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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Under protest!

by Eric

During the month of August, a number of Christians took turns standing in 100-degree heat in order to offer a “temple newspaper” to anyone willing to open his or her car window. In addition, these Christians held simple signs advertising the website address (www.sacredorsecret.com), which proved to be an effective tactic helping allure 50-100 daily visitors to the site that offers a PDF file of the newspaper along with articles showing why Mormonism is not the same as “Christianity.”

Many Mormons feel that our approach is synonymous with a “protest.” For instance, the LDS temple leadership always referred to us as “protestors” to the media. Yesterday I was talking to several Christians about this recent outreach. One of them sided with the Mormons, saying that he too felt our outreach was a “protest.” Our conversation went like this:

Joe: “How was what you were doing not a protest?”

Me: “If we were protestors, then what were we ‘protesting’?”

Joe: “The Mormon Church.”

Me: “You need to understand that we did not have bullhorns or giant signs calling Mormons evil people. Our handheld signs merely listed a web site address. We said nothing unless we were spoken to first, and we spent most of the time out there merely smiling while watching for car windows being rolled down because the occupants wanted one of our newspapers.”

Joe: “But you were still in opposition to the Mormon Church.”

Me: “The main purpose for our being there was to communicate to the nonMormons that there was another side of the story that they were not being told inside. We didn’t use web site signs until last year because the temple visitors were transported in buses, meaning we couldn’t even offer newspapers to them. Our goal is to merely provide information to those who might be interested. If you don’t want the information, then don’t take the newspaper and don’t go to the web site. This approach has proved to be successful.”

Joe: “But isn’t your very presence a protest?”

Me: “Would you say that the Dominoes pizza guy holding up a sign that says ‘We have $5 pizzas’ is ‘protesting’ Papa Johns?”

Joe: “But what if the Dominoes guy stands in front of Papa Johns with the sign? Would this not be a protest?”

Me: “The Dominoes guy can stand outside Papa Johns with this sign and hope that people might go to his pizza store rather than the competitor’s. But if the sign he holds is merely advertising his product, I’m not sure how this can be classified as a ‘protest.’ Surely you wouldn’t say he was ‘protesting’ Papa Johns despite his position right outside the Papa Johns store. Our outreach is merely informational and is not meant to be a ‘protest,’ as it is defined in today’s usage."

I then went on to explain that we had a presence at the Sacramento temple only during the open house. Once the temple was closed to visitors, we too would leave. We purposely don’t go to LDS chapels or temples and hold signs at these places because, quite frankly, this really wouldn’t be an effective way to evangelize.

So why are we at the temple open houses? It is because Mormon Church leaders are very clever to make their temples look as Christian as they possibly can. For instance, they post pictures of Jesus throughout the building while very clearly calling themselves “Christian” in the promotional video shown to all guests. Unfortunately they just don’t provide honest information as they deny the fact that Mormonism denies or distorts every fundamental teaching of the historic Christian church.

I believe that these outreaches are too important for the Christian church to close its proverbial eyes and not provide information that will better help an interested individual make an informed decision. No, it’s not a protest. It’s what we call evangelism. When the Christian church loses its ability to stand for truth, it will have lost its salt and light. I hope to never see that day arrive.

5 Comments:

  • At September 12, 2006 1:44 PM, Blogger Cameron said…

    Thank you for this post Eric, after I returned from the Sacramento trip I received a lot of flack from some of my friends. I explained to them that I was participating out of love for the Mormon people and not in anyway ‘protesting’ against them. I like the way that you have explained your position and look forward to using it if the topic comes up again.

    God Bless!

    Cameron Woodward
    Cameron@forthehope.com

     
  • At September 13, 2006 3:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Eric

    You say in your post that

    "as they deny the fact that
    Mormonism denies or distorts
    every fundamental teaching of
    the historic Christian church."

    When in truth it was the "historic Christian Church" that distorted Christ's very teachings and practices over time. The "dark ages" era that I'm confident you have heard of evidences this period without Christ's revelatory direction. Why does it not make sense to Evangelical Christians that a complete and utter restoration of all of Christ's teachings and doctrine be administered by the Savior himself and be absolutely necessary?

     
  • At September 14, 2006 12:17 AM, Blogger Ashley said…

    Your "protest" at temples is the right thing to do! As His body, we must stand up for the Savior. We have to let people know that the LDS organization is no more than a wolf in sheeps' clothing. If your sign led even one potential Mormon convert away from their lies, you have succeeded!

    I found your site after reading Answers to Mormons' Questions. You are doing good things to shine the light of truth on the terrible teachings of the LDS "church." For a long time now, I've felt that the Mormon people have been hoodwinked: they are told they are following Christ, when in fact they are being led further and further away from Him by Satan. To me it seems very "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," you know, the Wizard of Oz.

    I have some Mormon friends, and my husband and I have been very reluctant to witness to them or meet with their missionaries because we know they are well armed against the truth of the gospel. Sad, but true. Your ministry has encouraged me to attempt to help them out of their slavery.

    I love that their knowledge of scripture (albeit, distorted in it's application) can be our greatest weapon against the LDS church: they already have the Word in them, we just need to help them evict the LDS. We can take advantage of their eagerness to have faith in God to destroy their faith in man and earthly organizations.

    Thank you for your works!!
    Ashley Atkinson

     
  • At September 14, 2006 7:41 AM, Blogger Jeff Downs said…

    The "dark ages" era that I'm confident you have heard of evidences this period without Christ's revelatory direction.

    This is a very shallow understanding of this era...and therefore misses it big time.

     
  • At September 14, 2006 12:59 PM, Blogger rick b said…

    Anonymous said When in truth it was the "historic Christian Church" that distorted Christ's very teachings and practices over time. The "dark ages" era that I'm confident you have heard of evidences this period without Christ's revelatory direction. Why does it not make sense to Evangelical Christians that a complete and utter restoration of all of Christ's teachings and doctrine be administered by the Savior himself and be absolutely necessary?

    Can I ask a few questions?
    Why is it LDS say they are Christians, But yet claim what we as Christians believe has become "Distorted". How can you claim to be Christian yet believe acorrputed Gospel?

    How come LDS can Knock on my Door, when I say I follow Christ, the LDS say well your gospel needed to be restored and were here to share the restored gospel with you, But yet when We share with the LDS through blogs or other means, we are called ANTI and hateful. How come it only works one way? Rick b

     

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