Dear Family and Friends,

June 7, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Our 1st non-nuclear family group dinner
In his chapter on “Healing Through Meal-Sharing,” Brennan Manning wrote, “What enormous potential for healing lies within the worshipping community! …[I]t is the church family itself that effects the healing of self-hatred for divorced folks, drunks, scalawags, and social misfits burdened with emotional and mental disorders. …The Christian’s warmth and congeniality, nonjudgmental attitude, and welcoming love may well be the catalyst allowing the healing power of Jesus to become operative in the life of an alienated, forlorn brother or sister. This winsome wedding of worship and life ritualizes Jesus’ table fellowship with sinners and brings healing and wholeness to the entire community” (A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred, 65). This captures exactly what we are attempting to do with our Ex-Mormon monthly Meetups, DivorceCare, and now a summer monthly get-together for those in a non-nuclear family (e.g., single parents, divorced, and blended families). With the exception of DivorceCare where we provide the whole meal, we provide the main course and invite those who attend to bring a side-dish or dessert.

In our April newsletter I reported on one of our DivorceCare members, John Angell, gave his life to the Lord. Last month, he got baptized at our church. I’m also happy to report that another one of our DivorceCare members, Whitney, gave her life to the Lord last month.

At last month’s Ex-Mormon Meetup, we had Father Jan Jensen share his testimony out of Mormonism and into Christ, as well as the mission he had in Algeria this past year. Jan is a conservative Anglican priest. You can watch it here and see the pictures here.

Rob with Murray High students
In addition to these hospitality ministries, I was also able to witness with my buddy Aaron Shafovaloff at Murray High last month. These students were very receptive to taking our literature. I was also able to share the Lord with a couple atheists and one agnostic, who loved us being out there with our signs. The agnostic goes to an LDS Church only because his parents make him. These guys rehearsed the popular myth that the Bible’s been changed so much, you can’t trust it. So I challenged them on that. Of course they couldn’t produce any evidence for it, and then I gave them the evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls substantiating the general reliability of the Old Testament. I also gave them some quick arguments for God’s existence, and told them how they can have real purpose by giving their lives to Christ and His kingdom. I told them that if God didn’t exist, there’s ultimately no difference between walking an old lady across the street and running her over. As Dostoevsky famously said, “If God is dead, all is permissible.”

Rob with Christian friends at Temple Square
I also had a wonderful time at Temple Square witnessing with a small handful of believers, three of whom were former Mormons. I was able to challenge many people waiting to cross the street about their faith. Some even asked me why I believe what I do. So it was a great opportunity to tell them that I have a lot of good reasons to believe the Bible, and that it teaches a totally different God and Jesus than what the LDS Church does. It was great having Andrew Gonzales there when people refused to acknowledge us. Referring to himself, he told them, “Don’t you want to hear from a former temple worker?” You could actually see how troubling this was to many of these LDS people.

Given that last month was the wettest May on record for us, much of my work was done online. I added a few new FAQ’s to MormonInfo.org: see here, here, and here.

I also answered a lot of emails (see our Mailbag for a sample), and had a number of discussions on my Facebook page (e.g., see here).

Tara recently got some new high deductible health insurance that costs us about $200/month. She has been without health coverage for about a year and a half now. She has researched a number of options, including Christian options, and this was the best she could get given her medical history. If something happens to her, we don’t want to sell our place to cover costs. So we are asking that you consider making up this difference for us.

We really value your partnership with this ministry. We not only need your prayers, but we need your financial assistance as well. Your investment is not simply for us, but for the lives of others we reach with the gospel. The standard way to financially invest is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United (CCU). But we also have secure electronic funds transfer programs available if you are interested 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. For more information, please see our
“Invest” page. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving!

Contending earnestly for the faith (Jude 3),

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. Health for our whole family
4. Protection
5. Tara’s and Maddi’s families to be saved
6. For God to use me as I witness at the Manti Pageant this month

****MAILBAG****

You state: “The Son should receive the same worship as the Father. Since Jesus is God by nature, He is worshipped equally with the Father. Jesus receives both worship and prayer, and we are commanded to do so.” Don't you believe that the Holy Ghost is God? Why then doesn't anyone pray to the Holy Ghost? In my entire life I have never heard anyone pray to the Holy Ghost.

[I replied:] I do pray to the Holy Ghost on occasion, and I've heard others, particularly when we are asking for His power and presence.
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Really encouraged to see and hear how God is work through you and Tara! I will continue to be in prayer for you all. …I will see you in Manti, Keep fighting the good fight, In His refuge,
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"You sir are a true ass." Classic...love it! Love your newsletters and hearing how you guys are doing. I truly look forward to reading each one. Keep it up; we're praying for you. We also are revisiting our finances and are going to start giving monthly instead of annually. We know it'll help you for budgeting and it will have a similar benefit for us. Keep running the race!
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Thanks for warring for the King of Kings, Rob and Tara!
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GREAT April newsletter bro! Keeping following the King!
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Thanks so much for your newsletter again. I love reading it from start to finish. I especially enjoy reading the mailbag. It reminds me of watching you share the "Truth" on street corners. As I read your correspondence's, I think of analogies you could use, such as...think of your neighbor packing their car to go on vacation. As they are packing, you notice the lug nuts holding their wheel on their car are loose. Wouldn't they be grateful you brought it to their attention that they need to address this issue before it causes catastrophic consequences? You are doing the same thing. You are bringing to their attention a very serious problem that will result in eternal damnation.
Thanks again,
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Just read your newsletter, and took notice of the mailbag section. How you stay patient (at least it looks like you trying to from what you type) with email after email from some person (usually LDS) who disagrees with what you do is an act of God. For instance, your multi-round correspondence in the second to last email exchange was frustrating for me just to read!! I know that at the base of this, the other person has some major spiritual blinders on and Satan has done a good job messing them up such that they were not even considering what you were saying. Way to contend for Jesus, (and I might add I loved your answer that Jesus would not protest outside of buildings with signs, he would actually go in with a whip and turn tables)!

