Archive for the ‘Anti-Mormonism’ Category

Apologists-anti-mormons_INVERTEDby Michael Flournoy
Some years ago, FAIRMormon put out an article by Maxwell Institute contributor, Russell C. McGregor entitled, “Are Anti-Mormons Christians?” It was a response to the common assertion that Latter-day Saints are not true Christians. The article claims that it is the detractors of Mormonism, not Mormons themselves that “need to be concerned about their Christian credentials”.

The question posed is: is Anti-Mormonism a Christian activity? According to the article, it isn’t. It asserts that Christian is a synonym for Christ-like, but Anti-Mormons are actively opposed to, and attack the doctrines and policies of the LDS church.

First off, even if Anti-Mormonism is opposed to the values of Christianity, it still does not discredit someone from being a Christian. For example, sin isn’t exactly a Christian activity, and yet all Christians are sinners.

Secondly, the LDS notion that Jesus was a gentle lamb who never spoke out against false religious leaders, is a myth. One only need to go to Matthew 23 to find Jesus calling scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, blind guides, and children of hell.

To be fair, there is such a thing as aggressive, over-the-top Anti-Mormonism, and it needs to stop. Mormons are not wrong to question the Christianity or at least the spiritual maturity of those who preach with rudeness and disrespect.

McGregor says Anti-Mormonism is satanic, and that Satan means “accuser” or “slanderer”. By this logic, Jesus was certainly engaged in a satanic activity when he told his disciples to beware the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

For the sake of argument though, let’s assume the article is right on all accounts, and anyone who speaks out against Mormonism is not a Christian.

What does that say of Anti-Anti-Mormons, who spend every waking hour debating Mormon Critics online?

If the arguments in the article are valid, then the author himself is not a Christian, because he engages in the satanic activity of accusing and slandering Anti-Mormons!

The fact is, Jesus told his disciples to turn the other cheek rather than resist evil (Matthew 5:39). Anti-Anti-Mormonism is the opposite of this mindset. It’s not a Christian activity, and therefore Anti-Anti-Mormons aren’t Christian.

Furthermore, 3 Nephi 11:29 in The Book of Mormon states:

For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

Anger and contention form the core of the article written by Russell McGregor, and I call on FAIRMormon to remove the article from their website. It’s full of hate speech against those who do nothing worse than proselytize Latter-day Saints with sincerity and out of a heart of love. Further, its logic serves as a double-edged sword.

That said, I acknowledge that some Christians do engage in mockery, ridicule, and saying hurtful things to Latter-day Saints about their religion. At the same time, I’ve seen LDS apologists be just as vile in return. I assume it’s a reaction to perceived hostility, but it’s still unacceptable and unchristian. The Book of Mormon doesn’t say contention is of the devil, except when someone else starts it. Jesus didn’t say to turn the other cheek unless they’re speaking against your religion. When Jesus was taken in the Garden of Gethsemane, one of his disciples cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Although it was technically a defensive move, Jesus immediately healed the man.

And turning to the other side of the divide, I call on my Christian brothers and sisters to repent if looking out for the interests of Latter-day Saints above their own self-interest isn’t their driving motivation. The vernacular term for this kind of self-effacing, self-sacrificial behavior is “love”. The other term for it is “respect”. And it is centermost in the infamous apologetic mandate of 1 Peter 3:15-16 (NIV) which says,

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Jesus rebukes his disciples in Matthew 26:52, saying, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take up the sword shall perish with the sword.” (KJV)

The Savior also rebukes the apostles in Luke 9:55-56 when they suggest calling fire down from heaven to destroy a Samaritan village. He says, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (KJV)

The most glaring issue with Russell McGregor’s article is it wrongly defines “Anti-Mormon” as anyone who opposes LDS doctrine and policy. To be clear, it is possible to oppose something lovingly. If this is not the case, then by default, all Mormon missionaries are Anti-Christian for teaching and converting Christians, aren’t they?

True “Anti-ism” is an aggressive, shameful way of attacking someone’s faith, and it exists on both sides of the divide. We should strive not to be Anti anything but stand for the Truth.

It may be hard for Latter-day Saints to accept, but standing for the truth does encompass exposing falsehood. Why is it, that it’s perfectly acceptable for a bishop to say, “You’re wrong if you think you’re worthy after breaking the law of chastity,” but when a Christian tells a Mormon they’re wrong, it’s hateful?

