Ecumenicalism makes me uncomfortable

Christmas Time! by *L*u*z*A*

My LDS neighbor, a very kind man, was excited about inviting me to an ecumenical Christmas celebration held at his local stake center, so I decided to attend the Sunday night service. For the past seven years, the choirs from the local Mormon stake in my area and a Christian church down the street alternate church sites to sing songs such as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “O Holy Night,” and Handel’s “For unto Us a Child is Born.” While some songs involve the congregation, for the most part, the two choirs take turns with their musical pieces; several times they combine their forces, producing a harmonious 50-member choir.

Halfway through the hour and a half presentation, the stake president gave a 15-minute “Christmas message” that was more benign than I had expected. He related stories about two of his favorite Christmas composers, Handel (musical) and Dickens (literary). The sermon he read was well done, of which there is no doubt. He kept it simple with a feel-good Christmas message. Overall, the entire production was excellent. Next year, the service will be at the Christian church, and the Christian pastor will give the Christmas message when the tradition continues.

Unless a person was paying close attention, this very well could have been a typical Christmas choir presentation performed in any Christian church. So why did I feel uncomfortable during the entire performance?

The apostle John wrote the following, beginning in verse 7:

“Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.”

He added in verses 10 and 11:

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.”

These are pretty tough words from the apostle, but his concern was in not allowing teachers with differing doctrinal perspectives to take a position of leadership at the house church where Christians gathered for worship. Relating that to the ecumenical service I attended, I wonder how many from the Christian church had their possible concerns about Mormonism desensitized. With nary a mention of “LDS,” “Mormon,” “Joseph Smith,” or “Thomas S. Monson,” the LDS musical director and two stake presidents who spoke limited their scriptural references to the Bible. Even the prayer at the beginning of the service referred to “unity” and “being one” as noble endeavors the two churches were pursuing in the spirit of Christmas. It would have been natural for the Christians to have been impressed with the beautiful building, harmonious singing, and eloquent message.

Besides possibly confusing the Christians from this very liberal denominational church, how many Latter-day Saints in the audience could be equally befuddled? Salt and light is diminished when hands are clasped in a scene of “unity.”  With the differences being minimized, the Mormons in the audience may have felt good about themselves and their faith. Desensitization to the true Gospel message is a real potential, especially if the mainly LDS audience walked away from the service assuming that Christians must believe Mormonism is “Christian.” “Otherwise,” they might reason, “why did they join with us in a worship service?”

As we were filing out of the sanctuary, my neighbor’s family eagerly asked what I thought about the presentation. I was disarmed. By trying to explain all of the above, I knew that this would have made me out to be Scrooge and possibly ruined my relationship with them while, really, accomplishing very little. I didn’t feel that this was the time or the place to bear my disagreement or introduce a gospel message. Instead of ruining their time with punch and cake, I said nothing more than, “They sang very nicely.” I walked away to my car, not particularly liking my answer.

I understand that it’s Christmas, a wonderful time for friends, families, and loved ones to come together.  I am just uncomfortable that a local Christian church was willing to compromise the fellowship of the believer by uniting a religious service with an organization that, once you get past the surface, disagrees with the major fundamentals of the historic Christian church. By doing this, I see only flashing lights—blinking, blinking, blinking—in front of the railroad tracks. Ignoring these signals can produce nothing positive and instead will lead to disastrous consequences.

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65 Responses to Ecumenicalism makes me uncomfortable

  1. f_melo says:

    "I wonder how many from the Christian church had their possible concerns about Mormonism desensitized"

    Every time a Christian Church joins the Mormon Church in events like that all it does is to desensitize people to the true message of the Mormon Gospel. It´s one thing to do a debate together, or to join forces in a disaster relief effort, but to worship together is something that should be avoided for the reasons you explained with such clarity.

    I honestly hope the Pastor of that Church is doing his job educating his congregation about the basics of the Christian faith, otherwise i wouldn´t be surprised that some of those Christians who left with such good impression of the Mormon Church could eventually be approached and converted by a couple of missionaries or a couple of friends like yours, Eric. They´ll use the beautiful feeling caused by beautiful well performed music and convert that to a spiritual experience that testifies of Mormonism and Joseph Smith, asking questions such as "how could such a good feeling not come from God?".

  2. 4fivesolas says:

    Never should Christians join with unbelievers in worship or a religious endeavor. This is completely wrong. If a prayer was said – to which deity was the prayer offered? When you sing of Jesus, which Jesus is it – the only begotten, God come in the flesh, third person of the trinity – or – the first spirit child of a exalted man, our older brother, a god not THE God (as Mormons believe)? This service surely was not pleasing to God, and did not exalt the one true God, the incarnate God, the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered and died on a cross for the salvation of all people. If the true Christ is not at the center of worship, then it is a non-Christian idolatrous event.

    Mormons, Christians, and other religions can work together for social causes and non-religious work. To uphold the sanctity of life, work against social injustice, affirm marriage as important to civil society – in these things people of all religions can work together. Worship and praise of God – No. Prayer – No. Christians cannot join others in the worship of false gods.

  3. Jeff says:

    You know, I've always been pretty uncomfortable at the dinner table with my TBM in-laws. During prayer time they dont go "all mormon" but they do reference things like the priesthood every now and then or insert little pieces of doctrine (pre-existance). I do my best to ignore it but when my kids are old enough to ponder the message of their prayers, the buck has to stop somewhere, right?

    It’s kind of funny how this story parallels with what my in-laws do around Christmas. We inevitably, after dinner, sit down to watch the “Luke” movie which shows Joseph and Mary getting denied to stay at the inn, having baby Jesus in the manger, wise men come to worship – the end (10 minute video). Then it says “Brought to you by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints”.

    to be continued…

  4. Jeff says:

    Eventually, my kids will wonder what is the COJCOLDS? In a way, they are becoming desensitized to the LDS faith because they will “feel” that “Hey, my grammy and grandpa pray to god just like we do, and they talk about the birth of jesus christ just like we do, there really must be no difference between us.” Sadly, there is a HUGE gap between us, and frankly, I am sick and tired of some members of the LDS faith promoting the notion that there really is no difference. It’s not that you don’t just have extra doctrine. Deep-down, the fundamental doctrines are damagingly different.

