LifeWay Research, a body affiliated to the Southern Baptist Church, recently conducted a phone survey which showed that three out of four pastors in America agree with Pastor Robert Jeffress that Mormons are not Christians but a "cult."
Mainstream Protestants use the term "cult" in the sense of a heretical Christian group.
According to Baptist Press, the poll which sampled randomly selected Protestant churches, included 1,000 Protestant pastors, all senior pastors, ministers or church priests. Baptist Press says the clergy polled were asked to respond to the statement: "I personally consider Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) to be Christians."
The results showed that 75 percent of American Protestant pastors did not agree with the statement. 60 percent strongly disagreed, 6 percent strongly agreed while 9 percent said they did not know.
Baptist Press report says Ed Stetzer, vice president of research and ministry development at Lifeway Christians Resources, comments on the results,
"Though pastors believe overwhelmingly that Mormonism is not Christianity, their opinions should not be [viewed as] personal scorn for Mormons...A person can respect a religious group and even appreciate their commitment to traditional moral values without equating their beliefs with Christian orthodoxy."
The status of Mormons in the interdenominational Christian religious community has been subject of debate in recent times, after Mitt Romney, former of Governor of Massachusetts, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, announced he was running for nomination as presidential candidate of the Republican Party. Evangelical and mainstream Protestants are influential in the Republican Party. Candidates running for elected office in the Republican Party seek Evangelical Christian endorsement.
According to Washington Post, Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, says Mormons are not true Christians. Robert Jeffress said to Christian Post,"Evangelical Christians should not vote for Mitt Romney because he’s a Mormon, therefore not a real Christians."
In an interview with FOX News, Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, also denounced Mormons as a "theological cult." In the interview, he expressed the view that main stream Christians should always favor those who subscribe to what he termed "historical Christianity."