‘Christian’ fraternity turns away Mormon

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not Christian enough to belong to a Christian fraternity. I support private groups of people forming associations with whomever they please and calling themselves whatever they want, but this group is not “Christian” and the world should be aware of its true nature.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

22 thoughts on “‘Christian’ fraternity turns away Mormon

  1. I’m still disappointed that the Church did away with its fraternity and sorority–Sigma Gamma Chi and Lamda Delta Sigma.

    John Bundy would be an excellent candidate for Sigma Gamma Chi.

    Btw, shame on that fraternity for its unchristian treatment of John Bundy.

  2. Why do people think we are not christian, mormons are members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latte-Day Saints. Says it right there.

  3. Jen,
    Closed minded (so-called) Christians are using a definition of Christain that is different than normal.

    They use the definition of
    “Christians can only believe the Bible to be scripture.”
    “Christians have to believe in creatio ex nihilo”
    “Christians have to subscribe to my christology”
    etc.
    In the end, they really use a definition of,
    “One has to believe what I think is right” in order to be a Christian.

  4. Mormonism is its own brand of Christianity. The RLDS are not considered Mormon enough by the LDS, so it’s a similar argument.

  5. The guy’s obviously Groucho Marx reincarnate. He wants to join only that club that won’t accept him as a member.

  6. It’s often hard to know how to deal with these types of people. To argue is to throw pearls before the swine but to say nothing does not educate. It’s a fine line.

  7. You know, Mormons want to play footsie with the evangelical on issues such as gay marriage, but they haven’t learned that these “Christians” really don’t want anything to do with Mormons. They will turn on Mormons faster than you can say “Salvation by Grace”

  8. Phouchg, according to the reports I have seen in California and elsewhere, it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that is really leading the effort against gay marriage, and the evangelicals are following. So, who is playing footsie with whom?

  9. Why do we try to align ourselves politically with those who think of as non-Christians religiously? I just don’t understand that. They stab us in the back in the more important realm while shaking our hand in the less important realm.

  10. We align ourselves politically because we happen to share conservative political positions. Should Mormons all of a sudden become liberals because Evangelicals don’t like us? Using the same logic, Mormons shouldn’t become liberals because they won’t even shake Mormon’s hands in the less important realm.

  11. Geoff B. –

    Protect Marriage is leading the way in California, Mormons are just the main ones supporting it with time and money. Ironically, Protect Marriage’s legal counsel, the Alliance Defense Fund, would probably not hire a Mormon because it probably doesn’t consider Mormons to be Christians.

    So some Mormon money is going to help pay for any of Protect Marriage’s legal fees that are not provided pro bono by ADF. Pretty charitable of those “non-Christian” Mormons, supporting attorneys who otherwise might not give them the time of day.

  12. I don’t see why someone can’t say a fraternity requires acceptance of the main Creeds. So where’s the problem? This seems more a debate about the use of the term Christian. I think we can all agree the term is ambiguous and some people (on both sides) try to treat it as if it were unambiguous. Thus what is really a semantic and linguistic argument gets treated as something more.

  13. LRC, obviously Protect Marriage is leading the effort in California. Based on what I am seeing in the press and in the blogs, it is the Church that is being the most active in this effort, just as it is in disaster relief efforts, and sending members door-to-door, etc. The Church leads, others follow.

    Clark, if you will re-read the two-sentence post, I say I have no problem whatsoever with a fraternity requiring the acceptance of the Creeds for membership, and I have no problem with them calling themselves whatever they want. The issue is that they are, in my opinion, not truly a “Christian” organization, and I’m simply pointing that out. People should know what kind of organization they are joining.

    One of the strangest things about this is that if they truly were interested in creating a Christian atmosphere they would accept people like John Bundy and see them as potential converts.

  14. Don’t most all membersihp organizations get to make their own requirements and decide who joins ?

    This is really a moot point. If you don’t subscribe to the organization’s tenets, in this case “creedal Christianity” you shouldn’t apply to join.

    If you don’t believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, then don’t ask to join the Mormons. If LDS missionaries turn someone down for baptism because they don’t believe the Book of Mormon, aren’t they discriminating based on someone’s religious belief?

    The applicant who was turned down is the one who is making an issue over the frat’s definitions.

    Besides, I think college fraternities don’t make sense for Latter-day Saints. Your ward/branch (or Elders Quorum or Relief Society) is or should be your fraternity or sorority. Lots of service projects, even with non-members available there.

    And what about the LDS Institute at this guy’s campus? Isn’t that available to him?

  15. In one sense, I just don’t care. If mainstream Christianity wants their own clubs, and wants justify such exclusion with an incomprehensible fourth century political compromise to keep us out, fine with me. We’re generally growing faster than they are, our doctrine is more satisfying, and we don’t have to do that closed-eyes, Jesus-raise-the-roof thing they do when they’re singing. Why do we want to be lumped in that group anyway?

