How Important Is Church Growth?

Jesus had a following.  A conservative estimate would have 10,000 people gathered on the hillside above the Sea of Galilee, possibly doubling that number (John 6:10).  That’s a crowd.  Most pastors would feel that their ministry was successful, given similar results.  The crowds were very enthusiastic about Jesus.  “He perceived that they would come and take Him by force to make Him a king” (6:15).  So, they were all in.  What an opportunity, if that was the point.

I’m a child of the 80s, and in the 80s, Jack Hyles was the king of church growth.  When I talk to older pastors from that era, almost universally, they will tell me that they made the trek to Hammond for the Pastor’s School.  My own family migrated towards and eventually landed at a Hyles church.  And those were exciting days.  I remember a discussion my dad had maybe a year or two before our family moved to the Hyles church.  We were visiting friends in Kansas, and the topic of Jack Hyles came up.  Everyone was talking about him at that time.  He had one of the biggest churches in America – he said it was the biggest.  My dad and his friend discussed his methods, and I listened from the back seat of the car.  As I recall, they were a bit skeptical.  But eventually, we ended up there.  Who can argue against a growing church?

The ministry of First Baptist in Hammond is a case in point that, for many Christians, church growth trumps many vital things.  If a church is growing, we will give them a pass on nearly anything – heresy, impropriety, even immorality.  Chicks dig the big crowd.  Perhaps then, we could be instructed by how Jesus handled His enthusiastic followers above Tiberius.

Continue reading “How Important Is Church Growth?”

Answering Some Twitter Claims About the Text Issue

I came across this tweet from David Green @Biblicist4Life a little late.  I have interacted with David several times on Twitter and generally found him rigorous and studied.  Since I was late to interact with this particular tweet (given the very short shelf-life of Twitter), I decided to write a post about it.  David is pretty dogmatic in this tweet – not that I object to raw assertion.  But I found several “facts” in it that I think require a little more information than he provides.  And since King James Only debates have been the rage for nigh unto two decades running, I thought I would feed the beast and keep things going. 

As debates go, both sides believe they hold the stake to drive through the heart of the opposing side.  Yet, somehow, the discussion continues.  This comes, no doubt, from the obstinance and implacability of the other side.  Plus, KJV people don’t think much.  Plus, we all talk past each other.  Plus, King James might have been a homosexual.  And we know he was an Anglican.  So, the debate continues. 

Anyhow, let me start by copying and pasting the entire tweet.  Then, I will break it down and attempt an answer for each point.  Here’s the tweet…

7 Facts I Wish KJV-Onlyists Would Get Straight:

1. There is no received text. Sorry. There are errors in all Greek manuscripts. Not only are there not 5000+ manuscripts that agree with each other, there actually aren’t any manuscripts that perfectly agree with each other. And I’m not talking about just the dreaded “Alexandrian” manuscripts. All of the manuscripts have errors. The Greek NT hasn’t been passed down cleanly.

2. The KJV translators didn’t have one text in front of them. They consulted many texts that differed from each other because…there was no received text. So they guessed. Somewhat educated guessing, sure. But sometimes there is good evidence on both sides of a textual variant. Hard to say which is original and which is an error. And the KJV translators didn’t hide this fact. They made textual choices, and they included marginal notes with alternate readings where they were uncertain due to their Greek texts disagreeing.

3. Westcott and Hort didn’t discover any manuscripts. Vaticannus has been housed in the Vatican Library (hence its name) for centuries. Sinaiticus was discovered by Tichendorf in St. Catherine’s monastery. (This point isn’t overly relevant. It just bugs me when people talk about Westcott and Hort discovering these. Lol)

4. It’s true that Westcott and Hort published a new edition of the Greek New Testament in the 1800s, but they didn’t only use 2 manuscripts to create it. That’s absurd. What would be accurate is to say that they leaned heavily (not exclusivity) on a few manuscripts. At times they leaned too heavily on them. Pretty much everyone today acknowledges that. Which leads to the next fact…

5. NO ONE IS STILL USING WESTCOTT & HORT’S GREEK TEXT. This whole argument from KJV-onlyists is super outdated. The KJVO attacks on Westcott and Hort’s text were an exaggeration a hundred years ago. They’re completely irrelevant today. No one is still using Westcott & Hort’s text. Zero Bibles are being translated from it.

