Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Baptists… Oh My!

Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Baptists… Oh My!

Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Baptists… Oh My!

On a warm and humid Saturday in January (yes you read that right), we must have had a divine bulls eye painted on our house, because the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Baptists all came by. Here’s how our time with people from each denomination played out.

The Mormons

Joseph Smith, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and so on… The Mormons answered our questions, and asked if there were any act of service they could perform as part of fulfilling their 2-year volunteer missions. I joked with them that they could pray to God for revelation and if they could guess what I had in mind that they could do it (get rid of our Christmas tree, since we missed the tree pick-up day in our neighborhood). After we got rid of the tree, I let them in on the joke, and they had a good laugh about it, since they had walked past it every time they had come to visit. Finally, I got tired of hearing them ask, so I invited them to help us rake the front yard the next Saturday. They showed up in dress clothes — slacks, shined shoes, whites shirts, and ties and set to work with Tim and I. Our neighbors didn’t ask any questions. When we were finished, we ate chicken enchiladas with fresh salsa and chips I had prepared that morning before they arrived. It was a good experience for all of us, I think.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses

They stopped by to give us their latest publication. They know that I already spent several years on two different occasions studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Tim told them I had been “red flagged.” I suspect that is why don’t seem terribly interested in doing another study with us. As usual, we politely received, read, and then tossed their literature.

The Baptists

The Baptists told us they were sharing a tract and inviting people to go to church that Sunday if they had any questions. Tim was a bit testy by then, and asked whether they would be willing to answer some questions right then and there, instead of having us go to church. They agreed, and he unloaded several questions they said they had never been asked before and were obviously completely unprepared to answer. They didn’t stay long, but said they would think about our discussion, and reiterated that we were welcome to come visit their church.

Since the Baptists were the only ones who actually invited us to church, I decided to go. Tim gave me a little pep talk, but stayed behind. I made up my mind ahead of time that I would just go to Sunday School and only attend big church if I were expressly invited.

When I first entered the building, I was greeted by a man in a suit and tie who shook my hand heartily and then announced in a big booming voice, “The ladies restroom is right over there!” I thanked him, and wondered if I had a booger hanging out of nose or spilled coffee on my shirt or something. Everything seemed to be in order, so I continued to the small groups area.

In the ladies small group room, the chairs were arranged just like big church, with everyone facing the same direction except for the teacher. This was incredibly disappointing to me, because I had hoped to have some meaningful discussion and actually get to know some people. With a few minutes for coffee and donuts before everyone was seated, I did meet a few people. One of the friendliest among them was one with my name — Alice. After Sunday School was over, she invited me to sit with her in big church. I declined. I’m not sure why, exactly, since I got the invitation I was looking for. Perhaps it had something to do with the bad experiences I’d had the last ten times I’d been to church.

I stopped in the ladies room before I left and overheard everyone admiring the brand new granite countertops someone had donated. Hence, the strange behavior of the man at the door. It all made sense.


PS. Lanny, if you are still following this blog, I unblocked you from the comments. Please refrain from trolling behavior and extremely violent and/or sexually explicit comments. I will not hesitate to block you from the comments section again.

Comments
  • Mary Vanderplas April 18, 2017 at 5:44 am

    How interesting that you had visits from all three on the same day. Maybe the word has gotten around that you don’t belong to a church and are open to discussing and learning spiritual truth – making you prime candidates for their evangelistic efforts. (Or maybe it’s just the location of your house that makes you a target of these outreach efforts.) It sounds, though, like the Mormon missionaries who stopped were less interested in converting you than they were in simply serving. It sounds like you had a good time of communing with them – in contrast to the other two experiences, which were more about getting you to read their stuff or visit their church with the goal of drawing you in and converting you. My first thought is that all three are to be commended for at least doing something by way of acting on their faith and the call to reach out. The Presbyterians and Episcopalians could learn something from this. My second thought is that service to meet needs with no strings attached – what these Mormon missionaries did that day at your home – is a powerful way to connect with people and open the door to spiritual conversation.

