Old Comments on IAQ

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Old Comments on IAQ — 29 Comments

  1. Bridget,
    What is your occupation now? You know an awful lot about theology. I enjoy your blog.

  2. I reject your claim that anyone who calls Mormonism a cult is therefore “stupid.” I am not stupid and yet I state uncategorically that they are a cult.

    I also reject your notion that the LDS is a splinter group of Christianity; Smith took some ideas from the Christain faith but his theology was made up whole cloth out of nothing Christian. I reject the idea that it’s okay to call them Christian – they certainly wouldn’t want me to call myself a Mormon since I reject all their teaching, so why should they, who reject the true Christ’s teachings, be allowed to take his name in vain? Their Christ is not the Christ of the Bible and that is a very important distinction. They made up a person they call Christ – a person that never really existed. It’s like trying to call a dandelion a rose – it is still a dandelion. Since they don’t believe in the Christ of the Bible, how can they be saved?

    I have seen problems with Ed Decker’s stuff, but I have not seen problems with Walter Martin’s stuff about Mormonism – perhaps you can enlighten me.

    I have studied the LDS church for over 30 years and have a sizeable apologetics library which includes hundreds of official LDS publications. I am not ignorant of Mormonism. Therefore, I can say they are not Christian in any sense of the word and we should not allow them to claim to be so. Once they didn’t want to be called Christian but now they want to be accepted as just another denomination. That is deceptive.

    I’m curious as to your opinion of the Utah Lighthouse Ministry or Mormonism Research Ministry.

  3. For the record, Glenn, it’d be stupid to call yourself a Mormon if you don’t believe Mormon existed.

    Whatever your disagreement with how they define Christ’s nature, LDS do believe in a Jesus who called himself the Christ. Perhaps you’d prefer the term “Christist”? “Christic”?

  4. Glenn ~ I state that only stupid people believe Mormonism is a cult because 99.9% of the time, it’s true. If you don’t believe me, spend five minutes at CARM’s Mormonism forum and you’ll see I’m right. These people couldn’t even pick my gender out of an article where I stated in the first paragraph that my name was Bridget and mentioned having been pregnant. It doesn’t come much dumber than that.

    Every now and then, I meet a genuinely intelligent person who has been swindled into believing Mormonism is a cult. Could that be you? Probably not, if you’ve studied Mormonism for as long as you say you have, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    In any case, I’m far from the only evangelical who advocates not calling Mormonism a cult. John Mark Reynolds of Biola University just published an article last month arguing against calling the LDS church a cult. He said:

    Overuse of the term “cult” in the public square sometimes substitutes for actual arguments with thoughtful dissenting groups. As a traditional Christian I have serious theological disagreements with my friends in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), but it is wrong to label them a cult. Any quick search will show LDS are willing to defend their views using arguments accessible to non-LDS. These arguments have changed under pressure from counter-arguments from non-LDS scholars and improved. I am not persuaded, to say the least, by these arguments, but LDS willingness to produce careful and responsive scholarship is a nearly infallible sign that they are no cult.

    Other evangelical scholars who would likely frown on calling Mormonism a cult include Craig Blomberg, Paul Owen, Carl Mosser, Ravi Zacharias, Richard Mouw, William Lane Craig, and even Rob Bowman. JP Holding isn’t a scholar, but he is a well-known ‘net apologist who shares my views that calling Mormonism a cult is wrong, arguing whether or not they are Christians is not productive, and he also believes the group is just past the edge of what can be safely considered Christian orthodoxy. I’m in very good (and very credentialed) company on this.

    Their Christ is not the Christ of the Bible and that is a very important distinction. They made up a person they call Christ – a person that never really existed. It’s like trying to call a dandelion a rose – it is still a dandelion. Since they don’t believe in the Christ of the Bible, how can they be saved?

    You are aware that some Calvinists say the exact same thing about Arminians, right? See here and here for examples. The “different Jesus” argument is a mighty popular way of dismissing anyone with whom you disagree on a theological level instead of addressing their arguments.

    In any case, to answer your question, even if Mormons have some things wrong about Christ, I believe they can be saved in the same way that C.S. Lewis believed his Calormene warrior could be saved; God looks on the heart, not on the theology. See my #A9 above. And given the number of evangelicals I’ve known who had a poor understanding of the Trinity, we’d all better hope I’m right about this.

