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What Can Christians Learn From The Mormon Missionary Surge?


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http://www.christian...th.html?start=1

They are completely wrong on our missionary motivations. But it's interesting to see that our efforts are being noticed.

Exactly why is it that you would take anything that a member of the apostate church says seriously? Having been one of the enemy, I can tell you with considerable authority that they practice a special sort of hate and illogical thought that is inspired by satan.

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http://www.christian...th.html?start=1

They are completely wrong on our missionary motivations. But it's interesting to see that our efforts are being noticed.

Yes, and former Mormon John Divito appears to be the most adamant about Mormons going on missions for the wrong reasons. I would surmise that he left our Church due to his not understanding our theology -- he likely left very early, was from a religiously mixed home, and never was trained in Mormon theology. What is sad is that he feels a need to be uncharitable.

There was a time when the mainstream Protestant Churches sent out huge numbers of missionaries to all parts of the world. They went on missions for all the right reasons, just as LDS members young and old do today. They were selfless in wanting to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who really needed to hear the message of salvation. Many went as families and spent 20 years or more on a mission. There was real commitment. Now those same mainstream Protestant Churches are losing population as their members drift away. Except for the evanagelical churches, that deep commitment is gone, and even those evangelicals are now diminishing in power due to their preaching of hatred and intolerance -- something which the Holy Spirit cannot abide.

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This came out almost a month ago. Some older members here might be interested in the blog post and comments at the David Waltz blog, Articuli Fidei, which also has comments from yours truly, and another LDS friend, tOm, who used to post here frequently.

http://articulifidei...ians.html#links

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Random thoughts about this:

It is interesting to see that others are noticing our missionary surge....even if the caricature as to why we serve is poorly done.

I find the comments super entertaining....there's a number of them that include the concern as to why you would ever want to learn from a crazy, mind-controlling, different Jesus worshiping, cult. Switching gears just ain't that easy for a number of people I guess. I find the article an intriguing mix of admitting the mormons are doing better with keeping their youth active and motivated in their faith while having to separate that from their doctrine (which is wrong) and their motives (which must be wrong). It's quite a feat.

My honest opinion is that they have an upward battle....and they're not likely to meet their goal....the summary of the article:

The Mormon Church has found a powerful outlet for a young person's desire to experience purpose and connection. If we as Christians can combine that desire with a sense of God's extravagant grace, we may experience a similar surge of missions involvement among Christ followers of all ages.

I think the set up for many christian faith make it difficult for that to happen. It's not simply missions that bring a sense of connection....our entire lifestyle emphasizes this. There's a stable connection no matter where you go with similar structure. This helps increase unity. Many faiths of the protestant variety appear to have more fluidity and movement. There is little mechanism to "shop around" in the lds community. And even when you can a little bit, the means of teaching and empahsis are going to be fairly similar. This is not so in protestant faiths...and their purposes, though all proponents of jesus in some way, can differ quite a bit as well.

I also found the article with a flavor of arrogance/pride that I've notice with some other grace-emphasis faith communities when discussing the LDS faith. There's an assumption that our faith is solely based on works. They have a strong desire to maintain a separation in faith and belief that the LDS hold by describing it in a means to assume it's false. And then what they appreciate in our communities (strong families, youth involvement, clean living etc) remain like random floating goods that have somehow come out of a strange and false plant. If they're going to "learn from the surge" they need a more accurate understanding of why these young brothers and sisters are leaving in the first place. This demphasis on reasons of faith, belief in the atonement and God, and personal revelation....assuming they're looking to go mostly to "feel good" out of "religious duty" and "to get to heaven" (to paraphrase) means they're missing a number of major reasons people go. You can't learn from anything if you don't truly understand the subject at hand.

P.S. This unnoticed pride by many that i've read or met is one of my pet peeves. This assumption that they must know jesus better than we do, actions that alienate more than bring greater faith, etc.

With luv,

BD

Exactly why is it that you would take anything that a member of the apostate church says seriously? Having been one of the enemy, I can tell you with considerable authority that they practice a special sort of hate and illogical thought that is inspired by satan.

Ellen, I don't think of them as my enemy. I think they prefer to believe we're in some sort of competition for souls and a number believe that coming to our faith is some sort of kiss of spiritual death. But none of this makes them my enemy. They are my brothers and sisters first....even if they can't see it.

