Date: February 29, 2012 01:00AM
After being in contact with the Mormon church, questions came to mind before considering membership for myself. I discovered that some questions have immediate answers and others take time.
It has been my experience recently, that in the light of new information, my questions became concerns and reasons for not joining.
The idea of tithing has never been a point of concern for me, as I have always believed that it is a way to help others anonymously with no expectation of being paid back (the spirit of giving).
I was informed by a prominent Bishop in my area that upon completion of his research that there are ordinances against bestowing their welfare program on non-members of the church that haven't contributed tithes.
This caused real concern for me. As a Christian, it doesn't feel right to give only after being convinced of another person's ability to pay me back. A gift, as far as I am concerned is not a loan or something with preconditions (no strings attached).
Another concern is that if the Mormon church declares that it is the true church of Jesus Christ and that from my knowledge, that Jesus gave without preconditions, then how is this consistent with Jesus' works and teachings?
The Mormon church strongly urged me to become baptized in their church. They wanted to set a short time-frame for me to get baptized and gave me scriptural references and books of Mormon to read. Additionally, they provided missionaries to guide me with getting closer to the Mormon church teachings.
I explained to them that for me to make such a commitment it has to feel right and happen in God's time (when He is ready). The Holy Spirit is always with us to guide us in making better decisions.
The missionaries asked me to pray and ask God if the Mormon church was the true church and make a decision on baptism.
I wonder why Baptism would be a precondition to getting or providing charitable help. I wonder why tithing would be a precondition for getting or providing help. As a Christian, this does not make sense to me.
Although the missionaries have been extraordinary examples of Christians helping others with their time and labor, the Mormon hierarchical structure and policy makers have left me feeling disappointed and disillusioned.
If this still doesn't make sense, ask yourself this question:
If Jesus Christ were to suddenly appear in front of you right now and you asked Him for help or advice on helping others, would he first ask you to verify their ability to pay you back or their current membership status?