Just the other day, the LDS Church has done an about face from its 2015 revelation, and is now allowing baby blessings and baptisms for children whose parents are in same-sex relationships. Further, the Church is no longer treating same-sex marriage as apostasy. That means that same-sex couples may now be members of the Church even though they are in serious transgression or sin regarding their homosexual practice. The Church will treat same-sex marriage just like any other sexual sin without regarding it as apostasy.
As such, the LDS Church confuses temporary and repentant sexual sin with persistent and unrepentant sexual sin. This is clearly an unbiblical position. The Apostle Paul contrasted the latter with the former in 1 Corinthians. In chapter 5, he calls on the church to excommunicate the guy who was sleeping with his father’s wife, but in the following chapter he describes those who were sexually immoral, adulterers, and homosexual actors as former wrongdoers who were washed, sanctified, and justified (9-11). In fact, in 2 Corinthians 2, the incestuous man evidently repented and as a result, Paul urged that he be offered forgiveness and restoration.
The LDS Church has lost many members over these same-sex issues, and it has been receiving much criticism from the LGBTQ community. The situation is reminiscent of the revelation in D&C 124:45-55 where God ended up giving an excuse for why the previous revelation in D&C 84 wasn’t going to happen in that generation. The victory goes to the enemies of the Church in keeping the house or temple of the Lord from being built in that generation! These enemies were too strong, and God let His followers off the hook. This really doesn’t sound like the God of the Bible who got His will done despite His enemies (e.g., Pharaoh and the Egyptians).
Emily RushtonThe enemies of the Church were too strong on the issue of polygamy, so the LDS Church got rid of earthly polygamy and Utah became a state. The enemies of the Church were too strong on the issue of blacks and the priesthood, so worthy black men got the priesthood in 1978. The enemies of the Church were even within the Church, and they brought repeated pressure to change the temple ceremony so cultural sensitivities would be placated. As a result of each of these issues, the God of Mormonism gave in to the will of His enemies. At some point people need to ask themselves if it is more likely that God is running the show or are the LDS leaders just making it up as they get pushed by the culture.
Coincidentally, we had Emily Rushton share her story of coming out of Mormonism as well as the homosexual lifestyle and committing herself to Christ. So many leave Mormonism and go into the homosexual lifestyle. Emily has a fantastic ministry to those who struggle with same-sex attraction. Please watch her story HERE.
Update on Mission Trips
So far we have raised almost $1,500 out of our $4,500 goal. That covers our first trip to the Memphis LDS Temple opening, but we still need to cover Oklahoma City and Oakland Temple openings. I will be speaking at Midwest City, OK Free Methodist Church on April 28th and will be teaching the Sunday school class and the main service. If you are in the area, please come. Also, if you are in the area of any of these temples and would like to evangelize and pass out Temple opening papers with us, please let me know soon. We leave for Memphis on the 17th of April.
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 and are blessed by these monthly updates, 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
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Some of these pastors go way overboard with the living together thing. Personally, I don’t believe in “saving yourself” for marriage (& I am a nondenominational Christian) If someone wants to do that good for them but they shouldn’t be guilted into it. So many problems can arise by waiting until after you’re married to have sex with your significant other. Even if you believe in that sort of thing it’s not As if these were two young virgins. They were grown adults who’d been married before & hadn’t been virgins for years. Not to mention she didn’t say they hadn’t had sex yet. I just hate how ministers/pastors who are people in a position of power feel someone else’s committed, monogamous sex life is their business. And then to guilt them into living apart? The Holy Spirit is supposed to convict you not a mortal man who like all of us is flawed himself. For instance what happened to my doctor who went to my church (that I loved & I loved my therapist as well he’s a great guy). His marriage unfortunately wasn’t able to sustain itself & he & his wife divorced. He was respected in the church but when they found out of his divorce they condemned & practically shunned him. It’s not a pastors place to judge.
[I replied:] Well Christians listen to God's word rather than your word.
