The South Mountain Community Church has become home for many former Mormons—which make up nearly half of the congregation. As strange as it may sound to some, the church also has a large contingent of atheist/agnostic former Mormons, as well as many who have embraced Biblical Christianity.

In this exciting panel interview, we interview Pastor Rick and Pastor Paul along with panelists Keri, Dave, Emily, and Jim about what drew them to SMCC, and what their lives look like now in terms of belief and spirituality. Some of the important questions we try to answer include:

  • Why do the panelists believe the New Testament is reliable?
  • Why the panelists believe following Jesus of the New Testament is not a feelings based decision?
  • Do the panelists scrutinize the claims of the Bible as thoroughly as they scrutinize the claims of religions they don’t endorse?


Part 1: SMCC church leadership introduce themselves and describe the mission of the church

Part 2: Panelists share why they left the Mormon Church and now call SMCC their home

Part 3: John asks SMCC church leadership doctrinal questions and other questions surrounding church culture


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


  1. Gerald L. February 7, 2018 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Interesting. Just a few comments here. I stopped attending the Mormon Church a few years ago and probably was what many TbM’s would call super-active.

    When these ex-Mormons dropped out of the LDS Church (in this interview),they seemed to believe that it is obvious that a strong Jesus-based New Testament church was the only choice remaining. One lady talked of a visit to Jerusalem and that giving her a profound love for the NT. Did she get that testimony of the truth of Jesus just by going to Jerusalem? Why would a searcher not learn of Judaism or Islam, or Hinduism, or other world religions? Why assume that since Mormonism was wrong, that Christianity was right?

    I have visited 9 churches in my area over the past several years, looking for one where my wife would fit in socially. Last Sunday we attended what the pastors in this interview would probably term “liberal Christian”. The week before we attended a Pentecostal service. I will probably attend the liberal one with her, not because I believe in its doctrines but because she doesn’t like to go alone.

    In order to find the problems in Mormonism, since I had always been an in-depth student of standard Mormonism, I began having questions, so I began reading and researching. And of course after a couple years of digging, I encountered Mormon Stories and Mormon Think which quickly made me realize errors to great to ignore.

    At first, I thought that the Bible must be the answers to my continuing questions, so I began researching both testaments, becoming, basically, a Baptist, then a Messianic, and then I was close to becoming a Karrite. But, over a period of time I found DVD college lectures by professors of religion in major university divinity schools, and have now taken courses in both testaments, comparative world religion, and Judaism. I have also been learning about the history of Christianity which has just as many problems as does Mormon history. This morning, as I was repeating a New Testament lecture course by Professor Ehrman of the University of N.C., I spent 2 hours studying the transcript. The more I study, the more I see that Christianity, though the world’s largest religion and the one that has had a profound effect on western civilization, the more I see that it, like all religions, is a way to control the masses, especially when religions such as Abrahamic religions are so successful in controlling the U.S. government. I also studied the Old Testament by a lady professor at the divinity school at Vanderbilt University. She was definitely a believer but I thought it interesting when she truthfully said, “There is no archaeology supporting that (King) David was any more than a poor shepherd boy, but I sure hope that some is found, eventually.” That sounds like Mormons and archaeology.

    In Mormonism, members will not study or even read the Church essays, because they figure they have all the truth and need not study. But that is no different with mainstream Christians, because they will not study either. They don’t study to different versions of Jesus’ birth or death, or else they would find many discrepancies.

    I think it a possibility that Jesus lived but I, like many of this country’s Founding Fathers did not think he was the son of God. I can in no way prove that there is no god so there could be Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah, or Dionysius, or any of the Roman or Greek gods.

    And when people say that they believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of their god, I must ask, “Which Bible version? “, because they are not the same. And since there are no original versions in existence we have nothing to compare them with. There are thousands of manuscripts and many are very different. And the books we do have were chosen to be in the canon mainly by the Catholic Church (the Bishop of Rome) in the 4th century CE.

    I think it is fine for people to have a religion as long as they are not exclusive, saying that their religion is the only one. What will Christians say in the next century when Islam is the world’s largest religion? And though the Golden Rule did not originate with Jesus or Christianity, it is still a concept that all we humans should follow.

    And thanks, John, for all you do. You have really helped me in my transition. And I am very happy with no religion.!

    • Rico_ February 13, 2018 at 1:08 am - Reply

      Few people who dig Bart Ehrman’s works realize that there are two Barts, the good Bart and the bad Bart.