    You want to know the problem with “Dr.” Walter Martin? Did you not click on the link attached to his name above? How can you trust a man who repeatedly lied about his own basic credentials to tell the truth about someone else’s religion? Would you let a doctor operate on you if you found out he’d received his degree from an unaccredited medical school? Let’s start there.

    Once they didn’t want to be called Christian but now they want to be accepted as just another denomination.

    I know of not a single Mormon who wants Mormonism to be regarded as “just another Christian denomination.” What they want is acknowledgment of their Christian influences and attempts to follow the Savior, and I want to give it to them.

    I’m curious as to your opinion of the Utah Lighthouse Ministry or Mormonism Research Ministry.

    UTLM has done some good work in bringing little-known Mormon historical documents and information to light, but they’d have gone a lot further with it if they had been professional about it instead of digging in with the sensationalism and polemics.

    I have spoken kindly of Bill McKeever from MRM here and here. The fact that he’s pals with Matt Slick from CARM (or he was back in 1999; don’t know if he is now) concerns me since I personally knew Slick to be a pretty disingenuous person, but I always got the impression that Mr. McKeever was sincere.

    I can’t really evaluate MRM’s current work seeing as how I haven’t looked over it in a long time. If they’re calling Mormonism a cult, then that’s egg on their face in my book.

    UPDATE: I’ve been doing some reading this afternoon and I’ve learned that Ravi Zacharias was the editor of the latest edition of Walter Martin’s The Kingdom of the Cults. So maybe he wouldn’t disagree with the practice of calling Mormonism a cult. In any case, I think it’s high time I got specific on what my disagreements are with the counter-cult ministry and where, so look for posts on that in the next few weeks.

  5. Glenn, just curious, but how can you say that Mormons don’t believe in the Christ of the Bible when they do claim the Bible to be canonized scripture? The Book of Mormon does include teachings of Christ during his appearance in the Americas, but all of the rest of the LDS faith’s information and teachings on Jesus Christ come from the Bible.

  6. I reject the idea that it’s okay to call them Christian – they certainly wouldn’t want me to call myself a Mormon since I reject all their teaching . . .

    So loving your neighbor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and worshiping Jesus as our savior. All rejected. Gotcha.

  7. Well, I see I have a few responses to make here:

    Bridget: The Romans used to call Christians a “cult,” and in the same sense I call the LDS a cult. I’m talking about a theological cult here – not a sociological cult with brainwashing, holding people prisoner, etc. Their theology is not true Christian theology and brings no salvation. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Unity School of Christianity are others in the same category. However many numbers of evangelical leaders want to avoid using the term “cult” does not alter the fact of the LDS matching the definition of one.

    Calvinists and Arminians – as far as I’ve learned – don’t argue about the nature and identity of Christ; they argue about predestination vs. free will. That’s a whole other debate.

    Whether Walter Martin lied about his credentials is irrelevant to whether or not he told the truth about Mormonism. What did he say about Mormonism that isn’t factual?

    I’ve seen no “sensationalism” from the Utah Lighthouse Ministry, but since that is a subjective judgment, we can disagree.

    Whitney: It is “stupid” for the Mormons to claim to be Christian when they don’t believe the Christ of the Bible existed, rather they replaced him with one of their own making – one who never existed!

    LTU: Loving one’s neighbor, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked does not make one a Christian – Gandhi promoted that and he was certainly not a Christian. My point is that you worship a non-existent Jesus, which make yours a false Christ and therefore you are worshiping a false god.

    The Yellow Dart and Nicole, and anyone else, here’s the difference:
    The Bible Christ always existed as part of the Trinity and there was never a time when he didn’t exist. He created everything else, including man and the angels. When he was born as a man, it was though a virginal conception by miraculous intervention of God. When he died he atoned for all sin for all time, but only for those who place their faith in his life, death and resurrection, and – of course – believe he is indeed God in the flesh.

    To start with the LDS Jesus we have to start with the LDS god (also not the same as the Christian God). The LDS god used to be a man who through his works was resurrected after death into godhood (since death is the wages of sin, the LDS god had to sin to die). This god is an exalted man of flesh and bones who lives in space somewhere near the star Kolob. On the other hand, the Judeo-Christian true God has always existed and nothing was before Him. Our God is spirit and not and exalted man, and exists in three persons as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and yet are all one God. The LDS version is 3 separate gods (see e.g. sermon preached by Smith on June 16, 1844).

