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As a "critic", what is your purpose or motivation?

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A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgement.

Informally, criticism is a common aspect of all human expression and need not necessarily imply skilled or accurate expressions of judgement. Critical judgements, good or bad, may be positive (in praise of an object of attention), negative (in dispraise), or balanced (weighing a combination of factors both for and against). Since all criticism must be regarded as having a purpose, a critic may also be definable by his or her specific motivation. At its simplest, and for whatever reason, a critic may have either constructive or destructive intent. My link

Granted, this forum has more "honest critics" than what I have seen in other forums and being rare are very welcomed. Yet, I continue to see "cheap shots" toward our sacred faith with "questions" disguised as "gotchas" or the elusive trail to the "nail in the coffin" for the Lord's Church.

As a "critic", what is your purpose or motivation?

I only ask because I know of no one in the LDS Church who plays the role as a "critic" for other's beliefs and I completely don't understand the need to be one. I am open to understand.

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A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgement.

Informally, criticism is a common aspect of all human expression and need not necessarily imply skilled or accurate expressions of judgement. Critical judgements, good or bad, may be positive (in praise of an object of attention), negative (in dispraise), or balanced (weighing a combination of factors both for and against). Since all criticism must be regarded as having a purpose, a critic may also be definable by his or her specific motivation. At its simplest, and for whatever reason, a critic may have either constructive or destructive intent. My link

Granted, this forum has more "honest critics" than what I have seen in other forums and being rare are very welcomed. Yet, I continue to see "cheap shots" toward our sacred faith with "questions" disguised as "gotchas" or the elusive trail to the "nail in the coffin" for the Lord's Church.

As a "critic", what is your purpose or motivation?

I only ask because I know of no one in the LDS Church who plays the role as a "critic" for other's beliefs and I completely don't understand the need to be one. I am open to understand.

As a critic, I would classify my objective as finding the truth claims and weighing their value. Your site, for example, outlines the archeological truth claims in Mormonism. If there is value, then knowing why you believe what you do helps me understand your position. What you classify as "cheap shots" is based on your opinion, while in my opinion the classification is rooted in unanswered questions that are clouded in vagueness. Truth is binary, as it's either true or it's not true. You believe it's true and I wish to understand why. I could pretend to be objectively on the fence but that would be dishonest. For the record my name is still on the books as a baptized member of the LDS church. You might ask why, but it's a long story and has no real relevance.

Regarding motivation, I'll give you this:

2 Tim 4:2 [NIV] Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

When you said, "this forum has more 'honest critics' than what I have seen in other forums and being rare are very welcomed" I'll disagree. When a new person comes in asking questions that have been thoroughly hashed out before, it doesn't mean it's been answered to them. Polygamy is a big one, and while there are arguments for and against, the sentiment that it's somehow been settled is up to the person asking the question. For the record I appreciate your honest answer regarding my question about your site... it was honest, and as seekers of truth that's all anyone can ask for. As long as the dialog is respectful I see no harm in discussion. I've debated many Atheists (I am a Christian) and find the discussions interesting. Would you equate your opinion of Mormon/Non-Mormon arguments differently that theist/Atheist discussions? Would motivation be questioned differently?

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As a critic, I would classify my objective as finding the truth claims and weighing their value. Your site, for example, outlines the archeological truth claims in Mormonism. If there is value, then knowing why you believe what you do helps me understand your position. What you classify as "cheap shots" is based on your opinion, while in my opinion the classification is rooted in unanswered questions that are clouded in vagueness. Truth is binary, as it's either true or it's not true. You believe it's true and I wish to understand why. I could pretend to be objectively on the fence but that would be dishonest. For the record my name is still on the books as a baptized member of the LDS church. You might ask why, but it's a long story and has no real relevance.

Regarding motivation, I'll give you this:

When you said, "this forum has more 'honest critics' than what I have seen in other forums and being rare are very welcomed" I'll disagree. When a new person comes in asking questions that have been thoroughly hashed out before, it doesn't mean it's been answered to them. Polygamy is a big one, and while there are arguments for and against, the sentiment that it's somehow been settled is up to the person asking the question. For the record I appreciate your honest answer regarding my question about your site... it was honest, and as seekers of truth that's all anyone can ask for. As long as the dialog is respectful I see no harm in discussion. I've debated many Atheists (I am a Christian) and find the discussions interesting. Would you equate your opinion of Mormon/Non-Mormon arguments differently that theist/Atheist discussions? Would motivation be questioned differently?

From what you stated, I wouldn't define you as a critic.

