Home » Eastern Orthodoxy » Ancient Faith Radio and Mormonism

Ancient Faith Radio and Mormonism

I just caught word that Ancient Faith Radio will be having an upcoming segment on Mormonism, featuring two former Mormons who converted to Orthodoxy.  One is a “cradle Mormon” (a term that Mormons wouldn’t use – they would likely say “born under the covenant”) named Andrew Gusty, who is a doctor, and the other is an Evangelical-turned-Mormon-turned-Orthodox Christian named Chris Ionna Holland.  I don’t know anything about these people, whether they are nice, mean, bitter, angry, thoughtful, emotional, logical, etc.

I am unsure whether I want to listen to it.  I have found that packaged sound-bytes from apologetic-type sources tend to serve only to Otherize people.  In other words, people listen to shows like this in lieu of doing actual research and are mainly looking for ways to treat people they disagree with like they are strange.  I am willing to be convinced that Ancient Faith Radio is a better source than this, but I doubt it.

Ultimately, my point is in asking what the purpose of this show is?  Is it to share the honest experiences of former Mormon, Orthodox converts?  Is it to convince Mormons that they are wrong?  Is it to show Orthodox Christians how crazy Mormons are?  Is it a neutral, journalistic-type exercise?  Is it to show how to “minister” to Mormons?  Is it to prevent Orthodox Christians from converting to Mormonism?

Now they do have some former Mormons on this episode, so perhaps it will be a bit more humanizing than I expect.  But I don’t know.  I want the testimonies of people who weighed a lot of evidence, made a decision, but hold no grudges and feel no need to burn bridges or bad-mouth the place they came from.  That’s so rare that I just doubt this show will provide that.

Maybe I’m just approaching this quite cynically, but I really do think that churches ought to re-think evangelism.  I think that many attempts to “minister” to Mormons have the opposite effect than the one intended because they attack without understanding, and dehumanize rather than build up.

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8 thoughts on “Ancient Faith Radio and Mormonism

  1. Trust your gut on this one. Based on the rest of what comes out of AFR, I don’t see that the talk can have anything more than a why-Mormonism-is-wrong-and-how-I-found-the-truth sound to it. Soundbites are the name of the game…

  2. I am Orthodox. Don’t get me wrong. When AFR sticks to talking about Orthodox traditions and Orthodox topics, they have much to offer. However, when it comes to Orthodoxy’s engagement with the outside world (including other Christian traditions) I find them lacking. I wish there were other resources to point to, but the other voices of Orthodoxy are often missing from Internet-based conversations. You’re more likely to hear more generous views from a parish priest over tea and biscuits.

  3. I must admit, I am afraid of most Orthodox online communities for that reason. They frighten me. That’s partly why I started this blog in an obscure corner of the Internet – but I’m glad people like you have found it. Please keep reading and contributing.

  4. I’m sorry to hear that you have found a hard time finding welcoming Orthodox communities. The Orthodox Church is very diverse and often times closed off at the same time. I would encourage you to listen to the program. I personally have found that Ancient Faith Today is a good place for for discussion with some exceptions of course but they are a fairly new show. They will not compromise the Orthodox position on topics though so be prepared. The fact is Orthodox theology rejects LDS teachings so an Orthodox radio show will be looking for answers why. Hopefully it is done respectfully. God bless you in your spiritual journey!

  5. Knucklehead:
    Why did you write this nonsense instead of waiting to hear the show and taking the opportunity to call in? You’re wasting cyperspace. Get a life. No one cares about your opinion of something BEFORE it happens.

  6. Hah, that comment inhabits levels of irony that I didn’t even know existed. Thanks for validating my waste of “cyperspace” with a comment, and a little more traffic.

  7. We tried to cover LDS doctrine as it compares and contrasts with orthodox/Orthodox Christian doctrine. That was the focus of the program. Both my guests were (are) very knowledgeable, but it’s impossible – nor it it our mandate – to be an “Orthodox NPR”. AFR has a horse in the race and it is to tackle issues from an Orthodox Christian perspective. I’d be interested to know what you thought of the program if you listen to it.

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