Summarized by Kent Larsen
Methodists declare Mormonism outside the Christian tradition
Akron OH Beacon-Journal (AP) 10May00 N1
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- The United Methodist Church approved a new policy
Wednesday that says Mormonism is not a Christian religion, and
requiring converts from the LDS Church to be treated like
non-Christians and re-baptized. The body cited the LDS Church's
doctrines, saying that its teachings were "radically differing
doctrine" in several areas.
The position paper, passed by the Church's Conference concentrated on
distinctive LDS doctrines that differ from mainstream Christianity.
Specifically, the nine=page paper, which passed the Conference
without floor discussion, says that Mormon doctrine differs in its
beliefs about "the nature and being of God; the nature, origin, and
purpose of Jesus Christ; and the nature and way of salvation.'' It
goes on to say that Mormonism, "more closely resembles a tritheistic
or possibly a polytheistic faith'' than monotheism.
The LDS Church's prepared, official response stated, "Latter-day
Saints embrace both ancient and modern revelations that proclaim
Jesus Christ as the living, divine Son of God, the Savior and
Redeemer of the world. Any assertion otherwise demonstrates a lack of
knowledge of Latter-day Saint doctrine and teachings.''
In the United States, the United Methodist Church is the third
largest religious body, with 8.4 million members, after the Catholic
Church and the Southern Baptist Convention. The LDS Church is
seventh, with about 5 million members in the U.S. Both the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with 3.7 million members and the
Southern Baptist Convention, with 15.4 million members, have issued
similar policies about Mormonism.