Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kudos to the Mormons

Yes, you read me right. And here's why:

While some big parts of their doctrine are off, they are amazing at leading by example where evangelism is concerned. The Mormon religion is growing at a rapid rate, while Christianity is declining at a break-neck pace. Where is all of this coming from? you ask. I'll tell you.

My mom and I took my little buddy to the park last week, and were met about a minute later by a dude on a bike wearing a tie, white dress shirt, and black pants and shoes. The bike was a dead giveaway. You guessed it - the Mormons had invaded our park for the afternoon and it looked as though they had no plans for leaving any time soon. My mom, being the sweet, non-confrontational woman she is, proceeded to interact with the guy as he talked about the pretty day and a few other small-talk subjects. As she stood there listening, I walked off with Bennett a little ways and proceeded to get my feathers ruffled and think to myself, "The nerve of these guys (there was another guy talking to another woman a few yards away) invading the space of people who just want to get out and enjoy the sunshine and play with their kids! What an inconvenient and ridiculous time to have a discussion or debate about their beliefs!" I proceeded to eavesdrop on the conversation my mom and dude were having, and continued feeling more and more uptight about it. I had several things I wanted to say about his doctrine, about the Book of Mormon, about Joseph Smith, etc. I was fairly annoyed and wound up when their conversation wrapped up about 10 minutes later.

Then my mom and I started talking about it, and I watched these two guys for a while. People were talking to them, interacting with them, flipping through the pages of the Bible with them. And there was no rush or inconvenience to these guys because that's all they do for two years! It's their job and commitment to talk with and listen to other people. It's their job to talk about God. I was amazed at the direction my thoughts began to take. The fact is, these guys have committed TWO YEARS of their lives to doing this: evangelizing with the purpose and intent of saving the lost and teaching them about God and about what they believe. The fact is, they humble themselves and make themselves completely identifiable, making certain there is no doubt what they believe and what their purpose is: to bring their good news to others. The fact is, never have I made such a commitment or been so passionate and obedient to my calling for the Lord, which I am ashamed to say.

And so, instead of being defensive or judgmental or annoyed by these people, I'd really like to say that we as Christians could learn so very much from them about how to serve the kingdom of our Lord. They're getting it done, they're wrestling down to the mat, and they're putting their backs into what they believe. When was the last time I really did that? Ouch. We Christians are pretty big weenies when it comes to evangelizing and bringing the good news to the masses. We're cowardly and afraid of what others might think or say (this of course is a generalization - I'm fully aware that some of you out there are evangelical powerhouses, and I applaud you for doing kingdom business as we all should!) and too comfortable on our cushy behinds (maybe those behinds wouldn't be so cushy if we rode our bikes more like the Mormons do! :) ).

So though we don't agree on several key issues and that is definitely important, I still say Kudos to the Mormons because they are doing what I should be doing, at least symbolically.

Side note: I CAN NOT get any of the videos I've taken of Bennett to upload. ALL of them are too big *sigh* so the next time I take a video, I'll make it short and sweet so I can post it.


angela said...

...the moon? I can't quit laughing at that corny picture.:) I do agree that there is something to learn from them. We need to pray and allow God to use us as He wills. Sometimes we rush through life without letting God "inconvenience" us. Maybe stepping out of our comfort zone is just what He wants.

Jennifer said...

God loves the people on the moon, too, Angela! :) That's pretty much what I'm trying to say. We're just SO comfortable in our society and culture.

Haley said...

ok well I am so glad someone out there is impressed by the mormons too, I wrote a post about it a few months ago and had some random person chew me out abou thow horrible they were and blah blah but my whole point was that they commit to spreading the word like no other religion out there!

Emily said...

We have a new-to-our-family friend that is Mormon and they have really caused me to find out a lot more about their religion. You're right about the fact that a lot of their doctrine is feather-ruffling, but I love that they put themselves right in persecution's way to make a stand for their faith. The people that do this are usually pretty young, and there is no telling how ugly people can be to them, but they stick to it. Considering we have a hard time just getting enough of our members to teach Sunday school classes, it is pretty inspiring!