Archive for July, 2008



17
Jul
08

Debating Mormons: Winning the battle or winning the person

When you are witnessing to Mormons, are you more concerned about winning the person for Christ or winning every battle? That’s a question every Christian who is intent on witnessing needs to struggle with.

Too often, I fear, we fight meaningless battles over Mormon history or antiquated Mormon doctrines and in the process lose the person because we never focused on witnessing Jesus to them. Too often, we debate Mormonism with Mormons rather than witnessing Christ to them.

We can learn a lot from studying St. Paul’s witnessing approaches. Take, for example, his witness in Athens as recorded in Acts 17. He didn’t argue Greek philosophy with those Greeks. Neither did he pounce on them for having many altars to many gods. In short, he didn’t major on minors. Instead he majored on the major issue — Jesus Christ and the free forgiveness we have through him.

This takes self-discipline. It’s difficult not getting side-tracked. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, said that when he first came to them he had to resolve to preach nothing but Christ and him crucified. The most important thing our Mormon friends need to hear is that they don’t have to do anything to live eternally with Heavenly Father. They don’t have to do anything because Jesus has already done everything. Like Paul, be resolved to focus on Jesus. Witness Christ to Mormons. Don’t debate Mormonism with them. That’s the loving thing to do.

My name is Mark Cares, encouraging you to speak the truth in love to Mormons.

14
Jul
08

A Brief Mormon Definition of Salvation

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Have you ever told your Mormon friends that you believe that Jesus saved you and they readily agreed with you? Numerous Christians have shared with me their experience in this — and have been frustrated to no end. They know their Mormon friends believe differently about salvation, but it sure sounds Christian at the surface.

 

The reason for your frustration is that when you do dig deeper you find that Mormonism defines salvation much differently than Christianity does. When Christians talk about salvation, we are talking about how we can go to heaven because Jesus saved us from the punishment of sin by paying for our sins with his death. On the other hand, most Mormons equate salvation with being resurrected, not going to heaven. When Mormons talk to you about salvation, they think of Jesus saving them from the grave. Jesus has provided a way to save them from physical death. That’s why they can agree with us when we talk about Jesus saving us.

 

In sharing their belief about salvation, I don’t think that most Mormons are not trying to be deceptive. This is simply the definition that they were taught and raised up with in the church. Consider this quote from a book for small children. “Jesus was the first to be resurrected and because of him, all the people on the earth will someday be resurrected. That is why we call him ‘Savior’. He saved the world from death. He is the resurrection and the life.” (Talks for Tots, p. 113)

 

The word, “salvation”, is just one of numerous words that are defined differently by Mormons and Christians. Therefore, it is essential, when talking with your Mormon friends, to carefully define key Christian terms and right them down as a reference. That would be the loving and respectful thing to do.

 

My name is Mark Cares and I encourage you to speak the truth in love to your Mormon friends, neighbors and family members.

 

 

 

11
Jul
08

Why Mormons emphasize Genealogy Work

Why Mormons emphasize Genealogy Work
 

 

Have you ever wondered why researching family history is so important to your Mormon friends?  Genealogy work is tied to one of the three main missions of the Mormon church, namely, redeeming the dead.

 

Mormonism teaches that its members can help people who have died.  They help them by receiving temple ordinances in their names.  In Mormon temples, not only are Mormons baptized for the dead, they also receive other ordinances.  They go through the endowment ceremony for those who have died and also are married vicariously for the dead.  They believe that, until the dead receive these vicarious ordinances, they will not be able to progress in the afterlife.  That is why one of the three main missions of the Mormon church is to redeem the dead.

 

In order to do this temple work, however, they need to do the genealogical research necessary to identify the people they will help in this way.  Thus, the importance of researching their family history.

 

The belief that people have opportunities to be “redeemed” even after they have died lessens considerably the sense of urgency for some Mormons.  The truth we need to tell them is that this lifetime, and this lifetime alone, is the time God has given them to trust in Jesus and he alone for salvation.  Warning them that their time is running out is the loving thing to do.

 

My name is Mark Cares, encouraging you to speak the truth in love to Mormons.

 

 

10
Jul
08

MORMONS AND FORGIVENESS

We Christians receive tremendous comfort and peace of mind knowing that God forgives us on the basis of Jesus’ death for us.  But do you realize that Mormons do not receive that same comfort?  In one of their most popular books of Mormonism, it reads;  “It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when.  It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you.  That depends on your humility, your sincerity, your works, your attitudes.”  (Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 325)

 

Did you catch how all the stress is on what they have to do?  There’s no mention of what Jesus has done.  How would you like to hear that regularly?  How would you feel if you heard that regularly?  Ironically, that quote is from a book entitled, The Miracle of Forgiveness.  As that quote demonstrates, there’s not much miraculous in the forgiveness taught by the Mormon Church.

 

Remember that the next time you are with a Mormon friend.  Remember that Mormons aren’t familiar with the free and full forgiveness we have in Jesus.  Share with them how you are forgiven – that you are forgiven not because of what you have done, but because of what Jesus did for you.  Also share with them the wonderful peace you have because of that.  And finally tell them that they too can have that – through Jesus.

 

I’m Mark Cares, encouraging you to speak the truth in love to Mormons

 

 

 




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