Last night my family and I went to our first Casting Crowns concert. I don’t think there are enough adjectives in the English language to describe how it felt there. It was evident the Holy Spirit was there with us as we worshiped together. Standing there with the body of Christ as we sang praise to Him was unlike anything I experienced in Mormonism. I’ve attended many General Conferences, pageants, and other Mormon gatherings in the past, and the presence of God was always absent.
Contrary to the messages, and songs I heard in these meetings, everything about the concert was directed to one person, Jesus Christ. It made me think of my early experiences attending Christian churches. Coming from a religion so submerged in man worship I was surprised at how everything was about Jesus. The Mormons like to poke fun at the Christian idea of heaven of us praising God all day long. Well, if what I witnessed last night is just a small glimpse of what heaven could be like then I will gladly take the Christians view of heaven over the Mormons any day.
As I listen to praise and worship music I can’t help but think about Mormonism, and how very doctrinally different their teachings are from the messages of each song I listen to. I know many Mormons listen to Contemporary Christian music. It boggles my mind how they can listen to Christian music and not see a problem with Mormonism. On my drive to church tonight I was thinking about how I listened to some Christian music before I left the church. I’m still trying to figure out why nothing clicked in my head as I sang along to the music. Instead of thinking I should look into the message of the song further when they sang something contrary to Mormon doctrine I just thought “oh, that cause they don’t know the truth”. Boy was I wrong! Little did my arrogant self know then I was the one who didn’t know the truth.
The more I immerse myself in worship I feel a closeness and security in my heart to him I never felt as a Mormon. I now know what it means to have joy. The Mormons have eluded themselves into thinking you must do this or that to achieve happiness and this happiness is only found in Mormonism. God never promised us happiness, what he did promise us is joy.
I’m so appreciative of all the hard work and time the Christian artists put into their ministries. Their music is very inspirational, and uplifting. I enjoy listening to many artists; however there will always be a special place in my heart for Casting Crowns. It was their music I felt connected too and really latched onto after I left Mormonism. Their song Who Am I was and still is one of my favorites. Their music has helped me clear out all the junk that has come from leaving the Mormon Church. In their CD’s they give bible verses which correspond with each of their songs, it’s so neat to see how worship and praise songs come directly from God’s word. Yes, I know this is something the Christians knew all along, but for me, a relatively new Christian it’s very exciting. J
One the songs on Casting Crowns current CD is titled Blessed Redeemer, it’s my absolute favorite! As I’ve listen to the lyrics of this song I can’t help but feel sadness for the Mormon people. While we sing praises to Jesus Christ acknowledging what he did for us on Calvary they are singing Praise to the Man a song acknowledging how God needed Joseph Smith to do something he couldn’t. Praising Jesus for what he did for us on the cross isn’t part of any Mormon worship meeting. The cross for a Mormon seems to have the same effect it does for Dracula in the older movies. The way he cowers in fear of it, and eventually running away from the cross is very reminiscent of what I experienced as a Mormon. I didn’t understand how big a part the cross played in my salvation, my spiritual growth and my walk with Jesus.
Focusing on our walk with Jesus wasn’t something stressed in Mormonism, much less raising our hands and singing praises to him. I can’t thank him enough for showing me his truth and leading me to a life of freedom in him. Worshiping him with the body of Christ is something I could never have fully enjoyed or even grasped as a Mormon, because everything about their religion is so void of the influence of the Holy Spirit. I guess that’s fine if your goal is to do things for a religion, or to have a relationship with a religion, but not if you want to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I’ll leave you with the song Blessed Redeemer by Casting Crowns. Follow along with the words, if you don’t know Jesus as your personal savoir now is the time to invite him into your heart.
In Christ, Melissa Grimes