2 Corinthians 11:3-4:
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
A recent article in “Religion News Services” (RNS) highlighted “evangelical” visits to Brigham Young University. The article was entitled “Evangelical visits to BYU signal a new evangelical-Mormon détente”.
According to the RNS article, recent visitors to BYU have included Southern Baptist leader Richard Land and Albert Mohler, Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
What common ground do these “evangelical leaders” and their Mormon brethren think they have?
Mohler: “That is why I and my evangelical brothers and sisters are so glad to have Mormon neighbors,” Mohler said in his talk on Oct 21. “We stand together for the natural family, for natural marriage, for the integrity of sexuality within marriage alone.”
Land: “Those who oppose us are not going to make any distinctions,” said Land, the new president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina. “They’re hostile to people of faith, period.”
John Taylor (director of interfaith relations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints): “There’s a realization among faith groups generally that despite doctrinal differences — and we have doctrinal differences, there’s no question about that — we do have areas of commonality,”
What else do these groups have in common? None of them believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. They don’t believe what the Bible teaches about how one receives eternal life (see John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).
The recent interaction between evangelicals and Mormons seems to be part of a growing trend, as this excerpt from the RNS article points out:
Gregory Johnson, co-founder of Standing Together, a Utah group of evangelical pastors, has given dozens of presentations with BYU’s Millet called “A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation.” He dubbed the recent get-togethers “the year of the evangelical at BYU.”
Mohler plans to return to BYU early next year, as does Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias.
In addition to increasing dialog between evangelicals and Mormons, there has been cooperation between Mormons and Catholics in humanitarian missions, as highlighted in the RNS article:
John Taylor, director of interfaith relations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said there is a growing sense that Mormons and non-Mormons can agree in some areas — from humanitarian aid, where Mormons have also joined with Catholics — to the desire to retain their younger members.
I believe we will see groups that teach false gospels continue to coalesce with false religions. I believe we will see them begin to “iron out” doctrinal issues. I believe the more they meet and have dialog, the more they will find they have in common.
In fact, my wife has recently been visited a couple of times by two Jehovah’s witnesses. She has patiently explained God’s plan of salvation to them, and has even referred them to Expreacherman.com.
During one of the discussions, my wife asked the Jehovah’s witnesses whether they thought the people represented by the second soil in the parable of the Sower were saved or not (Luke 8:13). They said they were not. My wife told them that people who believe salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone think that soil two represents saved believers, because that’s what the Bible says.
What an insightful comment! I wonder what the Lordship “salvationists” would say about soil two in the parable of the Sower? The Mormons? The Roman Catholics?