  5. f_melo says:

    "I am sick and tired of some members of the LDS faith promoting the notion that there really is no difference"

    Worse than that is when they try to say they´re the only true Christianity, and that nobody can truly understand the Bible unless with the help of a "prophet", which is what happens every sunday at their wards, and it is the message their missionaries spread around.

    Maybe that´s a way to teach your children that´s the best strategy some people will try to use to deceive them, a wolf in sheep´s clothing looks just like a sheep until you give a closer look. If the Mormon Church was the only true and living church on the earth they wouldn´t have to bury so much of their past and they would be forthcoming with their doctrine and beliefs.

  6. Sarah says:

    Not to mention, it's completely impossible to have a "only true and living church" because Jesus Himself IS the Church — Christ's church is the body of believers, not a religious institution. Sure, we have denominations and interpretations, etc, but there is only one church, and that is through a belief in Jesus Christ, period.

  7. Julius says:

    LOL. This is hilarious. And so are the comments. If you pray to God over the birth of the Savior what difference does it make that one group of people doesn't drink or smoke and the other does? I mean there are fundamental differences, but this is looking way too much into this. Eric Johnson, lol.

  8. f_melo says:

    "Christ's church is the body of believers, not a religious institution"

    That´s a concept Mormons have a hard time grasping. I had too when i was a member. How many times i´ve heard stuff like "if the Church isn´t true, what is the true church(meaning denomination)?". Jesus made clear that His kingdom was not of this world but that is ignored by the Mormon leaders that want their earthly kingdom, and they´ll have it even by deception if necessary.

    You´re right, Jesus´ sheep can be found in every Christian denomination, as well as the goats.

  9. clyde says:

    One thing said is blessed are the peacemaker. From your blog you sound like a suppressed torquemada. The nice thing is that you attend these events. When doing so you must put up with what is said, stomach what is going on and tolerate it without compromising your own position. Your fanaticism ( which is probably the wrong word) is good but use some spiritual judo and remember what is said and try to present the gospel in the way you see it.

  10. f_melo says:

    "If you pray to God over the birth of the Savior what difference does it make that one group of people doesn't drink or smoke and the other does?"

    Did you actually read the comments and post? It makes a gigantic difference if the savior you´re praying to is not the actual Jesus Christ of the Bible.

    " I mean there are fundamental differences, but this is looking way too much into this"

    No, actually it isn´t. Seriously, can i just call the sun Jesus, and sing praises to him on December 25th(which is the actual birthday of the sun in ancient pagan worship, and not of Jesus). The ancient pagans saw the sun as the giver of life and savior of men, so, by your standard i could just worship the sun, call it Jesus and everything is ok, it´s the same thing. Yeah, right.

    The next thing you know some Christians end up thinking paganism is Christian and that it is a good thing…

  11. Eric Johnson says:

    Clyde, the thing is, I don't typically attend events like this. It's not part of my practice, and truly it makes me uncomfortable. While this wasn't dangerous for me to attend, per se, it certainly had many negative potential and definite fall backs. Great, we've made friends with those from other religion, but the cost is too great. Of course, I'm going to be polite when I attend and have future conversations with my neighbor, but if the "Christians" who were involved with this event possibly think that sharing the pulpit could bring a positive result in the cause of Christ, I really think they're fooling themselves. After watching this event, I see this to be true even more clearly. P.S. I had to look up torquemada–hadn't heard that one before.

  12. falcon says:

    Well folks I always go back to the basic fundamental difference between Mormonism and Christianity. We don't worship the same God. Not only that but Mormonism turns traditional Christianity on its head. I couldn't even call them heretics because they are so far out of the sphere of Christianity.
    Mormonism is a different religion, with a different god, but tries to present itself as Christian. Why would I go to a church service with a bunch of people who blaspheme God? I don't think God would be all that happy with me having anything to do with Mormonism.
    The only reason I'd go to anything sponsored by the Mormon church and a Christian church is if I thought God was telling me to do it………as a means of proclaiming Him.
    This is really serious business!

  13. Miss K says:

    The first thing that came to mind (as a formerly liberal "Christian" minister) is that there are probably few actual Christians at the church in question, and that the pastor certainly is not. I was recently invited to teach a clergy continuing education class for one of the mainline denominations, and I was startled to realize that none of the dozen clergy members in my class actually believed in the historic Christian faith. Yikes! The corruption of the mainline churches is much further advanced than even I had realized (and I had been one of them, and an unredeemed pagan, for decades before being brought to true faith in Jesus Christ as the only mediator between God and humanity. (A faith which led to my defrocking and termination from employment, by the way.)

  14. Tom Jones says:

    I hope you will have an opportunity to speak with that Christian Pastor. I'm sometimes surprised at how receptive they are once I've begun laying out for them the LDS theology.
    Tom Jones><>

  15. Tom Jones says:

    Are you kidding? This is not a matter of smoking or not smoking but worshiping a false god vs worshiping the true God!

  16. f_melo says:

    "The nice thing is that you attend these events"

    He was being a friend, just that, nothing more – i´m new here(maybe i missed previous discussions about it) but i´m sure they´ve had religious discussions before, and at the right time God will do his part and open their understanding to the truth.

    "use some spiritual judo and remember what is said and try to present the gospel in the way you see it"

    In the way he sees it? Are you one of those guys who thinks an author isn´t capable of communicating a message through words, or that words don´t have an actual meaning attached to them? Just one word for you: Exegesis. Now, while there are obscure passages, and some disputes here and there about certain doctrines, the basics of the Gospel and the Christian Faith are plainly written for anyone to see.

    I find myself at times not in the mood for any confrontation. I´ve spoken to my family about the true Gospel, but it didn´t change anything, and at times i´m just not in the mood to start an argument because they have made up their minds already, and if i push too far we get in a fight that accomplishes nothing. Yet there are times when i have the opportunity to share the Christian Faith, when they are actually interested in hearing my point of view and then i open the Bible and read it with them, and even though they are not leaving the Mormon Church any time soon i know they think about some of the things we discuss, and i have faith things will work out when the time is right just like it did to me.

