Please Give Me the Benefit of the Doubt
The SivulkasLast month, Pastor Jim Catlin of the Main Street Church in Brigham City, UT sent me a great article to encourage me to keep preaching. Here’s only one of the many great quotes in that article: "Believers need to encourage each other to do the difficult thing rather than draining one another of the will to boldly proclaim the power of salvation" (David Brickner, Executive Director, Jews for Jesus). Christians downplay the work I do in front of LDS temples and other venues. Now at the risk of preaching mostly to the choir here, I think it’s important to set the record straight.
Part of Christian charity is giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Instead of assuming the worst of your Christian brothers and sisters, we need to give them this benefit before we actually get all the facts straight. So many times we are too quick to write them off, and this negatively affects our witness. We become divided, and as a result, it is no wonder outsiders don’t want to be part of a community that doesn’t love each other well.
We are the Body of Christ, and we need each other! We can’t act like the Pharisees, who make unrighteous judgments based on their preconceived ideas of what Christian ministry must always look like. This was exactly what Jesus meant by condemning the hypocritical judgments of the Pharisees in Matthew 7:1-5. Keep in mind that Jesus also commanded us to make righteous judgments in John 7:24, and these judgments aren’t made in a vacuum. When there are offenses against you at issue, then these judgments are to be made in individual personal interaction with the ones in question (e.g., Mat. 18:15) and with gentleness and respect (Gal. 6:1-2). Given that we do see through a glass darkly (1 Cor. 13:2), removing all the clouded perceptions we have before we arrive at the truth isn’t always as easy as we typically make it out to be. Having said that, I welcome all criticisms of this ministry as well as of me personally.
As far as I’m concerned, here’s the real point of these newsletter reports: they are to "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Mat. 5:16). As a result, perhaps others will partner with what I feel God's leading me to do. Perhaps they will pray for me and the ones I witness to. Perhaps others will support me financially, encourage me, and perhaps they may even join this particular fight themselves. Perhaps we’ll have more people get excited about sharing their faith either here with us or wherever they find themselves. Perhaps more will get saved as a result!
A number of you partner with us to one extent or another, and I want you to know that I take your involvement with this ministry very seriously. I feel that you deserve these reports. Because you are partners in this ministry, you enable me to do what I do. As such, I am not simply accountable to my board of directors; I’m accountable to you! I really don’t care about people coming up with praise songs to me like Mormons do to their own prophet Joseph Smith (e.g., “Praise to the Man”). For me, it’s not about my kingdom; it’s all about God’s kingdom. My desire is to see more people in heaven with us someday… especially those from the cults and false religions.
Here are the pictures and video of last month's Ex-Mormon Meetup. We had a former LDS Stake Mission President of Salt Lake City, Randy Gavin, share his story. One of the most important things he said was, “'You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples of a seed.' What you do matters. Everything you do matters. Every time you reach out. Every time you take the opportunity to tell somebody out Christ... God will do something with that.” You want to know why we think it’s worth upsetting people with our work outside Temple Square? Please take a few minutes and start watching @ 1:27:00 of the video to hear this exciting story.
Here’s a blog I did on Mormonism Illustrated Through the Manti Te’o Affair. Here’s a testimony of Claude O’Donovan, and here’s one from Anita Moak.
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). But we also have secure electronic funds transfer programs available if you are interested in the simplicity of monthly withdrawals without the stamp. This also helps us with our monthly budgeting. For more information, please see our “Invest” page. Please also keep in mind that, particularly in this economy, 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!
“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 and Maddi’s families to be saved
3. Wisdom in all our dealings
4. Strength to keep going
5. A friend whom I have been arguing with and praying for for years now, and who recently came back to Jesus
Rob: Great Ministry...Too many non-Christian LDS info sites leave investigators out in the dark Christian wise.
Keep up your good work! I love reading your newsletter with your latest encounters in Utah.
I love your posts and the conversations they stimulate in this [Facebook] venue and just the thought process you cause me to go through about my faith.
[I wrote on my LDS friend’s Facebook Wall:] Happy B-day J! Live for Jesus and leave Mormonism, and may He use you in tremendous ways for His kingdom this next year.
[The wife of J said:] Wow Rob, my husband will never leave Mormonism and I would appreciate that you not say things like that on his page. We do live for Jesus but obviously you don't know my husband as well as you think you do because he lives everyday for Jesus
And that is a logical response to someone having a birthday why? Rather than thinking clearly about hurting someone's feelings and not bashing their beliefs you would rather hurt their feelings? But you know what that's okay. " Father forgive them for they know not what they do" Jesus
[I replied:] Because I love and pray for J, my wish is that he'd repent of the false Jesus of Mormonism and experience the life that only the true Jesus can offer him. I'd like to see J in heaven with me some day. So yes, warning others of danger doesn't always make the other feel good, but it's still done in love with the intent of saving his soul. There are more important things than making someone feel good. Do you think Jesus ever hurt someone's feelings? If not, then please read the gospels.
