Looking from the outside of a christian world, it seems a little bit funny that
none of this loving and supporting among christians has happen much earlier in
history ?!One could argue, that loving your neighbor would include
christians as well.But it did not in time past, and so it did not among
the Muslims and many other religious manifestations. So we wonder what the
Non-Christian world and atheists should think about religion in general, having
had no example to follow some unity. Bang ?!I would like to here
from the next speaker an apology about this.Uniting in faith now is
wonderful, but having some clue to how to approach our brethren among the
non-believers would be uplifting.We are (all christians alike) too
bussy to defend faith, instead of understanding others that have real complaints
for a far failed religion in past history.Explaining is needed, not
building more walls.Be asured there are many that will change mind,
if they can get some logic in this universal mess of religion. We owe this to
people, but little is done to help them.But may be I am lost here, who
would know better ?
Truth is Relativity, It's the books you read and the people your with.
Prayer keeps us in touch with with people in our hearts. All the laws can't
change what is in your heart. The truth shalt set you free when you open your
heart and listen.
I look forward to a day when we all come to a unity of faith. With events like
these maybe we're getting a little closer. At least giving opportunity to
speak and to hear one another. We have much more in common of what we do
believe than what we don't. I don't understand the differences between
each group, but sometimes I think it is a matter of using different words to
describe the same thing or that there are a few people who want there to be
differences when there don't need to be. It would be neat if they would
broadcast some of these events so that more people can hear what is being
I frankly don't believe the world has moved away from "the right,"
despite Mr. Zacharias's views. I see a world where people are freer and
more prosperous than ever, where poor nations are emerging from poverty on their
own and with our help, where people who used to cower in the shadows have more
opportunity than ever. The America of my childhood was a fearful place by
comparison to the America of today, where I now see young people of all races
and religions happily working together toward the future. In my youth we feared
the commies, the bomb, and each other. Not anymore. Even the crime rate is in
free fall. Yes, there are simmering problems everywhere, but as MLK says, the
arc of justice is swinging the right direction.
Zacharias, like many evangelicals, points out the ills of society--which I agree
are plentiful.But then he offers Christianity as the *only*
solution. Can he not imagine that there are non-Christians who fully agree with
him about living upright lives, not just doing "whatever works at the
moment," and who have deep moral and spiritual values that they've
dedicated their lives to? And they don't "need Jesus"?I truly believe that if we promoted the core values of love, compassion,
integrity, responsibility, non-exploitation of others, etc., without regard to
what your particular religion is--or even if you have none at all--we'd
have much more hope of a turnaround in our society. But the moment someone
proclaims, "My religion is the Only Truth," you lose a lot of
people--especially the young, who are so hungry today for real values.
"We talk so much about one's rights, that we talk so little about what
is actually right"Brilliantly stated
With the endless plethora of anti-Mormon sentiment from non-LDS religious
institutions, it will take a millennia to mend the damage done to unite us,
@Free Agency,Zacharias is a Christian Pastor and as such believes
that Christ is not merely "a" way but "the" way. Christian
theology is clear on this point and it was taught without reservation by Christ
Himself. There is no need to be offended by a Christian preaching Christianity.
We accept the virtuous and moral things found in other religions and embrace all
truth but what you argue is for Christians to stop preaching their most core
beliefs. If you disagree with Christianity that's fine, embrace
what truths you find there and disregard the rest but don't expect
Zacharias or other Christians to abandon their doctrine to fit your political
correct standards....that's what's got all religions into the
conundrum in which we find ourselves. Dear friend, let us stand together as a
force for goodness, our common goal, and not try to change the most sacred
elements of what makes us good in the first place.
@morpunkt,What you state is only reality if we make it that way.
Today is a new day with new challenges and we must stand together and focus on
what unites us (and there is al lot) we cannot focus on past issues with the
challenges at hand. Let's not be victims.
It appears events like these have been happening for some time. How do you
learn about when these events are being held so you can plan to go to them? For
some reason, I only learn of them after the fact. Is this an annual event? Do
you need to have tickets, if so how do you get them?
@DaniteI understand your logic, but I state the sad reality of fact.
