I was hoping you could take a few moments to give your take on a matter. Myself and typically four or five other individuals meet every Wednesday night for a Bible study. We are all from the same congregation, this being a structured part of our church. Lately, there has been a L.D.S. gentleman attending after being invited by the small group director. All of us have enjoyed having him attend. Our meetings are very Christ-centered, so we get the Gospel message out pretty clearly. He seems to be dedicated to his L.D.S. faith, but we all get the sense the Holy Spirit is working on him.
After last Wednesday's meeting, he asked us if he could invite some other people to take part in our Bible study- specifically, L.D.S. missionaries and a few other members from his ward. We are all a little uncertain about this. All of us are longtime Utah residents, so we understand that when a Mormon says, "I'd like to introduce you to two of my friends," it is typically not just for casual conversation.
And herein lies our dilemma. Do we throw the doors wide open, hoping that these L.D.S. friends and neighbors come to a saving knowledge of the Truth? Or, conversely, do we exercise too much discretion and harm potential relationships with some folks who desperately need the true Gospel?
What is your take on the matter?
Answer Aaron, this is one that ultimately you and your pastor will need to answer.
My thoughts are that more often than not, this will lead you away from you intended purpose of the meetings. You will end up debating Mormonism and not spending time in a discipleship setting, which I would assume is the purpose of your small group. It is more important for you to get closer to Jesus than it is to debate heresy. A heretic after the second admonition we are not to have anything to do with let alone engage in debates that will never end or end well.
Often these kinds of scenarios are meant to be disruptive. Their concept is that they have already gained a victory by you allowing the first guy there. If the missionaries come it will be another one in their mindset and will encourage them to press on. I would graciously decline the offer, but you have to make that call.
One thing you should know is that when they start bearing you testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church of God this is like an ultimatum or even somewhat of a curse indicating you better listen up and convert. I would just politely reverse it by saying that "I bear you testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is NOT the true church of God." That will surprise them. Most Baptists do not know what they are doing when the LDS folks say this.
I would do some study on this site before I would engage any of the missionaries. Pray for the fellow and if he is willing to come and listen that is fine, but if everything starts heading back to an LDS evangelism dialog it would be best to ask him to leave the group. While we are to pray and love people we are not to abide in debate and doubtful disputations with heretic or scorner.
May God grant you wisdom and discernment as you seek His will.
I am more of a polemicist than an apologist. I especially desire to answer questions concerning discipleship/holiness, "gray areas", etc. If all you wish is an argument then I am not your man. Sincere seekers only need e-mail me.
I have ministered in several states since my conversion in 1975. I participate in many forums and have written two books. I recently changed to Assembly of God, but after 40 years, I can still answer questions about Baptists and doctrinal issues that are common to many sects.
Organizations American Association of Christian Counselors since 2009
Texas Navy Association since 2008
Texas Civil Defense since 2008-10
American Legion since 2002
Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, since 1994
Life Member NCOA, 1973
Dover AFB Honor Guard, 1971-73
Publications Poem, "Cowboy Up" published in an anthology by American Poets Society, 2004
Author, Jail House Religion, Xulon Press, 2004
Author, The Power of Holy Women, Xulon Press, 2003
Messianic Literary Corner published 45 poems, 2003+
Tract “Which Way To God” published on http://www.tracts.com/whichway.html, 1998
Several poems published on various web pages, 1997,1998,1999
Author, Metamorphosis, copyrighted, partially published collection of poetry, 1968-94
Article, “Why I Prefer Expository Preaching”, published in Canyonview Bible Seminary's Expositor, 1988
Education/Credentials Doctor of Theology, Slidell Baptist Seminary, Slidell, LA, 2001, Summa Cum Laude
Master of Theology, Christian Bible College, Rocky Mount, NC, 2000, Summa Cum Laude
Bachelor of Religious Education , Administration minor, Piedmont Baptist College, Winston-Salem, NC, 1982, Cum Laude
Evangelical Teacher Training Association, Teachers Diploma, Winston-Salem, NC, 1982
Other study: Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell AFB, AL - 1975-78
Upper Iowa University, Fayette, IA - 1976-77
Interim Ministry For Today's Churches - 2000
Awards and Honors Heritage Registry of Who's Who, 2006-2007
Editor's Choice Award, International Library of Poetry, 2003
America's Registry of Outstanding Professionals 2001-2002
Stratmore Who's Who, 2001-2002
Guest Class Speaker Texas A&M, Commerce, 1999
Gubernatorial Commendation by Texas Veterans Commission, 1999
Dallas VA Certificate of Pride in Public Service, 1999
Guest on the Kevin Bullard radio program KPBC AM 770,1997
Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 1996
Editor's Choice Award, National Library of Poetry, 1995
Who's Who in Poetry, 1992
United States Army Achievement Medal, 1990
Personal testimony dramatized for international radio program Unshackled, 1986
Outstanding Young Men of the South, 1981
United States Air Force Commendation Medal, 1978
Two USAF suggestion awards, 1976
NCO of the Quarter, 1975
Freedom Foundation Award, 1975