Resolution: On the Mormon Church – Mormonism is Not Evangelical (by Dwight McKissic and Tim Rogers)

The following resolution will be offered by Pastors Dwight McKissic and Tim Rogers in Houston. It certainly has my support, for what it’s worth.

WHEREAS, Historically, Southern Baptists have embraced Christian brotherhood and cooperation with other evangelicals and

WHEREAS, We have witnessed in recent years the portrayal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as Christian and termed an evangelical group and

WHEREAS, We have witnessed in recent years an increased call of denominations as barriers to be overcome on the road to unity and

WHEREAS, our convention along with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a long history of affirming the sanctity of life and

WHEREAS, The Word of God, the Bible, is the complete, trustworthy, and inerrant written record of God’s revelation of Himself to man (John 16:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21) and

WHEREAS, The Bible reveals God as the only true, eternal Creator and self-sufficient, self-existent Sovereign of the universe, one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6-8) and

WHEREAS, Jesus Christ is the unique and eternal Son of God, the incarnate Word, who was with God and was God, and was supernaturally conceived of the Holy Spirit, without sexual relations, born of the virgin Mary (John 1:1-18; Isaiah 7:14-16; 9:6-7; Matthew 1:18-21) and

WHEREAS, True Biblical unity can only be realized in the bond of truth, and never at the expense of Biblical truth; Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention meeting, June 11-13, 2013, in Houston, Texas, urges the Boards and Agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention to maintain the historic position of Southern Baptists as they cooperate with various other groups in appropriate evangelistic enterprises, and on issues of justice, morality, and religious liberty both at home and abroad; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That such efforts not commit Southern Baptists to any organizational or long-term relationship which would risk possible compromise of historic distinctives or the unique witness of Southern Baptists to the world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists affirm the finality, sufficiency, and exclusivity of the Christian Gospel and of biblical revelation as the sole source of saving truth, “For there is no other name under heaven given among man by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED; Any group that denies the sufficiency and exclusivity of the Christian Gospel and of biblical revelation as the sole source of saving truth, while cooperating with on issues of morality, social justice, and religious liberty, will not be a group Southern Baptists cooperate with on evangelistic endeavors, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED; We call on all Southern Baptists to cooperate with all groups on issues of morality, social justice, and religious liberty while maintaining the understanding that the term “evangelical” is reserved only for those who affirm the exclusivity of salvation alone, by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone, according to the scriptures alone;

AND BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED; Any group that adds to the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the eternal son of God, or denies the work of the Holy Trinity, is not considered Christian, or part of an evangelical belief system.

Comments

  1. Bill Pfister says

    My brothers, I agree with the proposed resolution and hope it will pass in Houston. I think you could take your resolution a step further and be much more direct. The title makes your intention clear but I’m not so sure the resolution makes it that plain. I would not be opposed to supporting a resolution that said, BE IT RESOLVED, We do not consider Mormonism to be another evangelical Christian denomination but a cult.

    • Tarheel says

      I agree Mormonism is a cult, and I’d like to see that word included….but the final resolve does state “shall not be considered Christian”.

      • says

        Brother Bill and Tarheel,

        You are welcome to amend the resolution if it comes out of committee. I do know that some have a dislike to the term “cult” because it raises memories of Jim Jones and David Koresch. However, my understanding of cult is any religion that denies the trinity or deity of Jesus Christ.

        But, I would not oppose your amendment.

        • Lars says

          Actually if you look up the definition of cult. It says “religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.” Means we’re a cult too, just a cult of Christ.

  2. says

    Makes sense, Bill. And since today the word cult means a shaved head and white Nikes while you wait for the comet to pick you up, then maybe “false religion” would be better.

  3. William Thornton says

    I like both of you guys but need to be persuaded that this resolution is necessary.

    Would you kindly make the case?

    • says

      William and Bill,

      I think I agree with you both. As I read the resolution, I am not sure WHAT the force of the resolution would accomplish.

      Would would this resolution effectively accomplish?

      An interesting side note are the following statments:

      WHEREAS, We have witnessed in recent years an increased call of denominations as barriers to be overcome on the road to unity and

      WHEREAS, True Biblical unity can only be realized in the bond of truth, and never at the expense of Biblical truth; Now, therefore….

      Sounds eerily familiar with the theological debates going on today INSIDE the SBC.

      • Scott Shaver says

        Bob:

        While not being totally insensitive to the concerns of some who fear a public perception of kinship between Mormons and Southern Baptists, all I can say is here we go again.

        Further defining with continual resolutions and statements what we don’t believe and who we’re not willing to identify with (in this case, Mormons) tends to decrease rather than increase public good will toward the SBC. IMO

        Why do Southern Baptists always insist on a creedal approach to such issues and why are we so unwilling to let the Lord of the harvest seperate wheat from tares?