    Now, as a Mormon, if i was Eric´s friend, and after that nice evening he simply started to push his beliefs about Jesus down my throat it would have ruined the night and i would be hesitant to ever invite him to anything again. Maybe his friends will invite him to a Family home evening(or he could invite them for a family home evening ;), and he could ask for permission to share the Gospel with them, and to point out their differences in a kind, loving manner that will make them stop to think about it.

  17. falcon says:

    Some people get all offended when folks like me insist on clear definitions of terms and clearly delineated doctrinal statements.It's important. I think it all depends, however, on attitude. I'm not looking to beat someone into submission or laud myself over them or get all picky and fuss-budgety. I just want to know were people stand. I'm not talking about when the rapture will come (pre, mid, post) or what the mode of baptism should be or things like that. I'm talking about the eight fundamental doctrines of the orthodox Christian faith.
    Mormons reject these basic doctrines. Why would I worship with them just to prove I'm a nice guy. In matters of doctrine we need to be very "judgmental".

  18. Eric Johnson says:

    Good idea, Tom. I thought about this, but based on his denomination's liberal reputation, I sort of felt like this would be a lost cause. Maybe after the holidays, I'll write him an email and seen if it's warm or chilly there. Still, the skeptical part of me doesn't expect a arms-wide-open reception, especially since the "Rev. Dr." has been doing this for seven years now. As Miss K has said, many of the people at this church may not even realize what it means to have a true relationship with the God of the universe, relying more on their social gospel and Inclusive mindset.

  19. falcon says:

    Why would a Christian go to a joint worship service with Mormons when we know that:
    *Mormons see the Bible as corrupted scripture.
    *Reject the Christian doctrine of the nature of God.
    *Reject Jesus as God incarnate seeing Him as "a god".
    *Are conflicted about the virgin birth of Jesus.
    *Marginalize Christ's death on the cross pushing the atonement into the Garden of G.
    *Redefine what "grace" is seeing their works as essential in their becoming gods.
    *Reject the concept of the final judgment of God. In Mormonism hell does not exist. Outer darkness is Mormon hell reserved for apostate Mormons.

    Now why would we worship with these people?

  20. clyde says:

    You Might look up who torquemada was. There was documentary about spain before columbus' voyage. It told how the Muslim and Christian would dialogue. Then either outside christians would chase the muslims out or outside muslim would come in and chase the christians out. I believe it is a lot better to tolerate without compromising your own position.

  21. Eric,

    I've got to say I've got mixed feelings about this, and I'm probably more receptive to a tradition of joint Christmas services than most other posters here.

    Now, I'm fully behind the "teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" thing (2 Tim 3:16), and I get really upset when the beautiful Gospel of Christ gets perverted by the "stuff" that the LDS leadership teaches.

    However, when I read the OP and some of the reactions here, quite a few thoughts go through my head;

    1 All the folks there were actually singing praise and worship to Christ the Lord (as they should). OK, many of them might be doing it in ignorance of what the words actually mean, but if a perfect understanding of all the nuances of the Gospel was required before we started singing, I doubt we'd ever break into song at all.

    2 This is what happens when you let other people get hold of Jesus, and we really should be OK with that. What I mean is, we should never, ever claim sole ownership of Jesus to the point of believing that no-one else can get near him. Where's our generosity in this? Given the choice between no vision of Jesus or a imperfect vision of Jesus, I'd go for the imperfect vision any day. That's why I'm a big supporter of the Christmas Festival – sure the Shopping Chains get it wrong, but underlying the whole present-buying assault on the general public is a message about God and Family, and these are good things to celebrate. Jesus is big enough to deal with us (everyone who comes to him, including the Supermarket Marketeers and Mormons) on his own terms (if we will let him), and I think that's the sentiment behind what he said in Matt 19:14. May we never get to the point of only allowing perfect people into our churches.

    3 Many Mormons actually subscribe to a near-Christian orthodoxy, despite what the LDS leadership promulgates. Many of them will not have thought about the contradictions between two. Just because they self-identify as Mormons does not guarantee that they subscribe to all of Mormonism's opposition to the Christian Gospel (I think Aaron has more to say on this than me). I'd prefer it if they jettisoned the LDS church entirely, but I'd settle for some exposure to the Christian Gospel through the better Carols and Bible Readings at Christmas.

    4 I get uncomfortable when I sense a small degree of pride in one's own doctrinal purity. It's easy to do on boards like this and I fear that it can so easily transgress into "I'm better than you because I subscribe to the right creed". Heaven save us from this attitude.

    5 On the other hand, the early Christian Church put much effort into differentiating itself from the prevailing pagan culture. They were forthright in saying "We do not subscribe to paganism, in which the god(s) propagate through sexual reproduction and swagger about the cosmos like a bunch of over-privileged millionaires – We worship the (one) God, who humbled himself and died for us, thus showing who he truly is and who we truly should be."

    I have no doubt that LDS movement has distorted and perverted the Gospel of Christ. Not all members of the LDS movement subscribe to all of the distortions it promotes (it's impossible because of the internal inconsistencies in the corpus of Mormon doctrine). I would hate to see LDS people denied the opportunity to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, but would also hate to see the distortions of the LDS message go unchallenged.


  22. Falcon said <I just want to know were people stand.</blockquote>

    I make it known where I stand, this way people never say or think, Where does Rick stand on this issue. LOL.

  23. f_melo said

    I honestly hope the Pastor of that Church is doing his job educating his congregation about the basics of the Christian faith,

    Sad as it is, I really doubt the pastor knows the Bible or is teaching it, otherwise He would not be doing a joint service like that. Like the verse Eric quoted, the pastor either does not know they exist, or he does not believe them and teach them.

  24. Jeff said

    You know, I've always been pretty uncomfortable at the dinner table with my TBM in-laws. During prayer time they dont go "all mormon" but they do reference things like the priesthood every now and then or insert little pieces of doctrine (pre-existance). I do my best to ignore it but when my kids are old enough to ponder the message of their prayers, the buck has to stop somewhere, right?

    I guess you can do what you want, but for me, they way I would handle this and have done this in the past is, I tell the LDS, We do not have the same Gospel and your god is false, So I will pray and your not allowed. If that offends them than to bad. If you allow them to pray in your house, then your doing your kids a disservice and they will think as you said, They believe in the same God. Show your kids know that your God is not the same as their god. And as Eric pointed out, the Bible tells us not to join together like that.

