Every year I take groups of students to Utah for mission work amongst the Mormon people. Sometimes we take some heat from parents and church members because of the kind of evangelistic work we do. The substance of their objections is this: we should not be telling Mormons they are wrong and trying to take away their faith.
My first response is “Why not?” Most answers to this follow-up question will be based on a false view of tolerance (dealt with here and here) or in an indefensible view of religious pluralism (dealt with here). Besides, if they are putting their faith in a false god, wouldn’t we want to “take” that kind of faith away from them and replace it with faith in the one true God?
My second response is to point to Jesus and the Apostles. Guess what? They told quite a few people they were wrong about their religious beliefs. Just peruse the Gospels and the book of Acts to see this fact. On the contemporary view of tolerance, Jesus was very intolerant!
My third response is to point out that this is an unfair characterization of what we are actually doing. We do not run around the streets of Salt Lake City pointing our fingers in people’s face and yelling “You’re wrong! You’re wrong!” And we will not be forcibly taking away the faith of Mormons. That’s something they’ll have to give up on their own.
The context surrounding 2 Corinthians 5:20, STR’s Ambassador theme verse, accurately portrays our message and our motivation. “The love of Christ compels us” (v. 14) to “implore [others] on Christ’s behalf [to] be reconciled to God” (v. 20), “who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ” (v. 18). We proclaim the truth of the gospel to Mormons because of our love for them and because they believe a false gospel and will be lost for eternity. Sometimes, telling someone they are wrong is the most loving thing you can do for them.
However, in an age of postmodern “sensibilities” many of our churches have lost the courage to stand for the truth. Indeed, Christian parents will even keep their kids from taking the gospel to a lost and dying people to be politically correct.