Thursday, December 09, 2004

Whine and Song

I find the "Brain" at the Morg (my abbreviation for is out trying to defend the indefensible, and is getting scathing reviews because of it. Rob Sivulka, the primary mover and shaker in the Morg, has written an article at . The article is ultimately a justification of his just plain ineffective missionary work. It was suppose to explain why people who put together a missionary outreach and training directed at Mormons were not really correct. He cites himself as an authority on the correct methods of reaching out to the Mormons, based on 20 years of mostly part-time missionary work. He derides the approaches of many lifetime residents and/or full-time pastors in Utah who put their experience into the prepared materials. And he proves how truly out of touch with Mormonism he is by once again asserting the Adam-God teachings of Brigham Young are binding on the modern LDS Church, even though they were never fully explained, taught or ratified as LDS doctrine. In his mind, if someone wants to engage in those ineffective friendshipping techniques, go ahead and waste your own time.

Reviewers in the Theologyweb's forum are seemingly unpersuaded. With remarks ranging from there is a place for both types of missionary work to it is totally wrong, most recognize that yelling and attacking the faith of others is not how Paul, John or Peter would have done it, and there is no New Testament model for picketing and yelling. While the remarks are civil, they are not ginger. One writer observes the Morg brain's argument is a mass of contradiction, and really self-justification for being so ineffective.

Notably, the people who actually talk to Morg because of Confrontational Evangelism (or CE) are not usually the ones Morg will speak with. I can name several people who try to engage Mr. Sivulka when he is out there with his signs, slogans and false representations-filled handbills, and he refuses to speak with them. However, he turns to Friendship Evangelism (FE) if people will engage him when he thinks they don't know about Mormonism. But since he offends so many more knowledgeable Mormons than he ever speaks with, heaven forbid he might compare his method to the Bible. The scriptures order missionaries and members alike to not offend or be arrogant in presenting their faith (1Cor 8:13; 1Pet 3:15) and he frankly violates the explicit direction given by Christ and the Apostles: Teach the kingdom of God and Christ.

We literally have no examples anywhere of any teaching to non-Hebrews attacking their beliefs. None. But Mr. Sivulka rationalizes both his ineffectiveness and his non-Christian approach by saying simply "because I like to, and I fail to see what is wrong with it." So now that is mature and well reasoned from the scriptures. He speaks of Paul's habit of going to a new town and visiting with the local synagogue. But he leaves out that Paul left when they asked or forced him to go. He didn't stand outside and carry a sign or shout pithy couplets. He did not hand out brochures, or even attack them to the general public. He moved on.

Of course, Mr. Sivulka is happy to liken himself to the Apostles when it comes to getting paid or being a suffering servant, but he hates to think anyone might have their authority, or that he should act like they did.

So many contradictions, so little time.

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