There's a saying that "God comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable." That's kind of what I've been dealing with in reading Walk it Out by Tricia Goyer. I like my comfort. Yet it keeps me from stepping out and making a bigger difference in the world around me. So, up to Tricia's challenge, when a couple of Mormon missionary girls came to my door the other day, I gave them copies of my novels.
The girls actually offered to help me. They were really sweet. I admire their devotion to their faith. I'll probably invite them in for coffee...er, or some other beverage...next time they come by. Likely I won't convert them and they won't convert me, and that's okay. I just want to point to Jesus.
Like I said, I admire these girls, but I do take issue with the Latter Day Saint church, and I'll tell you why. Because relationship with Jesus isn't about a church. Relationship with Jesus isn't about blindly obeying what a prophet says. There's such a thing as a false prophet. And believing in one has SERIOUS consequences.
Here's a Bible story that conveys this message. I didn't like this Bible story at first. It really bothered me. But now I think it's one of the most important Bible stories in my life. You can find it in 1 Kings 13 if you want to check it out. (And you should because you don't want to blindly follow me either.) I'm going to paraphrase it for the purpose of brevity.
A prophet of God delivered God's message then God told him to go home and not to eat until he got home. On his way, another prophet said, "Hey, dude. God told me you're supposed to come eat at my house." So the first prophet was like, "Okay. I'm hungry. And this guy heard from God, so it should be okay." He ate. He left. And before he got home, he was eaten by a lion.
What? That doesn't seem fair, does it? Shouldn't the liar have been the one who was punished? I was mad at the liar. And I was a little mad at God.
But, see. I'd been believing lies in my own life. Lies another person told me. So even though what he said didn't line up with what I believed to be truth, I chose to listen. And justify. And base my life on those lies. They were more convenient.
My life fell apart. And I'm responsible because I'd chosen to listen to the liar.
My point is that it's not just the LDS church that does this. We can all do this. Which is why everything you read or hear (even from the pulpit) needs to be prayed about and referenced against scripture.
Ask, seek, knock, and God's going to answer. He's not hiding. He's waiting for you to talk to him. He's right there holding the answers, though sometimes they might not be the answers you want. Believing the truth could mean you lose a loved one. Or loved ones. For those missionary girls, they could very well lose their whole families.
I have to tell you a story about one of my LDS friend that makes me smile. She had an elder in her church tell her what God wanted her to do. She prayed about it, and she said, "I really don't think God is telling me that." Which caused some drama and got her in a little bit of trouble, and I am SO proud of her. That's what we all need to do.
We aren't just supposed to be peace keepers, going along with others to prevent conflict. We are supposed to be peace makers. We create a peace that will last because it's based on truth.
Have I made you uncomfortable at all? I hope so. Because then I'm not the only one.