Sunday Evening Session
2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”.
Today we’re looking at just one of the talks given at General Conference. Over the next week or so we’ll take a look at some of the others, but for now this one subject is over the top of how bad they can get.
At the Sunday evening session of General Conference, Russell Nelson announced the ‘retirement’ of the Visiting and Home Teaching Programs. See General Conference, ‘Ministering’, April 2018, for more info.
What he didn’t tell the audience is how this program would work, so we took a field trip over to their front page looking for more details, and of course what we read was sad indeed. This church is very talented at the bait and switch games you’ll see at State Fairs. The problem is they’re doing this with much higher stakes: your eternal life.
One part of their post has an FAQ link, but of course this isn’t the whole story…sigh…this has another link for the ‘resource’ section leaders can use to ‘minister’ to those whom they’ve been assigned. There’s also instructional books, and videos they need to attend to in order to make this new program less cumbersome.
We’ve pulled a couple of the noteworthy remarks they made in these sections to use as examples showing why this is nothing but another bait, and switch. To read articles in full, see Ministering, Frequently Asked Questions, and Leader Ministering Resources.
The first thing we noticed is how they’re referred to as ‘ministering brothers and sisters’, but instructed not to use the title of minister …
‘Priesthood holders are referred to as “ministering brothers,” and Relief Society sisters are referred to as “ministering sisters.” Generally, they will simply be called by their names: “Brother Jones” and “Sister Smith.” They are not referred to as “ministers.” …’
1.We’re thinking that using the title of ‘minister’ sounds too Christian, so they’ll avoid that at all costs.
2.Why are they referred to as ministers, but then told they’re not to be referred to as ministers?
3.Replacing a person’s first name with a generic title like ‘brother’, or ‘sister’ strips the identity of that person. Now we’re left with a group of nameless faces. This isn’t how God operates!
4.The first thing Jesus did when He rose from the dead was to refer to Mary by name. The entire theme of the NT is to show how God is having a personal relationship with each of us. Referring to someone with a title and their last name indicates there’s no personal relationship. Where in the Bible do you see anyone referred to as ‘brother _____, or ‘sister _____’?
The 2nd comment is as bad, if not worse.
Leader Ministering Resources ‘…Beyond the spiritual assistance you provide, other tools and resources are also available to help members become self-reliant spiritually, emotionally and temporally. …The First Presidency’
Why would you ever want to be spiritually self-reliant? This is incongruous of how God operates! As Paul explained to the young church in Corinth, they are ministers of the New Testament, not the Old. The OT contained law, but the NT gospel is filled with grace, and glory! If you’re so busy with all the rules and regulations of manmade laws, where’s grace? Self-sufficiency indicates you’re not reliant upon Him who saves, but yourself who cannot.
Pray for those who’ve bought into this lie which has only brought them into a deeper bondage of lies.
With Love in Christ;