    Now, the Christian Satan is an angelic being, one of the angels created by Christ. But the LDS has everyone pre-existing as spirit children of Heavenly Father (the god/man) and his wife/s – literal spiritual children. Now, this includes Satan as one of Jesus’ spiritual brothers, as well as the rest of us being spiritual brothers and sisters of Jesus in the pre-existence. So right here we have a contradiction as to who even Satan is, let alone Christ.

    When it was time for Christ to become incarnate, the god/man had physical sexual intercourse with Mary to produce the body for Christ to inhabit. I know this is not “official” LDS doctrine – they love to deny things that give such a bad light – but it was taught by Brigham Young as a prophet of God, is defined by Bruce McConkie in his book “Mormon Doctrine,” can be found in the LDS “Doctrines of Salvation,” and is expounded by other prophets and apostles of the LDS faith such as Ezra Taft Benson. The official LDS publication “Principles of the Gospel” (1969), signed by the First Presidency, states, “Jesus Christ is the Son of Elohim both as spiritual and bodily offspring; that is to say, Elohim is literally the Father of the spirit of Jesus Christ and also of the body in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh . . . No explanation of the title ‘Son of God’ as applied to Jesus Christ appears necessary.” Notice it says God (Elohim) is “literally” the father of Jesus’ body. The current official LDS position is that these men are all scholars and that these explanations are just their opinions, but one has to wonder how they all came up with the same understanding if that has not been official LDS teachings, and why their 1969 book makes a point of the literal fathering of Jesus’ body.

    The LDS Christ atoned only for Adam’s transgression, thereby providing the opportunity for us to obtain “eternal life” by our own efforts.

    I think this is enough to demonstrate that there are two different Christs identified – one as identified in the Bible and followed by true Christians, and the other as identified by the LDS and followed by them. Since these two identities contradict each other, only one can be the true one. If you do not have the true Christ of the Bible, then you are not a Christian – that name has already been taken! And if you follow a false christ of your own making, then you have no salvation.

  8. Glenn, sorry to break it to you, but your latest comments prove that you are very, very stupid. You see this?

    Whether Walter Martin lied about his credentials is irrelevant to whether or not he told the truth about Mormonism. What did he say about Mormonism that isn’t factual?

    This is what proves you are stupid. Of course whether or not he lied about his academic credentials has bearing on whether or not he tells the truth about Mormonism in his “academic” writings! An academic liar is an academic liar. Would you let a convicted pedophile watch your kids? Would you let a convicted embezzler handle your finances? So why would you trust a proven liar tell you “the truth” about a competing religious tradition?

    But if you really want to know what he said about Mormonism that isn’t factual, I suggest you start with Louis Midgley’s devastating critique of Martin’s writings here—which none of Martin’s disciples and supporters have bothered to reply to.

    The Romans used to call Christians a “cult,” and in the same sense I call the LDS a cult.

    Also one of the dumbest things I’ve heard in a long time. How words were used in antiquity in another language has little bearing on what kinds of pejorative connotations they carry in modern English. The Romans also used the word “penis” to refer to a literal animal tail. Do you walk around commenting on how much your dog likes to wag his penis?

    Take your moronic ramblings about different Jesuses and God having sex with Mary back to CARM’s Mormonism forum where they belong. You’re too stupid to be commenting on this blog—which I stated very clearly in this very IAQ. Lack of reading comprehension skills, another good sign that someone is very, very stupid.

  9. Blah blah blah Glenn. That’s what I hear when you talk. That’s what MOST Mormons hear when you talk. Even those who are questioning their faith and seeking.

    So, okay, you can make yourself right, and you can make us “other” and you can piss us off and you can turn us off…

    OR you can have an actual conversation.

    But you can’t do both.

  10. So, when you are confronted with the truth, all you hear is “blah, blah, blah” and are turned off and angry? That doesn’t sound like anyone is open for intelligent conversation. What it says is, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.”

    I engage Mormons in actual conversation almost weekly, but we have to understand where we each stand. Joseph Smith, you remember, started it when he said all of Christendom was wrong and our creeds an abomination to the Lord. So to have Mormons get angry when we say it is the LDS who is wrong and an abomination seems to be a bit disingenuous!

    I’m only making the point that the LDS IS NOT a splinter group of Christianity and have no right to blaspheme the name of Christ by taking it for themselves, and therefore reject the idea that it is okay to call them “Christian” when they don’t believe in the Christ of the Bible. THAT, in my opinion, is what is “stupid” – letting someone use a title that goes along with beliefs they reject! And I also rejected the assertion that one is “stupid” for considering the LDS a cult. We might disagree as to the application of that term, but that doesn’t make anyone “stupid.”