        Any literate, regenerate, decently trained and committed Baptist understands the irreconcilable differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity.

        What public or eternal good for the SBC is derived at this point from theologically thumbing our noses in print at the Mormons?

        • Scott Shaver says

          Here’s another possible scenario for consideration Bob.

          Suppose you have at least two resolutions offered from the floor for consideration at the upcoming SBC annual meeting.

          One resolution tends to theologically disparage Mormonism, The second resolution speaks to the issue of sexual abuse of children within SBC churches/partner churches.

          What happens through the lens of public perception when the resolution on child abuse cannot muster a vote of support but the statement against Mormonism does?

  4. Richmond Goolsby says

    Not only is Mormonism not evangelical, neither is it a “church”. I recommend a more accurate title which does not at all legitimize Mormonism as a “church”.

  5. Bart Barber says

    Why not simply say that Mormonism is not Christian?

    Of course, you’ve got my vote either way.

  6. Tarheel says

    Billy Graham’s actions in the last election made it necessary I think.

    I also like the clarity with which the resolution speaks toward the trinitarianism, exclusivity of Christ and the gospel….stating that “no group” who denies these things is evangelical or Christian.

    Evangelicalism needs to be defined…..remember several pastors and leaders (SBC) embraced a like minded political conservative who called for spiritual/political revival under God- These leaders locked hands and implied spiritual union with him on the steps of the Capitol.

  7. Bob Pederson says

    If the exclusivity of the Gospel and biblical revelation as the source of saving truth, with faith in Christ as it’s sole source, why are we so quick to single out the Mormons yet move to accept Roman Catholicism as legitimate Christianity? I wonder what the Reformers would have to say about it.

      • Bob Pederson says

        Thanks David, I didn’t know that the issue had been addressed. The fact that we acknowledge that the RCC teaches a different nature and means of salvation other than the biblical Gospel, and yet encourages meaningful dialogue as we hold hands in the sight of the whole world astounds me somewhat. The RCC clearly preaches another gospel while claiming to be Christian. The Scripture us clear on how we should treat them. I’m not a hateful guy, I’m just concerned with our willingness to look the other way when it comes to the Bible at times.

  8. says

    The same multi- millionaire Glen Beck that entertained the masses at Liberty University while having the NRA conservative pro-gun support . We need to encourage our own friends of our own choosing ignoring the box office draw of the “wild ones” .

  9. says

    I’m thankful to hear a resolution of this nature. Like many others have stated… This resolution includes more than just Mormonism (this is good) It could go further, but I would be in support of it as it stands.

    Good clarity and helpful for me with my Mormon community neighbors. Recent political atmosphere made for a short season of confusion among both evangelicals and Mormons. May this help.

  10. says

    Amen and well said. The focus of this resolution is separation from Mormonism but it does raise the issue of separation with RCC. As evangelicals become more socially oriented in the name of the Gospel we are always in danger of blurring the lines of distinction with other groups, both religious and political. Dominion Theology has clouded our proper focus on and definition of the Gospel of Christ as we try to heal the world’s woes in the name of the Gospel of Christ. I just don’t find that in Peter and Paul’s ministries. Christ’s miracles authenticated WHO He was as the incarnate Son of God and Christ whose Kingdom is no yet. We are not, can not and will not “usher in” the Kingdom of God. Sorry, I digress. But I do believe the resolution is touching on a much bigger issue clouding the Proclamation of the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  11. Chief Katie says

    Dwight introduced a similar resolution at last convention. I was convinced it was political in nature then, and I’ve not changed my mind.

    Why is this necessary? Are we prepared to do the same thing for other religious groups we don’t agree with? How about the WW COG, TEC, ELCA, COC, the Roman Catholic Church? If we aren’t prepared to challenge these people, then why should single out Mormons?

    Why shouldn’t we clean up our own in-house issues before we go after others?

    Our motives might be good, but what message are we sending to unbelievers? Who gave us the right to define the word ‘evangelical’? Unbelievers will surely see that as more Christian bigotry.

    This is the wrong message for the wrong reasons. The church is under heavy assault from the four corners of the earth. Immorality is now considered to be a good thing. Yet, we are concerned about Mormons??? Defending the Christian faith is one thing, but to invite a fight is something else all together.

    As a good complementarian wife, I pass on my husband’s comments: “If we really believe and trust the Holy Spirit to change hearts and minds, let’s let the Holy Spirit do His job.” Better to define what we are (BF&M) instead of who we disagree with.

    • Frank L. says

      Chief. I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis. We are forever making resolutions as a substitute for making a difference.

      PS–my son Jonathan is 3 weeks into FC School. The only one to pass last weeks test. Maybe we will have another “Chief” in a few years.

