Did Jesus ever get apathetic?

By Ruthanne Frost

SALT LAKE CITY – Various Christian Groups: Mormons aren’t Christians.

Mormons: We are too! Are too, are too, are too!

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Ah, the great debate of our time. It all comes down to whether you define “Christian” narrowly, thereby going so far as to exclude members of religions who claim Jesus as their personal savior, or very broadly, thereby including people who don’t.

“Christian” is apparently an extremely flexible term. Read Ann Coulter’s Godless. She defines a “Christian” as anyone who follows a Judeo-Christian code of law – thereby including regular old Christians, as well as the Jews, which I imagine came as a bit of a surprise.

So this brings us to the Mo’s – Christian, or not?

Which brings us to the more important question: Who even cares?

I was born and bred the Mormon way, and sure, it can get tiresome when people presume to explain my fundamental belief system to me, but I’m here to declare it for any other Mormons who are sick of all the fuss: Whatev. Just, whatev. I’m so over it, I can’t even bring myself to say the last syllable.

I don’t speak for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (obviously), but if people are really going to get bent out of shape about little old me claiming the title of “Christian,” I guess I’ll just give up. After all, you can’t argue with people who define the parameters of the argument.

So let them take “Christian” – it’s all semantics anyway, unless, of course, they get the bright idea of trying to copyright “Christian.”

I can see it now – Christian (copyrighted). Or maybe just (c)hristian, for simplicity’s sake. Heaven help all the non-(c)hristian Christians.

But really, if other Christian sects want to define Christianity in such a way that excludes Mormons from their heavenly clubhouse, who are we to complain? We’ve redefined baptism, both for the living and the dead, which goes over like a turd in a punch bowl with some of our friends of other faiths. So it’s kinda sixes on that score.

Let’s just call this what it is – the most passive-aggressive missionary strategy of all time. Instead of engaging in dialogue (or, you know, just forgetting our differences and trying to make the world a better place – always an option, friends), some (c)hristian had this bright idea: “Hey, you know what will really win them over? Telling them they don’t believe in Jesus right!”

Good plan, guys.

Sure, Mormons believe some crazy stuff, and yeah, our history is checkered. I guarantee if you look hard enough, you will find some Mormons who are mean-spirited, judgmental, offensive and decidedly un-(c)hristian by anybody’s standards.

But so what?

Most Christians – and I’m going to go ahead and avoid defining “Christians” for the sake of a lack of argument – believe that Jesus commanded his followers to build the kingdom of God on earth. This process, whatever you believe it consists of, is a human endeavor, and humans are inherently flawed creatures. Therefore, even those with the best of intentions-hell, even those with a divine calling-will probably end up screwing the pooch on occasion.

Moses didn’t make it to the Promised Land; Jonah learned his lesson in the belly of a great fish; Peter denied Christ; and the list goes on. As Christopher Moore wrote in his novel Lamb, “Hey, no one’s perfect. Well, there was this one guy. But we killed Him.”

We all just do the best we can, and then learn from the mistakes we make. That’s a fact of life that applies to all of us, regardless of the religion – if any – that we subscribe to. The key is whether we can accept that imperfection in ourselves (and others) and move onƒ_Ýor not.

So to all you (c)hristians out there, if you plan to “educate” me about all the “flaws” in my belief system (which, for some reason, you assume I am unaware of), you’d better be pretty perfect yourself, because otherwise I’m not going to be impressed with your supposedly superior version of Christ.

Ya’ll can have label brand Christianity – I’m okay with generic.