Is CARM.org accurate?

“If you cannot find an LDS source that contradicts us then we can assume we are correct until an LDS statement comes out in direct contradiction of any statement on the CARM website.” – CARM Representative

One of the more visible anti-Mormon resources online is the CARM.org website, which has a fairly extensive section dedicated to proving that Mormonism is false. However, I recently found a factual inaccuracy on the site and have had an interesting email dialog with one of the people responsible for the content on the site. Through this conversation it has become clear that all the content on CARM.org is suspect as to its factual accuracy, let alone the contextual accuracy. I expect those who are anti-Mormons to not portray facts accurately due to contextual issues–it is difficult to not do this and it is, in a sense, excusable. However, in this case CARM made a statement regarding a belief of members of the LDS Church which simply isn’t true. I contacted CARM thinking that once they understood the facts, they would be all too glad to modify the content on the website since being accurate helps them to be more credible. Creating or perpetuating inaccuracies, even unintentionally, creates the perception that CARM is not interested in the facts, but is more interested in discrediting other religions with whatever information can be used to that end, whether or not the information is correct.

But in contacting CARM I found that they were not interested in modifying the content on their site, but argued with me about what my church really believes. The sole reference they gave me for what they put on their site was a single quote, made almost 30 years ago, and taken completely out of context. Although there was no official LDS Church statement on the matter, it would be clear to anyone willing to look at church policies that the church’s position is directly opposite to what CARM was implying. I made this case to CARM clearly, but their position was “If the LDS Church doesn’t have an official statement, then it’s not incorrect for us to say what the church believes.” On the contrary, I pointed out, it is incorrect to say the LDS Church or its members believe something if they’ve made no such statement saying that they believe it, and especially when all related evidence points to the contrary.

It was a long and often frustrating exchange, in which I felt I wasn’t dealing so much with logic but emotion. It appears that CARM truly is not interested in portraying the facts, but rather in discrediting other religions. And if they can find something that appears to discredit another religion or put them in a negative light, they will use it, whether or not it is accurate, and in some cases it would appear they will go so far as to state what another religion believes if that religion has no official statement to the contrary.

In light of this, I’m not sure how any of the content on CARM’s website can be trusted to be accurate, even when referenced, since references are generally quotes and quotes can often be taken out of context and misconstrued to create a story that isn’t true. If you prefer to read the entire email exchange verbatim to see what I’m talking about, I’ve already linked to it above but here’s another link to it and you can judge for yourself.

Comments

  1. This is quite funny. Your argument against CARM is like saying somebody came into my house at night and killed my whole family and I punched him. Because I punched him I am equally as guilty as him. CARM.org has countless issues with the Mormon religion with many areas of contention (in your words, "fairly extensive") that they raise and you found one little quote that may have been taken out of context but let's also realize that you yourself cold have taken it out of context from everyone else, and that is your basis that CARM is bad. So based on your argument we should ignore ALLLLLL the other things CARM says against Mormonism because of one quote issue? Really? That is really your best shot against them?

    • It's more of a character judgment. I had an extensive debate with the guy or one of the guys running CARM.org and found him to have an agenda that precluded him from using logic, reason, or facts in forming his opinions. His opinions were already formed, and he accepted evidence that supported his opinions, and discarded evidence that did not. Therefore, how can I or anyone else trust anything on the CARM.org site to be accurate, if the creator of the website is not focused on discovering the truth but promoting his idea independent of the truth?

  2. I am not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. However, a few years back, I countered a claim by CARM owner/counter-cult operative Matt Slick, where he claimed that Mormonism is false because Joseph Smith claimed to have visually seen God. Slick used John 1:18 as evidence for his position. I then presented Genesis 32:30 – and the many other biblical passages that contradict John 1:18. Rather than face the evidence that I presented head-on, CARM suspended my account.

    • The solution is simple. All you need to do is accept what the Bible says. If the people of the OT were seeing God, the Almighty God, and Jesus said that no one has ever seen the Father (John 6:46), then they were seeing God Almighty but not the Father. It was someone else in the Godhead. I suggest that they were seeing the Word before He became incarnate. In other words, they were seeing Jesus.

      If God is a Trinity, then John 1:18 is not a problem either because in John chapter one, John writes about the Word (Jesus) and God (the Father). In verse 14 it says the Word became flesh. In verse 18 it says no one has seen God. Since Jesus is the Word, God then, refers to the Father. This is typically how John writes of God: as a reference to the Father. We see this verified in Jesus’ own words in John 6:46 where He said that no one has ever seen the Father. Therefore, Almighty God was seen but not the Father. It was Jesus before His incarnation. There is more than one person in the Godhead, and the doctrine of the Trinity must be true.

      Directly from the website

  3. E only true way one can gain a testmony is by praying &ask God specifically.

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