as another faith in the same sense that I would look upon Islam as another faith. I think the fairest and most charitable way to define Mormonism would be to call it the fourth Abrahamic religion — Judaism being the first, Christianity being the second, Islam being the third, and Mormonism being the fourth. And Joseph Smith would play the same character in Mormonism that Muhammad plays in Islam."
This is political pragmatism gone wild. I've long been of the opinion that the head of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is far too cozy with the Republican Party to be the head of the ERLC. This is also why I don't believe Christians should vote for Mitt Romney. Just look at the way they have to dance around the truth to do it.
As the article goes on to say:
This raises all sorts of interesting questions. One, is it a promotion or a demotion? "Abrahamic religion" sounds a lot grander than "cult." However, Land also seems to suggest that Mormonism is no more Christian than is Islam. The second is whether it makes it any easier for a Southern Baptist concerned with theological niceties to vote for Romney. A third is whether Land, an extremely well educated and articulate man, is crediting Mormonism with being monotheistic, which is arguably what Abraham was all about. Many evangelicals contend that the LDS are polytheists, believing in plural Gods. Mormons respond that their tenets are no more polytheistic than the Christian belief in the Trinity.
Let me be clear here. I agree with Steve, there are certain things over which I have no control. The ultimate candidates in this next election is one of them. I do have some say in the primary. The primary is where Christians can vote their consciences.
I disagree with men like Stu Epperson Jr. who seem to believe that we should vote as if we have a duty to do so. No,we don't. Our only moral duty is to Christ, and nowhere does Scripture say we have a moral duty to vote. The early Christians did not have a vote for political leaders in Rome. I have no problem sitting out an election if I have good reason. "Responsible stewardship" of my vote includes my right to withhold my vote if I so desire.
Likewise, we should also remember that God can appoint a Cyrus and rule over us as well. Many of our leaders have forgotten that. Maybe what we need is a pagan to rule over us. Maybe that's what it would take for the churches to stop trying to use the state to do their work.
Also, we can learn from 1 Samuel that God gives people leaders after His heart (David), and he also gives them people leaders after their (evil) hearts (Saul), in order to show them that they need Him to rule over them and that their leaders should reflect men after His heart, not their evil hearts. If Romney is elected president, then, I wouldn't take this as complimentary with respect to the people in the churches. Rather, if they are willing to dance around fundamental Christian doctrine in order to justify their vote, what does that really say about them? This sort of latitudinarianism is the sort of thing that we see God passing judgment over in the OT. I think God would rather us vote for an honest pagan than a duplicitous pagan who tries to cloak his paganism, and He would rather us draw a line in the sand to tell a candidate with whom we might find some common ethical grounds that we will reject him in favor of a man who really is "one of us" (Huckabee), even though the latter might not be as likely to win a primary or an presidential election. Let your hot be hot and your cold, cold. Would Land take side of Israel against Jesus? Jesus was a True Jew of Jews, King of Kings, the very Messiah for whom Israel looked, yet when the time came, He was rejected. He came to His own and His own received Him not...
I would also add that if Land does not repent and/or make his comments clear, Ed Stetzer should rise up next June and rebuke Land from the podium of the SBC when he gives his NAMB report. I suggest: "This past year, because of the election cycle's inclusion of a Mormon on the presidential ticket, has brought unprecedented apologetic challenges to Southern Baptists. Let me be clear here, we at NAMB believe unequivocally that Mormonism is a doctrine of demons, a false religion, and by no means is it "Abrahamic" in any sense of the term. Those who think otherwise should reconsider their statements and repent of their error."
Let me also add that if you are a Baptist or Southern Baptist with access to Dr. Land or if you know somebody who does have such access, then may I implore you to contact him/them with these statements in hand and respectfully ask him to clarify them and/or correct him.