Last month was unusually cold. Salt Lake City averages 32 degrees Fahrenheit for the month, however the average last month was 20.25 degrees! We also had a number of snowstorms, and when it wasn’t snowing, we had smog develop, which was the worst air quality in the nation. As a result, the ministry was all done inside and much of it involved quite a bit of writing.
I ended a lengthy email exchange last month with an LDS guy named Kevin. You can read part of that exchange in the Mailbag section of the December newsletter. It got to the point where I realized nothing productive was going to happen, especially since he told me that he was absolutely certain about what God’s will was for him. In fact, he could not be persuaded otherwise. I gave examples of many things we all know that we don’t have absolute certainty. As a result of this line of thinking, the historical arguments for the Bible being the word of God and Christ’s fulfillment of prophecies and miracles, particularly the resurrection, are not trustworthy! Just because it’s possible the disciples lied about what Christ said and did doesn’t entail that we don’t have knowledge of what Christ said and did, and it doesn’t entail that we are in the same epistemic condition concerning Joseph Smith. We have good reasons to reject Smith as a false prophet, but none of that mattered to Kevin, since his knowledge was absolutely certain. I got the hint that he was going for his burning in his bosom, but there was little use to pursue it further when one is convinced that he cannot be mistaken. My burning in my bosom was reminding me of what Christ had said about not throwing your pearls before swine. I wasn’t going to waste any more time.
I met a guy named Michael at church. I sat next him and found out he is LDS. He was visiting from out of state, so I began witnessing to him since I didn’t know if I’d have another chance to see him again. I asked him if he saw any differences between what we teach and what the LDS Church teaches. He said they were basically the same and there were only “subtle differences.” So I asked him if he noticed any difference on who Christ is. Michael said there was only one Christ, but I told him that’s not what Jesus taught (Mat. 24:24). I began to explain the huge differences, but Michael was trying to sound as Christian as he could and downplaying LDS theology. He told me that I was being contentious and that he didn’t want to talk to me anymore about it. I honestly was polite and told him that the Bible commands us to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). As we parted I told him, “I love you and I just have to warn you about the cultic theology of the LDS Church.” So guess who I sat next to in the same spot the following week? Yep, Michael again! We shook hands and greeted each other as the service began, however, as the service was ending he immediately left, obviously not wanting to talk to me. I pray the Lord draws him to himself, since just like Kevin, there’s really nothing more I can do at this point.
I spent a couple days dialoguing with a guy named Brian in the comments’ section of one of my FAQs on MormonInfo.org. Not quite sure where he was coming from, but the debate was over what I take to be one of the bad fruits of Mormonism, viz., that they allow abortions for rape and incest. I argue that’s the case due to them not having a clear understanding of when life begins.
My current Twitter avatar Twitter @RobSivulka
It has taken me almost 4 years, but I have recently caught on to Twitter. Please follow me there as I post my concise thoughts daily.
I added a couple videos last month to our YouTube page: “My Prophetess Daughter Reads Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics” and “Mesa, Arizona LDS Easter Pageant on Creation.”
Plans for This Year
Please keep us in your prayers and financial partnership for this year’s ministry events. In addition to our monthly Meetups, Tara and I will be sharing with a CA Christian high school mission team here in Utah next week. I plan on preaching at both General Conferences. Due to Tara’s late grandfather’s generosity and the credit card miles we’ve been accumulating, we will be taking a family trip to Europe this spring to celebrate milestones in our birthdays and anniversary. Coincidentally, I’ll be able to go to the Paris LDS temple opening! We will also be able to share our ministry in Serbia. The annual Manti Pageant will be quite interesting this year as it looks like the LDS Church will be buying the street that Christian missionaries like to evangelize on. This will give LDS more of a safe zone from us pesky evangelists. There will also be three other temple openings I plan on attending: Tucson, AZ, Meridian, ID, and Cedar City, UT. If you live in these areas, please let me know if you can help in any way. I would also like to be able to speak at your church.
We Need Your Partnership!
We not only need your prayers, but we need your financial partnership as well. Keep in mind that 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). For more information on various ways to invest in this ministry, including online giving, please see our “Invest” page on any of our sites. Please keep in mind we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go. If you’re not a partner, please consider joining our team and let us know soon. We’d love to be your missionaries here in Utah. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving!
We expect God to provide for our needs through you. Why? Because the Bible is clear: “the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14).
Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!
President, Courageous Christians United
Hope this new year is super awesome!
Glad we can help.... Hope y'all enjoyed the holidays and we'll be praying for your ministry. I enjoy reading the newsletters and updates...
A prominent Mormon in our community wondered why I would have a Mormon info sticker on my car while I have family that is Mormon. I told him that I knew the man who made the website and he had done an excellent job of comparing mormonism to Christianity. The bumper sticker is a good way to spread some truth here in New Mexico. Thanks for your work.