Wednesday, April 9, 2003

A Public Statement Concerning the Behavior of certain Professing Christians who have protested at The LDS Conference Center


 A Public Statement Concerning the behavior of certain Professing Christians who have protested at The LDS Conference Center


     We find it our duty to publicly denounce the methods used by some in their witness to Latter Day Saints during April's General Conference. Specifically, we mean the activities of some Baptist protestors and the unrelated activities of those who refused to recognize the property rights of the LDS church on the Main Street Plaza. We have no power to prevent such things, but we publicly call on these parties to cease actions that we believe mar the presentation of the Gospel.
     During General Conference, there were a number of Independent Baptists from California who were "evangelizing" by shouting personal insults through megaphones and hoisting Mormon garments on their picket signs. Accusations of gross sexual immorality against strangers are not "street preaching". This is not speaking the truth in love as we are commanded in Ephesians 4:15. We appealed to these men from Scripture to cease their attacks, but they would not.
     In the case of literature distribution on the Main Street Plaza, we have to denounce anyone's refusal to recognize the property rights of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We too have been involved in street evangelism and literature distribution, even during General Conference.  We differ radically from the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but we do not support the violation of their property rights. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints  paid over $8 million to be able to control activities on the plaza.  The City of Salt Lake and the courts have so far upheld those rights, and there are plenty of other areas to give out literature.
       We are commanded as Christians to submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1) and obey magistrates (Titus 3:1). We are told to "submit [ourselves] to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake" (1 Peter 2:13). We have privately approached one of the men who insists on giving out literature on the Main Street Plaza, urging him to cease his promotion of what he has done, but to no avail. We believe the property rights of the LDS church should be respected as we would hope that ours will be respected by them.
The Session of Christ Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Salt Lake City Utah.
April, 2003