Cheap shots are exactly what they are, not "opinions". It has happened more than once towards Joseph Smith etc.. which wasn't even related to the OP.

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From what you stated, I wouldn't define you as a critic.

Cheap shots are exactly what they are, not "opinions". It has happened more than once towards Joseph Smith etc.. which wasn't even related to the OP.

What would you consider a cheap shot?

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Since I suppose you would describe me as a "critic," I will try to answer your question. To do so, however, I will need to comment on other matters surrounding your question. I ask your indulgence as I see the issue as broader than an individual's personal motivation.

First of all, every religion has those outside it that criticize it. This is just the way it is. Especially in a free society where people are at liberty to express their opinions, it is simply a fact of life with which all of us must come to terms. Our religion, whoever we are, is going to be criticized. Atheists are going to criticize theism and theists are going to criticize atheism; Catholics are going to criticize Protestantism and Protestants are going to criticize Catholicism; Mormons and evangelicals are going to criticize one another's forms of Christianity. And yes, Mormons do criticize evangelicalism, though not in the same organizational way. More on that below.

Second, some religious groups, especially many of those that are missions-oriented, have members or organizations that specialize in providing resources (informative, critical, evangelistic, etc.) about other religious groups. Specialization in general is a recent cultural phenomenon made possible and even (arguably) necessary by the information explosion. A hundred years ago no Mormon would have dreamed of the existence of an organization specializing in the defense of the LDS religion's scriptures and claims. Now at least two well-known organizations with that purpose exist (FARMS/Maxwell Institute and FAIR). A hundred years ago, no evangelical would have dreamed of evangelical organizations specializing in research, publication, and teaching about theology, biblical studies, Islam, Eastern religions, science-Bible issues, marriage and family issues, homosexuality, and many other subjects; yet now literally hundreds of such evangelical organizations exist. One might argue that evangelicals are especially prone to create such organizations, for at least two reasons: there are a lot of us, especially here in the USA (roughly one-fourth of Americans identify themselves with some form of evangelicalism); and evangelicalism is not a monolithic entity and "organization" in evangelicalism has historically occurred from the bottom up.

Third, as I stated above, evangelicals and Mormons have been criticizing each others' forms of Christianity from the very beginning of the LDS movement. It is true that Mormons don't organize to express their criticisms of evangelicalism in the same way that evangelicals organize to express their criticisms of Mormonism. But the fact is that there are LDS "critics" of evangelicalism. Any Mormon who publicly criticizes evangelical beliefs is a "critic" of evangelicalism, by your own definition (see below). And Mormons from Joseph Smith on have criticized evangelical beliefs. Furthermore, LDS criticisms of evangelicalism are in fact disseminated in an organized way, though again not in the same organized way as evangelical criticisms of Mormonism. Whenever the LDS Church publishes "Joseph Smith--History," for example, it is disseminating its rejection of Presbyterianism by name (JS-H 1:20). Whenever LDS missionaries teach the first missionary lesson, they are disseminating the LDS Church's criticisms of the entirety of Christianity outside the LDS movement. Is this "the same thing" as an evangelical writing a book arguing that the LDS religion is false? No, not exactly, but the underlying principle presumably is the same: Mormons think that all of Christianity outside the LDS Church is apostate because it fails to teach what Mormons think is the truth (on some things), and evangelicals think that the LDS Church is heretical because it fails to teach what evangelicals think is the truth (on some things).

This leads me to answer your question directly. What motivates me to express criticisms of the LDS religion? What motivates me to do so, negatively speaking, is that I think crucial aspects of the LDS religion are based on falsehood. To put the matter positively, what motivates me is concern for the truth about God, about Christ, about the Bible, about the gospel, about the church, and about salvation. And why does this matter? As I see it, this matters because it does matter what people believe, and I care about other people. I want others to know and believe and live the truth, because I care about them as fellow human beings made in God's image. In short, I am motivated to do what I do by the two motivating values of truth and love.

Are all critics of Mormonism so motivated? No, it seems not. Some critics of Mormonism do seem to be motivated by something else. The critics of Mormonism with whom I associate and collaborate, however, as best I can tell, share the values of truth and love as I have expressed them.

Do I perfectly embody the values of truth and love? No. I fall short. I have a lot of room to grow in these areas (perhaps especially in love, but in any case in respect to both truth and love). But it won't do for me to wait until I have attained perfection in these values before engaging the issues. That won't help anyone else.

