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Comments about ‘Evangelical leader says commonality with Mormons deeper than differences’

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Published: Saturday, Nov. 16 2013 7:45 p.m. MST

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Michigander
Westland, MI

There is no appeasement with a heretical sect. None.

DUPDaze
Bakersfield, CA

Let's set the record straight and deal solely in facts vis-á-vis the huge theological chasms that exist within "Christianity" itself. It has been correctly posted that the divide runs deep far prior to 1830. We share a love for Jesus and reaching out to the poor and needy in every denomination.

Let's set the record straight and stop throwing the blame blanket too wide: There are accurate Internet sites, books and ex-Mormon (Biblical) Christian seminars/speakers who have no ill will or incorrect data on LDS doctrine and history.

I agree with Dr. Mouw that reasoned dialogue will help, but only when LDS are fully transparent about their claims for the reason of their very existence: Restoration due to the complete apostacy of the entirety of Christianity. It's called "drawing first blood", euphemistically.

This means that every existing Christian denomination should respond to the attack on their authority, "wrong" priesthood and non-eternal sacraments and ordinances, per JS:

1- Own your prophets' statements with Joseph Smith's original premise that "all their professors are corrupt"; ditto "their Bible".
2- No other church has the correct authority. Period.

Then we can talk.

DUPDaze
Bakersfield, CA

Omitted in posts thus far, is that there are tons of accurate sites, authors, quotes on the entire and accurate documentation of LDS history, doctrines, revelations, doctrinal reversals, and current theology and practices.

Is it okay for non-LDS Christians to disagree with (accurate/current) LDS doctrinal theology, while joining them in charity and disaster relief?

As a Bible-only evangelical, (i.e. Not the liberal, wishy-wash, reinvent-it-as-we-go kind), my side exposes all unbiblical attempts to co-opt Jesus' original message and NT Gospel from our God's pure Word. Dr. Mouw has some lofty goals that I agree should be enforced in every democracy. But let's be clear that they are not Biblical mandates.

As a former Mormon, fully proud of my pioneer heritage and awesome family, I see a strange imbalance in my LDS family, friends and many posts here of complaining about "persecution" while refusing ownership of their actual doctrines. Example: Huckabee's accurate statement about Romney's belief that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers. No ownership or explanation came from any LDS side that clarified, denied or confirmed this 183 year-held current doctrine...

Honesty foremost in dialogue, please.

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

donn wrote: "No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God…( John 1:18(NIV)."

Apparently the writer of the gospel of John forgot about Adam and Eve, who, according to the BIBLE, were in the presence of the Lord God (KJV Genesis 3). Either that, or the writer of John doesn't mean what Donn thinks he means.

How could the writer of John mean what Donn thinks he means; especially, since God (i.e. Jesus) was on the earth for 33 years before His crucifixion, where lots of people saw Him?

MrPlate
Lindon, UT

@Michigander - I assume you're referring to the LDS religion. Of which religion are you? I ask, because unless you're Catholic, then your religion almost certainly split off from Catholicism. And, as you probably know, Catholicism considers every separationist branch to be a heretical sect, for which there can be no appeasement. None.

1000 years ago you may have been burned at the stake for your heresy. I suspect you hope the Catholics today would extend brotherly love and understanding despite your differences. I hope that's not too much for LDS members to expect from you and your fellow believers as well. High praise to Dr. Mouw for living and encouraging Christian principles.

DUPDaze
Bakersfield, CA

No, MrPlate- All Christianity did not split off from the Roman See. Despite their claims or yours. Anabaptists, Coptic Orthodox, several other Orthodox groups and a bunch of non-Catholic groups practiced all through the ancient world. You just have to go outside to bonafide scholarship.

Michigander
Westland, MI

MrPlate,

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ (WHQ: Monongahela, PA), the only true succession of the Restored Gospel.

MrPlate
Lindon, UT

No, DUPDaze, I never said "All Christianity" split from Catholicism. Since I already know that, I very clearly, specifically, and intentionally said "your religion ALMOST CERTAINLY split off from Catholicism." (Emphasis added). Maybe you can give us all the statistics showing that Anabaptists, Coptics, and ancient-world Christians comprise a substantial segment of American Christians today, who are also as vehemently opposed to Mormons as Michigander seems to be, and thus negate my near certainty about the origin of his religion. Better yet, if Michigander does not belong to a traditional Protestant religion that originally split from Catholicism or another Protestant sect, maybe he should tell us himself.

DSB
Cedar Hills, UT

@Michigander

Your earlier post today: "There is no appeasement with a heretical sect. None."

