Monday, November 28, 2011

Mormon/Evangelical doctrinal discussions

One of my favorite authors and religious instructors, Robert  Millet and his Evangelical friends have been meeting twice a year for the last 12 years - amicably!  Read a summary of their interactions and dealings with doctrinal differences in this DesNews article.  A couple of excerpt follow.  It's very refreshing to see this kind of respect and comradarie which has led to greater understanding of each other.  Isn't that a pretty big part of being Christian  With this kind of misunderstanding again front and center due to the Mitt Romney/Jon Huntsman/Rick Parry (and cohorts) political volleying with the "religious test" for presidency and all, it's interesting to see what some of these religious leaders think and how they behave themselves.

There's still the big question:  Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a Christian religion?  Who can claim to determine that a Mormon is not a Christian?  Presuming to make such a declaration seems pretty un-Biblical to me.    And, many members of "mainstream Christianity" believe you only need to declare yourself a believer to be such.  So why do we think we can judge someone else on this?  It's confusing to me.  But, I'm happy to see ongoing dialogue with the purpose of dispelling misunderstanding and encouraging moth sides of the issue to be respectful of the other and to accomplish good as the Good News is spread.  I've mentioned before some really good books that were written in greater depth about these discussion.  This attempt to understand is definitely a Christian activity. 
In an effort to clarify the church's Christianity, LDS officials issued a statement in which they quoted a Book of Mormon scripture: "We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" (2 Nephi 25: 26). Their point in doing so, they said, was to illustrate that "Christ is at the center of our worship, study, service and faith, and we believe this is clearly demonstrated in the lives of more than 14 million members in over 130 countries around the globe."
There was a Christian Council (can't remember the name of it) which voted to exclude the LDS representatives who attended.  After their dismissal a Catholic leader stood and stated that it had been one of the most un-Christian acts he had ever witnessed.  The room was hushed.  I hope they were ashamed.   

Joel Osteen , senior pastor of Houston's Lakewood Church, often referred to as America's largest "mega church," said recently that he believes that Latter-day Saints are Christians."I do not know if it's the purest form of Christianity like I grew up with," he said, "but I know Mormons … and I hear Mitt Romney say, 'I believe Jesus is the Son of God, and I believe he's my Savior.' That's one of the core issues. I'm sure there are other issues we don't agree on, but I can say the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics don't agree on everything."
I appreciate that this article also emphasizes that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) also have the obligation to not misrepresent the beliefs of other faiths.  We could all become better Christians indeed.

Looks like a good read:  KJV Bible and the Restoration

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