I should also make clear that I don't see my main mission in life as criticizing Mormonism or any other religion. My main mission in life, with regard to my "calling" in ministry, is to teach and defend biblical Christianity. Most of my research, writing, teaching, and other work has not been concerned with the LDS religion. But I see a need with regard to the LDS religion and I am seeking to fill that need. In my opinion, there is a great need for evangelicals with training in biblical hermeneutics, history, and theology to engage issues pertaining to the LDS religion, especially its views about the Bible, its own scriptures, and its theology. You may be familiar with the 1998 article by Carl Mosser and Paul Owen about the need for evangelical scholars to engage LDS scholarship. Many Mormons cite that article because they see it as validating LDS apologetics--and that's fine. But I am trying to do exactly what Mosser and Owen argued that evangelical scholars like me should be doing. As a matter of fact, I made the same point a decade before Mosser and Owen did, in articles published in 1988 and 1989. Twenty years later, I am finally giving a sustained effort in this matter.

As it turns out, I recently posted an article entitled "Love, Honesty, and the Defense of the Faith" that explains how honesty (concern for truth telling) and love should motivate us to engage the religious and theological issues that divide us in a serious, careful, and fair-minded way. The article was a reflection on the two excellent chapters about honesty and charity in the LDS doctrinal manual Gospel Principles.

I hope you find these comments at least somewhat helpful.

A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgement.

Informally, criticism is a common aspect of all human expression and need not necessarily imply skilled or accurate expressions of judgement. Critical judgements, good or bad, may be positive (in praise of an object of attention), negative (in dispraise), or balanced (weighing a combination of factors both for and against). Since all criticism must be regarded as having a purpose, a critic may also be definable by his or her specific motivation. At its simplest, and for whatever reason, a critic may have either constructive or destructive intent. My link

Granted, this forum has more "honest critics" than what I have seen in other forums and being rare are very welcomed. Yet, I continue to see "cheap shots" toward our sacred faith with "questions" disguised as "gotchas" or the elusive trail to the "nail in the coffin" for the Lord's Church.

As a "critic", what is your purpose or motivation?

I only ask because I know of no one in the LDS Church who plays the role as a "critic" for other's beliefs and I completely don't understand the need to be one. I am open to understand.

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What would you consider a cheap shot?

A cheap shot might be calling a past leader of the Church a pedophile for marrying an under-aged girl as they have been known to do in the FLDS church.

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I don't know if this falls under the category of "criticism," but I sometimes wonder if religion isn't more about getting us to explore and ask Big Questions, instead of handing us all the answers on a silver platter. Of course, answers can definitely be useful, and I wouldn't want to reject a true answer, but I really don't think we'll get all the answers, or a complete understanding of, well, anything, during this life. But being thoughtful about life, and religion, and relationships, really considering the issues and turning them over in our minds those things have real value and can help us to be better people.

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Yet, I continue to see "cheap shots" toward our sacred faith with "questions" disguised as "gotchas" or the elusive trail to the "nail in the coffin" for the Lord's Church.

This is not that uncommon BOMT. My points as a critic is simply to improve, just as we would improve ourselves. When a critic is countered with anything other than counterpoints to the subject at hand, such as personal attacks, then the discussion moves from intelligent debate to a contentious personal argument. It would seem this forum is not protected from evils such as this. But, I have not seen any of your colorful counterpoints myself. To those that are tempted to enter a contentious argument with personal attacks on the person posting the message, I would try not to be offended and take it personally. There are plenty of talks from General Authorities about those that take offence too easily, when none was given at all.

By the way, all church leaders talk about ways to improve the church. This is normal. Those that take offence by people pointing out some of these issues, are simply not improving the things that could be improved and simply dont realize that church leaders do the same thing. We've seen this many times in the past when procedures have changed in the church among other things.

However, when 'critics' attack people or leaders in the church, instead of the policies that they are in charge of, is not congruent or helpful to church leadership. Quite simply, they will learn one way or another or as some would say, sooner or later. Sooner is better. If they never learn or are a cancer on the church, the Lord removes them. I've seen that too.

I only have one more thing to add, the church leadership, including GA's, The Twelve and certainly the Prophet, are chosen by the Lord from a vast pool of talent. However, there are some G.A.'s, even in modern times, that fall by the wayside. George P. Lee comes to mind when he accused the church leadership of "spiritually slaughtering his people" when talking about the American Indian. That, was a personal attack. Instead of debating the policies of the church welfare program, he attacked the leadership.

You may recognize him ... Before

leegp1.jpg

After his excommunication ...

phpXBoPZrAM.jpg

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As a critic of church logistics, my purpose is to assist the the church with regards to increased retention of active members of the church.

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A cheap shot might be calling a past leader of the Church a pedophile for marrying an under-aged girl as they have been known to do in the FLDS church.

