So, quite a while ago I decided to stop over at the Angelus, an awesome Catholic store chocked full of every sort of Catholic goody you can cram into a cubic meter of space.
There’s candles, rosaries, holy cards, holy water bottles, books on every topic, crucifixes, awesome statues, delightfully tacky statues, huge things, small things, proper cards for Church holidays and absolutely everything is blatantly Catholic. For some reason, there were no papal flags though…are those hard to get?
So, beyond buying lots of stuff for the ofrenda (will post on that later) I had to make a hard decision. I could buy the book on exorcism, written by a priest for lay people (not a how-to book) and a book on how to deal with Mormon missionaries, or mishies as they are sometimes called.
It was a hard decision. Exorcism is way cooler. Plus, the way it was written was excellent. It was interesting, and written at a very high reading level. The book on Mormonism? Well, it was okay, nicely written, and helpful…but not as badass.
I like me some badass Catholic books.
When Mormons Call, by Isaiah Bennet, is the one I ended up choosing. Apparently the guy who wrote this was once a Catholic priest, who converted to Mormonism, and then returned to being Catholic. HOLY CRAP.
I don’t particularly like how he divided up the book (speaking as someone who’s been through the discussions, I’d like it all done chronologically) but it is full of useful information about both the Catholic faith and the Mormon faith.
So why did I buy this book? Well, this is going to sound incredibly prideful, but I want to save some mishies. To make that more theologically correct, I’d like to offer up my life so that through my words and example, something from God can get through and save those people. In other words, I’d like to be a teacher/interpreter who God might use to provide some light to these well meaning but misguided missionaries.
How is this going to happen? Well, since these missionaries go door to door, basically fishing, I’m going to bite. Let’s do some real ecumenical dialogue, shall we?
My plan is this:
- Study up on all the Church teachings, study up with Mormonism’s teachings. Also, I’d like to add Jehovah’s Witnesses on to that.
- Compare them all, study and pray some more.
- Possibly get a spiritual director involved in this, should he be available.
- Make super sure that my faith can take some abuse, because it will definitely be abused.
- Invite/allow missionaries to come to my door.
- Start witnessing, Catholic style.
But right now I’m not ready for it. Especially after reading Isaiah’s story, I am going to take it carefully when carrying out this plan. He was a priest, so if he could fall, so could I.
But I feel a huge need to help combat this major blight upon Christianity. It is bad enough that the East schismed from the West, and that Lutherans started the Protestant Reformation, which lead to hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands of cracks in the face of Christianity, but at the very least Protestants are still Christian!
Mormons, however, are not Christians, and far too many people are ignorant about who or what they really are. That includes those Mormons down the street you may know, because it is a firm belief of mine that Mormonism continues due to the ignorance of facts and their own theology! While some people will always close their eyes and ears to the Truth, I do believe that there are many that do not close their eyes and ears to it at all, and if they had the chance they would listen.
I mentioned that it may sound prideful, and this is especially true in light of that whole “cultural relativism” the world has been suffering through. I used to believe it, and sometimes, I still fall into that fallacy, but the truth is there is one Truth, and those who don’t follow that Truth are putting themselves in danger. Those who allow other people to not follow that Truth are putting their loved ones in danger. Do I think that I, personally, have the Truth?
Nope. But the Church does. She doesn’t own it, but the Truth is preached all the time, even over and above the voices of dissident women “priests” or Bishops who might be suffering from a lack of incense or something.
And yes, I know that some people will attack me for it. Who do I think I am, anyway? Why don’t I take out the board in my eye before trying to remove that speck from the other dude’s eye?I’ve sinned, so I should just accept that because all others sin as well that I’m no better. Therefore I shouldn’t have the gall to get up and declare that something is wrong, even if these missionaries are opening themselves up to it just by trying to guilt their way past my front door. (Oh yes, guilt is utilized very well.) The best I can do, and should do, is just offer up a weak, emotional argument and go about my disgruntled business because I’m too sinful to even try and tell the Truth.
“We don’t KNOW enough to judge another person and we aren’t in a POSITION to judge other people..” (Quote taken from an FB page.
Wow, I can’t believe I used to believe in all of that. Thank you certain Catholic friends for whipping that one out of me. It needed to be done.
I’m well aware of some of my problems (not all…I’m not God after all) and I’ve done my share of venial and mortal sinning. (How many times have I sworn up there? Hello venial sin!) However, I’d like to take that sinfulness I have and use it to help others.
Besides, I’m not judging people. I’m not saying that missionaries are automatically given a Go-To-Hell card. Neither are Protestants. God judges people, and I’ll leave that up to Him. But as far as ideas go…as long as the Church will back me, I and any other Catholic who allows the Church to form our conscience, are perfectly fine judging ideas.
Some ideas are just plain wrong, and can be demonstrated to be so. That is a big part of the reason I became Catholic once again- I found out that my ideas, neat as they were, were quite simply wrong.
Mormonism is a wrong idea, and unfortunately wrong ideas can and do lead to places of anguish. Yes, that includes Hell. God’s Mercy is as extensive as his Justice, and I’m hopeful that in those who haven’t heard the Truth, and have never encountered it, He will take care of.
However, that still doesn’t let me off the hook. And yes, I’m going to focus on Mormonism. Why? Because its touched me personally, and I’ve seen what happens when it gets into your life. It isn’t pretty, and it isn’t like the perfect Mormon families they show in Ensign magazine. In fact, I’m pretty sure that those Mormon families don’t exist- that type of perfection is as obnoxiously phony as the magazine for which it was printed.