Monday, October 10, 2011

Jeffress vs Lena

Recent media has definitely shown its spotlight on the "Mormon Church". Being that, "I am a Mormon", I have rankled more than a little at some of the comments made, especially those by Texas Pastor Robert Jeffress. Name calling on national TV is not a good idea, and I hope that most Americans either role their eyes at his remarks and immediately dismiss him, or at least have the decency to check out our side of the story.

But I, of course, can't just leave it at that. I had to share a small portion of my thoughts. So, in reference to Jeffress calling me (yes, I took this personally) a non-christian, and adding the additional insult of cult (which, by definition is not bad, but it does carry an extremely negative connotation), my simple argument is this:

Jeffress calls upon christians to reject the Mormon claim to christianity because we disagree over certain attributes of Jesus Christ. Our disagreements are not over His teachings or His role as Savior of the world, but instead, over the Nicene Creed. Traditional christianity has used this creed to define the makeup of the Godhead, and we, the Mormons, don't believe it to be consistent with the teachings in the Old or New Testament. Because of these differences, and in spite of the fact that we both believe Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the world among other commonalities, Jeffress has ousted me (and all other mormons) to the realm of non-christian. And, I am assuming that the rest of our nation, who claim christianity, get his stamp of approval. But, how many of these people, who qualify as true "CHRISTIANS" in the eyes of Jeffress, even know what the nicene creed is? And, of these same true "christians", how many agree with it? Christians have sloughed off much of the traditional views and theologies of historic christianity. Most christians don't go to church each sunday (roughly 20% do) and I am assuming that the personal acts of studying the scriptures and praying are likewise low, and yet 76% of Americans call themselves christians. So, in Jeffress eyes, if you simply call yourself a christian, without actually knowing what traditional christianity defines God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as, you are a true christian, regardless of your personal set of morals or adherence to living christlike principles and teachings, as taught in the New Testament (which you may or may not have read). But, if you are "cultish" enough to affiliate yourself with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you have in Jeffress eyes, also chosen to not be a christian, in spite of daily and consistent studying of the scriptures and a sincere desire to be Christlike and follow his teachings to the best of your ability. And now, the very un-Christ-like part of me would like to claim that Jeffress is either daft, ignorant, hateful, and/or bigoted. And then, the part of me that is sincerely trying to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, feels guilty for calling him names when I, myself, was in-flamed at being called a "non-christian".

So, if your definition of Christ is Lord of the Universe, Savior of the world, Redeemer of mankind, Son of God, Friend to all (including Jeffress), and yet lacks the Nicene Creed, then what do you call yourself?

I am a Mormon. I am a CHRISTIAN.


Sharlee said...

Amen. (Well said Lena).

Kylee said...

Lena I LOVE you! I agree completely. It's hard to not let yourself get bothered by things people say. Especially when they sound as ignorant as that pastor. But, I think the names you called him would not even qualify as bad ones. You're amazing Lena! Thanks for this post; I needed a reminder to not let myself get stirred up by the comments heard yesterday! :)

LaNan said...

Well said Lena! I grew up in the bible belt so this isn't anything new to me. What is great though is that by Jeffries saying that the church is going to get a lot of exposure. And I think people are starting to open their eyes and realize the things he says are untrue.

Andrea said...

I missed out on all this, as I don't have a television or listen to the radio except when I go to the gym...which I haven't done for a couple weeks. Been too busy being unChristian and practicing cultish behaviors, I guess.

Parley and Anna said...

Yes, Lena, is my sister!

Can I claim awesomeness by being related to you?

I could have never said it better.