Thank you for the clarification.

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Since I suppose you would describe me as a "critic," I will try to answer your question. To do so, however, I will need to comment on other matters surrounding your question. I ask your indulgence as I see the issue as broader than an individual's personal motivation.

First of all, every religion has those outside it that criticize it. This is just the way it is. Especially in a free society where people are at liberty to express their opinions, it is simply a fact of life with which all of us must come to terms. Our religion, whoever we are, is going to be criticized. Atheists are going to criticize theism and theists are going to criticize atheism; Catholics are going to criticize Protestantism and Protestants are going to criticize Catholicism; Mormons and evangelicals are going to criticize one another's forms of Christianity. And yes, Mormons do criticize evangelicalism, though not in the same organizational way. More on that below.

Second, some religious groups, especially many of those that are missions-oriented, have members or organizations that specialize in providing resources (informative, critical, evangelistic, etc.) about other religious groups. Specialization in general is a recent cultural phenomenon made possible and even (arguably) necessary by the information explosion. A hundred years ago no Mormon would have dreamed of the existence of an organization specializing in the defense of the LDS religion's scriptures and claims. Now at least two well-known organizations with that purpose exist (FARMS/Maxwell Institute and FAIR). A hundred years ago, no evangelical would have dreamed of evangelical organizations specializing in research, publication, and teaching about theology, biblical studies, Islam, Eastern religions, science-Bible issues, marriage and family issues, homosexuality, and many other subjects; yet now literally hundreds of such evangelical organizations exist. One might argue that evangelicals are especially prone to create such organizations, for at least two reasons: there are a lot of us, especially here in the USA (roughly one-fourth of Americans identify themselves with some form of evangelicalism); and evangelicalism is not a monolithic entity and "organization" in evangelicalism has historically occurred from the bottom up.

Third, as I stated above, evangelicals and Mormons have been criticizing each others' forms of Christianity from the very beginning of the LDS movement. It is true that Mormons don't organize to express their criticisms of evangelicalism in the same way that evangelicals organize to express their criticisms of Mormonism. But the fact is that there are LDS "critics" of evangelicalism. Any Mormon who publicly criticizes evangelical beliefs is a "critic" of evangelicalism, by your own definition (see below). And Mormons from Joseph Smith on have criticized evangelical beliefs. Furthermore, LDS criticisms of evangelicalism are in fact disseminated in an organized way, though again not in the same organized way as evangelical criticisms of Mormonism. Whenever the LDS Church publishes "Joseph Smith--History," for example, it is disseminating its rejection of Presbyterianism by name (JS-H 1:20). Whenever LDS missionaries teach the first missionary lesson, they are disseminating the LDS Church's criticisms of the entirety of Christianity outside the LDS movement. Is this "the same thing" as an evangelical writing a book arguing that the LDS religion is false? No, not exactly, but the underlying principle presumably is the same: Mormons think that all of Christianity outside the LDS Church is apostate because it fails to teach what Mormons think is the truth (on some things), and evangelicals think that the LDS Church is heretical because it fails to teach what evangelicals think is the truth (on some things).

This leads me to answer your question directly. What motivates me to express criticisms of the LDS religion? What motivates me to do so, negatively speaking, is that I think crucial aspects of the LDS religion are based on falsehood. To put the matter positively, what motivates me is concern for the truth about God, about Christ, about the Bible, about the gospel, about the church, and about salvation. And why does this matter? As I see it, this matters because it does matter what people believe, and I care about other people. I want others to know and believe and live the truth, because I care about them as fellow human beings made in God's image. In short, I am motivated to do what I do by the two motivating values of truth and love.

Are all critics of Mormonism so motivated? No, it seems not. Some critics of Mormonism do seem to be motivated by something else. The critics of Mormonism with whom I associate and collaborate, however, as best I can tell, share the values of truth and love as I have expressed them.

Do I perfectly embody the values of truth and love? No. I fall short. I have a lot of room to grow in these areas (perhaps especially in love, but in any case in respect to both truth and love). But it won't do for me to wait until I have attained perfection in these values before engaging the issues. That won't help anyone else.

