Saturday, May 12, 2007

Witnessing at the Gateway


The Utah team goes out once a week to a local mall to preach the Gospel. This is always a highlight of the week. Lately we have had a young man named Sheldon come and heckle us. He is a Mormon young man who is very deceived. He likes to stick around because his strategy is to keep us talking with him so that we will not talk to others. I find this interesting since that is in line with Satan's plans to thwart Christians from sharing their faith. When they do get them tied up in circular conversations. Well this week I took the bait a good majority of the night and after preaching I ended up talking with this young kid. First he is very bitter towards Christianity, and I explained how he is Anti-Christian as a Mormon. He wanted me to see all of his "proofs" for why he thought the Bible validated what he said. He used the same 5 verses that Mormons have used for 150 years to justify their behavior and their theology. All of these verses are taken out of context, it is almost like they have not understood the Bible. Frankly I did not have much patience after he told me his motive was to tie me up in this meaningless conversation. This poor deceived young man is going to Hell if he continues in his idolatry. We prayed for him at the end and asked him if we could pray with him, he said we had no "authority" to pray for him. So after he tried to make his case for 30 minutes that he was in fact a Christian, by Christian definitions which he is not, he then would not accept a Christian prayer. I am so saddened by this now, he will stand before God one day and be judged for his idolatry and blasphemy. I told him he knew the truth and he chooses to follow his way because it suits him. That stunned him for quite some time. Ultimately that is what it always comes down to. The only difference between a Mormon and an Atheist is the Sin that keeps them from the Savior. A Mormon just loves to violate the 1st 2nd and 3rd commandment, making a god in their "own" image. Although having wrote that and watching the recent debate, many Atheist make themselves a "god" in their "own" image as well. I know I did that, I made a god to suit myself for years until our gracious Lord and Savior saved me.

So I close with a thought and prayer, let my heart continue to be broken for those that have rejected our Lord. Not for humanistic reasons, but because these people are worthy reward for the Lamb that was slain for all those who will Repent and Trust in Jesus Christ.

4 Comments:

Leonard said...

I know what you are saying. This man Sheldon is on my heart as of late. Since I was sick, I did not see him this week but the past two times I have conversed with him. The problem is that he is good at tying you up and getting you to talk with him while others walk on by. We have to pray for him but also not let him monopolize our time. Easier said then done, and doing it in a loving and respectful manner is even more difficult. I guess we should count his presence as glory since he will make us dig deeper into our own faith and rely on the Lord more. I am sorrowful for how very deceived this man is but at least he keeps coming out. He is hearing the Gospel over and over and those seeds are planted. If he does exit this life without the Savior, it will not be because the Lord didn't try with him. But if he truly does seek and find, we will glory in Jesus with him forever.

Keeping him lifted up....

sheldon said...

Interesting perspective. A bit distorted, however. I'll make a few points (solely to balance out your post) and be on my way, as this is not the right forum to discuss our contrasting views on theology (I had hoped to have a more mature conversation on the street, but unfortunately, this did not take place).

To be perfectly clear, let me just state the reasons why I interact with your group, and your readers can decided for themselves who I am:

#1. I live and work in the Gateway. As it happens, every time I come home from work in the evening I walk past your group on my way home. This is hard to get around, as I literally have to walk past you to get to my building.

#2. EVERY time I pass by, there is someone in your group that seeks to attack someone based on their beliefs (or the lack thereof). What I see is not a sincere heart-to-heart discussion between brothers and sisters of the Father, but instead a rally with props and microphones designed to offend. If a discussion begins with me (someone aware of the doctrine, the church history, etc.) than that dialogue is more productive, than simply yelling out something to someone passing by. (Your efforts are also seen by others as more credible...when you actually put away the contention).

#3. Mormonism is inevitably the target. There is always someone in your group that will shout something out, in reference to Mormonism. This only invites conflict. In my view, your approach is one degree less than the protesters that shout in our faces and drag the Book of Mormon on the ground, on our way to General Conference every six months. If you want to have a discussion than let's have it on some common ground. Too many times you turn off people the first second. I spoke with Tommy the other night, and with Leonard, and the dialogue was way more positive, even though we disagreed. This is how it should be.

