Being nice to Mormons — let’s just all get along

Blogger Matt Walsh has been taking some heat these days. Or, to be more accurate, Matt takes heat every day. Matt stands strong on important issues, and Matt does not mince words. In response to the sorts of comments he gets on his blog, he has written a provocatively-titled article: “Jesus didn’t care about being nice or tolerant, and neither should you.” He begins,

“There is no shortage of heresies these days.

“If you want to adopt some blasphemous, perverted, fun house mirror reflection of Christianity, you will find a veritable buffet of options. You can sift through all the variants and build your own little pet version of the Faith. It’s Ice Cream Social Christianity: make your own sundae! (Or Sunday, as it were.)

“And, of all the heretical choices, probably the most common — and possibly the most damaging — is what I’ve come to call the Nice Doctrine.

“The propagators of the Nice Doctrine can be seen and heard from anytime any Christian takes any bold stance on any cultural issue, or uses harsh language of any kind, or condemns any sinful act, or fights against evil with any force or conviction at all. As soon as he or she stands and says ‘This is wrong, and I will not compromise,’ the heretics swoop in with their trusty mantras.

JesusCleansingTemple“They insist that Jesus was a nice man, and that He never would have done anything to upset people. They say that He came down from Heaven to preach tolerance and acceptance, and He wouldn’t have used words that might lead to hurt feelings. They confidently sermonize about a meek and mild Messiah who was born into this Earthly realm on a mission to spark a constructive dialogue.

“The believers in Nice Jesus are usually ignorant of Scripture, but they do know that He was ‘friends with prostitutes,’ and once said something about how, like, we shouldn’t get too ticked off about stuff, or whatever. In their minds, he’s essentially a supernatural Cheech Marin.”

While The Matt Walsh Blog and Mormon Coffee differ significantly on topics discussed, we share common exposure to propagators of the Nice Doctrine. That’s why I think Matt’s comments in this particular article would be of interest to the Mormon Coffee community. That, and the fact that later this week Christians all over the world remember and contemplate the crucifixion of Jesus, which was preceded by some of His less-than-nice behavior.

Matt Walsh writes about the Jesus he finds in the Bible:

“I read of a strong, manly, stern, and bold Savior. Compassionate, yes. Forgiving, of course. Loving, always loving. But not particularly nice.

“He condemned. He denounced. He caused trouble. He disrupted the established order.

“On one occasion — or at least one recorded occasion — He used violence. This Jesus saw the money changers in the temple and how did He respond? He wasn’t polite about it. I’d even say He was downright intolerant. He fashioned a whip (this is what the lawyers would call ‘premeditation’) and physically drove the merchants away. He turned over tables and shouted. He caused a scene. [John 2:15]

“Assault with a deadly weapon. Vandalism. Disturbing the peace. Worse still, intolerance.

“In two words: not nice…

“Jesus deliberately did and said things that He knew would upset people. He stirred up division and controversy. He provoked. He didn’t have to break from established customs, but He did. He didn’t have to heal that man’s hand on the Sabbath, knowing how it would disturb others and cause them immense irritation, but He did, and He did so with ‘anger’ [Mark 3:5]. He could have gone with the flow a little bit. He could have chilled out and let bygones be bygones, but He didn’t. He could have been diplomatic, but He wasn’t.

“He could have told everyone to relax, but instead He made them uncomfortable. He could have put them at ease, but He chose to put them on edge.”

And by putting them on edge, He made enemies. Yet He didn’t flinch, even though He knew His enemies would put Him to death. Death on a cross. For them. For the sake of – and because of love for — His enemies.

Now, as Matt Walsh notes, Jesus is God and we are not. Jesus has more street cred than we do. So shouldn’t we be nicer than Jesus was? Shouldn’t we avoid confrontation and dispute, and be willing to just agree to disagree? In Matt’s words,

“[W]e are called to be like Christ, which begs the question: what is Christ like?

“Well, He is, among other things, uncompromising. He is intolerant of evil. He is disruptive. He is sometimes harsh. He is sometimes impolite. He is sometimes angry.

“He is always loving.”

So must we be always loving.