@ DaniteI don't think the goal of any religion is goodness. I
think it is replication. If it was goodness, the claim to be the one and only
way would be unnecessary. There is no one right way to be good.People are (mostly) good because it's to our benefit to be good. Things
work better for ourselves and our communities when we agree not to harm each
other and when we cooperate with each other. Religions hijack this truth and
claim the credit.I personally think religions do more harm than
good, but I also understand the human need to unite beneath a common banner.
But please drop the claims that one banner is the only true one. This is an
inherently divisive statement and has created and continues to create
unnecessary strife. I'd also appreciate it if religions would stop
teaching vulnerable, defenseless children that they are inherently bad. What a
terrible thing to do to a child.
Faith yes, doctrine no. The thing that makes the LDS faith unique is that is
eschews the rest of Christianity. Cozying up to conservative Christian groups
undermines that position. The drift towards a close relationship to a groupt
that doesn't even think that the LDS are even Christians, I don't know
what it really accomplishes except for political convenience, and that is not a
good trend for a church that positions itself as the true church of Christ.
Can't we all just get along? Perhaps our fellow Christians are changing
their attitudes toward the Latter Day Saints because they are experiencing
declining membership while the LDS church continues to grow. Better to have
friends than enemies in a world where secularist persecution is growing.
Whatever the reason(s), we should love each other as brothers and sisters! I am
glad to see the LDS Church reach out and they to the LDS. Its what Jesus would
do! Hopefully all Christians are becoming more like our Christ!
@Esquire,Dear friend I think the point is precisely "political
convenience" as you call it. We live it times where all faith based groups
will face major challenges politically. It's already starting to happen. So
the idea is not that Latter-day Saints go and join evangelical coalitions based
on theology but that we stand together in a common cause....and that's
truly a political one. That's what this is about, let's not miss the
key motivational force here.
@ Danite, nice in theory, but I don't buy it in practice. Conservative
Christians (particularly Southern) are more cynical than that - I have lots of
experience with them. Over-identification with conservativism will pigeon-hole
the Church, marginalize it, and weaken its mission. It is a grave,
short-sighted mistake to go down this road.
@DaniteI understand (and already knew) your point that Zacharias, as
an evangelical Christian, is going to preach Christianity as "the way"
(out of our society's ills).But you may not have understood my
point. When you aim to remedy the ills of "society" (which includes
many people who don't share Zacharias' faith), it doesn't work to
say, "My religion is the answer for everyone." Because people who share
his values--but not his religion--will be turned off.If he really
wants to work toward having a shift in our society rather than merely
proselytize, he needs to acknowledge and respect the beliefs of others who have
found their own "way" for their lives. Not just welcome the
commonalities between his faith and Christians of a different faith (in this
case, Mormons), but welcome his commonalities with those who aren't
Christian, and have no desire to be Christian.Otherwise, he's
just preaching to the choir in his talks.BTW, I wasn't
"offended," I was just pointing out why what he's doing won't
work. And I wasn't being "politically correct," I was being (I
@Karen R.Thank you for a wonderful posting. I'm always
suspicious of any religion which claims to be the "only way to God."
After all, we see God as "the Creator"--and what true Creator only
provides, or tolerates, "one way?"And I agree that the goal
of many religions is replication. I smile at the way the heavily-proselytizing
religions keep proclaiming their updated numbers and using phrases like "the
fastest growing." As if sheer numbers somehow proved that theirs is
"the one true religion."But as my own religion, Judaism
(which doesn't proselytize because it believes there are many ways to God)
teaches, "Numbers don't count."And I *wholeheartedly*
agree with you that it's terrible to teach a child that s/he's
inherently bad. Thank you again for your breath of fresh air.
Growing up as a devoted LDS and seeing the promiscuity, double life and
confusion of people like me who were also homosexuals. I remember praying for
"healing", direction and a refuge. I prayed that the LDS
church would provide all that. It didn't happen!. The AIDS crisis shaked
society to its core and LGBT people have to re-examine their lives and
"alone" come to the acknowledgment that being in hiding was not
healthy. Monogamy and faithfulness was the answer. Now we feel free
to be ourselves, all the vices that came from living in obscurity are finally
coming to an end. We know feel free to love, have families, live monogamous
lives and be proud of what we are.I feel that our Heavenly Father
rejoices in our new found freedom and fulfillment. It is sad that
the LDS church and the Evangelicals are colluding together and feeling that
their freedom are under threat because people dare to be happy and dare to claim
that the "shepherds have failed".IMHO the LDS church still
have time to rectify its position and establish itself as the Zion to ALL
children of God.