I should also make clear that I don't see my main mission in life as criticizing Mormonism or any other religion. My main mission in life, with regard to my "calling" in ministry, is to teach and defend biblical Christianity. Most of my research, writing, teaching, and other work has not been concerned with the LDS religion. But I see a need with regard to the LDS religion and I am seeking to fill that need. In my opinion, there is a great need for evangelicals with training in biblical hermeneutics, history, and theology to engage issues pertaining to the LDS religion, especially its views about the Bible, its own scriptures, and its theology. You may be familiar with the 1998 article by Carl Mosser and Paul Owen about the need for evangelical scholars to engage LDS scholarship. Many Mormons cite that article because they see it as validating LDS apologetics--and that's fine. But I am trying to do exactly what Mosser and Owen argued that evangelical scholars like me should be doing. As a matter of fact, I made the same point a decade before Mosser and Owen did, in articles published in 1988 and 1989. Twenty years later, I am finally giving a sustained effort in this matter.

As it turns out, I recently posted an article entitled "Love, Honesty, and the Defense of the Faith" that explains how honesty (concern for truth telling) and love should motivate us to engage the religious and theological issues that divide us in a serious, careful, and fair-minded way. The article was a reflection on the two excellent chapters about honesty and charity in the LDS doctrinal manual Gospel Principles.

I hope you find these comments at least somewhat helpful.

Rob, I really appreciate what you had to say and for following the example of Paul Owen and Carl Mosser.

From the posts I have seen of yours, they have been respectful and thought provoking. Some have even been ridiculous, but from my perspective, your imperfect love is what we need more in regards to honest critics. I hope you continue for I believe that honest questions lead to truth and truth leads to the Lord's Church. So in a way you are helping the Lord's Church grow, thank you.

Yes, our doctrines are bold. We believe we are the Lord's Church, the "one true Church". I know the world takes this as "criticism" within their own churches, but I don't necessary see that as the case. There are no organizations within the Lord's Church that have any focus of finding fault or criticizing in any way other's beliefs. We have enough problems within our own ranks to focus on.

"Bring all the good that you have and let us see if we can add to it". That is our true intentions and motivation.

And I hope we can as LDS faithful remember the words of Orson Pratt in regards to honest critics, I am trying: ". . . convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds." Orson Pratt; The Seer, 1853, pp 15-16

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I don't know if this falls under the category of "criticism," but I sometimes wonder if religion isn't more about getting us to explore and ask Big Questions, instead of handing us all the answers on a silver platter. Of course, answers can definitely be useful, and I wouldn't want to reject a true answer, but I really don't think we'll get all the answers, or a complete understanding of, well, anything, during this life. But being thoughtful about life, and religion, and relationships, really considering the issues and turning them over in our minds those things have real value and can help us to be better people.

We should all ask the questions to help our limited understanding, but ultimately rely on the source of all truth for answers.

What you describe sounds more of a honest truth seeker, not a critic. Even though I acknowledge, a critic can claim to be an honest truth seeker.

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This is not that uncommon BOMT. My points as a critic is simply to improve, just as we would improve ourselves. When a critic is countered with anything other than counterpoints to the subject at hand, such as personal attacks, then the discussion moves from intelligent debate to a contentious personal argument. It would seem this forum is not protected from evils such as this. But, I have not seen any of your colorful counterpoints myself. To those that are tempted to enter a contentious argument with personal attacks on the person posting the message, I would try not to be offended and take it personally. There are plenty of talks from General Authorities about those that take offence too easily, when none was given at all.

By the way, all church leaders talk about ways to improve the church. This is normal. Those that take offence by people pointing out some of these issues, are simply not improving the things that could be improved and simply dont realize that church leaders do the same thing. We've seen this many times in the past when procedures have changed in the church among other things.

However, when 'critics' attack people or leaders in the church, instead of the policies that they are in charge of, is not congruent or helpful to church leadership. Quite simply, they will learn one way or another or as some would say, sooner or later. Sooner is better. If they never learn or are a cancer on the church, the Lord removes them. I've seen that too.

I only have one more thing to add, the church leadership, including GA's, The Twelve and certainly the Prophet, are chosen by the Lord from a vast pool of talent. However, there are some G.A.'s, even in modern times, that fall by the wayside. George P. Lee comes to mind when he accused the church leadership of "spiritually slaughtering his people" when talking about the American Indian. That, was a personal attack. Instead of debating the policies of the church welfare program, he attacked the leadership.

You may recognize him ... Before

I am confused why you call yourself a critic?

From your posts and screen-name, I did not receive that impression. Never heard of that GA either, interesting and sad.

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A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgement.

As a "critic", what is your purpose or motivation?

I only ask because I know of no one in the LDS Church who plays the role as a "critic" for other's beliefs and I completely don't understand the need to be one. I am open to understand.

You don't know of anyone LDS who has value judgments about Evangelicals or Catholics? Really? It seems to me that Latter-day Saints are hard-pressed to believe in a Restoration unless whatever preceded it can be reasonably judged to be lacking in some respect.

