Saturday, November 04, 2006

Anti-Mormon Bigot on WorldNetDaily

Considering he's a senior pastor in one of the largest Christian congregations in America, Greg Laurie sure demonstrates a high degree of religious bigotry. It's interesting to see some people still consider the Church a cult.

Mr. Laurie, the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, wrote a WorldNetDaily commentary entitled, "Signs of the times." In it, he lists six signs that Jesus Christ will return.

The first sign is "The explosion of religious deception." Notice how loose Mr. Laurie is with his logic and facts in citing the Church to support this statement: "For many years now, we have witnessed an explosion of cults." As an explosion describes a sudden, short-lived, immediate rise, it's curious he has to use a 176-old church to prove his point. More outrageous is his comparison of the LDS Church to groups like Jim Jones' followers and David Koresh's Branch Dividians. Not only does this bring his credibility and motives into question, but it also leads one to wonder whether he's a better example of the "emergence of false teachers" he writes about.

Finally, it's ironic that a Mr. Laurie identifies religious persecution as another sign. In support, he quotes Paul the Apostle, "All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). He got that right.

10 comments:

Dan said...

I'm not surprised. Evangelical Christians are not our friends. They never have been. They reach out with their right hand to shake ours, while with their left they stab us in the back. Who funds anti-Mormon literature? Protestant religions do.

Ian said...

Too true, too true. I'm afraid that his view is the most prevailing view among "christians". Go into almost any christian store, and you will enevitably find Anti-Mormon literature. Give it a try. I sometimes go in just to see what kind of Anti stuff they have.

lief said...

Short-sighted bigots writing on WorldNetDaily? How could that be?

Aaron Shafovaloff said...

http://mormonwiki.org/Cult

TylerD said...

Full disclosure requires this response to Aaron: Mormonwiki.org is "an evangelical encyclopedia of Mormonism." As such, I doubt it's impartial or accurate.

mr. mxyzpltlk said...

Hey Dan! I'm not an evangelical christian, but couldn't the same thing be said about mormons, from their perspective?
"Mormons are not our friends. They never have been. They reach out with their right hand to shake ours, while with their left they try to cram a book of mormon down our throat...oh, and then they tell me my religion is an abominiation."
I have a good idea: let's all go out to the parking lot and throw rocks at each other...it makes about as much sense as all this religious hocus pocus.

TylerD said...

There is a substantial difference.

Mormons do not actively campaign to call other churches non-Christian or to discredit them by proving them false. Mormonwiki.org is a perfect example of what evangelical, Baptist, and some other Churches and their members do. You will find no official LDS Church materials or websites created by the Church or church members whose sole purpose is to attack, discredit, or redefine other churches as non-Christian.

Don't try to hide evangelical efforts with an inaccurate statement of the LDS Church's position. Please see the following quotes from President Gordon B. Hinckley for the official LDS Church position on other churches:

"We don't downgrade any religion. We recognize the good they all do. I say to those of other faiths: 'You bring all the good that you have and let us see if we can add to it.' Now that's our attitude reduced to a very short statement, and it works."
(http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,155008723,00.html)

"As all of you know, we carry on a vast missionary program in the Church. But it is not argumentative. We do not debate. We, in effect, simply say to others, 'Bring all the good that you have and let us see if we can add to it."
(http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=2973)

Don't misinterpret me. Yes, we certainly believe we are Christ's Church. But I'm sure you also believe that you follow the true Christ in the right way while we do not. So the real difference between us is how we treat each other. And yes, there is a difference.

mr. mxyzpltlk said...

tylerd:
Dude, what are you talking about?
Have you forgotten all the thousands of missionaries who are out working to convert people to "the one true church"?
I'd call that an active campaign against other churches (and yes, trying to prove them false), because you can't convert anyone to mormonism until you successfully convince them that their prior religious beliefs are wrong.
And from the very beginning of the lds church, it was taught that all other churches were an abomination. So if they're all abominations, what "good" can come of them.
I'll grant you, some people who speak up against the church can go a little overboard. I'm neither condoning nor defending their tactics.
I just think the door swings both ways. Anti-mormons consider themselves pro-truth, and Pro-mormons are anti-everybody else.
Mormons can be just as vindictive and awful to people who are "non-members" as the other guys.
Bigotry is alive and well, inside the lds church as much as outside of it.

TylerD said...

Sir, I don't wish to argue, but I have to point out that you're wrong. You missed the point completely.

Yes, we preach that our Church is the only true church of Jesus Christ. I'm sure you believe that you worship Christ in the right way and we do not. This fact in no way justifies other churches' determined and concentrated efforts to attack the LDS Church and prove its doctrines false because the LDS church does not do the same thing.

Holding a belief that its the only true Church of Jesus Christ is very different from actively attacking the beliefs of other churches. Our missionaries do not have materials specifically designed to help them disprove other churches' teachings. Nor do we have sermons, sunday school lessons, printed materials, or websites specifically targeting the falsehoods or problems in other churches. Instead, our missionaries teach about the LDS Church and the gospel of Jesus Christ. No member of the LDS Church in good standing would create a website like mormonwiki.org to show the faults of other churches. You're welcome to get a copy of Preach My Gospel, the manual used by missionaries to teach, and you'll find nothing specifically targeting other churches.

You also incorrectly state the official position of the LDS Church about other churches. When Joseph Smith prayed to know which church he should join, he said this: "I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight." Those were the words of the Lord to Joseph Smith at that time. It's not the LDS Church's position today that all other churches are an abomination in the Lord's sight. Rather, as I quoted earlier, the Lord's prophet today says that there is much good in many other churches. We simply invite them to see if we can add to it, to see if there is something else here that they might be missing. We don't tear down other churches to convince their members to join the LDS Church. That's not true conversion. If any missionary today tries to convince someone to join the LDS Church because all others are an abomination before God, then the missionary is in the wrong. No doubt bigotry exists in the Church, but it's not institutional. Rather, it's the fault of individuals, and we strive to rid ourselves of it. There-in lies the difference.

We invite people to come learn, to listen to a living prophet of God, to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it, and then to listen to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. If they feel it confirm the truth of the Book of Mormon and the teachings the missionaries share, then they can choose to follow those teachings.

mr. mxyzpltlk said...

tylerd:
Thanks for your thoughtful and considerate remarks.
I'm really not here to argue either.
Believe me, I'm familiar with mormonism...I've been there. I finally realized it wasn't everything it claimed to be and am in the process of leaving it.
You do have some valid points, such as the lds church doesn't have any officially sanctioned programs to "attack" other faiths, at least not in such blatant and harmful ways. But I don't think it's fair to go along with the idea (as suggested by dan earlier on this thread) that all evangelical christians promote and particiapate in such terrible methods.
To do so just serves as further proof that the large majority of latter day saints remain ignorant of the tenets of "mainstream" christianity.
I know that as a mormon, I was left in the dark regarding matters of other faiths. Now, you can blame me for that if you want to. You can blame me for adhering to the counsel of church leadership and avoiding any materials that didn't coincide or agree with church doctrine.
The unfortunate truth is, those who are so quickly labeled as "anti-mormons" don't have to make up things about the lds church. Nor do they have to dig very deeply into its shady past to reveal some very disturbing facts that serve as reasonable doubt to the authenticity of joseph smith and his outrageous claims.
Did god really speak to him?
I used to believe that. Then I stepped outside my little box of self-imposed ignorance and did some actual research.
If you ask me (I know, you didn't), the greatest enemy to the mormon faith isn't overzealous evangelical christians, or "anti-mormon bigots", but rather the church's own history.
That's just how I see it.