      The good Bart is the one who studied New Testament textual criticism and knows that the text of the NT canon is 99% accurate. He will never write anything against this part of the NT that has been established with certainty long ago by NT scholars.

      On the other hand, the bad Bart is the guy who never studied to be an expert on questions of NT historicity. In other words, he is not an NT historian. And this is the guy who dwells on that part of the NT that is 1% uncertain, then proceeds to write books for a non-scholarly audience presenting himself as an authority on questions of NT history.

      How bad is this Bart Ehrman as an NT historian? Here is William Lane Craig’s analysis of his “historical work.”

    • Jim E March 5, 2018 at 12:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Gerald,

      I really appreciate the effort you’ve put into seeking truth. That’s awesome. I firmly believe if you continue with an open mind and you truly desire to know truth, you will find it.

      In the format of this podcast there isn’t time to address the entire scope of each person’s journey. I do know that your assumptions about what each person on the panel believes about the Bible and religion are uninformed. For some of us, there has been a lot of research and study over the years of our journey.

      I have personally looked into a number of the items you mention directly above.

      I am very willing to dialog with you if you have an interest. I believe you’ll find several of us have put in a lot of time seeking Truth and we have placed our faith in sound evidence and thinking.

      You may start by looking into the stories and research of Lee Strobel, Dr. William Lane Craig, J. Warner Wallace, and Josh McDowell…all former atheists who researched biblical Christianity extensively and have all have come to faith in the Jesus of the Bible.

      You can also spend some time looking into the writings of Dr Frank Turek, Greg Koukl, Dr Ravi Zacharias (an Indian born man who converted to biblical Christianity), and Nabeel Qureshi (a former devout Muslim converted to Christianity).

      There is enough information in the above men’s work to answer a ton of your questions.

      Enjoy your journey.


  2. H February 7, 2018 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    People wonder why people who leave a faith check the none box- it’s this right here! This is just another patriarchal, homophobic, crazy same old style Christianity. Served with a smile. Welcome to the new boss, it’s the same as the old boss.
    I want to live my life free! I want to be able to be open to things in all parts of life! I won’t be controlled by a 2000+ Year old story.

    • Rio February 7, 2018 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      My thots as well, Hsays. As long as the subject was on the social aspects of this evangelical church, all was peachy. But the minute the topic shifted to beliefs, then it was just the same ol’, same ol’ conservative apologetics and dogma.
      No thanks.

      • Sampson Avard February 12, 2018 at 10:02 pm - Reply

        Absolutely , I had to stop listening after hearing all of the homophobic self-hate. This cult is no better than Mormonism. In fact, probably worse. Sadly these people are all just as trapped as they were before.

    • Dale February 9, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      As a former evangelical, I couldn’t have said it better.

    • Cheryl March 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      I totally agree with your assessment. I am a woman. I am not ok with their view of “men only as leaders.” Also they say “people who don’t respect God go to hell.” None of us are experts or all knowing about these things. I am a believer, but I can’t pretend to know what awaits us all. Jesus has room for doubt. In fact, I think he knows that we are all in need of salvation, and we will get it whether we come to him now or at the 11th hour.

  3. Jeremiah K. February 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    I have been looking for a different faith home for some time. I guess I need to keep looking. I think they deal in less absolutes, but they definitely think they have cornered the market on truth. It wasn’t as if I expected anything less with evangelicalism. It leaves me with the same feeling I have with LDS Church (just better music, less rigid hierarchy, and a little more transparency). Same tight grip on doctrine, same put downs on foundational science, and holding to old norms. Why can’t we be social, civilized apes? Maybe that is how God intended for us to be? Makes me wonder if LDS and Evangelicalism in the distant future will pretty much be the same thing?

    I do like reading the bible and I find that I like having someone fill me in on the details is good. If they can acknowledge the deficits etc.

  4. EET February 8, 2018 at 12:29 am - Reply

    First off, great insight from the comments above. I also appreciate what the panel guests have gone through and the struggles and pain….I wish them all the best for a bright future.

    The one pastor left the “rails” for me, when he started claiming that their version of Christianity simply stays on the “two rails of charity and truth”! Wow….finally a Christian sect discovered the “truth”! It has been hiding all this time for this new enlightenment.

    Religious folks just can’t resist talking about their version of the truth, rather than admitting its faith and hope.