    But in another sense, I doubt we’d get in many doors with our message without at least appearing to be part of this collective whole. And it probably helps us be better neighbors in our increasingly liberalistic societies.

    I guess I’m still trying to make up my mind.

  16. How is it any different than keeping other Christians out of the temple? Mormoms have their own club; Christians consider themselves something different. What I can’t see is why Mormons want to be considered Christian? They believe they have more of the truth, so why would they want to be lumped in with others who do not?

  17. Anon,

    The LDS Church invites everyone to take the proper steps to gain admittance into the temple and partake of the ordinances offered therein. If you have ever attended a temple open house, the Church shows the steps necessary to gain admittance to the temple. I invite you to learn more at Mormon.org.

  18. The church recently lost it’s religious tax-exempt status on the temple in England, because it’s not open to the public. Being open to the public is specifically mentioned in their law that grants tax-exemption to church buildings.

    That law was on the books at the time the England temple was built, but only recently was there a specific ruling on the temple.

    Among non-Christians, Christianity often has a bad reputation. So being labeled as “non-Christian” may be a good thing in international proselyting work.

  19. Sorry, I’m on the fraternity’s side on this one– despite their un-Christian-like hypocrisy. If I formed a group to hang with people who think like and have the same interests as me, I’d balk at having someone contrary to this try to get in, too.

    It’s like when the women forced their way into the Alta Club in SLC. Let the men have their gentleman’s club. Let the born agains have their priestcraft club. This is no time for the wronged Mormon kid to make it a “Norma Rae moment.”

  20. I have two separate opinions on this.

    I support the clubs right to set the criteria for membership. I would not want a court order, for example, to force these groups to accept people that do not adhere to their membership criteria. That could open the door to being forced to accept those with opposing views on moral issues, such as traditional marriage or abortion.

    What I dispute is their definition of Christian, which has been an issue of debate since 1820. To say that Mormons do not believe that Jesus is their Savior is just patently false, and is perpetrated by those with no desire to understand the faith.

    To say that we are not Biblical Christians is slightly more debatable (not much), until you look at what they call Biblical. Specifically, it means that we do not believe an extra-biblical Trinitarian concept formulated in councils in the 4th century and beyond where not a single prophet nor apostle was present. If that is their definition of Christian, then we are guilty. However, that definition is found nowhere in the Bible, and in and of itself is not Biblical.

    We do interpret some things differently, but grab any two Christian traditions (Lutheran and Assembly of God, for example), and see if that is also not the case. If difference of interpretation is the issue, then there are more guilty parties than the LDS. However, they hang their hat on the Trinity and draw the line there.

    So yes, I support the fraternity in their decision, and at the same time reject their definition as man made and false.

  21. First, who’s John Bundy?

    Second, re: Bookslinger’s comment.

    The English law regarding tax exemptions for charitable-use properties does require that the property be a place of public worship. But the issue isn’t new, and wasn’t just decided. The London Temple faced the same issue, and the Court of Appeal held, July 10, 1962, that the temple did not meet the statutory requirement and was therefore not exempt from taxation. (It didn’t help the church’s argument that the judge was able to quote from Pres. McKay:

    One of the principal questions asked by reporters, newsmen and by people generally is, ‘What is the difference between your temple and your other church edifices?’ As all members of the church know, the answer is that temples are built for the performance of sacred ordinances — not secret, but sacred. A temple is not a public house of worship. It is erected for special purposes. Indeed after a temple is dedicated only members of the church in good standing may enter.”

    Emphasis added.

    The recent decision by the House of Lords, which confirmed that property taxes were assessible against the temple in Chorley (near Preston), followed the earlier decision.

    It’s not new law–it’s over 40 years old.

    I think the decision is wrong, because they’ve applied the wrong definitions of “public” and “private”, but the church’s lawyers weren’t successful in pressing that line of argument. (That they attempted it is apparent from the opinion of Lord Evershed in the 1963 case.)

    If you don’t have access to a version of Lexis that gives access to the UK courts, you may try hunting them down elsewhere:

    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v Gallagher (Valuation Officer),
    [2008] UKHL 56, [2008] All ER (D) 416 (Jul)

    and

    CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS v. HENNING (VALUATION OFFICER).

    HOUSE OF LORDS

    [1964] AC 420, [1963] 2 All ER 733, [1963] 3 WLR 88, 10 RRC 99, [1963] RA 177, 61 LGR 565, 127 JP 481, [1963] RVR 422, 187 EG 17, [1963] EGD 46.

    Or if you’re dying to immerse yourself in a matter of UK statutory construction and and can’t find the cases, send me a note and I’ll email the decisions. mebutler at nyc.rr.com.

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