      • Chief Katie says

        Hi Frank,

        Thanks for your good words. I really appreciate the way you framed the difference. I think we have a big job before us and condemning others doesn’t seem productive to me. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to compare and contrast the Mormon church with us to see the difference.

        Good to hear about Jonathan’s progress. FC school is no walk in the park. It’s a comfort to know that the best and brightest are succeeding. Not sure that being a Chief will mean to Jonathan what it has meant to me and generations of other Chiefs. Everyone from E-1 to O-10 now wears khaki and our initiation services have been banned. There is no longer any distinct message of the Chief and his/her fouled anchors. It’s becoming E-7 across the services. Sad really. Perhaps Jonathan will be able to restore some of our proud heritage.

        God Bless Frank.

        • Jess Alford says

          Chief Katie,

          You said, condemning others doesn’t seem productive. You just don’t know how wrong you are. Southern Baptists have been condemning folks for 150 years, and look at us now.

          • Chief Katie says

            Jess,

            I’m not sure if that was serious or sarcastic, but honestly, I’m very weary of the constant rancor. I’m not in favor of compromising the gospel, and watering down the basic doctrines we hold dear, but neither do I think we need to go after other faith groups.

            Living in AZ has me surrounded by the LDS church. At my last teaching assignment (before taking on the Director job of a Christian school), the majority of my students were Mormon children. The truth is I didn’t like hearing kids talk about the three levels of heaven, but I NEVER heard them utter a bad word about a Baptist. Nor did I ever hear a Mormon parent ridicule us. They are much too busy with their scheduled family nights. Something I might add, we could learn from.

            If unbelievers want to learn about what we believe that information is available. I don’t see any need to have a list of resolutions that serve no serious purpose.

            However, my exposure to the military has left me quite able and willing to show respect towards those who I might disagree with.

        • Frank L. says

          Chief,

          I’ll steer off course a bit to have some scuttlebutt.

          Jonathan told me that they are working toward having one basic uniform for all the services. I did not understand it all, but I think the distinctiveness of each branch is healthy and would hate to see the Navy give up the distinctive “Cracker Jack” uniform.

          It came back just before I mustered out.

          God bless,

          • Chief Katie says

            Yep, Frank, that’s part of what I’m hearing. I believe this will be a mistake of profound repercussions. The ties that bind are interwoven into our heritage. I can only hope and pray that someone can steer the ship aright and much beyond amidships. I hope that I never hear that it’s unacceptable to sing “Eternal Father”. It still brings tears to my eyes.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZk1n9C070s

            Okay, we better secure the hi-jack…:)

          • says

            Semper Fi, Chief.

            As a former Marine musician, Eternal Father is still one of my favorites. I’ve written a couple of arrangements for piano and organ that I sneak in sometimes when I’m asked to play.

            I seriously hope they don’t unify the uniforms. There is a lot of history behind the Marine Corps dress blues. They don’t call them blood stripes for nothing.

      • Chief Katie says

        Mark,

        If I may? I don’t disrespect your view. But I think using the ‘resolution’ method, is counter to our goals. Correct me if I am wrong. Our primary goal is to fulfill the Great Commission, Yes? Why isn’t the BF&M sufficient to describe what we believe? How do these resolutions serve us? If you can demonstrate to me, that we can reach unbelievers with these resolutions, I’ll reconsider your point of view. I’m often not correct, and I have no problem with learning from others.

        • says

          Katie,

          As one who was raised in a sect of Mormonism, I do see a need to have clear statements that Mormonism is not Christian. As Southern Baptists (and other Christians) continue to supporting Republicans, and Mormons such as Beck and Romney support Republicans, more confusion is likely to come.

          The last election is a good example of Christians not being able to discern that Mormonism preaches a different gospel and Jesus. Romney even lied to Huckabee about the question of Jesus and Lucifer being brothers. Mormons have become very good at claiming they are Christians with the default answer – “we believe in Jesus.” So there may be times when resolutions are necessary to show clarity on the gospel. I also think that a resolution separating ourselves from Mormons is more important to the gospel than resolutions on things like alcohol. (I’m sharing a general observation; not necessarily addressing you specifically.)

          I don’t all together disagree with you about the resolution method. If you position on the resolution method is taken across the board it seems we’d stop any and all resolutions (which may not be a bad idea). That is, because the BFM is sufficient to state what we believe leaving no need for resolutions.

          I think you have a valid question asking how do these resolutions serve us. You also ask how resolutions help us reach unbelievers. I don’t know exactly, but I’ll give a short answer taking into account what I’ve written above. I think a resolution on Mormonism issue it can help clarify the gospel if/when Mormonism comes up. It can help uninformed Southern Baptists, from the pew to the influential Mike Huckabee, answer questions about Mormonism. All of this depends on how much people pay attention to resolutions anyway.

