A recent poll conducted by LifeWay research concluded that 75 percent of America’s pastors do not consider Mormons to be Christian.
The survey was conducted by Southern Baptist affiliated LifeWay research, which seeks to reveal changes in the Church through surveys and polls. One thousand randomly selected pastors from dozens of denominations were called by phone from Oct. 7-14th.
Both Evangelists and mainline pastors were interviewed. Sixty percent of Evangelist pastors strongly disagree with the statement “I personally consider Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to be Christians,” while only 48 percent of mainline pastors share the strong sentiment.
Nine percent of those who voted claimed they were unsure if Mormons were Christian; out of those sixteen percent had no more than a bachelor’s degree.
The Mormon religion, which has its largest U.S. following centered in Utah with 58 percent, has gained momentum and power over the past few years with presidential candidates such as Mitt Romney. Strong family structure, which is central to the Mormon faith, allows for followers of the religion to remain tightly connected across the country.
According to the LifeWay website, Mormons ranked higher than both Roman Catholics and Protestants in dedication to their religion.
A full 83 percent of Mormons say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56 percent of the general population.
Robert Jeffress, prominent Evangelical pastor in Texas and proud supporter of presidential candidate Rick Perry, received public criticism on Saturday, Oct. 8 when he referred to Mormonism a “theological cult,” arguing their theology does not coincide with historical Christianity.
Mormons differ from Protestants in how they view the trinity, their belief in the Book of Mormon, and their belief that founder Joseph Smith Jr. is a prophet. He founded the movement in the early 1800's.
The United States is currently 85 percent Christian, and Barack Obama declares himself to be Christian. Critics wonder if America is ready to have a Mormon in the White House, especially after the poll which reveals 3 out of 4 pastors do not consider Mormons to be Christian.