Love has many faces. It is loving to comfort; it is also loving to challenge. It is loving to encourage; and it is loving to pull the rug out from under someone who is complacently living a lie while heading for a Christ-less eternity.

Jesus’ love compelled Him to both tenderness and aggressive confrontation. So too, as the Bible says, Christ’s love compels us (2 Corinthians 5:14), His people:

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Why? Because the day of God’s wrath is coming. We’ve seen Jesus angry, and we’ve seen the earth quake at His death; but honestly, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

GodsWrathWhen Jesus returns He will have a sickle in His hand to reap grapes of wrath. A sharp sword will proceed out of His mouth to strike the nations. And when the winepress of the wrath of God is trampled, blood will flow from it for miles. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire (see Revelation chapters 14, 19 and 20).

When Jesus returns, He’s not going to be nice.

Does it offend you, Mormon friends, to be shown that you are following a false prophet? Does it upset you when we demonstrate that your church is not the kingdom of God on earth as it claims? Does it hurt your feelings when we point out that the Bible says all your so-called works of righteousness are but filthy rags before our holy God? Or when we warn you that the Christ of Mormonism is a “different Jesus”? Or when we proclaim that your only eternal hope is to trust in the true Christ, and to trust in Him alone? So be it. It may not sound especially nice, but we implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.

This entry was posted in Christianity, Friendship, Interaction, and Evangelism, Jesus Christ and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Being nice to Mormons — let’s just all get along

  1. cattyjane says:

    Mike R,
    Ok I found the specific video you wanted me to watch by the Hoppers. Its different than the last one I watched. Ya I dont see it exactly that way.

  2. Rick B says:

    Luvinlife, You said

    The New Testament is the only way you can come to a true understanding of who the Messiah is.

    I agree we need to read and know the NT, But I dont believe it is strictly the NT that will tell us who the Messiah is.

    Jesus said

    John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

    If Jesus said the scriptures testify of Him, then I believe we can know about Him from the OT since He was not talking about the NT.

    Acts 17:11 says

    These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    So again, the NT did not exist at the time and when people searched the scriptures and taught the scriptures as Paul was doing, he was teaching from the OT. So we need to search and study both.

  3. Rick B says:

    Luvinlife you said

    MJP,
    It’s not your job to address the sin of others. It’s your job to share the message of the Gospel. It’s your job to show the unbeliever the liberty and redemption that is found in Christ. Let God deal with the sin through conviction.

    The problem I see is this, How can someone be convicted of Sin, unless they know they are sinning?
    When I was growing up as an atheist, I was into all sorts of evil and trouble, when Christians told me about the Bible, I did not care, did not believe and was never convicted becasue as far as I was concerned God did not exist.

    I agree we need to love the sinner and tell them about Gods love and grace, but sadly now adays many people believe we all are children of God, we are all saved or will be saved apart from God.

    People dont know why they need a saviour and why they need to be saved and come to Christ until they know they broke the law and need a saviour.

  4. luvinlife says:

    This Fof fella has really got you guys on the defence. Look grindeal my suggestion about digging into the new testament was geared towards cattyjane. Based on her comments it appears that she had not done that yet. She felt God was a Spirit based on what ever reason and thought the Bible didn’t teach that. My point again was that your foundation for belief about God must be based on what the Bible teaches. There is no other source. That’s why I encouraged her to read it. She appears to be freshly out of Mormonism. Again I don’t know your story. Take an honest look back at my comments and you will see there is wisdom in what I am trying to tell your. Sure there is more than one way to skin a cat. I am just trying to show you a way that will be less likely in destroying faith all together. Showing love without condemnation as I suggested doesn’t mean not confronting or correcting. Do it how ever you want. My first comment on here was directed at Christians in general. It wasn’t until your response to my comments that I began to respond to your questions. Believe me I am not judging. I don’t know anything about anyone on this board outside of what they shared in a response to me.