  5. RobG February 8, 2018 at 6:28 am - Reply

    For some reason, I’ve generally thought or just assumed that ex-Mormons would be more likely to recognize that the Bible is not “inerrant” nor even the word of a god. And that Jesus didn’t die for their sins.

    For some reason, I’d just assumed they’d give the same level of curiosity and critical scrutiny to the Bible and to Christianity that they gave to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and to Mormonism.

    In huge ways, it was rejecting Christianity and the Bible that was more important, and more liberating, than rejecting just the Mormonism. In fact, that’s what came first.

    The curious result, for which I’m still grateful, was that the Bible, and the invention of Christianity, suddenly became far more interesting, and far more understandable, than it ever was a believer. And still is. Only afterwards did Joseph Smith and the invention of Mormonism become of much interest. And that only after the heavy political involvement of the Mormon church in same-sex marriage.

    But you still have to hope these folks are all happier and do well. Maybe even discover that they don’t need Jesus to die for their sins and never did. Nor, in fact, is that why Pilate and Roman empire had him killed.

  6. Nancy February 8, 2018 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Not LGBT accepting so no.

  7. beth February 9, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Thanks everyone for a good interview, it was very interesting and good to know other peoples feelings on their transitions to Christianity from Mormonism, l look forward to hear more interviews like these. Thanks Jon for all your hard work.

  8. Laura February 9, 2018 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    This happy, accepting,” you do you” philosophy had me interested. Then came the sex negativity. Not just LGBT but for all of us. I disagree. (Consensual) sex is not a sin. Its awesome. Im out.
    Jon, the kind way you interviewed Emily was admirable. Some people are just happier single, she may be one of those.

  9. Dale February 9, 2018 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    I’ve been to churches that say they just want queers to get “oriented to Jesus.” But anyone who uses that pun means one thing by it: the only orientation you are allowed to have is an orientation toward the teachings of this church. You may not have a sexual orientation, because obviously everyone should be heterosexual and therefore there’s no need for the term sexual orientation.

    Just like Mormons, evangelicals are perfectly capable of being super nice on the outside, while judging you on the inside. “Yes, gay couple, come to our church. We love you as you are. But we’re also waiting for the day when you get oriented enough toward Jesus that you break up your happy home.”

    That said, there are evangelical churches that recognize the Bible doesn’t actually prohibit healthy same-sex romantic relationships. But most of them are as rule-bound as Mormons. They just have different rules.

  10. Phil February 10, 2018 at 6:51 am - Reply

    “not DARWINIAN evolution…”


  11. S. February 10, 2018 at 10:24 am - Reply

    This particular series has interested me immensely as I grew up Mormon in SLC, UT, left the church as a freshman in college (upon leaving Utah), and quickly converted to evangelical Christianity. I remember the first few “on fire” years where I was so happy to have ONE RULE instead of a million others. I could be saved by believing in Jesus – that’s it. Boy does it feel freeing and I hear it in a few of these converts’ stories. I chuckled a bit at Jon’s delightment at this church’s service. Wow – they serve coffee!! Wow – they have a band! With a drummer! Wow- you can clap in church! Oh man, does that bring back some memories. I loved the freedom in worshiping in an evangelical church.

    Now let’s fast forward 22 years later. My oldest son has come out as gay. And I feel the same rigid rules as before. We have left our non-denom church home because we, as his parents, want a relationship with our son and we cannot handle what our leaders and fellow churchgoers say about him and his sexual orientation. I am completely and utterly at an impasse. I love having a faith in God and I love the spiritual element of a greater being and a greater plan. But I also love my son and I love the LGBTQ community and I don’t think they are “wrong” – not any more than anyone else in this world. Why do I have to choose a lane? Why do I have to pick a side? I feel that I can CLEARLY hear it in this interview with SMCC leaders and churchgoers. You must pick a lane. You’re in or you’re out. As with Emily, she wants ‘in’, therefore she denies her sexual orientation.

    I agree with many of the above statements – evangelical Christians are essentially the same as Mormons in terms of “rule following”. The commenter hit the nail on the head when she said, “just more transparency and Less rigid hierarchy”. Ask Jen Hatmaker what happens when you come out as a Bible-based Christian who believes in same sex marriage. You will be ousted out of Main Stream Christianity.

    This interview series has hit a nerve with me – not in a bad way, more in a clarifying way. I appreciated the way Jon handled all aspects of this interview and I would love to hear or read follow up comments. Thank you so much for putting this out there.

