She got married last week and she looked beautiful. We’d been good friends from about P6, when she moved into the area, to S1, when I moved away. We fell out of touch — as you do at that age — and only recently stumbled across each other on Facebook.
I wish we had stayed in touch. Things might have been different.
Now I feel the weight of my silence. Sure, I was just a baby Christian at the time, and eleven years old to boot, but I should have told her something. As it is, I need to message her back, congratulate her, but I’m struggling to know how.
It’s not that I’m not excited for her tying the knot. It’s just that she went to Provo, Utah for the ceremony. And Utah is where they’ll live now.
The temple sure looked beautiful in the sunshine.
No Time For Cults
There’s a lot of bad attitude out there about the cults. I’ve met Christians who have an extremely condescending , or outright derogatory attitude to folks like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, even the Catholics. They have no time for the nonsense that the Watchtower Society is trying to peddle and they pull no punches (and there are a lot of punches involved) telling these poor JWs so. Others will ruthlessly tear down Joseph Smith for his pro-polygamous views. Others still mock the Pope as the Antichrist and drag up the Roman Church’s darker moments as reason for their contempt.
The attitude underlying these responses is always the same.
I don’t have time for cults.
If this is how you feel, we need to talk.
Regardless of whether Franky is the Antichrist, Mr Smith had an unholy amount of wives, or the Watchtower Society is talking pants, we need to treat their followers with grace, not derision. Many of them simply do not know any better, they’ve never heard the true gospel so you can hardly expect them to recognise when it has been distorted.
The average Mormon you meet on the street is not trying to drag you down into Hell with him, he’s the blind leading the blind without realising that he can’t see either. Jumping down their throats with the deity of Christ will provoke them into the same startled, defensive response that you feel when a grumpy atheist starts ranting at you about how God doesn’t exist because evolution does.
There was a time when you did not believe either and it’s only in God’s providence if you weren’t part of a cult in those days. Not that it makes a difference because you were exactly the same as any of them: a lost and hell bound sinner.
Do not think yourself better than them simply because you have the truth and are saved and they are not. You have nothing to be proud of in your salvation because you did nothing to bring it about.
Time For People
Nothing strengthened my belief and awareness that all are made in the image of God like working in a nursing home with dying people.
It changed how I view humanity. It doesn’t matter what skin God put on you or the mind he gave you, or the situation that he meticulously placed you in, you are made in his image just the same. And that includes Mormons, JWs, Seventh Day Adventists, the Cult of the Prosperity Gospel, and the various other distortions of Christianity.
They are all sinners, lost in darkness and grasping for they know not what. But God has said he is not far from each one of us. They think they have a hold on the truth but if only a little light would shine on them, they’d see that they’re only clutching ashes, that the gospel is so much greater than what they preach.
If you are a believer, you should have the time to share the gospel with any lost person God gives you the opportunity to speak to. It doesn’t matter what their background is.
People are people, the lost are lost– regardless of what they think and believe about life, the universe, and everything. You may not have time for cults but if you understand the wonder, urgency, and necessity of your own salvation, you’ll understand the importance of theirs and you’ll have as much time as it takes to point any doomed sinner to Christ that you can.
Every JW you will ever meet was someone’s best pal in primary school. Every Catholic has a favourite movie they could watch over and over and still find funny. Every Mormon gets homesick at some point on their two year mission. Every single one of them needs the gospel.
You may not have time for cults, my friend, but as a believer, you should have all the time in the world for bringing the gospel to the lost.