Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Problem with "Christians"

The problem with Christians is that sometimes they're not.  They're not Christian, ie, they don't act in Christ-like ways and they don't legitimately follow the parameter's of Christ's teachings.  If you recall, I discussed this when we had the embarrassing Hitler-esque burning of the Quran in the south a year or so ago.  Yet again it comes up, and of all places, at a Conservative Christian voter's summit.


Case in point:

Pastor Robert Jeffress announced at this summit that Mormonism is a "cult" and that its followers, ie Mitt Romney, are not Christian.  He claims they are not Christian because they don't embrace "historical christianity."  Actually, if he did a little research, he would discover that the Mormon church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is actually based on the church that Christ himself organized while he lived.  This church has 12 apostles (like historical christianity) and a top leadership of 3 apostles (think Peter, James, and John- like historical christianity) who lead the church with the priesthood of God (like historical christianity), along with missionaries sent abroad (think Saint Paul in historical christianity), etc.  They are an extension of historical christianity, hence their name- the church of JESUS CHRIST of LATTER-DAY SAINTS- meaning the Church that Christ historically organized as re-instated in these modern times, since the foundation's of Christ's original church have since become corrupted by man and the historical christianity has been lost.

Oh and by the way, they worship Christ as their Savior and redeemer and as the son of God.

The only part of "historical christianity" that the Latter-day Saints do not embrace is the Nicene Creed, which is what these modern christian sects seem to be so stuck on.  But guess what, the Nicene Creed is not the Bible, it is the product of men, hundreds of years after Christ when christians could no longer agree on what historical christianity was anymore.  Christ's teachings and foundations were being altered and the simple basic principle of who and what are God and Jesus were already being modified.  This principle was the subject of heated debate, argument, and lobbying.  It was a very political convention and finally common ground was found just to have something to unite them (can you say Congress??).  Religious truth comes from revelation, not debate, which is why the Latter-day Saints do not jump to embrace the Nicene Creed.  It's not because Latter-day Saints are not Christian, it's because the Nicene Creed didn't come from Christ, it came from scholars.  It's not doctrine or revelation, it's a compromise; therefore it should not preclude an honest group of sincere worshipers and followers of Christ from being considered christian.

But one thing that IS doctrine and DID come from Christ is the Christian value of "love one another", repeated by Christ again and again throughout the New Testament.  Christ's agonizing atonement was made because he loves us and wants to save us ALL from sin, even if we are sinners and even if He does not agree with our politics, and so forth.  As such, I just cannot see how name-calling and labeling people's sincerely religious beliefs, in order to gain one's one political advantage, is something that any real Christian would think is okay for them to do and within their doctrinal parameters.

Looks like that rock star newsman Anderson Cooper thought the same way and he TOTALLY called out Pastor Jeffress in the following news clip:


So maybe being in a cult is not so bad since Pastor Jeffress seems to classify everyone but himself and his followers as being in a cult, he even has some doubts about Catholicism.  Oh, and even if you are not in a cult, he will probably not accept your claim as being a Christian anyway, so there's really no point trying to please this bigot.

I'm sorry, but cult is a VERY derogatory term.  Cult= drinking poisoned purple Kool Aid because some guy you worship told you to.  Yearning for Zion polygamist group in Texas?  Maybe a cult, but I would still say that word is too strong.  Buddism and Islam?  No.  You can't just make these huge offensive claims, and calling something only a "theological cult" does not make it any better.  After all, to outsiders, evangelical christianity is also based on a man starting a social following, that man being Jesus Christ.  It's only their belief in Christ's divinity that takes them, in their view, out of cult status.  But in all these other religions' views, Joseph Smith, Mohammed, Buddah, and so forth where all chosen prophets inspired by a higher power, they are not just "men" trying to make money, gain power and influence, and control people's minds. 

It comes right down to my friend John Skaggs' life motto: think before you speak!

And if you're going to be broadcast on national television, I would not only think, but I would think VERY hard and research before I speak.  I have very little respect for intentionally infecting others with self-imposed ignorance.


Kelli said...

Too true. You put things very well as usual! I have been thinking about his choice of "philosophical cult" and what a hurtful and misleading phrase he made up.

Grandma Collene! said...

Poor ignorant man, made a fool of himself. But the saddest thing is that so many believe him.
Your piece is so good, thanks

Betsy said...