    • Beth February 10, 2018 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      Great comments, good and insightfull, interesting to read.

  12. Dwayne February 10, 2018 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Judgement is just another way of saying separation. You will spend eternity with people most like yourselves. That will end all the infighting once and for all.

  13. Paul February 11, 2018 at 8:28 am - Reply

    I thought the episode was insightful and thoughtful – thank you to those who participated. That said, the answers to Johns questions towards the end didn’t satisfy my rational, logical mind. Without nitpicking a specific topic, Christianity boils down to ‘faith’ as does all religion. Someone like myself needs more – regardless of what background I come from.

    • Greg February 12, 2018 at 7:42 am - Reply

      needs more what?

  14. Adrie de Jong February 12, 2018 at 6:17 am - Reply

    Hi John,

    First: John, thank you for replacing the Hellobar, the website is much easier to scroll through and read everything ! Thanks !!!!! :o)

    I listened to all three hours now, but have to relisten the last episode, because my pondering got me carried away and made me miss pieces, but I enjoyed the testimonies of the followers believing Jesus died for their sins, giving me a new insight. This is what my mum believes, but I don’t, and I will relisten to it, so, I can replace myself a bit more into the insight, and maybe understand my mom better. It sounded very cheerfull to me, rather inspired for the love for Jesus instead of feeling guilty.

    I believe in Christconciousness and this Joseph Smithian thingy that I am responsible for my errors, have to learn from them and step by step grow closer to the attitude that Jesus has and learn to be like He is, according to me this is also the Matriarchy way of life.

    I do not agree on things in SMCC as women not being leaders, especially: it’s not the women making it a messy place when they guide, lol, … the thought alone LOL !!!! Neither I think that homosexuality is a sin or not righteous in the eyes of the Lord. I think God loves every one who loves one another, sex is only one of the many expressions. To be honest, I think heterosexual males messed up so many women’s lifes with their enforced lust and too many unwanted pregnanties, that God Himself created homosexuality to ease the burden of women. It’s a very well wanted shift in this world from the almost hatefull heterosexual attitude toward women, that we women have to face in life, that the Lord saw us suffer so much that something had to be done: heterosexual males just show to little respect to women, and women needed to be protected from them. Males may feel their urges, but it was never meant to illtreat women this way as heterosexual males do, including the insanity of excluding women from leading roles, etc.

    Heterosexual males have to take a close look at their attitude and how Christlike that is: is it lust ? Is it narrowminded thinking ? Where did the tunnelvision comes from, that exclusion became so important ? You know the bible books were collected and chosen by males around 400 after Christ, NOT by Christ Himself ! Why just follow in the footsteps from narrowminded men at that time ? How different would the attitude and view on women be if the gospels of Eve and Maria Magdalena were included aswell ? That these books are excludes says a lot about the males who made the choices as who so sheepely follow these males leaders from 1500 years ago and find it easy to misjudge women nowadays and keep them from lessons learned that God also gave women the right to, but are ignored by heterosexual males on earth. Heteromales are playing gods at the costs of others, but Jesus Christ can teach you, so, you can be freed from the lies you believe in and be more openminded, the way Jesus Christ wants us to be !

    But thank you, SMCC-members, for sharing your love for Jesus Christ and your way of believing in Him ! I hope I will be able to understand my mum better, and wonder if she still has a different look on it. At least I am able to ask her more deeply about her way of believing, because of your explanations here, thank you su much !

    Adrie de Jong
    The Netherlands

  15. Lynn February 12, 2018 at 6:58 am - Reply

    After listening to all three hours, I admired John’s affirmation of a woman’s orientation that she was trying to shed. The third hour led me to believe that the pastors are just as judgmental and controlling as LDS leadership even though they have degrees. I do not hear ecumenical outreach. I hear LDS Lite: no temple, voluntary tithing, less hideous callings, five syllables (heavenly father) down to one (gawd), and more use of the name Jesus. But: the subjugation of women seems more intense, the homophobia is supported by god.
    The two rails, grace and truth, also disturbed me, as much in their reductionism as in their overreach. Grace is the supernatural force that perfects nature, the love of God. Grace is not something humans can bestow on one another–Grace if bestowed upon humans through the divine. Humans who think they bestow grace on others need to check some definitions: sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Those three fall within the human domain, and there are gradations in their meanings.
    The presumption of truth–being a source of truth–is equally disturbing, though less audacious. The presumption of the source of truth being a book that contains inherent contradictions and central witnesses of a killing that none of the authors actually witnessed whets my skepticism. The only things worse than the presumption of truth, to me, are imposing that truth on others and presuming to define “sin” for anyone beyond oneself. I suspect that people who claim to have a lock on religious truth are indulging in intense, hubristic self deception and seek a measure of control over others, perhaps because self-control is a challenge.
    How comforting the two rickety rails must be, for believers. But where do those rails lead, really? Having to believe in a literal Adam, Eve, serpent, and garden? Six thousand years? Whether misogyny is filtered through several layers of bureaucratic male bodies or a degreed person’s reading of one book, the subjugation of women continues unabated, and I pity the men and the women who indulge in the suppression of half of the population.