[He replied:] I’m not sure what you mean? Did I say anything mean about the woman in the video? No she seems like a lovely, kind hearted lady. Did I say anything mean about Christianity? No, I am Christian & love the Lord. Did I say anything mean about God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit? No again. I didn’t even say the pastor was a bad guy only that I disagreed with what he said to her & how some other pastors say that as well to their parishioners. I only stated that people too often do things because people guilt them into it. She didn’t say, “I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to move out.” She said her pastor told her to. My point is that a pastor, minister, deacon, elder etc isn’t God. Neither are you, neither am I. I didn’t say, “Do as I say” as a matter of fact I said, “If people want to wait for marriage then good for them.” I’m not exactly sure why you feel the need to be rude since I was only commenting on what her pastor said to her. The whole point of YouTube is for people to watch videos & then feel free to discuss the subject matter in the comments section & talk to each other. Christians can disagree. People can disagree. But I think everyone should be civil to each other especially when we say we are part of the body of Christ.
[I replied:] You said something unbiblical. God has already revealed what He thinks of sex outside of a marriage between a biological male and a biological female. It's called "fornication" and it's sin. Your philosophy is irrelevant. You either obey God or you sin against Him and want to be your own God.
[He replied:] You audibly heard God say this or saw God writing it Himself? I’m assuming you’re referring to various bible verses. The Bible of course was not written with the intention of being one book at one time. It’s a large volume of various letters, books, poems, songs, stories, historical accounts etc that were written by many different authors hundreds of years apart. Historians don’t even know who authored several major books in the Bible. Eventually all these works were compiled & various groups decided which books should be kept to be part of the Bible & which ones shouldn’t. You know that there are many books that were left out of the Bible all together? It was then translated countless times over centuries into the many different versions that we have today. The Bible is the greatest compilation of books ever made but it is also a product of its time. You could just as easily say, “Gods word has revealed that if a woman is raped she should be stoned.” “God’s word has revealed that slaves should be obedient to their masters.” “Gods word has revealed (fill in the blank).” Of course we don’t follow those horrible rules because we know they’re cruel, unforgiving & evil. We’ve grown as a society. I’m a little confused as to your own beliefs. I would gather that you yourself perhaps used to be LDS & are now not? Regardless you post videos about people being freed from the shackles of false worship & freeing their minds. Yet when someone states an opinion you disagree with instead of either disregarding it or politely disagreeing you get defensive. People are allowed to have different opinions. I agree to disagree with you. We disagree.
[I replied:] Just because a book's author is questioned, like Hebrews, is no reason to not submit to its authority, particularly when 2,000 years of Church history has submitted to it. The Church also recognized that other books, like the Gnostic gospels or Book of Mormon, were later counterfeits with no accepted authority from the hand of the apostles or their disciples (i.e., the Church fathers). Of course the Bible was translated over and over to fit the particular language group that needed the information. However, it was translated not from one language to another, but directly from the early original language manuscripts--Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. Sure one can make any claim from the Bible, but taking verses out of context and apart from their historical tradition doesn't win any points. The rapist is punished, not the woman who is the victim in the Bible. You twist a passage that reveals that a woman went along with it. Further, you also confuse a cultural practice of slavery in the Ancient Near East and the case law governing the practice with God's endorsement of the practice. If you're a little open on what a Christian scholar says on these subjects, then get Paul Copan's "Is God a Moral Monster?" Of course you're entitled to your opinion. I'm also entitled to challenge you to make a case for why we ought to believe what you're telling us. As such, all I see is that you like your position because it fits well with our modern enlightened society. That brings little confidence when society itself is obviously a mess and headed to hell. You twist the scripture to your own destruction and you need to repent before it's too late. You and your modern society make a lousy god. Again, you need to submit yourself to what God's obviously commanded. Jesus does love you, but He wants you to follow Him through His apostles rather than following your own comforting philosophy.
