Bob Pilch, Dan, and Rob outside the Provo Center TempleProvo Temple Opening
The Provo Center Temple opening stopped March 5th. It began January 15th, and it was a great time challenging literally thousands of LDS with the God of the Bible. I had a number of really good conversations, and of course the stats on our web site were up quite a bit during the time.
The best thing that happened though was leading Dan to repent of his sins and receive Jesus as his savior. Dan had come to Utah from Texas looking for work. He tried Mormonism, but said he could never really fit in. He was with some church I never heard of. So after we both trashed Mormonism, I asked if he knew he was forgiven of all his sins. His theology was unusual, but after he repented and trusted the simplicity of Christ's free gift, Dan smiled as he told me he knew that Christ was now in his life. Please say a prayer for him. He's close to Centerpoint church in Orem, so I invited him there and he said he would check it out.
We shared at Logos Christian Church last month in Escondido, CA. Pastor Dave Ruscetta is the pastor there, and we’ve been friends since our seminary days. Our whole family shared. Zoe ran around the small room looking cute. Charis shared the books of the Bible and some passages of scripture from memorization. Tara shared her testimony of coming out of Mormonism and coming to Christ. Then I shared about our ministry and how I witness to LDS. We always enjoy our time with this group. They are very welcoming of us.
We also went to CA to celebrate my folks’ 50th wedding anniversary! Congratulations to them on this milestone!
Meet the Ex-Mormons Fellowship
We had AnnaMaria Soltis share her story at last month’s fellowship. I’ve know her quite a while, and her husband, Mark, back when I first started coming up to Utah as a summer missionary back in the ‘80s. You may watch her story here and see the pictures here.
With Pastor Dave RuscettaSummer Mission Trip
In addition to the Philadelphia LDS temple opening this August, there is also now an LDS temple opening in Ft. Collins, Colorado during that same month. The former goes from August 5th - September 3rd. The latter goes from August 19th – September 10th. We would now like to take a family road trip out to just Colorado and then simply fly me back to Philly.
If you are interested in helping make this happen, we need to hear from you soon. Flights are cheap now, but I’m sure prices are going up the closer to summer we get.
We Need Your Partnership!
We not only need your prayers, but we need your financial assistance 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
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84081
****ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS****
1. Health and protection for our whole family
2. Tara’s family to be saved
3. Wisdom in all our dealings
4. Strength to keep going
Keep chipping away brother, their foundation is on sand. That “building” is looking a bit unstable these days. As always, our prayers are yours.
I happen to be a mormon. I looked at your site, and read through much of it, and most of the information on it was untrue. While you did cite references and so on, what you did was took the scriptures and twisted the meaning of them. The fact that you took the time to read through the scriptures is great, god bless. You took it too far when you made a website that completely degrades my religion. You obviously are not a mormon, and you do not truly understand what we believe. You slandered 16 million individuals, implying that we are not christians, yet we have the same bible as you do. We firmly do believe in christ, and we simply have a different method of reaching him than you.
[I replied:] Funny, because I know LDS and ex-LDS who tell me how accurate I am in my portrayal of LDS beliefs. If you disagree, then please provide specific examples with authoritative references. I'm really not interested in autobiography. Until you do that I will continue with business as usual.
Thanks for writing!
[He replied:] Accurate or not, it isn't cool to slam 16 million people and their beliefs. It's simply a belief. You can't deny in any way that we aren't good people living good lives. It's extremely low to do things like that. You must really not have a life if you have time to construct a site about this. Are you still living in mommy's basement?
[I replied:] So it's cool apparently to slam me and my beliefs. You and others who attack me like this are hypocritical, and that's not living a good life. The fact is, you guys are following a false god, false Jesus, false Holy Spirit, false scriptures, and false prophets to hell, and someone needs to warn you guys before it's too late.
[He replied:] Alright, I'm going to hell. I'll be happy to see you there! :)
[I replied:] Seriously, why do LDS say this? What exactly does it mean by saying that if I'm right, you'll see me there in hell as well? If I'm right, I'm going to be with God in the celestial kingdom and you'll be in hell.
Hi Rob, we will be praying believe God to really move!
