Saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace.

An interesting post appeared on the LDS & Evangelical Conversations blog last week. Eric, raised Evangelical but converted to Mormonism a dozen years ago, wrote “What Mormons Should Know About Evangelicals.”

For the most part, Eric’s comments are very helpful. He addresses many basic areas where Mormons misunderstand Evangelicals and the way Christian churches operate. The focus of Eric’s post is non-doctrinal, though he does touch on doctrinal issues. Eric writes about things like diversity within Evangelical worship, misconceptions over paid clergy, and reverence in prayer. Doctrinally, he writes that Evangelicals have a testimony of Jesus, have a significant part of the Gospel, and believe good works are important.

In his conclusion Eric writes,

“I have no desire here to ignore or downplay the differences between Evangelical Christians and LDS Christians; they are real, and they are substantial. But we also share a love for Jesus Christ and a gratitude for the Heavenly Father sending his Son to Earth to set an example for us and to die for us. We have much we can learn from each other, but we can do that only if we make efforts to understand each other and to see each other not as people to demonize but as children of our Heavenly Father and who are sincerely, even though possibly mistaken, trying to heed the teachings of Jesus Christ.” (emphasis his)

I appreciate Eric’s contribution toward greater understanding between Mormons and Evangelicals. I whole-heartedly agree that we all need to make a determined effort to that end. Yet, overlooking the fact that Mormons and Evangelical Christians worship a different God while at the same time appealing to our “shared” love for what are actually disparate Christs, is not helpful in the long run. At least not for Evangelicals.

Evangelical Christians seek to understand Mormons (spiritually speaking) for the ultimate purpose of evangelism. We hope to be used by God to speak His truth to Mormons in order that, in the words of 2 Timothy 2:25-26, “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

Therefore, Evangelicals cannot give a nod to the fact that Mormonism is substantially different from Evangelical Christianity and then find some sort of solace in the fact that Mormons love a false god–even if this false god goes by the same name as the one true God.

As I said earlier, I appreciate Eric’s post at LDS & Evangelical Conversations. It is helpful as far as it goes, up to his conclusion. But for Evangelicals, peace with God is the goal. And this peace is available only through the authentic Christ:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)

Christian theologian R.C. Sproul wrote,

“We’re living in time where theological conflict is considered politically incorrect, but to declare peace when there is no peace is to betray the heart and soul of the gospel.”

As much as we may share with Mormons in terminology and outward appearance, the “real and substantial” differences between us totally eclipse any misperceived spiritual union whatsoever. Yes, we can and should be friends; we can and should work toward understanding one another better. But we cannot and must not pretend that Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity share even the most rudimentary spiritual truths. To do so is to betray the very heart and soul of the Gospel.


Comments within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15 are invited.


About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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58 Responses to Saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace.

  1. Bill McKeever says:

    Mantis wrote:
    Which is why you’re committed to offering such weak and utterly partial arguments.

    LOL. I felt the same way when I read Dr. Peterson’s arguments.

    BTW, I posted the link for Enki.

  2. Kevin says:

    Martin, Thank you for your insight, I do appreciate your response. I understand what you are saying in the differences in the possible two types of Mormons, and to my disadvantage I have not personally met any Mormons from outside of Rocky Mountain Mormon Culture

    I hope that I didn’t marginalize your, or Ralph’s contributions by appearing in a monologue style of writing. My intentions were to expose the double, maybe even triple standard that Mormonism peddles all over the globe. Even within the Mormon Heart land there is a division of understanding of their own. Recently I have been reading about NOM’s New Order Mormons, they are cafeteria style Mormon’s; they seem to be confused about all the contradicting doctrine also, but are holding onto the LDS org. as long as they can.

    Martin, if you care to converse outside of MC, I would be interested in talking to you about your culture. Sharon and Aaron have my E-mail and they could put us in touch.

  3. mobaby says:

    On the Holy Trinity – I would like to point the readers here to an article recently linked on a Lutheran Christian blog I read. The article deals with the importance and meaning of the Trinity. It provides some of the scriptural basis for the trinity – I hope this will provide some insight:

  4. LARRY CLARK says:

    I asked a question about when would Jesus get his own world, just one answer. Maybe that progression thing is not working out to well. I was kind of wondering if the Prophet, Seer, The Author and Proprietor of the original Book of Mormon might of passed up Jesus in the progression thing.

    A quote from Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol 6, page 408 – 409, 1844: “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.”

  5. falcon says:

    When speaking of a dialog between Christians and Mormons I have to ask “and what is the objective of this proposed dialog.” Maybe it’s that everyone will be nice to one another. I’m for that. Nice is good! However when we read of Paul’s accounts of his evangelism efforts with the Jews, it was often very pointed and the differences in what Paul had come to believe were clearly delineated. If nice means “acceptance”, I can’t go there. I can do “tolerate” and “ambivalent” but not acceptance. Acceptance communicates “assent” or “agreement”. For the eternal good of Mormons, that won’t work.
    Our charge is to preach and defend the gospel.

  6. subgenius says:

    a good Pauline you are….you are “charged” with loving thy neighbor, thy enemy, forgiving those who tresspass, etc.
    I believe you mistake Paul’s statement in Philippians 1:17 as a commandment from the Lord. Though many Ev seem to “follow” Paul instead of JC.
    Does not JC actually instruct His disciples to depart from the homes and cities that will not receive them (hint: chapter 10..verse 13 and 15…and gotta love verse 16…are we as “sheep”, falcon?)

    President Monson, at the last General Conference, called for members to be as “sheep” in light of those who “attack” or “crtiticze” the church…does this philosophy strike anyone else as familiar…as one taught to us all, say , from about 2000 years ago?
    President Monson has often counseled that we should “choose good friends, seek parental guidance, study the Gospel, pray with purpose, and serve with Love”….wow!, the audacity of “these Mormons”, huh?

  7. setfree says:

    Good ole Monson also promotes the phrase “You have a heritage, live it!”

    That’s nothing more than subconscious sabotage. It means, in the Mormon mind, how dare YOU be the one to undo generations of family thought. If it was good enough for your great grandparents, it’s good enough for you!

    Of course, this generation of Mormons’ great grandparents weren’t living in the internet age, where finding out the truth about the Church is so easy…

  8. Enki says:

    Yeah, I thought a good injection of humor would be appreciated from time to time. But after I posted it, I wondered if it would be taken the right way. At least you did! As an after thought, I could have been talking about a Mexican latter day saint… well, the date has passed, but the moment might have been captured by the hubble space telescope.

    Rick B,
    No problem. If you don’t have time thats ok. Sometimes someone else will take up a topic or a question, or supplement. If you don’t answer, I am sure the topic will be covered by someone, somehow.

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