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Earnestly Trying to Find common ground

The Assembly of God’s CEO, George O. Wood, addressed hundreds of BYU students and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the  “the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles” Apostles on Monday. A recent push by the Quorum of the Twelve to promote religious freedom has led to much interfaith discussion and many opportunities, including this second lecture of the Faith.

[Excerpts] October 3, 2013

BYU Newspaper reports

 The paper reports that the Quorum of the Twelve sponsored the lecture for its Faith, Family, and Society series:

A recent push by the Quorum of the Twelve to promote religious freedom has led to much interfaith discussion and many opportunities, including this second lecture of the Faith, Family, and Society series.

Before Wood took the stage, Professor Andrew Skinner, of the Department of Ancient Scripture, introduced Wood as a man of incredible faith and devotion.

“You can feel the Spirit of God with him when you shake his hand,” Skinner said.

Wood shared his lifelong spiritual journey and ministry as a member of the Assembly of God. He gave a brief history of the Assembly of Gods origin in the early 1900s, including the receiving of the gift of tongues. He spent time drawing parallels between Latter-day Saints and the Assembly of God.

“Like the LDS we were a very marginalized minority, and even persecuted,” Wood said. “We had preachers that were tarred and feathered and driven out of town because we had this experience that others didnt understand.”

Elder Holland sat on the stage, listening intently and laughing at the humorous and touching experiences Wood shared.

Wood spoke of an experience he had two years earlier with Elder Holland at a conference in Utah. In response to a question from Wood, Elder Holland expressed that his greatest worry about the young generation was that they would grow coarse to the values and principles taught by Jesus Christ.

“His response immediately bonded my heart to him,” Wood said. “Any Assembly of God preacher could say the same thing. We just absolutely share that in common.”

Wood expressed that the Assembly of Gods 66 million members test out their faith just like Latter-day Saints do. He urged the audience to seek a strong faith through diligent study of the scriptures.

“The question for me in college became, Is experience enough to carry me through?” Wood said. “I had to have a stronger, intellectual foundation for my faith.”

Wood showed that God is playing a role in all religions and that Christians are more united than they sometimes think.

“The whole aspect of the Christian faith, and my personal faith, rests upon whether or not Jesus Christ rose again from the dead,” Wood said.

Not something a Mormon would have any disagreement on.  Actually the Bible makes an equal requirement of who Jesus is. Because saying Jesus, whom is a brother of Lucifer, a created being rose from the dead means nothing.

Mormons say “We believe that only through Christ, we are saved.” Which Christ and what are mechanics of this, doctrine matters. Christ on the cross dying for all sins meaning by grace we are saved through faith? (1 Cor.15:1-4) Or Christ made the way fro us to be saved by the requirements we l are to continually live by via the Mormon church, its gospel.

In the same manner Ravi Zacharias addressed Mormons, Wood stands in an ongoing tradition of building a bridge towards them. To suggest to examine themselves by Scripture does not mean the Bible only to a Mormon but then Woods is not equipped to know this and address the matter correctly.

To make a parallel between Latter-day Saints and the Assembly of God as a marginalized minority because of experiences going back to Asuza st. revival would be incongruous. Woods is finding anything he can to make this relative to them both. Methinks you are trying too hard!

So we have AOG softening their position on Catholics, recently the Assemblies of God “Believe” Conference, leadership brought in New Age Contemplative key player Ruth Haley Barton. As they progress down this road its only natural to befriend the Mormon church that so wants the conflict to end and be accepted.

Mormons say there are differences in what we believe, but that we should overlook them for doing good.  This is the definition and application of ecumenism, the spirit of the age that is bringing spiritual strangers together. The same is taking place with Roman Catholicism. And when this is all said and done we will see mystery Babylon built by the modern church and doctrine will be secondary to the works we will do together. After all they will find more to agree on than to separate on. And as the world becomes more corrupt moral unity will be welcomed as the solution no matter what one believes. Unknown to those who embrace this solution that they now become part of the problem of spiritually corrupting themselves. Clearly ironic.


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