          In turn, I have a question. How do we reach unbelievers with the BFM?

          • Chief Katie says

            Well Mark, I’m one of those pesky Calvinists so in essence I believe in the doctrine of election. But, even if I didn’t, your question regarding unbelievers is more than fair. It seems to me that unbelievers approach the faith with a good degree of skepticism. Just as an aside here, my cousin is Dan Barker from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. His life’s work is to make sure that every last person on the planet is a skeptic and stays that way. It might be my own very destructive upbringing, but I surely approach any belief system suspiciously. If I were looking, I’d start with any statement provided that states clearly “What we believe”. The BF&M is complete and grounded in the scriptures. It is specific enough to dissuade any person from believing that Jesus was the spirit brother of Satan. It is clear enough in its description of regeneration and sanctification as to be clear what salvation is and is NOT. Then of course, one can go to the SBC website and search the word ‘Mormonism’ and voila….. Google assists and the number of articles one can read is almost 1 million. The distinctions from the NAMB, and other SBC entities depict what we believe. I’d post a good number of them here but I don’t want to get this post hung up in moderation while Dave is busy with his family. But here is the first from 1997: http://www.sbclife.net/Articles/1997/11/sla10.asp This particular article provides many resources:

            Mormonism: Learn More About It

            Those interested in more information on the Mormon Church, its history, practices, and beliefs, might obtain the following materials or contact the ministries listed below:

            • The Mormon Puzzle: Understanding and Witnessing to Latter-day Saints. Alpharetta, GA.: North American Mission Board, SBC, 1997.

            • Martin, Walter. The Kingdom of the Cults. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1985

            • Morey, Robert. How to Answer a Mormon. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1983.

            • Smith, John L. Has Mormonism Changed … Now? Marlow, Okla.: Utah Missions, 1979.

            • Spencer, James. Have You Witnessed to a Mormon Lately? Old Tappen, N.J.: Fleming Revell Co, 1986.

            • Tanner, Jerald and Sandra. The Changing World of Mormonism. Chicago: Moody Press, 1980.

            • Tanner, Jerald and Sandra. Mormonism: Shadow or Reality? Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1982.

            Interfaith Witness Department
            North American Mission Board, SBC
            4200 North Point Parkway
            Alpharetta, GA 30022
            (770) 410-6000

            Utah Lighthouse Ministries
            1358 S. West Temple
            Salt Lake City, UT 84110
            (801) 485-8894

            Utah Missions
            Box 348
            Marlow, OK 73055
            (800) 654-3992

            Those who oppose us are working overtime to paint us as hateful bigots who like nothing more than to spread discontent, stigmatize minorities, and belittle others. If the SBC has work to do (and we do) we’d do better to work towards a dialogue that is open and honest without compromising the gospel truth.

            These resolutions are not helpful. The information regarding what we believe is not only available, it can’t be avoided unless someone purposely wants to. We have an opportunity to reach Mormons for the gospel, but calling them out as a convention doesn’t seem like any evangelistic method I was ever taught.

            Your comment about uninformed Baptists is likely true. Strike that, I know it’s true. So how will yet another resolution fix this problem? As I’ve demonstrated, the information is available to anyone who can use a search engine. The SBC site is comprehensive and addresses every possible question I can think of. I do recognize that that are brothers and sisters among us who are either clueless or can’t be bothered to determine truth for themselves. But c’mon Mark, will a resolution change that? It’s not very likely that convention goers are part of the clueless group.

            Tell me again. Why do we need a resolution? The SBC site is absolutely and unequivocally definite in stating that Mormonism is not Christian.

            If I come off as a bit flippant, I don’t mean to. I have no reason at all to disrespect you and I appreciate the kind response you have provided.

            I admit, that I join Frank in seeing something else, likely politics, going on here and I don’t like it one bit.

          • John Wylie says

            Mark,

            I think some may have had trouble discerning that Mormonism preaches another Gospel and another Jesus, but I think that many who voted for Romney in 2012 didn’t consider President Obama a Christian so it was a wash religiously. I personally think it’s sad that I had more in common with a Mormon on social issues than I did a professing Christian. So, at least for me that line was not blurred. I knew full well how I felt about Mormonism, but in all honesty, I don’t feel any better about liberal Christianity.

          • Anisha Hall says

            Hello all,

            I stumbled upon this blog from the Deseret News, and have been really impressed with the civility of discussion. I AM a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and, if you would allow me, I would like to defend my belief that I am a follower of the very same Jesus Christ that you follow. To Mark Lamprecht, above, I would say that if you had truly been a member of our church, you would have known that there are no sects of it as a denomination, and that any break-off organizations are not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (as often attested to in news media).
            I am a resident of the Houston area, but have been all over the world recently for university and teaching. May I just say that the overall spirit of this discussion has touched my heart, because I can sense how sincerely many of you want to share your love of Heavenly Father with all of His children. That is so needed here in Asia (I’m sitting at my desk in Hong Kong), where suicide rates reach the highest on the planet. I agree with everyone who has taken action to bring the resolutions of your church organizations to fruition in the ways that show the Lord is heavily involved.