As for me, my purpose in anlayzing a position and arriving at a value judgment is because I hope to find what is true. Regarding those value judgments upon which I choose to comment publicly, it is with a view to persuade while knowing persuasion is ordinarily a very slow process involving many factors over a long period. I hope to be a contributing factor to a greater establishment of what is good and true and beautiful. But I suppose everyone of any persuasion would say the same thing. Does anyone want to knowingly believe in and promote that which is bad, false, and ugly? I think not.

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You don't know of anyone LDS who has value judgments about Evangelicals or Catholics? Really? It seems to me that Latter-day Saints are hard-pressed to believe in a Restoration unless whatever preceded it can be reasonably judged to be lacking in some respect.

As for me, my purpose in anlayzing a position and arriving at a value judgment is because I hope to find what is true. Regarding those value judgments upon which I choose to comment publicly, it is with a view to persuade while knowing persuasion is ordinarily a very slow process involving many factors over a long period. I hope to be a contributing factor to a greater establishment of what is good and true and beautiful. But I suppose everyone of any persuasion would say the same thing. Does anyone want to knowingly believe in and promote that which is bad, false, and ugly? I think not.

Truth and the Lord's doctrines are not an expression of value judgments. And believing in the restoration is equivalent to believing in another Gospel principle. It is not criticism. Yes, with the first vision, other churches are described as "false" and etc., but the Lord stated this, not man.

Of course to the world, it is interpreted as criticism, but our bold beliefs will ultimately offend and be taken in the wrong way. In boldness, love should also abound which we do fail at times.

I personally don't know of anyone who makes it their mission per se to go out and criticize a certain religion. To organize and promote this mission and etc.. I am sure there are individuals who say negative things towards others' beliefs, but that doesn't happen within the hierarchy of the Lord's Church.

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As a "critic", what is your purpose or motivation?

I only ask because I know of no one in the LDS Church who plays the role as a "critic" for other's beliefs and I completely don't understand the need to be one. I am open to understand.

Hi BMT,

I don't know that I have a succinct answer to your question. The bulk of my criticisms, aside from conversations in real time with the LDS I know and love, are mostly logged on this forum. As far as purpose, well I am evangelical Christian and think that seems to be the best theological course so I argue for it. When inclined, I try to straighten out misconceptions that LDS have of EV's.

I think there has been a lot of negative vibes between LDS and EV for quite a while. I don't see it as a good thing overall and look for a day of mutual acceptance of one another between the two.

That aside, I enjoy analyzing stuff, exploring the hypothetical, looking for red herrings and so on. I suppose I am as much a critic of my beliefs as I am of LDS beliefs, or anyone else for that matter. My being married to an LDS, has given quite a bit more exposure to LDS beliefs, than that of other faiths. I imagine if I had married a JW instead, I would likely be hanging about with conversant JW's talking about Charles Taze Russell rather than Joseph Smith.

That being said, from an analytical standpoint, I get a kick out of seeing where how LDS doctrine fleshes out when taken to speculative grounds. I also enjoy it when the LDS speculative thought crosses swords with EV speculative thought. I suppose I find more interest in debating on what we think about what we know, rather than debating simply about what we know.

Bold mine. You may not realize this but in 2009 something very unique happened. That being, The CoJCoLDS launched 50,000 "critics" of all beliefs that were not LDS. These weren't part time positions either. IIRC, the CoJCoLDS calls them "missionaries".

edit add - just kidding about it being "unique". Point being, a missionary is a critic, so is a Prophet, Apostle, 70 or so on, in relation to a person who believes differently from them.

Regards,

Mudcat

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Are all critics of Mormonism so motivated? No, it seems not.

But ALL of them claim to be so motivated.

Some critics of Mormonism do seem to be motivated by something else.
(Bold mine.)

"seem to be"???? WOW that is very much an understatement.

$hall we $peculate on what really motivate$ them?

The critics of Mormonism with whom I associate and collaborate, however, as best I can tell, share the values of truth and love as I have expressed them.

IF you say so.

As it turns out, I recently posted an article entitled "Love, Honesty, and the Defense of the Faith" that explains how honesty (concern for truth telling) and love should motivate us to engage the religious and theological issues that divide us in a serious, careful, and fair-minded way.

I hope you can still breath after such a self inflicted back slapping fest.

I will say that your talking the talk is MOST EXCELLANT!! And I give you an honest :clapping: two thumbs ups in that regard.

