December 4, 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

Rob, Tara, and Maddy
Ever since the election, the LDS Church has taken most of the heat for the passing of Prop 8 in CA. I actually sympathize with them, since I have also taken a lot of heat from LDS for promoting what I believe. I even signed a petition of thanks for their stand on this issue. Even though the LDS Church gave over $20 million to see Prop 8 pass, it was primarily the African American and Hispanic communities--both of which have nothing much to do with Mormonism-that made the real difference in the outcome.

The militant homosexual community has been acting like a bunch of babies who throw tantrums when they don't get their way. Of course I'm all for freedom of speech and protesting, but these become inappropriate when bullying, vandalism, and terrorism are carried out. Further, given the type of "tolerance" this community advocates, it becomes totally hypocritical for them to even protest. That they do protest is indicative of the fact that even they know there are such things as genuine or objective rights and wrongs that must be judged. Yet they are quick to take Jesus out of context in stating "judge not lest ye be judged" when others judge homosexuality and homosexual "marriage" in particular to be inappropriate. They are quick to label any correction as "hate." Yet this labeling is itself a correction. They have jumped on the prevailing secular bandwagon that deems religious believers and their views quarantined from public policy. The former desires to impose tyranny on the latter by making freedom from religion the law of the land.

Welcome to the new civil war in America. It is a clash of values. Now is not the time for the Church to run and hide. As Walter Martin used to say, all the armor of God in Ephesians 6 is for frontal attack. If we retreat, we expose ourselves to being shot in our spiritual derrière. It is also not the time to remain apathetic concerning our values. If we have the chance to vote for something beneficial to society, but remain apathetic, then we will be judged. This is not forcing others to become Christians, since Christianity is only entered into by the rebirth of God through faith. Nonetheless, the Christian is called to love one's neighbor, and this entails more than simply preaching the gospel… as necessary as this is. It requires doing the right thing even when most will hate you for it.

I was actually able to preach to LDS missionaries on their "p-day" (preparation day-Monday, when they get personal errands done) last month. They were filling up at a local gas station, so I engaged them in conversation and gave them the Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD.

We had our Ex-Mormon Meetup/Recovery group last month at our church. We had 4 people show up, provided a Thanksgiving dinner, and watched City Confidential: Faith and Foul Play in Salt Lake City (the Mark Hoffman bombing story).

We have one more week to go for completing our first Divorce Care term. This has been a great opportunity for us to enter into the lives of some real hurting brothers and sisters.

In the September newsletter, I mentioned a new book called The New Media Frontier that talks about our ministry and quotes me. That book is now partly online, and HERE is where you can read about our ministry.

I also created three new YouTube sites: MormonInfoDotOrg, JWinfoDotOrg, and CourageousChristians.

Finally, HERE is Tara's story in our church news.

Currently, we are still averaging about 30% of the monthly funding needed to get us back to Utah. We have a long way to go. We are hoping to get back to Utah next summer. If you believe in this mission, then we need your help! Please send in a tax-deductible investment today. If everyone reading this simply gave $25 per month, we would have no problem being at 100% of what we need. Please see our "Invest" page.

Thank you so much for your concern, financial investments, and prayers for this ministry, and for those trapped by false religions and philosophies.

Merry Christmas!

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
Rob@CourageousChristiansUnited.org
MormonInfo.org
JWInfo.org

****PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. For us to have our townhome ready to be put on the market in January
2. For money to put down on a big enough home in Utah (homes are much more expensive there than here in TX)
3. For more members to join our Ex-Mormon Meetup recovery group
4. For my book I'm writing

