Monday, August 30, 2010

Impersonating a Christian

Out here on the left coast, Mormons are as thick as ticks on a dog’s back, as we used to say back on the farm. Alright – I didn’t really live on a farm but I did grow up in Nebraska and a lot of my relatives were farmers, so I spent plenty of time there. Anyway, we see a lot of Mormons around the Seattle area. They’re easy to spot because they’re the two guys who seem oddly out of place. Find another set of two guys in black pants, white shirt with tie, name tag that says “ELDER” (even though they’re twenty-somethings) and they’re on bikes! In our household we call them the “Mormon patrol.”

Don’t get me wrong. We love the Mormon patrol. I sometimes stop and say “hi” to them. Address them as “elder” and you’re friends for life. Mormons are very nice people. We’ve got friends out here who are Mormons that we send Christmas cards to and Mormon friends in Salt Lake City where we lived for two years. Great people – but when it comes to theology, while they want to be part of the Christian “club,” they don’t meet the membership requirements.

The vexing thing about this is that the Mormon patrol will come to your door and do their very best to make it look like their beliefs are just like yours, so that you can be assimilated into the collective hive of Mormonism. But their beliefs and Christian beliefs are worlds apart. My friend Pastor Ken Silva, a Baptist pastor and a heckuva good apologist, does an excellent job of describing the Mormon Jesus on his blog Apprising Ministries titled “The Jesus of Glenn Beck.” As Pastor Silva points out, Christians don’t believe that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers like the Mormons do. We do believe in the Trinity, which the Mormons don’t. Knowing who Jesus is is absolutely critical – “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins" (John 8:24 ESV).

You might just want to keep Pastor Silva’s post handy, and read it to the Mormon missionaries the next time they show up at your door. It’s an easy way to demonstrate the difference between the Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus of the Book of Mormon. As the Athanasian Creed says, "Whoever desires to be saved must, above all, hold the catholic faith. Whoever does not keep it whole and undefiled will without doubt perish eternally. And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance...." As always, be nice, be patient, invite them back, and speak the truth in love.


roger said...

I spent 14 years in Mormon Country--Utah. We lived in the northeast corner of the state: Vernal. I know only too well what you state. A good book you may like to read is "Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons" by Mark J. Cares our of Northwestern Publishing. They are indeed a unique group with which to do apologetics.
Pastor Roger Sterle

Christopher D. Hall said...

Scott-thanks for this post. I had a neighbor who was the best neighbor ever, but was shocked and dismayed when the Baptist Academy would not allow her children to attend because they were not Christian.

I tried to briefly explain to her that, no, she is not, but she didn't get it.

I'm linking to you, BTW. Thanks!

Scott Diekmann said...

Pastor Sterle, I've met Pastor Cares, buy still haven't managed to read the book!

Pastor Hall, I can't remember if we've had this discussion previously - we lived in Tuscaloosa for two years. I flew out of there for GP Express. Our son Zach was born there. Neither my wife nor I can remember which LCMS church it was, although I'm pretty sure it had a daycare. The pastor at that time, 1992, was Pastor Rosnau.

Anonymous said...

A coworker of mine has a relative who worked as a dentist in Salt Lake City. He was the junior partner of a two-man office. When the senior dentist (a Mormon) wanted to retire, the junior dentist (not a Mormon) wanted to take over the entire practice. The retiring dentist told him no. If he were to take over, most of the patients, who were Mormon, would realize that he was *not* a Mormon and would therefore look for another dentist. Needless to say, the junior dentist packed his bags and joined a practice in Idaho.

Funny how the Mormons go out of their way *not* to do business with non-Mormons, isn't it?

A link for your review:

roger said...

Not only do Mormons go out of their way, sometimes, to not do business with those who are not Mormon--in areas where the non-Mormon would be very, very, few, I have even seen it that they must travel to a larger area for grocery shopping since the owner of the local [small] store will not sell to them. Yes, even in this modern era of the 2000's!!!
Pr. Sterle