I'm not sure what religious freedom everyone is proclaiming is being lost.
I haven't heard of anyone being denied to right to worship in the United
States. It was a Latter-day Saint family that had to petition the Supreme Court
to take prayer from schools because "Christian" kids were harassing
their Mormon children with their "prayers." Public institutional support
of religion is going away, but (as I live in the Unchurched Northwest) the
opportunities to share and exercise our faith are absolutely still omnipresent
in America. The government in the US (states) intervenes when people deny their
dying children medication for religious reasons. Now, throughout the world, that
is another story, there are so many oppressed by different religions and
religious leaders. I'm grateful to be a Latter-day Saint and able to share
my faith through words personally and published via the Internet.
@ Danite"We live it times where all faith based groups will face
major challenges politically. It's already starting to happen."If your goal is preserve the First Amendment's promise of religious
liberty, then I would advise you to join forces with atheists. Religionists
convinced that their way is the one right way are their own worst enemy when it
comes to religious freedom.
freedom is being taken in all forms. For instance birth control. You might say
it is someones right to use it. Fine, but let them pay for it or go get it, or
choose that option in their healthcare. Instead we are forced to provide it
against our moral values(RELIGION).@ karen - you misunderstand religion
with that point of view. There are many good Atheists out there, many of my
friends are. However Christian religions preach one way to salvation, and that
is through Christ, Not that there is only one way to be good. There are many
many many ways to be good and do Good. Like being a doctor vs being a dentist.
Both good professions, both ways you can serve and help others. However, all
people still need Christ regardless of how much good they do because we have ALL
fallen short. Atheists are trying to do it alone which is fine, whereas I
believe God blesses those who listen and obey him with ADDITIONAL help that
maybe an Atheist would not receive. -God gives strength(would say more but
at limit), not condemns.
@pacnwmom, I certainly could be wrong, --- Still, By being LDS you sustain the
Prophets and apostles and being directed of God I assume. WHen they stand up in
conference and say our religious freedoms are being taken, it seems like as
someone inspired of God that you would just take that at face value if nothing
else. Call that blind obedience, or call it faith, or call it I have listened to
what they say in the past and know it to be true, so I believe this as well.
Either way, its easy to see that freedoms in general are being taken very
slowly, (or sometimes not so slowly and that should be alarming). Inlcuding
religious freemdoms. You can't pray in public anymore hardly. Try it. Go to
a public meeting and request that the meeting start with a prayer. If we are
free to practice, and government can't support/OR deny any religion. Out of
respect you would think people would allow you to. Not so. Prayer can't be
in our government :(Any way I look at it, your point of view is
kindof shocking to me.
Nice to have this article and "christian gathering" to make us think
about the circumstances around us.I like to (carefully) introduce
the idea that comes with Christ when he said :...for he that is not against us.
is on our part...We should be realistic in seeing the people around
us in church as being of very different in faith and opinion, same goes among
Christians and the world with all the features of philosophies and opinions.
That would mean a grouping together of a common people with same ideas would be
contraproductive in a way.To be straight forward, I tend more to
support missionary work for to find individuals and families, rather than gather
together the "Nephites" against the Lamanites.We all know how that
Can anyone cite an example of the "religious freedom being lost" that
Mormon Elder Holland referred to?Denying minorities the services of
your business isn't "religious freedom", nor is denying minorities
the legal right to marry.Seriously, does anyone have an actual
example where religious freedom has been denied in the US?