  5. falcon says:

    As I’ve read all of the comments I began to wonder, “How did these former Mormons on this blog come to Christ?” I’m talking about that decisive moment. Do you follow me? I remember the exact moment I believed, although I don’t remember the exact date. It was sometime in April 1972. Man, has it been 42 years?
    I was alone. I was watching Billy Graham on TV. I responded to the invitation to receive Christ. It was my, “I give up!” moment after an intense year of the Holy Spirit leading me, prodding me, and finally pressuring me to the point that I had to give-up.
    I would guess that if I went out to Utah and presented the gospel to individual Mormons, most would pray to receive Christ. The problem is they would have no understanding of what they were doing. They know they are sinners. They know they need a Savior. They have a sufficient amount of cultural religious guilt to feel remorse over their sins. But they don’t know who God is.
    So, former Mormons, how did you come to Christ? I bet it wasn’t because someone exposed you to the Four Spiritual Laws used by Campus Crusade to present the gospel individually to you. I bet it wasn’t because you watched a Christian Evangelist on TV and responded.
    Some how, some way you understood first and foremost that you were a sinner and needed a Savior. That was the easy part. But how did you come to an understanding of who Jesus is and that His redemptive act was what you needed to receive through faith; as sufficient for your salvation.
    That’s a big shift in thinking from the Mormon Jesus to the Jesus revealed in the Bible. And it’s a big shift in thinking that your works are part of the redemptive process.
    So, how did it happen for you?

  6. MJP says:

    luvinlife: its all good. In all fairness, though, you did make the showering of love comment in response to the idea that we need to call out sin when we see it. You did argue against the calling out of sin in favor of giving it all to God and merely showering the ‘offender’ in love. This is a very different position than you take now, which allows for calling out of sin. Just as you ask us to look at your comments for wisdom, so there is wisdom in what was written in response to you.

    We are arguing two sides of the same coin. Jesus does call us to love each other deeply and fully, and to be compassionate with everyone. However, he did not ignore the sin. Surely, you remember the adulturess who Christ saved from stoning. His admonission to her: go and sin no more. There are countless more examples.

    I will say you are right to emphasize love, and to be sure we are not unduly criticizing others in their positions. Its easy to get too argumentative. Also remember that we are writing here, an anominous blog, not speaking. What is written can be misconstrued quite easily.

    My opinion regarding faithoffathers: he was one that no matter the love or logic or anything put in front of him would not accept the true Gospel of Christ. The acronym “TBM” does not do him justice. His persistence was admirable, but his obstinance was troublesome. You are free to read through the old posts to get an idea what he was like here.

  7. Mike R says:

    cattyjane , glad you watched that video . I thought that song might help connect the truth
    about Jehovah in the O.T. with Jesus in the N.T. in a way that shows how important the Bible
    is . That’s why I’m glad you read it. Do we love Jesus ? Why ? Do we appreciate what He did
    for us on the cross ? We get to express our gratitude by telling Him ” thank you ” personally .
    So this weekend may you consider joining in fellowship with other believers in singing praises
    to Him , it’s part of worshiping Him . We do pray ( talk) to the Father , and in Jesus’ name , but
    we also get to address His Son . It’s the Father’s arrangement , and it glorifies him to have
    it so .
    Anyway , that is where I’ll leave it .
    God bless you .

  8. grindael says:

    Luvinlife,

    I don’t know why you are perceiving “us” as being on the defense. It was not your first comment that I was speaking of, it was your second, which was addressed to MJP. You said,

    MJP,

    It’s not your job to address the sin of others. It’s your job to share the message of the Gospel. It’s your job to show the unbeliever the liberty and redemption that is found in Christ. Let God deal with the sin through conviction.

    Unfortunately, the Bible says that it is our job to address the sin of others. In Ephesians, Paul says,

    5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

    3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

    “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

    15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

    To understand what the will of the Lord is, we must (as I have been saying over and over here) “be filled with the Spirit”. For each person, spiritual gifts lead them down different paths when it comes to sharing or defending the Gospel. What you are saying is great, but it is only a PART of what we must do. When you are telling people what their “job” is, you are judging them for doing things that you claim are outside their job description. That is what I was pointing out. Mormons consider themselves as part of the body of Christian believers. This blog focuses on those claims. If we were to take your advice, we would not even have a blog, for it would be wrong to do so. I don’t agree. You say,

    Many Christians are doing a marvelous job of making people aware of their sins, but never bringing them into the redemption that is found in Christ.

