I listened to this BreakPoint segment and it highlighted a cultural difference between Evangelicals and Mormons to me.
What I heard as the reason that people should sign up for the Centurions program was that philosophical problems creep into various churches and they must be defended against. A number of critiques of modern day Evangelical churches were used as examples.
Because of the vast diversity in Evangelicalism and Protestantism, Evangelicals are familiar with and expect philosophical and theological excesses to exist among their churches. Various denominations swing the pendulum too far on any number of pet doctrines or practices. Though it shouldn’t be the case, Evangelicals know this happens and as a counter measure are always critiquing and evaluating the latest fads in the church.
Every church fad is in fact a critique of an older more faded church fad. The Holiness movement was a reaction to the “only-grace” excesses of Calvinism. The recent “feminization” of worship is a reaction to cold, hard “Bible-only” Fundamentalism.
All of this makes Evangelicals quite familiar with giving and receiving critique. In many ways it’s part of our life blood. The movement wasn’t called “protestant” for nothing.
We, Evangelicals, know we don’t have it all figured out, and we know the culture around is changing, so we find themselves constantly tweaking and experimenting with different forms and practices. As our Evangelical brother makes some adjustments, we offer our thoughts on what he is doing. He in turn offers his thoughts on our lack of adjustment. We may not always find agreement, but we don’t get our noses bent out of shape over disagreement. At times, critics can be too aggressive, but generally everyone plays by the rules.
The Mormon church on the other hand is hierarchical and monolithic in its practices and doctrines. Any and all changes come from the top down and the laymen are discouraged from “righting steadying the ark”. Little room is made for organizational and cultural critique within Mormonism, so the concept is a bit foreign.
This difference can mean that Mormon and Evangelical interactions can at times resemble something like a Southern gentleman meeting a New Yorker. The Evangelical is offering what to him is a normal give-and-take of critique and feedback while the Mormon has never heard anyone talk this way, much less about the doctrines and leaders of the LDS church. The Mormon reaction is “why are you criticizing us” and the Evangelical response is “because that’s what we’re all supposed to be doing”.