Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Where the Conversation Breaks Down

On Sunday, someone handed me an article from the November 12 U.S. News and World Report, in which they interview one of the Mormon Church's Council of Twelve Apostles - the LDS governing body. Its tied in with the discussion relating to Mitt Romney's Mormon Faith. In the article, Elder M. Russell Ballard answers a series of questions posed by USN&WR reporter Jay Tolson.

In reading the interview it's easy to see why dialogue breaks down so quickly between Christians and Mormons. Whether Mr. Ballard is disingenuous or clueless is tough to tell, but his answers to the questions show that he just doesn't get it.

- He quickly denies the "heresy" charge, and then glibly states that God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are separate entities (read: not one Triune God). It's interesting to read how he spins it: This is what most people think anyway. Of course, not those theologians, but average people think just like us!

- The scripture question gets posed, and he quickly spins it by saying they don't deny the Bible, they just add the Book of Mormon. I've never head this one before, but he mentions that "the Book of Mormon has more references to Christ and his teachings and his words than are in the Bible."

- And he works really hard to convince us all that Mormons are Christians, just like the rest of us (well, except maybe they're even better Christians because they are true to the apostolic church).

The point here is not to debate Mormon theology, nor the legitimacy of the Book of Mormon. We could do that another place. The point is that Mr. Ballard makes these claims: Mormons are Christians, Mormons aren't heretics, and Mormons use the Bible as a sacred book. Then he denies some of the most basic tenets of Christianity, he espouses heresy, and he glowingly speaks of a book that flatly contradicts the Bible.

This, I think, is why we have such a hard time talking to one another. They keep saying "but we're Christians just like you!" and then they cavalierly spout off anti-Christian beliefs. And when Christians try to point these things out, they have their list of bullet points as to why they actually are Christians just like everybody else. As if shouting it enough makes it true.

It's like saying to a squash "you're not a potato" and having the squash reply, "ah, but I am a potato!"

So what I wonder is whether they are simply great at spin (as in, do they understand the power of marketing), or do they truly believe they are Christians Just Like Us, and have to resort to all this spin just to make sense of their own worldview?

1 comment:

MilePost13 said...

they are deceived (or have deceived themselves). This video is a great example of what you're talking about: http://www.break.com/index/christian-guy-totally-owns-mormons.html