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3 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2011 - 11:41AM #1
Ironhold
Posts: 11,588
For those of you who do not yet know me, I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, better known as the Mormons.

A bit back I attended a garage sale hosted by a local Lutheran congregation inside their activity hall. While leaving, I noted a display of pamphlets near the exit. One of them was "What About Mormonism" by A. L. Barry, who is listed as being head of the Missouri Synod.

I finally had the chance to examine it earlier today, and am disappointed by the inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the work - especially since one would think that it represents officially-sanctioned material.

I put together a written response to some of the points and sources raised in the work; if anyone wishes to read it, I've hosted a transcript at my Deviant Art page (link).

I am thinking of forwarding my response to whoever is in charge of handling such matters for the Synod.

Would anyone perhaps be able to give me the appropriate contact information?

Thank you for your time.
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3 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2011 - 4:02PM #2
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

Well, since the Rev. Barry is deceased, I think you'll have a bit of a problem arguing theology with him. (The current President of the LCMS is the Rev. Matthew Harrison.)


I'm not sure what your desired outcome is in expressing your displeasure over the LCMS' portrayal of Mormons (I suspect the outcome would be exactly the same as my contacting them to express my displeasure over the LCMS' portrayal of the ELCA), but if you want to pursue that you might contact their denominational office of information at infocenter@lcms.org.


If you have other questions about the LCMS, their website is www.lcms.org.


If your purpose in posting here is generating a Lutheran/LDS debate, we're not interested. This isn't a debate forum. This forum is for Lutherans to talk to one another, and for respectful guests to ask objective questions about Lutheran Christianity.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2011 - 10:20PM #3
WannabeTheo
Posts: 400

Well, I see no reason to think that Ironhold's request is anything other than a sincere request for information, but I agree with Tawonda that he will probably not get any more contact information here than is publicly available, e.g. on the LCMS website.  I also agree that his protest will have little effect.


I am ELCA now, but I grew up LCMS.  I remember my church showing the movie "The God Makers", which is highly critical of the LDS theology and hierarchy.  There were also all sorts of tracts available in the lobby, including some critical of the LDS, Jehovah's Witnesses, Freemasons, and any other number of groups; and even a few of those awful Chick tracts.


I think as a general rule, the LCMS is more interested in accentuating the differences between itself and others than in building bridges.  Knowing they've managed to upset a Mormon will probably just give them a warm fuzzy.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2011 - 10:21PM #4
Ironhold
Posts: 11,588

Jun 22, 2011 -- 4:02PM, tawonda wrote:


Well, since the Rev. Barry is deceased, I think you'll have a bit of a problem arguing theology with him. (The current President of the LCMS is the Rev. Matthew Harrison.)


I'm not sure what your desired outcome is in expressing your displeasure over the LCMS' portrayal of Mormons (I suspect the outcome would be exactly the same as my contacting them to express my displeasure over the LCMS' portrayal of the ELCA), but if you want to pursue that you might contact their denominational office of information at infocenter@lcms.org.


If you have other questions about the LCMS, their website is www.lcms.org.


If your purpose in posting here is generating a Lutheran/LDS debate, we're not interested. This isn't a debate forum. This forum is for Lutherans to talk to one another, and for respectful guests to ask objective questions about Lutheran Christianity.




 


I was just asking for the contact info so that I can get it fired off to the appropriate party as I have time.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2011 - 8:58AM #5
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

As WannabeTheo notes, the LCMS are equal-opportunity critics of other religious groups, including other denominations within the mainstream/orthodox category. They take their doctrinal positions very seriously and are generally not interested in any sort of hands-across-the-street efforts at ecumenical or interfaith understanding. When I was a kid in the LCMS we weren't allowed to get involved in Scouting, for instance, if another denomination sponsored the troop. We didn't participate in the local CROP Walk because other clergy were present at the before- and after-events, saying prayers and making remarks that might contain doctrinally incorrect statements. And of course the then-ALC/LCA Lutheran church bodies were worse than Baptists or Methodists, LOL.


Now, when I got to college, back in the Stone Age ('79)  the LCMS student chapel was remarkably ecumenical, given all that -- we even had a pulpit exchange with the local RC student parish, and we had a combined folk music group with those awful ALC/LCA heretics...but we were in the English District, which tends to be more liberal in LCMS circles; and then things took a hard right turn sometime around my senior year...which made it even easier for me to jump the fence over to the other Lutheran church in town.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2011 - 1:54PM #6
G_Erdner
Posts: 170

Why would any Lutheran body want to "build bridges" to a non-Christian group like the Mormons?