    Aren’t you judging the merits of what some Christians do? And how do you know that it is their fault that they don’t find Christ? When we place too much faith in ourselves and what we think methodology should be, and not enough in God and his purposes, we can fall into the fallacy of thinking that people are failing when they actually may not be.

    For me, it took 25 years. For some, a simple nudge here, another there, knowledge about this, or that, that may take years or decades – may ultimately be the way that God intends for that person to accept His Gospel, not right THEN, but at some future time that HE knows will be the RIGHT TIME.

    I don’t know you, luvinlife. You are just a “handle” at this point. You also, have not been down the same road as we have with FOF over the last couple of years. I personally have quoted long passages of the New Testament to him, and it made not a whit of difference. He didn’t see, because he didn’t want to. But that doesn’t mean that at some future time, things may change and he will remember those conversations. Ask Johnnyboy about it. He went through this. I can dig up his comments from 2008 and show you how he acted then, when he was a Mormon. He claims that this blog helped lead him to Christ. What is it that Jesus said about the ONE lost sheep?

    And if you recall, you said to me,

    Grindael,

    My point here is to try to keep Mormons from becoming atheists in the first place. You must agree that it is the Bible where you now find answers and understanding. Those answers have always been there. How different would your story have been if someone who was knowledgeable about the bible would have challenged you to study and discuss the Book of Romans with them. How different would your experience have been if it was a true understanding of what the Bible teaches about Jesus that opened your eyes to the errors of Mormonism rather than historical issues and such.?

    How is this directed to Cattyjane? You then, after writing the above, mention her. Also, the way you are trying to show me, I’m well aware of. I don’t condemn it. I’ve told you that. What troubles me, is that you seem to be judging Christians (your first post) for not doing things “your way”.

    While I agree that Mormonism is a dangerous heresy, I am troubled that so many Christians miss the message of the New Testament. Not so much in their dealings with Mormons, but in their treatment and view of unbelieving sinners. They end up falling back into the same type of error that the Mormons are under. Often times Christians fail to remember that we are made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ and not of ourselves.

    Aren’t you judging other Christians here? (Which you seem to be saying we shouldn’t do) Why would you do so in this case, when you cannot really know if “so many miss the message of the New Testament”. In your eyes, perhaps they do?

    Paul says that

    5 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on[a] we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

    6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

    11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

    16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5)

    You say, “if you want to truly witness to someone, then it needs to happen in person.” I really don’t understand this logic. For some, it is impossible to do so. What is to stop the Holy Spirit from witnessing to them, with us (however we present ourselves – in person or not) as “ambassadors for Christ”?

    I am very happy that you have found the Lord. But I think that you must have a little more faith that God may use methodologies that are incomprehensible to you and the rest of us.

  9. falcon says:

    I would suggest that folks read through the Book of Acts and observe how people came to Christ in faith. I think the sermons recorded there are quite revealing as are the miracles done by the Holy Spirit through though the disciples of Jesus.
    I don’t know if it’s possible to come to Christ without recognizing our sinful lost condition, repenting and receiving the gift of eternal life through faith. However God seems to do things His way. Peter is preaching to a room full of people and the Holy Spirit falls on them and they all start speaking in tongues. Peter’s reaction is, I guess we better baptize these folks. God sends an earthquake while Paul and Silas are in prison and the jailer’s reaction is to kill himself. Paul yells out stopping him and the guy comes tearing in asking, “Sirs what must I do to be saved?”
    So I guess we should be open to the Spirit of God and sensitive as to what He wants us to say and how to behave when we are proselytizing.

  10. MistakenTestimony says:

    Luvinlife, you said to a former atheist,

    “How different would your story have been if someone who was knowledgeable about the bible would have challenged you to study and discuss the Book of Romans with them. How different would your experience have been if it was a true understanding of what the Bible teaches about Jesus that opened your eyes to the errors of Mormonism rather than historical issues and such.?”

    You are wrong on your assumptions and your approach is very naive, with all due respect.