    You can have them over and eat, just dont allow them to pray under your roof. But thats just me, you do what you want, just remember, we all need to stand before God and give an account of what we did and why.

  25. Sarah says:

    Martin, I think you've hit the nail on the head for a lot of issues going through my head right now. I have more to say but I wanted to at least say thank you for it right now 🙂

  26. Martin said

    1 All the folks there were actually singing praise and worship to Christ the Lord (as they should). OK, many of them might be doing it in ignorance of what the words actually mean, but if a perfect understanding of all the nuances of the Gospel was required before we started singing, I doubt we'd ever break into song at all.

    I do not agree with you here, The LDS and others might be ignorant but still singing to a false jesus is still signing to a false God. I do not believe for one minute God is sitting in heaven and saying, they believe in the spirit brother of Lucifer and they are doing it in ignorance so I will over look it and take the praise anyway.

    Remember, I tend to mention this a LOT, God in the OT told Job's friends they Got it wrong and God rebuked them all very harshly, If we are getting it wrong, then when we stand before God, He will not say, well you got it wrong, but I knew what you meant, so I will simply over look your ignorance. That simply is not taught. They are signing to a false god plain and simple.

  27. 4fivesolas says:

    Who mentioned smoking and drinking? That's a complete non sequitur. I don't care one whit about that.

  28. Eric Johnson says:


    Go back to the reasons why I was uncomfortable. 1. I felt like the message potentially being sent to the Christians was that Mormons should be considered Christians as well. I highly doubt that the pastor explained that morning in their own church service that Mormonism wasn't the same as Christianity. 2. I felt like this would have lulled the Mormons into thinking that there must not be any difference at all, thus negating salt and light.

    When you say that there is pride in one's own doctrinal purity…hold on for a second. Aren't we commissioned to hold on to true doctrine and not easily accept the false? Gal 1:8-9 says that if anyone preached a gospel other than the one Paul preached to them, they were to be accursed. Who were those false gospel speakers? None other than the "Judaizers," those who called themselves Christians but who claimed that observing the law was crucial as well. Paul said this was no gospel at all. I think the view that Mormonism teaches is very similar in nature.

    I think you're too optimistic when it comes to the average Mormon's belief system. You say that "Many Mormons actually subscribe to a near-Christian orthodoxy." Where do you get your information? Out on the streets of Utah, I can assure you that you practically never run into Mormons who understand the true Gospel of Jesus. It's always, "Obey the whole law," "I'm trying," and "I do my best, Jesus does the rest." I would agree that, just because a person belongs to this church, a person could still possibly have a true relationship with God. I just haven't found this the case once I ask some questions.

    Finally, what about the passage in 2 John? I noticed no reference to it. Will you ignore that verse in exchange for pragmatism? As for me, I'd rather stick with the commands given by God.

  29. 4fivesolas says:

    Martin, How far do you extend this? What about prayer together between Mormons and Christians? What about communion? I know , these are extreme examples, I just want you to think about where is the line drawn. I think it is not appropriate to gather in a worship service with nonbelievers. They are welcome to attend a Christian service, but to officially sanction a joint service? I could sit in a Mormon service or another religions service with no problem – I can observe and not participate. But when I begin to speak, or pray together with them and share together with them in worship, that crosses a boundary for me. We have shared Thanksgiving with Hindu friends before – generally we say the prayer and they join in (or don't – not sure what they are thinking or doing). However, I would have a problem with bowing my head while the Hindu believer said the prayer. For these same reasons I have trouble with the National Cathedral in Washington DC where people get together from all different world religions – each speaking or worshiping in turn. It's like Caesar and his pantheon of gods. The President of the U.S.(Bush, Obama) attends services and announces holy days for Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, etc. etc.. Is God a jealous God, or does He not really care?

    Am I perfect in separating myself from false religion? Absolutely not, far from it – I have had and still have idolatrous thoughts, words, and deeds. I am an idolater, that's why I need Christ's mercy and forgiveness.

  30. falcon says:

    I have listed the eight basic doctrines of the Christian church that are considered orthodox many times on this blog. I'm not talking about doctrinal purity as far as some ancillary and particular denominational distinctives. We cannot in good conscious worship together with those of such aberrant beliefs. Paul exhorts Timothy to instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines. My guess that he wasn't referring to anything as far out in left field (baseball lingo) as Mormon doctrine.
    I can appreciate your tone, but not your rationale. Basically Mormons call one of their gods Jesus, but he isn't the Jesus of the Bible. I see no advantage in worshiping with Mormons. I don't think we're doing them any favors by being conciliatory in tone and ecumenical in spirit and shielding them from the truth. Mormons would come out of a service like that as much in spiritual darkness as when they went in.

  31. Dale says:

    Martin, I pretty much agree with your post. I think it shows the uncomfortable ambiguity most believers face when dealing with the Mormons.

    Rick, I have to be honest. Your post is horribly judgmental. We have no idea what it is every individual Mormon–or Christian's–heart. To say they are praising a false God, pure and simple, is claiming to know what every one of those people in the pew thinks. Martin hints on this in point 4 of his post.

    Falcon, I appreciate your gusto, but I've seen you list the 8 basic doctrines of Christian belief before, and I find it very strange. While I agree with them (at least from memory), I don't see anywhere in scripture that states "These are the 8 basic doctrines you must follow or else." Who decided what these 8 basic doctrines are?

    Eric, I personally have a bit of a problem with the verse you used to buttress your ideas. I agree with your basic concept, but I think the quote is taken out of context (something we usually accuse Mormons of).

    You quoted 2 John 1:7
    “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist."

    Mormons do believe that Jesus came in the flesh, unlike some early Christian heresies. I honestly hate it when I hear arguments against the LDS Church that I myself, as a nonmember, can refute.

    I notice that everyone seemed to give you a free pass on this scripture, but if a Mormon had made such an error, everyone would pounce.

  32. 4five,

    All good questions.

    I'm not a universalist, and I think any attempt to syncretize world religions does more damage than good. The description of the National Cathedral that you gave makes me shudder. I believe it's more honest to recognize the differences between competing world views than to try to unite them. Unite them under what? Its like trying to align the gods to comply with our expectations (in which case they cease to be worthy of the name 'god').

