Monday, 20 August 2007

The Great [Mormon] Game

Some friends were discussing the place of Bruce McConkie's book Mormon Doctrine in Mormon thinking. It is very popular still yet has come in for criticism from both inside and outside the Mormon Church. It was observed, however, that Mormons have stayed shy of actually specifying where McConkey went wrong in his writing and theology. The key to understanding this is the observation that Mormons ‘regard these sources as authoritative’, i.e. the sources McConkie uses in the book.

People who have never been Mormons will be familiar with the verbal and intellectual contortions a Mormon will perform in order to avoid directly and specifically criticising an ‘authority’. They will readily admit that ‘our leaders are not perfect’ but will not concede a specific error – ‘rather than do so I would suffer my throat to be cut’.

Only when you have been a Mormon do you fully know with what glee the typical Mormon plays ‘the great game’. They relish the tabloid theology of McConkie and his progeny in FARMS and FAIR and, not unlike some Evangelical believers, anticipate that time when they will be vindicated and all dissenters sent to burn. Until that day they play the game with varying degrees of skill and aplomb, confident that every dissembling, disingenuous denial will be met that day with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Truth is Mormons lie, often competently, frequently knowingly, to themselves as much as to you.

The problem Christians have with this is that so many have bought into the liberal postmodern agenda of this modern world. They have bought into relativism, liberalism, deconstructionism and any number of wacky ideas that make them question the evidence of their own senses. Because of this they can't accept what God has said about the lost, about those who worship false gods, about those for whom this world is infinitely more important than the next. They don't like to think ill of these nice guys and can't imagine they would lie let alone knowingly.

If they think this way then they don't see the urgency for reaching out to Mormons because they don't seem all that lost. But they lie, often competently, frequently knowingly, to themselves as much as to you. This is because they are lost and need to hear the gospel. The only ground we have in common with them is that we once were lost like them. Otherwise...

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