Wednesday, December 19, 2007

1 a: darken b: to make obscure 2: confuse intransitive verb: to be evasive, unclear, or confusing

In what is becoming fairly typical for the mormon church, responses to simple and direct questions have become an opportunity to avoid the question, answer a completely different question than the one that was asked or to feign outrage and refuse to answer a question at all. You can argue that they have no obligation to answer these sorts of questions, but on the other hand when you send out missionaries door-to-door telling Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, etc. that they belong to apostate church accursed of God, I think the level of obligation is a little higher. You cannot on the one hand slam other churches, in a roundabout fashion, and then act aggrieved when the questions are turned back on you.

Fox News submitted a list of 21 questions about mormonism to Salt Lake City, and the response are both typical and enlightening. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries already posted a fairly lengthy response titled "This isn't your father's mormonism: The LDS Church is Embarrassed By Its Own Theology" to some of the "answers" given. What is consistent is that the questions that were asked were all legitimate and the answers given invariably evasive. If someone asks me "Do you believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin" or "Did Jesus Christ literally walk on water", I can without hesitation answer: "Yes!". Not everyone will agree or like my answer, and some may even mock but that doesn't impact my answers. There was a time when mormonism worked the same way, members would unapologetically affirm the basic and distinctive truths of mormonism. Those days are gone.

The "answers" start with an upfront, angry disclaimer: "Many of these questions are typically found on anti-Mormon blogs or Web sites which aim to misrepresent or distort Mormon doctrines," the Church said in a statement. "Several of these questions do not represent ... any serious attempt to depict the core values and beliefs of its members." That is par for the course these days. Before answering any questions, put on a face of righteous indignation that you are even being asked the question at all. I was going to go after each of these responses one by one, but others have beaten me to it and have more time to be thorough. Dr. White is one of the respondents, as is Aaron Shafovaloff of Mormon Coffee. His thorough response is found here. It is worthwhile to look at the questions, the answers and the responses to them. The questions are legitimate, the answers are not and it is incumbent upon Christians to look deeper, move beyond the superficial answers and draw stark contrasts between mormon teachings and Christianity. The deeper you look, the wider the divide.

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