Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Evangelicals and Catholics--er, scratch that--MORMONS Together

It's been a while since I contributed to this blog. I've been out of state for significant chunks of time over the the past three weeks, and am currently getting things prepped for the start of the Bible study webinar which begins this weekend. I've run into some highly frustrating technical snags that I'm trying to resolve before technical support goes on their Thanksgiving vacation. Needless to say, I don't have a lot of time to devote to the blog these days. But I will try to add a thought here and there.

Recently, a member of the Heavenly Realm on the NTRMin Discussion Forum provided this link to a recent "Evening of Friendship" conference in which several high-profile Evangelicals and Mormons met together at the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle to enjoy "sweet fellowship" with each other (they didn't use this phrase, but it's a difficult phrase to avoid given the gushing love fest accompanied by corporate worship and song), while misguided Evangelicals "apologized" to Mormons for all those times we have "unlovingly" dared to point out that Mormons are not Christians.

We're sorry we have so unjustly accused you Mormons. Believing there are many gods is no reason to accuse you of polytheism. Believing that God used to be a man, and that we will someday be gods ourselves is no reason to accuse you of blasphemy and idolatry. Believing that "we are saved by grace after all we can do" is absolutely no reason to accuse you of bearing and proclaiming a false gospel of works. Believing that the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price constitute holy Scripture is no cause for us to accuse you of adding to "the faith that was once for all time delivered to the saints." We've been exceedingly unreasonable in our insistence that you repent of those heretical teachings and embrace the truth.

Included in attendance at the love fest were (on the Evangelical side) Ravi Zacharias (a Christian philosopher), Greg Johnson of "Standing Together," Richard Mouw (president of Fuller Theological Seminary, who issued the official "apology"), Michael Card (a Christian recording artist for whom I used to have a modium of respect), and (of course) representatives of Camp Crusade for Christ, who are somehow under the impression that Christianity should pride itself on being a "marketplace of ideas."

Baal worshippers, lift up your countenance and rejoice! Help (in the form of Campus Crusade for Christ and Standing Together) is on the way to renounce those unloving Baal bashers who have unjustly accused you for so long!

One or two of the posters on NTRMin thought that some of the speakers may be there to evangelize rather than to ecumenize. I have a much more pessimistic view of such gatherings. One common thread that I have seen in these kinds of ecumenical efforts is this: They always seem to begin with romancing Roman Catholics (who, we may safely assume, are already assumed to be in the fold by the Evangelical attendees of the conference), and then move naturally in the direction of romancing Mormons. I see a trend, and I don't see it stopping with Mormons. I predict the next great "love fest"--sometime within the next five years or so--will be directed toward romancing Jehovah's Witnesses. Mark my words.