6. The Greek text that is being used today (Nestle-Aland 28th edition or the UBS 5th, same text just different apparatus) has made hundreds of changes in favor of the majority of Greek manuscripts. In other words, the imbalance of Westcott and Hort relying too heavily on a few manuscripts has been corrected. Decades ago. Now you might think it hasn’t gone far enough and it is still somewhat imbalanced. Fine. Make that argument. But don’t say that we’re all using Westcott & Hort’s text that was created by comparing only 2 manuscripts. Both of those are lies. Stop it.

7. The KJV isn’t based on majority readings. Here’s where the argument really falls apart…Most KJV-onlyists believe that there are 5,000+ Greek manuscripts that support their text, and basically only 2 manuscripts line up with the modern text. They tend to be shocked when they find out that this just isn’t true. For example, take the 2 most significant “missing verses” in the NT: 1 John 5:7 and Acts 8:37. Both of these verses are absent in the vast majority of Greek manuscripts. So the “We have 5000 on our side and you guys have 2” argument is just not true. In hundreds of places, the exact opposite is true. When it comes to 1 John 5.7, the KJV guys have like 4 Greek manuscripts that contain it (all dated to over 1000 years after 1 John was written).

Some KJV-onlyists know this last fact. And when you bring it up, they will never be ok with removing a verse like 1 John 5:7, even though the overwhelming majority of Greek manuscripts don’t have it. They’ll come up with some reason to keep everything just as it is in the KJV. Because at the end of the day, the manuscript evidence doesn’t really matter to them. What matters is whatever the KJV says. The argument about a “Received Text” is just a distraction. KJV-onlyism is a conclusion in search of an argument. So, the advocates of KJV-onlyism have to use inconsistent/contradictory arguments for their position, depending on which variant is being discussed.

Let’s take this apart, point by point…

Continue reading “Answering Some Twitter Claims About the Text Issue”

Legalism and Scripture 4: Pastor, Preach Standards

Standards are inescapable.  It isn’t a question of whether your church will have them – your church has standards.  Every church has standards.  The question is, who will set the standard, and what will be the basis of that standard. 

Every church has a dress code.  It doesn’t matter if the church uses fog and theater lighting like a nightclub or uses robes and collars like a cathedral.  Every church has a dress code.  Somebody sets the expectations for those who attend church regularly.  Everyone who attends knows what that expectation is and what the boundaries and limits are.  Your wife or daughters can probably tell you who sets it.  And those who attend the church regularly will, for the most part, conform to the expectation.

Of course, there are exceptions.  I am setting forth general observations here, not hard and fast rules.  I am pointing out the way things are in churches.  But I intend to argue something from these generalizations.  Since dress codes and standards are inescapable and there will be a standard wherever you go, the church’s leadership should set the standards intentionally.

I don’t intend to say what that standard should be in this article.  I think my view of these things is pretty well-known.  I have written on them in the past.  My point here is to say that there is a standard, and since there is, the church’s leadership should set out to establish a Biblical standard (as they see it) from Scripture.

This article is the fourth and final installment for this go-around on legalism.  In the previous three articles (here, here, and here), we have highlighted a few things about legalism.  First, it is not a Scriptural category – the Bible never speaks directly about legalism, and in fact, many of our notions about legalism do not fit with anything we see in Scripture.  For example, God doesn’t forbid law-keeping or treat it as if it were contrary to New Testament Christianity.  Jesus taught His disciples that their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees and that they should do what they said – but not what they did.  Second, legalism is, to some degree, inescapable.  We all have rules that we are very rigid about and would impose on everyone around us if given the opportunity.  Those rules can be all across the spectrum – from “live and let live” casual to super-uptight suit-and-tie fundamentalism.  Legalism isn’t found in any particular rule.  Legalism is a kind of spiritual pride that attaches to whatever standard one might hold, believing that I am spiritually superior to others because I have high, low, or even no standards. 

I want to extend this idea a little further.  It isn’t legalistic to establish a standard in your church that will be preached and taught and honored.  It is, in fact, necessary to the unity of the church and part of what it means for a pastor to shepherd the people.  So here are a few points for consideration.

