Hard Questions for the Mormon Church
As Kelly and I were sitting on our couch watching Batman on the Kid’s WB (yes, I proudly still watch cartoons!), there was a knock on our door. I answered it to find 2 missionaries from our town’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Now, when Kelly and I were living in Indiana, we invited a pair of missionaries into our home to discuss the Mormon faith. Those missionaries were very personable, fairly humble and wanted to talk to us. But we got them off script with some of our questions (not mean ones, genuine curiosity questions) and were told more than once that we were diving ahead into later visits and they could not share those answers with us yet. We looked forward to more visits to just discuss with these two gentlemen, but after about 2 months, they were shipped elsewhere.
The two missionaries I talked with this morning were much more confident in what they were sharing, but were a bit… rude. This could be because they had found out that I am a youth pastor at the church across the street from them. But in any event, the entire visit played out like a group of kindergartners trying to push an 18-wheeler out of a snowbank. It went nowhere.
I was invited to share my reservations about the Mormon faith, and instead of discussion, I was handed circular logic, misinterpretations of Scripture, and attitude. Now, I am no expert in the Mormon faith, but I am not uninformed either. And I do enjoy intelligent, civil discussion and debate when conversing with people who ascribe to a faith that is different than my own. But today was my day off, I was interrupted from what I was doing, had my faith and my connection to Christ questioned, and was flat-out insulted because God has not told me that the Book of Mormon is Scripture.
I admire the commitment that the LDS has to evangelism. I wish that the Church would show such enthusiasm for sharing their faith. What I saw this morning was simply pathetic. I was placed on the defensive almost immediately, there was no real attempt to get to know me as a person, or where I was coming from outside the fact that I am a Youth Pastor, and my intelligence itself was insulted more than once. And to top it all off, my questions were never answered, merely danced around. Questions such as:
- Scripture (from the Bible) was all written by humans under the inspiration of God. Why would God write Scripture on gold tablets to be merely found by a human? There is no precedent for it anywhere in Scripture, save for the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses.
- Jesus came as a Jew to the world. His ministry was first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles, so why would He appear centuries after His death and resurrection on American shores as a White Man to the Native Americans? This would have been the second coming, and would dictate a third coming which is not pointed to anywhere in Scripture.
- Why would God go outside His character to give man revelation, then take it away? The Ark of the Covenant was brought up in this answer, but the Ark was not taken back by God directly. Jesus came and was taken away, yes, but He had a very specific mission that He accomplished before leaving.
- Jesus came to complete the law, and fulfilled the roles of Prophet, Priest and King. These 3 roles were completed in His person. The gift of prophecy is still active, but the role is not. There is only one King. The priesthood is now shared by all believers. And the role of prophet itself was not filled by one man for the world at a time. There were typically more than one active, so why does the LDS follow only have one prophet, and are you trying to win me to Christ or to this prophet?
- Probably my favorite: If my faith would be non-existent if you could show me these gold tablets the Book of Mormon was written on, why are you making the argument that Jesus came to American shores to prove Himself to the people here, and showed Himself to 1st Century Middle East. Where is their faith as a result then, based upon your argument to avoid my question?
- Is this type of mission work really effective at all?
- And why can I not get a straight, intelligent answer to any of these questions?
If you are reading this and would like to dialogue, please leave a comment. But please remember that I strive for calm, intelligent discussion, not a shouting match about whose God is bigger.