    What Eric described in the OP, however, was overtly Christian worship. "Hark! The Herald Angels" carries one of the most robust evangelical messages you'll find in song and, IMO, it's a more worthy song than some of the stuff produced by modern evangelicals. If someone is prepared to sing it with me, then I'll be happy to let him or her do so, regardless of where they come from. If they feel uncomfortable singing

    Christ by highest heaven adored,
    Christ the everlasting Lord,
    Late in time behold Him come,
    Offspring of a virgin's womb,
    Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
    Hail the incarnate Deity,
    Pleased as man with man to dwell,
    Jesus our emmanuel

    then the prerogative is on them to sit it out. I know I could not ascribe these attributes to anyone but Jesus, and I'll gladly sit out any attempt by another religion to get me to do so.

    The impression I got from Eric's post is that the LDS people were invited into Christian worship, and that's why I'm receptive to the idea.

    The problem, as you rightly point out, is at what point does the invitation to participate become an invitation to contribute? I don't think I've got a hard and fast answer, but I was thinking today about Paul's response to a similar conundrum in Romans 14:1 – 15:13. OK, he's talking about meat sacrificed to idols, but the conundrum is the same – how far should I go to separate myself from undesirable religious practices and still remain faithful to God? Three things to note in Paul's argument;
    1 Don't force anyone to act against his or her conscience
    2 Don't do something that will provoke a hostile reaction in the community of believers
    3 Learn to live with the weak and the strong

    One noteworthy aspect of the last point is Paul identifies the weak and the strong in reverse order to what we might expect. It is those who are more "religious" whom he considers to be "weak". It's like when someone tries to impress you by observing the sabbath, tithing, not watching TV, not drinking alcohol – he's actually being "weak', and the reason is because he's relying on these practices to keep him "pure", rather than the merits of Christ. Something to think about if you consider that the pastor that Eric described was being "weak".

    Would I feel comfortable in allowing LDS to contribute to a worship service, as opposed to just being part of the congregation? Probably not. Am I going to psycho-analyze the stake president for his "benign" message? Probably not, again, but I wonder what part of his brain was convincing him to believe the message he was giving (assuming that he was sincere, which he probably was). Do I worry that people who express these sentiments are living in the toxic environment of the LDS cult? I certainly do, and I pray the cult doesn't kill off these God-given impulses in them. Am I going to stop them singing praise to Jesus, when the opportunity presents itself? Certainly not, and I'd probably sit down and enjoy their singing.

    PS If you didn't know, I'm part of the music team at our church, and I'm directing the music for our Christmas Eve service. I've been involved in leading Christian worship for about 25 to 30 years, so you could say I've got plenty of hands-on experience in the field.

  33. wyomingwilly says:

    I'd have to say that for Christians to join people of other faiths in a community wide effort on
    standing up for moral issues, is fine. For a Pastor to invite all the christian churches to come
    to his church for a christmas program, and if the LDS church shows up, then that's one thing.
    However, if the Mormon Bishop invites the churches to the Mormon Ward for such a program,
    then I'd have to say, " no thank you". I believe God puts an extremely high priority on not stumbling
    immature believers. This would be the result , in my opinion, if Christians accepted the invitation.
    Mormons deserve are love and respect as friends and neighbors. But we need to be wise that we
    don't somehow give the impression to others that we're all Christians and part of Christ's Church.

  34. falcon says:

    I know often times when we are discussing Mormonism we may turn to things such as the fraudulent Joseph Smith and his BoM, or polygamy or even the role of the occult in Smith's life.
    But the real foundational objection to Mormonism is their claim to a restored gospel with a polytheistic view of the nature of god and their claim that they too will become gods through their own works of righteousness with some help from their god (whose role it is to get as many of his spirit children as possible to deity status). To this end the Jesus that Mormons talk about is not "Jesus", God incarnate. By worshiping with Mormons, we as Christians would be giving tacit approval to this blasphemous view of Our Lord that Mormons hold.
    This is not something so benign as say the difference between Elvis and an Elvis impersonator. Everyone in the audience knows that the guy dressed-up like Elvis singing Elvis' hit songs is someone pretending to be Elvis. Taking my analogy to its logical conclusion, Mormons would think that the guy impersonating Elvis is really Elvis.
    Mormons think that the god that's impersonating Jesus is really Jesus. I would not doubt for a moment that there is some spirit being out there in the cosmos masquerading as the Lord God. Why would we want to contribute to this sham performance? Why would we be party to this spiritual deception?
    Christ Jesus came that we may know Him and in knowing Him accept the gift of eternal life that He is offering mankind. We are engaged in serious spiritual warfare in that the devil would lead as many as possible to their spiritual destruction through any stealth means possible. By participating in a joint worship service with Mormons, we as Christians would be contributing to the spiritual death of Mormons by reinforcing the deception regarding this false Christ they say is Jesus.
    As the apostle Paul would say, "May it never be!"

  35. 4fivesolas,
    I agree with you and gave you a thumbs up. I have already said my thoughts on this and I cannot stand how Christians are more and more going the way of the PC movement and being cool with the cults entering in with us believers and having joint worship.

  36. Eric Falcon and 5,
    Your replys bring a smile to my face, I love it how your not just letting Martin get a pass on this with what he said. I felt he was wrong and was hoping I was not going to be alone in saying something, since sadly I feel to many believers, even here on this blog simply will not rebuke people as often as needed. I cannot tell you how happy I am to see you guys said something. Rick

  37. f_melo says:

    "Mormons do believe that Jesus came in the flesh"

    That´s the problem though – they believe that a different Christ came in the flesh – a spirit-brother of Lucifer that only came to remove roadblocks from our path towards godhood. You can´t ignore that. So, in a way they don´t acknowledge that Jesus has come in the flesh, but fashioned their own Jesus according to their own agenda made up by Joseph Smith – a Jesus that is seeking to replace the Biblical Jesus. How´s is that not the antichrist´s agenda?

    "2 John 1:7 "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."

    The mormon Jesus fits the bill – a deceiver that tell mormons not to confess that the Word of God, the Biblical Jesus, came in the flesh.