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2011 - 6:45PM #7
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

First of all, many Christian churches are involved in interfaith activities with members of other faiths, particularly activities related to aid/relief here and abroad, community development, anti-bigotry/diversity promotion and other quality-of-life issues.


Different faith communities have a common interest in promoting mutual understanding and respect...which is not at all the same as proselytizing...which is not at all the same as saying that "all religions are the same."


Obviously it is easier to do more things in common with people who believe as we do. For instance, in my community, the local ELCA and Episcopal parishes have a very close altar/pulpit relationship. They in turn are part of a LARC, a Lutheran-Anglican-Roman-Catholic covenanted relationship with the local RC parish, and also participate in a certain amount of ecumenical worship and fellowship as part of that, although because of the RC's stand on closed communion they can't fully participate in, say, Eucharistic worship. These churches in turn are all part of the local ministerial association, which works together in projects like the community Good Friday and Thanksgiving services, coordinating discretionary help to people who come to individual churches looking for assistance, and so on; some of these churches have very different theologies and practices within Christendom, but they're able to cooperate in projects like this.


One of my pastor acquaintances lives in a community that, a few years ago, was being targeted by white supremacists as a fertile hunting ground for recruits. He and some of his pastorly friends, along with members of the Jewish and Islamic communities in his city, got together in response to this and initiated a series of anti-bigotry teach-ins for the rest of the community, and also began an annual diversity festival in their city where people can simply get together to enjoy food, music, etc. offered by different ethnic and other groups in the city. This group was VERY successful in beating back the skinhead presence, by presenting a united front among the entire religious community.


That's why a Lutheran church would want to get involved in both ecumenical and interfaith activities. They each have their own scope, their own purpose and their own limitations.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2011 - 10:53PM #8
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

I second Tawonda's point.  Just recently the interfaith community came together here at WSU to support the Libyan students in the community.  With the rebellion in Libya student funds were cut off by the Gadaffi regime.  WSU has the largest contingent of Libyan students in the US, primary because of the Intensive American Language Center.  Students from around the world come to learn American English here and many will stay to continue their education.


With the funds being cut off Libyan students were are risk of being repatriated back to Libya.  Frankly, this would be very dangerous for many of them since they or their families back home support the rebellion.


The interfaith community got together to support these students with social events, providing cooking classes for the Libyan women.  Funds for continued housing, scholarships for Libyan children to take swimming lessons and provide childcare.  A special food bank was also set up to support the students.  Here are some of the faith groups that came together to support the students: United Church of Christ; St. James Episcopal Church; Presbyterian Church of Pullman; the Pullman Mosque; the Interfaith House; the Sabbath House; The Pullman Area Buddhists; The Pullman Foursquare Church; the St Thomas Catholic Sudent Center; the Seventh Day Adventist Fellowship; the Sacred Heart Catholic Church; the Unitarian-Universalist Church of the Palouse; the Jewish Community of the Palouse; and last, but not least, Trinity Lutheran Church, plus a number of other civic organizations.


Think of it: Buddhist; Christian; Jewish; Muslim and Unitarian groups coming to gether to help support the Libyan students.  None of these organizations could have provided the help that was needed, but combined we were able to save these students and their immediate families.


Good News:  just today, the Gaddaffi regime was allowed to release funds to continue the Libyan-North American scholarship program.  The Libyan students will have enough funds to last into May 2012.


Likewise, when ever there are disasters that affect whole communities (think Joplin or Minot) the various faith groups work together to coordinate their services. 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2011 - 11:18PM #9
G_Erdner
Posts: 170

Working with people who are adherants of non-Christian religions like the Mormons, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, or any other religion to care for people in need is a wonderful thing to do. For that matter, working with secular and/or atheist organizations to help people in need is a good idea. I was referring to "building bridges", in the sense of entering into formal relationships, such as the bad decision to create the fellowship arrangements between the ELCA and the Reformed churches.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2011 - 11:58PM #10
teilhard
Posts: 51,873

ummmm ... Correction, however ...


The Latter Day Saints ("Mormons") certainly ARE "Christians," though they are NOT "catholic" Christians ...

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