RE: Free Agency But as my own religion, Judaism ,And I *wholeheartedly* agree
with you that it's terrible to teach a child that s/he's inherently
bad.(Psalm 51:5 NIV) I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my
mother conceived me.(Psalm 58:3 NLT): These wicked people are born
sinners; even from birth they have lied and gone their own way.(1Cor
1:18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but
unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
I don’t think it’s freedom that Christians are losing. I think
it’s privilege. Christians – particularly white Christians –
used to run the show in our country. They got away with many unconstitutional
things simply by virtue of numbers and ignorance. We just know too much now and
more and more people are learning that there is no one way to approach
one’s life. There is no one way that provides lasting meaning.And so Christians are now being challenged to justify their privileged status
and when they cannot, they are losing it. To some this feels like persecution
or a loss of freedom. Personally, I think what they’re experiencing is
the uncomfortable distance that must be traveled from “superior” to
@Sharrona,Your Biblical quotes don't represent the full
spectrum of Judaism. Most Jews don't believe that the Bible is "the
inerrant Word of God," so a verse written in the Iron Age is certainly not
going to be taken as Holy Writ by most of us if it doesn't resonate with
us. Especially since Judaism, like Mormonism, believes in ongoing
revelation.Judaism considers the feelings and acts of one's
heart, if they're loving, to have more authority than any formal doctrine.
That's why the majority of Jews are, for example, supporters of gays and
I can't think, yet, of a single right Mormons have that's being
@pacnwmomCan I share some situations where religious freedoms are truly
being threatened in the U.S.A: If I am a wedding photographer or a wedding
caterer and I refuse for religious reasons to accept same-sex customers I may
face fines and/or prosecution. If I am a parent who insists on being informed
when homosexuality is being taught to my children, certain jurisdictions refuse
me the right to be informed so I may withdraw my children that day. These are
only a few real situations where my religious freedoms are denied. This is just
the tip of the iceberg.
I enjoy occasions such as this. In the normal days of life, other Christians
focus too much on how I differ from them, without opening their heart or
expressing patience or acceptance for the idea of someone worshipping Christ
without holding to arbitrary creeds or agreements. There is so much common
ground, and there are so many shared views and beliefs that are inntegral and
necessary.More and more we see that those who aren't explicitly
for God seem to array themselves specifically against him, especially in the
developed world. History shows us where that inevitably leads.
@DesertI think the real question is whether we are acting in harmony
with what Christ taught. His prayer for his followers was that they "would
be one" as He - Christ - is with His Father. So rather than invalidating
Christianity, I would say we just need to live up to the standard and
expectation of Christ.As for the Atheists, the greatest wars in the
last century (most deaths of any century) were started by and indeed fought
between fellow Atheists - Stalin vs. Hitler, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. WWI
was about colonies, industrial rivalry, etc. Not religion. Besides, this whole
focus of American and British Atheists on religious war is wholly
Western-centric and largely ignores broader history.Hatred and war
is a just a sickness - a plague - of mankind. I'm not saying wars
haven't been religious based, but rather that hatred starts war. God does
not. God wants us to live in peace.You know that....
Truth is very simple. There is ONLY love. Practice daily. All else is fear, or
one of its many disguises.
RE: Free Agency,Most Jews don't believe that the Bible. What about the
Jewish feasts of Lev 23?The first four of the seven feasts occur
during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks), and
they all have already been fulfilled by Christ in the N.T. The final
three holidays (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during
the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period. i.e.. Passover
(Lev 23:5) – The Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Cor 5:7) whose blood
would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for
the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the
Passover meal that evening. First Fruits (Lev 23:10) – The
Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was
resurrected on this very day, one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in 1
Cor 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead.
There are many commenting about how good intentions is the answer and all that
is necessary. Those people usually don't understand what the Atonement of
Christ really is, why it was made, and to what end is it's totally
necessity for their salvation. It's not enough to just assume
you know. Many even confuse it with the crucifixion of Christ... though they
were 2 different acts and primarily for 2 different purposes. The
Atonement was and is the greatest event in the history of our world... though
only a small percentage of people yet realize it. When accepted, it opens the
door for individuals to be rectified and rejoined back to God the Father.
It's what makes Christ literally our Savior.As Christ said in
Matthew 7:14, "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to
eternal life. And few there be that find it."In verse 22 he
adds, "Many will say, 'Lord, have we not prophesied and done many
wonderful works in your name?' And I will profess to them, 'I never
knew you: depart from me."Good intentions and deeds are not
enough by themselves. More is required.