  38. Martin, Its great that you have "experience" in music, but so did Lucifer. If We have a "Christin" Song like Hark the Herald angel as you pointed out, I still could not believe as you do, For when the LDS sign it, they are viewing it as the spirit brother of Lucifer, they are still signing to a false god that is in reality Lucifer the god of this world. So I still do not agree with you and think your wrong.

    Then when you mention Paul and the eating of meat, Their is a huge difference between eating a piece of meat that was killed for a false god and signing to a false god in an act of worship as if he/she were real.

    I say their is a difference because what if I never knew the meat was killed in a sacrifice, the meat it's self does not change in any way shape or form. simply because it was used as a sacrifice to a false god. But signing a song that was written to, for or about our God, then taking that song and singing it to a false god is a huge problem. Paul said we can eat the meat, he never said worship the false god with song that were written to our God.

  39. Dale said

    Rick, I have to be honest. Your post is horribly judgmental. We have no idea what it is every individual Mormon–or Christian’s–heart. To say they are praising a false God, pure and simple, is claiming to know what every one of those people in the pew thinks.

    Well, put your money where your mouth and and show me in detail where I am wrong.

    I study and read Mormonism, Read Gal 1:8-9, tell me exactly from LDS scripture how we worship the same God in light of the fact that LDS claim Jesus was once a man who became God. Or how they believe they/we will someday become Gods, or how JS had nine (9) First vision accounts that spanned years and all differ greatly. Show me from Scripture (The Bible) Where this is taught snd How it’s not a different gospel.

    Tell me how I am judging LDS un-fairly when they openly state these things and do not deny them. If they admit this then where and how am I wrong. What about the Bible telling us wolves come in Sheeps clothing to kill and destroy. Please explain exactly how I am to know a wolf in sheeps clothing. Tell me, when the Bible says THEY WILL BRING IN FALSE TEACHING, How am I to tell/judge false teaching from truth, Sounds like your a wolf. Show me, pull back the covers and let see what behind them.

  40. Dale, I'm laying out in DETAIL What Christians believe vs LDS about how to be saved. If you think I am correct them tell me, if you think I am wrong, then support your view with evidence. I suspect You wont be around much longer, but someone will come along with a different name and have the same views as you.

    Paul and Silas were in Jail, The Jailer came to them and said:

    Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    The response Paul gave was simple, Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. Nothing more to do.

    Now that is something I can do and live with, But if your a Mormon, It simply is not that easy. Their are 3 different heavens you could go to, and Bruce Mc said anything less than Exaltation (3rd heaven) is damnation. So unless you enter into the 3rd heaven your damned, your saved in the sense that your not in hell or for LDS, outer darkness, but your still damned.

    Here is what Mormonism teaches you must do in order to be saved.

    According to Mormonism the Temple is of the utmost importance, But they seem to forget to tell you what you must do to be able to enter, I say that they seem to forget because, I have spoken with many Mormon Missionarys who tell me I can enter the temple, but never tell me about what I must first do. So they give you the false Idea that you simply can walk in to the temple.

    Prophet Spencer Kimball Achieving a Celestial Marriage manual pg 30 makes it very clear we must do certain things to enter the temple to be saved. He gives a list of 6 things called (TEMPLE RECOMMEND INTERVIEW). it says When you are interviewed for a temple recommend you will be asked about,

    1. Church attendance
    2. Payment of tithes and offerings
    3. Loyalty to Church leaders.
    4. Moral cleanliness.
    5. overall faithfulness and worthiness.
    6. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom.

    In Gospel Principles pg 125: WE MUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. To make our repentance complete we must keep the commandments of the Lord (see D and C 1:32). we are not fully repentant if we do not pay tithes or keep the sabbath day holy or obey the word of wisdom. we are not repentant if we don't sustain the authorities of the church and don't love the lord and our fellow man.

    Add to that also pg 241 Eternal marriage is ESSENTIAL FOR EXALTATION. Our exaltation depends on marriage. Then over on pg 242 it says "and in order to obtain the highest, a man MUST ENTER INTO THIS ORDER OF THE PRIESTHOOD [MEANING THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT OF MARRIAGE];" "and if he does not, he cannot obtain it" (D and C 131:1-3)

    Boy, I think I would rather follow Paul's simple teaching of, believe on the Lord Jesus, Not the LDS view of You must do all this first. I have pointed out to people before also, what if you convert to Mormonism, then die or get killed before doing all this. Plus in order to enter the temple, you must first spend one year simply being an LDS member, then after one year you can try to enter the temple.

    Some of us will not have the year plus we need, so can you be sure your even saved? I know for a fact I am saved, what about you? I want to add also that D and C 131:6 teaches: It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. Are you ignorant of these thing? Rick b

  41. f_melo says:

    Rick, what Martin said was that the songs actually praise the real Jesus and disagree with LDS doctrine. They were actually singing the truth even though they didn´t realize it. Martin is just saying that it is ok for anyone from any background to worship the real Jesus. If a Muslim wants to join me singing songs that praise the real Jesus that´s ok and maybe the Holy Spirit will touch them and they´ll be born again.

    Remeber Naaman in 2 Kings 5:15 "And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant."

    Did Naaman know the details about God? Did he know God was a Spirit, that He manifests Himself through 3 different persons, etc, etc, etc.? Of course not, yet because of his faith he got to know God´s power and in humility acknowledged Him as the one true God. I think this is what Martin is getting at. I know mormons don´t believe in the same Jesus but this is not the point in what Martins is saying, but again, they were actually singing the truth about Jesus, and now any Christian that approaches those mormons can actually use that to reach them, to make them think about the lyrics they listened to and then compare it to the blasphemies Joseph Smith taught about God.

    "Martin, Its great that you have "experience" in music, but so did Lucifer."

    You should have a bit more respect for Christian brothers and sisters – he´s not in any way, shape or form advocating syncretism – he has experience in that area and he has seen how that has worked before, and i think this is actually a good opportunity to gain more understanding through his experience. Whether we agree with it or not is something entirely different, but to disregard his opinion and his experience like that… not something i would do. We´ve all been talking about the bad outcomes, which indeed are a big concern, but good could come from that as well if the Christian friends of some of those mormons there take advantage to start a conversation about who they were worshipping.

