Thursday, March 10, 2011

The National Association of Evangelicals to meet in Utah.

The decision by a national group of evangelicals to hold a major meeting in predominantly Mormon Utah carries the potential for continued reconciliation between two constituencies that have viewed each other skeptically — and a political upside for Latter-day Saints presidential hopefuls like Mitt Romney.

The National Association of Evangelicals is holding its semiannual board meeting in Salt Lake City on Thursday — the first time the group has met in Utah. The association chose to gather in Utah precisely to open the door to improved relations between the religious groups.

The board plans to meet with a Mormon leader, in what the evangelicals are framing as an opportunity for “dialogue” that will “deepen our understanding of the Mormon faith and contribute to the ongoing work of evangelicals in Utah.”

Read the full story here.


Anonymous said...

I wonder, will they 'get it' that the LDS are christians?

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is that Evangelicals are using a different definition of "Christian" than has been the broad, standard meaning for hundreds of years. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the most common meaning is "one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ." Since Mormons DO profess belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ, they are by definition Christian.

The definition that Evangelicals are using is something like "one who believes correct doctrine (i.e. Evangelical doctrine) concerning Jesus Christ." Nothing wrong with that, if they make it clear that they are using a non-standard (and exclusionary) meaning.

It seems hypocritical to me for "Christians" to object to changing the definition of the word "marriage" but not to find anything wrong with changing the definition of the word "Christian" for their own purposes. Personally, I think that for clear understanding and communication, word definitions should not be arbitrarily changed to further an agenda.


Anonymous said...

I saw this article on the news the other day. When evangelical groups visit Salt Lake City or hold their conferences there, it is very wise for them to meet with representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is truly important that all people of all faiths stand together on matters of religious freedom, or we will find that we do not have any religious freedom left.

The CJCLDS have been forging a coalition with the Catholic church on issues regarding life and marriage. You can see David French's link to his article on this subject on the Evangelicals for Mitt web site.

While many evangelicals find neither the CJCLDS nor the Catholic Church included in their definition of "Christian," evangelicals are needed as part of a broader coalition to protect social issues that impact us all. I hope this will be the beginning of a willingness for all faiths to work together politically for the common good.

I don't really know how much impact this will have on the Presidential race, but if it helps Mitt, I will be glad.


BOSMAN said...

I think anything that builds a better understanding between evangelicals and Mormons will benefit Romney.

Lets hope the positive vibes work there way down from the clerics to their parishioners.

Closer To Home said...

While I cheer any dialogue that increases understanding, I'm hesitant to put too much hope in decreasing the friction that counter-cult ministries have taken 50 years to create.