  11. MistakenTestimony says:

    Luvinlife, you said,

    “This Fof fella has really got you guys on the defence.”

    Once again, you make some big assumptions. It’s good practice to remember that if you have a problem with everyone then the problem may not actually be with them.

  12. falcon says:

    Did FOF have us as a group on the defensive? I don’t know. I’d say we were pretty aggressive and it was a take no prisoners sort of approach for us. I don’t sense that we were covering up in the corner of the ring while FOF pummeled us. In fact, staying with my metaphor, I don’t think the guy landed a punch. His weaknesses in both his FARMS talking points and approach were exposed and dispatched for what they were.
    In fact I don’t think it came down to a referees decision. FOF was laying on the canvas out cold in the end.
    Sorry if I don’t sound “nice”!

  13. Mike R says:

    luvinlife,

    It’s exciting to know of another Mormon who has found the good news that all Mormons need
    to know : It’s all about Jesus not Joseph ! It’s folks like you that I love to hear about . Being
    free of a false prophet led organization like Mormonism does’nt come easily . Glad to know
    you have walked away from it .

    I hope every Mormon would set aside their literature and study the New Testament . It is there
    that they can find the truth they desperately need , because there they will read of the Savior and
    of a new life available through a personal relationship with Him .

    May God abundantly bless you and your family .

  14. luvinlife says:

    MJP,
    I am going to give this one more shot then I am done. After reading this then go back to my first two posts and you will see the message is still the same. I stand behind what I said about the non believing sinner. I think the problem is you don’t understand the difference between justification and sanctification. This comment is concerning the non believing sinner not the Mormon. Justification is by faith only. It’s not by faith plus works of righteousness, or faith plus works of obedience it’s by faith alone. There for the abandonment of sin is not a prerequisite for salvation. So lets not be guilty of doing what the Mormons do and put the cart in front of the horse. I am saying that there is no need in me running around and trying to sanctify people that haven’t even been justified yet. Lets first teach them about Christ and draw them to him through his word. Once they know him and are saved, then we can begin to help them with the lifelong process of sanctification. They don’t need to abandon their sins to be saved. They just need to believe. Once their heart has been regenerated and the spirit of God indwells them, then they will have the power to begin to get rid of sins. In no way am I trying to downplay the awfulness of sin. I am just trying to put it into the proper perspective for you. Another thing to remember is that the definition of repentance is different in Christianity than it is in Mormonism. In Mormonism repentance means to completely abandon the sin. In Biblical Christianity repentance means to change your mind about Christ. So as Christians when we call sinners to repentance, we are not calling them to abandon their sins, but rather to change their mind about Christ. To get to know Him and accept Him as their Lord and Savior. It’s after they have been saved that the major change will occur.
    I would also give you one more word of caution. Don’t underestimate the Moral law of God that is written already on our hearts. We don’t need the civil law to tell us what is morally right or wrong. Further more there are no cookie cutter Christians amongst the followers of Christ. What may be a sin for you may not be for me. Who are you to judge? Smoking pot may be a sin for me, but not for my buddy that has uncontrollable seizures. Anything that the Bible doesn’t list specifically is up to you to determine how it fits into your life. You do that through the help of the Holy Ghost.

    Grindeal quoted some great scriptures about being reconciled with God and becoming the righteousness of God in Christ. Again how do we do that? Is it through faith alone or faith plus the abandonment of sin? If its faith alone then lets reconcile people to God through faith in Christ. Once they are reconciled then lets get them started on the path of Sanctification. Don’t do like the Mormons and take the scriptures about sanctification and try to tie them into justification. Putting off the old man and becoming a new man is evidence of your Salvation not the cause of it. In Paul’s writings he was big on works and obedience, but we need to understand where they come into play.
    Ephesians Ch 2.

    4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
    5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
    6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
    7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    These verses lay it out perfectly. We were all dead in our sins. Everyone of us. We are saved by Faith alone. Not by anything else including abandonment of sin. It’s not of ourselves. We have nothing to boast about before God or anyone else. Then I love verse 10. We were created to do good works that we should walk in.
    So lets stop trying to sanctify the sinner before he is even saved. Although in your efforts to share the message of the Gospel he may go ahead and stop some of his sins before believing, lets stop primarily focusing on pointing out all of the sin and give them a chance to be saved. Then we can help them address the sin.