  11. Bridget, I gave the example of Romans calling Christians a cult to demonstrate that it is not necessarily a derogatory term. I also pointed out that LDS is a cult in the theological sense, which is 100% true.

    Facts are facts whether the one who gives them lies on other matters. Could I trust a liar when he says 2+2=4? If 2+2=4, then it doesn’t matter if he is a liar. You are lacking basic logic in your response. The point is, one can be lying in one area and be telling the truth in another, and most of what I have read by Martin I have found by other sources to be 100% true.

    My so-called ramblings about the other Jesus of the LDS are 100% factual and easily proven by LDS documents.

    I should have known better than to provide a bit of factual data here. I have discovered very often that people who are not open to intelligent discussion always resort to ad hominem attacks. Your consistent naming me as “stupid” and “moronic” and charge that I lack basic reading comprehension skills demonstrate that you are not open to intelligent conversation. You appear to be devoted too much to Mormonism to expose it for what it is – a false gospel that will send people to eternal damnation.

    I will not be back – I will not answer a fool according to his folly.

  12. Damn, the antagonistic “Interfaith Dialogue=Offending the Other Side Without Making a Point” man is gone.

    Nice ministering efforts, sir.

  13. Oh, and I think we’ll all be happy to know that according to his blog, he thinks Methodists and Presbyterians are just about as apostate as Mormons.

    This is a fun game.

  14. I also pointed out that LDS is a cult in the theological sense, which is 100% true.

    As is the rest of Christianity, which is what makes the term categorically useless for describing Mormonism. Your appeal to how Romans used the term in their own language 2000 years ago to justify how you’re using the term today is stupid. Admit it and change your position or take your butthurt act somewhere else.

    The point is, one can be lying in one area and be telling the truth in another,

    Of course. And a pedophile could turn out to be a great babysitter for your children. Try it sometime, let me know how that works out.

    most of what I have read by Martin I have found by other sources to be 100% true.

    In that case, I look forward to reading your response to Midgley’s article, because it certainly seems like he caught Martin in some devastating blunders.

    Your charge that I lack basic reading comprehension skills…

    You see Glenn, that’s one of those “facts” that you’re such a big fan of. I stated in no uncertain terms on this very IAQ that I have zero interest in discussing the “different Jesus” argument. I have heard it a million times. I have heard rebuttals to it from Latter-day Saints a million times. I read Robert Millet’s A Different Jesus?, and I have read the responses from counter-cult apologists to Millet’s work. I have no interest in further discussion of that rhetorical argument.

    Since you chose to pursue it anyways, that leaves only two conclusions (1) you lack basic reading comprehension skills, and/or (2) you were stupid enough to think I was just kidding about having no interest in it. Take your pick.

    Your consistent naming me as “stupid” and “moronic” and charge that I lack basic reading comprehension skills demonstrate that you are not open to intelligent conversation.

    Wrong. It shows that I’m not open to interacting with the same WalterMartin-EdDecker-MattSlick argumentation that’s been refuted by capable, scholarly LDS apologists and denounced by capable evangelical scholars many times over. There are a million other places on the Internet where you’re welcome to argue that Mormons believe in a different Jesus and God had sex with Mary—though I really, really doubt you’ll find many Mormons who want to listen to you, which sort of defeats the point.

    You appear to be devoted too much to Mormonism to expose it for what it is – a false gospel that will send people to eternal damnation.

    I see your reading comprehension disorder is kicking in again. Did you miss the part on this very page where I said Mormonism is a Christian heresy and that Mormon theology could lead someone to hell?

    What I am dedicated to is respectful dialogue with Latter-day Saints concerning our differences, and “respectful” means not making a big deal about how they’re cult members who aren’t Christians.

    I will not answer a fool according to his folly.

    Couldn’t resist a little ad hominem yourself I see. In any case, good riddance.

  15. What it says is, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.”

    Bullshit, Glenn.

    All it said is what the words meant: when you come at me with a pedestrian, elementary, narrow-minded understanding of what Mormonism is and what it means to be a Mormon and throw it in my face as “proof” of my cultish non-Christianity, it pisses me off.

    You have no idea, Glenn, NO IDEA what I believe or what I feel or what I think or what I talk about with people who show a semblance of respect and kindness for me and the faith of my family.