Your next post says you're a member of a sect originating from Joseph Smith, that has a membership of probably less than 15,000. It must be lonely indeed to incur disfavor from all of Joseph Smith's detractors, and to have such disdain for your closest spiritual cousins. In your religion, who WOULD you engage in "appeasement with?"

@DUPDaze - what LDS people are not owning our doctrine? Where did Satan come from? According to Isaiah, Satan was the "Son of the Morning" who fell from Heaven. Don't you believe God created everything in Heaven? If Jesus is God's son, and God created Satan, why is it so far-fetched to say they are brothers on some level? Are there really LDS members who deny or hide from this doctrine?

I don't understand the big blasphemy. You realize Cain and Abel were brothers too, right? Is it insulting to Abel to say he and Cain were brothers?

And BTW, being a peacemaker and showing love toward your enemies are Biblical mandates.

MrPlate
Lindon, UT

@Michigander - your latest post appeared after I submitted my most recent post, and I acknowledge and respect your non-Catholic origins. Still, DUPDaze, the odds were heavily in my favor of being correct.

But, Michigander, our common origins and belief in the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon should make of us brothers. Your calling the LDS Church a "heretical sect" in comparison to your sect, is rather comical considering the proportional disparity of the two groups. I doubt there's much animosity toward your church by members of the LDS faith, even among those who are aware of it. I recommend you embrace our commonalities, as we probably have many more of them with each other than we do with Catholics or Protestants, or Coptics for the sake of DUPDaze.

Filo Doughboy
Bakersfield, CA

Michigander: in your opinion. The FLDS and RLDS off-shoots follow true Joseph Smith doctrines and writings far more closely than the SLC off-shoot. The Restored Gospel has gotten restored and reversed a few times since 1830, hasn't it?

The off-shoot that moved furthest from JS has the money, real estate holdings and enrollment numbers. The ones that remained faithful to D&C 132 and Joseph's signature doctrine (which brought the bulk of persecution Mormons' way), still sufffer social stigma and theological ignoring from even the SLC group.

So while it's an In-House debate for all the FLDS. RLDS and LDS, to Biblical purists it doesn't come close on any theological level. We just keep breaking off from all denominations that add extra-Biblical doctrines and new salvation/heaven/priesthood to God's original, perfect Document.

Michigander
Westland, MI

MrPlate,

We have no animosity toward the members of the LDS church. We only have animosity toward the many false doctrines and heretical practices of the LDS. If and only if you repent of all these false doctrines and heretical practices someday, and are baptized into the true church, then and only then will we become brothers.

(Final post - 4 post rule).

Tzadikim
Bakersfield, CA

Back to the article, more time should be spent by all sides studying their friend's actual theology. No one said we can't work together in our communities and trying to make this "a better world".

But with regards to the next world, Biblical purists do not believe in fanciful ruminations, Masonic priesthood oaths, or some new revelation that there is no real hell. We prefer to take Christ at His word, thank you.

We'll keep warning the world and sending them to His original document, all due respect to Dr. Mouw, the Jesus Seminar, and all else who seek to focus on religious freedoms of cults, anti-Christian religions and any newcomer who translates via hat-looking.

That is the problem with Dr. Mouw's refusal to pour the full spotlight on every, single aspect and claim of Joseph Smith. As several LDS prophets have repeated: "The entirety of Mormon claims stand or fall on the claims of Joseph Smith."

EternalPerspective
Eldersburg, MD

Joseph Smith pondered what also created the reformation movements. The Bible alone cannot definitively answer doctrinal questions.

Every book of the Bible was written through a living prophet who had authority from God to build up His kingdom and is nothing less than the spirit of revelation.

If the theme of the Bible is revelation, a living prophet, and Priesthood authority, why do so many people do as the Pharisees and only follow dead prophets and ancient scriptures while denying the spirit of revelation in the present day? How are the Pharisees any different than many today that say the Bible is the ONLY word of God while simultaneously denying those patterns now?

If God is unchangeable, how could works of the Bible not exist anymore on the earth? Could it be the many churches of Christianity have long sought to hide the lack of God's authority to protect their craft by saying God has done His work? Could it be the world was not ready for thousands of years to receive that authority again because it lacked faith?