…I admit I am behind on getting another check to you, so I do apologize since I know you depend on God's provision to make ends meet. Within a couple of days, another one will be on the way...

Hope you and your family had a great week!
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[Facebook instant message:] Im sorry..But do i know you?

[I replied:] No, why?

[She replied:] Just curious..

[I replied after seeing her info:] so why are you an atheist?

[She replied:] Because to many things have happened in my life to help me believe that there is such thing as "god"

[I replied:] like?
others say quite the opposite
you can't both be right, so why think you are?


[She replied:] Well.....I never said I was right I dont puch my belief on people like most mormons. I simply state the fact i am athiest when people ask
push*

[I replied:] I get that
I just think it's important to think through our beliefs


[She replied:] And because i've lost to many people for no reason to many things have happened to me that just show there cant be a "god"

[I replied:] especially on such a weighty topic as God's existence
so God's supposed to keep everyone alive for as long as you want or at least give you reasons when He takes them before you'll believe in Him?


[She replied:] No but when your best friend gets hit by a car when hes only in 6th grade and he's done everything right and he was a good boy who went to church and prayed and never did anything that might considered a sin.

[I replied:] So God owes your friend and you?
Everyone's a sinner in reality


[She replied:] Your Mormon aren't you

[I replied:] we all lie, steal, cheat, lust, covet, etc.
no
Mormons have twisted what the Bible says
they're a cult


[She replied:] Then why are you pushing god on me when you dont even know me

[I replied:] that teaches a totally different God than all of traditional Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
'Cause I love people and don't want them to go to hell, and I want them to experience life the way God intended


[She replied:] ..........You lost me at hell

[I replied:] whether you recognize it or not, you're still made in God's image, and you're important
and the most important thing is God
otherwise you're just lost


[She replied:] I disagree

[I replied:] of course
but you are loved nonetheless and people should tell you the truth whether you agree with it or not


[She replied:] Look im a stuborn teenager who's gonna see it her way no matter who disagrees maybe i'll believe in god later in life just not right now

[I replied:] God loves you and He can change your heart
He's pursuing you
C. S. Lewis said that pain is God's megaphone for rousing a deaf world


[She replied:] That just makes him sound like a creepy stalker.....

Please stop try to push god down my throat i believe what i want for reasons only i understand just leave me alone about it

[I replied:] You don't have to keep talking to me and reading what I say, you know?
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Which version of the Bible do you suggest reading? I was originally thinking the NASB was the most accurate, based on a friend who suggested it who has apparently researched it, but then I read online a defense for the KJV, based on this Isaiah 14:12 verse below. Apparently the part that says "star of the morning" is supposed to refer to Satan, but instead is referring to Christ. When reading the context, Jesus is clearly not speaking ill of himself, but rather to Satan. The KJV makes this part more clear. Please let me know what you think.

[I replied:] I like reading different versions. I read through one and then I start another. Right now I'm reading through the KJV, which turns out to be the 400th year anniversary now. At church I take my NIV, which is what our church reads through. Our pastor is a DTS grad and does a good job explaining the Hebrew and Greek.

Just because there may be an interpretive problem with a particular passage is no reason to favor the KJV as being the most accurate. Since the KJV was published, we've found older, more reliable manuscripts which form the basis for the NASB and NIV among others. Nonetheless, the Faith is consistently given through the various translations... well those that have the backing of serious Hebrew and Greek scholars. The LDS JST or the New World T (JW's) doesn't have any Hebrew or Greek manuscripts to back up their unique translations, btw.

As for Isa. 14:12, yes, context always is fundamental as any linguist will tell you. If "God" can mean idol, judge, heavenly being, or Creator of all, then of course the context is going to be crucial in determining the right meaning. The same would seem to go for the "Morning Star."

Hope this helps!

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Thankyou and thankyou and I will always thankyou for helping me find Jesus again after the the mission I left and for helping me find the fellowship I needed to heal from the Morman church.
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Dear Rob and Tara, Thank you for your service to God! My husband and I were delivered 10 years ago from Mormonism. …We have family and friends in the Salt Lake area that are still entrenched in Mormonism, and I continue to pray for their salvation. I pray that your work for Jesus is very fruitful!

Add Comment
Virgil Sloan says...
"Are you not a man capable of providing for your own family? You put silliness before being a provider for your family. Work to put bread on the table like men should. Why would anyone want to leave a faith that teaches men to provide for their family to join a faith that teaches men to seek handouts and to put silliness ahead of providing?" (6/8/11)
Rob Sivulka says...
"http://mormoninfo.org/paid-ministry" (6/8/11)