    I find myself sending all of my compassion to the self-loathing within people that forms the receptor cells that maintain theological power structures, concepts of sin, and lockstep groupthink. I wish them well, from the totality of my being to theirs.

  16. Mike February 12, 2018 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    John Dehlin!! Great interview! Your skills at asking hard questions really shined in this episode. I loved the “studies suggest” approach, respectful, but focused. i want to give you kudos, and say that I appreciate this podcast.

    I found this interview interesting because it reinforces my developing view that God is so hard wired into most of us. So much so that I wonder if it’s just as integral as sexual orientation, as one (Christian/lesbian) guest might suggest being apparently strongly held to both. We take so much effort to justify religious belief, to prove it, to reason it. We left Mormonism because we could not logically resolve it’s claims, or it’s practices. But the reason we joined, or believed, may have more to do with an innate hope (desire), to believe in God, rather than becoming informed. What if it’s that spirituality that’s innate, just as innate as sexual orientation/attraction? An internal need, and desire. We can doubt Mormonism, we can doubt the Bible and Christ, but in the end, are we still left with an innate desire to believe in God, to join with God, which is totally unsatisfied by our findings of provable facts to the contrary?

    What does attraction have to do with the act of sex? What does spiritual desire have to do with religion? Aren’t they both just outward expressions of an inward reality, a desire that itself we aren’t in control of? If you ask a Mormon or a Christian to prove their religion, before they can practice it, isn’t that the same thing as asking an LGBT person to endure their attraction in celibacy, but not act on it, because they can’t prove it’s valid? And likewise, if you ask an LGBT person to intellectualize their desires and then hand over the validity of them to a hierarchical authority that teaches them God’s one true way to practice it, wouldn’t you end up with the same confusion we now have in Mormonism?

    In conclusion what I’m saying is, Aren’t we able to learn something about our spiritual selves through the lens of the LGBT experience of innate desire? If someone can be born LGBT, can’t someone also be born Mormon, in an intuitive, spiritual, way? Could it be that all Mormon’s who have had terrible difficulty in their faith transition, were literally born Mormon, or in fine, destined to become a Mormon? Isn’t it interesting that the scriptures do teach of this subject in places with “desire to believe” and being prepared to hear the gospel? How much longer will it be before we begin to hear as a defense from Mormons that they were born this way, which I say in slight jest? What I’m suggesting isn’t so much a return to LDS Mormonism, but a return to the innate desire to believe, and knowing the difference for the first time, and owning that desire. And finally a question. What else is there, outside of desire? If the facts we have disprove desire, what purpose can be left? This reminds me of really good paper I read years ago by Marianne Williamson called A Return to Love.

    • EET February 13, 2018 at 1:14 am - Reply


      History itself has a pretty good possible answer to your questions. Man has always felt those spiritual emotions and desire for meaning, which is “innate” in us, as you say. Mix those desires and feeling with man’s ability to create, and we see why there are so many religions….”man made” as they say. That is one possiblity, I don’t know for sure, nore does anyone else, in my optinion.

      Might as well throw in eternal life too, while they were at it. Is that getting a little greedy? In LDS doctrine we say “for time and ALL eternity”. I guess the idea was to emphasize it would be a really long time. Thank goodness it isn’t for just Half eternity…not sure that’s enough time to do all I want to do.

      There are certainly great principles to live by in religion, when it is kept to the basics of “pure religion”…like the Golden Rule, or the 13th Article of Faith. Another thing that is “innate” in man, is to practice games of “one-up-manship”……as we saw played out in this 3 Part Interview…the typical claims of one church’s “truth” (belief and hope at best) is the correct interpretation and path to take.

      All the best on your path ahead.