Wouldn’t revelation be desperately needed to build up Christ’s Church again as preparation for His return?

elchupacabras
Idaho Falls, ID

As an ex-Mormon Reformed Protestant Christian, let me say that Mr. Mouw does not represent the majority those of us who work in ministry to the LDS people. He fails to understand that Jesus is a created being in Mormonism (see Abraham 3), and that is the same mistake that Arius committed in the 3rd Century. Mr. Mouw seems to also forget that LDS teachings do not support sola gratia (after all they can do), sola fide (Article of Faith-- saved by laws and ordninances), solus christus (one must have a testimony of Joseph Smith), sola scriptura(how many extra books), and solo deo gloria (the glory is for man to be exalted). I love the LDS people, but the theology of Mormonism is simply very different from that of theology of the Reformation, which is supposedly the theology of Mr. Mouw.

DSB
Cedar Hills, UT

@elchupacabras

Let me get this straight.

Because Dr. Mouw is meek,
Because he is a peacemaker,
Because he loves and prays for his (doctrinal) enemies,
Because he agrees with his adversaries whiles in the way,
Because he does unto others as he would like to have done unto himself,
Because he associates with those he perceives are not whole but need a physician,

Dr. Mouw therefore does not represent the majority of people attempting to minister to LDS people? If true, that's a sad commentary on the majority of those people.

I must have missed the part where Dr. Mouw denies any of the Reformation theology you cited. It takes a big, and very Christlike man, to hold to one's convictions while offering love to those who disagree. Maybe one day the majority of people attempting to minister to LDS people will walk the higher road taken by Dr. Mouw.

elchupacabras
Idaho Falls, ID

DSB, It is one thing to pray for your enemies and minister to them, and it is another thing to pander to them and tell them that "Evangelicals" have collectively "sinned against our Mormon brothers." What happens when many of us who are no longer members of the LDS church concur that the majority of the Evangelical apologists have got it right? Gone are the days of Calvin and Luther who while praying for the Romanists, pulled out all the stops in taking a stand against their theology. I guess Jesus was also wrong when he called the Pharisees a "generation of vipers" and "children of the Devil." I guess Paul was wrong in Galatians 2 to talk of "false brothers" and hypocrites in standing for the principle of sola gratia. Words and theology still have meaning for me. Part of being a Confessional Christian is standing up for your doctrine. Just as a Mormon would defend tooth and nail the Articles of Faith and their meaning, so should a Creedal Protestant. We can understand each others' positions with having to compromise the integrity of our respective theologies.

DSB
Cedar Hills, UT

And, I might add, it's easy to pray for your enemies in a sanctimonious manner while publicly demeaning them. Well did Jesus castigate the Pharisees for such "you're evil and we're better than you" preaching. How much more difficult to actually put your arms around your supposed enemies and display love - while holding true to your convictions - rather than give the concept of love mere lip service. How much better to invite than to guilt trip. A generation of vipers "is" as a generation of vipers "does," and in my estimation your M.O. is much more similar to the Pharisees than anyone who participates in celebrations of common ground, brotherhood, and love. If defending your faith requires mean-spirited contention, then you can keep it.

EternalPerspective
Eldersburg, MD

There is a GREAT difference between declaring belief and inviting thoughtful pondering, versus a "holier than thou" condescending tone and words.

One CAN affirm belief without compromising benevolent intent for God's children whom Jesus commanded to love and forgive. The degree someone is not offended determines their willingness to be humble and learn from others.

Defending faith means boldly declaring all God has revealed to a person, knowing good will come despite any resultant personal attacks or rejection. Jesus has said to fear God and not man.

Keeping one's testimony of God's Spirit quiet for the sake of fearing offense is not what Jesus taught His disciples. He told them, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost".

The Mormon claim that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's Church restored by His Priesthood authority is either utter blasphemy as some creedal and reformation Christians claim, or it is true. If true, then as Jesus said, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you".

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: EternalPerspectivei: Defending faith means boldly declaring all God has revealed to a person?

…In your hearts honor Christ(not JS) the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a Defense…(1 Peter 3:15). E.G….

The theme of the Bible is Jesus’ blood covering our sins”. It unites the Bible as a whole, in a way inconceivable if it were a human invention. The impossibility of freedom from sin through sacrifice shows us the true meaning of what Jesus did on the cross.

When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, we see a drama played out that allows us to see the sort of plan that God has for us: Abraham (God) would give his son (JesusThe reason the O. T sacrifices could not save was due to the character of the blood that was shed. The blood being shed was animal blood. However, sin had been introduced into the world by man, Rom. 5:12.

Therefore, salvation was dependent on the sacrifice of an innocent man. Jesus went to Calvary as the Lamb of God, the blood He shed was pure, precious sinless blood, 1 Pet. 1:18-19.

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