Christmas with Rob's parents (Magnolia, TX)
More Added to the Kingdom!
Last month, I got to lead a 19-year-old named David to the Lord. I was with a couple of buddies of mine—Julio and Steve—having our weekly accountability/prayer time at the local Beans & Brews. David said he was homeless and spent the night in Walmart the night before. It was funny when we first met. He was in the booth behind us and starts playing some rap. Next thing we know he starts serenading us with some rather colorful language! We start talking and I ask him what he thinks of Jesus. David said he believes in Him, so I asked if he's living for Him. David said he wasn't. He said he didn't need God now, so I asked him where he's going when he dies. David said probably hell. Julio and I prayed for him. He was moved to tears. Steve bought him something to eat. Later, I gave him Rev. 3:20 and Rom. 10:13, and asked if he wanted to invite Jesus in. David did, and he said that Jesus is with him now. I encouraged him to read the New Testament and invited him to our church. Hard to know how to really help people like this, but I'm sure he could use your prayers.
In addition, we found out last month that a close friend of Tara’s is now committed to Christ. Tara has been praying for this individual for 10 years, so you can imagine how happy Tara is about this! This new believer told Tara it’s been the most difficult month of life, so your prayers would certainly be appreciated!
Last month I made a video spoof of Joseph Smith translating the Book of Abraham. I used my own daughter Charis to translate the three facsimiles contained in the Book of Abraham. I hope you find her “revelations” quite amusing!
We had another awesome Meetup last month. Dianna Mattew shared how she shared her conversion to Christ to her whole ward! You can watch the video here and see the pictures here.
New Discussion Board
Last month it dawned on me that several years ago, some guy left me completely in charge of a discussion board on Facebook. I decided to make it into our discussion board for “MormonInfo.org/JosephLied.com.” We’ve been having some very lively discussion here with Mormons, and invite you to become part of it.
A Good Week
All within the span of a week, I was called "anti-Mormon," an "idiot or bigot," "pathetic," one who speaks lies, is hateful, and whose arguments are embarrassing (I may be forgetting some others). None of this had anything to do with me acting like a jerk; I was simply stating my Christian views. These have come from not only clear unbelievers, but also from my own supposed Christian brothers and sisters! The Bible says I'm blessed, and I feel the "love" (cf. Mat. 5:11).
Now here's the question for you... how many names were you called this week for your Christian faith? How about the last month? Year? If this never happens to you, then you need to ask, "Why not?" Our Lord said it would be normal for us to be hated because we love Jesus and want to see His kingdom come. They hated Him first (Jn. 15:18). The point of being His disciple is to be more like Him in His sufferings (Phil. 3:10-11). Are you trying to please God or men? Gal. 1:10 says, "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."
I hope this encourages you to redouble your efforts to follow our Lord and make Him famous this next year! We've got a lot of work to do, and faith without works is dead (James 2:17)! Come Holy Spirit, and empower your Church!
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, 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).
Happy New Year!
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 and Maddi’s families to be saved
3. Wisdom in all our dealings
4. Strength to keep going
5. Financial support for going to the Gilbert, AZ LDS temple opening at the end of the month (around $400)
Rob, I was in so much pain when I woke up this morning that I didn't think it possible that I could laugh as hard as I did when I watched the video you posted of Charis!!!
My husband just came in to the room to make sure I was ok.......he hasn't heard me laugh this hard in ages! There were tears too......my family still buys this cr*p and it truly breaks my heart. Rob, your prophetess is white and delightsome.
1. I heard on the radio that Ravi Zacharias is coming to BYU and Salt Lake to do a repeat with the Mormons. When he was here last he presented a wonderful message about Jesus Christ but in my opionion he fell short of making a clear distinction between the Biblical Jesus and the Jesus of the Mormons. Do you have any idea what his agenda is this time? If he doesn't use the opportunity to make the differences clear, then what is his objective in meeting with them again? Frankly, I believe the last time he an Richard Mouw were here the Mormons were left with the notion that they are also part of the body Christ, especially with Richard Mouw's antics. I am sure you are aware that he has publicly apologized to the Mormon community at large that evangelical Christians have treated them badly and have alienated them, etc.
