Loved into the Light
Shining God’s Light on Mormonism
Ch. 16 “Is the Church Safe or Judgmental?
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” – John 8:7
God did not come to judge, but to show the way. The Bible says in John 3:17, “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” Jesus’ great love for all mankind is evident in all He says and does. He does not want anyone to perish (1 Timothy 2:3-4). Jesus lived a life of forgiveness and mercy. He is so quick to forgive, and if He possesses any judgment at all, it is on those who refuse to forgive (Matthew 6:14-15). He requires that we forgive others as well. You can see that in 1 John 1:9, Ephesians 4:32, and Colossians 3:13.
Jesus was safe to be around when He walked the Earth—not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. He never condemned anyone. He came to bring truth and light, to show others the way. The only people Jesus ever criticized were those of His own religious group who were condemning the prostitutes, murderers, tax collectors, gluttons, drunkards, and other “sinners.” Jesus criticized the religious leaders of His day who were making it hard for the “sinners” to experience the love, grace, and forgiveness of God. He wanted to make it easy for the Kingdom of Heaven to reign in people’s lives, not more difficult. Those who set up roadblocks received His harshest words.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
– Romans 8:1
Love as Jesus Loved
We should not criticize sinners and people who do not “measure up” to our idea of righteousness. Jesus never did this. He loved the prostitutes. He forgave murderers. He invited greedy tax collectors to join Him. He shared food and drink with gluttons and drunkards.
We need to help people, not condemn them. Jesus criticized the Pharisees, not to gain power or prestige, but to help the common people who labored under the oppression of the Pharisees. We should include everyone and love them into the light. Judgment and exclusion causes resentment and rebellion.
Jesus taught with love and loved the people He taught. He made everyone feel like each day was a new day. He taught that His mercies are new every day. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Jesus makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17). He has not changed since He was resurrected and became our intercessor from Heaven.
When Jesus met with the woman at the well, He did not judge her but instead offered her living water. He was her defender then and He is our defender now.
“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.”
– 1 John 2:1
Did you see what that scripture said? He said that Jesus is our advocate. That means He is our lawyer in God’s court. He is on our side, pleading our case and, when we have guilt, taking the punishment for us.
Jesus calls us to follow His example and care for His flock. “Then I will give shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15). When Paul was speaking to the Ephesian Elders, he admonished them, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).
To be appointed to care for Jesus’ flock one would need to take great care not to harm them. God gave specific instruction on how to do this. One of the commands that He gave was in Deuteronomy 12:32, “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” This means that every word that comes out of your mouth as a leader, apostle, prophet, and so forth needs to be what Christ spoke in the Bible. At the very least, they must be words that convey His heart. Read it again!
“Then I will give shepherds after my own heart.” – Jeremiah 3:15
Despite this, the Mormon Church issues guidelines that are very judgmental and require us to pay for the sins of others. A Mormon prophet made this statement on a woman’s virtue, “Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”
This is not the heart of Christ at all! Have they studied what is in the Bible? Do they understand that there is no condemnation in Christ whether voluntary or not (Romans 8:1)? We can’t pay for the sins of another; therefore we have no power of condemnation. Only the righteous, only the holy Son of God can condemn. But He did not. He came to save. He died on the cross for our sins and paid our price. There is no place for our condemnation. Statements like those made by Mr. Kimball hurt a person who is seeking relationship with Christ. How many of us have sinned? How many people have sinned, and then came to Christ later? How many Christians have sinned and then sought forgiveness and cleansing from God? Who are we to deny them that?
 Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness.
Here are more statements made by Apostles and leaders of the Mormon Church:
• “There is no true Latter-day Saint who would not rather bury a son or daughter than to have him or her lose his or her chastity — realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world.” Heber J. Grant, quoted in The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball
Never, never, never does God say we must accept responsibility for the sin of another person! When Christ was crucified, the Romans did everything they could to humiliate and torture the Son of God. According to Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus was stripped of his clothes and mocked (Matthew 27:35). No one knows for certain whether or not Jesus himself was raped. What we do know is that in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ flogging, it is entirely possible that Jesus was naked while he was beaten. We also know that sexual violence was used in the ancient world both by the Romans and by other ancient cultures. There was an element of sexual humiliation in the torture Jesus went through.
Remember, the Bible says that Jesus was without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus willingly surrendered; He did not fight; yet He remained without sin. The Word of God does not say in any way that what He endured was His fault. Nor did His father say to Jesus that someone would show Him which responsibility was His in this violation! No, Jesus suffered through no fault of His own. He chose to take this upon Himself solely because He loved us and wanted to save us.
Recognizing a Safe Church
When you belong to a judgmental church, guilt becomes your new companion. Remember, the enemy is the one that comes to condemn, not Christ. Safe churches do not condemn, inflict guilt or use control. They allow you to keep your free agency and make decisions for yourself based on your own conviction from the Holy Spirit.
A safe church will not cause fear of judgment. Fear is not of God. When you are hearing truth from your church, you will experience His grace. You will not be afraid to make mistakes or voice your opinion when they differ from your leaders. Your leaders will respect your individuality and boundaries.
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