    Grindeal I have no idea about any of your dealings with FOF. My advice about dealing with mormons was not to quote mountains of scripture to them and try to get them to understand your point. My advice was to get them to start doing their own study of the new Testament. Discuss it and study it with them. Let the word of God tell them that they have been deceived. I know this won’t work for everybody, but you gotta first give it a try. It could be the difference between losing their faith and coming to know Christ.

    Last but not least to Rick B. My point about directing them to the new testament is not to say that the new testament is the only place truths are found. Mormons are already stuck in the old testament. I want them to see what is revealed about the New Covenant in the New Testament. Jesus didn’t refer people back to the Old Testament so that they could know his teachings about the New Covenant. He referred them to the Old Testament so that they could see that he was indeed the prophesied messiah. However his teachings are found in the New Testament. It is those teachings that I feel will bring a Mormon into a realization of what the real Gospel of Jesus Christ is. I am not trying to say you can’t learn about Christ from the Old Testament. However I feel that if you really want to know about Him, what he taught, and what he fulfilled with the New Covenant then you need to read the New Testament to find out.

  15. falcon says:

    I don’t know. Maybe it’s just late but I’m having trouble following this discussion.
    Has anyone written that we should try to get people sanctified before they are justified? In-other-words, get themselves clean for Jesus and then come to Him in faith? I’m not getting that.
    Here let me muddy the waters a little more. Some say that there are three tenses of salvation. I have been saved (justification). I am being saved (sanctification). And I will be saved (glorification). Now strictly speaking, we are saved when we are justified by being born again through faith in Christ.
    Really folks, I sense that we are splitting hairs here and by this discussion would probably turn off someone who is seeking Christ.

  16. grindael says:

    Grindeal [SIC] I have no idea about any of your dealings with FOF.

    Then why make comments about how he has us on the defensive? Why make that assumption?

    My advice about dealing with mormons was not to quote mountains of scripture to them and try to get them to understand your point.

    No one said it was. So what has that to do with anything? And what do you mean by “mountains of scripture”? Are you being sarcastic?

    My advice was to get them to start doing their own study of the new Testament.

    Advice given here more times than I can count. (ask Falcon) But then, you are new here and assuming I guess, that no one has ever tried this. Here is one example from my friend Setfree, from all the way back in 2009:

    Study the New Testament (not from an LDS manual) because it’s the witness of Jesus, and study the Old Testament, because Jesus referred to the OT as truth. After truly studying the Bible, to see what it says, instead of what the LDS manuals are trying to push into it, you will have the understanding that God intended you to have about Jesus, BEFORE having a spirit convict you about its truth. (Setfree, 8-28-2009)

    Discuss it and study it with them.

    That is what this blog is for, discussing things. We also quote scriptures. Sometimes mountains of them.

    Let the word of God tell them that they have been deceived. I know this won’t work for everybody, but you gotta first give it a try. It could be the difference between losing their faith and coming to know Christ.

    Most Mormons read the New Testament often. They study it. We discuss it here (among other things). That is what this blog is for (among other things).

  17. grindael says:

    This blog nor the OP is about anyone trying to point out people’s personal sins. What it is about, is to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to critically evaluate the differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity. Sometimes, people are offended by that. Sometimes doing this is perceived as not being nice. This is the real thrust of the OP, and that is what this discussion is about.

  18. luvinlife says:

    Grindeal,
    I agree. Like I said earlier my mistake was going of topic and commenting about something other than what the article was about. My apologies.

  19. falcon says:

    I went through the “Evangelism Explosion” training program years ago. It was actually a “canned” presentation with the goal to have people pray to receive Christ as their personal Savior. The opening gambit was to bring people to an understanding that they were sinners and in need of a Savior. It wasn’t done in a heavy handed manner but through the use of Scripture to point out mankind’s condition.
    Kurt Cameron, the actor, has become an evangelist of sorts and film maker. I heard him say one time that in his opinion it’s a real mistake to have people pray to receive Christ without having some understanding of how their sin has separated them from God. Now it’s the manner in which this is done that is the key. First of all I wouldn’t recommend an “in-your-face” approach. That’s just common sense.
    But we are living in a strange world where I wonder if people in our culture even have a knowledge of sin.