    • Adrie de Jong February 13, 2018 at 4:38 am - Reply

      I do believe in these innate feelings, Mike.

      I believe in reïncarnation and returning to earth to finish something that I had started in a former life. As a child I became interested in the gospel and was prepared that way when the Osmonds came along to pickup the information about them being mormons and felt great attraction to that. I believe I should have become a member of the mormon church to finish what I had started.

      I searched through my feelings and thoughts and my special interest in the mormon trail, before I met the missionaries. I knew all the places they had passed as far as enceclopedia gave me information, and has a feeling that somehow I must have lost my life before or during the trail, while infact I was not ready yet.

      I returned to earth, thanks to the Osmonds, I was able to find the mormon church, but now the church had become a total different institution. Allready before I was born (1962) the church decided to turn on the patriarchal path, and became worse and hardened that way. I should have finished my work in the church without this patriarchy pavement and influence, but now the church was not the right place for me to be !

      Before I left the church I had a dream about having a task beside President Benson to help and feed the poor and hungry, but there is no such task beside the president that could be given to a woman to have such leadership in this church ! While the church should have become a worldwide doing good active place, the church has become a male -privalige place for males to bounce on their chest, finding themselves very important with their priesthood, not really knowing how they should use it to help the world.

      Only a couple of years ago I learned, I geuss through mormonstories or MormonFeminist Housewifes, that until 1950’s women were doing great work through the sisterhood-meetings (forgot the name) to help the poor and hungry, but during the 1960’s that money had to be handed over to the malesection of the church and ripped the sisterhood from their activities that were good and were meant to be part of the church as living as a follower of Christ and act Christlike, all because male wanted to follow patriarchy mentalnarrowness.

      Here I am, to be born to be part of the mormonchurch, and the Osmonds did neatly their job, so, I could find the church at a young age, but patriarchy took over. The living church as Joseph Smith had brought us was covered by a thick old wornout cloth of selfishness and idleness. There was no place for me and many of you who felt innate that we should be part of the church, and celebrate the goodness we had, with each other and the whole world ! I feel ripped off being able to finish what I had started in a former life, but had to be my main task in this life, …. but I am standing outside the mormontent now.

      Luckely the Osmonds keep on doing their job. I’m receiving tweets from my fave Osmond, Alan, and the way he sends information into the world about Jesus Christ, I still get that feeling: Yes, this is how the church should have been a part of in my life !’, but unfortunately: Alan Osmond is not the mormon president, … snifff ‘:o( … yet ! … :o) !!!!

      Yes … I surely believe in the innate feeling of being a mormon and blessed are those who follow their innate feelings as church or sexual attraction. Little patriarchy is making a fuzzz about it, keeping people away from the tasks they should have been doing, or about sexual orrientation, while it’s nothing to worry about. Heterosexuality has so often been harmfull for women, no love at all with lot of concequences. To forbid homosexuality in church: patriarchy must be very frightened of love and good deeds, I geuss it has a lot to do with selfprojection.

      But, Mike, how do we start an Innate Mormon Church, based on our innate feelings ? I geuss I have to reread the book you mention: A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, that’ll be a good start !

      Thank you for sharing !

      Adrie de Jong
      The Netherlands

  17. Sampson Avard February 12, 2018 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Why three hours? If ever there were guests that should have been limited to one episode, it’s these people. It was just one big advertisement for their intolerant homophobic Christian cult.

  18. Rico_ February 13, 2018 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Jesus was neither a conservative nor a liberal.

    If he was conservative, he would have let the crowd stone the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). After all, the Law of Moses prescribed stoning as punishment for that offense. And Jesus was a Jew bound by the Mosaic Law.

    If he was a liberal, why did he raise the bar so abnormally high by declaring it adultery for a man to lust after a woman in his heart (Matt 5:28)? That pretty much makes everyone guilty of that offense, and therefore guilty of death.

    It’s because Jesus was neither liberal nor conservative that caused people on both sides to be offended of him.

    “Blessed is he that is not offended in me” (Matt 11:6).

    If Jesus was not an offensive person, he would be a nice guy to all. In current politically-correct speech, he would be called “welcoming” and “tolerant.”

    A nice Jesus would be an anomaly on the cross. Why would anyone bother to crucify a nice person?

    If Jesus does not offend you, then most likely, you’ve got the wrong Jesus.

    And if the followers of Jesus do not offend you, then maybe they’re following the wrong Jesus.

