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#14945 Wed May 26, 2004 10:48 AM
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Just a few minutes ago, I was vacuuming in the living room when I saw two clean cut young men with white shirts and ties and little black name tags approaching my front door. I was right; they were Mormons. I smiled and told them that I was not interested in talking to them today. They began to insist they had good news for me and I again told them, "I am not interested in talking to you today." I was not mean, just firm.

But now I am wondering if I did the right thing. What is the correct response when the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking at your door? What do you do?


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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It just depends. I have found myself in similar situations. I have rarely had cultist come to my door, but I do encounter them in the out doors either handing out tracts or literature in front of Starbucks, a laundry mat (a favored spot for proslytizers of all ilks), or some similar local. Usually, I am in a hurry and need to be somewhere and I respond by passing up any meaningful dialogue, just because I have other responsibilities to attend to. However, seeing that we as believers should redeem the time, I have tried to narrow down a brief summary statement that pinpoints a specific false doctrine of what ever cult the folks represents. In this manner, I can present a viable witness for Christ and allow the truth to confront the error. For example, with JWs I will respond by saying something like, "No thanks, I am a Christian and I understand you guys reject Christ's deity and men cannot have their sins atoned for by a created being." If I have maybe a little more time, I might ask them something like, "how can I have for giveness from God in your system of faith?" then allow them to give a quick response, and then maybe dialogue with them from the scriptures concerning the true nature of salvation. This course of action assume that the Christian is ready with the scriptures and has a passage in mind to show them. I ready myself with John 6:37-45, Romans 5 or Ephesians 2.

I realize some Christians tend to take 2 John 10, 11 a tad too literal and would never invite anyone into their house who teaches a false gospel. If a believer wishes to hold to that conviction that is between God and them. I think seasoned Christians should not be fearful of these individuals and should look at the encounter as a wonderful opportunity to engage a couple of deceived sinners with the gospel. Keep in mind I am giving these exhortation to mature Christians who know their faith, not to new believers who are full of zeal for the Lord, but lack the sophistication to interact meaningfully with them.

If the time is inappropriate when they knock on the door, a believer can always set up another time for them to return and talk. I have done this in the past with some Mormons. I even met them on our college campus because I had a wrong view of 2 John 10,11 and did not want them in my apartment. In this way the Christian is prepared to interact with them, and perhaps he can invite another friend along to help and tag team with him.

I hope that is some food for thought. Do not beat yourself up because you think some how you have ruined God's plan of salvation. You are not under any biblical obligation to invite false teachers into your home. Perhaps for next time, be prepared and if the time allows for it, talk with the folks and see what God will do.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
gotribe #14947 Wed May 26, 2004 11:26 AM
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Ok, I'll give an honost answer.

I personaly havn't prepared myself to witness to Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons. By this I mean I havn't learned how argue my case. But I know where to go to do that.

This would be my first step before I even considered to witness to them. I know scripture pretty well, but it would be helpful if I were prepared before hand to quickly identify where to go in scripture for my apologetical stance. To have a plan of attack.

Honestly though, I don't get them in my neighborhood. So I havn't worried about it. I have to confess, If they did come up to the door, I would probibly just send them away. My time with my family is very imortant to me and I already have a ministry that keeps me busy, not to mention my new involvment on these boards. Plus, you would have to assume that these young men would have already been prepared against the Christian witness.

Although, all it takes is a seed. God works the rest out. So I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying to witness to them, I would just again recomend that you should be prepaired before hand before you attempt it.

Y.B.I.C,

Dave. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/coffee2.gif" alt="" />


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
gotribe #14948 Wed May 26, 2004 11:33 AM
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Kim,

IMHO if indeed you didn't have time for them today then you did the right thing. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/applause.gif" alt="" /> If you didn't have time for them because you didn't feel prepared to discuss their sectarian views then you probably also did the right thing. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />

However when I have the time and if I understand the errors of that religion being brought to my door I usually step outside with the individual/s and explain those errors to them using my Bible. I've had some very interesting conversations with some of these individuals over the years. Depending how they respond to correction I will even share the Gospel. We get a lot of Jehovah Witnesses in our area that go door to door.

