The true gospel is far better news than any cult can devise. Today, W. Robert Godfrey provides thoughtful wisdom on how Christians can witness to their Mormon neighbors and friends.
NATHAN W. BINGHAM: We're joined this week by Ligonier teaching fellow and the chairman of Ligonier Ministries, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey. Dr. Godfrey, how should a Christian present the gospel to a Mormon?
DR. W. ROBERT GODFREY: Well it's a great question. And I think the answer should begin with a sensitivity on the Christian's part to the situation to which we're speaking. Obviously, if you have a missionary knock on your door, you might respond somewhat differently than you would in an informal setting with a friend who is a Mormon. We also ought to distinguish between people who are really inquiring about the truth of the gospel as Mormons and those who are either indifferent to what we have to say or actually confrontationally opposed to what we have to say. So we want to be sensitive to the situation in which we're speaking, but interesting, Kaylene really has the answer in the question. What we want to focus on is on Jesus and on His saving work, I think.
I remember many years ago hearing a man who had been one of the leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses in Australia and he had been converted, and he said what really led to his conversion was not talking about the Trinity, which so many Christians wanted to talk to him about. He said: "As a Jehovah's Witness, I had been so hardened against Christian arguments about the Trinity. They couldn't break through there. But when people began to talk to me about grace, about mercy, about the love of God, about how God accepted me despite and beyond my works," he said, "that really began to resonate with me because as a Jehovah's Witness""and I think the same is very much true with Mormons""the spiritual life, the religious life is so much a life of works and duty and doing. To think that there is a path to God that is not my doing, that is not my earning, but is through the grace of Jesus Christ." Again, to try, I think, to lead them where that's possible into the Scriptures and what the Scriptures say about Jesus and about His saving work.
When you think of Jesus saying in Matthew 11, "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest" (v. 28). To stress the way in which Christ takes our burdens on Him, the way Christ gives us rest because of His death upon the cross. I think again, to really focus on the cross, I think Mormons often don't make much of the cross, and to get them to think about how the Gospels make the cross so central, so crucial to what Christ's life is building up to is a way to begin to think about mercy and grace. And that I think may be a way forward.
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