Friday, July 3, 2015

Mormons, Marriage, Moral Malfunction, and a Message

Mormons, Marriage, Moral Malfunction, and a Message
by: Christopher Wiles
Photo from blog.al.com
     MORMONS, we love them.  They stopped by our house twice a week in Nashville when they found out we would let them come in.    We in turn baked them birthday cakes (since these young missionaries were away from their moms), fixed their bicycles (they missed their dads too), and answered their Hebrew/Greek questions (because they were only allowed to read the KJV and not the ancient text).  Then after six weeks, they were sadly shipped out to another city, possibly to avoid what was happening in our home;  the development of a deep relationship involving trust, love, and a differing view of the Holy Scriptures.
     MARRIAGE, we cherish ours.  So when our beloved Mormon missionaries informed us that God did not honor our marriage because our wedding was not in a Mormon temple, we were confused and shocked, but not angry.  These young men with teary eyes  shared their warning and unfortunate news with us because they honestly cared for us and the marriage Ashley and I devoted to God.  They shared the warning with us because they genuinely wanted us to share in our marriage not just on earth but in Heaven.  As a result of their sincerity, we genuinely searched the scripture to see if this was truth from God's Word, which resulted in our more established faith in the Holy Bible alone. 
     MORAL MALFUNCTION happens more than you will know.  These Mormons were never pushy, angry, or rude to us.  Yet all of the young men visiting our home shared stories of the moral malfunction of our society directed at them and their dissenting opinion.  One occasion saw a driver speeding down the road hurling an unprovoked glass bottle at these well-meaning missionaries, striking one hard in the shoulder leaving a deep physical and psychological bruise he wouldn't soon forget.  Another occasion saw a "member" of the church of Christ slam a door in their faces only because the missionary wore the nametag titled "Elder".   You know moral malfunction has set in when they confess, "You're the first nice 'church-of-Christer' we've ever met."  They admittedly didn't meet many nice people of ANY belief in America.
     MY MESSAGE TO BELIEVERS in God's Holy Bible is to understand that we follow a different Book than the rest of the world.  The Mormons have FOUR different "holy" books.   Five Supreme Court justices also follow a different book, such as an alternative translation of the 14th amendment of the Constitution.  Many others just follow a popular oral tradition titled "Me, Myself, and I".  
     MY MESSAGE TO BELIEVERS is that like the Mormons and most of the religious world today, our Holy Text does not honor sexual relationships outside of the marriage of one man and one woman.  Our Holy Text also doesn't require the marriage to be wedded in a temple.  
     MY MESSAGE TO BELIEVERS is to understand that you might, like us, be shocked and confused if someone didn't honor your marriage.  You then can understand that many will be shocked and confused at your honoring of God's view of marriage in the Bible.  Please understand that our culture is teaching many in their shock and confusion to dismiss conflict resolution skills that involve listening, analyzing, and weighing out the truth.  The culture espouses a different path including being easily offended at us and the reading of our Holy Book.  Due to the fact that we simply follow a different book (different from 3 of the 4 Mormon texts and 5 of the 9 justices' view of the Constitution) we may have people slam doors in our faces, throw glass bottles at us, and call us any number of hateful names.  "Don't be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12)
     Let us take a lesson from our beloved Mormon missionaries, who have been dealing with their idea of unhonorable marriages for a couple hundred years now in America.  Let us not react with hatred to people who sincerely and kindly follow another book than the Bible.  Let us not slam the door on authentic opportunities for people to listen and open the Holy Book in a quest for Truth.  
     By all means, let us not espouse in our lives ANY of the deeds of the flesh which are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissension, division, envying, drunkenness, and carousing (Galatians 5:19-21a).  May we instead EARNESTLY SEEK to practice the fruit of the Spirit that will inherit the kingdom of God: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:21b-23).
     To our Mormon missionaries and all those who are kindly seeking truth; bike tools, birthday cakes, and an gentle open Holy Bible will still greet you at our home.