In today's episode, the guys talk about two very important topics: baklava and Mormonism! Understandably, they spend most of their time on Mormonism, which is one of several cults that arose in the wake of nineteenth century revivalism in America and continues to try to wedge itself under the umbrella of Christian groups/denominations. The Mormon church, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, developed in a context in which Christianity was cut off from church history and the original languages of the Bible, opening itself up to heretical offshoots. Mormonism has 16 million adherents worldwide, the majority of whom live in the US; the faith also boasts significant wealth and a number of high-profile members, including Mitt Romney and Donny and Marie Osmond. While Mormonism is known for kind members and for verbiage that can sound a lot like Christianity, Christians need to love truth (and Mormons!) enough to hold the false claims of Mormonism up to the standard of Scripture.
The guys run through the history of Mormonism, beginning with its foundational belief that there was a “great apostasy” shortly after the apostles died that God chose to resolve through revelation to the prophet Joseph Smith. The alleged revelation to Smith was codified in Mormon texts which were added to (and valued above) the Christian Bible. The church continued to develop through splits, migration, persecution, and even a formal foray into polygamy. Shifting gears, the guys run through some of the main errors within Mormon doctrine, such as a deeply flawed doctrine of God, the belief that humans can become gods and are basically good, and the belief that the place of grace in salvation is simply to make up for what a person’s works can’t attain. In speaking to Mormons, there is a proper place for highlighting doctrinal issues within their faith. However, the best starting point is to raise the question of how to be saved and to get to the gospel. There are many resources available to help Christians understand Mormonism and how to evangelize Mormons; we are without excuse to be able to engage faithfully and in love!
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Emeal (“E.Z.”) Zwayne