Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

Scott McKinney Interview Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 18, 2021 9:51 pm

Scott McKinney Interview Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

October 18, 2021 9:51 pm

Pastor Scott McKinney of Centerpoint Church in Utah County talks to Bill and Eric about his new book and what it has been like to be a pastor in Utah for more than 3 decades. Pastor Scott shares some interesting insights in this week-long series.

Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Alex McFarland Show
Alex McFarland

Viewpoint on Mormonism, the program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a Biblical perspective. Viewpoint on Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism Research Ministry. Since 1979, Mormonism Research Ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism. So glad you could be with us for this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry, and with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM. But we also have as our guest this week, Pastor Scott McKinney. Scott is the pastor of Centerpoint Church in Orem, Utah, which is in Utah County, south of Salt Lake County.

And Scott's been here for a number of years, has a lot of experience ministering to not only Christians that come to Utah to live, but also reaching out to the LDS culture as well. And yesterday, Scott, you were talking about your background and your father. And you didn't mention though, even though your father was in the Air Force, he actually precedes the Air Force because he was a fighter pilot in China during World War II, because the Air Force didn't become the Air Force until 1947.

What kind of stories do you have to tell about that very briefly? Well, my dad was just a larger-than-life figure for us. He started at tailback for the LSU Tigers back from 1940, 1941, and was an honorable mention All-American there. And that was huge for us as boys to have our dad. We followed in his footsteps.

We all played high school football, college football. My dad, he was a fighter pilot in China, beyond China. He stayed in the Air Force, had a 27-year Air Force career after the Army Air Corps became the Air Force. And the thing about my dad is my dad was very strict and typical of a lot of military parents. But the thing about him, my dad loved us. He just, he loved us and passed away back in 2009, actually. And it was great to have him move up here to Utah the last years of his life, him and my mom.

And it was so good to have them here and have them part of our church. And just one thing that my dad would do, my dad had become a Christian and he was confined to a wheelchair at the end of his life. But after every sermon, he would come up to me and say, son, that is the best sermon that I have ever heard. And he'd say that every week. And I would say, dad, is it better than last week's?

He goes, even better. And I learned the power of having a dad that believed in me. And I will never forget when we made the decision to come to Utah, I rolled down the window. And I get a little choked up thinking about this, but he, I rolled down the window. We were saying goodbye to one another.

I had, you know, all four kids packed in a Toyota van. And he just gave me a look and told me he loved me and that he believed in me. And we need that. We need that in life.

And I, you know, that's the kind of thing. That's the legacy I want to pass on to my own kids. That's what I want to pass on to people in our church is that, you know, I love you.

I believe in you and people need that. Yeah, that was definitely the greatest generation. I remember I had the honor of doing a memorial service for a man. A woman had asked me to do this. Her father had just passed away. He had converted out of Mormonism as well. And when I arrived to the chapel to do the service, I saw his bomber jacket there along with a lot of his ribbons and stuff. And I did not realize at the time, but this man was a tail gunner in a B-24 Liberator. And I thought, wow, man, what an honor to do this.

And it is certainly an experience I'll never forget. Your wife, Sarah, is kind of reluctant to come to Utah, and you talked about that in yesterday's show, but now you're here. You're now in Utah.

You get here in 1989. So you've got quite a few years under your belt there, Scott, but you tell a story in the introduction to your book. And again, the book is Keep Showing Up a Utah Pastor's Journey.

You can catch it on Amazon. In the introduction, this is what you say, and I want to relate this, and then you can talk about it. You say, several years after we moved to Utah, I was in John Wayne Airport in Southern California waiting for my luggage. I found myself standing alone next to Rick Majerus, the men's basketball coach at the University of Utah. Majerus might have been one of the most well-known residents of Utah during the 1990s. In fact, he coached at the U between 1989 and 2004. He had quite a reputation here.

And as you say, the Utes were having an amazing run, and Majerus was, to put it mildly, a character. He had a way of, quote, telling it like it is. Our bags took a long time arriving, and we ended up in a conversation. I wanted to talk about the Ute basketball program, but Majerus didn't seem interested in talking about himself. He wanted to know about me. He asked what I did for a living. I told him I was a pastor at a church just a few miles away from Brigham Young University, the Ute's archrival.

He looked at me and said, tough gig. And the reason why that stood out for me is because I remember being in Utah many years ago, and someone telling me about ministering in Utah County, and I remember using those same words, tough gig. Utah County is a bit difficult, and you're right in the middle of it.

Why would you say that Utah County would be a tougher gig than, let's say, anywhere else in the state of Utah? Well, it is the center point. It is the spiritual center point of this culture. And, you know, one of the reasons we were known as Evangelical Free Church back in 1989, but when we moved to our new location, we changed the name to Center Point. And one of the reasons, well, we wanted to make Jesus the center point of our lives and make him known from the center point of Utah Valley. But we recognize that we are doing that from the center point of a religious culture that is incredibly dominant in every way. Everywhere you look, that's what you see. That is what you experience is the LDS culture, the LDS church here is ubiquitous.

