The LDS Church has joined with 49 religious leaders around the country in calling for a constitutional amendment “to establish a uniform national definition of marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman.” LDS Apostle Russell M. Nelson, as representative for the Mormon Church, has signed the Letter from America’s Religious Leaders in Defense of Marriage, produced by the Religious Coalition for Marriage.
The Coalition’s Mission Statement explains
“The Religious Coalition for Marriage is an ad hoc, interfaith committee of America’s Religious Leaders who share a common concern for the well-being of marriage in our nation. …although we do not share full unity on a host of important theological beliefs, we can all agree and affirm – with one united voice – the definition, nature and purpose of marriage.”
Given the interfaith nature of this coalition as explained above, it’s not surprising to find the LDS Church among its members. I’m glad the Mormon Church lends its support and muscle to this issue. However, the Coalition’s Mission Statement goes on to say
“We, the leaders of the nation’s Jewish and Christian – Anglican, African-American, Catholic, Evangelical, Latter-day Saints, Lutheran, Orthodox, and Presbyterian – communities commit ourselves to working together to preserve, promote, and protect this central institution of personal and communal life.”
Here is where red flags start waving for me. I am of the opinion, along with many others, that the LDS Church is not part of the family of Christian churches due to its non-biblical doctrines; not the least of these being its heretical (according to the Bible) definition of God.
But Mormons use a different definition of “Christian” than I do, and so they would place themselves in the center of that Mission Statement list. When I read it, I thought perhaps the Religious Coalition for Marriage also uses a different definition of “Christian” than I do; so I just filed away my disappointment in finding the LDS Church once again publicly affirmed as a Christian denomination.
But then I read the following in the Letter from America’s Religious Leaders in Defense of Marriage:
“…when marriage is entered into and gotten out of lightly, when it is no longer the boundary of sexual activity, or when it is allowed to be radically redefined, a host of personal and civic ills can be expected to follow. Such a point has always been stressed by the world’s great monotheistic religious traditions…”
There it was: The implication that the signers of the Letter represented “monotheistic religious traditions.” I read through the list of the 50 signers and found that all names and affiliations but one were monotheistic. While there is great diversity of theological positions represented on the list, still each one proclaims there is only one true God. All except Mormonism, that is.
Mormonism teaches that many true Gods exist. It teaches that worthy human beings will someday become true Gods in eternity. It teaches that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three true Gods who nevertheless work in unity. How can this clearly polytheistic (or henotheistic) religion be included in a group of monotheistic faiths?
I believe the defense of marriage is an important issue in our nation and I am not opposed to people of differing faiths working together for the common good. But I think this can and should be done without compromising truth and without lending spiritual legitimacy to a religion that leads people after a false god.
For the Christian leaders who formed the Coalition and who wrote the Letter, who determined the Mission Statement and who invited the signers, I would encourage them to consider the Apostle John’s teaching regarding false teachers. He said,
“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; …If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.” (2 John 1:9-11)
The LDS Church is successful enough on its own at obscuring its disparate doctrines from an undiscerning world. Let’s not support them in this task by greeting them as if they are part of the family.