Religion was on the frontline of this year’s election as many people questioned both Obama and Romney’s religious affiliations. During interviews and debates, both candidates spoke of their Christian views, however many folks have questions for both candidates.
In the spotlight is Governor Romney’s affiliation with the Mormon Church, which has been under scrutiny for its non-traditional views. The history of Mormonism includes controversial topics such as plural marriage and life on other planets. Many folks question if Mormonism a legitimate sect of Christianity or a different faith entirely.
At first glance, the Mormon articles of faith seem very similar to protestant Christianity, but a closer look does show some major differences. The largest difference is the belief that the Bible is translated correctly, but is not the literal word of God. It also is not complete on its own. The articles state that God will continually reveal to us, so the opportunity for more books, such as The Book of Mormon and The Pearl of Great Price does exist. To Protestants, who believe the Bible was divinely written, this is a big no-no. Protestants believe that, as stated in Revelation 22:19, it is sinful to add to the word of God.
But does this mean they aren’t Christians? The main contradiction between the Protestant faith and Mormonism is less in the articles of faith, but more in the actual teaching from supplemental texts revealed to those who more devotedly practice Mormonism. These views include that Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers, that God is actually one of many Gods in a Roman like God family, and that practicing Mormons will eventually become Gods themselves.
According to mega church pastor, Joel Osteen, “Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ.” On CNN, he recently stated, “When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God – that he's the Christ, raised from the dead, that he's his Savior – that's good enough for me," said Osteen.
Is that enough? Or do the theologically differences justify it being a different faith completely?