[Another LDS friend of J replied:] And you are not hurting J's feelings by speaking against his religion? Better yet how are you certain it's false? Or even better yet why are you so sure your idea of religion is true?
[I replied:] Because it's what was taught by Jesus via His apostles, and Jesus is to be believed since He fulfilled prophecy and did miracles, especially raising from the dead. So when He says that there's only one true God in Jn. 17:3, and His apostle says that if anyone comes and presents another gospel, then they are to be damned (Gal. 1:6-9), then Joseph Smith is to be damned for teaching we can all become Gods the same as all other Gods did (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 346-7 & D&C 76:50-8 and 95, 132:15-23, 29, and 37). Mormons are polytheists, yet Christians are monotheists. God loves you guys just as I do, and we desire that you damn your feelings and submit to the word of God.
[Another LDS friend of J replied:] Okay since this is his birthday ill give in no more arguement happy birthday j…
[I replied:] Giving J the truth is the best thing I could possibly give him for his b-day. Why be part of a religion that obviously doesn't know God? Even Brigham Young taught that He had a divine revelation that Adam was our Father of our spirits and our God and the only God with whom we have to do (http://www.mrm.org/adam-god).
[The wife of J said:] Wow Rob I am very close to signing on to J's page and banning you as his friend! I am so offended you would say all of this to my husband, and especially on his birthday. How dare you act like you are better then anyone on his wall on his birthday of all days. I would appreciate if you stop your bashing about our religion on his page. You have a right to your own opinion and I ask that you keep that opinion to yourself. If you are my husbands friend then you would respect this request and back off.
Hey i read mormon, and i love it. That is why i will not abuse you in revert, but god will punish you. If you are good then never say anyone bad. I love jesus christ. If u will abuse me again then i could not control myself. I am behaving like a good person but dnt take this as an advantage or else i will show u how bad i am
[I replied:] So threatening me makes you a good person? Mormonism is evil, it's of the devil, and people need to be warned about the false religion Mormons who don't repent from it are going to hell. I love them enough to tell them the truth.
[He replied:] I dont want to threaten u
[I replied:] By the way, you said I was not good. What does that mean? Doesn't that mean I'm bad? If so, then you just contradicted yourself in saying a good person would never say someone is bad. And also, I'm not saying anyone is bad. I'm saying Mormonism is bad. False religions are bad, and Mormonism is certainly that.
[He replied:] U dont have rights to say bad to anyone's religion, we dont call ur religion bad or false. If u could not respect mormonism , you should not say mormon false. This is the only thing i want to tell u, rest on u. I dont want any arguement on this matter
[I replied:] I don’t have a right to defend my religion? Why should I believe that? Simply because you say so? Mormons don’t call my religion bad or false? You obviously haven’t read much Mormon scripture and you obviously haven’t read my list of differences between Mormonism and Christianity on www.MormonInfo.org. Mormonism claims to be the only true church in D&C 1:30. The Book of Mormon says there are only 2 churches—1 of the Lamb and 1 of the Devil (1 Nephi 14:10). All other churches (Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists are specifically mentioned in Joseph Smith, History 1:9, Pearl of Great Price) are "wrong," "all their creeds were an abomination," and "those professors were all corrupt" (Joseph Smith, History 1:19). Those of creedal or traditional Christianity have adopted "pagan beliefs" and are part of "false Christianity" (Gospel Principles, 100 [1979 edition]). I don’t respect false religions because they are of the devil and lead people to hell. I do, however, respect people, and they can believe what they want to believe. I believe Mormonism is false. So you should respect me enough to believe what I want.
[He replied:] Pls stop rob stop stop
I love mormon and i love jesus ok
Hey rob you join mormon church
We enjoy reading the newsletter updates and hearing how God is using this ministry to further His Kingdom! Praying for you!
"Yeah, it [an outreach you did to Muslims] was probably about 100 miles "north" of a mosque. lol. I don't [think] these guys would have the [courage] to show up in Detroit outside of a mosque or even better yet, in Saudi Arabia and try that stupid *%^$. That's when their moral courage would waiver a bit I'm afraid. lol. "
[I replied:] Actually, it was a block north of a mosque in Anaheim and there was a cop watching across the street the whole time. Police and city attorneys were notified beforehand. So there's a difference between courage and stupidity.
I just watched the video of you on YouTube with the guy from [Australia]!
Thank you! I think that what you are doing is awesome! Convert the Kolobians! I have been on a Mormon witch hunt for the better part of 10 years to learn how twisted, corrupted, greedy, and arrogant this cult is. Beginning with angel moronis tablets, to hinkleys bashing of the church. I would have never believed that a religion could have so many secrets and customs and ridiculous ideals. When I saw the signs you were holding I felt compelled to write you. If there were something I could do to help. Please let me know
…As I look further into your site I'm very impressed. I'm outlining this information for a writing project called The Mormon Truth, it's an exposé of Mormon facts.
Will see how far I get. But same as you, its not about hatred, it's about the truth.