others since we are too busy self justifying when we do the same.

  • fws

    Pastor Spomer @11

    “Postmodernism is the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and Mormonism is the opportunistic disease.”

    Excellent pastor Spomer! This is the simple truth.

    Pick any topic. No one starts out any longer by insistence on a definition of terms. We need to, especially, include LCMS Lutherans, especially those who call themselves “confessional Lutherans” in this as well Pastor Spomer right?

    And just as you say, those who do insist upon a fixed definition in the middle of something controversial, are told that that is narrow minded and/or that it is beside the point or wrong to ask for that.

    And we LCMS Lutherans are just as guilty of that as anyone aren’t we? There are obvious examples of that all over the place.

    We LCMS confessional/conservatives will allow manipulation in language.

    WeLCMSers, enconsced in our own cultural battles, don’t flinch when seeing “freedom fighter” vs “terrorist” rather than use neutral terms. Yet this is editorializing and manipulation in what should be objective reporting. It is leading the reader manipulatively. There is no question of this. Yet we scream and hairsplit when Obama or one of his minions use religious sounding terms in a way that seems to indicate a meaning shift (postmodernism) that may or may not be there.

    And we LCMSers, personally, also often employ the same tactic against those with whom we disagree, somehow justifying that tactic. We insist on the word homosexual rather than gay, abortion on demand and prolife, liberal vs conservative, etc etc. Why? To more clearly define an argument? No. This is define an entire group of people who disagree with us as the unrighteous “them” vs the righteously correct “us”.

    And so you are right. When we do this, on abortion, homosexuality, marriage, clean livin, we must then include Mormons as part of us! Why? They can’t be “them”. Look at their good works! LCMS confessional/conservative Lutherans do this!

    See that article about that woman who was an atheist and who has now embraced Thomist Natural Law. “yeah she is one of us now!” “praise God!” says Pastor Paul McCain! As though she has said even one little thing that is about Christ…

    True and Godly repentence refuses to separate “them” from “us” in even the slightest way when we talk about sin and sinfulness and active righeousness.

    True and Godly repentence is truly terrified at ALL of our very best righeousness as the moral-equivalent-of-used-Tampon that Saint Isaiah describes them as.

    So the truly repentent, that is, those repentent in Christ, restlessly seek ways to invite ALL sinners to join them in hiding their own righeousness in the Works of Another.

    The problem with the fact that we LCMS Lutherans do post modernism too, is that we won’t be able to identify the same error in others since we are too busy self justifying when we do the same.

  • fws

    pastor spomer @ 20

    “I don’t understand why we don’t see this more from Christian, liberal or conservative.”

    Really? “we” meaning LCMS confessional conservatives?

    Because how we speak slowly corrodes how we think. “conservative” and “liberal” becomes the dividing line for everything. and those two terms are pure moralism that any pagan can chose with reason alone. No Bible or Holy Spirit or Christ is necessary to be conservative.

    So we stop distinguishing between the Earthly Kingdom where God Rules by the Law to make ALL earthly good works happen even in the church. We follow our Old Adams here in seeking and end to sin by “right thinking”: “stop being post modernist!”. As though that will really fix the problem of sin.

    We stop believing,demonstrated by our liberal-vs-conservative political-speak that that other Heavenly Kingdom that is ALONE that invisible faith in Christ that can alone put a real end to sin.

    So we focus on abortion and homosexuality and such as “spiritual”
    battles. They are so not.

    The eternal consequences of all our earthly righeousness, even that righteousness that refuses abortion and homosexualiy is eternal death. This righeousness is Romans 8 fleshly and carnal righteousness that will perish with the earth, along with all who seek Life there. In faith alone, alone in the Work of Another there is first that death that is true repentence for sin, that alone leads to Life.

  • fws

    pastor spomer @ 20

    “I don’t understand why we don’t see this more from Christian, liberal or conservative.”

    Really? “we” meaning LCMS confessional conservatives?

    Because how we speak slowly corrodes how we think. “conservative” and “liberal” becomes the dividing line for everything. and those two terms are pure moralism that any pagan can chose with reason alone. No Bible or Holy Spirit or Christ is necessary to be conservative.

    So we stop distinguishing between the Earthly Kingdom where God Rules by the Law to make ALL earthly good works happen even in the church. We follow our Old Adams here in seeking and end to sin by “right thinking”: “stop being post modernist!”. As though that will really fix the problem of sin.

    We stop believing,demonstrated by our liberal-vs-conservative political-speak that that other Heavenly Kingdom that is ALONE that invisible faith in Christ that can alone put a real end to sin.

    So we focus on abortion and homosexuality and such as “spiritual”
    battles. They are so not.

    The eternal consequences of all our earthly righeousness, even that righteousness that refuses abortion and homosexualiy is eternal death. This righeousness is Romans 8 fleshly and carnal righteousness that will perish with the earth, along with all who seek Life there. In faith alone, alone in the Work of Another there is first that death that is true repentence for sin, that alone leads to Life.


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