How about that? Big word. And it is a shocking thing for people when they come here, they move into the area, they're not LDS. It's disorienting to be in the midst of a place where one faith is this dominant, because there's no other place in the United States like this. And I would add, let me, you know, go back to my wife. She was hesitant to move here. But the Lord did something in her life. And I think this is this is really important that we were a couple of weeks after talking about moving here and presenting the opportunity and everything.

She grabbed me by the arm and she said, let's go. And I mentioned earlier about having a dad that believed in me, you know, even more importantly, having a wife who believed in me and she is an amazing woman. I cannot go any further in this broadcast without just thanking the Lord for her and everything that she has meant to me, our family, to this ministry. That's great to hear, because I think if you're going to have a successful ministry, especially in Utah, you have to have a very good woman behind you. And I certainly praise God for mine.

And I know Eric and I both have women behind us that we thank God for every single day. Now, your church is about half a mile south of Utah Valley University. You say that that's the largest university in the state with nearly 40,000 students. Now, but you're not far from BYU, Brigham Young University, and BYU has about 34,000 students. And as you mentioned, over 99 percent of them are Latter-day Saints.

Now, you say something in your introduction that I find fascinating and I think is absolutely true, and I want you to elaborate on it. You say you are less than five miles from the Missionary Training Center, or what we call up here the MTC, where LDS missionaries are trained to go on missions all over the world. And then you say not all Mormons live here, but almost all Mormons have ties here.

Explain to our listeners what you mean by that. Well, I think one of the things that happens when people convert or when people are raised in the LDS Church, if you're new to the LDS Church and you convert the tie that you have to a place like BYU or the tie that you have to the Missionary Training Center, there is something that usually happens in your life that connects you with this area. You're going to marry into a family or you have a family that some of your relatives are going to live here. Every Mormon has connections to this place.

Family reunions are huge in the summer here in Utah, and it's just part of life. Everybody has a sense of connection here. And if you don't develop that sense of connection as an LDS person, I would sense that maybe your tie to the church isn't really all that strong. But that's been my experience with every Mormon that I know has a connection here.

I think you're right about that. And you also mentioned that the practical effect of that is that in Utah County, people just assume that everyone is Mormon. I've experienced that even living in Salt Lake County. You overhear conversations as you stand in line in the grocery store where people talk of quote unquote, primary relief society, young men's, young women's and who is being called to be the next bishop.

There is talk about sons and daughters being called to serve a mission and who is getting married in the temple. You have in quotation marks, the church seems to be a part of the air we breathe and the water we drink. When I give a talk on what life is like in the state of Utah and I'm talking about the demographics, I kid about that. I say, you know, when you're listening to the news and you hear the newscaster talk about the church, you know, they're not talking about yours and you kind of get used to that living here. And you're absolutely correct, Scott.

I don't know how many times you hear people talking about their kids going on missions and they do. They talk about who is the bishop and they talk about things that are going on in the church. If you're familiar with the terminology, you know what they're talking about. I can imagine a lot of people coming here and not being familiar with that might wonder where am I?

What are they even talking about? But you're absolutely correct on that. So it is entirely a different culture. I tell people being a missionary in Utah is kind of like being in a foreign country, although we somewhat speak the same language, although even in that area we have our differences as well. Well, we use similar words and we give different definitions to those words. We use the words of faith, similar words, and we have different definitions for those words because we have different sources of authority.

But that's just part of it. I mean, there's a familiarity that I think you have with people here. They live a life of faith. We live a life of faith. There are certain experiences you have, I think, as people of faith.

There is still, you just cannot get away from the idea that we're outsiders in this religious culture that we don't belong to. You have to learn to live with that as somebody in Utah County. And I would add, there was an article of the Tribune about three, four years ago that said, Utah County is getting more Mormon, more LDS, and while the rest of Utah is getting less LDS. And my sense is that Salt Lake County, the Ogden area, Park City, probably it's not as LDS as it used to be, but Utah County has changed in a number of ways, but it's still the center point. Still very much, the church dominates every aspect of life.

And I would agree with that. Tomorrow we want to talk about some of those differences, and again, I want to cite from your introduction. We've been talking to Pastor Scott McKinney. He's the pastor of Center Point Church in Orem, Utah, and he's written a book titled, Keep Showing Up a Utah Pastor's Journey. I would strongly encourage you to check this book out. It's on Amazon, just put in the title, Keep Showing Up a Utah Pastor's Journey. You'll be able to read the introduction to the book as well as the afterward. But Scott, I want to continue this conversation in tomorrow's show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-07 13:26:03 / 2023-08-07 13:31:47 / 6

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime