What is your immediate reaction when you see two well-dressed young people walking through your neighborhood with Bibles and name tags? My initial reaction is “ugh… Mormons!” This is what I was thinking today when I saw two young ladies with name tags walking through the supermarket.
My second thought was “they’re going to Hell.” Unfortunately I can’t say that I thought that in an all too compassionate way. But as I walked away I began to think about the reality of their eternal destiny and was compelled to go back and talk to them.
A new perspective on Mormons
After witnessing to countless Mormons in Utah and around the country, I now have a new way of looking at their name tags. Yeah they can be annoying, and yeah they are Pharisaical and it would be nice if their cult didn’t exist. But it does, and it is currently deceiving the minds of millions and sending them on a one way ticket to the Lake of Fire.
So now, instead of reading their name tags for what they say “Elder… of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints,” I read them as saying “I’m trapped in a false cult and I really like talking about religion, could you please help me?”
Engaging the Mormons
So I went back to talk to those ladies. One was a bit older, about my age – maybe thirty. The other was much younger. I initiated the conversation by stating the obvious,
“So you’re Mormons?” I know… some tact.
“Yeah…” awkward silence…
“I went to Utah once” I replied.
“Oh really, what were you doing there?” The older one said with a huge plastic smile.
“Telling Mormons about Jesus.”
“That’s great” she answered, apparently not hearing what I had just said.
“I think it’s really important for Mormons to know who God really is.” I continued as they nodded politely, “You believe that God created everything?”
“Yes of course, through His Son Jesus Christ,” she said.
“I believe that too, that’s what it says in Colossians 1. But if God created the physical world, how could He have a physical body?” I asked as pleasantly as possible.
“I don’t know. I just know that God has a body,” the older one replied looking a bit uncomfortable.
I then used some Scripture, “Jesus also said in John chapter 4 that ‘God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’”
“We don’t want to argue, but we appreciate your concern for our souls.” The older one began inching away. She tried switching the conversation back to Utah, “You remind me of a guy who used to come around my campus.”
“I don’t want to argue either,” I went on, realizing my time was short, “but if it takes tearing down your religion so that you can be founded on Christ then God is willing to do that. I’m not representing any institution or denomination, I just want you to believe what the Bible says.”
“We do believe it,” the older one said in an almost exasperated tone of voice.
“If all you had was a Bible, would you become a Mormon?”
“ Yeah,”… she said carelessly.
I repeated the question.
She then responded “I don’t know. Have you ever prayed about the book of Mormon?”
“Were you sincere?”
“Yeah, I can pray about it right now if you want me to?”
“No that isn’t necessary, but you need to pray sincerely”- she emphasized the word implying that I had not been sincere when I had asked God whether the book of Mormon was His word.
“The Lord Jesus said ‘Judge not’ in Matthew 7 and there He was talking about judging other people’s motives, but later in the same chapter He said that we would know false teacher’s by their fruits. Why would He wait so long to reveal what He really meant to Joseph Smith?”
“We have to go,” the older one said literally pulling on her younger “sister’s” arm.
“Read the Bible and ask God to reveal Himself to you.” I said as we parted, using a line they love to use.
“We do, for two hours a day!” she stated as she held up the number two with her fingers.
Playing their game
Why did I choose such a direct route? My opinion is that since Mormons and other false cults use this kind of tactic, it’s a bit of a shock to their system to have their own rhetorical devices used on them. I have talked to ex-Mormons who were saved after they had their faith challenged by evangelistic Christians while they were on their mission.
So I know that although I may not reap the harvest, I have planted some gospel seeds and probably watered some seeds planted by the evangelist that came to one of the girl’s college campus.
Using our personality in evangelism
Another reason I prefer the direct method is that it’s just the kind of guy I am. God has made all types and there isn’t just one kind of evangelism. Peter and Paul were very direct. Philip invited his brother Nathanael to see Jesus (John 1:46). Aquilla and Pricilla were hospitable and invited Apollos to their home to hear the truth (Acts 18:26). John just loved on people until they couldn’t take it anymore. Tabitha used good works to attract people to Christ (Acts 9:36).
Whatever style of evangelism you feel drawn towards, that’s what you should use. God has gifted you and designed your personality to attract others to Him. He wants to use you and your assembly to be a beacon of light.
As this world grows darker, we will fail our mission of preaching “repentance and remission of sins” (Luke 24:47) if we curse the darkness and hide our light under the bed of laziness or bushel of work (Mark 4:21). But if we shine in the twilight of this sinful generation, it will become obvious where the light is.