Evangelical Mormon

Are there Evangelical Mormons? There are Evangelical Prostestants, Evangelical Catholics, and Evangelicals Orthodox. I think that there are probably some Evangelical Mormons out there as well. Here’s how the Barna Research Group describes an Evangelical:

http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=Topic&TopicID=17

Evangelicals meet the born again criteria plus seven other conditions. Those include (1)saying their faith is very important in their life today; (2)believing they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; (3)believing that Satan exists; (4)believing that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works; (5)believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; (6)asserting that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches; and (7)describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. Being classified as an evangelical is not dependent upon church attendance or the denominational affiliation of the church they attend. Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as evangelical.

How Many:
* 9% of the population are evangelicals (2006)
* There are approximately 20 million evangelical adults. (2006)

What’s interesting is that despite this definition being pretty agreeable to Mormonism; Salt Lake City was found to have the fewest Evangelicals of any major city in the country The reason according to their research LDS overwhelmingly disqualify themselves by saying that they agree to the following:

If a person does enough good works, they can earn their way to Heaven – Agree or Disagree?

Something like 80 percent of self-identified LDS say that they strongly agree. Which is interesting, since in LDS theology only the acceptance of Christ as a perfect sacrifice will bring you salvation (that acceptance coming in this life or in spirit prison).

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14 thoughts on “Evangelical Mormon

  1. Here’s another definition which I think is pretty good as well.
    British historian, David Bebbington, defines an “Evangelical Christian” as a person exhibiting four beliefs and behaviors:

    Conversionism: the belief that lives of all humans need to be changed by way of a “born again” decision to repent of their sins and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
    Activism: the expression of the gospel in various ways, including missionary outreach and social reform.
    Biblicism: a particular regard for the Bible as the Word of God and the ultimate authority for religious belief and morality.
    Crucicentrism: a stress on the substitutionary atonement by Christ on the cross.

  2. all this need for these definitions really bug me. I tend to ignore them as much as possible. They only serve to segregate. Christ has said if we are not one we are not His.

  3. I can see that. But words have meanings. Definitions help us be exact in our conversations. These definitions weren’t meant to be inclusive not exclusive.

  4. Christ said if you love Him you will keep His commandments. Many many times works are referenced as what we will be judged by. LDS believes that the Atonement of Christ provides salvation through a covenant relationship where we covenant to keep His commandments. Works alone cannot save us, but neither can faith alone. The Bible agrees with this

    James 2:14-26

    Works without faith is as dead as faith without works. They go hand in hand and a covenant is never a one-way street.

    Here are a few of the Church’s Articles of Faith that may help.

    Article of Faith #3 states “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    Article of Faith #4 states “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Article of Faith #5 states “We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophesy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel, and administer in the ordinances thereof.

    Article of Faith #9 states, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

    We believe in ongoing revelation, which never changes the Gospel, only adds clarity and more details. That’s why we don’t limit ourselves to the Bible only. But what I found was that being a member of the Church and reading the Book of Mormon helps me love the Bible all the more. It makes it clear and simple. That’s a main area we don’t agree on is the Bible being the final authority. Jesus is the final authority and He still speaks through a Prophet. The authority to perform ordinances was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

    And again… it can’t be stated enough, that when left to men, they will all interpret the Bible differently (every wind of doctrine), therefore although you state the Bible is the final authority, it simply can’t be because of all the different interpretations. Again, that’s why we need and have a Prophet.

  5. Where did I say that the Bible was the final authority? I agree Christ is the final authority.

    I’m not at all saying that works have no place with our faith. Given the LDS idea of a covenant to keep his commandments that you just described; saying that a person can earn their way to heaven by doing enough works is against LDS teachings.

    You stated it yourself: “Works alone cannot save us, but neither can faith alone.” The LDS churches teaches that faith in Christ is necessary to receive salvation. I’m glad that we agree, works alone can not save us, but perplexed that so many self identified Mormons do not know (or do not believe) what their own church teaches.