LDS apostle, J. Reuben Clark once said, “If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.”

To Mr. Clark’s point, mainstream Christians hold to the stance that Latter-day Saints believe in an another Jesus and a false gospel. And neither a faux Savior or a false gospel can save anyone, can they? Is it Anti-Mormon to want Mormons to know the truth? Is it Anti-Mormon to reveal the mercy and boundless grace of Jesus Christ? Is it Anti-Mormon to desire to spend eternity with them in God’s presence?

Of course not. In fact, it is the responsibility of believers to speak the truth and expose falsehood. This is as the Apostle James said,

Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:20 KJV)

In closing, I can’t think of anything more Pro-Mormon than converting a Latter-day Saint from the error of a false gospel that doesn’t truly save to one that does. Can you? In fact, I would argue that the true Anti-Mormons are the people who oppose those who do so.

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“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:3 KJV)

“#37 Even though it’s like punching Mormons in the face, you take great delight in over the top polemic and pejorative rhetoric that alienates and repels Mormons rather than drawing them to the Good News of the Gospel.”

by Michael Flournoy and Fred W. Anson
It’s the most frustrating thing imaginable, you’re challenging Mormon thought and preaching the truth, and you’re labeled an “Anti-Mormon”. In just four syllables you are discredited as a bigot and a deceiver who can’t leave the church alone. It’s annoying to be called Anti-Mormon when you actually like the LDS people, and you weren’t engaging in ad hominem attacks or being snarky.

On the flip side, Anti-Mormonism is a real thing, and it isn’t pretty. In fact, we believe Anti-Mormonism bolsters the testimony of Latter-day Saints. Why you ask? Mormons believe they are persecuted because they have the truth, and anytime they are treated unfairly in a discussion they think, “This proves I’m right.” It is the responsibility of Christians engaged in Mormon studies to know where the line is and avoid Anti-Mormonism like the plague. The following list contains some behaviors that we’ve seen Anti-Mormons engage in over the years. It can be used as a self-diagnostic as well as a set of things to avoid if you don’t want to be written off, dismissed, and ignored as “just another Anti!” by your Mormon friends and family.