Continue reading “Legalism and Scripture 4: Pastor, Preach Standards”

Legalism and Scripture 3: We’re All Legalists

Inside every one of us lurks a little legalist, clamoring to get out.  So we keep him in chains and prison until someone breaks one of our rules or in some way violates “the code.” Then, our fire-breathing legalist comes charging out, finger-wagging, pontificating.

Let’s face it, we all love rules.  Especially rules for thee (though not necessarily for me).

So far, we have pointed out the struggle of defining legalism from the Bible since no equivalent term is found anywhere in Scripture.  Legalism isn’t a Scriptural category, though I deny that there is such a thing.  I have argued that we throw the term about too casually and that it poisons any discussion of standards.  Our fear of the charge of legalism has a way of preventing a Biblical consideration of standards. 

We pointed out that, though legalism is almost always associated with the Pharisees, legalism is not the sin Jesus rebuked in the Pharisees.  Jesus didn’t charge the Pharisees with being too scrupulous about the law.  He criticized them for not being strict enough.  He condemned them for disregarding the law in favor of their traditions.  He rebuked them for a blatant double standard.  And He urged His disciples to be more righteous than the Pharisees.

We also examined the legalism Paul spoke against in Galatians (which I think is closer to the idea of legalism that Christians should try to avoid – an attempt to increase personal holiness by embracing external standards and law-keeping).  Whether or not Paul’s arguments against extreme self-denial in Colossians should be applied to legalism or not is a good question.  Paul shows that being subject to ordinances (touch not; taste not; handle not) is a vain attempt at sanctification.  But Paul allows strictness in diet and so forth.  He tells the Colossians, “Let no man therefore judge you;” “Let no man beguile (disqualify) you” (Colossians 2:16, 18).

This brings us to the next important point:

To some extent, “legalism” is inescapable.

Though some legalism is more overt than others.  But the question is not whether you have rules or standards you live by and are perhaps a little uptight about.  We all do.  This is not a matter of whether we are sometimes wound a little tight about rules, but which rules we are wound a little tight about. 

If “legalism” amounts to law-keeping, if “legalism” is a commitment to or loyalty to a standard, everyone is a legalist.  Because every Christian holds to a set of standards which they also believe to be faithful to the requirements of Scripture.  And unless we carefully guard our hearts, adherence to a standard will produce a sense of superiority about the standards we hold.  We tend to view those who share our standards as allies while resisting and repudiating those who differ, whether stricter or laxer.  Call it human nature; our fallenness lived out loud.  But it is often the case.  Furthermore, we tend to call everyone to the left of our standard “licentious” and everyone to the right “legalistic.” 

Continue reading “Legalism and Scripture 3: We’re All Legalists”

Legalism and Scripture 2: Pharisees and Spartans

Part 1 available here.

Consider again the two definitions of legalism we have mentioned.  The first is a more general, albeit straightforward, definition.

Legalism is the conviction that law-keeping is now, after the Fall, the ground of our acceptance with God – the ground of God being for us and not against us.  (John Piper)

The second offers a more specific and detailed view of a proper use of the charge.

  • We might call someone “legalistic” if they are overly scrupulous about behaviors that are not prohibited or commanded in the New Testament.
  • We might call someone “legalistic” if they fail to see that the Mosaic system of sacrifices and priestly ceremonies and rites of purification and food laws and rituals that distinguish Israel from the nations are not binding any longer on the Christian.
  • Finally, we might call someone “legalistic” if they treat the law or any moral behavior as the ground of our full acceptance with God instead of seeing Christ’s blood and righteousness as the only ground of our acceptance, and faith in him as the only means of having what he died to obtain.  (John Piper)

In this installment, we will examine four Bible passages dealing with legalism.  First, we typically regard the Pharisees as the original legalists, so we will consider the fault of the Pharisees.  Then, we have the “Jerusalem council,” where the apostles repudiated Judaism in its original form.  Post-Antioch, Judaism demonstrated an uncanny ability to adapt, so Paul addresses soft legalism in Galatians.  And finally, Paul offers a Scriptural view of strictness and self-denial in the book of Colossians. 

Here’s hoping we can do this without exhausting the reading public.

The Spirit of the Pharisees

Many lump “legalists” together with Pharisees – and I think rightly so.  We should consider the connection between the Pharisees and what many consider “legalism” today. Despite the legendary antagonism Jesus showed the Pharisees, He never dismissed them as absolute reprobate.

