Mormonism and the Marriage Amendment
Given the current political situation, a lot of people have been asking me lately about the subjects of Mormonism and marriage. Northgate Church is NOT a political church. We do not publicly endorse any candidate or legislation. Our focus is on changing the hearts and minds of people through a relationship with Christ, leading them to become who God purposed them to be. Still, here’s some food for thought about these two issues: Mormonism. . .
Mormonism, which has been in the news lately, is NOT Christianity. If you are a Mormon, please understand that I am not attacking you, your character, or the sincerity of your belief. Your contribution to this country as a citizen is likely exemplary. I simply disagree with you that the Mormon faith is representative of biblical Christianity. . . for a number of reasons. Here are just a few:
- Mormons deny that there is only one God in all existence. God, in the Mormon belief system, used to be a man from another planet, who, in turn, became the god of earth. Christians believe that there is only ONE God, who was never a man until God the Son became a man through the incarnation. God is not only the God of the earth, but of all the universe.
- Mormons reject the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one God. Whereas Christians believe that Jesus is not only the Son of God, but God himself.
- Mormons believe that salvation is a cooperative effort between God and humanity based at least partially upon good works. Whereas Christians understand that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone—apart from any human effort. Good works are the fruit of a Spirit-filled life.
- Mormons "eternalize" marriage and the family. Marriage relationships carry into the afterlife as faithful believers become gods and are awarded planets of their own. In contrast, Christianity teaches that heaven is on earth (after Jesus returns) and that marriage is a temporal institution—‘til death do us part. In heaven, our marriage is to Jesus, not to our spouse.
- Finally, the Mormon church does have a history of teaching and practicing forms of racism and polygamy. Gratefully, they do NOT teach or practice such beliefs today. Christianity, which has a colorful history of its own, in its original design, transcends all races and cultures, promotes marriage between one man and one woman, and follows the teachings of Jesus who gave unprecedented status to women, children, and slaves living in the 1st century. As Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
The Mormons I know are kind, loving people with good intentions, but Mormonism in and of itself will not save a person. As Jesus said in Matthew 7, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me. . .’” We need to pray for our Mormon friends, family, and leaders.
Now, regarding marriage. . .
Northgate’s position on marriage is clear. We welcome and accept persons whose self-understanding is homosexual. At the same time, we do not affirm same-gender relationships or any sexual behavior outside of a marriage between one man and one woman (Romans 1). We teach that sex outside of marriage is sin.
In doing so, we are continuing in the Christian faith as it has been passed down to us by generations of faithful people. We are unwilling to depart from the teachings of the Bible as interpreted for 2,000 years. The world changes, but God’s Word never changes.
That being said, Northgaters are not anti-gay and have many friends and family living in same-gender relationships. Also, we do not tolerate hateful attitudes in our community. Please do not take Northgate’s teaching on marriage as a statement of judgment or condemnation.
As a church, it’s just that we’re convinced that Christ’s love for people is a much deeper love than simply a tolerant love. We understand Jesus’ love to be a radical love that passionately helps people become who God purposed them to be. As such, we are compelled by Christ to truly love our neighbor with the love of God, not just tolerate our neighbor.
If you are gay or lesbian in your self-understanding, you are welcome at Northgate and you are deeply valued by God. Should you need further resources regarding sexual issues of any kind, please let us know.
Some Final Thoughts
Again, Northgate is not a political church. Northgaters have different views about political engagement. Some are democrats and some are republicans. But we do see the need to lovingly teach God’s Word clearly. I encourage all Northgaters to pray about these issues at hand (and other important issues), to engage God's Word in prayer, and to vote as their conscience dictates in November . That’s all for now. . .