2. How to Mormons deal with Alma 7:10, Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1? I think anyone today, Christian or non-Christian, knows that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Mary and I were there two years ago. It is an historic event.
[I replied:] As for Ravi, he did make clear distinctions in his other venues outside the Tabernacle. I can only speculate what's going on in his mind (although I think his ministry stated the following last time if I recall correctly), but if he was me, I'd say that something is better than nothing if that's the opportunity to speak in the Tabernacle again. It creates awareness if nothing else. People will read my books, listen to me online, etc. I can build relationships, and get closer to give them more of the truth little by little.
As for Mouw, he was and is an embarrassment.
As for Alma 7:10, I agree with LDS on this. It's certainly possible that's how people in the New World referred to where Jesus was born. But it was in Bethlehem? Of course, but if I'm telling people in the other world where I live, I can simply say Salt Lake City instead of West Jordan. It's in the vicinity (actually Bethlehem is closer to Jerusalem than WJ is to SLC). Further, the Alma passage doesn't just leave it as Jerusalem, but it refers to it as "the land of our forefathers." And regardless of how people in the New World talked about it, they certainly used that language in the Old World.
I am an ex Mormon since 14 and he is confusing me again. Especially where it counts. On the Trinity. This is just a piece of it I copied. Here is his site for this guy
Here is a piece of the Godhead VS Trinity Portion:
Of course the Bible teaches that there is one true God whom we worship. The question is what this means. The Bible clearly teaches that Christ and the Father are two distinct beings, and that the Father is greater than Christ (John 14:28), who is the Son. So if Christ is God (He is) and the Father is God, and they are distinct persons (even Stephen saw Christ standing on the right hand of God in Acts 7:55,56), there are two Gods (and the Holy Ghost makes 3). So the question is what is meant by "one"? Christ explains it in His intercessory prayer in John 17:11,20-23:
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are....
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Christians should be one even as the Father and Son are one. Not one substance, but one in mind and heart and purpose. What else can the unity of Christians mean? And that is the kind of unity we find in the Godhead. Yes, there are three persons - and three Beings. They can be called One and fully function as One. The Son represents the Father, only does the will of the Father, and is the author of our Salvation, acting for the Father. They are one - but not in the abstract, bodiless "one substance" concept of the Greek philosophers.
Our understanding of John 17 on the issue of the oneness of God seems consistent with a viewpoint expressed by Gregory of Nyssa, an early Christian father. Though he had written an essay entitled, "On Not Three Gods," he still wrote the following:
Does not the nature always remain undiminished in the case of every animal by the succession of its posterity? Further a man in begetting a man from himself does not divide his nature, but it remains in its fullness alike in him who begets and in him who is begotten, not split off and transferred from the one to the other, nor mutilated in the one when it is fully formed in the other, but at once existing in its entirety in the former and discoverable in its entirety in the latter. (Against Eunominus, 2.7, inNicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (hereafter NPNF), Series 2, ed. P. Schaff and H. Wace, Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1994, 5:109, as cited by D. Waltz, "A New Look at Historic Christianity," FARMS Review of Books, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2000, pp. 165-180)
Accordingly, a man becomes "one" with another, when in will, as our Lord says, they are "perfected into one" (see Jn. 17:23), this union of wills being added to the connexion of nature. So also the Father and the Son are one, the community of nature and community of will running, in them, into one. (Ibid., 1.34, in NPNF, 5:81)
That's a viewpoint from a widely respected early Christian that I'm pretty comfortable with as a Latter-day Saint. Below on this page, I present further evidence that early Christians did not see things the way modern Trinitarians do.