  6. “Biblicism: a particular regard for the Bible as the Word of God and the ultimate authority for religious belief and morality.” I was mistaken, you used the word ‘ultimate authority’ although I’m not sure I get the difference.

    The Church is Christs’, the people are mortal and fallible. Some study, some don’t. Some pray, some don’t.

    I don’t know where you got your 80% figure from. Maybe whoever did the questioning isn’t aware that Mormon’s know that faith is first. The way the question is phrased eliminates a multi-faceted answer. Please link to the study so I can know who it was done by and their methodology.

    Dando – You keep telling us what LDS doctrine is, yet mostly you have been wrong. And then what is correct is taken out of context. I appreciate your effort to understand what we believe and have an idea that will probably help.

    Maybe call your local LDS ward and ask for the Missionaries to come to your house and teach you what we believe. I think they could clear up any misperceptions you have and you can ask them the questions in person and it will be a lot easier for them to answer ‘live’ so to speak, rather than in this forum. That way you will have a much more complete comprehension than getting bits and pieces from this forum.

  7. Sorry if I am misconstruing your beliefs. It’s really not my intention to do so. That’s why I started this forum, so that there could be a public forum on the matter and we could come to a deeper understanding of each other without specific attempt to convert one another. If I have misstated any of your beliefs please specifically correct me when I get it wrong.

    My experience with LDS missionaries had been that they know less about LDS doctrine than I even pretend to know. I think some of the missionaries I’ve talked to were on their mission to learn about the church themselves and to gain their own testimony.

    The study was from: http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=196 The 80% number is not in their “free” survey results. It’s part of their in depth report that cost money but it will give you quite a bit of other information. They are a very reputable research company and as a result don’t presume to know what people know, they ask them what they believe and record the results. Only after the survey do they allow participants to self-identify and THEN the correlate their responses to their own self-identification. It’s also my understanding that some well know Mormons have relied upon the findings of the Barna Research Group for their own studies.

  8. I understand where you got the “bible as final authority” comment. Sorry. That definition wasn’t in my own words, so I didn’t recognize it. Clearly. I believe that the Bible has authority. But that authority only comes from the fact that Christ says that it has authority.

    I also believe that the Book of Mormon has authority. But only so far as it has been translated correctly. (sorry, snarky comment, I couldn’t help myself).

  9. I understand the snarky comment, however, (opinion only *WARNING WARNING*) I truly believe that’s why the plates were taken back from Joseph after the translation was completed. So people couldn’t translate it 50 bajillion times with their own twist or agenda as the Bible has been. (/end Opinion)

    As I already mentioned I took New Testament Greek to better understand the Bible and be able to tell false from true teaching. But almost to the end of the semester I inquired why the translators didn’t simply use the ‘correct’ word (aka, the translation that the Pastor teaching the class said was true) and that’s when he responded, ‘Well, the scholars simply don’t agree on what the Greek words mean. But I believe…’ aka The teachings of men.

    So there you have it. It can’t possibly be the final authority when no one can even agree on how to translate it. Where does Jesus say it is the authority when all of the New Testament was written after His death?

    And okay to the survey thing, but I still say the question is probably a lot like your questions in that it doesn’t allow for anything but simply answers and there are no simple, drive-through answers with a side of fries with that. Have you read any of the links I provided? It is an interesting statistic though, but meaningless as to the truth of the Church’s teaching or the truth of Joseph Smith being a Prophet.

  10. It is an interesting statistic though, but meaningless as to the truth of the Church’s teaching or the truth of Joseph Smith being a Prophet.

    I agree.

    I have read through your links. The Hinckley lecture didn’t really answer my question specifically but it provided some good information. I may post on those ideas later.

    Do you remember what Greek word was in contest? Or at least the passage? My understanding of textual criticism is that it’s quite sophisticated. Any passage that is in questions has both possibilities listed in the footnotes. The questions never affect the essentials. I highly recommend the book “How to Read the Bible For All It’s Worth“. It’s a great book for ANYBODY who reads the Bible.

