Comments about ‘Southern Baptists to discuss their divide over Calvinism, working with Mormons at annual meeting’

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Published: Monday, June 10 2013 4:05 p.m. MDT

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Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"....the term 'evangelical' is reserved only for those who affirm the exclusivity of salvation alone, by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone, according to the scriptures alone...."

They might as well have added "as decided by Baptists alone."

Sometimes it seems that Christianity is doomed to forever be held hostage by its creeds.

American Fork, UT

I like the Dire Straits tune that goes "two men say they're jesus; one of them must be wrong". I also got a kick out of a sign I saw on the weekend in a casino in great falls: "The customer is always right. The bartender will determine when you're no longer a customer". Religion divides us like nothing else man has devised. It offers no proof, bodes no challenge, yet expects deference in all things.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

The Calvinist's view of "predestination" is similar to the "select few" ideology that Jehovah's Witnesses espouse. If Christianity has become this exclusive, the religion is doomed. Religions have been a double-edged sword in serving a positive role in people's lives but also serving a negative role. They seem to spend more time creating labels and finding ways to judge other rather than to simply live the tenets of their faiths.

Florissant, MO

There is so much evil throughout our nation now and all religions and people who have good values need to not dwell on how they disagree, but how they agree. I believe that my daughter is an atheist, she doesn't confirm this with me. I am a very devout Mormon, I enjoy talking to her on the phone about four days a week, we both differ on politics also, but we focus on the positives and what we share and agree with. I could not ask for a more wonderful child.

Samuel B Martineau
Bountiful, UT


You claim that religion divides mankind like nothing else. I disagree. While it is true that some people use religion as an excuse to dislike or shutout others, consider what organizations outside of religious organizations have done more to promote the golden rule. Consider the charitable hospitals, disaster relief efforts, food and housing assistance and any number of other charitable works all organized by religious organizations in an effort to love their neighbors. When I go to church I do not feel divided from the people with whom I worship. I feel a great brotherhood with them. I also do not feel divided from those outside of my church. By going to church and learning christian doctrines I feel a greater desire to love and help them. Some people have used religion as a tool of hate, but don't let that blind you to the overwhelming message of love that the Christian religion and other world religions promote.

Alexandria, VA

It is interesting that the Southern Baptist Convention has everything so well taken care of - especially their poor, their sick and their afflicted that they can devote so much of their resources to the subtle nuances of theology. Those people that are in their twenties today and even those over 30 are not so much interested in theological nuances, but rather in making a difference in each other lives, helping each other and making the world better – which is something that the rest of us might give a real hard look at helping out with as well.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Faith without works is dead.

Buena Vista, VA

Calvinism/predestination is a huge heresy. So interesting that according to the SBC, that doctrine is OK, but heaven forbid any modern revelation. When in fact, modern revelation could clear up the heresy of predestination. The SBC and most protestants insist on a closed canon, but ironically, the Bible itself never does. In other words, they rely on extra Biblical teachings to back up their belief that the Bible is all there is. They claim the middle ages creeds accurately reflect Biblical teaching, but they don't. (So these creeds also run contrary to their claim of sola scriptura.) One of my formerly favorite conservative columnists, Mike Adams, just wrote an antiMormon column last week, which garnered well over 3000 comments (mostly by the same people arguing with each other). I was amazed at the near rabid, foaming at the mouth attitude some individualas have expressed to the LDS church, and doctrines such as modern prophets or extraBiblical scripture (even if that scripture leads people to Christ). Reminds me of how the Pharisees rejected Christ.

Cinci Man

Baptist friends and relatives of our family are some of the most devoted, service-driven people we know. Their congregations serve each other in ways that equal Mormon congregations. Their families are loving, respectful, and worshipful. They read scriptures together and pray together and attend church together. We love them and they love us. We know we have different theological beliefs, but we also respect each others' effort to follow our own versions of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have many things in common and can love each other for those things as well as our differences.

Boise, ID

Has the SBC decided on a new name yet? I have not seen anything about that part of their reformation activities. I believe it was The Tennessean newspaper a while back that ran a story about this issue. According to the writer, the Southern Baptist’s reputation of being soft on civil rights, racial integration and slavery among other things was a turn off to too many people. I can respect that as our church has done a remake as well. Maybe more religious organizations ought to re-examine their past practices and thinking as we LDS have.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO


"....all religions and people who have good values need to not dwell on how they disagree, but how they agree....."