    So go ahead and convince yourself that “we wouldn’t change our minds anyway” while you go on acting like an asshole. It’s not like we’re listening.

  16. Oh, I see Glenn has gone.

    Well. Okay.

    Debrief:

    1)–I think I just pulled out the old “You don’t know me!” line of reasoning that seems to show up in every Jerry Springer episode I have ever watched. That was fun.

    2)–Do these people really think they’re helping? Really? Or are they just scared egomaniacs who have to feel “right” or they lose all sense of purpose in life?

    3)–Swearing at people on the internet is fun. I have never done that before. I kind of liked it.

  17. So go ahead and convince yourself that “we wouldn’t change our minds anyway” while you go on acting like an asshole. It’s not like we’re listening.

    Amen, Katie. This is what I’m talking about.

  18. I wonder if some of these anti-Mormon folks such as Chatfield hurt their cause more than help it.

    When I first started looking into the church some dozen or so years ago, one of the first places I looked (because of my Protestant background) were the Church’s most vocal critics (who at the time had quite a foothold in Christian bookstores and other places where evangelicals might go for information). What I quickly found was the most of the anti-Mormons didn’t know what they were talking about, even though their ideas were frequently taken by evangelicals at face value.

    The problems I discovered almost right away included:
    a) Talking not about what Mormons believed, but caricatures of what they believed.
    b) Relying on half-truths (e.g., Satan is the brother of Jesus) that can sound alarming at first but turn out to be not all that big of a deal once you have the entire picture.
    c) Finding the worst things that past church leaders said (or may have said) that nobody believes these days and calling it official doctrine.
    d) Setting standards for the Book of Mormon that they don’t hold to for the Bible.
    e) Using scare terms, particularly “cult,” in ways that are contrary to their usual meanings.
    f) Calling some of our beliefs false doctrine when they are held by Mormons but not when they’re held by other some other Christians (e.g., our Arminian-like outlook).
    g) Holding our church leaders to standards of perfection that weren’t held by the prophets and leaders of the Bible.
    h) In some cases, basically making things up about us as they go along, and/or teaching things about us that have long been discredited.

    There are others as well, but those are the ones that came to mind while I should have been finishing preparation for my Sunday school lesson. I look forward to Jack’s upcoming articles.

  19. IMO, one of the worst things about the Internet is it gives a forum for people to continue telling themselves that they are awesome and right and others are clearly ignorant and closed minded for not believing every word out of their mouths.

    Smug, self-satisfied people drive me crazy. People who use semantics to argue their point drive me crazy. And people who won’t listen, but say that others are “not open to intelligent discussion” should go jump off a bridge.

  20. Bridget (or does everyone call you Jack?), I really, really, really like your blog- and I loved your no-nonsense takedown of Glenn. He was completely disingenuous. (‘Mormons are beyond the pale; they are a cult! Oh, I mean cult in a totally neutral way . . . but they are evil!’)

    I had not realized before that, beyond the issues of offensiveness or irrationality, the position that Mormons aren’t Christians is a complete conversation-stopper. As Glenn showed, it is not offered as simple statement of a position that can lead to discussion and understanding (although probably not agreement), but rather it is an emotional temper-tantrum and declaration of enmity. Glenn’s point was that we thoroughly ‘other’; it is his duty to make sure everyone is clear that we aren’t just wrong, we are damnably wrong; and we must be completely rejected, there can be no common ground whatsoever. Once we’ve accepted that, THEN we can talk. But talk about what? How right he is that we’re so wrong?

    The ability of a person to respond to your explanation of how you accept Mormons as Christians (OK heretical Christians), without foaming at the mouth is a nice quick test of whether they want to talk, or just attack. Combine that with your ‘basic reading-ability’ test, and you have a really awsome Troll Identifier.

  21. Sister-wives, thanks for backing me up.

    Kristy ~ It’s nice to meet you, and yes, I go by Jack.

    I was probably a little harsh on Glenn, but once upon a time I used to try to reason with people who thought Mormonism is a non-Christian cult where Jesus being the brother of Lucifer and God having sex with Mary were the most important features to focus on. And you know what? It never went anywhere. So now I don’t even bother with it.

    For all their talk of desiring intelligent conversation and being reasonable and “speaking the truth in love,” hard-core counter-cultists are almost always interested in none of the above.

