Monday, January 11, 2016

I Miss the Mormons

At the end of September, we moved to Oklahoma from Texas.

I like Oklahoma. And when we move from Oklahoma, I'll miss it. But right now I'm missing Texas.

I miss my church. I miss my neighbors. I miss my friendly neighborhood Chick-Fil-A. And... I miss the Mormons.

You know what? We lived in a bustling little suburb of Houston, TX (which, by the way, is in a continuous wrestle with Chicago for third most populous US city). Now we live in the middle of nowhere. I like it that way, but it takes some getting used to. I've always seen houses out my bedroom window, but now I see a hay field. The closest place to buy anything is QuickTrip, which is 5 miles away. Fortunately for us, their donuts are pretty good.

In Texas, we were about half a mile from the closest branch of the public library. A few summers ago I volunteered at the library, every Tuesday afternoon. And every Tuesday afternoon, like clock-work, a pile of young Mormon men would pile in and claim all of the computers. Apparently Atascocita, Texas is a popular place for Mormons to go on missions to. Idk.

I went about my duties. I kept my eyes on my work. I worried that one of them may try to witness to me, or something. Like, not witness, but the thing Mormons do to tell you how to be a Mormon.

And every so often, they would make their rounds of the neighborhood houses, ringing our bell, handing out literature, or leaving it on the door of houses that nobody answered at. I'd beg to not have to open the door.

And I miss that.

Not for reasons of wanting to be in regular presence of Mormons, really, but I miss it, because I regret how I handled those opportunities, which I no longer have.

The thought that holds out my hope is YOU. If I pass on the lesson I learned, maybe others will read it, realize their room for growth, and I can be "redeemed", to a certain extent, of all of those years I failed my God. Y'all, don't make the same mistakes I have. Because, if you do, one day you might move to the middle-of-nowhere and regret your lost opportunities. That, and our God deserves better.

The Battleplan

     1. Recognize the True Enemy

When we look at people that might be against our Gospel, the One True Gospel, we must realize that they are not our enemy. As Christians, we only have one enemy. That one enemy is the reason people are confused, blinded, and led astray (see 2 Tim. 2:26). Yes, we all have sin-nature, but none of us are smart enough to come up with an entire false religion all by our lonesome. It's all inspired by one side or the other.

Once you can look at somebody, not as an enemy, but as one fooled by the enemy, you are one giant step towards being able to help them. And you have nothing to fear in this; for that one solitary enemy has already been defeated.   

     2. Open the Door

I failed because I was afraid. I was uncertain. I was ashamed.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. "
-Romans 1:16

Even though I was not consciously or purposely choosing to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, my actions and, even more so, lack of actions, proved otherwise. I knew what I was supposed to be doing (Great Commission, anyone?), but I didn't do it.

"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
-James 4:17

     3. Give the Gospel

Anybody that's tried their hand at witnessing, or even passing out tracts, knows that this one is definitely easier said than done, on occasion. I don't have a step-by-step sure-fire method for this. But I do know it's necessary.

So I know, if we're still talking about Mormons, that they'll try to give you literature. There are two sides to how you react to being offered the literature, both can be Biblical, if you strip certain verses out of context, but my personal, Bible-based opinion on the matter is this: if I were blinded as they are, and I thought I was doing right by telling them about my "gospel" (think brain-washed, like Nazi soldiers), I wouldn't take the Gospel they were trying to give me, if they wouldn't even take mine.

Some people completely disagree with my stance, and that's okay. I just don't want to give them an "out" to not take my tract. If they do decline it, I'll give theirs back. If it's in their possession, there is hope. I'll just rip up whatever they give me and bury it in the trash. They might do the same, but maybe not... Our God works in mysterious ways.

I would most certainly not allow them to come into my house and talk to me, but if I quote some Scriptures concerning the True Gospel, and get a tract in their hand while standing at the front door, I'd be satisfied to have done my Christian duty. And think on Galatians 1:9, but let God do the accursing.

     4. Pray for Them

You've planted the seed. Now, pray. If you caught their names, write them down. Have your family pray also, and mention their names at meal-time prayers, asking God to prick their hearts and open their eyes to their lost condition and their need for Him.

Some Verses on the Subject...

"When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."
- Proverbs 16:7

('Enemies' in this context meaning 'adversaries', or basically, 'opposing forces'.)

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
- 2 Peter 3:9

(All means all.)

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"
- Romans 8:31

(God is for this cause. God is for you.)

That's it for today. Take advantage of your circumstances, and be a light for Jesus!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments almost as much as I love dark chocolate (and that's a lot!), so be sure to leave your thoughts for me!!

All comments are moderated, so if you don't see your comment right away, don't worry, just give it a couple of hours to be published.

Thanks so very much for reading!

01 09 10 01 09 10