  20. Rick B says:

    Falcon, as far as I’m concerned, many people have no idea or dont care what sin is. They believe they are good and that’s enough to get them to heaven. Then to boot, movies and books,
    like the new one, heaven is real just dont help. Just look at the previews, no mention of Jesus, no preaching of the cross or sin, and it looks as if everyone will be saved, unless you’d really vile like a Hitler type.

  21. falcon says:

    rick,
    One of the opening questions in the “Evangelism Explosion” program had to do with why someone felt they would go to heaven. Invariably I’d get an answer that had something to do with them and their behavior; which was that they were a good person. Doesn’t everyone think they are a good person?
    I get a kick out of the interviews they do with people who know someone who has just committed a heinous crime or just a run of the mill person who has had some sort of misfortune. It’s always, “They were such a kind, warm, loving and generous person.” Now there has to be a few jerks in the population, aren’t there? I run into them all of the time.
    I guarantee you, pedophiles think they are good people as do those who are habitual liars, thieves and drunkards. What does the Bible say about the hearts of people being deceptive above all else?
    The Holy Spirit bring conviction. But for some reason there are people who hear the message of salvation and they harden their hearts even more.

    My guess is that FOF left this blog site with a heart that was more harden than when he showed up here. I don’t know if you’d call it a vision or just my creative imagination, but I often get these pictures in my mind of the TBMs we deal with here. With FOF I saw a chain with very large links encompassing his heart. It was plain as day in my mind. With another one I saw a big black cloud hanging over him. Perhaps God is showing me their spiritual condition and how I/we should specifically intercede in prayer on their behalf.
    The bottom line is that conviction of sin comes through the Spirit of God. In a way, it’s not our job to convince someone they are a sinner and in need of a Savior. Jesus said our job is to sow seeds, someone else will water them and finally when it’s time, someone will complete the process with the harvest.

  22. falcon says:

    I just came across this article and although it has nothing to do with Mormonism, it relates directly to our topic of discussion here. It’s written by a woman who is politically very liberal and worked at Fox News. The title of the article is “What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox News”. The take away quote is, “If you want to persuade people, you can’t demonize them.”

    “This is where it comes full circle: According to social science research, we’re more likely to be persuaded by people we like and we’re more inclined to like people who, we think, like us. For instance, in one study that appeared in the February 2010 Journal of Marketing Research, researchers would either compliment or criticize subjects and then ask the subjects for a favor. When the researchers gave positive comments, not only did the subjects report liking the researcher more but they were indeed more likely to perform the requested favor.”
    “The bottom line: We respond more positively to and are persuaded by people who treat us pleasantly.”
    “That is the essence of my lessons from working at Fox News and the idea behind what I call “emotional correctness” – that the key to persuasion, the key to being an effective communicator in general, in any aspect of life, is making authentic, compassionate emotional connections. Emotional correctness is how we say what we say. It’s not only the words or tone we use but the feelings we signal when we communicate. It’s how we show respect for others even if we don’t agree with their opinions.”
    “…………………….Kindness, respect, finding the basic goodness and human dignity in everyone – that is the essence of emotional correctness, and that is how we begin the conversations that lead to change.”
    http://news.yahoo.com/learned-liberal-talking-head-fox-news-143013301–politics.html

  23. cattyjane says:

    Falcon,
    The OT is where we are given instruction about how we are to behave. Most christian churches want to bury this and claim its all grace now. Most people couldnt recite the ten commandmets if you asked them, so how can they measure their life if they dont have the guidelines? They also need to know that God is the ultimate authority, not themselves, and that choosing to come into the covenant means choosing to obey Him instead of ourselves. Its not easy, and few actually make that commitment.

  24. grindael says:

    Grindeal, [sic]
    I agree. Like I said earlier my mistake was going of topic and commenting about something other than what the article was about. My apologies.