You Might be an Anti-Mormon if…

  1. You can’t say anything good about the LDS Church even though it has some praiseworthy qualities and attributes.
  2. You weaponize freshly minted Ex-Mormons and encourage them to attack the Mormon Church rather than letting them heal and fully transition out of it first.
  3. You’re a snarky Anti-Mormon meme-generating machine.
  4. You’ll stay in Internet groups where Mormon Bashing is allowed – even encouraged – rather than voting with your feet by leaving.
  5. You divorce your True Believing Mormon (TBM) husband or wife despite the Apostle Paul’s clear directive to not divorce an unbelieving spouse (see 1 Corinthians 7:12-16).
  6. You get angry whenever your TBM family and friends try to proselytize you, then whine because they get angry when you try to proselytize them.
  7. You get dizzy reading the Deseret News because your eyes are constantly rolling.
  8. You put your life on hold twice a year so you can watch General Conference live and find fault with it in real time.
  9. You only refer to Mormon Apologists by their Ex-Mormon culture nicknames (“Tapirman”, “Crazy Gordon”, “Michael R. Ass”, etc.) thereby dehumanizing and marginalizing them socially and psychologically.
  10. You speak in Ex-Mormonese rather than English. (“TSCC”, “LD$”, “MORmONism”, “Joseph’s Myth”, “The Profit”, “The Morg”, “God’s Only True Cult”, etc., etc.)
  11. You present Ed Decker’s “The Godmakers” in part or in full as an accurate depiction of what today’s Mormon Church teaches and believes.
  12. You present Jack Chick’s “The Visitors” and “The Enchanter” tracts as “balanced and true” depictions of Mormon doctrine, culture, and history.
  13. You think that the best (and possibly the only) biblical models for dealing with Mormons are Elijah on Mount Carmel and Christ Cleansing the Temple.
  14. You think that “The ends justify the means” even if that means exaggeration or outright lying about Mormon beliefs and practices.
  15. Your Social Media content is designed to provoke conflict rather than conversation with Latter-day Saints.
  16. You have to win the argument. Period.
  17. You won’t apologize to Latter-day Saints when you err with them lest you show weakness or acknowledge the possibility that you could be wrong.
  18. You stand idly by while others berate, abuse, and bully Mormons publicly.
  19. You refuse to learn, understand, appreciate, and respect Mormon Culture and smugly look down your nose at those who do.
  20. You belittle and mock all aspects of Mormonism – often in ugly, bigoted, and condescending ways.
  21. You take the biblical mandates to treat those in error with grace, gentleness, and respect (see 1 Peter 3:15, 2 Timothy 2:25, and Colossians 4:6) as optional or just suggestions.
  22. You treat other Christians who aren’t as vitriolic, rude, and insensitive to Mormons as you are with contempt.
  23. You take God’s place by judging and declaring the eternal fate of all Mormons simply based on the fact that they’re Mormon before you even know the particulars of their individual situations and personal beliefs.
  24. You go out of your way to offend Mormons with things that have little to nothing to do with the biblical gospel.
  25. You will fight to the death over secondary issues where Biblical Christianity and Mormonism disagree.
  26. You can’t say anything good about Joseph Smith.
  27. You can’t say anything good about Mormon Leaders despite their achievements and accomplishments outside of Mormonism or despite their role as positive agents of change within Mormonism.
  28. You chronically engage in over the top, hyperbolic language regarding Mormons and Mormonism.
  29. You deliberately misrepresent what Mormons believe and do in order to enhance your arguments.
  30. Even when your facts are straight your tone is shrill, condemning, and judgmental.
  31. You lobby for treating Mormons differently even if it’s unjust, unfair, uncivil, or downright bigoted.
  32. The majority of sources that you read and cite from in your work are Anti-Mormon sources that engage in all or some of the above tactics.
  33. You refuse to read and cite from Mormon friendly sources for a whole litany of reasons even when they are the most effective sources in persuading Mormons of how intellectually and spiritually bankrupt modern Mormonism is.
  34. You never give Mormons the benefit of the doubt when discussing theology with them.
  35. You make a point of telling Mormons they are in a cult.
  36. You consistently tell Mormons what they believe instead of asking them what they actually believe.
  37. Even though it’s like punching Mormons in the face, you take great delight in over the top polemic and pejorative rhetoric that alienates and repels Mormons rather than drawing them to the Good News of the Gospel.
  38. You can’t speak about your own faith without bringing up and putting down Mormonism in some form or fashion.
  39. If someone points out to you that you’re more in “The Church of Anti-Mormonism” than Christ’s Church you say, “Amen, to that!”
  40. You go into every engagement with Mormons wondering how you can triumph over them and set them straight rather than how you can love and serve them.
  41. You don’t think that you have anything to learn from Mormons or Mormonism since, “It’s all wrong, and there’s nothing good or true in it!”
  42. The thought of deceased Mormons realizing they were wrong and are being sent to hell amuses and/or pleases you.
  43. You’re an Ex-Mormon who rushed right into “ministry” rather than taking the time and effort to heal from Mormonism and fully transition into mainstream, Biblical Christianity first. That “ministry”, of course, involves relentlessly attacking the Mormon Church rather than taking up your cross and dying to yourself daily as Christ said is our first call as His disciples.
  44. Your stance is that even if the Mormon Church reforms and becomes biblically orthodox it should still be destroyed.
  45. You criticize other Christians who engage in the opposite of the above set of behaviors calling them “sissies” (or worse).
  46. You hate the Mormon Church more than you love Jesus.

The last one is probably the most important one – and the most telling one of all because it really speaks to one’s heart condition. Question: Who are you doing this for, yourself, the Mormon, or Christ? As Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers so famously said, “The Lord is first, my friends are second, and I am third.” Can you say the same friend? Can you call Mormons “friends”? Can you call them “victims of Mormonism”? Or can you only call them “enemy”? If it’s the last one then please do us all a favor: Get out of Mormon Studies until you call them the other two.

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A caution to transitioning Ex-Mormon Christians
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“If your true motivation is not simply hatred of Mormonism… then our plea is simple.”

by Jason Wallace, Pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church, Magna, Utah
Former Mormons recognize that religion doesn’t make someone a Christian. Mormonism may say nice things about Jesus, produce a great deal of sincerity, emotion, and activity, but it is a fraud. Mormons may quote the Bible, but they are selective in their use of it, touting what fits their personal preferences, while ignoring the parts that contradict them.

