I had my first encounter with a group of Mormon missionaries tonight. Abby had met two of them (young ladies) in prior weeks and tonight was the first time I was able to be there with her when they came over. It’s been a good experience for her because she’s been praying a lot that God would provide her opportunities to minister to people throughout the week since she is home with the kids all day and can’t really get out too much. There was some concern that in my directness and my passion for apologetics that I could be overbearing as the two young ladies were quite young so out of respect for her I decided to sit in the other room and work on some writing projects, however they brought a young man with them and so I joined the discussion.
It’s my job as the head of my family to protect our home from heresy and the ways of the world so at first it was difficult to not be argumentative having done some research on Mormon doctrine with Abby to better understand what they believe and to see if their claim to being Christian did, in fact, stand but God is gracious. He reminded me of something that I’ve said to many people in the past:
Don’t allow yourself to see them as an abstract idea to be argued against. They are image bearers and I want them to come to me as well.
After this revelation I realized the tragedy of this situation. When we group people into ideological categories we lose their (and questionably our own) humanity. Considering Mormon doctrine as a whole I cannot tolerate the heresy that it is, but that does not mean I cannot love these young people coming to share what they believe to be truth. What makes it tragic is seeing from the outside the intricate web of lies that Satan has set up to snatch those who are seeking God.
Satan has effectively created a religion that calls themselves by the name of Jesus Christ. While the church itself is based on non-biblical texts and faulty historical inaccuracies the individual members are looking for a relationship with God. From what I gathered this evening Mormonism believes in a form of universalism which includes post-mortem salvation and what I am calling “universally regulated glorification”. In other words, there is no hell and we are all going to be glorified after the final judgement. As I said in the first universalism post it sounds wonderful! Why wouldn’t someone want to believe that neither you nor anyone you care about will ever have to face the pain of everlasting torment?
I’m noticing more and more the tactics of the enemy. There is a reason he was noted as the “craftiest” of all creation. His sin was pride and rebellion and he feeds on our own pride to get us to rebel against the Most High God. It’s our pride that makes us think we can judge our Creator by saying things like, “I can’t imagine that God would do that. That’s just not fair…” when in reality we have a finite understanding of fairness that fails to even notice the unfairness of Jesus’ voluntary sacrifice for your sin and mine. As Francis Chan says, “perhaps the Creator’s sense of justice is more developed than my own”.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Love the sinner but hate the sin“. I need to remember this cliche. Many of their teachings are heretical and almost humanistic in nature, but Jesus died for them just as he has for me and as missionaries in our community, Abby and I have the charge of sharing the truth with them. It’s not done in an argumentative way or in a haughty way. It can only be done in humility and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
If any of you are witnessing to the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or any other religious group remember your/our place. We’re not on the White Throne of Judgement. That position is already filled by the King of Kings. Our job is to speak the truth and love them. Pray for me and my wife and for these young people whom we are getting to know. God is working in this process… I’m not entirely sure what he’s using us for in this, but I can see clearly that he has something up his sleeve.