According to the Apostle John's instruction to us in his second epistle we should not invite individuals into our home who bring a doctrine that denies the sufficiency of Jesus Christ alone nor should we bid them God speed. (see 2 John vs. 7-11)

If you're interested in knowing more about the errors of the Mormon religion you'll find info here - Research on Mormonism


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
gotribe #14949 Wed May 26, 2004 11:35 AM
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gotribe asks:
But now I am wondering if I did the right thing. What is the correct response when the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking at your door? What do you do?
Close the blinds, shut off the lights and make believe no one is home!

Okay..... so that might not be appropriate in all cases. I would say, IF you are biblically literate and have a working knowledge of the cultist's theology, then it might be prudent to invite them in for a short tête-à-tête. I have had some positive results in dueling with JW's, but it was an arduous and mentally draining ordeal. YOU must take control of the topics for conversation, which must center on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything else is an exercise in futility as you could be engaged in a life-long conversation about nonsense.

Of necessity, each person must realistically assess themselves, e.g., how strong in the faith are you? Is your heart right before the Lord, e.g., is it your true desire to see these people converted to Christ? You must also realistically assess your knowledge of Scripture and the ability to articulate it in a precise, profound and cogent manner against the wiles of the Devil? And lastly, do you feel strong in the Lord, having put on the whole armour of God so that you will, resting upon the strength of the Lord, endure the wiles of the Evil One and his power?

Ephesians 6:11-18 (ASV) "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]. Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; withal taking up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil [one]. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints,"


In His Grace,


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Pilgrim #14950 Wed May 26, 2004 12:08 PM
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"YOU must take control of the topics for conversation, which must center on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything else is an exercise in futility as you could be engaged in a life-long conversation about nonsense.
"
That's really the bottom line. If they are on your property, I see no reason why one must be held captive by nonsense. Start by saying, "I'm glad you're here! Have I got good news for YOU!"


Stand Fast, Craigellachie!
gotribe #14951 Wed May 26, 2004 12:20 PM
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I would have responded by saying that I have heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, and that the Bible is my foundation for all things pertaining to faith and practice. God's Word needs no "addition" to it. You could keep a stack of Gospel tracts near your door so you can give it to them. I don't know if they would read it, but who knows?

As for sitting down with them and having a lengthy discussion, I don't know. On one hand, we are to preach the Gospel in season and out of season, but, on the other hand, cults are the hardest nonbelievers to deal with.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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Thank you all for your responses. You've given me a lot to think about.

I have talked to Mormons in the past, considering it a "divine appointment." I do feel prepared to discuss the gospel with them and have a pretty fair working knowledge of their beliefs.

Wes and Pilgrim's questions really hit hard. Yes, I was busy. I was cleaning house. But I have to ask myself if that should take precedent over the opportunity to share the gospel. And Pilgrim's question re: whether my heart is right before the Lord--do I really desire to see them saved. . .well, yes, of course I do, but my first thought was, "Oh, no. Not Mormons. Not now." As I've thought this through, I realize that my response was selfish.

Thanks for helping me think this through. I am thankful for the blessed conviction of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of friends.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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I often find that God convicts us through a seemingly mistake. But it's really His way to prepare us for a future encounter. It seems that you might be led to prepare yourself with a future encounter. This might be His way of touching someone's life through you.

It would be a great learning experiance, maybe not so much to mature you for effective witnessing with These particular groups, but I'm sure it would help witness in general. I find that there are many new believers in church when sitting at a bible study or small group who's eyes just brighten up when they hear a mature Christian talk passionatly and authoritivly about our Lord.

This opens up a question that I have. I'm not sure if I should start a new thread, but I'll go ahead and ask it here. I wonder how much modern evangelicals overuse the great commision in our country. A country where the Gospel isn't foreign. I fully see the importance of spreading the Gospel during the Apostolic age and in 3rd world countries but as for our country, I have asked myself often how much is God really wanting me to be actively involved in this. Don't get me wrong, I'm very passionate about spreading the word. But there was a time and I still find myself I think going a little overboard. To the point where I believe that I turn people off instead of encouraging them. So If anyone has any opinions on this, I feel that it relates a little to the topic at hand?

