Or first, depending on where you start counting. The whole dispute over "Are Mormons Christians?" I find kind of silly. Besides the total irrelevance of the question in political considerations - as in, "no religious test" under the U.S. Constitution, I see the conversation going something like this:
"You're not a Christian!"
"Yes, I am!"
"No, you're not."
When Jesus Christ Himself had silly questions or accusations leveled at Him, He either refused to answer or turned it back on the challengers. "Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others . . . ?" "A certain man went down from Jerusalem . . . ." Maybe we should respond with something like, "Have you asked of God?"
My personal view is, besides being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and relying on Him for my salvation and eternal life, If some of these people who level such accusations are "Christians," I'm not sure I want to be in the same club.
There is a whole other way to look at this, brought forward by Jeffrey Golberg from a Jewish perspective. He recognizes the inappropriateness of the political aspect and looks at the silliness of the religious dispute without much concern for Christian debates. He sees Mormonism as possibly a Fourth Abrahamic Way or another People of the Book, as different from traditional Christianity as the original Christians (who were all Jews by the way including Jesus) were from Judaism of the day. I don't agree with everything Goldberg says as he overemphasizes a few interpretations or cultural aspects and misses some important basics of my faith. That's OK because I clearly see Golberg's point that we are clearly outside the traditional Christianity of the "creeds" that arose in the Fifth Century of the Common Era. Fine by me.
You know what they say, "There's no such thing as bad publicity." Check us out at mormon.org or lds.org.
UPDATE October 27, 2011
Goldberg posts a rebuttal to his views from London's The Economist . I still think the whole debate is silly, as evidenced mainly by the comments on any of these articles. Silly as it is, a lot of the public is at least curious like never before. There will be those who may actually learn something accurate about my faith if they can get through all the silliness.