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Exactly why is it that you would take anything that a member of the apostate church says seriously? Having been one of the enemy, I can tell you with considerable authority that they practice a special sort of hate and illogical thought that is inspired by satan.

Your comments sadden me because I don't want to be lumped in the camp of people considered as anyone's enemy because I worship God through the Presbyterian tradition (aka apostate church according to LDS). I am also sorry that you have witnessed hate as well as we both share the greatest commandment (I believe) to love God and to love one another. We are his beloved creation and if we don't agree theologically, yes, let us dialogue and reason and learn together. Perhaps the author did get the LDS motives wrong but what I understood from the article was his respect for how the LDS Church engages youth and how organized and effective everything is run...that's a compliment. I too admire so many things from your tradition and I would like to learn more about it as a friend, vs your enemy.

In Christ,

FollowerOfEmmanuel :friends:

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Random thoughts about this:

It is interesting to see that others are noticing our missionary surge....even if the caricature as to why we serve is poorly done.

I find the comments super entertaining....there's a number of them that include the concern as to why you would ever want to learn from a crazy, mind-controlling, different Jesus worshiping, cult. Switching gears just ain't that easy for a number of people I guess. I find the article an intriguing mix of admitting the mormons are doing better with keeping their youth active and motivated in their faith while having to separate that from their doctrine (which is wrong) and their motives (which must be wrong). It's quite a feat.

My honest opinion is that they have an upward battle....and they're not likely to meet their goal....the summary of the article:

I think the set up for many christian faith make it difficult for that to happen. It's not simply missions that bring a sense of connection....our entire lifestyle emphasizes this. There's a stable connection no matter where you go with similar structure. This helps increase unity. Many faiths of the protestant variety appear to have more fluidity and movement. There is little mechanism to "shop around" in the lds community. And even when you can a little bit, the means of teaching and empahsis are going to be fairly similar. This is not so in protestant faiths...and their purposes, though all proponents of jesus in some way, can differ quite a bit as well.

I also found the article with a flavor of arrogance/pride that I've notice with some other grace-emphasis faith communities when discussing the LDS faith. There's an assumption that our faith is solely based on works. They have a strong desire to maintain a separation in faith and belief that the LDS hold by describing it in a means to assume it's false. And then what they appreciate in our communities (strong families, youth involvement, clean living etc) remain like random floating goods that have somehow come out of a strange and false plant. If they're going to "learn from the surge" they need a more accurate understanding of why these young brothers and sisters are leaving in the first place. This demphasis on reasons of faith, belief in the atonement and God, and personal revelation....assuming they're looking to go mostly to "feel good" out of "religious duty" and "to get to heaven" (to paraphrase) means they're missing a number of major reasons people go. You can't learn from anything if you don't truly understand the subject at hand.

P.S. This unnoticed pride by many that i've read or met is one of my pet peeves. This assumption that they must know jesus better than we do, actions that alienate more than bring greater faith, etc.

With luv,

BD

Ellen, I don't think of them as my enemy. I think they prefer to believe we're in some sort of competition for souls and a number believe that coming to our faith is some sort of kiss of spiritual death. But none of this makes them my enemy. They are my brothers and sisters first....even if they can't see it.

Oh, it is not they who are the enemy, but having been EV, I can say how utterly pernicious their philosophy is. Only the real seekers who can engage in critical thought eventually wrest the control of their own lives back from them.
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I can't speak for others. But I went on my mission because I wanted to share the Gospel with people. It wasn't duty that drove me. It wasnt a desire to get into heaven. It was a desire to share the testimony I recieved of Christ and help others know Him.

I don't think I'm alone. I dont think I know anyone who did it just because of duty or to get into heaven.

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Well glad others are witnessing the surge haven't noticed anything in my little corner of New England and we were hoping for a pair of Sisters.

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Exactly why is it that you would take anything that a member of the apostate church says seriously? Having been one of the enemy, I can tell you with considerable authority that they practice a special sort of hate and illogical thought that is inspired by satan.

I have sometimes felt this way, so I can understand your feelings on this point.

I also have a number of (mostly workplace) EV friends who have a good deal of respect for Mormons, if not so much for their theology.

And then again, there are those who are genuinely "haters".

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/may/what-can-christian-leaders-learn-from-surge-in-mormon-youth.html?start=1

They are completely wrong on our missionary motivations. But it's interesting to see that our efforts are being noticed.