Regarding your post, let me just respond to these comments:


"....Lately we have had a young man named Sheldon come and heckle us..."

Andy. I "heckled" you? We both know that is inaccurate. Don't make it out to be more than it was. When we met, I shook your hand and introduced myself, saying I had vaguely placed your face on television, and then we started talking. Remember? Is that heckling? When did I raise my voice? When did I attack you? You were the one who walked away. You were the one who got on your microphone and started broadcasting my name with your message. You were the one who, again, approached me when one member of your group and I were having a real discussion, not an attacking session. Saying I was somehow "bitter" and "Anti-Christian" is unfair.

"...I told him he knew the truth and he chooses to follow his way because it suits him. That stunned him for quite some time..."

This sentence is a bit funny, I'm sorry. What stunned me for some time was your behavior. Seriously. Several times when we were talking, you'd cut me off. Several times you'd get defensive. I remember trying to get you to settle down a bit and simply talk. If anything, I was "stunned" by the contrasts of your TV personality with your hostility in person.

''...I did not have much patience after he told me his motive was to tie me up in this meaningless conversation..."

I remember saying something to the effect that as long as you're TALKING (having a discussion) with me than you wouldn't be attacking/offending everyone else. If you're talking to me, someone who knows the doctrine, the history of the church, etc., than maybe we can get somewhere. My motive is NOT to tie you up in a "meaningless conversation." From my perspective, that was the result of your behavior.

"...he then would not accept a Christian prayer..."

Two reasons.

1. Someone offended is not prone to praying with his offender.
2. Personally, I adhere to the scriptures that talk of praying in secret, and not to be seen of men. Now if we were in a private place, if the discussion were productive, that would be a different story, right?

In any case, Andy, maybe you and I will get things started off on a better note next time you're in the neighborhood. God bless.

Leonard said...

Sheldon,

It was a better conversation this last weekend. I am glad we got to have it. But I must say, what you posted is not accurate.

While it may be your feelings, I think they are tainted by the idea of anyone that speaks against your faith. We bring the whole Gospel of God to the people. We are not there to speak against mormonism or any other faith but the simple fact is that we live in SLC Utah. The topic of mormonism is going to come up and typically it is not us who bring it up.

To compare us to those who blow their noses in garments and drag the b.o.m. on the sidewalk is unfair. We are there to preach what God has told us to.

We speak of the Law of God because unless one has repented and given their life to Jesus, they are under it and in a child of wrath. They will not see the grace of God but they will feel his judgment. That is a very important thing to let people know. Only when a person is thinking they are good and can make it to Heaven on their merits, they simply cannot have a relationship with Him who can save. Sheldon, we have personally spoken of this and I do believe that you are relying on yourself to get most of the way there and then hoping Jesus will fill in the gap. I have stated to you mulitiple times that Jesus will be all or He will be nothing. He has done it ALL and is ALL you need for salvation.

I personally don't feel the real need to discuss mormonism, islam, or any other religion. I only feel that each person walking by needs to know that until they belong to Jesus Christ through spiritual re-birth which is a gift of God accessed through faith ALONE, that they are heading to hell. Once they know that and are ready, I long to tell them the Good News. I also long to see you accept that.

Sheldon, you stated in your post that we are all children of the Father. Again, this is just not true. We are all His creation and have to opportunity to become adopted into His family as sons and daughters but until we accept that, we simply are not.

I want nothing more then to be able to call you brother. I just cannot until you receive that spirit of adoption.

I will certainly be praying for that day.....

fred said...

I do not know this Sheldon person, but I do understand how hard it is to stand by and listen to folks who lie about my Church. It is even harder to stand by and listen to those who have been decieved by the antiMormon liers, when the misdirected people truly believe the lies they are teasching about Mormon to be the truth.
fred