One thing I really dislike about Mormon McConkieism (the ideology that treats Bruce R. McConkie’s book “Mormon Doctrine” as if it were real doctrine, rather than what it really is – his opinion) is the idea that other Christian Churches are the “Church of the devil” and that only we, LDS Mormon Christians, are the true Christian Church. Yet it is true that there are two churches, one of God and one of the Devil (1 Nephi 13: 5-9).
For a very long time, people and groups of people of all faiths have tried to identify who or what this evil church is. McConkie pointed to Catholics, and he was not alone. There are good and bad people in the Catholic church, just like there are good and bad people in the LDS church. They have done some pretty bad and/or bigoted things, and so have we. It is hard to point a finger, as we – like the accusers of the adulterous woman – are not perfect ourselves (John 8: 4-9).
In my mind, the evil church is not made up of people that literally worship the devil – though this may very well be the case, I do not know. Rather, they don’t understand how to worship the Lord (Isaiah 29: 13, Matthew 15: 8-9). Rather than being organized, like the Lord’s church is organized (1 Corinthians 14: 33), these would be people that ban together by hate, rather than love (Matthew 22: 37-40). These would be the people, the very elect, that have been fooled (Matthew 24: 24). This, to me, would mean that these could be church going Christians of every faith that have not truly been saved and are not filled with God’s love.
I do not say this to point finger, nor to create a path for finger pointing. We must all point fingers at ourselves and perfect ourselves in Christ (Matthew 7: 1-5), it is not our job to prefect others (John 8: 4-9). When looking at our own actions, one comes to mind – how we treat others.
I was reading the news recently and there reminded once again of Christians that felt persecuted. What was the persecution? They owned businesses and they did not want to serve people that sinned. They wanted the right to cast the first stone (John 8: 4-9) by not serving a select group of the population. I was immediately reminded of the scripture from the Book of Revelation in the New Testament:
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. – Revelation 13: 16-17
This led me to ask, “would a Christian, a member of the Church of God, need to see a mark from their customers to show they are not homosexuals or transgender that they ‘might but or sell?'”
To be clear, I am not accusing any of my fellow Christians of being members of the church of the Devil. Rather, I am asking them to put their stones down (John 8: 4-9). While I do not truly think it possible to avoid the appearance of evil, deciding who and whom may buy and sell from you is pretty clearly laid out in the scriptures.
Now, there does need to be some sort of limit on who and whom we sell to. If someone enters a shop to buy a gun and stated the want to murder someone, of course that store should not sell this person a gun. If, after checking references, it is found that someone or a couple wanting to rent living quarters has skipped out on the rent at their last few residences and left the place in dire disarray, it makes practical and financial sense to decline to do business with them.
However, if they are of another religion or make legal lifestyle choices that will in no way effect the business or people working or owning that place of business we should show the light of Christ to these people as all sin and fall short of the glory of God. And, how can God introduced himself to them through us if we see they do not have the right markings on their hands and foreheads thus refusing to do business with them?
As disciples of Christ, we should let our light shine and work with all that they too may feel of God’s love and have the opportunity to come to Christ. How we treat others is a witness and testimony of who we serve and who’s church we truly belong to. We should each looking our own hearts to see to whom we belong, rather than looking at others and pointing out their flaws. As Christ said,
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. – John 13: 35
This shouldn’t begin and end with members our our own faiths, but rather we should love all.