Thursday, October 9, 2008

Appeals Court Rules Mormon Church Is Outside Protestant Christian Faith

In a remarkable decision an Arkansas appeals court ruled that the Mormon Church is outside of the Protestant faith. The decision came in a divorce decree contempt case by the Arkansas Court of Appeals on October 8. According to an October 9 Arkansas Democrat Gazette piece,

“Joel Mark Rownak and Lisa Monette Rownak agreed in their 2005 divorce to raise their children ‘in the Protestant faith.’ The decree bars them from promoting another religion without the other’s consent. In May 2007, Benton County Circuit Judge John R. Scott found Joel Rownak in contempt of that decree based on evidence that Rownak had ‘candidly acknowledged’ promoting the Mormon faith to his sons.”

Interestingly, Mr. Rownak, who is a Mormon testified that the Mormon faith is outside of the Protestant faith. The court, based on Mr. Rownak’s testimony and “evidence to that effect from the [Mormon] church’s Web site” ruled that the Mormon faith was indeed outside of the Protestant faith and therefore found Mr. Rownak in contempt of the divorce decree.

The significance of this ruling of course is that both an active Mormon (Mr. Rownak) and an appellate court both agree that Mormonism is not a Protestant church. The other significant aspect of this ruling is that the court has made a ruling on a theological matter. While the ruling was technically on a divorce decree contempt case, the grounds for the decision were theological.

Original Blog News Post - Watchman Fellowship (please visit).

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VERY SIGNIFICANT.......comments welcome. This ruling clearly agrees that Mormonism is outside Protestantism. And Mormonism is certainly not Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. The ruling, of course, fails to answer the question: What is Mormonism?

Given the fact that it is not Roman Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant, one can naturally extrapolate that Mormonism is not Christian. And that is something most apparent when one looks at the various doctrines advanced by Mormonism, which at almost every turn, conflict with the basic, foundational teachings of Christianity. This is a landmark decision that will have implications.

How will Mormons respond?
How will Mormons categorize themselves?
How will Mormons be viewed by the rest of society?

A Christian is not merely someone who holds a healthy respect and affinity for the historical person of Jesus Christ. Nor is a Christian someone who simply acts lovingly, gives generously, or behaves graciously. A "Christian" is someone who embraces as their lord and Savior the Jesus of the Bible. This court ruling shows that the Mormon Jesus and declaration of faith is not consistent with the Jesus and declaration of faith found within Protestantism.

R. Abanes

For more information on Mormonism, see my two books on the history of Mormonism (ONE NATION UNDER GODS) and the doctrines/beliefs of Mormonism (INSIDE TODAY'S MORMONISM). Synopsis, Reviews and Excerpts are available at PoP CuLTUre MiX.

To continue our discussion, let's take this over to....... PoP CuLtURe MIx BLoG

Mormon Theology ____Mormon History