Why Orthodox Christians are Converting to Mormonism? – Chapter 4

CHAPTER FOUR

Plan of Action

Introduction: 

In this chapter the task will be formulating a plan of action to resolve the problem of Christians converting to the Mormon religion.  The plan will propose the following three objectives to address reasons why Christians leave the faith:  1) Promote an understanding of the essential doctrines through teaching and equipping Christians in the San Diego North County with the truth of Scripture and error of Mormonism; 2) Create an outreach ministry to educate Mormons in the San Diego North County on the truth of Christianity and clarify the misunderstandings their religion promotes about the Church; and 3) Petition local Churches to be unified in praying for Christians to avoid converting to Mormonism and for Mormons to come to true faith in Christ. Objective 1:  Promote an understanding of the essential doctrines through teaching and equipping Christians in the San Diego North  County with the truth of Scripture and error of Mormonism.             The primary reason that orthodox Christians convert to Mormonism boils down too an ignorance to essential doctrines of the faith.  The principles analyzed in the previous chapters seem to support this, since they all are linked to doctrinal positions.  It has been explained that if these doctrines were properly understood the orthodox Christian would most likely avoid affiliation with the Mormon religion.  The claims that Mormons advance would be refuted by the clear teaching of Scripture, thus the possibility of persuasion would be diminished.  As a result, the first objective attempts to increase the awareness of the truth of the faith among orthodox Christians.          The means that will be employed to achieve this objective will be a teaching ministry that will work along side of local Churches to equip their members in the essential truths of the faith.  Along with these essential truths an understanding of the accurate transmission of the Bible and the historic development of the canon are keys to confronting the challenge of Mormonism.  In order to increase the outreach ministry will rely heavily on the assistance of the Pastors and Elders in these local congregations.  Since they know there congregations the best they will be best equipped to deliver the message.  There will be curriculum developed primarily aimed at addressing the areas that leave Christians most vulnerable to conversion (mostly comprised of the three principles cited in the previous chapters).  The challenge will be to overcome the current apathy and reservations many Churches have towards emphasizing doctrine.  However, if the arguments advanced in this paper are correct then hopefully the concern of losing more Christians to Mormonism will merit their cooperation. This exercise of correcting error and clarifying truth is nothing new to the Church.  As stated previously, virtually all the Epistles in the New Testament were written for this same reason (Jude 3).  Certainly, if this is the pattern given by the apostles of the Church it is not beneath the present day Church to engage in this same struggle.            By implementing this objective the ideal result will be to reduce dramatically or even eliminate any orthodox Christians from converting to the Mormon religion.  Furthermore, it will be to strengthen the faith of Christians that they may understand God’s word in a more intimate way.  Growing in the knowledge of the only authoritative source will equip them to stand firm against false teaching (2 Tim 3:16).  The program will be designed to be reviewed in one week intervals for a period of 16 weeks.  Depending on how quickly the objective is implemented throughout the region, the anticipated time table for results will be up to four to six months.  This can only be achieved by delegating the implementation to individual Churches.   

 

Once this objective has been deployed and completed by the local congregations in the San Diego North County, hopefully it will not be forgotten.  The next step will be to implement it as a regular tool to be reviewed in Church youth groups.  This will help equip the subsequent generations with the tools necessary to avoid conversion to Mormonism.  Thus, it would be an attempt to solidify longer term results to further reverse the current trends.  The other long term goal would for this objective to spread beyond the local region and address the problem elsewhere.  

Objective 2:  Create an outreach ministry to educate Mormons in the San Diego North County on the truth of Christianity and clarify the misunderstandings their religion promotes about the Church.           

The first objective is defensive in nature this next objective would be categorized as an offensive strategy.  There is some merit to the saying that the best defense is a good offense, which is what is being sought here.  There is no question, however that this will prove to be an extremely formidable task.  The Mormon leadership is much more astute in preventing their members from straying off the reservation.  Furthermore, the indoctrination of antichristian propaganda and animosity towards the Church will be difficult barriers to overcome.  Nonetheless, an attempt must be made to bring the truth to the Mormon community otherwise there will be no hope for them to change (Rom 10:14-17).           

The resources created in the first objective may be implemented in this objective, however an addendum will need to be created to deal with other various elements contained in the religion.  As noted in our previous chapters, the three primary areas that need to be clarified to Mormons are the parameters for special revelation, refuting the claim that the Church needed full restoration and the proper understanding of grace.  These are where the emphasis should be and the rest are ancillary merely flowing from these three major tenets.  Of course, the forum for presenting this information will be different and the chances of gaining an audience will be difficult.  There are three mediums in which the prospects may be presented with the message.  First, will be a formal venue or an attempt to gain invitation into the Mormon ward.  The best chance to achieve this maybe in a debate setting where ideas can be presented, challenged and defended in front of an audience.  Second, will be an informal venue or presenting ideas to individual Mormons and seeking to persuade them to the truth.  These opportunities are likely to occur with the Mormon missionaries who are the most visible prospects to reach. 

Finally, the information will be presented in printed format and through the internet.  This has the potential for reaching a broader audience and provides the privacy that may be necessary to make an impact.  The challenge will be in marketing this effort to the people that are intended to hear this message.  Perhaps, this option can be assisted by the Christian community in the region.  Most Christians have some exposure to Mormons through work, school and the neighborhoods they live in.  Thus, this may prove to be the more successful means of reaching the prospects with the message.           