    BTW, I don’t actually call Mormons “heretical Christians” because, to me, that implies that I’m judging their salvation. I think the teachings of the LDS church, as they stand, are heretical; and while that can certainly be dangerous, I make no judgment on the fate of individual Mormons. They may be right before God in spite of believing in some wrong things about Him.

    And I do have great hope that one day the LDS church will reform into what can be considered Christian orthodoxy.

  22. Jack- I don’t think you were harsh with Glenn, I think you were straightforward, clear, and efficient, which you have to be unless you want your blog dragged off on his tangent. I was impressed because I usually waste my time trying to be nicey-nice, and I liked the unemotional but firm way you did it.

    Looking back at your original statement, you’re right, you don’t call Mormons “Christian heretics”, you said Mormonism is a Christian heresy. A fine distinction, but I see now the difference that it makes, and I appreciate the goodwill it represents (and I don’t mean “appreciate” in the smarmy sense). When you mentioned the Calormene Soldier,
    I got exactly what you mean. (Has anyone ever illustrated the principle of being patient and letting God decide who is one of His own better than Lewis did there?)

    The thing is, when I come across an evangelical, I already know they think I’m very, very wrong, and I just don’t think I’d mind if they DID call me a Christian heretic. (Hey, it beats “Satan Worshipper”, which is what one of my friends called me after her pastor showed “The Godmakers” to her congregation . . .) That’s the label that was given to the losing side of the Nicean Creed debate, right? It’s also the title that has traditionally been bestowed by one group of Christians upon another group that the first group thinks believes wrong things. I mean sure, it puts you in with some bad company, but a lot of good people have also been labeled heretics over the years. I like it, because it lets me say ‘You may think I’m the black sheep, but at least I’m part of the family’.

    BTW, I’m a BYU grad (Philosophy ’93) and I live in the Northwest also. I used to comment on FMH and Times and Seasons a few years ago, but after a while I needed a break (the second or third time some topics were picked over, I dunno, my garden started to seem more interesting). I still check in on Mormon Archipelago every so often, and this time I followed some links to your blog. I liked your reasoning, and the discussion thread has made me think of some things differently than I had before. It’s been fun to have something to mull over while I fold laundry.

  23. Overuse of the term “cult” in the public square sometimes substitutes for actual arguments with thoughtful dissenting groups.

    No kidding. To bad Glenn isn’t around to answer:

    1. OK, if you maintain in using the cult label, then what about something like baptism? Are all those churches that insist on baptism by immersion a cult? If that’s OK in your book, then what about those churches that sprinkle? Will you call them a cult because it’s different than what was done in ancient times? And, what of those who believe in a Spirit/Verbal Baptism? Was that done in ancient times?

    2. Yes, I could go the Walter Martin (and others mentioned) route, and just buy a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate Degree from a Diploma Mill. Then, I could get job after that, and then loose that job if I misrepresent that they were legitimate degrees. It won’t matter to them how competent or sincere I am at work. And, I’ve heard of people being fired for putting fake degrees down on Resumes & Job Applications.

    3. The Romans used to call Christians a “cult,” and in the same sense I call the LDS a cult.

    Well, the term Christian sounds like it started like a derogatory term in ancient times. And, like Kristy said, those that won in the Nicene Creed struggle, as well as the differing sides in the Reformation battles, were probably less than kind is what labels they gave the opposition.

    Many counter-cult ministries have long-standing histories of not responding to the work of LDS apologists in addition to using arguments which were refuted ages ago, or worse, arguments which also apply to the Bible and evangelical Christianity.

    You hit the nail on the head there, Jack. From my own experience, I’ve seen that as well. On my Mission, there was one woman who call around to all the Missionaries, & start asking questions. She didn’t say “I don’t accept that” when I answered a question she had, then proceeded to ask the SAME question again of me a few months later. If my answer was no good to her before, why didn’t she say so?

    It turned out to be a Minister there (around Atlanta) was having his daughter call & ask Missionaries the typical anti- type questions, and recorded the calls. I guess he wanted to use that against the Church if they couldn’t instantly answer, or got rattled by it.

    ‘…Oh, I mean cult in a totally neutral way . . . but they are evil!’

    Ah, in the spirit of the items Hugh Nibley wrote about in “The Myth Makers”, under “The Wide Eyed Innocents” section, where some claimed to have watched Joseph Smith in his earlier days participate in Occult practices, yet they did not participate in those practices themselves. Nibley really took them to task over that.