            I humbly ask that any clarifications on what I believe be directed to me, and not to people who formerly studied my faith. I also seek to learn of your beliefs, and I intend to ask YOU, and not anybody else.

            I do, with everything that I am, believe that God wants each and every one of His children to return home to live with Him, and to reach the potential He envisions for them. I believe that He sent His only Begotten Son to suffer in Gethsemane, be lifted up upon the Cross, and blessedly rise again on the third day (which is probably the most important part), so that every person can have the opportunity of coming home.

            Could we unite? Frankly, being raised in a town of 2,000 with half a dozen different churches on the main road has helped me to see that more people benefit from everyone being united against our greatest Enemy as he saturates the world, instead of breaking up the team to bicker and point fingers (which, to me is evident of success on the part of our adversary). My dearest friends are Baptist, and I would love to learn more about what you believe, and what keeps your faith so strong amidst the pressures of this world.
            Feel free to email me (anisha.hall8@gmail.com).

            Also, just to put it out there, below is a link to the very fundamentals of what I believe.

            http://mormon.org/articles-of-faith

            Best wishes & love,
            Anisha Hall

            (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865581446/Southern-Baptists-to-discuss-their-divide-over-Calvinism-working-with-Mormons-at-annual-meeting.html)

  12. Jess Alford says

    You guys stated, (one God in three persons). Why not a triune God, three persons in one God. I think what you have written in this matter should be reworded as I have pointed out. To me, what you have written states
    triune persons, instead of a triune God.

    • says

      Jess,

      Thank you for that clarification. It is in the hands of the Committee right now if it comes out and it is still there I will suggest the rewording.

  13. Bob B. says

    I think this is a good step, but if anything I think it’s too soft. I think there are members of SBC churches that could read this and not actually know what the point is because so many members are confused as to what Mormons really believe.

    Therefore, it seems odd that we would not make the statement include enough language to explicitly declare that Mormons do NOT believe the same gospel that we do. So here’s the point: if everyone in the SBC knows that Mormonism is wrong, then why do we need a resolution at all? If we think we need the resolution, then why doesn’t it clearly state that Mormonism is wrong?

    I do understand they’ve worded it so it captures other groups besides Mormons, but if that was the goal then they shouldn’t focus on them in the opening statements and should have just made it a generic resolution from start to finish.

  14. says

    “What would this resolution effectively accomplish?”– Glad you asked. We have had some leaders come out with specific comments in the last election cycle that seemed gracious but really implied the Mormon Church was a Christian group. While we have not had any incidence of church planting efforts with a Mormon group, and I do not expect to see any such thing, I believe the lines are blurred to the extent that it could only be a matter of time before we are debating this issue on the floor of the convention.

    Why do Southern Baptists always insist on a creedal approach to such issues and why are we so unwilling to let the Lord of the harvest seperate wheat from tares?–Not trying to separate the “wheat from tares”. Just stating the facts as to where we stand. As for a “creedal approach” I do not see anything in this resolution that calls for us to stand and repeat the Apostles Creed.

    Here is my question… why are we singling out this one specifically?–See my comments to the question below.

    Why is this necessary? Are we prepared to do the same thing for other religious groups we don’t agree with?– When we have a Mormon invoke the term “this nation needs revival” and scores of evangelical leaders join arms with him in our nation’s capital the lines are blurred. As for the other groups allow me to express my reason for signaling out Mormons. I do not know of any other groups that we have blurred the lines to the extent we have seen the evangelicals as a whole and some Southern Baptists in particular leading us across these lines. It is like our recent sprucing up of our parking lot. The white parking space lines were so faded one could not tell if their car was parked in the space or not. We spent the money to seal the parking lot and re-strip the lines. Now when one drives into the lot they can see clearly where to park and do not have to guess. The reason I am presenting this resolution is to clearly mark the lines again. It seems our witness has left many people guessing what we really believe about the exclusivity of Jesus Christ.

    • Frank L. says

      Last paragraph: so it is politically motivated?

      It is about the last election not the doctrine of election.

      Such a resolution will do more harm than good. Can we hope to correct ever misstatement of a politician with a resolution? We would simply be chasing our tales.

      I wonder if this resolution is intended to bring unity or simply grind an old ax from the last election? I see the remake of the Disney Fiasco coming.

      The Mormons are not our Enemy and resolutions are not our mission.

