Should I Hide When Mormons Come Knocking?

One of the great privileges of serving in the local church is the opportunity to hear intriguing questions from congregants. A couple of weeks ago, I had such an experience after talking about evangelism. The topic of door-to-door Mormon missionaries  came up, and eventually our conversation turned to how to interact with non-Christian missionaries—and if they should be shown any sort of hospitality at all. One participant in the conversation mentioned that they do not allow non-Christian missionaries into their home on the basis on 2 John 10-11, which says:

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” 2 John 10-11 (ESV)

I’ve always made it a point to be frank with door-to-door people of any sort. If I have time or you sound interesting, I’ll listen; if I’m busy or unlikely to be interested, I’ll quickly let you know. When it comes to non-Christian missionaries (people such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses), I’ve been known to chat for a moment or two, even occasionally inviting them to step onto my porch for a few minutes. In light of this information from 2 John, I wondered if I had been unknowingly violating a scriptural teaching. Continue reading

Women in the Apostolic Fathers: Paranetic Women in 1 Clement (Part I)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Women in the Apostolic Fathers.

Saint Clement of RomeWomen’s voices are not directly heard in First Clement, although a number of women do appear as characters in Clement’s exhortations to the Corinthian church. While Trevett argues that Clement singled out the “uppity women” of Corinth, this seems unlikely for a couple of reasons.[1] First, Clement was highly familiar with Paul’s writings, especially those to Rome and Corinth.[2] Yet nowhere does he invoke the authority of Paul concerning ordered and submissive women in the church, instead generally discussing the order of all.[3] Second, Clement felt free to utilize biblical women as models for concord and order among the entire community, not just among women. These paranetic women include Lot’s Wife, Rahab, Judith, and Esther. Continue reading