    I’m not quite sure what to make of your experience visiting the Baptist church. It seems that it was less than fulfilling for you – which probably isn’t surprising given your expressed disdain for show and for non-egalitarian structures of worship and teaching.

  • Stephen Helbig April 18, 2017 at 6:39 am

    It’s like we’re cast into a fantasy world and sometimes our efforts to return “home” are aided by unusual companions, each with a quest of their own.

    All I keep saying to everybody was “I want to go home” … “there’s no place home. … There’s no place like home.”

    _________________________________________
    -The following is a play on words –
    __________________________________________

    “I don’t like this forest. It’s dark and creepy”

    “Do you suppose will meet any wild animals”

    “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my”
    __________________________________________

    p.s. – Alice – I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore. “We must be over the rainbow.”

    p.s.s. – Chior (Singing)
    “Your out of the woods
    Your out of the dark
    Your out of the night
    Step into the sun
    Step into the light
    Keep straight ahead to
    The most glorious place – on the face
    Of the earth or the sky
    Hold onto your breath
    Hold onto your hope
    March up to the gate
    And bid it open”

    p.s.s.t. – it’s always open …
    “HER GATES WILL NEVER BE SHUT”

    (Rev. 21: 25) – On no day will it’s gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

    The simple math of the New Jerusalem Gospel is beautiful and powerful:
    The wicked are outside the city + the gates of the city will never be shut + the Spirit and the Bride say come … A vivid plan of Ultimate Reconciliation

    (Rev. 21: 24,26) – The nation’s will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it … The glory and honor of the nation’s will be brought into it.

    (Rev.22: 2b -3a) – And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will the be any curse.

    • Lanny A. Eichert April 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Stephen,
      Your “simple math” is off at verse 24 & 26*. You are assuming open gates means the open door of salvation is available at the gates of the New Jerusalem. Nobody who is unsaved enters: nobody enters to get saved. If they would enter to get saved, they’d be entering unsaved to be saved once they were inside. That’s entering defiled in order to get undefiled. That just doesn’t fit verse 27 which is prerequisite to entering.

      And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. {Revelation 21: 27}

      Remember 20: 15
      And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

      Also 21: 8
      But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

      Stephen, the wicked are (imprisoned) in the Lake of Fire in this context because they are NOT written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. They are not walking in the light of the New Jerusalem, but are confined to the Lake of Fire. They have NO* splendor, glory, or honor to bring into the City. They only have defilement and abomination all over themselves. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life are able to enter the City. You can’t enter to get your name written there. You must have it written there FIRST before entering.

      The SIMPLE math is:
      no name = Lake of Fire forever
      name = in & out New Jerusalem

      NO Ultimate Reconciliation

  • Lanny A. Eichert April 25, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I declined. I’m not sure why, exactly, since I got the invitation I was looking for.

    You’re still not following through, but are being dishonest with yourself. You’re surely fearful.

    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. {1 John 4: 18}

    I’d say, you evidence no salvation at all. Remember the fearlessness of the apostles following the Acts 2 Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them and all who truly believed that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again to save them from everlasting destruction in the everlasting Lake of Fire, which you deny. You certainly are a contrast. Until you deny your “Lake of Fire is remedial”, you will be forever bothered by all kinds of problems. There is no fear inside the believer acknowledging unending torment is the final estate of the unbeliever, because he is not one of them, but he has the love which comes from God, which is sufficient in him to love the unbeliever enough to intensely warn and instruct those unbelieving persons to seriously understand God’s judgment is final and no unbeliever will escape everlasting doom in the Lake of Fire which is never quenched. Once there, the unbeliever never changes his ways. His wickedness is confirmed forever. His day of salvation has passed away forever.

    Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near {Isaiah 55: 6}

    That’s written to mortal human beings and that should make it obvious: Jehovah, the I AM Who saves, is only found in this life and only for a limited time. Please, Alice, give it up. “Remedial” is ruining your chances of being saved. The Fundamentalist Baptist gospel is the truth and you don’t have to be a Baptist to own it; I know other denominations who own it. I know it is owned by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church of America; if you must be Presbyterian. Remember you’re not just your mom’s daughter, you’re also your dad’s daughter, so you could still go Fundamental Baptist Church, too.

