July 20, 2010

Talking with LDS missionaries update

an excellent EXCELLENT overview of mormonism with James White
(sorry, poor audio, but worth listening anyway)

And I'm sure this will ruin my credibility with all LDS who may happen across this, but oh well! I find Shawn McCraney hilarious and refreshing.
BEST Christian/Mormon Debate EVER! 1 of 2
BEST Christian/Mormon Debate EVER! 2 of 2

(He appears to be dispensational I guess. Perhaps "mid acts" dispensational, saying Paul didn't preach repentance to the Gentiles. That never made sense to me. Acts 17:30-31)

So...How'd the discussion go? Confusing. We talked to two mormon missionaries for 5 hours (6 if you count my speaking to them 5 days prior). We spent an hour agreeing on Biblical terminology so that we could understand each other. They would explain the gospel (and include works as necessary for salvation -e.g. saved by grace AND works) and then we would explain it and change the analogy they were using to exclude works and show that even our good works condemn us. But they didn't seem to see how the two differed and always agreed when we explained as clearly as we could how spending and eternity with "heavenly father" is only through Christ's merit not our own.

One used an analogy of a toll highway for life. You keep putting in your change into the toll booth and at the end (judgement) you find out you are out of money, Jesus steps in and pays the difference for you. I said well, ok, but the Biblical gospel would be more like you throwing money in the toll booth all through life, you get to the end and the judge says not only do you have no more money, the money you've been using is all counterfeit so not only are you in trouble for having no money, you've been running through the toll booths without paying AND you're on the hook for passing counterfeit money! THEN Jesus says "no, his bill is on me."

But again, I don't think they really realize the depth of their own depravity, and until they do (which will probably require a lot of falling flat on their faces to see, and I'm sure life will offer them a lot of that once they have the stresses of a family too!) this won't make sense. But the seeds were planted. We quoted a lot of scripture to them, and told the gospel without using fancy analogies, just told it straight, but they seemed to agree with every gospel presentation we could make.

Either they are changing how they get young people in the door these days, or they are becoming more ecumenical (possible). Or they are lying in order to bait and switch people. Hard to know if the young bucks are actually totally cognizant of lying or whether they've been sold a bill of goods too. I've been listening to the LDS channel and it's painfully obvious they require works to be saved. Over and over again we hear it, it's not just some misstatement or poorly chosen phrase.

AT BEST -- My guess is as they get more and more emotionally and socially connected to the church, then they will start putting more and more requirements on them and eventually they will find themselves unable to move. Kind of like the Lilliputians from Gulliver's travels. (oddly enough, masonic references there and in the secret temple rituals of Mormonism).

They definitely seem to be saying something similar to Christianity, or hiding the works requirement a little better... trying to make works out to be the thing Christ was talking about when he said you have to give up everything for him... or something twisted like that.

They didn't give us any brochures. We had gone to the library and got a 'triple' of their scriptures. We don't happen to have a KJV on hand other than the NKJV, but at least it gets us the references. Although Jason always has his Iphone handy with about 6 different translations which are easily searchable.

I felt so bad one of them confessed that he was clinically depressed and struggled with that. His girlfriend dumped him etc. But that he prayed according to James 1:5 and he was convinced God gave him a feeling of peace when he needed it most, like God reached down and gave him a hug, so he "knows" it's true because he had a 'feeling.' Both of them of course testified that God gave them feelings and that they had 'coincidental' (not coincidence to them) answers to prayer.

Stuff like that. Well how can you argue with that? That's why we don't testify of our own private experiences but we should testify of what Christ has objectively done for our salvation. Jason and I mostly refused to talk about our feelings as any valid criteria for judging the truth.

The other one mentioned going to a Catholic church and praying and asking 'heavenly father' whether we should be praying to mary and all the saints, and nope didn't get the 'feeling.' Also tried a Lutheran church since his friend went to one, and nope, it wasn't there too. They think all churches are the same if they have the same denomination name. I may pursue that line of reasoning. Much of evangelicalism these days sounds not much different than Mormonism. They seem to be meeting in the middle. You have to prove your devotion to God by "doing stuff." they just have different "stuff."

They mentioned being a little more able to examine things, but that some people still frown on that. That was the other guy who has said he is more open to examining the anti mormon stuff. I am hoping to direct him to James White, but it's really hard for them to get past the LDS idea that Lucifer was the one who came up with the idea of the bondage of the will.

I expressed my sympathy with a genuine tear in my eye for the depression, which I have also struggled with and how sad it makes me feel to think of another person going through that. It is a horrible thing. They both thanked me for that. (having a hysterectomy has fixed it because now I no longer have to take pain killers that I took for about 7 years, and over 2 years now I have been able to come out of that whole pain killer/rebound headache cycle.)

Of the two, the 'depression' one will probably be broken first, and I just pray that what we said will come back to mind then. We are going to meet with them again on Friday evening. I find this whole thing exhausting. My brain is still tired two days later. sigh. :-)

I am enjoying listening to James White's stuff on Mormonism. I am honestly not trying to sound disrespectful, but it's so amazing to me that basically we're sitting here trying to rationally and evenhandedly discuss what amounts to a sex cult built around men's libido. It's really .. well... kind of disgusting when you think too hard about it. I've noticed they have studiously avoided mentioning anything about what us women will be doing. I sure don't want to be doing what an exalted mormon woman is supposed to be doing for eternity. I was never cut out to be a Mormon. What do these precious mothers feel when they realize how impossible it is to be a mom (which entails a zillion and one responsibilities) plus, to be a lover and to supposedly enjoy an active passionate sex life, to raise her family and continue to love them and keep her motives and actions pure? AND then after she's become (as many many women do) disillusioned with motherhood and wifely responsibilities, she thinks "great, I have this to look forward to, and nothing else, for eternity, while my exalted husband goes around from woman to woman making more work for each of us? I don't even get his attention to myself like I do here on earth??"

My heart aches for them, deeply.

One video I found said just leave them with "if I'm wrong, and you're right, then I will spend eternity in the lowest heaven, where Joseph Smith said if we could get a glimpse of it we'd be tempted to commit suicide to get there. AND if I join the LDS church and then decide later it's not for me, I get sent to outer darkness/hell. Why risk it? If you're wrong and I am right, you will spend an eternity in torment for your idolatry."