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.  (Matthew 23:1-3)

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for three faults.  First, He criticized how they overturned God’s law with their traditions. 

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.  (Mark 7:6-9)

Continue reading “Legalism and Scripture 2: Pharisees and Spartans”

Legalism and Scripture 1: Definitions

About a year and a half ago, a friend asked me if I listened to the “Recovering Fundamentalist Podcast.”  He went on to describe their meteoric rise to fame and popularity as they hammered away at the “legalism” that has often characterized fundamentalism.  This particular genre of Internet sensation exposes just how offensive people find the arrogance that comes from crotchety fundamentalism.  No doubt, we have a lot to answer for.

More than a few Christians have been seriously hurt by fundamentalism.  I will be the first to acknowledge the warrant for some of the criticisms – I have seen the damage personally, as these things have irreparably damaged members of my own family.  Over the past 20 years, countless blogs, forums, websites, and now podcasts have sprung up in an attempt to repudiate the arrogance and extremes of fundamentalism.  It is low-hanging fruit, sure to get attention.  And in a sense, these kinds of Internet sensations have become commonplace enough that we might say they are a dime-a-dozen.  Nonetheless, the demand for these sites illustrates the deep pain many feel at the legalism they have encountered in IFB churches. 

My purpose in this post is not to defend arrogance in any form or to argue particular standards. No doubt, many would consider me a legalist.  But my purpose is not to provide cover for IFB cranks.  Some things are easy to caricature, and I have heard far too many cringe-worthy sermon clips from my brethren in the IFB.  Much of what has alienated Bible-believing Christians could be resolved by a return to what past generations might have called “Bible preaching.”  Despite all the yipping to the contrary, I hear very little Biblical content in far too many IFB sermons.  Ranting makes for a good show.  But let’s don’t equate opinionating with Bible preaching. 

Continue reading “Legalism and Scripture 1: Definitions”

One Example of the Shoddy Way People Treat the Preservation Passages

And yes, I know that is a long title.  Maybe I read the Puritans too much.

Recently, I encountered a lengthy but well-written blog post describing the three major approaches to the preservation of God’s Word.  The article on the Berean Patriot blog sets forth its purpose in the title: Majority Text vs. Critical Text vs. Textus Receptus – Textual Criticism 101.

Kudos

The article is, according to the author, more than 18,000 words (I took his word for it).  I had a long flight recently, so I loaded the article before the flight and read it (with a few breaks) over about 3 hours.  The author does (in my opinion) tremendous work laying out the principles of textual criticism and the nuanced approaches of those who hold to the critical text compared to those who hold to the majority text.  I especially appreciated Berean Patriot’s (BP) honest interaction with these two approaches. 

But BP’s handling of the Confessional position (about 2/3 through the article) left much to be desired.  If you take the time to read it, you will no doubt notice the shift from careful analysis and interaction to a casual dismissal of the confessional position.  I find this bias frequently, so I thought I should take the opportunity to interact with BP’s description and analysis as an example of the shabby ways the confessional position gets treated. 

But before I deal with what BP gets wrong, let me say he gets some things right.  He rightly states that confessional bibliology assumes

God must have “kept (the scriptures) pure in all ages”.  By this, they mean that God wouldn’t allow the true version of the Scriptures to be replaced with a corrupt version of the scriptures.  Or at least, He would preserve a true version for His faithful followers.

He quotes Thomas Watson in support of this, which I appreciate.  John Owen also wrote extensively about this, and recently Jeff Riddle has published John Owen’s work on this subject.  It is helpful to note that the Puritans believed that God preserved the words of Scripture, not just the message and that this is the historic view of preservation. 

I appreciated BP’s clarification of the source for the Textus Receptus:

The primary Greek source for the King James Version was the 1598 version of Theodore Beza’s Greek New Testament.  The main source for Beza’s New Testament was Robert Estienne’s 1550 Greek New Testament.  (Estienne was also known as Stephanus.)  Estienne’s New Testament is remarkably similar to Erasmus’ Greek New Testament, but Estienne claimed he didn’t use Erasmus’ work as a source.  The first document to be called “Textus Receptus was the 1633 printing of the Elzevir Greek New Testament, which was substantially identical to the 1565 version of Beza’s Greek New Testament.

