December 30, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Rob on Doris Hanson's show
At the beginning of the month, I had the privilege to be interviewed on a live TV show. The weekly show is hosted by Doris Hanson and called "Polygamy: What Love is This?" Doris is a Christian who was saved out of a Mormon polygamous cult. My topic was on polygamy in the Bible. The first half of the show was really fun, but the last half was a little boring due to the callers. A few callers had a difficult time just forming a question. You may watch the show online HERE. We only got through perhaps half of what we intended to cover, so Doris invited me to come back on February 17th.

We finished our first semester with leading our Divorce Care group here in Utah. We had two people, and both are interested in coming back next semester. We had a year-end party with them at our home. It's exciting to see God use this program to draw people close to Himself.
Timothy Oliver (left) at our Ex-Mormon Meetup
Pray that we'll have a bigger group as we begin meeting the end of next month.

We also had Timothy Oliver of Think About Eternity Ministries come to our last Ex-Mormon Meetup. Timothy has a great testimony of coming out of Mormonism and coming into Christ, and it may be viewed online HERE.

This is also a great time of year to do evangelism at Temple Square. Right after Thanksgiving the Christmas lights come on there, and they draw the crowds out every evening. On one very
Rob at Temple Square
cold evening, both Matt (our CFO) and I got into good, long conversations with someone. Matt witnessed to an LDS service missionary named Landon, who Matt had also witnessed to back in September. Landon is very open to the Christian gospel, and is troubled by the hypocritical legalism and the impossibility of living up to the LDS gospel. I got to witness to a young LDS guy named Michael. He saw me preaching, and prayed about whether he should come and talk with me. After we talked about all sorts of doctrines, he ended up taking my tract and DVD.

On a much warmer evening, I went out with Seth Coleman. Seth is from our church, but goes to school at Multnomah University. He was home for Christmas. It was great for us to watch Santa
Buddy, Santa, and Rob
and Buddy the Elf (Randy Sweet and Eric Johnson, both from Mormonism Research Ministry) draw their own crowd of those who wanted pictures with them, and then they all got a tract! Very creative!

Finally, Tara and I were interviewed for an upcoming documentary film that follows a Southern California Christian mission team coming to Utah. The film is tentatively called "Seekers of Truth." If you'd like one of their perspectives on our interview, see Courtney's blog entry HERE.

We really need your partnership with this ministry. Your investment is not simply for us, but for the lives of others we reach with the gospel. The standard way to invest is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United. But we also have secure electronic funds transfer programs available if you are interested
Sivulkas with film crew
in the simplicity of monthly withdrawals without the stamp. This also helps us with our monthly budgeting. Please also keep in mind that, particularly in this economy, we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go as jobs do. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving! For more information on partnering with us financially, see our “Invest” page.

Happy New Year!

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84084
(801) 708-4865
Rob@CourageousChristiansUnited.org
MormonInfo.org
JWInfo.org
MuslimInfo.org

****ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. To get more speaking engagements.
2. To get more partners who will faithfully invest in this ministry
3. To get more people to join our Ex-Mormon Meetup
4. Health for our whole family
5. Protection
6. Wisdom
7. Tara and Maddi's family to be saved

****MAILBAG****

Yikes (a guy I met twice sent me a book of mormon and [and invited me to his church])!!! Please let me know what to do!!!!! Thank you!

[After reading their chat, I replied:] Go to his church. A couple things I'd point out: 1) LDS have a completely different God/Jesus than what the Bible teaches, and 2) going to the source is fine, but if that's all one does, then that's not being very open-minded. OK, here's a 3rd and related point: he's only "open-experience," and some things are not to be experienced due to what we have open-mindedly determined from God's word. I'm not saying you shouldn't go to his church, since I said you should go. But I am saying that your friend seems to be sticking his head in the sand and that's not honoring to the Lord. Nonetheless, God can use this experience with the preaching of His word to convict your friend. So pray, pray, pray that God will touch His heart and his mind!
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I saw you on Doris Hanson's show Thursday night. I was very impressed with your presentation. May God bless you and your ministries. I was Mormon for 40 years and woke up to the lies after going to the temple and seeing and hearing all of the Masonic stuff. I was shocked to say the least. Keep up the great work you are doing to wake up the Mormon lost. A Born-Again Christian.
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God bless you. Loved… you on the show. I think that you're a natural on TV. Really. You communicated well which is unusual for most folks on TV.
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As always, it is so exciting to read about all your encounters-and there doesn't seem to be to many duplications. They all seem different-of course that's only one way to keep from getting bored! I always love to see the picture of you with Tara and the baby. She is so cute! And growing too! Keep up the good work. Lots of love to all
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As a former Mormon Bishop, I wanted you to know that your website reflects precisely the truth that my wife and I have come to know about the Mormon Church. Several comments and articles you have provided helped us formulate our questions to our Mormon Leaders, which lead to our leaving the Mormon Church after 32 years.