Get the rest on that site
[I replied:] The basic problem is that Lindsay simply assumes that the members of the Godhead are plural Gods when the Bible never teaches there's more than 1 true God. Lindsay speculates from other verses in order to reach a conclusion that there's more than 1 true God. However, Lindsay should see how these verses/problems can be worked out if one strictly adheres to what the Bible clearly says concerning the monotheism/polytheism issue.
Here are some FAQs that address some of Lindsay's problems [here, here, and here.]
[He replied:] How do we answer his suggesting the original founding fathers understanding the scripture as more of the Godhead than how we understand the trinity today?
Etc. Read the page on the trinity by him? If you have something refuting this piece it would be amazing. In fact a site answering all of his stuff promoted to the top of searches for his name would be a great tool to get many professing Mormons to look as well as the Christians Mormons are turning this man onto so they have a rebuttal front and center
[I replied:] I already answered that in my FAQ on Jn. 17. Again, neither Gregory, nor any other Church Father held the LDS view of the Godhead as 3 separate Gods, each becoming exalted to this team that stands in external relationships to one another. As such, no Church Father would claim, as Mormons do, that there was some point in which the Son wasn't the Son, since He had to wait until His Father scored with His wife in order to become a Father. If you want more on what Gregory thought of the Trinity[, see here].
Another Mormon… asked me: ....When God commanded Moses to kill the cananite races was that racial?
[I replied:] What I was trying to tell you last night is that there’s nothing wrong with being racial. Being racial is simply describing something to do with a race. What is wrong is racism or being a racist, which is an unjustified preference for one race over another. God killing a race off is certainly justified if they all celebrate child sacrifice, which is one of the many horrendous things the Canaanites were doing. He punished Canaan and preserved Israel from their influence. In a perfect world, God would do that all the time. In our imperfect world, we should be grateful that at least He does it on occasion.
Now contrast that to what was going on in the BM. There God didn’t take one race out. Instead, He supposedly punished some people of a particular race—Jews—with a curse of dark skin. So the punishment was choosing to create an inferior race. How is that not racism by definition?
I’m sorry, but I really don’t have time to pursue various LDS all over the internet. I hope these comments are helpful for you and that you can use them for God’s glory.
You bring honor & glory to our Lord Jesus Christ & bless my socks off in each newsletter I read. You challenge Satan & all his lies everyday as you continue to sound out the GOOD NEWS to a lost (& most don’t think/realize it) of blind sinners. Thank God for you & all who keep going strong for the one true God. You are definitely storing up treasures in heaven (not on earth).
Hi.I'm very happy to find there's people out there that can put his documentary [Religulous] in it's place.I have been born again for almost a year.I do all I can to learn the Bible and other teachings of God.I was wondering while I was watching this why Bill [Maher] went out to question people that may not have the gift of expressing their faith.For bill to go to a trucker chapel,or refomed gay preacher or the guy who was in some 70's band.. to me.. is a cop-out.I'd lito see him question more educated pastors maybe from Christian satellite network and etc. I like ur responses and it's how I'd like to defend the Bible .With a sound knowledge of scripture. Thank you for ur article. Sorry for grammar,using my android.Merry Christmas!
Rob, what would say is the best book on Mormonism currently available for a person who knows nothing about Mormonism? Also, what do you recommend people say when a Mormon asks them to read the book of Mormon and ask God if it is true? Thanks.
[I replied:] For a general intro
[My response to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon]
If others want to be in an ongoing dialogue, then they should earn their respect and read and pray about it. If they don't care about that, then they should pick out some problem passages and state why they can't be true and it's not worth it to read it all and pray about it until these problems are dealt with. Of course, LDS will fall back on... "then you won't really know." Non-LDS can say, "You don't know if you can't deal with these problems, and until you do, I have no good reason to think this is from God." Gal. 1:6-9 comes to mind.
I'd also attack their feelings
[He replied:] Thanks, Rob. What about Wilder's book? The person is a female college student who has an LDS friend who has been talking to her.
[I replied:] Yes, Lynn's book is awesome, but it's really a personal account, which may be exactly what this person and her friend need. Highly recommend both!