@ Karen R:Please give several explicit examples of the "many
unconstitutional things that Christians got away with" in our country for so
long. If there are so many things (as you contend), then naming several should
be easy. Please be specific.And as a natural followup, please
explain what "privileges" (rather than rights) that Christians are now
losing... as you wrote. In so doing, please explain the differences between a
privilege and a right, per your understanding of those concepts. And why do you differentiate between "white Christians" and Christians
in general? It would seem you are trying to be contentious and inimical in using
several disjunctive statements about Christianity in our country.BTW: As you said, "there is more than one way to approach life and find
meaning in it". That is true, particularly in a temporal sense. But
there truly is only one way (God's way) and one path (a narrow one at that)
that leads to everlasting and eternal life... beyond our temporal sphere. To deny that in light of Christ's personal declaration and sacrifice is a
rationalization, and perhaps even a self justification... and nothing more,
unless simply mired in moral ignorance.
@ junkgeek:You missed the primary context of this article. The issue
isn't about Mormon rights, though the meeting took place in a Mormon
building. It's about ALL different Christian denominations' rights
that are gradually being eroded. A few examples...The
latest: Obamacare mandates force business owners to pay for insurance services
that violate their faith (abortion, contraceptives, etc)... even if none of
their employees need those particular coverages.Grade school kids
have recently been kicked out of school for carrying a copy of the Bible in
their shoulder-bags. Non-denominational prayers are no longer
allowed in public... even with just a small group and nobody having any
objections to it. It's now easier to display pornography than
it is a religious symbol in public.Many municipalities will no
longer allow Christmas trees and/or allow schools to sing Chrismas carols...
even during Christmas.Government employees (and even many store
employees) are no longer allowed to say "Merry Christmas" to fellow
employees and/or customers. Military personnel can no longer
approach a fellow soldier about his religion... even if the approached has no
objection.These are just a few examples of an ever growing list.
@ TatorsConstitutional trespasses, past and present:Mandated
prayer in publicly-funded schoolsFederal recognition of Christian holidays
(Christmas; Good Friday)Nativity scenes on government propertyTen
Commandments posted in government buildingsReferences to “God”
in Pledge of Allegiance and on moneyPrivileges (now being
challenged): Governmental recognition and sanction of all beliefs and
actions represented aboveViolating with near impunity the religious
freedom of non-Christians as a consequenceImmunity from criticism and
critical scrutiny of Christian theology and dogmaUndue influence in
government and governmental policy“Particularly white
Christians” was not intended as contentious, inimical, or even judgmental,
but rather as objectively factual.Neither religion nor a belief in
gods is required to be moral.As to your belief in
“Christ’s personal declaration,” it is met with equal force by
my belief that there are no gods. Similarly your conviction that you know
“the one right way” is met with my equally strong conviction that
life is a lot more beautiful and amazing without the oppressive filter of
religion.Under our Constitution, these beliefs are EQUAL.This is my 4th, thus last, post here. You get the last word.
What this tells me is that people who are Christian, regardless of denomination,
have much in common in basic values. With the world/U.S. going so secular and
value free in recent times, more and more people of religious values are going
to need to come together on issues rather than be in opposition due to doctrinal
differences. Hopefully it will be a two way street.
RE: Tators, Those people usually don't understand what the Atonement of
Christ really is, why it was made, and to what end is it's totally
necessity for their salvation.“'A-tone-ment' is
fanciful English word and not a N. T. word. rendered 'reconciliation'
in Rom 5:11 in most translations and according to Vine should be rendered
'reconciliation' always.(Luther,Calvin ) The atonement of
Christ as being a vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice that satisfied the
demands of God’s justice upon sin. With His sacrifice, Christ paid the
penalty of man’s sin, bringing forgiveness, imputing righteousness, and
reconciling man to God. Those who hold this view believe that every
aspect of man—his mind, will, and emotions—have been corrupted by
sin and that man is totally depraved and spiritually dead.This view
holds that Christ’s death paid the penalty for sin and that through faith
man can receive Christ’s substitution as payment for sin. This view of the
atonement aligns most accurately with Scripture in its view of sin, the nature
of man, and the results of the death of Christ on the cross. E.g..
(The sacrificial system of the Jewish temple),