Continue reading “One Example of the Shoddy Way People Treat the Preservation Passages”

Here’s Hoping for a Solid Debate on the Text Issue

On February 18, James White will debate Thomas Ross on the text issue.  You can learn more about the details of the debate here.  I look forward to the debate for several reasons.  Let me tell you how:

First, my appreciation for James White

I understand if some of my KJVO friends don’t share my enthusiasm for James White.  He has handled some of us pretty roughly over the years.  But I do have an appreciation for Dr. White.  I have had the privilege of meeting him; I have had the opportunity to get to know a fine young man planting a church in Salt Lake out of Apologia Church, and we share several mutual friends.  Despite several significant differences, I believe Dr. White to be a brother in Christ.  That said, here are a couple of things I appreciate about Dr. White.

First, I live and serve the Lord in Utah.  I cannot express the value of Dr. White’s ministry in this state.  For many years, he has traveled to Utah to preach the gospel to the LDS and engage them in debates or discussions.  I have to say that he has set a tremendous example for the way we ought to engage these neighbors.  My good friend, Pastor Jason Wallace, hosts Dr. White almost annually and has held a variety of debates at the University of Utah – including one infamous debate with a nut-wing professor who attempted to get Dr. White to drink antifreeze on stage.  Dr. White has shown a willingness to engage unbelievers from nearly every form of unbelief, but I believe his best work has come from his engagement with the LDS.  I had the privilege of sitting in on a discussion he had with Alma Allred, which I consider to be one of the most important public discussions with a Mormon in the past decade. 

Second, I appreciate Dr. White’s willingness to continue to engage on the text issue.  Yes, I recognize that he wants to defeat the position I hold dear.  But I am grateful that he believes we are still worthy of debate.   

Third, Dr. White believes in presuppositional apologetics, as do I.  I consider this key in the debate with Thomas.  We should take a presuppositional approach to preservation. 

Second, the opportunity to hear a Biblical case for textual criticism

I am excited to hear Dr. White present a presuppositional case for textual criticism.  I have searched the Internet, hoping to find someone who would make the case from Scripture for textual criticism, and so far have come up empty.  Perhaps one of my readers can point me to a book, YouTube video, or website that lays out the case from Scripture for textual criticism, but I have yet to hear one.

Continue reading “Here’s Hoping for a Solid Debate on the Text Issue”

Why the KJV Debate Won’t End Soon

I’ve lived long enough to see a variety of phases of the King James Only controversy.  You might think of it like the phases of the moon.  The debate waxes and wanes.  Fifteen or twenty years ago, the debate really grew legs as online forums and blogs took off.  The debate had raged prior to this through books and papers published by respectable institutions of higher learning.  But the rise of the Internet and the popularity of blogs and forums in the early 2000s brought the debate into the living room.  As a result, there began to be some significant movement in one direction or the other.  Believers who had only seen one side of the issue found themselves woefully unprepared for some of the arguments coming from the other side.  There were casualties on both sides of the issue, though the trend certainly favored the anti-King James Only position. 

But the ultimate result of these online interactions was that both sides became more entrenched against each other.  Like most controversies, the debate ebbs and flows.  The rise of Facebook, Twitter, and (even more so) YouTube expanded the debate, challenging a fresh generation to again examine their assumptions and (in more than a few cases) switch their allegiances.  I have not looked to see if there has been any kind of scientific study to see where the majority have landed.  Anecdotally, I would guess that more have left the KJVO position than have come to it.  Advocates for an eclectic text show a great deal of talent for video production, and people prefer a 15-minute video to a longer, in-depth book or blog post.  But once again, as the debate picks up, parties become more entrenched in their position and more unwilling to listen to the other side.

Nobody should think that the migration has been a one-way street.  I have become good friends with a pastor who recently came to embrace the King James Version, who had before used every other version but the KJV.  The rise of the “Standard Sacred Text” position and Jeff Riddle certainly indicates that the anti-KJV faction isn’t running up the score on the KJVOs (note: I’m not saying that Riddle is KJVO – he isn’t).  I have friends in the ministry who embrace the Critical Text (and many versions as a result), who have also admitted to me that there is a significant shift away from the Critical Text towards the TR and the idea of a settled text. 

So, those who think that we are on the cusp of putting the debate to rest forever should probably rein in their horses.  It can be deceptive to spend hours a day on Twitter, where the debate is pretty one-sided.  Many believers stay off Twitter altogether.  I would say that you really don’t get fair representation of both sides of the issue there.  And the proponents of the Critical Text will have a tough time conveying their message to their targeted audience if they are relying on Twitter to do it. 

