By Rev. Brian Eenigenburg
Holy Instant Christian Fellowship
In the first part of this article, I suggested two simple approaches you can use to help friends and relatives see that Mormons are just like you and me, and have a great deal to offer in this day and age to make our world a better world.
That’s a start. But a third approach goes a little deeper as you clarify a few misconceptions for those close to you and help them see that there is nothing to fear from Mormon theology.
Although it might seem strange to theologians, the primary concern of Jesus Christ is not theology. In His words, “Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial, since they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary.” (ACIM Manual for Teachers)
In other words, Jesus is telling us it is the spiritual experience that really matters, and by implication we really needn’t care what theology others temporarily hold in mind, because He guarantees that the same experience waits for all of us. Hallelujah!
This is not to say that somebody couldn’t invent a theology which makes it very difficult for people to accept the experience Jesus offers us. Many political leftists have made Marxism their “religious theology” without a God, yet if you talk to anybody who has ever lived under a Marxist regime you will be told horror stories of real institutionalized oppression, as well as an all-pervading suppression of spiritual experience. Even in 2007 in the Democratic Party we see a new-leftist candidate, Barack Obama, who subscribes to misnamed “liberation theology,” which is an attempt to sneak the wolf into the flock in sheep’s clothing- Marxism clothed as Christianity.
Mitt Romney is light-years ahead of Barack Obama. Mormonism, unlike Marxism, does not inconvenience the individual spiritual experience, but strongly encourages the spiritual awareness which Jesus invites us to focus on.
Some might say, “But Mormons have such a weird theology? I know they are not saved.”
Does anyone really have so little trust in Jesus Christ? All Mormons deeply believe and thoroughly testify that Jesus Christ is their savior. They place their attention on Jesus Christ many times throughout their days and accept Him into their lives as completely as possible, attempting to feel His presence and hear His guidance. Can anyone really believe that Jesus will not perfectly care for and guide His Mormon sheep, just as He cares for and guides other Christians? To say that Mormons are not saved is to place no trust in the power and intention of Jesus Christ.
"But Mormons have other scriptures besides the Bible."
It certainly seems so, judging by surface appearances, doesn't it? But Jesus warns us against judging by surface appearances. I am a devout Christian living in a heavily Mormon state and I've talked at length with many Mormons. Active Mormons have told me the only true "holy scripture" of Mormons is the Holy Bible. Yes, Mormons have other books they revere, just as Catholics and Protestants have the books of St Augustine, Martin Luther, or John Calvin. But they say their "Book of Mormon," for example, is not on a par with "holy scripture," but is "another testament to Jesus Christ," which they say is a highly valuable aid in understanding the Bible.
In short, unlike the "liberation theology" of Barack Obama, Mormons have had no agenda to redefine or remake Christianity. Mormons understand that salvation is a very personal experience between Jesus Christ and individuals, not between Jesus Christ and social groups deemed to be "oppressed."
If you are able to use this viewpoint I have gained of Mormons to lovingly nudge your friends and acquaintances to open their minds a bit, they will certainly feel the spiritual joy of freeing themselves from any unreasonable nitpicking that might have been in their their minds. Mormons do not judge other Christians. What sense does it make for other Christians to judge Mormons?
Finally, if your friends and acquaintances achieve a little openness and indicate they might be willing to consider Mitt Romney for President you'll want to loan them a book to read. So be sure to have on hand several copies of "A Mormon in the White House?" by Hugh Hewitt. You can also ask them if they would like you to send a video clip they can watch on their computer: Mormon in the White House video clip.
One time I heard inside, "Pray for Sean to arrive." I didn't know at the time who Sean was and objected, "I'm not going to pray to influence a person's decisions!" My inner voice answered, "Just pray for Sean's resistance release. He wants to arrive, but he is in resistance." I didn't mind praying for someone to release resistance, since resistance release is the teaching of Jesus. Within a couple months I met Sean and had a new friend and spiritual ally.
When you go among your friends, acquaintances, and relatives with the goal not of influencing their vote but of helping them to release unreasonable resistance, you are helping your friends more than you imagine. And who knows? They might have wanted to release their resistance anyway ... so they could arrive and be with Mitt Romney.
Friday, April 20, 2007
By Rev. Brian Eenigenburg