      This resolution will only allow us to make news, not extend the Good News. Of course we will be correct if we pass it–we just won’t be effective.

      Non-binding resolutions have done at least as much harm as good. It is a top-down approach to ecclesiology that does not fit well with Baptist polity

      • Jess Alford says

        Frank, if the devil puts his hand on your shoulder and says you’re my buddy, shouldn’t you worry? This is the same way I feel about Mormonism. We had better leave well enough alone.

        • Frank L. says

          Jess. I certainly have no plans to partner with Mormons. I just don’t plan to substitute resolutions for evangelism.

          I think there is another agenda at work in this resolution that I am not comfortable with

    • Scott Shaver says

      So, with all respect, Tim:

      You actually believe a statement by the SBC disparaging Mormonism is going to have the effect of fine-tuning the public’s theological perception as well as having a corrective influence on media produced political statements coming out of Washington?

      I tend to think that picking an unnecessary fight with Mormons on a public platform in a situation where the Word of God is all one needs to dispell their religious claims is silly and counterproductive.

      How can you be sure that the final effect of an overtly negative SBC resolution would not be to accelerate the public elevation of Mormonism to “Christian” status as a result of its being denigrated and disparaged by what some label as “the hate speech” of the SBC?

      The public at large is not nearly as impressed with our SBC statements, confessions and disclaimers as we are. If you can’t say something good about others, sometimes its best to say nothing at all.

      • says

        Scott,

        I am not “picking an unnecessary fight with the Mormons”. This resolution is long overdue as the lines of clear difference in Mormons and evangelicals have been blurred.

    • Dwight McKissic says

      Bro. Tim,

      Well stated. The parking stripe analogy sounded like a parable. After reading your words in this comment thread, I am even more convinced of the need & legitimacy of this resolution.

      Thanks for letting me partner with you on a Resolution that every Baptists need to understand. The lines have been blurred, as you so simply, illustratively, & eloquently make clear. This resolution brings clarity, definition & distinction to this discussion. My prayer is that the resolutions committee will see the need & help make it clear to all Baptists, that we do not view Mormonism as a valid Evangelical faith. Indeed it is a false religion and this resolution will clear up this matter. Thanks for your boldness, courage, convictions & character in standing up to champion this issue, while some would dare question your motives & the obvious need.

      Be not weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap if you faint not. To this resolution & all of your responses that I’ve read hear–Amen and Amen!!!

  15. says

    Well, they certainly behave evangelistically, but to be Christian evangelicals, they need to proclaim the true evangel. This brings up an observation that there are some groups more closely considered evangelical that are arguably not proclaiming the true evangel.

  16. Frank L. says

    I wonder what charges and accusations will arise if the committee, or the convention turns this down? More division. More marginalization.

    This looks like a no-win proposition

  17. William Thornton says

    Who are the Southern Baptists who have caused this to be a problem, Tim?

      • Dwight McKissic says

        Bro. Tim,

        Much love, Much respect, Much appreciation for the wisdom that you have shown in the construction of this resolution & the responses to comments. Your background & training has served you well. Look forward to seeing you in Houston.

        Dwight

  18. Joe Blackmon says

    Any group that adds to the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the eternal son of God, or denies the work of the Holy Trinity, or denies that a person must repent and trust Christ in this lifetime is not considered Christian, or part of an evangelical belief system.

    Dwight/Tim

    A humble suggestion in bold. I didn’t see anything else in the resolution that covered it. Basically, don’t they teach you can get baptized for a dead relative and they can be saved? This would take care of that as well as making it clear that any baptist groups outside the SBC that affirm some form of inclusivism are not teaching the gospel. #2birds1stone

    • says

      Joe,

      That would be a great addition and one that I would not object to. As I said earlier the resolution is in the hands of the committee and as such I am waiting to see if it gets through. If it doesn’t I do not know what I will do. If it does and is changed some I do not think it will be changed significantly for me to disagree with the committee. Also, if it does come through please feel free to add this as an amendment.

  19. cb scott says

    NEWS FLASH: BIG NEWS FROM THE SBC IN HOUSTON!!

    Attila the Hun and Ghandi have joined forces to challenge Southern Baptists to fight those aggressive, false-evangelical, Latter Day Saints.

    Yes folks, that’s right and you got it first right here at SBC Voices. Today is a historic day in the SBC once again. Attila the Hun Rogers and Ghandi Mckissic, two well known Southern Baptist pastors and Crusaders for both extremes, Right Wing and Left Wing at the same time, are coming together to bring forth a Resolution to end bicycle riding, young, Mormon Cultists from terrorizing urban communities with their evangelistic efforts to gain a foothold among Southern Baptist Theo-dwarves.

