Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Drive-by Evangelism

A drive-by evangelist by the name of "Further the Kingdom" recently visited my blog and left the following comment totally unrelated to that post. I wonder how often this happens to anyone else:

"Here’s a million dollar question – If you were to die right now, would you qualify for the celestial kingdom? If you’re like most Mormons, you’re not sure. You try hard to be as good as possible, but you still don’t know if you’ve done enough. If the Book of Mormon is really scripture, this hope will always elude you. Alma 11:37 says God cannot save you in your sins. Are all of your sins forgiven? Moroni 10:32 says you must be perfected in Christ, which can only be done by denying yourself of “all ungodliness”. Have you done that?

"Do you repent on a regular basis? If so, then it is clear that you sin on a regular basis, since only those who break the commandments need to repent. 1 Nephi 3:7 states that you are able to keep His commandments. In fact according to D&C 25:15, you are required to keep them continually! Since you haven’t done this so far, why assume you will in the future? Of course, we should all try to be holy; but if you think that sinning less will qualify you to live in God’s presence, you are mistaken (Gal 3:1-11). The assumption that good works are required for forgiveness only cheapens Christ’s atonement, making it nothing more than a partial payment. God chooses to justify us by faith. Jesus alone does the “perfecting” (Heb 10:14). God gives peace to those who trust in Him alone. If you don’t have this peace, it’s probably because at least a part of you trusts in yourself. Questions? Visit us at www.gotforgiveness.com
"

So here's my ten cent answer to his "million dollar" question:

"If you were to die right now, would you qualify for the celestial kingdom?" Yes, because of my faith in Christ. That's the "good news." It's actually great news. And "most Mormons" that understand the gospel properly should have hope for the same--as well as true peace.

"If you’re like most Mormons, you’re not sure." Really? Do "most Mormons" not understand the gospel properly? I'm sure some don't, but "most"? I'm a little skeptical of that statistic. But if that's true, I guess I've got my work cut out for me! As a gospel teacher, we all have the ability to truly "further the kingdom". I guess I'd start by recommending the books"Believing Christ" and "Following Christ" by Stephen E. Robinson.

I'd love to have this kind of scriptural/gospel conversation with you in my living room; maybe this blog will suffice. But first it would be helpful to do away with all of the preceding blanket (and wrong) assertions and stop misconstruing scriptural references. I'll add that to my now growing list of tips for witnessing to Mormons. Maybe then we can have an actual dialogue about what I believe.

11 comments:

Clean Cut said...

I embedded applicable links to past posts of mine so that "Further the Word" and everybody else can see where I stand on with the gospel. He will then know that I would agree that "the assumption that good works are required for forgiveness only cheapens Christ’s atonement, making it nothing more than a partial payment."

I, and educated Mormons, don't make that assumption. We know that good works are not required for forgiveness; broken hearts and contrite spirits are! Good works are tokens of gratitude for Christ's atonement and evidence of our conversion--as well as a way of truly "furthering the kingdom".

As a Mormon, I completely agree that "God chooses to justify us by faith. Jesus alone does the “perfecting”.

Well said. My next post ought to be about Justification and Sanctification...

ama said...

Hey Clean Cut,

You asked a great question in the begining about our experience with the Evangelicals online.

Personally I was a bit naiive to their feelings and ways of "evangalizing." We are taught as Mormon missionaries to spread love, build on common beliefs, be kind, follow Jesus.

Here are some comments from my most recent post on the infallibility of the Bible and Book of Mormon (http://graceforgrace.com/2008/11/25/the-infallibility-of-the-bible-book-of-mormon-other-scripture-and-the-holy-ghost/)

"Go Moroni,
aka, “Angel of Light” –
or, as Bruce McConkie’s “Mormon Doctrine”, 1966 ed., page 35, says, “See Devil.”

"I know that Mormons are all going to Hell for rejecting God, Jesus Christ himself."

There are more, but you get the jist. At first it bothered me, but now I find it somewhat amusing and also sad in a way. I see that their hearts are blinded and hardened and I pray for them as my brothers/sisters in Christ that they can open up.

To be fair though, I get some rude comments on my blog from other Mormons talking to the Evangalicals as well. I disagree with this behavior.

No matter who we're speaking with we should be respectful.

Clean Cut said...

Amen, Ama. "No matter who we're speaking with we should be respectful." I second that.

Jacob J said...

Yea, I saw this doofus' comment on another blog as well. I'm all for being respectful, but at the same time I am for calling a spade a spade (or a doofus a doofus as the case may be).

Kalola said...

I received the same comment on my blog today. How Mr. "Further The Knowledge" found me, is, to say the least, intriguing.

Apparently this individual is making the rounds of any and all LDS blogs he comes across.

He must have a lot of time on his hands! Bless him.

velska said...

I wonder at times whether that particular discussion with Evangelicals is worth the bother.

I often wonder if I am "valiant" in my testimony, but I have no illusion about saving myself - I know I have to rely on Christ.

A sneak peek on Sanctification: 3 Ne 27:20 - sanctification comes by the Holy Ghost after we have given ourselves to Christ.

Further The Kingdom said...

Hey Clean Cut!

I truely appreciate your time in replying back to me. Thank you for posting an entry on your own blog to tackle this subject.
I too, wish there was a way to have a conversation about our beliefs. I somewhat frequently have LDS Missionaries over to my home for Bible studies and such. Quite honestly they are some of the nicest guys ever! If you get a chance keep checking out my blog and posting on it. I would like to keep in contact with you as we debate and search for truth.

I personally don't believe in "Drive-by Evangelism" at all! But sometimes it is all that I have to reach a select group of people. I hope you or anyone else doesn't take offense to that I welcome the opportunity to engage in a lengthy conversation with anyone about the LDS faith.

Jacob J - you crack me up, man! Further the Doofus...love it!

Ty

Travis said...

How funny, just two days ago I was looking for something and ended up on an anti-Mormon website, I think it was mrm.com, but I don't recall for sure. A section called Some Questions for Our Mormon Friends caught my eye. Everything that Further the Kingdom said was on there. Not an original thought in his post, just repeating what he's seen.

Clean Cut said...

Ty, no offense taken. But being offended and being annoyed are two separate things. :) Regardless of religion, when you leave off-topic comments on a blog I think it is safe to say that it will be perceived as self-serving and impolite. But I'm glad to see that you welcome the opportunity to engage in conversation rather than just bombard Mormon blogs with "tracts". I prefer two-way dialogue over one-way lectures.

I'm curious if you've ever read the Book of Mormon in its entirety. So often critics simply take what they see in "tracts" like these and misapply everything out of context. Christian scholars that have actually engaged the Book of Mormon have admitted that it contains pretty sound Christology and soteriology. Obviously that doesn't mean they accept it as scripture, but it would seem to imply that fundamentalist "countercult" movements are off the mark in flippantly criticizing or dismissing it rather than first seeking for more understanding.

backandthen said...

I have gotten his post on my blog as well and it took me a great deal of compassion not to react the way I felt like at first.
I am not in a state where I can handle this kind of thing and I have exressed on my blog that it is absolutely pointless to leave this kind of thing. Not only is it rude to just disregard what I have expressed but I think it is cruel to leave such a cold and irrelevant comment after a post where I express something that touches me so much.
Too bad for his preaching because this just hurting me and nothing more.

backandthen said...

As I typed my previous comment I must say that he was as well typing an apology on my blog. I found out about it a few minutes after.