If this is all Mr. Phillips has, I *cry* for him
Now, seriously, I recognize that there are definitely some spots that people could have some disagreements on. But I mean, this article…geez, I cry for journalistic integrity.
Anyway, I like the first part of it:
Today, many people generally view Mormons as a people with strong family values and clean living, according to one pastor at McLean Bible Church. Some also believe they are just one of many Christian denominations.
But that view is the result of a multibillion dollar campaign over the last couple of decades by Mormons who have attempted to present themselves in such a way, according to Todd Phillips, teaching pastor at Frontline, the young adult ministry of McLean in Virginia.
Many Americans, including Christians, see Mormons as “just another branch of Christianity who talk about Jesus all the time and likely do a better job at adhering to family values than most Christian do in churches in America,” Phillips told hundreds attending service and watching over the Internet on Sunday.
The thing I’m not getting is Phillips response. Instead of looking at how Mormons are currently seen (e.g., as a group that “likely do[es] a better job at adhering to family values than most Christians…”) and then deciding that he has to change the way his church acts (protip: start adhering to your so-called family value better)…he jumps on this idea that what *really* matters is if Mormons are “historical Christians.”
That’s great, guys. Instead of focusing on values that could potentially matter (then again, I don’t think Christians or Mormons have a good handle on constructive family values either…), we’re focusing on a definition. Geez…do people ever wonder why people are becoming disillusioned with this organized religion thing? Is it maybe because of this disconnect?
Naw, let’s continue. So, what are the claims against Mormonism here?
Among the Mormon beliefs that are contrary to core Christian doctrines is the rejection of the validity and veracity of the Bible.
“Historic Christianity … we believe that we have only one source for ultimate eternal truth and that is the holy Bible,” Phillips stressed.
But Mormons “believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly,” according to an article of faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the official name for the Mormon church.
That statement indicates that the Bible is impossible to be correctly translated because it is corrupted by corrupt churches, Phillips noted.
The first sentence is just incorrect, but I guess with the explanation he gives you can’t beat that. The third paragraph is more on target, but the fourth paragraph gets rid of all of the good research they might have done. Basically, they don’t want to admit that Mormons do use the Biblc and do believe in the Bible (although not to the standards this guy wants), because INSTEAD, the guy wants to say:
Mormons believe that the proper translation of what God wants believers to know is found in another source – the Book of Mormon.
So, this reminds me of when people used to ask me about the “Mormon Bible.” I’d point to my New King James Version and they’d be like, “No, the other one.” They were referring to the Book of Mormon, of course, but then I’d point out that was just “another testament.” Not a “Mormon Bible.”
I guess I can understand that such a concept is mindblowing (especially for someone who sets the standard at OT+NT “sola scriptura” or whatever, which is what you expect from these kinds of groups), but I mean…seriously guys. I knew the piece would be a cesspool when I got to the next line:
Mormonism also denies the deity of Christ…
I WISH. I WISH, because then as an atheist, wouldn’t I have no problem? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, Mr. Evangelical.
According to Mormon doctrine, Jesus was not created by the virgin birth of Mary but by a sexual union between Mary and God.
This is why I cry for Mr. Phillips. Like I think about regular anti-Mormons, I think that when you have to resort to using fringe beliefs that aren’t even doctrinal and then you even goof these up, and that’s all you have, you’re at a pretty lame position. Is your church so anemic that this is all you can do against the Mormons? Come on, dude.
I mean, seriously, guys. I’m not a missionary and I don’t speak for the church. I recognize that there are serious, legitimate points that you could go for. Why go for sensationalist nonsense when all that does is make you look bad and allow Mormons to continue their classic persecution complex (which actually gives them strength)?