    • Alice Spicer May 1, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      I think that the church I attended was Fundamental Baptist. Here’s their website. You tell me what you think. Anyhow, you may be right about the fear. But my fear has to do with self preservation on an emotional level, because of the rejection I would surely feel from that crowd of people should they get to know me and what I believe, not because of eternal torment in hell. I think that if God wants me to engage with that crowd, He will give me the grace to be whole and unscathed in the midst of the emotional rejection I would feel when the spirit of religion comes out all fangs and claws.

  • Lanny A. Eichert April 26, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Alice,
    The Mormons not only have a different Abraham than Christians, they have a different Heavenly Father, a different Son of God, and a different Lucifer (Satan) than Christians. Their Abraham, while claiming his new name of Abraham, cannot find it in himself to call his wife by her new name, but instead calls her Sarai in the first two of five chapters in the Book of Abraham. Compare Genesis 17: 15 & 17 where the Christian Abraham obeys God, refusing to use Sarai, but immediately thinks Sarah. The Mormon Heavenly Father has a Heavenly Father above and before him, whereas the Christian Heavenly Father knows no other God {Isaiah 43: 10 & 44: 6 & 8} or Gods, which the last two chapters of the Book of Abraham describe. The Mormon Son of God and Lucifer, Satan, are brothers, Jesus being the Firstborn and Lucifer the second son of God. Mormons want to present themselves as another form of Christianity, but they are actually polytheistic pagans who believe God was once a man who progressed to godhood just like, they say, we can. They mean we can become Gods in our own right and create worlds without number as others have before us.

    Now the link I’ve given on my first line of the next paragraph is an official Mormon Church site and the quote is right from the source. If you would study their history the original claim by Joseph Smith was that he translated the Egyptian writing, claiming it to be Abraham’s own handwriting. Then if you read the Church’s essay you’d see how they minimize the translation claim. It’s a Public Relations masterpiece to convince their “sheeple”.

    Immediately following footnote indicator 29 of http://www.lds.org/topics/translation-and-historicity-of-the-book-of-abraham

    Illustrations once connected with Abraham could have either drifted or been dislodged from their original context and reinterpreted hundreds of years later in terms of burial practices in a later period of Egyptian history. The opposite could also be true: illustrations with no clear connection to Abraham anciently could, by revelation, shed light on the life and teachings of this prophetic figure.

    I say:

    This is a pumpkin/coach Cinderella story put forth as possibly true by somebody who should recognize his proposal is as fictional as Cinderella’s coach. Is there any possibility at all that such a thing could in reality be expected?

    • Alice Spicer May 1, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      Hello Lanny,

      Welcome back. I have genuinely missed your input here (most of it, anyhow). This is the first comment I read directed to me. I see there’s another, but I will respond to this one first. Thanks for the info on the Mormons. I intend to continue studying with them, not for the purpose of becoming a Mormon, but to have a solid understanding of what they believe. I think it is important to establish relationships with people who are interested in discussing spiritual concepts, and engage in some deep discussion, regardless of whether their ideas resonate with me (as true) or not. My goal is to engage in spiritual discussion with whoever God puts in my path or maybe the other way around, to put myself out there for others. I’ll keep in mind what you have said and perhaps bring it into discussion with the Mormons if a door opens.

      • Lanny A. Eichert May 2, 2017 at 4:19 pm

        Alice,
        Beware, you’d be “studying” with the father of lies, Satan; and opening yourself to demonism. Most ex-mormons who have left the Church, meaning the Mormon Church, leave because they discovered they’ve been lied to. Mormons believe theirs is the only TRUE church and all others only have partial truth. They will avoid telling people their “scriptures” group all other churches into “that great church of the devil, the mother of abominations, the whore of all the earth” {1 Nephi 14: 10}. They will downplay that text just like the essay I quoted downplays Joseph Smith’s translation of the Egyptian characters. Mormonism is a great deception and that essay should be sufficient to display that. Their spiritualism is a satanic counterfeit and you want to listen to their spiritual concepts? God protect you in your foolishness !!!

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