    Southern Baptist Theo-dwarves are easy targets for these lecherous devils wearing their white shirts and black ties, with perfect smiles, neat hair cuts, and with bulging calf and thigh muscles cut sharply from riding their bicycles hour after hour in the hot sun hunting down their Baptist victims with enticements to marry the man or woman of their dreams in the Temple in Salt Lake.

    These two heroes, Attila the Hun and Ghandi, are to be commended for bringing Southern Baptists together against this common enemy. Efforts at unity have been make by several Blue Ribbon committees appointed by SBC Presidents have failed thus far.

    However, these two veteran, convention warriors have done what would be seemingly impossible in Southern Baptist life at this time where in Trads and Cals have begun to rattle their sabers and the winds of war are blowing once again in the land of Southern Baptists. They are unifying us against another dangerous enemy, the Mormons.

    Therefore, let’s take the challenge of our brothers Attila and Ghandi and go forth from Houston and smite them Mormons infidels Hip and Thigh!! Let’s all sign the pledge to run our SUVs over those little bicycle ridin’ devils anywhere we find them. A-MEN!!

    • says

      Carlos,

      Yes, it is a result of marble heads being chipped away to the point of understanding we could find something to agree with–the exclusivity of Jesus Christ.

      • cb scott says

        Tim Rogers,

        I have often thought about how life would have been different had you been just a few hundred higher when you jumped out of that plane with a faulty parachute.

        • says

          Carlos,

          I am just glad of two things. The drop zone was nothing but sand and I had not hardened my heart to the point that God’s Spirit had stopped striving with me.

          Now, as to the height I would have been had this not happened….. :)

    • Jake Barker says

      CB,
      You really need to take up the side line of appearing on the comedy circuit!! You would make a fortune. ;) (smiley is for you Dave)

    • Jess Alford says

      cb scott,

      You can unite with whom you want, I’m going to unite with Baptists,
      but only a special few of them. I even named my flock of chickens Baptists, they are all the time clucking and eating, but seem to never get anything done.

      • cb scott says

        “You can unite with whom you want, . . ”

        Jess Alford,

        I did. We have been married for many, many years. However, our “flock” is named: David, Joe, Ben, TJ, Stephen, Carrie, and Ashley with several others who just “nested” with us for a while.

        I think you and your wife would have done better had you named your flock something other than “Baptists.” Seems to me that would cause a lot of confusion when you yelled out n the back yard, “Baptists, bring in some firewood.” However, I am sure that is one way to keep the wood box full and overflowing on a cold day up there on that Harlan County, KY ridge where you live, ain’t it?

    • Dwight McKissic says

      CB,

      Your “news flash” is nothing less than brilliant. Thanks for the comic relief.

      Dwight

      • cb scott says

        Dwight,

        I want you to say more about my brilliance. It does wonders for Tim’s self-esteem. :-)

        • volfan007 says

          CB,

          I’ll help with Tim’s self esteem…may I? Tim Rogers is one of the best, Krispy Kreme, donut eaters I’ve ever seen.

          How’s that?

          David

          • says

            volfan007

            Hanging around CB helps my self esteem. The boy cannot see over the pulpit when he preaches. I am just excited to see him out of breath by the time he walks up the steps to get to the pulpit then he can’t see the people. So he preaches by looking around the sides of the pulpit. :)

    • Joe Blackmon says

      How does voting for a Mormon violate any Christian principals? Are we only supposed to vote for Christians? If that is the case, then we couldn’t have voted in the last election since there wasn’t a Christian presidential candidate.

      • Jess Alford says

        Joe Blackmon,

        With the Devil being the brother of Jesus, and spending eternity on a star with as many wives as you want, and suffering life or limb for leaving the cult should ring a few bells.

        • Joe Blackmon says

          How does Mormonism being a cult, which it clearly is, mean that Christians can’t vote for them? Again, if Christians can only vote for Christians then they couldn’t have voted in the last Presidential election because there wasn’t a Christian running.

          • Frank L. says

            Many seem to have that philosophy and did not vote.

            In the NT kings were regarded as everyone’s king and participating in the political practice was taught by Jesus as well as others.

            God is as much sovereign over a Mormon politician as any other.

          • Joey says

            Joe,
            To be honest, if we can only vote for Christians, we might have needed to set out the last several presidential elections.

  20. says

    Well can I be honest? (Rhetorical question) CB Scotts news flash is about the dumbest and insulting thing he ever wrote. (I thought saying stupid a bit harsh).

    Also, The word “cult” might be a bit much for todays connotations, but I think we ought to include pronouncing the anathema on their doctrine.
    Seriously!

    • volfan007 says

      Clark,

      CB was joking around. Good grief, Dude, get a sense of humor.

      And, a cult is what the Mormons are.

