Sunday, June 1, 2008

Resources on Mormonism

The doorbell rings. It's these guys. What do you do? Slam the door? Make up an excuse, then close the door?

Or do you recognize this opportunity to share the Gospel with someone who has come to your doorstep, eager to talk about religion?

If you have spent any time in Spring Hill, KS in the last month you have likely seen Clay and Jared. These young "missionaries", dressed in white shirts/ties/backpacks (similar to the picture above), have been riding their bikes through my town seeking to proselytize converts for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Inevitably, they came calling to the Bonhams. I was pulling into the drive when I saw them roll up and begin to talk with my wife in the yard with the kids. We talked a while about weather and yard work and Napoleon Dynamite (one of them grew up in a town nearby where this "cult classic" film was made). BTW, did you know you can rent Uncle Rico's van?!? Resisting the temptation to share quotes from the movie, I arranged a meeting for the following week to discuss their "faith".

For this first meeting I decided to do my best to listen in order to develop a relationship within which I hope to share the Gospel. I asked many questions as they went through their script, to clarify things that didn't make sense (which was a lot). I also tried to point out many of the differences between the way they define words such as "gospel", "atonement", and how their works salvation differed from the Bible. We exchanged resources and plan to meet again next week.

In the meantime, I've come across a wealth of information that I will share here. Before I do so, I feel it is important to point out that Mormons are not Christians, despite their desire to be considered so. They are wonderful human beings. These young men were very courteous and respectful. They repeatedly offered to help however they could, with lawn work or anything else I needed. I do not doubt that they sincerely live very moral lives. But they are not Christians.

They believe Christ is a created spirit-brother of Satan, born of the physical sexual union of "Heavenly Father" (who has a physical body in Mormon theology) with Mary. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the pre-existent Son of God (the one and only God by the way), who created the Heavens and the Earth!

In one of my favorite sermons of all time, How Can We Witness if We don't know What the Gospel is?, John MacArthur touches on the distance between Christianity and Mormonism. He tells of an encounter he had with leaders of the LDS. Here is an except from the transcript of that sermon (emphasis mine):

"They said, 'We want to affirm salvation by grace alone. We want to affirm salvation by faith. We want to affirm salvation is in Christ.' ... I said, 'I want to ask you three questions,' at the end of the day and in a gracious way."

"I said, 'Tell me about your God.' And they gave me a God who didn’t have three persons. They’re Unitarian, so I said, 'Well, whatever it is we want to talk about regarding grace, faith and Christ, let’s just get it straight, we have a different God.'"

"And I said, 'Tell me your Christology.' And they said, 'Jesus is created by God. He’s a high order of created beings.' I said, 'Now let’s make this clear, we have a different Christ. And if anybody comes and preaches a different Christ he’s cursed.'"

"Then I said, 'If I wanted to get to the highest heaven, what would I need to do?' They said you would need to join the Mormon Church, you would need to evidence certain obediences, you would need to be baptized with a certain kind of spirit-endowed baptism in the system. I said, 'Then let me get this clear, we have a different Gospel. Apart from those, we agree.'"

On Thursday night, Aimee brought the kids home as I was wrapping up the conversation with the "elders". Sophia (7) was really wanting to tell them that Jesus is NOT Satan's brother! I love that even a seven-year-old can discern such heresy!

Here are some resources I found on Mormonism.

I hope this has been helpful. I would love to hear your experiences and any resources you have come across in your dealings with Mormons!

If you are led to reach out to Mormons:
  • Read up on Mormonism and be prepared for how they tend to operate during visits.
  • Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel with them!
  • Treat them with respect for they are people just like us, with families and feelings and strongly held beliefs
  • Rely on the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, who is the only One that can transform their hearts. I made many mistakes Thursday, but this one was the worst one!
What will you do when they come calling at your house?

No comments:

About Me

Here is my testimony: mike