Why should I go on a brief harangue about CT? Because its web site recently posted the article: "Mitt's Mormonism and the 'Evangelical Vote': Can conservative Protestants vote for a member of what they consider a cult?" This article is co-written by Robert Millet (a Mormon) and Gerald McDermott (an evangelical). As most of you know, I don't mind evangelicals discussing whether or not they can vote for a Mormon for President. But these words simply cannot go without a response:
Besides, Mormon beliefs are not as un-evangelical as most evangelicals think. Unlike Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons hold firmly to the deity of Christ. For Latter-Day Saints, Jesus is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. Evangelical pollster George Barna found in 2001 that while only 33 percent of American Catholics, Lutherans, and Methodists agreed that Jesus was "without sin," Mormons were among the "most likely" to say that Jesus was sinless.
Most evangelicals would also be surprised to learn that the Book of Mormon contains passages that teach salvation by the merits and grace of Christ ("There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and race of the Holy Messiah" 2 Nephi 2:8) and others that require personal trust in Christ for salvation, such as 1 Nephi 10:4-6: "All mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer."
This article justifiably caused James White to go into apoplexy. He has produced a great response properly titled "Evangelical Apostasy." Make sure to read both posts: Part 1 and Part 2. Sharon Lindbloom at the Mormon Coffee blog also wrote a brief, helpful response with "Really -- What is Mormonism? Most Evangelicals Would Be Surprised."
With replies like these, I really have nothing to add. But I wholeheartedly agree with Roger Overton when he says:
There is too much ecumenism today at the expense of clear understanding of differences in fundamental beliefs. If we as Christians are not explicitly clear to our non-Christian Roman Catholic and Mormon friends that what their churches teach is a false gospel, then we are not truly their friends and are simply condemning them with a smile (as Piper puts it). If we are to be faithful to our call as Christ's followers and ambassadors to this world, we must live with a renewed boldness and submission to God's Word. And the fewer differences we see between Mormon beliefs, the Roman Catholic Church and Evangelicalism, the more fervently we should reject Evangelicalism as an abomination.
Strong words? Absolutely! Still, they are true and need to be heard. If this is the kind of superficial and deceptive dialogue that I have to look forward to when reading Millet and McDermott's upcoming book on Christ, then I will honestly be wasting my time.