As we continue to recover from our ordeal and come to know the true love of the Lord as echoed through the lives of His compassionate followers like you, please accept this gift [Mormonism: A Life Under False Pretenses] from previously lost souls.

As you reach-out to the Mormon Community, let us know if there is something we can do to help.

Sincerely,

Lee B. Baker
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Thanks for doing the infodotorg. Thanks for bringing the truth. Love your youtube sites. Keep preaching the truth Brother!
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%&^* YOU and your whole dumbass organization! Are you for real right now, im not even mormon but i have lots of friends who are and i see your stupid people out on temple square holding signs advertising your websites and whatnot. Its pretty %$^& pathetic and sad that you guys are out there just trying to bash on another religion, your not even trying to preach yours, whatever it would be. You guys are there to hate, its pretty pathetic i must say. Do you guys have any self respect at all or do you like looking like a bunch of &^*% *&%#, cuz thats all your being and ever will be unless you stop hating so much on other people. Get a %^& life and go do something worthwhile.
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If it's/the gospel/this life is all about "His" glory, it still seems like, in the end, the thing who/that receives the benefits is Him (which seems selfish and lacking "hope"). I know there are "blessings" or "rewards" that are given to those who, through sanctification/works discussed in certain places in scripture, though, it still seems to me like God is more selfish than giving, since he has EVERYTHING and only gives us "some"...the mainstream/non-denominational, current perspective seems, from a surfacy/superficial standpoint to share God's love and selflessness, but when dug deeper, reveals a selfish God wanting everything, and really giving little, in relation to what He receives and has. The Mormon perspective, on the other hand, yields a God who wants to give EVERYthing He has to His children, with one example being the knowledge and role of a God. This, to me, does not create an understanding of "pride", but rather an understanding of complete selflessness by the One who is able to give that complete selflessness. When I see it like that, I do not feel love for the God of the non-denominational/Biblical-only perspective of the Bible, because he's ultimately just using us for Him...and that does not bring me peace to walk with the "Bible-only God". If I'm way off, please let me know.

[I replied:] Technically the LDS God doesn't give His wives or this world or set of worlds He rules over. Is that selfish? I wouldn't say so, because that's the nature of the way things are set up. Similarly, given the nature of the way things are set up, dependent creations can't become the Creators of literally everything outside themselves. That's nonsense. Instead, we fortunately follow an all-good God, who knows that life is in Him since He's the author of it. The more we follow and glorify Him, the more our lives become like Him and thus more beautiful. That's the Christian's hope. So I'm all for being exalted and being a joint-heir with Christ, but I don't have an over-inflated ego that thinks I'm of the same nature as God… the Creator and Sustainer of literally everything outside Himself.

Now not only does God *want* to use us for His glory to show off His goodness and true awesomeness, but God is love as 1 Jn. 4:7-8 says. He sacrificed Himself in the person of Jesus because He loves us that much. Jesus taught no greater love has a man than He lay down His life for His friends (Jn. 15:13). I'm naturally drawn to anyone who'd do that for me.

Finally on this, what does the Bible teach about God's glory? Damn our perspectives of the way we'd like things to be. Our perspectives are skewed, but God's word is pure. The Bible teaches that God will not give His glory to another (Isa. 42:8 and 48:11). 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (ESV). John the Baptist said of Jesus that He must increase and John must decrease (Jn. 3:30). What does Mormonism teach? To paraphrase the Manti Pageant, the most important thing is man's development into becoming a God since one is the greatest miracle he or she will ever see, and to paraphrase the Gospel Principles, so that our spirit kids will have the same relationship to us as we do to our heavenly Father.


[She asked:] Is it wrong for a Bible-believer to attend a Mormon church for the rest of his/her life, if he/she reads the Bible as the word of God and tries to share the gospel with Mormons through non-offense (would not disrupt the flow of the meetings or of the Bishop's ward) means?

[I replied:] Yes it's wrong. It's wrong because you're not getting the prescribed outlet to get your batteries recharged. I'm all for witnessing at the LDS churches, but this shouldn't be done to the exclusion of the body of Christ. Life is more than witnessing... It's about ministering to other like-minded people who can push each other to be more like their Master. There's a whole system that God's given us for our benefit, and that includes elders, pastors, deacons, and those who manifest the gifts of the Spirit in various ways. This is why God says not to forsake the assembly of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25).
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Your teaching on the Trinity was stand up. I brought me back from false teaching. You nailed that one. Thanks for putting that one on YouTube.

… I also saw on Youtube, CCU praying together at Manti. Now I see why you want people to attend events, and not just send financial support. A very powerful scene. Thanks for witnessing at Manti. And for telling the truth to the Attorney General of Utah. Will try to attend speaking events presented by CCU in early 2010. Sending yet another humble gift in January. Wish I could help more. Thanks for bringing truth to Utah!
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I think you do the best teaching on the trinity that I've ever heard!

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