Tara sharing at Logos
Logos Christian Church
At the beginning of the month, Tara and I were able to share our ministry with a small church in Escondido, CA called Logos Christian Church. Their pastor, Dave Ruscetta, and I have been friends since seminary. Dave has even brought mission teams up to Utah before, which I have worked with. While at Logos, I shared some things that we do in our ministry and what Mormons believe and how different that is from what the Bible teaches. Then Tara shared her story of coming out of Mormonism and coming to Christ, and some of the exciting ways that God is using her to bring people to Himself. Please consider having us come to share at your local church as well.
Morning training session at ECBOn the first day of the pageant, I was the speaker at the morning training session at Ephraim (the next town north of Manti) Church of the Bible. I gave a very condensed version of the pep talk I usually give there: “Suffering and Joy in Evangelizing Mormons.” You may watch the intro here. The auditorium was packed, and most of the people were first-timers for evangelizing the pageant.
Tara and our two little girls came down with me for the first week. It is always a joy for me to watch my daughter Charis pass DVDs out. She got them out more frequently than I did, although she lost interest quickly and wanted to do something else. One gal told her, “You’re so cute, I just can’t say no.” Nonetheless, most people wouldn’t take them from her. It was a good lesson in rejection for her.
Charis distributing DVDsIt was also great having my wife come up with the stroller while I was in conversations, and I introduced her as an ex-Mormon. She always adds a very personal touch to what I’m talking about. She relates to their burning in their bosoms, since she’s been there, but then proceeds to tell them how deceived she was, how much bondage she experienced as a Mormon, and how much freedom she has in Christ.
Every night, I was in a number of good conversations. One night I had three teens (a gal and 2 guys) who were very intently listening to every word I said. I asked them if they were ready to pray to receive the Lord, but they all said they needed more time to research what I was saying.
In another conversation, my wife and I talked to a somewhat edgy LDS gal. She opened up to us after I explained how the Mormon gospel isn’t good news at all for the murderer or the one who commits more than a one time offense of adultery (cf. D&C 42:18ff.). She admitted that she has committed adultery a number of times. She also admitted to having a difficult time keeping the Word of Wisdom, since she likes coffee and agreed with Tara that there are a number of health benefits to it. Nonetheless, she said that whether she understands it all or not, she’s committed to submit to what she takes the Lord to say through the LDS Church. At this point, I urged her to apply that same attitude to what the Lord has already said in the Bible and damn everything else, reminding her of what Paul said in Galatians 1:6-9.
On another occasion, an LDS guy was advocating that all the scriptures were in error to some degree, since they were all given to us by fallible men. So the real authority comes via personal revelation or the burning in the bosom. I shared with this guy how this opens up the legitimacy of adultery if one feels a testimony, and it further goes against what Jesus and His apostles taught about the authority of scripture (e.g., John 10:35 and 2 Peter 1:19-21). Amazing blindness in order to hide from truth!
Christian evangelists gather to sing and pray prior to evangelizingThere were too many conversations to relate in a short newsletter, but here’s how I got into them. I hooked a number by offering them the Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD. When they refused, I asked them if they were LDS. Probably about half the people just ignored me and kept walking into the pageant grounds. Of the half who said they were LDS, I asked why they were. Probably a quarter of those actually stopped to answer me. Typically, the discussion of the reliability of feelings ensued. After I demonstrated how unbiblical and shaky feelings are to be taken as the ultimate source for determining truth, I asked them if they had read the Bible. If they had, I then asked them if they don’t find any contradiction from what it teaches about God and what the LDS scripture teaches. At this point, we’re off and running!
After about 2 and a half hours of this, I took the last half hour prior to the beginning of the pageant to reach as many as I could through preaching to a crowd sitting on the grassy park just across the street from the temple. Here’s a video of me preaching
Rob preaching with his new flashy shirtFriday night on the 27th. This was a relatively calm night, although some guy near the end kept trying to get me to stop out of respect to a lady who was lying on the ground behind me, being attended to by the paramedics. A couple Christians questioned whether the whole thing was staged to get me to shut up. I don’t know, but given my history with LDS antics, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was the case. I figured she was well taken care of, and the best I could do for her was to keep on preaching.
The next night (last night of the pageant) is when all hell broke loose right after I began preaching. The entire week and a half of the pageant had been usually calm, but this night had some of the same jokers from last year trying to shut me down. There was a serious limitation on my free speech. People were in my face shouting me down, and one guy momentarily held a blanket up so the crowd couldn’t see me. There was an impeding of my foot traffic when I wanted to pace the sidewalk as I preached in order to get away from the crowd, and there was assault. One guy wiggled his fingers just millimeters from my eyes. By God’s grace, I didn’t punch the guy’s hands away. I was more upset at the sheriff’s department standing there doing nothing… again! They have been warned prior to this pageant. For years, they continue to do nothing even though they are literally inches away from a riot taking place. As a result, legal action is underway, and I’d appreciate your prayers.
New bigger and brighter signImmediately after this episode, the Manti Stake President led the crowd in singing “Praise to the Man.” For those unfamiliar with this hymn, let’s just say they aren’t referring to Jesus Christ.
After the pageant, I and others would hold up lighted “JosephLied.com” signs to the traffic as they left for at least an hour each night. The result? During and for a few days after pageant, the stats were about double of what I was averaging!
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 1) this is our sole source for income, and 2) we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go as jobs do. 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****
Some friends from Iowa create their own signs1. 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
5. Prayer for Tara going on the Ex-Mormon Files TV show tomorrow
Thanks to you and Tara for sharing last week. Great response from people. Many commented on what you talked about and also on the DVDs. Lots of interest and questions. Everyone wished we had the room longer. We want you to come back when in SoCal. Many blessings!
OMG, you are such a freakin loser. I finally watched all your videos harassing those people and its so hillarious what a loser you are of a Christian....you even have videos on how to intimidate these
Someone placed this sign here and it shouldn't be here, since it's not LDS Church property. They tried this trick last year to keep me off it.Half of your information on that site is incorrect about Mormons and i do not appreciate you posting false things about the church.
[I replied:] How about one for starters? Notice all the LDS URLs I give for references.
I have't forgotten about you! I am praying for your safety at Manti! Can you believe it's been 10 years since we got attack at Manti? Crazy huh?
Thanks much for hosting and training us. The kids were really impacted by their week. You are in our prayers.