****MAILBAG****

Courageous Christian - you wear that title with purpose and truth. Amen!
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[In reference to the last newsletter concerning my thoughts on the election:] That was a very good argument for voting a pro-life ticket. Well done.
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Please remove me from this email list. I for one am a Christian who voted for Obama, not because I voted with my pocket book as your newsletter suggested but because I chose to vote for someone who cares about the fatherless and the widows (children with deadbeat fathers, single moms, elderly, etc), in this country. Yes, taking care of the poor and downtrodden is something the Bible speaks strongly about. I agree that abortion is morally wrong and is an important issue, but voting in Republicans has not done much to change that legislation. I do not choose to vote based on one issue, but on a multitude of issues. I'm tired of the Republican party catering to the wealthy and large corporations who have the government in their pocketbooks. They don't really care about changing the abortion issue as much as they care about lining their pocketbooks. In the mean time, the poorest of the poor (the majority are children!) suffer in this nation. We should all be embarrassed th at we do not do more to aid those women who do choose to keep their babies instead of choosing abortion. Maybe if we help out more women and young children those women in poverty will choose to have their babies instead of resort to abortion. Again, please remove me from this mailing list.

[I responded:] Sure I'll remove you from my email list. I understand you're upset; I am too. But at least I'm trying to dialogue with my brothers and sisters who disagree with me.

I don't think you read my newsletter completely, because I already dealt with your objection concerning the care for the poor. Even if you're right that we need big government to redistribute the wealth or better, steal from others to give to the poor, and that this is a much better way of going about it than what the GOP offers, it still doesn't excuse you and other Christians from not doing all you can to protect innocent human life.

If it wasn't for the GOP, we'd still have partial birth abortion, no protection for infants born from botched abortions, and we'd be using our tax dollars to provide for abortions here and in other countries (and these are all in jeopardy now due to Obama). Can the GOP do more? Of course, but we should continue to push for more, not less. We'd push for more if the whole Church rose up and started upholding what's basic to poverty or wealth--life itself.

My "pocketbook" comment concerned the general reason why the Democrats won big the other day. No one questions that. But there are obviously other reasons to vote for them instead of pro-life, and I dealt with those in my newsletter.

I love you…, and still regard you as a sister, but I still think God will judge you for your misplaced priorities.

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Thanks for the info. I'm having a hard time with people I know at Watermark who voted for Obama! The guy I used to date 6 months ago voted for him and so did his sister. THEN recently I developed an interest in another Watermark guy and found out he is a solid Democrat and very pro-Obama. It's just interesting....
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I hope you don't get discouraged by those who say it is unloving and destroying of unity in Christ to argue against abortion except in ways they approve. I don't buy any of that. It takes a pretty thick skin eh? It goes with the territory with these issues. You should see it when we discuss using pictures of aborted children. They go ballistic.

I think your comments were thoughtful... We need people that are passionate and thoughtful on the abortion issue, as well as others. I know it can be a shock the treatment people sometimes get so I just thought I'd encourage you.
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Wow! I saw your vids - and You are one bold brotha! …We were talking about you last week. I'm still praying for your ministry, and will help whenever I can. God Bless you, brother!
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Just to let you know i thin k it is the lowest thing that you do ... you make your living by trying to tear down someone elses faith... how christ like is that... if you call your self a christian and a god loving person... why would you try to tear down the faith of others... you say joseph smith was a false prophet and that there is no way an angel could appear to him... but you all have absolutly no problem with the catholic church seeing the virgin mary... wow is there something wrong there.. you say mormons are not christian ... well just to have you look at this a little bit differently... the name of the churh is not the mormon church.. the proper name is " The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" at least know alittle more about what you are talking about before putting your ignorance before your thoughts... read the book of mormon for your self... and ask god.. then you can find out for your self... there is nothing wrong with the book... your just too afraid to read it cause of the right answwer that you will get...
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What are the "keys of the kingdom" referred to in Matthew 16:19?

[I responded:] The keys are signs of authority to operate in God's kingdom. They are given to His stewards or disciples (Jn. 20:22-3) to proclaim and offer forgiveness as well as make righteous judgments of who does not belong to that kingdom (i.e., those who do not accept that forgiveness). As believers, we have the authority as born-again children of God (1 Jn. 1:9).

Add Comment
Ryan says... (Reply)
"I still enjoy getting your emails even if we don't agree on everything.
I hand you props for staying steadfast, and concerned.

Apathy kills, and in this day and age we certainly don't need any more of that.

So bravo for remaining pro-active!

Now, lets work on your politics. ROFL!" (12/4/08)