They could learn to teach their beliefs from birth and seek to instill leadership and service, buy gearing all lessons to that end. Teach them that Salvation in a family affair, a path that just not end at the alter in the front of the building, but goes far beyond....best thing they can learn, is see if they can do it, and let the blessings fall where they may. :)
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I can't speak for others. But I went on my mission because I wanted to share the Gospel with people. It wasn't duty that drove me. It wasnt a desire to get into heaven. It was a desire to share the testimony I recieved of Christ and help others know Him.

I don't think I'm alone. I dont think I know anyone who did it just because of duty or to get into heaven.

I was a convert of only 6 years back in 1972 when I went on my mission, and my motivation was pretty simple -- my patriarchal blessing made me do it. I had decided that I was too new in the Church to be a missionary (only member in my family), but my PB changed my mind. I was not as scared about going on a mission as Jonah had been to preach in Nineveh, but I was definitely scared about it, being a very shy person. Once I determined that despite my shortcomings I needed to serve, it became gradually clear to me, and not something I fully realized until many years later, that my "need" to serve was at least partly to learn service, practice obedience and become more accustomed to listening to the voice of the Lord. It turned out that I was also able to also help bring some folks into the Church. Never at any point did I think that I needed to serve a mission in order to be "saved". I was already "saved" -- what I needed was to become a better servant, like my Lord.

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They are my brothers and sisters first....even if they can't see it.

Amen...there may be a bit of a onesided family feud going on where one side is for some reason so infuriated with the other that they've divorced themselves from others in the family (as has happened in my own immediate family), but that doesn't stop them from being our siblings and doesn't turn them into our enemies...it takes a bit more than that for me to call someone my enemy.

Now those who are trying to destroy the Church and those in it no matter what they have to do to accomplish it, well, even if they are still family, I think they have crossed the line into enemy territory, sad to say...but from those who are so obviously wrong in understanding what we are, I think of them as less enemy and more just confused and misled participants in a complicated family dynamic.

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Well glad others are witnessing the surge haven't noticed anything in my little corner of New England and we were hoping for a pair of Sisters.

My niece is just out for about a month (make that more likely two as I have no sense of time) and is already training someone else. :)
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Your comments sadden me because I don't want to be lumped in the camp of people considered as anyone's enemy because I worship God through the Presbyterian tradition (aka apostate church according to LDS). I am also sorry that you have witnessed hate as well as we both share the greatest commandment (I believe) to love God and to love one another. We are his beloved creation and if we don't agree theologically, yes, let us dialogue and reason and learn together. Perhaps the author did get the LDS motives wrong but what I understood from the article was his respect for how the LDS Church engages youth and how organized and effective everything is run...that's a compliment. I too admire so many things from your tradition and I would like to learn more about it as a friend, vs your enemy.

In Christ,

FollowerOfEmmanuel :friends:

I was going to PM you, but since I made this comment out in the open, I must apologise in the open.

I am struggling with something very harsh right now and because of that I acted appropriately. I am sorry and hope that you will forgive me, even as inexcusable as my behavior was.

Ellen

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Well glad others are witnessing the surge haven't noticed anything in my little corner of New England and we were hoping for a pair of Sisters.

From my ward we are jumping fro two to six missionaries out and a promise of one pair of missionaries in our little town full time.

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Oh, it is not they who are the enemy, but having been EV, I can say how utterly pernicious their philosophy is. Only the real seekers who can engage in critical thought eventually wrest the control of their own lives back from them.

Seeing that you are an ex-EV turned anti-EV, we therefore must consider your accusations accordingly. ;)

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Seeing that you are an ex-EV turned anti-EV, we therefore must consider your accusations accordingly. ;)

It is my biggest failing in trying to be "Of The Covenant". It is not acceptable to hate, Jesus Christ rejects that. It is my intention to be repentant and sometimes the anger resurfaces, and must be beaten back. It is a conundrum; how to tell the truth as I see it and leaving out the hurt and anger. Some of their beliefs that I find most repugnant are not going to change in my life time, though at times progress is seen. And if Heavenly Father is the judge of all mankind, what right do I have putting my nose into that?

Perhaps it is only fair to consider those in MY experience to be Ev. Having had experience with certain Lutherans, and some Presbyterians, it does not seem that they are especially hateful.

