On Feb. 14, 2008, The Christian Post carried a brief article — since then removed from the site — announcing, “Website Carrying Christian Study Resources Launches.”
The Foundation for Christian Studies, a group dedicated to the study of Christian study and values, went digital on Thursday, launching the website www.studychristianity.org.
The new website offers a comprehensive doctrinal study program, downloadable theological essays, interactive discussion forums, and online stores for Christian books, music, and art, according the organization’s director, Eric Shuster.
He said the purpose of his group is to deliver easy to understand and use Christian study content and interactive discussion platforms for people around the world, regardless of theological differences.
– Source: Website Carrying Christian Study Resources Launches, The Christian Post, Feb. 14, 2009 [Article no longer online]
We think the article was removed precisely because of “theological differences.”
An editorial at the site, titled, “Catholic to LDS” explains:
The Executive Director and Founder of the Foundation for Christian Studies is Eric Shuster, who along with his wife Marilyn, left the rich and beautiful traditions of the Catholic faith to become members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1989.
In another editorial post, titled ‘Apologetics’, the site operator explains that FCS closely aligns itself with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the Mormon Church.
He subsequently launches into a half-baked explanation as to why the site won’t engage in apologetics in favor of the ‘LDS convention of Christianity.” Instead, it links to five websites operated by Mormons.
What is a Christian?
A post titled, “Christian Defined” concludes by saying:
It is the hope and prayer of the FCS that the Christian world can unite on the simple principle of allowing everyone who claims Jesus Christ as their Savior to be respectfully referred to as a Christian without caveats. We can peacefully and considerately coexist as brothers and sisters in Christ, while ascribing to different Christian beliefs and church affiliations.
The problem with that approach is that it fails to first define Jesus Christ. Once you do so — in this case from both a Christian and a Mormon perspective — you can see that it is illogical and incorrect to suggest that anyone who merely claims to follow Jesus should be considered a Christian.
You will see that there are many fundamental and irreconcilable differences between historic, biblical Christianity and Mormonism — differences that make it impossible to suggest that both can claim to follow the same Jesus Christ.
The Mormon Church has long tried to pass itself of not just as a Christian denomination, but as the only true expression of the Christian faith — presenting what it claims to be the ‘restored Gospel’ in which Bible teachings and practices, allegedly lost in an as yet undocumented ‘apostacy,’ have been restored. Hence it is not surprising that its followers are similarly confused.
It is clear that a lot of work went into the building of the ‘Foundation for Christian Studies’ website. Unfortunately, those who visit the site won’t be offered what the site’s domain name promises: an opportunity to study Christianity.
Instead, we consider the site to be deceptive in the way it misrepresents itself. Were Christians to set up a similar site titled, ‘Mormon Studies’ — using Mormon symbolism, terminology and teachings while presenting Biblical-sound Christian teachings, Mormons would object as well.
To those interested in learning more about Christianity we suggest these resources as starting points:
Crucial Questions — GotQuestions.org
Multimedia Bible studies — Xenos.org
An introduction to Christian belief — Bible.org
For more information regarding the LDS Church, see our collection of research resources on the scriptures, teachings and practices of the Mormon Church