      David

  21. says

    Chief Katie,

    No sense in bringing Calvinism into this exchange since we are on the same page. And I usually agree with you on the issues which I’ve read your comments. Besides, believing in election has not stopped Calvinists to be some of the strongest defenders of doctrine.

    I think the question of how the BFM helps unbelievers has now shifted. You’ve moved the issue into the realm of a seeker who ultimately finds what they are looking for. Fine, but all I would do is add the Mormon resolution among those resources you listed. If I understand you original statement that the BFM is enough then, surely, we don’t need any of those extra articles you posted.

    A Mormon resolution could raise awareness so people could seek out those resources you listed; a reminder of sorts. Even with all of the resources you so easily provided, there was still much confusion over Mormonism and Christianity during the last election. And Mormons aren’t exactly offering up their belief that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers. More importantly, people are too lazy look up the information and/or too ecumenical to care.

    I agree we need to work toward dialogue, but I don’t believe a resolution is antithetical to such dialogue. However, a resolution might be antithetical in the sense that dialogue is shut down before it ever begins. But then those who take such a path probably did not want real dialogue anyway.

    I will say one thing about resolutions in general though. I’m not sure how informed the average SBCer in the pew is about our resolutions or how much they care.

    My position is not that a resolution is needed, but it is certainly acceptable and understandable. I’ve explained myself and you’ve explained yourself – we disagree.

    A key statement of yours that I sort of overlooked at first may help get to the crux of our disagreement. You said, “But I think using the ‘resolution’ method, is counter to our goals.

    Maybe I missed it, but I don’t get how the resolution method is counter to our goals. I might agree that some resolutions could be counter to our goals, but the method in general?

  22. Ron says

    Regarding the upcoming Southern Baptist Convention and its vote on the resolution to work with the LDS Church, I sent several of the following texts to my pastor who I believe to be at, or getting ready to leave for, the SBC convention:

    “Today the Adam and Eve Convention voted to approve a resolution allowing Eve to work with Satan and “all groups on issues of morality, social justice, and religious liberty” noting that Satan had a “long history of affirming the sanctity of life”. The convention was held in the Garden of Eden. Following the vote, Satan and Eve were seen strolling together over to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – the one with the beautiful and tempting but as yet uneaten apples on it – where they will continue their discussions about how Satan can work more closely with Eve in the future…..”

    “Today the leadership of the hens voted to approve a resolution allowing hens to work with foxes and “all groups on issues of morality, social justice, and religious liberty” noting that foxes have had a “long history of interest in establishing a working relationship with hens”. The convention was held in the hen house.”

    “Today the SBC voted to work with members of the LDS Church and “all groups on issues of morality, social justice, and religious liberty”. When reminded that the LDS Church teaches that its doctrines are an abomination in the sight of God, that its leaders are corrupt, and that they teach for the doctrines of God the doctrines of men, the leadership of the SBC collectively and simultaneously responded with the following quote: “Huh?”

    I once considered approaching the SBC about the need for the convention to send missionaries to the LDS people to reach them with the true gospel a/k/a Marvin Cowan. I fear that it now appears that such missionaries are first needed to reach leaders of the SBC with the truth about the LDS Church.

    If you cannot already tell, this whole matter of the SBC resolution to work with the LDS Church has brought my blood to a BOIL. The lack of discernment and/or of awareness of the teachings of the LDS Church suggested by even the convention’s willingness to consider such a resolution is appalling. Do they have no idea whatsoever of what they are getting into? Do they have no idea whatsoever of how the LDS Church will trumpet the convention’s approval of such a resolution as further evidence that the SBC views the LDS Church to be an acceptable partner? Do they have no idea of how the LDS missionaries will use this development in their discussions with investigators to persuade them that “Yes! We LDS are just another Christian denomination…you know… like the Southern Baptists…and, by the way, did you hear that just recently the Southern Baptist Convention voted to work with us on ……

    The day this resolution passes will be the day I will seriously consider resigning my current membership in a Southern Baptist church.

  23. Amy Dwyer says

    Ron, I can assure you that since missionaries typically do not surf the web, they will not know about or care about this resolution. If they do, they can read, and they will understand what the resolution is actually saying. I’ve been entertained by all of the comments, and I’m sincerely grateful for Chief Katie’s comments. She seems to be one of the few voices of tolerance and love on this site. But as Anisha said, please refer to the Mormon site or better, ask a Mormon. Having been a full-time missionary myself, I can tell you I’m not afraid of questions, and neither are most Mormons. I’ve met many honest and tolerant Jehovah’s Witnesses as they’ve come to my door, and we’ve had some very open and honest discussions without judgment or criticism. I encourage all of you to do the same.

    I’ve certainly learned a lot about Southern Baptists on this site, so thank you for that. I know Christ is the Savior of all of us, and I thank God sincerely for my relationship with Him.

    Now, to get past the blog monitor…..