So after all that, are Mormons Christian? In all my experience, I’ve concluded that the answer to that question is: it depends on who’s asking and who’s answering. They vigorously claim to be Christians, and if one considers “Christian” to mean “one who loves and serves God the Father and Christ His Son,” without concern for right doctrine, LDS definitely fall into that category. But if one considers “Christian” to include following the teachings of God as revealed through Christ and handed on through the Church, then they are definitely not.*
The problem is that in one sense or another, anyone can be called non-Christian, both in the sense of right faith and of right moral living. I was non-Christian today when I broke the speed limit. I could claim that anyone who doesn’t fully submit to the Magisterium is non-Christian. This would encompass everything from paganism to the Orthodox churches. While most would agree with me on the former, few would on the latter. The fact is, for any given person, the meaning of the name “Christian” depends on what that person believes.
So here’s my point. I strongly urge readers never to waste their time trying to convince an LDS that he is not Christian. Nor is it a fruitful question to discuss with a member of any faith regarding any other faith. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t ever tell an LDS that he is a member of a non-Christian cult. Regardless of whether such assertions are right or wrong, the subject of who can be called “Christian” is not a fruitful subject of debate with members of any other communion. Therefore, my answer to the question “Are Mormons Christian?” is not “yes” or “no,” because the question is not as simple as that. My answer is, “They believe in Christ, but they believe some very different things about Him than most Christians do.”
Rather harsh if understandable assessment of Irishdom from a McClarey no less. With the gay marriage vote it looks like Catholic Ireland has pretty much given up the ghost and could be a cautionary tale on when your religion is too tied up with the state, where nationalism/patriotism is mixed with your religion. Or perhaps it's simply a case where the Devotional Revolution, a result of the famine, has run its course. Or maybe a case demonstrating faith is very tenuous, in the way American Catholicism was so robust and healthy in the 1940s and '50s and is now so weak. From McClarey:
The Irish have always found scapegoats useful as an explanation for Irish failings. Britain long played this role and the Church is now filling this role. This vote, for many of the voters, was a joyous opportunity to give a one finger salute to the faith of their ancestors.*
One of the thrills of blogging is surely the taking on of roles we wouldn't necessarily be privileged to have in "real life". Like writing for an audience beyond one's family. A less common variety is to become arbiter of a blogging award (or, in my case, Spanning the Globe perhaps).
The barrier to entry is nothing - just developing a gif of an award. It's good clean fun, of course, but when one blogger breathlessly offered: “It has been a daunting choice..” (for his award) I admit to being amused. I think I may have to give him a chutzpah award for his starting his own award! (I do agree with his pick of the wonderful Jeff Miller however.)