Y.B.I.C,

Dave. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/coffee2.gif" alt="" />


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
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ReformationMonk asks:
I wonder how much modern evangelicals overuse the great commision in our country. A country where the Gospel isn't foreign. I fully see the importance of spreading the Gospel during the Apostolic age and in 3rd world countries but as for our country, I have asked myself often how much is God really wanting me to be actively involved in this.
This may seem strange to your ears, but I firmly believe that the U.S. and Canada are as needful as any 3rd World country of the Gospel. In fact, I would say that they are probably one of the most difficult "fields" to work in. Why? you might ask. Because these two countries have been inundated for over 100 years with a false gospel and the majority of churches are no longer teaching the "faith once delivered unto the saints. Thus the majority of professing Christians are yet dead in their sins but there they are walking around with Bibles in their hands and thinking they are right with God. I have actually found it easier to speak to JW's about the necessity of salvation in Christ than I do to the typical "evangelical".

The crux of the problem is that their faith is in their faith and a counterfeit gospel, which bears a close resemblance to the truth; which a counterfeit is supposed to do. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Of course, it is not a matter of "either/or", but "both/and"; i.e., foreign and domestic missions.

In His Grace,


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Pilgrim

Good advice.
As for myself, though I think I have a fairly good working knowledge, I don't have the ability to think on my feet.
There has been many times that only thinking about something for a while, do I know the answer. Unfortunately in a conversation with cults face to face, one does not have the time it takes to that.
My own pastor told me that he isn't all that good at thinking on his feet either, so I am not the only one around with that problem.
In the past I have had conversations with JWs and they confused me so much that I was not able to give a good answer to them. However, after they left the answer came to me and I felt like kicking myself.

Tom

Tom #14956 Wed May 26, 2004 5:14 PM
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Tom,

Then from what you have said about yourself, prudence would dictate that you should not engage them. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


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I think Pilgrim is correct: The US is probably one of the hardest places to proclaim the gospel. And I would argue that one of the most difficult objects of evangelism is the the typical, Churched person. Simply because these folks think they have been saved due in part to having walked an aisle or made some other decisional response to "inviting Jesus into their hearts." When you inform them that they haven't warmed a pew in Church for nearly 10 years since this decisional turning point, and that their personal life is no where near even being conformed to Christ, they become indignant and claim you are being judgmental. It takes steeled patience to involve yourself with these kind of folks and they are ubiquitous in our evangelical community of this fair nation.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
fredman #14958 Thu May 27, 2004 10:56 AM
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Amen!

As our Lord said in Matthew 7:

15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
17 "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 "So then, you will know them by their fruits.
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
24 "Thereforeeveryone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25 "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
26 "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
27 "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
MarieP #14959 Thu May 27, 2004 11:46 AM
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Pilgrim states:
This may seem strange to your ears, but I firmly believe that the U.S. and Canada are as needful as any 3rd World country of the Gospel. In fact, I would say that they are probably one of the most difficult "fields" to work in. Why? you might ask. Because these two countries have been inundated for over 100 years with a false gospel and the majority of churches are no longer teaching the "faith once delivered unto the saints.

I was making reference to the fact that there is a differance between living in a country where orthodox churches are prevalent and where one is free to come and join in on worship service. About living in a country where there are public libraries and that one has the freedom to read the bible and how easy it is to obtain one. We are able to turn on the T.V. or Radio and hear the Gospel. Chances are people who live in North America are going to come into contact with the Gospel at some point in their lives and they are free to read and learn and worship publicly.

Pilgrim, when you say that the majority of our churches are no longer teaching the faith once delivered unto the Saints, I would like for you to elaborate please if you would. I see many Orthodoxed churches preaching and teaching a "Saving" Gospel. Now our Theology might be different and I don't see modern churches maturing as they should be, but I do see the sinner called and Salvation occuring.

This is where I tend to start questioning how much is it upon "me" to be out there winning souls? When I do live in a country where the Gospel is so readily available. When I held fast to my Arminian views, I felt very responsable and determind to proclaim the Gospel and premote Christian service and action. But after burning myself out and not seeing the fruit of my work I started to learn more about Calvinism.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
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