    BTW, i as well was so afraid for those Christians, but what´s going on here? Why are most Christians completely Bible illiterate? Whose fault is it? That´s pure insanity that we are actually afraid that Christians would be deceived by such blatant forgery. There´s something deeply wrong in Christian families and in the Church. I´m really grateful for those who have actually taken the Bible seriously and dedicate their lives to teach and defend the faith and i´m trying to help in this effort first in my family and then with friends and any other means that i find to.

  42. Eric Johnson says:

    I agree with Melo. Go to the MRM website and look up the "Virgin Birth" as taught by Mormon leaders. He came in the flesh according to these men, but in a much different way than Matt 1:18 puts it. And regardless that this is, as you put it, referring to the Incarnation, there can be many other passages where heretics of many stripes are opposed. One passage that we can refer to is Gal. 1:8-9, talking about the danger of the Judaizers. I think it is safe to say that heresy–deviation from the core issues found within the Christina faith–of a variety of stripes is poisonous; to allow it to be taught by teachers masquerading as Christian needs to be examined. In the context of the passage, verse 10 says not to let him into your house. In those days, house churches were the norm. These were not just mere believers but teachers, which made it even more dangerous. In his commentary, John Stott writes, "The person who is not to be received is one who comes to you, not as a casual visitor but as an official teacher, and who is said not just to believe, but to bring, a message other than this teaching….It is those who are engaged in the systematic dissemination of lies, dedicated missionaries of error, to whom we may give no encouragement….In the case of someone officially commissioned to teach his error to others, we must reject not only it but him." He then states that, "Perhaps, therefore, it is not private hospitality which John is forbidding so much as an official welcome into the congregation, with the opportunity this would afford to the false teacher to propagate his errors." Christian churches should not allow the sharing of pulpits with those from other religions, period.

  43. Dale says:

    Dale, it's not what you said. It's your attitude. You come out swinging before the bell is rung. It appears that you have a perfect knowledge of scripture and everyone else is ignorant or just plain evil. Jesus did tell us that we're saved on his name, but of everything you quoted you forgot Matthew 7:3

    The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
    “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4How can you think of saying to your friend,d ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye."

    Try to live that scripture before you try to tell everyone else how to feel. You want me to put my money where my mouth is, and I just did. Save the tough talk for your friends. I agree with a lot of what you said, but your nasty attitude the problem. Maybe you can't make that distinction.

    Eric and Melo, the distinction you made in scripture is as clear as mud. The fact is that scripture warns us against believing that Jesus did NOT come in the flesh. Even Mormons say he did. You cannot generalize it to me all kinds of other things. It has nothing to do with the idea of Jesus being a spirit brother of Satan et all.

    Again, I agree that you're right! I agree that Rick is right! I think the argument of using that verse is full of more holes than a noodle strainer, no matter how you slice it. Even though I agree with you, that verse does NOT apply.

  44. f_melo,
    I do not agree with you at all and here is why. You mention the OT, So let use the OT as well. The priest Samuel had two sons, they were worshiping the correct God, but they offered strange fire up to Him and they were killed as a result. The Mormons can sing our songs, but they are still being sung to a false god.

    Jesus said, not Rick said, but Jesus said, WE MUST WORSHIP God/Jesus in Spirit and in truth. The Mormons can use our songs, but they are not worshiping in spirit and in truth. Read Revelation 18 for the fuller context, but Rev 18:4 says,

    Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

    If the LDS or Christians want to enter into false worship with cults they will be judged accordingly. Then again, as I keep saying, read Job. Job and his friends were following and worshiping the CORRECT GOD, It's just they had the wrong views of God. What did God say and do about that? HE HANDED DOWN SOME SERVE REBUKING, And told Job to sacrifice for his friends lest they really get hurt. So no f_melo and Martin, I see in scripture where you are wrong.

  45. f_melo says:

    "The priest Samuel had two sons"

    He had two sons who were fully aware of God and His commandments. They didn´t grow up in paganism.

    "Job and his friends were following and worshiping the CORRECT GOD, It's just they had the wrong views of God."

    Well, according to your logic, if they had the wrong views of God they were worshiping a false god.

  46. Dale, you think my attitude is nasty? have you read the bible? Here's some thoughts for you.
    PART 1.
    People feel I am to Bold, Blunt, and simply Brutaly honest in my thoughts. It appers they would rather have me water down my thoughts. I think it is really sad, Mormons go out and share their Gospel with millions of people all over the world, they will not deny the convictions they have, because they feel God spoke to them. Sadly some are honest enough to tell me, they believe I am doing what I believe the Lord has told me to do, but yet they still try and tell me not to do it.

    Then as I have told them before, if they are wrong, not are they only going to spend an eterinty in hell, but they are also bringing millions of people to hell with them. I see many times in the Bible, where Jesus, John the Baptist, the Apostles, Peter, Paul, Mark, Jude, Etc, are very Bold and or blunt in what they have to say to others, They don't mince words, And I am not speaking about these guys simply rebuking people in "Love" either. Here we read in 2 Timothy chapter 4:1-5

    4: I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge
    the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word!
    Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all 3
    longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure
    sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have 4
    itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn
    their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be
    watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

    These questions need to be asked. Who is being Rebuked? What is Sound Doctrine verse unsound Doctrine? What are the Fables that people are turning to? I believe if you read your bible, you will find
    That the people that are being rebuked are people who are teaching another Gospel, as Gal 1:8-9 teach. I believe the fables and unsound Doctrine being taught, can and is in this day and age, Mormonism. Their is much evidence to show Mormonism is a false Gospel. I have pointed out to LDS before, According to Paul in Gal 1:8-9 it talks about ANOTHER GOSPEL, THAN WHAT (I) PAUL PREACHED. I have asked mormons, from the Bible only, show me the Gospel Paul taught, then show me how this lines up with the LDS Gospel. It simply cannot be done.

    Then to add to the fact that Timothy speaks about rebuking people, we read in Titus:

    TITUS 1:9-16

    9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and
    deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." 13 This
    testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works
    they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

    Here, Titus is very Bold and Blunt, Speaking about people using SOUND DOCTRINE, to EXORT, CONVICT those who contrdict. He talks about people whose mouths must be stopped. He also talks about Commandements of men who turn from the truth. Mormonism is full of Mens Commandements that are not of God and put you under the law. Titus Does not mince words or water down his thoughts when he says "They profess to know God, but in works
    they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work." Mormons Claim they Know God, But as I have said before, Does God know you?

