Am I a MFAM? Thoughts on Mormon Friendly Anti-Mormonism

At the Blogger of Jared they have an article about Mormon Friendly Anti-Mormonism. The premise is that anti-Mormons could be posing as Mormons and pushing anti-Mormon propaganda from a faithful perspective. I’ve certainly read some blogs that made me think that may be the case. Some of the things I’ve seen written make me think “who are you kidding, do you really think you can stay in the church and say that kind of stuff?” (and why would you want to if that’s what you believe) Part of the original premise is that Mormon Friendly Anti-Mormons are covert.

I think if anyone openly qualifies as a MFAM it may be me. There are a couple of things that I think disqualify me from the original post, First I’m not pretending to be a Mormon and second I’m not being covert. Also, I’m not really trying to be an anti-Mormon. I do my best to stray away from traditional anti-Mormon rhetoric, both in content and tone. I don’t dive into the historical issues with Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. I don’t encourage anyone to leave the church. I’ve got no big issue with the culture of Mormonism or Mormons in general.

I am honest about some issues with Mormonism though. I am open in my opposition to what I consider to be heresy. I’m more like a MFAMism. Perhaps some would contend that I can’t be Anti-Mormonism without being Anti-Mormon, but I think that’s a double standard. I wouldn’t say that Mormons are Anti-Protestant or Anti-Catholic even though they think that a Great Apostasy happened leaving all of us traditional Christians in heresy and without authority. I have been told by Mormons that I’m wrong not to accept Joseph Smith as a true prophet, but I don’t take it personally.

Some here have called me an anti-Mormon and a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing. I hope I’m not either. What do you think?

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12 thoughts on “Am I a MFAM? Thoughts on Mormon Friendly Anti-Mormonism

  1. Well, anti-Mormon is a really inflammatory term that gets used in the Church to mean as much as “anything or anyone that doesn’t actively promote the Church and sustain the General Authorities in an unqualified manner” to just the most nasty, slanderous stuff like the God-Makers video. There’s a pretty wide spectrum in there. Really, within the Church, the term “anti-mormon” is a propaganda tool, not a technical term.

    Anyway, you don’t qualify as a MFAM because you’re not a Mormon. That pretty much takes you out of the operational definition they’re working with. You’re not fighting against the Church from within because you’re not “within” and you’re open about it.

    Now as to the question of whether you’re an anti-Mormon, since the term itself is imprecise (which is waht makes it a good propaganda tool, like the modern use of the word “terrorist”), it might not even be that usefult o figure out if you are or aren’t. Different Mormons would give a different answer.

  2. I don’t consider you an anti-Mormon (although some might). When I think of an anti-Mormon I think of someone that is consciously twisting history, scripture, or anything else that will pry members away from “the cult”. They use the two wrongs make a right theory. I don’t think you do that. I believe you are sincere in your beliefs and I respect that. Your comments are never demeaning and that is why I enjoy reading them. In fact, you are often complementary to the LDS faith. If anything I’d say you are an anti-anti-Mormon:)

  3. Well Jay, I think that a lot of “anti-Mormons” are sincere. And I don’t think anyone’s really consciously twisting history, scripture, etc.

    And the bitter, angry anti-Mormons are often bitter and angry for a reason. but they all get painted with the same “apostyasy brush” that’s the hallmark of siege-mentality cultlike groups.

  4. Kullervo, I admit my exposure to anti-Mormons is limited. Mostly because it’s hard to have dialog with someone that only wants a one-way conversation. My experience with anti-Mormons has shown me that most do “twist” Mormon history as well as scripture to suit their ultimate goal – getting people out of Mormonism.

    It may well be that your definition of an anti-Mormon is different than mine. To me it is the extreme hatred and bigotry expressed by those that spend their lives attacking the LDS Church. It includes those that will misrepresent facts to convince a naive audience that Mormonism is akin to worshiping Satan. It also includes those I have run into on occasion that like to yell and inform you of your eternal destination. I’ve come to believe they have little real interest in me or in my eternal salvation. They simply want to express their discontent with people that don’t think like them and they don’t care how they do it.

    I do believe there are many people, which some may consider anti-Mormon, that are sincere in wanting to help others. I have had many conversations with such people. I don’t always agree with them, but I do walk away with a greater understanding of their faith or lack there of. These conversations are the most valuable to me. I seek out dialog with such people because they are more interested in understanding than criticizing.

  5. No MFAM here. Some of your ideas are completely unique to anything I’ve ever heard anyone suggest before. I’m thinking about your last post and your general hope that official Mormon doctrine comes into line eventually with traditional Christianity as opposed to those Christians who have taken the tactic of loving Mormons out of the Church into a more mainstream faith. Both are respectful and that I can live with. Fair’s fair: if we evangelize you, you can evangelize us. And if you can be nice doing it and so can we then that’s the relationship that I want. To me, you epitomize how I hope all non-Mormon Christians come to view and communicate with the Church and its members.

  6. If you’re asking if you’re “Mormon Friendly”, I’d say yes.

    If you’re asking if you’re “Anti-Mormon”, I’d say it depends. I personally consider anti-Mormon stuff to be hateful. I’ve never found you to be hateful. But, as Kullervo said, “anti-Mormon” is such an imprecise word that it almost has no meaning. It’s a tool that can be used to dismiss anything that you don’t want to read/listen to.

  7. Kullervo,

    You mentioned that the God-Makers film is slanderous. Why do you say that? I haven’t seen it in quite a while, and I don’t remember it very well.

    Dando,

    I’d say if you are speaking the truth in love to Mormons, then you’re doing what God has told you to do. It’s possible to lovingly tell someone they’re an idolater who is going to spend eternity in outer darkness, if your tone is loving, and if you explain why that is.

    What would be truly unloving, anti-Mormon and anti-human is to let anyone go to their graves, and never confront them on their unbiblical ideas.

    Bill

  8. What would be truly unloving, anti-Mormon and anti-human is to let anyone go to their graves, and never confront them on their unbiblical ideas.

    I agree, but what I often see are people who don’t love the lost enough to find a way to communicate truth to them in a way that they’re willing to listen. It’s often more of a “YOU’RE GOING TO PERISH! Now that I’ve told you I can wash my hands of responsibility” approach. It expresses a desire to just make sure God doesn’t condemn them for not “evangelizing”. They reach out in a way in which they can check evangelizing off of their list of Christian duties, but never develop a heart for their targets such that they have true care and concern for them.
    I’m on record for saying that “The Godmakers” is largely garbage. It’s purpose was more to keep non-Mormons out of the LDS church than to convince Mormons that they were in heresy. Much of what is said in that film may be technically true, but it’s said in a way that distorts what Mormons actually believe. For example, in an explanation of Mormon doctrine it says that Mormons long to be with Joseph Smith in eternity. As if they somehow deify Smith and look forward to being with him like Christians look forward to being with Jesus. Some Mormons MAY indeed look forward to spending eternity with Joseph Smith, but they don’t have any intention behind that any more blasphemous than Christians when they say they long to be with their loved-ones in Heaven.

  9. By the way, thanks to all of you for the encouragement that I’m not anti-Mormon. That charge was leveled at me more than once by a former visitor to this blog, and I guess my feelings are still kind of hurt by it.

  10. Like I said, to her, you probably fit the bill perfectly. The term is such a loose one that it’s going to be defined broadly and narrowly. To some people, anything thatdoesn;t actively promote the Church is anti-Mormon.

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