  19. Beercanman February 13, 2018 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Great interview. The pastors were great and believable right up until Paul somewhat agreed with the 6-8 thousand year life of the earth. Wow. Just another example of fitting the narrative of belief with a narrow set of facts and information. I respect them and what they are doing, I really do, but jeez louise, science has so many more answers to the questions we all have. At least acknowledge the fact that there are other realms of possibilities.

    Thanks John, keep up the good work.

  20. Scott Roskelley February 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    South mountain sounds like a good community. They were generous with their time and a great host. Glad to see they are throwing off the judgmentalism on modesty/clothing/appearance, and word of wisdom issues that constantly plague mormons from fully embracing others. Not sure if the pastors realized that Dehlin was walking them through questions raised by David Kinnaman in his research for “you lost me”. Mosaics have questions about exclusivity, sexuality, science, and others that are not being met by most institutional or “brand-name” churches. On evolution – it’s just basic reality. Most kids learn about australopithecus in 7th grade, and if you don’t like darwin read the old classic by julian huxley on modern synthesis or an easy to read popular text like Sapiens by Harari. No one will hear your argument on how christian morality based on a biblical correspondence/coherence theory of truth somehow gave paul authority to speak on lgbtq issues if you sneeze when you eat dark valentine chocolates and don’t know why.

    • John Dehlin February 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      Scott – You sound like my kinda guy. Let’s meet sometime.

  21. Rico February 14, 2018 at 1:22 am - Reply

    The central dogma of Darwinian evolution theory or “Darwinism” is the so-called “Tree of Life” doctrine. I don’t think those who believe that Darwinism is “reality” have heard or can explain in their own words what this doctrine is. Yet somehow for them Darwinism is still true.

    In 2009, some biologists have already rung the church bells on this dogma. The “tree of life” is dead. It’s time to give it a burial.

    “Evolution: Charles Darwin was wrong about the tree of life”

    “Why Darwin was wrong about the Tree of Life”

    If Darwin was wrong on the “Tree of Life” then there’s really nothing left of Darwinism to be called “reality.” It’s nothing more than a dead scientific theory that should have been discarded long ago.

    But for some who are emotionally attached to it, for those who have staked their careers on it, who have built industries with it, they will never ever let go.

  22. JonathanM (Australia) February 14, 2018 at 5:10 am - Reply

    While this may be a little off-topic I don’t really understand why so few PostMormons are attracted to the Community of Christ. As a non-believer I doubt I’ll be doing so but for those who take the concept of Jesus as Christ seriously I’m surprised.

    • Beth February 14, 2018 at 10:10 am - Reply

      Hi, l agree with your comment, cOct, would make a good spiritual home for post mormons, l think they teach from more of a methodist stance now.

  23. Rhian March 19, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    I have been listening to Mormon Stories for a while now. A search to better understand my dear Mormon friends led me here initially, but I stayed as more parallels between some of the episodes and my own transition away from fundamentalist Christianity became apparent.

    These particular episodes sadden me. While I thought John Dehlin skilfully highlighted some of the troubling aspects of SMCC doctrine without being disrespectful to his hosts, I can’t help sharing some of the other commenters’ misgivings about people who leave the LDS church and end up at SMCC. It seems if they get too rooted-in they may be heading for another painful transition when some if not all the issues they left behind resurface with another name.

    It is possible to believe in Jesus and be part of a church whilst fully affirming, loving and supporting my daughter who is a lesbian, being married to an atheist, accepting the Bible as a multi-authored, culture-bound, God-breathed (does not mean historical/scientific) set of ancient documents, and not regarding people who don’t believe the exact same way I do with suspicion. I am in the UK so this is almost inevitably a little easier than in Salt Lake City, but I can’t help feeling there must be healthier churches to be involved in than a non-LGBTQaffirming, gender-biased young earth creationist congregation, no matter how slick the band and how great the atmosphere.

    • beewink April 4, 2018 at 9:48 am - Reply

      I agree with your comment wholeheartedly, Rhian. I was raised in the Catholic church and actually attended SMCC for a time. It ended up being a more legalistic, judgmental, and confusing experience for me than the Catholic church was. It is the slick, and yet seemingly relaxed, atmosphere that is attractive to many people. “I can wear jeans and drink coffee here?? I’m in!” They offer a support group called, “Homosexuality and the Christian” and make it clear that they are “constitutionally” and “biblically” opposed to same sex marriage.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.