This objective seeks to counter the efforts of the Mormon religion by proselytizing them rather than waiting to be proselytized.  The goal of converting the Mormons to the Christian religion will help achieve the primary objective in reducing Mormonism.  Due to the difficulty of reaching the desired audience not a very large percentage is expected to be converted.  Nonetheless, the effort will be worth while even if very few are converted since they will be receiving the salvation of their souls.  It is difficult to gauge the time table for producing results from this objective.  It is probable that change will not occur for an extended period of time at least one to two years.  However, if local Churches sought to commit resources comparable to the Mormon religions missionary endeavors more success would be expected.          Objective 3:  Petition local Churches to be unified in Praying for Christians to avoid converting to Mormonism and for Mormons to come to true faith in Christ.The final objective that will be addressed in this chapter involves a practice that will enhance the efforts of the first two objectives.  Although, the practice of prayer is an indirect function there is no doubt as to the importance and effectiveness it has in life.  Certainly the way that prayer works is mysterious and can easily be neglected or forgotten.  Nonetheless, it should not be neglected since it remains an integral part of the blessings that have been bestowed upon the lives of the saints and the life of the Church.  John Calvin points out the folly of neglecting this essential practice of the Christian life:

Otherwise, to know God as the master and bestower of all good things, who invites us to request them of him, and still not go to him and not ask of him – this would be of as little profit as for a man to neglect a treasure, buried and hidden in the earth after it had been pointed out to him.  John Calvin (1509-1564), Institutes of the Christian Religion (The Library of Christian Classics, translated by Ford Lewis Battles), Louisville:  Westminster John Knox Press, p 850

 

 

Thus, with so great a gift that has been given to Christians it would be wise to employ its use to balance out the current plan of action.  If the first objective was defensive, the second offensive, this final objective is like the home field advantage, which increases the probability of success in executing the game plan. 

 

 

This objective will request the assistance of all Christians in the region in an effort to increase the effectiveness it has.  As a result, the outreach will depend heavily on the cooperation of local Churches.  The more involvement that is achieved, the more effective this objective will be in realizing success.  The objective will comprise of formal prayer requests for Christians to remain vigilant in their faith and not to be converted to Mormonism.  In addition, prayers for Mormons to come to faith in the true Christ bringing them out of falsehood will be requested.  In order to maintain the focus of the prayers monthly updates will be issued.  These updates will identify progress that has been made and also outline more specific prayers for each day of the week.  The prayers will reflect the desired goals of the first two objectives.  This will include praying for Christians to grow in the knowledge of the faith and in understanding of essential truths.  For the Church to grow in influence and be effective in carrying out its mission of proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples.  The prayers will also be for Christians individually and corporately to grow in sanctification and godly living.  Prayers will also be offered for those in the Mormon faith to find trust and clarity in their understanding of the Scripture.  For God to be merciful to them and free them from the bondage of false teaching.  For opportunities to share the Gospel with them and that they would hear the truth in those encounters.  Every month these prayer requests will be updated, sometimes reflecting general petitions and other times making specific requests.       

 The goal of this objective will be to assist the efforts made in the first objective of preventing Christians from converting to Mormonism.  This objective will also hope to assist in the efforts of the second objective of converting Mormons to the orthodox Christian faith.  The focus of this change will be on the local San Diego North County region.  The anticipated time table for change will be identical to the time tables indicated in the first two objectives.  However, relying on God’s grace and sovereignty the results will be exactly what He has planned from all eternity.  Yet, rather than sit back and do nothing it would be wise to fulfill the duty of prayer.  The same God who already knows the end from the beginning still promises that He hears prayer, which can accomplish much (Proverbs 15:29, James 5:16).

 

The plan of action proposed seeks to bring a balanced approach to address a dilemma faced in the Church today.  The three objectives addressing false teaching, training believers in the truth, seeking the lost and appealing to prayer all find support in Scripture.  This plan relies on participation from local congregations and the results will depend on their willingness to confront this problem.  The congregations that will most likely resist the claims of this paper will be those who identify themselves as charismatic.  This is understandable since many of the content contained in Principle 1 contradicts their views.  Unfortunately, this is the group that is probably the most vulnerable to the Mormon claims.  Rather than resist the efforts, hopefully this will present an opportunity to discuss these ideas in a rational and charitable way seeking to understand God’s truth better.

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Responses

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  2. As I said in the comments about your first three chapters, I am a Mormon. I like a good scripture-based scolding–we can all use one from time to time,– but this section is not productive… So, you would like to wreck havoc on the Mormon olive grove? Let me carry your load for a few leagues by telling you how to win your victory: 1.) First, know your enemy. We Mormons are too busy with our own walk with the Savior to be distracted by bystanders. Get in the parade. Come to our priesthood meetings and learn what, when, and where our community service projects will be. Then come to those projects and overwhelm us with your Christ-like desire to serve. Make us ashamed of our meager efforts. 2.) Seek out the poor, the hungry, the prisoners, any who stand in need of your help. If you can’t find them on your own, we have a list and we would be happy to share it with you. Again, wow us with your manifest desire to follow in the Master’s footsteps. 3.) Attend our meetings and share in the Spirit. Add your prayers to ours and listen to the answer with your heart. See if there is love for you, then overwhelm us with your love for us. Do all these things and you will have your victory… I am sorry for your pain and confusion, your anger and fear. I am sorry you have not heard a calling. You are not forsaken. The stone you have rejected is the rock that can protect you and bring you out from your disappointments. Quit kicking against the pricks. A happier life awaits you.


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