I had an interesting encounter last evening. As many of you know Jack (my son) and I go to Tae Kwon Do lessons twice a week together. Earlier in the year we would normally go on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The classes are at 6PM so even on Wednesday evenings we got out in time to make it to Wednesday night activities at the church. However, recently we decided that Tuesday and Thursdays would be easier since Jack is getting involved in Junior Bible Quiz and likes to be there early. Anyway we switched.
Last night as we were meeting some of the individuals that attend Thursday night classes and I met a gentleman that during the normal course of “guy” introductions, the subject of, “What do you do?” came up. After I told him that I pastor Abundant Life Community Church he proceeded to explain to me how he and his family used to attend one church but had recently become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Then he paused…. Then he said, “You know I’m one of those strange Mormons.” Another pause…..
I knew what he was waiting for. He was waiting for me as the pastor of a church to challenge him on why he shouldn’t be a Mormon. I just wouldn’t bite.
Now you might say, “Why not?” You might even feel as if as a pastor I have a responsibility to theologically straighten him out. You might even think that his souls might be in danger and that any and all measures should be used to rescue him regardless of the potential consequences. To be honest, in some measure I agree with all of these, however I have adopted a position that I feel is biblical. Here it is in a positional statement.
Don’t witness to strangers
Why do I feel this way? Because of Romans 2:4 where we read …
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
It is God’s kindness and His love and His truth and His heart that ultimately lead people to accept him. I’m convinced that the primary way that God reveals these things to the world is through us and it’s almost impossible to show these characteristics outside of some sort of relationship. Do I want to reach out to this gentleman? Absolutely, but first I want him to gain an understanding of who I am and that he can trust my words. That takes time. Some might say, “But you aren’t doing anything and he might be running out of time.” I’m absolutely already doing something. I have started praying for him. Also remember 1 Corinthians 3:9 where we learned that we are working side by side with God. I have to trust that God knew exactly when to bring this man into my life. God knew where I was on the, “get to know them first” belief and I have to believe that His timing is perfect.
Also, since when is praying doing nothing?