The excessive use of shunning without restoration, the ready hate of those not of their fold, the rabid accusation of those who do not practice the Trinity, the mysticism used to explain certain spiritual matters that are plain as day are some of the things that are most repugnant.

And why does Heavenly Father not take me firmly in hand and bend me to his will? To be forced is the only thing that many know. That is the true mystery.

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It is my biggest failing in trying to be "Of The Covenant". It is not acceptable to hate, Jesus Christ rejects that. It is my intention to be repentant and sometimes the anger resurfaces, and must be beaten back. It is a conundrum; how to tell the truth as I see it and leaving out the hurt and anger. Some of their beliefs that I find most repugnant are not going to change in my life time, though at times progress is seen. And if Heavenly Father is the judge of all mankind, what right do I have putting my nose into that?

Perhaps it is only fair to consider those in MY experience to be Ev. Having had experience with certain Lutherans, and some Presbyterians, it does not seem that they are especially hateful.

The excessive use of shunning without restoration, the ready hate of those not of their fold, the rabid accusation of those who do not practice the Trinity, the mysticism used to explain certain spiritual matters that are plain as day are some of the things that are most repugnant.

And why does Heavenly Father not take me firmly in hand and bend me to his will? To be forced is the only thing that many know. That is the true mystery.

I think we all struggle with that. It's easy to get angry at our brethren. Nephi lamented getting angry with his brethren and they were trying to kill him.

Heavenly Father wants us to offer up a willing heart. We cant do that if He forces everything

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Don't get me wrong. I don't want our teenagers to believe Mormon theology. Trying to earn God's favor through human effort is not going to help any teenager, whether Mormon or Protestant.

As usual, they reject the Bible. It teaches in numerous places that works are required for salvation. Do I have to list them?

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As usual, they reject the Bible. It teaches in numerous places that works are required for salvation. Do I have to list them?

There's no point to listing them. These people have highly-trained "theologians" who went to school for many years just so they could learn how to mingle scripture with the doctrines of men.

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I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with something harsh at the moment. Often, we speak out of our experiences so no need to apologize. It seems that you have really experienced some hurts. May you find healing and peace. I only hope that you may come to know that there are EV's who really care for LDS and truly desire to have greater understanding and relationships. We often respond to the loudest voices, but the loudest voices tend to be from those who have their own interpretation of witnessing the truth they believe and are speaking out from their own understanding and methods rather than representing all of Christianity.

Ev's and LDS may have some significant differences but I tend to really appreciate the commonalities we share, our love for God, desire to follow Christ and the desire to follow his commandments and the holy spirits leading in our lives, as an act of our faith. I believe both traditions have an understanding of the gospel that we wish to share with one another. Let us do this in love and respect for each other. I am sure we have so much we can learn from one another.

Blessings,

FollowerOfEmmanuel

Thank you for the dialogue :)

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I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with something harsh at the moment. Often, we speak out of our experiences so no need to apologize. It seems that you have really experienced some hurts. May you find healing and peace. I only hope that you may come to know that there are EV's who really care for LDS and truly desire to have greater understanding and relationships. We often respond to the loudest voices, but the loudest voices tend to be from those who have their own interpretation of witnessing the truth they believe and are speaking out from their own understanding and methods rather than representing all of Christianity.

Ev's and LDS may have some significant differences but I tend to really appreciate the commonalities we share, our love for God, desire to follow Christ and the desire to follow his commandments and the holy spirits leading in our lives, as an act of our faith. I believe both traditions have an understanding of the gospel that we wish to share with one another. Let us do this in love and respect for each other. I am sure we have so much we can learn from one another.

Blessings,

FollowerOfEmmanuel

Thank you for the dialogue :)

Yeah. My experience in the Midwest with EVs was not very good. I don't ever remember an LDS Sermon berating EVs, but the local EV congregations not only put on anti-Mormon seminars, but would periodically publish attack editorials. I have no problem with the concept that the Jesus and the Heavenly Father we worship are different than the Trinity worshipped by the EVs. We should just accept that and move on.

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Yeah. My experience in the Midwest with EVs was not very good. I don't ever remember an LDS Sermon berating EVs, but the local EV congregations not only put on anti-Mormon seminars, but would periodically publish attack editorials.

Great! Just as long as they spell our name correctly. That's L D S

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