07 May 2007

Jewish/Evangelical/Mormon Intermarriage

PBS's Religion & Ethics Newsweekly has a transcript/video report on Jewish Intermarriage.

Also, Religion News Blog is carrying a story about an intermarrying Mormon/Evangelical couple:

Tom, 63, is an evangelical Christian, raised in a Kentucky Southern Baptist church. Libit, 52, is Mormon, raised in a Texas congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Both consider themselves faithful Christians who believe in Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life. Both want the other to convert. But Tom runs Christian Research & Counsel, a ministry designed to educate the public about what he calls “counterfeits of Christianity.”

His work focuses on Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“My purpose is not to make my wife look foolish or any Mormon look foolish,” said Tom, a retired graphic designer who runs the ministry from their home. “It’s my job to try to lead them to Christ. …Obviously, my goal is to see my wife experience eternal life.”

Libit, a painter and art teacher, has learned to deal.

“Tom feels like he’s been called to this ministry, ” she said. “And if I believe he is trying to follow Christ and live a Christ-like life, then I can’t argue with him on that.”


At first, Tom showed an interest in Mormonism. He studied with Mormon missionaries for three months. Then, an Episcopal gave him a book that questioned the central tenets of Mormonism.

Tom became consumed with getting Mormons to prove that their faith lined up with the Bible and mainline Christianity. He engaged Libit in heated debates, loaded her down with religious readings and challenged her to help him research her faith.

About a year and a half into their marriage, overwhelmed with Tom’s didactic lectures, Libit left. She stayed away for about two weeks. The second time she left, several years into the marriage, she intended to part for good.

Three months later, she called Tom and said she wanted to come back. She knew he wasn’t changing. He didn’t expect her to budge either.

“I wanted to figure out how we could make this work,” Libit said. “I don’t know why we’re together. Maybe it’s just to show people that opposites can love each other.”


Tom says he will never give up on his wife. He writes her love letters, laced with arguments on following mainline Christianity. They disagree on what it takes to gain eternal life. Tom won’t comment on Libit’s fate, leaving judgment to God. Libit believes Tom will make it to the lowest kingdom of glory.

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