    NP, luvinlife. That topic has merit, and perhaps will be the focus of a post at a later time. Now, if everyone else will get back to the OP’s focus?

  25. falcon says:

    Here’s what I think…………….holiness, right living comes with a deepening of our relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. That’s why Jesus completes the Law. It’s a new way. Churches that try and impose “rules” generally lose the kids because it becomes all about the rules. Churches that emphasize Biblical principles of living out a holy and righteous life based on a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, foster a healthy mind-set and spirit.
    Let’s get to the nitty gritty of it and talk about sexual immorality in churches. That usually comes about because of the imposition of and repression of sexual desires through rules and shame based manipulation. It just doesn’t work. But if people have a healthy attitude about sex based on Biblical principles and fostered by a loving relationship with the Lord, they aren’t going to carry out the desires of the flesh.
    We are housed in this body of flesh with its sinful desires. But the Bible is clear that if we walk by the Spirit, we crucify the desires of the flesh; whatever they happen to be.
    Rule based religion generally ends up with people trying to figure out how close they can get their toes up to the line before it “counts” as a sin. I grew-up in that sort of a system. I’m thankful for the moral training but I’d have preferred a different approach.

  26. falcon says:

    I was talking to a guy who regularly ministers the gospel of Jesus Christ at one of the Mormon historical sites. It’s a place where there’s a pageant nightly during the summer. He was talking about a couple of groups that show-up and yell and rant at the Mormons…………..and occasionally at him. He said the funny thing was that one night these two groups starting yelling at each other.
    That would tell me that these folks are more than a little bit nuts! It makes me wonder if a secret society within the LDS church does this themselves just to make Christians appear weird and to bolster their claim of persecution? I can’t imagine any reasonable person doing this. These folks must have a lot of repressed anger and issues from their past.
    So it’s really about a person’s manner and approach. Sometimes being firm and uncompromising with people makes them feel like someone is yelling at them. What’s that line from the Bible? “Speaking the truth in love……………” Love in this case means respectful and with dignity.

  27. MJP says:

    I certainly don’t want to argue any more about this, as we really are discussing two sides of the same coin. And Christians can indeed have differing views on these items, anyway.

    I agree the topic is interesting, which is why I pursued it some.

    Christ’s love and redemption cannot be oversold.

  28. Mike R says:

    Falcon,

    One year when I was with a few friends at a Jw District convention we were standing on the curb
    attempting to offer Convention goers literature . I had a woman who said she was a Baptist and
    attending as a guest with Jw friends tell me that it was awful what we were doing . That kinda
    blind sided me . We were not yelling nor anything of that nature . I hope that woman did’nt
    end up becoming a Jw .

  29. MJP says:

    Opinions are like, oh never mind. Everyone has them, though.

    Its how we express our opinions, though, that matters.

    In my opinion, being nice is always preferable, but being nice does not mean withholding truth.

  30. MJP says:

    (I hope folks get the humor intended in my previous post…)

    There is a general movement, though, to see that no one is offended nor left out. With trophies making their way out of youth competitions and events (someone in my kids’ school objected to ribbons given at its field day, just a perssonal example), skins are getting thinner and thinner.

    This makes telling anyone an absolute truth claim more difficult. How dare someone else question their personal beliefs?

    Its really a shame.

  31. Rick B says:

    MJP,
    You nailed it. If you did not know from me saying it before, I am a chef/baker.
    Anyway the place I work at can drive me nuts, their is one guy who works with me, His name is also Rick and sadly he should not have that name. He does not want to ever talk about anything that makes him feel bad, or if it is sad or anything along those lines.

    Then Our baker quite to move back to Texas, when she was working their, she was a Catholic and would listen to the local Christian radio station, I loved it, everyone else hated it. But they put up with it for her, because she was with the place for about 12 years.

    After she left, one of my female coworkers said very loudly, YES!!!! No more Jesus Music, and now I can start to swear all I want like a normal restaurant. I did burst her bubble when I told her I will still listen to that music and I’m also a believer. She then said, Dont talk to me about Religion or politics, those are the only two things I wont talk about. Bummer, because those are my favorite topics. The place I work is so very liberal.

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