Is President Obama a Christian? Is Glenn Beck?
That’s the question that has been swirling in the media this week. The answer may lie in how “Christian” is defined and whether the Mormon church, to which Beck belongs, considers Protestants to be Christians.
The Church of Latter Day Saints insists that all converts, even those who have already been baptized, be baptized again in the Mormon church. Those who worship in non-Mormon churches participate in the what the church calls Great Apostasy’ defined below:
The Great Apostasy occurred after the Savior established His Church. After the deaths of the Savior and His Apostles, men corrupted the principles of the gospel and made unauthorized changes in Church organization and priesthood ordinances. Because of this widespread apostasy, the Lord withdrew the authority of the priesthood from the earth. This apostasy lasted until Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 and initiated the restoration of the fullness of the gospel.
Do Protestants think that Mormons are Christian? It depends on who you ask, but after Beck’s denouncement of Obama’s religion, some Christian leaders this week have spoken against Mormon theology. On All Things Considered, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Dr. Richard Land reflected the sentiments of the 34 percent of Protestants who say that Mormons are not Christians.
DR. LAND: I do not think Mormonism is an orthodox Christian faith, with a small O. I think perhaps the most charitable way for an evangelical Christian to look at Mormonism is to look at Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic faith.
SIEGEL: Not a Christian faith.
Dr. LAND: Not a Christian faith.
So what about the president, whom Beck called a follower of ‘
Perhaps there has been too much discussion this week about words and labels. Kathleen Norris, author of A Cloister Walk was asked during a radio interview if she considered herself a Christian. The Episcopalian writer replied that she “often wondered if being Christian is something we should, or could, claim for ourselves; that if being a Christian meant incarnating the love of Christ into my own life, then maybe it would be best to let others tell me how well, or how badly, I’m doing.”
But if the Pew Research Center is calling to ask if you think that President Obama is a Christian, how do you answer? Do you accept the president’s profession of faith? Or do you view the validity of his faith through the teachings of your own?
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