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A Case Study: Anti Mormon Attitudes - the Elim Pentecostal Church Huddersfield

A Case Study: Anti Mormon Attitudes - the Elim Pentecostal Church Huddersfield

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Published by Ronnie Bray

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Published by: Ronnie Bray on Dec 08, 2011
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03/18/2014

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A CASE STUDYIN ANTI-MORMONATTITUDES
 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit,which without cause they have digged for my soul 
Psalm 35:7
By Ronnie Bray
What follows is not offered as proof of persecution.Rather it is intended to demonstrate that misinformation
 
and distorted imagery are customarily and deliberatelyemployed to prepare the minds of some Christiancongregations in order to manipulate them into a statewhere they are prepared to hold and act upon the opinionsthey have embraced simply by trusting the sources of theseopinions without requiring themselves to undertakeindependent objective study of the subject. That suchmisinformation is insidiously, perhaps unconscious of itstrue nature, is disseminated, and is received in good faith but unquestioned, will become evident. The mostdisturbing disclosure is that intelligent and educated peoplewill accept the most bizarre and nonsensical 'facts' withoutquestion. This willingness is fundamental to the spread olies and distortions in a persecutory context.
 
An overseas student of the former HuddersfieldPolytechnic College, now the University of Huddersfield,attended an Anglican Church in his home country. Hefound British Anglican worship too dreary and uninviting.However, he found a Huddersfield Elim Pentecostal
 
Church as lively and as fellowshipping as had been hisformer congregation in Singapore. He reportedconversations and meetings of groups at the Church inwhich the notion that Mormons were not Christians wascontinually expressed. Because of his personal knowledgeof The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he didnot agree with his fellows, which caused him no smalldiscomfort. He had discovered a cultus which was basically hostile, and which held and disseminated falseideas about Mormonism. Members of the congregationwere encouraged to do the same without seriousindependent inquiry.
i
 The primary proposition was developed that anti-Mormonism was a norm in that Pentecostal Church andthat this could be demonstrated by survey. Interviews wereconducted in order to establish a base line of Pentecostal beliefs practices and attitudes and a questionnaire preparedthat was intended to:a.Construct an average member profile. b.Check for proximity to, or deviation, fromPentecostal orthodoxy.c.Reveal the presence of anti-Mormon attitudes withopportunities for respondents to express theireasons for holding such attitudes.
 
Only material which falls under 'c' will be dealt withhere, since that alone addresses the discussion o persecution through the construction and dissemination of false imagery.Four interviews were conducted. The first interviewwas with a Pentecostal minister within Anglicanism.
He provided information about the history and development of the Pentecostal movement, suggested suitable reference books and other information.The second interview was with Pastor Peter Hannam
 
of the Elim Pentecostal Church which was surveyed. Hefurnished information regarding the history and growth of the Pentecostal movement. He also supplied informationconcerning the congregation (whose pastor he had been for  past thirteen years) which helped to broaden the writer'sunderstanding of Pentecostalism. He suggested changes tothe form of some questions that were gratefully adopted.The third interview was with Pastor Vincent R.M. Nelson of the Church of God Fellowship, Huddersfield,who aided the writer to appreciate the variety of formswithin the Pentecostal movement.The fourth interview was conducted on the telephonewith a Pentecostal respondent who had been kind enough to provide a telephone number and offer further information if needed.

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