Sunday, May 6, 2012

When "Mormon Moments" Go Wrong. Very Wrong.

Religious prejudices, we are told in our pluralistic day, are very bad for you. They are indications of serious moral, intellectual and personal errors in judgment as well as all of the other suspect kinds of behavior that are politically incorrect and socially unacceptable. Labels like "intolerance", "hater" and  "narrow minded" get thrown around at that point and people surely can't abide being seen in that light in our present day of broad minded inclusiveness. Prejudice is an ignorance, we learn, that must be dispelled by an open minded approach to those outside our understanding and an acceptance of their truth claims as equally valid. While moral absolutes can be agreed upon, however, this typically humanistic bit of postmodern social engineering commends a mind so open that the brains also slip out rather inconveniently.

The continued basking of the apostate LDS Church in the full klieg lights of attention received by Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney can be a double edged sword, though. While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints continues to methodically market itself as just another ordinary Christian church that just so happens to believe it's the only true one on the planet, it's LDS culture is being given close scrutiny and its teachings reexamined. In return, the "Mormon Moment" - this season of cultural engagement by non-LDS "Gentiles" of the Church's consummate self-image and representations - has been a talk of many a blogger and many a conversation in social settings across the nation, from coffee breaks to political action committees. And the LDS Church is only too happy to oblige "investigators" at all levels with perhaps the best oiled machine of self-promotion that any religion under the sun has created. It has dazzled millions of them and deployed hundreds of thousands more LDS missionaries to spread the word of their "Restoration" and of course, among the newly dazzled are Christian ministers who feel that to harbor significant and serious questioning of LDS teaching is just a sign of the need to "rethink" that kind of prejudicial bigotry.

So when an LDS bishop requested the presence of a couple of Anglican ministers at a "fireside" dinner in an central New York LDS church, I would assume that he was doing so hoping to show how really insignificant the divide is between Mormons and Anglicans and that "what unites us is greater than what divides us", a classic mantra of ecumenical accomodation. Certainly, the erudite and essentially thoughtful approach of Anglican clergy are far more noble minded than many bigoted philistines like Baptists and other evangelicals - so it would seem to the good bishop. So I am sure he was expecting a warm endorsement of "faith in Christ" as the common ground between Saints and their Gentile neighbors.

He got very rudely surprised and the "Mormon Moment" seemed to go south. Very south.

In our frigid day of apostasy, the story is something to warm your bones by if Biblical truth and the Gospel of Jesus Christ matter to you still. Click here to read these Anglican brothers' wonderful response.

And pardon me: hold my mules while I shout a bit.