What many former Mormons don’t seem to recognize is that, in leaving Mormonism, many have embraced a faith that is simply another counterfeit of Biblical Christianity. Their religion may also produce great sincerity, emotion, and activity, but it is often just as selective in its use of the Bible. The gospel gets reduced to Ephesians 2:8-9 and a “personal relationship” with Jesus, that is divorced from the rest of the Bible. Like the Mormons, they bitterly resent anyone pointing them to the parts of the Bible that don’t fit their system and demonize those who challenge them to test their religion from God’s Word.

If your true motivation is not simply hatred of Mormonism, but a real love of Jesus Christ and the truth, then our plea is simple – – hear Jesus and His apostles. Jesus said,

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
— Matthew 7:21-23, KJV

Many Mormons claim that James 2 contradicts Paul in Ephesians 2. They see Paul teaching a “cheap grace” of faith without works. Rather than correcting the Mormon’s view of Ephesians 2, many former Mormons have embraced it and simply ignore what James said.

True conversion involves more than forgiveness of sins; it also involves being given a new heart and the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:36). We are not saved by our works (Ephesians 2:8-9), but the new birth manifests itself in new life (Romans 6) and in good works (Ephesians 2:10). We are not saved by our works, but they are the fruit of the Spirit within converted Christians.

Jesus is saying in the Sermon on the Mount that many will go to the day of judgment, trusting in their religion and thinking they are right with Jesus, only to discover their religion was a fraud with which they not only fooled others, but also themselves. The Apostle Paul warns,

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
— 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, KJV

"True conversion involves more than forgiveness of sins; it also involves being given a new heart ..."

“True conversion involves more than forgiveness of sins; it also involves being given a new heart …”

Many former Mormons love to quote Paul saying we are no longer under law, but under grace. They use this passage as a club to bludgeon anyone who points out the totality of what Paul said. Jesus said that He never knew those who call Him Lord, but practice iniquity. Just as someone can say they love God and hate their brother (1 John 2:9), people can say they love God and practice iniquity, but both are lies. The Apostle John writes,

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
— 1 John 2:3-5, KJV

Over and over, Jesus makes clear that the new birth involves more than mouthing the words to a prayer.

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
— Matthew 6:14-15, KJV

“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
— Matthew 10:33-39, KJV

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
— Matthew 18:15-17, KJV

Mormons can weep as they relate the burning in their bosom and other spiritual experiences, but the Bible shows that they are deceived and worshiping a false god and proclaiming a false gospel. Anti-Mormons can gush as they relate their spiritual experiences, but unless they line up with God’s Word, they are just another fraud.

Having been burned with the legalism and organizational oppression of Mormonism, many former Mormons have embraced a cheap grace that requires them to hear no church anywhere. They do not have to seek reconciliation with other believers (Matthew 18:15-17), and they submit to no elders (Hebrews 13:17).

“Many former Mormons have embraced a cheap grace that requires them to hear no church anywhere.”
Exhibit A: Ex-Mormon Shawn McCraney’s “Christian Anarchist” teachings.

These are not optional matters. Believers in the first century were baptized into a visible church, with real elders (Titus 1). It can be hard to overcome past abuse, but we are not given the option. Jesus asks,

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
— Luke 6:46, KJV

If you refuse to hear the church, Christians are commanded to treat you as an unbeliever; we are to pray for you and be kind to you, but we are to call you to repentance and true faith. Those who pick and choose what they like from the Bible are not Christians. The Apostle John said,

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:”
— 1 John 1:6, KJV

You may have left Mormonism, with its tithing, temples, and rules, but unless you embrace the Biblical gospel, you’ve simply repackaged the same false gospel in a more palatable form. There is a gospel that involves more than mouthing the words to a prayer and living like the world. It is not a gospel of grace plus works, but a grace that transforms – – the Biblical gospel of a real new birth, with a new heart and the giving of the Holy Spirit. We call you to the gospel in which Jesus nails not only our sinful record, but our stony heart and poisonous life to the cross – – a gospel in which we have his perfect record, loving heart, and Holy Spirit given to sinners like us.

When King Josiah heard the Word of God that had been neglected, he rent his clothes and repented (2 Kings 22). The answer to Phariseeism is not becoming a Saducee, but a Christian. Is the real problem with Mormonism its idolatry or just how it treated you? Will you substitute the Jesus of Joseph Smith with the real Jesus of the Bible, or just a counterfeit of your own imagination? Will you come to Jesus on His terms, or will you hear on the day of judgment, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”?

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“Will you substitute the Jesus of Joseph Smith with the real Jesus of the Bible, or just a counterfeit of your own imagination?”

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