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Hi BMT,

I don't know that I have a succinct answer to your question. The bulk of my criticisms, aside from conversations in real time with the LDS I know and love, are mostly logged on this forum. As far as purpose, well I am evangelical Christian and think that seems to be the best theological course so I argue for it. When inclined, I try to straighten out misconceptions that LDS have of EV's.

I think there has been a lot of negative vibes between LDS and EV for quite a while. I don't see it as a good thing overall and look for a day of mutual acceptance of one another between the two.

That aside, I enjoy analyzing stuff, exploring the hypothetical, looking for red herrings and so on. I suppose I am as much a critic of my beliefs as I am of LDS beliefs, or anyone else for that matter. My being married to an LDS, has given quite a bit more exposure to LDS beliefs, than that of other faiths. I imagine if I had married a JW instead, I would likely be hanging about with conversant JW's talking about Charles Taze Russell rather than Joseph Smith.

That being said, from an analytical standpoint, I get a kick out of seeing where how LDS doctrine fleshes out when taken to speculative grounds. I also enjoy it when the LDS speculative thought crosses swords with EV speculative thought. I suppose I find more interest in debating on what we think about what we know, rather than debating simply about what we know.

Bold mine. You may not realize this but in 2009 something very unique happened. That being, The CoJCoLDS launched 50,000 "critics" of all beliefs that were not LDS. These weren't part time positions either. IIRC, the CoJCoLDS calls them "missionaries".

Regards,

Mudcat

I appreciate your perspective and I will refrain my official opinion on EVs in general. We will never be accepted in any way shape or form which is okay, really okay actually.

Interesting dynamics with your marriage which I would love to explore more, but I know it wouldn't be appropriate on here. But I can understand why you are a critic, makes sense especially with the debating aspect. You don't have to answer, but do you "debate" with your wife?

And I have to disagree with the missionaries being "full-time critics", but it did make me laugh.

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I appreciate your perspective and I will refrain my official opinion on EVs in general.

I appreciate that, but also consider it somewhat of an exclusion. If you don't mind me asking, what is your official position on EV'S?

We will never be accepted in any way shape or form which is okay, really okay actually.

The fact that is okay to you is one half of the Gordian Knotwhen it comes to such a proposition.

Interesting dynamics with your marriage which I would love to explore more, but I know it wouldn't be appropriate on here. But I can understand why you are a critic, makes sense especially with the debating aspect. You don't have to answer, but do you "debate" with your wife?

Not really.

And I have to disagree with the missionaries being "full-time critics", but it did make me laugh.

I dunno what is funny about it. We have a new set of missionaries in town and they wanted to come by for a visit. I enjoy the conversation from time to time and was welcome to it. So Wed. after next they will stop by for supper.

I assure you, they aren't coming by to tell me I am just as well off for being an EV as I would be if I were LDS. Quite the contrary. The are coming to tell me why their view is correct, this view implicitly impugns any other view as a partial truth at best. In short, they are coming to tell me that they are right, which by virtue means they believe I am wrong.

Can you explain to me how an LDS missionary that doesn't have, share or express a critical view of Evangelical Christianity is actually doing their job?

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I appreciate that, but also consider it somewhat of an exclusion. If you don't mind me asking, what is your official position on EV'S?

I don't like their dishonest tactics. Too many personal experiences being invited over to what ends up being a "trap". It is entertaining though.

The fact that is okay to you is one half of the Gordian Knotwhen it comes to such a proposition.

Sorry not familiar with Shakespear. There are bigger fish to fry than trying to convince the EVs that we are Christian etc..

I dunno what is funny about it. We have a new set of missionaries in town and they wanted to come by for a visit. I enjoy the conversation from time to time and was welcome to it. So Wed. after next they will stop by for supper.

I assure you, they aren't coming by to tell me I am just as well off for being an EV as I would be if I were LDS. Quite the contrary. The are coming to tell me why their view is correct, this view implicitly impugns any other view as a partial truth at best. In short, they are coming to tell me that they are right, which by virtue means they believe I am wrong.

Can you explain to me how an LDS missionary that doesn't have, share or express a critical view of Evangelical Christianity is actually doing their job?

Of course, I would hope they wouldn't tell you anything different. It isn't the missionaries' view, it is the Lord's view, they are just the messengers and as always - they encourage to verify their message with the source of all truth. I respect and understand how that is hard to swallow, but we as members should not be ashamed to proclaim this truth no matter how much it offends the world including members of other churches.

There is absolutely nothing inherently critical in telling someone they are "wrong" especially if it involves salvation. Hopefully it is done with love, compassion and understanding. It sounds like you aren't too offended and have some understanding since you are having them over for supper. Hopefully you can give them a hard time though, to keep them on their feet. :)

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A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgement.