Thanks for reminding us of that. Christian unity is a goal that is not helped by arguing the fine distinction of which creed has its theology exactly right. But a more ecumenical spirit or even just developing attitudes of tolerance and acceptance are big steps forward.

layton, UT

RE: Craig Clark, Christianity is doomed to forever be held hostage by its creeds.

The Baptists have been non-creedal. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith, while agreeing with some creeds' substance. Reformation churches are Creedal, which are statements of faith like[ Mormon articles of faith]

Re: Kings Court, All Christians Churches have a doctrine of predestination because it’s Biblical.

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will( Eph 1:5). Romans 8:28-29.i.e...

Calvinism,Monergism or Non-Calvinism,Synergism is an in-house struggled among the “Pale” of Christianity.

Regeneration precedes faith and repentance. Saving faith is a gift from God and is a genuine response to God from a regenerate heart God saves sinners monergism.

Regeneration results from faith. Fallen men and women can save themselves by the simple exercise of faith(decision theology). Synergism God helps sinners save themselves.

The Manhattan Declaration issued by Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christian leaders who are united in the belief of the Triune God. Excludes JW’s, Mormons.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

".... love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long."

Wonderful meditation from a great Baptist minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Danbury, CT

RE "deciding" who are "Christians". Isn't it between each individual and Christ to determine that one??

@ Hutterite,

There are plenty of things that divide us. Religion is not the only one. Look at other cultures now and throughout history (including those that are atheistic - esp the 20th Century) and you will find it is just human nature to love, hate, fight, kill, etc. Sadly people have misused religion to do this, but Religion itself is not the cause.

If we think about the ideal that Christ laid out for us and live after His example as he invited us to do, whhat do you see there?

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Baptists ought to...
The GOP ought to...
As Parley P Pratt explained, The Mormon Creed is to mind your own business exclusively.

American Fork, UT

Thanks to those with reasonable feedback to my first post. I appreciate your discussion, but remain convinced. Religion has done good things, but none of them required religion to be done. But religion can certainly cause or enable good people to do bad things. As for it not dividing us, well Sunni vs. Shia, Orange vs. Green, people talk of bridging a 'religious divide' Well, where did that divide come from? Humanity has the capability to love and hate and fight, ideology justifies it.

Centennial, CO

Many Baptists are really good people. Anything they come up with that actually recognizes other people can be really good too is a definite improvement--especially if it specifically recognizes that many LDS are also really good people.

I am really curious to know--though I never will--A) how many rank-and-file Baptists sat home in 2012 and didn't vote at all instead of voting for Romney and B) how many of those people now realize what a giant mistake they made. Perhaps this is an indirect mea culpa, as well as a way to help ensure that they, as a group, will always vote for the better candidate in the future, instead of sitting home in a snit because of some minor preacher/religion-induced difference and letting someone win who is clearly and openly hostile to their religious beliefs. Better late than never.

Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT


Hutterite, I find the religion argument you make mainly espoused by those who dislike attending church meetings and being held accountable to anything. Non-religion voices view religion as binding, cumbersome activity. For instance one of the 10 commandments states "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy". This commandment however interferes with what people like to do on Sundays, hence organized religion becomes a barrier to serving ones self interest. Rather than say, i don't believe in keeping the sabbath day holy, and whatever other commandments (while your at it) The fact is, religion provides people with a platform to exercise their faith, which as you have observed has accomplished many good things. My hope is that people such as yourselves will not condemn others just because they have the strength and desire to do the thing which requires commitment. Hutterite, anyone can stay home from church on Sunday and do whatever... it is the EASY thing to do. I respect those who have a purpose other than themselves and the excuse of disliking "organized" religion.


@ Hutterite
True religion: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
True religion is all about love. We go to church to learn of love...to become loving.
God is love. We want to be like Him and His Son...so the ultimate is love. You can tell if a person is becoming love by their actions. Christ Himself taught. By this shall men know that ye are my disciples...If ye have love one to another. Therefore...those that use religion as a divider instead of a unifier...must not be a true disciple of Christ. Satan uses whatever he can to divide us.

For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Say No to BO,

"....Parley P Pratt explained, The Mormon Creed is to mind your own business...."

As I recall, it was Brigham Young who said that. Doesn’t really matter. It expressed Mormon sentiment during Mormonism’s isolationist period. But it’s not a creed. Mormonism’s formal religious creed is the Articles of Faith.

Hutterite, your points are well made. The world is a place where people too often kill other people in the name of religion.

Religious diversity was endorsed by Joseph Smith when he wrote, “We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege. Let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

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