    Jesus endorsed the Old Testament. As the New Testament was being received the believers (or the Apostles and Prophets of the church if you prefer) recognized them to be scripture as well.

  11. I don’t believe the OT today is the same compilation that Jesus studied. There seems to be references to books of scripture that are no longer there.

  12. By those seven criteria, most Mormons are not evangelical. There are two sticking points. Pretty much any believing Mormon is going to subscribe to points 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7.

    Most evangelicals, when dealing with Mormons, fixate on #4, salvation by grace. Granted, I’d imagine you’d find that most Mormons believe that at least a part of your salvation and/or exaltation (they may mice words with you on these terms, but whatever) are earned by your good works. One of the problems in Mormonism, though is a lack of atonement theology, as in nailing down exactly what Christ’s sacrifice means and what salvation from sin and death entail.

    If you want to see a fight in Elder’s Quorum, bring this stuff up. You’re guaranteed to get at least two or three Mormons in there who believe in a salvation by grace that is more in line with a traditional Protestant sola fide viewpoint. They may qualify it by saying that in order to qualify for Christ’s saving grace you nees to have faith, repent, be baptized, get the gift of the holy ghost, etc., but they’ll hold fast to the idea that any prerequisites notwithstanding, it’s the grace of Jesus Christ and his eternal sacrifice that do 100% of the work in salvation and/or exaltation.

    I know that when i was an active Mormon (which I was from birth until earlier this year, at the ripe old age of 27- I served an honorable full-time mission, married in the temple, etc.), i was firmly in the saved by grace section, and I got pretty upset anytime anyone would start talking about having to earn our eternal reward.

    But the point on which almost every Mormon is going to fail the seven-point evangelical test is number 6: asserting that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches. Mormons believe as a matter of doctrine that they believe that the bible is the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly (it’s one of the articles of faith). In other words, they believe that there are plenty of parts that are not translated correctly, and that “plain and precious truths” have been removed over the centuries.

    Theoretically, the Joseph Smith translation was supposed to cure the Bible’s defects that had accrued through time, error, and the evil designs of wicked men, but oddly enough most Mormons don;t use the Joseph Smith translation at all, other than in footnote form in order to justify apparent discrepancies between the Bible and mormon doctrine.

    A Mormon may claim that they believe that the Bible is accurate, but qualify it to mean “the bible as it was originally given from God,” or “the general sense of the Bible,” but they certainly do not mean that they believe that the Bible as the world at large has it today in any form is completely accurate. Thus, they do not mean this in the same way as Evangelicals do.

  13. I am an active LDS member, and Christian, follower of Christ or however it may be termed, that is what I know Christ sees me as. I can see this from you from this forum, and I love the healthy dialogue that is taking place among fellow Christ-centered people. Though we differ in areas Im glad its agreeably, and that we share the same conviction of Christ as the ultimate authority. I believe that evangelical or latter-day saints who subscribe to and live this philosophy in righteousness, ‘working’ to access the fullness of Christ’s grace, will allow us the blessings now and eternally the highest of heavenly rewards. I commend you on your search to know Christ and also understanding us as Latter-day Saints. I look forward to further building my testimony of the Church, as well as seeing those whose beliefs and practices align with mine, and most importantly our Savior. I know He judges us according to our heart and desires that are fulfillable through Him only and I really testify of the power of grace that has truly made me reborn and I attribute a lot of that by coming to know the Church as well as the various other churches while I was on my LDS mission in Columbus Ohio–I realize we don’t have the monopoly on truth and righteousness and that as we sincerely open our minds and hearts to the principles this forum is established on we will have the assurance we are on Christ’s path to the fullest earthly and heavenly rewards.
    God be with you fellow brother in our Savior, whose infinite atonement empowers us everyday

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