Granted, this forum has more "honest critics" than what I have seen in other forums and being rare are very welcomed. Yet, I continue to see "cheap shots" toward our sacred faith with "questions" disguised as "gotchas" or the elusive trail to the "nail in the coffin" for the Lord's Church.

As a "critic", what is your purpose or motivation?

My original purpose as a critic was to understand the best LDS answer possible to the difficult issues. Since I lived in a dual-faith household, it was best to understand the LDS faith from this forum than to bring the issues to my household. I will admit to being a more onery critic in the early stages of asking questions, but I've chilled out a bit and simply enjoy talking about religion and correcting misunderstandings in regards to my Catholic faith. I've made quite a few friends and have even met a couple of MD&D members in real life. We're all Christians ecumenism should be a common goal. I was happy to be standing next to my wife as we both supported Prop 8 since our faiths were in agreement.

I only ask because I know of no one in the LDS Church who plays the role as a "critic" for other's beliefs and I completely don't understand the need to be one. I am open to understand.

When I use to attend SM's with my wife, I was the known Catholic in the room. I was always amused when a speaker may something that could be critical of my faith during the meeting and they hoped I didn't take any offense. So find your comment as amusing. These things happen when you have faiths who believe they are the 'true church.' Saying something critical of other's since you believe that you belong to the Lord's church happens on occasion. The only time it doesn't occur is when everyone in the group share similar values in their beliefs. When I attended GC with my wife, I did get positive information. But I had my normal irritations of a few comments that were made. But BKP and Elder Hollands has that affect on me. Oh well.

If you can imagine a dual-faith household with two devout individuals, you may understand the idea of why there are critics IMHO.

My 2 cents

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My original purpose as a critic was to understand the best LDS answer possible to the difficult issues. Since I lived in a dual-faith household, it was best to understand the LDS faith from this forum than to bring the issues to my household. I will admit to being a more onery critic in the early stages of asking questions, but I've chilled out a bit and simply enjoy talking about religion and correcting misunderstandings in regards to my Catholic faith. I've made quite a few friends and have even met a couple of MD&D members in real life. We're all Christians ecumenism should be a common goal. I was happy to be standing next to my wife as we both supported Prop 8 since our faiths were in agreement.

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing blueadept and I am glad you found this outlet for your questions and issues.

When I use to attend SM's with my wife, I was the known Catholic in the room. I was always amused when a speaker may something that could be critical of my faith during the meeting and they hoped I didn't take any offense. So find your comment as amusing. These things happen when you have faiths who believe they are the 'true church.' Saying something critical of other's since you believe that you belong to the Lord's church happens on occasion. The only time it doesn't occur is when everyone in the group share similar values in their beliefs. When I attended GC with my wife, I did get positive information. But I had my normal irritations of a few comments that were made. But BKP and Elder Hollands has that affect on me. Oh well.

If you can imagine a dual-faith household with two devout individuals, you may understand the idea of why there are critics IMHO.

My 2 cents

I don't mean to offend and I will take no offense when someone believes they are in the "true church". Definitely helps me understand another aspect of critics that I didn't consider before, thanks.

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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing blueadept and I am glad you found this outlet for your questions and issues.

I don't mean to offend and I will take no offense when someone believes they are in the "true church". Definitely helps me understand another aspect of critics that I didn't consider before, thanks.

I never heard the issue of being in the 'true church' phenomena consistently until I attended with my wife. So I believe your statement is true that LDS tend not to make an issue of it.

Others from different faiths tend to make it an issue since it appears that LDS make an issue of this. I guarantee I will ALWAYS hear in a SM someone saying 'the church is true' in every meeting. You rarely here that in other churches. So, IMO, non-LDS would tend to take more offense since they ALWAYS hear it in LDS meetings

My 2 cents

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I share my opinions/evaluations/critiques mostly because I like the conversation, and also to let the person who has questions, and may be observing, that they aren't the first person to ever have doubts, and to share the answers I, personally, have found. Also, I big goal for me is to help the exiting LDS member not to "throw the baby out with the bath water" so to speak. Too many people who leave the LDS Church think rejecting the Book of Mormon is part of the package- I want them to know that it is not.

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As a "critic", what is your purpose or motivation?

As far as the Church goes, I'm a critic in the firm belief that our leaders are fallible men, and as such, they make mistakes. I'm interested in the kinds of mistakes our leaders make, and why.

As far as apologists go, it's my impression that sometimes their zeal for the faith oversteps their arguments, or their zeal for their arguments (and evidences) oversteps their faith. And it's fascinating to me when that happens.

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