    Remember, the scariest verses in the Bible are where God says to the people who say, "LORD, LORD, Did we not perform Mircales in your name, and do these various good works, and HE SAYS, DEPART FROM ME INTO EVERLASTING FIRE." That is scary.

    Here is something Else Jesus said

    Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

    Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

    I would rather Be Bold and Blut (HOT not Cold) and pray you come to Christ, then Hide in a closet crying, BOO HOO, They don't like me and called me names. Lets look at more Bold and Blut statments from Jesus and his Apostles.

  47. PART 2

    John 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables.

    Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

    Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    Mat 23:33 [Ye] serpents, [ye] generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

    Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    1Cr 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

    2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.

    Now that we have read things from the Bible, And I could add more, Lets look at what the Prophets of Mormonism have said, Like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. And My point in these statements are not, Do LDS believe these to be Scripture, like Adam God or Blood Atonment Etc. The Point is, regardless of it being Doctrine or mere Opinion, they said it and they were Bold and Blunt in the statments they said.

    "Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. 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…When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go." (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409)

    In Joseph Smith's history for the year 1843, we read of two fights which he had in Nauvoo: "Josiah Butterfield came to my house and insulted me so outrageously that I kicked him out of the house, across the yard, and into the street" (History of the Church, vol. 5, p.316).

    "Bagby called me a liar, and picked up a stone to throw at me, which so enraged me that I followed him a few steps, and struck him two or three times. Esquire Daniel H. Wells stepped between us … I told the Esquire to assess the fine for the assault, and I was willing to pay it. He not doing it, I rode down to Alderman Whitney, stated the circumstances, and he imposed a fine which I paid …" (Ibid., p.524).

    According to the History of the Church, Joseph Smith admitted that he had tried to choke Walter Bagby: "I met him, and he gave me some abusive language, taking up a stone to throw at me: I seized him by the throat to choke him off" (Ibid., p.531).

    Joseph Smith In a fight? Wow, The prophet is in a fight, brags about it, and Even Try's to Choke the Guy. I play Judo where Choke's are allowed, but boy is that deadly if done wrong. And to think, I get grief from people for just sharing my faith.

    Brigham Young once made this evaluation of Joseph Smith: "Some may think that I am rather too severe; but if you had the Prophet Joseph to deal with, you would think that I am quite mild…. He would not bear the usage I have borne, and would appear as though he would tear down all the houses in the city, and tear up trees by the roots, if men conducted to him in the way they have to me" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, pp.317-18).

  48. PART3

    Here Brigham Young even talks about how Harsh Joseph Smith was.

    You are aware that when brother Cummings came to the point of loving our neighbours as ourselves, he could say yes or no as the case might be, that is true. But I want to connect it with the doctrine you read in the Bible. When will we love our neighbour as ourselves? In the first place, Jesus said that no man hateth his own flesh. It is admitted by all that every person loves himself. Now if we do rightly love ourselves, we want to be saved and continue to exist, we want to go into the kingdom where we can enjoy eternity and see no more sorrow nor death. This is the desire of every person who believes in God. Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father, and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauty and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but what would say, "shed my blood that I may be saved and exalted with the Gods?"

    All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? That is what Jesus Christ meant. He never told a man or woman to love their enemies in their wickedness, never. He never intended any such thing; his language is left as it is for those to read who have the Spirit to discern between truth and error; it was so left for those who can discern the things of God. Jesus Christ never meant that we should love a wicked man in his wickedness.

    Now take the wicked, and I can refer to where the Lord had to slay every soul of the Israelites that went out of Egypt, except Caleb and Joshua. He slew them by the hands of their enemies, by the plague, and by the sword, why? Because He loved them, and promised Abraham that He would save them. And He loved Abraham because he was a friend to his God, and would stick to Him in the hour of darkness, hence He promised Abraham that He would save his seed. And He could save them upon no other principle, for they had forfeited their right to the land of Canaan by transgressing the law of God, and they could not have atoned for the sin if they had lived. But if they were slain, the Lord could bring them up in the resurrection, and give them the land of Canaan, and He could not do it on any other principle.

  49. PART 4

    I could refer you to plenty of instances where men, have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil, until our elder brother Jesus Christ raises them up—conquers death, hell, and the grave. I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them. The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle's being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force.

    This is loving our neighbour as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it. Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind.(Brigham Young Blood Atonement Sermon:
    Journal of Discourses
    Vol. 4, p. 215-221)

    The point about the Blood Atonment was not/is not, is it Doctrine. The Point is, it was said, it was taught, it was spoken, This is a very Bold and Blunt statement to make.
    Here are some more very Bold and Blunt statements made by the Prophets.

    B Young: "with a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called christian world" (Journal of Discourses 8:199). I quote 3rd president John Taylor (Brigham Young quotes Mr Taylor) "Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell, the eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked onto the earth" (J.O.D 6:176). I quote Heber C. Kimball "Christians – those poor, miserable priests brother Brigham was speaking about – some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth" (J.O.D 5:89).

    So Dale, if you think I'm mean, then to bad, God uses me and everyone in different ways and I have had great talks due to my attitude. If you still dont agree, then go to God in prayer about me instead of telling me I am wrong. I can assure you, you telling me you do not like my style will not make me say or think,, well I better change because some guy named Dale that I never meet told me to.

  50. Eric says:

    Dale, it certainly DOES apply. A commentator as highly thought of as John Stott agrees with my assessment.I also explained to you earlier that the Mormon's idea of the Incarnation is, first, blasphemous, but second, is not even close to Matt 1:18. And talk about taking a verse out of context, Matthew 7:3 that you've quoted is way out of line. First, it has nothing to do with the dialogue we're having. In context, it says not to judge hypocritically. Please explain how my assessment of not agreeing with a Christian church having services with a Mormon stake is hypocritical? Please explain how I am hypocritical. Second, did you consider that maybe by trying to correct me on the 2 John 7 passage, it's you with the speck in your eye who's judging me in a hypocritical manner? After the way you applied this passage, the verse could be used against you in the same way. It cuts both ways. (This verse applies to neither you nor I.)

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