Witnessing to Holdeman Neighbors
The cloistered and sometimes idyllic lifestyle of any “one true church” gives it members a feeling of social belonging and safety from the outside world. Because of these rewards, many members learn to be happy with their lot. Why bother witnessing to a member who seems content? Because (1) the distorted gospel of works for salvation leads to a Christ-less grave(Gal.5:2-4) and (2) the bondage of cult legalism is a life controlled by fear of hell and fear of loss of family, friends, and mate for all who defect.
All “one true” churches practice mind control to ward off defection from the group’s rhetoric. Members are taught not to question or think for themselves but have childlike, blind trust in the teachings of the group. Scripture that contradicts their system is ignored because they have been taught the Bible is not for them to understand without the interpretation from the group.
Things also get confusing for the Christian trying to witness because cults do use the terminology of Christianity—though their actual meanings for the terms are different than those of orthodox Christianity. It is even common for Christians, buffeted by the realities and battles of life, to be attracted to what seems to them to be a haven of true humble spirituality.
Ultimately, it is the Word of God that does penetrate and bring Truth. But before members will give the Bible an unbiased hearing, often the only thing that cuts through the barrage of indoctrination is the genuine Christian life of the non-member.
Though Holdemans believe true spirituality is impossible if a man shaves or a women wears pants or goes bareheaded, there is something that catches their attention: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, faith, meekness, temperance—coupled with a warm testimony of an intimate and daily relationship with Jesus.
Christian, speak often and freely of your personal faith in Jesus to your Holdeman or Mormon or JW friend. All “one true church” members will recite that they believe in Jesus, but their doctrines teach “another Jesus,” their conversions are often mere surrender to the group’s legalism, and worshipping that non-scriptural Jesus equates with allegiance to their organization.
If you would be a missionary to our dear Holdeman neighbors, share freely your daily, personal, intimate, joyous walk with Jesus Christ. Speak of the Holy Spirit’s guidance for obedience, and testify why His sacrificial death has saved you by faith through grace alone.
Love letter to the Holdemans:
Whether it be of God and No Proselytes in Zion--a Re-examination: (this is the original pamphlet sent to 2,000 members of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite)
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