I have a serious question. I was saved in the Baptist Church at 10 but converted to the LDS church in high school. I have been devout LDS for over 40 years. The Baptist taught me that my father, an atheist, would be sent to hell by God and all people who ever lived who did not accept Christ during
their life would also be sent to hell.
Not being a traditional christian anymore, my question is, do christian's believe today that all people who never "had the chance" to hear about Jesus, also be sent to hell. Do all people ever lived regardless of their life's circumstance have the chance to be saved and how?
I realize you believe I am doomed to eternal punishment and that is OK, I would just like to know if Christians believe all people can be saved who ever lived.
Thanks in advance for your response.
[I replied:] It depends on the Christian and the Baptist. My own view is that God doesn't send someone to hell for not knowing or ever hearing the name of Jesus. Babies, mentally challenged, and those believers who died in the Old Testament are good examples of individuals who wouldn't go to hell in such a circumstance. Romans 1, however, is clear that individuals go to hell for the clear knowledge they do have of God through the things He's made and their rejection of it.
Thanks for the good question!
Good Read Brother. Keep the fire hot. I love reading this stuff. I want to come out there and serve with you sometime. I love Utah (been there once).
With all the training I had during my youth, I am feeling torn with something. My son has some good friends that are Mormon. I am trying to tell him to love on them yet stay true to his believe. I have always called Mormons a cult, yet some of the ones near here have some different views. My sons friend is getting offending that he is calling them a cult. I have told him to try and use other terms, but also to stay out of some of these big discussions until he truly knows more. What are your thoughts?
[I replied:] I don't think continuing to use the term is helpful for extended conversations... unless one is asked or one clearly defines what one means by the term. A "cult," as I use the term, is a group of people centered around someone or some group's interpretation of a particular religion, but ends up breaking away from that religion by denying the essential beliefs of that religion and claiming it alone is now the only genuine example of that religion. This is a way of being "heretical." If your son doesn't understand that, and if he wants continued extended conversations with his friends, then he should stop using the term until he does. When he does get it, he should use it not to demean, disrespect people, or beat people over the head, but, in the right situation, to clearly identify for them where he thinks his friends stand. As a result, the term works to get them to see how serious this is for us as evangelicals. LDS want to control even the way we speak to mitigate our evangelism to them. Why? Because if LDS really aren't a "cult," then why bother evangelizing them?
Other Christians have wanted to substitute the term "culture" for the term "cult" to keep the peace and extend the conversations. That's fine, but if asked, I'd be lying if I'd say LDS are *not* a cult given my definition of the term. I use the term the same way that other evangelical experts on cults use the the term. As such, the term "culture" is insufficient in describing the nature of Mormonism.
The more important point outside of the way people use terms in certain situations is that LDS are on their way to hell and need to be saved. So regardless of whether one uses the term "cult" or not in one's evangelism, if this point about one's standing with God isn't clearly driving the conversation, then nothing else matters. However, when that point is clearly articulated to the Mormon, then the Mormon *ought* to be just as offended as if the term "cult" is used. Then we usually enter into the conversation about how Jesus told us to "judge not." Because the unbeliever is rightly offended! That's when I know the conversation is headed the right way!
Finally, in close family and friend relationships, one needs a lot more judgment about when conversations need to happen in the first place. In those situations, I advocate the model of the submissive believing wife to the unbelieving husband in 1 Peter 3:1. She's to keep her mouth closed and focus on loving her husband, waiting for the moment when the husband asks for a reason for her faith as verse 15 speaks about.
Hope this helps!
I saw this guy talking at the Provo City Center open house, and he gave me this newspaper. I would like to get any books or DVDs you have on Joseph Smith and Mormonism.
I have been thinking of asking you this for awhile. I have several friends that consider themselves to be Reformed. Many times a lot of things they post and or share really seems to rub me wrong but I wanted to get another opinion on whether they are too legalistic? They seem to be very strict about what is considered kosher to be taught.
[I replied:] Just because one is Reformed doesn't entail that one is legalistic. They are 2 different issues, although some push their Reformed doctrine in such a way that they are legalistic about it and make you feel less than Christian if you hold another position.