I have been reading about the November event in which many evangelicals came together and sponsored an "Evening of Friendship" where Ravi Zacharias spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle. I have friend who is an evangelical preacher who is very critical of Dr. Zacharias speaking in the Tabernacle. He is certain that "the Gospel was watered down or he could not have spoke there" and "sadly many evangelicals were used as pawns".
I have been unable to get a transcript of the lectures, but I do know there is a DVD of the 3 lectures available from the Standing Together website. From what I have been reading, mainly from that website, I feel that this organization is on the right track and that the Gospel was not watered down. I was always told that Mormons believe Jesus was just another prophet, but this is apparently not true, although it sounds as though many do not know that Joseph Smith believed this and that Mormon teachings and beliefs have changed (or parts omitted) over the years. Hence the basis for Dr. Zacharias to speak on defending Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life in a culture that rejects truth claims.
Did you go to any of the lectures? As a former Mormon elder, what is your opinion regarding the work that Standing Together has been doing?
I don't feel a need to get the DVD of Dr. Zacharias' lectures, but will recommend them to my friend. And I will forward to him whatever you have to say about the event and what Standing Together is doing.
Thank you for any insight you can provide.
I was very disappointed by Ravi's decision to speak in the tabernacle. I cannot imagine that he did not assure the Mormon leadership that he would not speak against Mormonism.
The Mormons, of course, love this kind of thing. They can now says, "Some of your best Christian apologists came to our town, came to our building, and preached. What more proof do you need that they see us as legitimate."
I can remember, years ago, when I pastored in Idaho Falls, Idaho, that a Stake President came to me and wanted me to participate with him in an "anti-pornography" campaign. I told him I was more afraid of Mormonism than pornography. Of course he was dumbfounded by that remark, but it was how I really felt. I did not think that I could go into a Mormon podium to cooperate on a social issue without damaging my ability to speak clearly to the religious erros of Mormonism.
I have determined not to publicly criticize Ravi and the others. It is not my job to do so. However, when asked, I need to give my opinion.