I was disappointed a couple days ago when I read this at The Christian Post: “Chuck Smith Calvary Chapel founder says some Mormons are Christians, what say you?”
The author, Alex Joye-Grenier, cited a 2011 radio interview with Smith who replied to a question about whether a Mormon would go to heaven with this: “Chuck Smith: It all depends on their relationship with Jesus Christ, and there are a lot of good Mormons who do believe in Jesus and I believe they’ll be in heaven, uh but uh you know we can’t do it on our own righteousness or our own works, we have to depend on Jesus for our entrance into heaven.”
I tweeted this CP story to former Mormon Lowell Johnson (@lowellmj) and asked his thoughts the other day. His reply was “If a Mormon is saved, it is in spite of Mormonism, not because of it.”
I’m afraid Smith’s comments were a disservice to Mormons and Christians in 2011 and will be again now that they’ve been repeated favorably by a CP blogger. If anyone happens to know that Smith has since clarified or recanted that statement please let me know. It is true that we have to depend on Jesus. But which Jesus we depend on matters and Mormonism differs from Christianity in several essential ways.
Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) is just one of many who have explained the differences. He writes:
The reason Mormonism is not Christian is because it denies one or more of the essential doctrines of Christianity. Of the essential doctrines (that there is only one God in all existence, Jesus is divine, God in flesh, forgiveness of sins is by grace alone (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:1-5), and Jesus rose from the dead physically (1 John 2:19; Luke 24:39), the gospel being the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, 1 Cor. 15:1-4), Mormonism denies three of them: how many gods there are, the God of Christianity, and His work of salvation.
Read more from CARM here.
- Mormonism and Christianity (steakandabible.com)
- Ex Mormon Ed. Decker slams Joel Olsteen’s comments: “Mormons are Christians” (exministries.wordpress.com)
- Mud in the News 1st Edition (menofmud.org)