Continue reading “Why the KJV Debate Won’t End Soon”

No Shocker: the LDS Church Supports the “Respect for Marriage” Act

On October 21, 2013, Al Mohler told an audience of faculty and students at Brigham Young, “I do not believe that we are going to heaven together, but I do believe we may go to jail together.”  I say this was bold: the faculty and students at BYU can’t conceive of an eternity where they would be anywhere but heaven.  But mainly bold because Mohler suggested that our shared opposition to homosexuality could land us all in jail. 

At the time, Mohler saw the situation correctly.  A few years before this speech, the LDS church provoked the wrath of homosexuals everywhere by supporting California’s 2008 Prop 8 ban on same-sex mirage.  California passed the gay mirage ban, which the courts later overturned.  And all of this happened several years before the 2015 Obergefell Ruling came from the Supreme Court, making gay mirage a sanctioned event in the U.S. 

When the extent of the LDS church’s involvement in the fight for Prop 8 was made known, the rage and fury of radical homosexuals came in like a storm.  And ever since, the LDS church has been doing penance in surprising (and disappointing) ways.  The collapse has been disheartening, to say the least, and the tension among rank-and-file Mormons is palpable.

So, when the LDS church announced their support for the so-called “Respect for Marriage” Act, the shock many felt was entirely uninformed.  It should surprise nobody.  It fits with the trend in the LDS church ever since the Prop 8 battle.  Perhaps it has been a long time in the making – I don’t think so, but I can understand why some, both in the LDS church and outside of it, might have been blindsided.  But the support for this “Disrespect for Marriage” Act fits with their general personality, political posture, doctrinal commitments, and overall culture.  Allow me to explain.

Personal Reasons

The LDS church puts a very high value on “nice.” It is the one virtue that every member holds dear.  LDS church members are legitimately some of the kindest people you will ever meet.  But it would help if you understood this not so much as a product of natural disposition but as a religious commitment.  Of all the sins one might commit in Utah, being mean ranks among the highest.  In Utah culture especially, we encounter a superficial niceness that cloaks (sometimes very thinly) an inward passive-aggressiveness.  According to a recent study, Utah tops the charts for the most confrontational drivers in the nation. 

This cult of niceness explains why you will see more rainbow flags and trans flags and “hate has no home here” and “Black Lives Matter” signs in Utah than in almost any other place.  I could step out my front door in my Ogden neighborhood and see a half dozen rainbow flags.  And this is not unusual.

This religious commitment to “nice” explains why Donald Trump is so unpopular in our state – even though Donald Trump won Utah quite handily.  It explains why Utah Conservatism is so frustratingly moderate.  It explains why pro-life conservatives in our state legislature routinely vote down pro-life legislation.  The LDS believe they are better “Christians” because they support LGBTQ rights. 

This past spring, James Lindsey spoke at an event near me, and I had the privilege of meeting him courtesy of Andrew Badger, then-candidate for U.S. Congress.  Though an outsider and somewhat unfamiliar with Utah, Lindsey pegged one crucial fact.  The reason that rank-and-file Mormons are embracing Wokeness, the reason our Governor announced his preferred pronouns, has nothing to do with political agenda and everything to do with the general demeanor of the LDS church.  The LDS church doesn’t want to be divisive or combative.  On the contrary, they want to accommodate people of all faiths and all lifestyles. 

So, their support of the Defense of Marriage Act shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Political Reasons

The LDS church sees compromise as the path to protecting religious liberty.  When our Utah politicians debate the thorny cultural issues of our time, they will inevitably speak of finding a “Utah solution.”  They pride themselves in finding compromises that satisfy both parties in the culture wars. 

Thus, in 2015, our Legislature produced the famed “Utah Compromise,” which granted equal protection to the LGBTQ+ while at the same time protecting religious liberty.  It was a ground-breaking compromise and became the template for similar non-discrimination laws in other conservative states.  The Utah Compromise was brokered and endorsed by the LDS church itself, which is why the LDS church has, for at least the past seven years, actively lobbied for similar legislation at the federal level. 

Continue reading “No Shocker: the LDS Church Supports the “Respect for Marriage” Act”