[He replied:] Thank you for your well written response. However you know as well as I do that just because a woman didn’t scream while being raped doesn’t mean she enjoyed it. You can try to justify various forms of slavery but it’s just wrong period. Also with regards to Bible translations I wasn’t referring to translating it into different languages but instead various historical leaders (secular & religious), clergymen, groups, committees & individuals changing the wording around because they interpreted the original Greek, etc differently than other groups which has many times changed the meaning of the verses no matter how subtly. I’m not sure how familiar you are with the Jehovahs Witnesses but their “New World Translation” of the Bible is a prime example of this. At the end of the day there are verses in both the old & new testaments to justify pretty much any opinion one might have. Also, I haven’t “twisted” anything to comply with modern society. I choose to acknowledge the fact that as His creations God created us to evolve (intellectually, spiritually, emotionally etc). I could create a huge list of cultural practices in the old & new testaments that we no longer follow today. If someone convulses & foams at the mouth, or starts talking to “demons”, or starts to present highly erratic, out of character behavior do we still say they’re possessed by demons? No, of course not. Because we learned about conditions like epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder etc. As far as my relationship with my Father & my Savior goes quite frankly (and with all due respect, truly) that’s not any of your business & vice versa. I feel the Holy Spirits conviction when I’ve committed a wrong like any Christian would who’s accepted Christ as their Savior. There’s no “repenting before it’s too late” for me. I don’t believe in salvation through works, or good behavior. Salvation comes by grace. I don’t believe my views are wrong because I don’t feel convicted otherwise by the Holy Spirit. Honestly even if some of either of our beliefs or views are wrong it doesn’t somehow “cancel out” our salvation. God gave me my conscience, heart & mind for a reason. Yes I know, “the heart lies” but the Holy Ghost doesn’t. I think some Christians are just more empathetic/sympathetic towards others & willing to listen to them either through blessing or life experiences. To be frank I can tell we’re just spinning in circles here. Thank you for your concern & sharing your beliefs & opinions. Honestly I think dialogue like this between Christians is good & healthy (sometimes). Good luck with your channel. God bless. 💙
[I replied:] If you're referring to Deut. 20, then you're doing modern interpretation there. Sex was only for marriage in the Bible, not for other Near East cultures. Remember the 7th commandment? There's no command for rape here in the Deut. 20 passage. You have soldiers taking POW wives instead of making them outcasts, and thus they were integrated into Israelite society. There's nothing of immediate marriage and forced sex in the passage. In fact the next chapter spells that out (vss. 10-14). The time period allowed the man to change his mind and let the woman go wherever she wanted. The Mosaic law took seriously the sanctity of marriage.
If you're using the Deut. 22, you're using bad interpretation there too. The passage really emphasizes the protection of women, not their insignificance, as well as the economic situation of the family. The context of verses 23-29 gives 3 scenarios: 1) adultery between two consenting adults, 2) forcible rape of an engaged innocent woman, and 3) the seduction of an unengaged woman (an expansion of the seduction passage in Ex. 22:16-17). The 3rd scenario is your issue. Here the woman is complicit. She's initially pressured, but doesn't act against her will, since the text says "they are discovered," not "he is discovered." Both are responsible. You have something like statutory rape going on here where the man bears most of the responsibility. You assume a particular reason I had in mind which was incorrect.
Given the culture, a defiled woman would have put her bride-price in jeopardy, and that was economic security back then. The man wasn't a back-alley rapist and the woman wasn't fighting him off.
The suggestion of both the Ex. 22 and Deut. 22 passages is that if the dad and daughter agree, then the seducer must marry and provide without divorce. The dad (in conjunction with the daughter) has final say-so, so the daughter isn't required to marry seducer.
So I just don't buy your modern interpretation here. That also goes with your modern understanding of slavery in the Old Testament as some form of kidnapping, POWs and indentured servitude notwithstanding. Polygamy and divorce were also wrong , but God still allowed for it due to, as Jesus said, "the hardness of your hearts." Allowing something isn't identical to prescribing something. You confuse the two.
Again, if you want more on your Old Testament problems, be a little objective and check out philosopher Paul Copan's works, particularly "Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God."
As for the JW's NWT or Joseph Smith's Translation, these are bad translations that don't have the backing of any Greek or Hebrew scholars. However, all the translations done by these scholars in the various reputable versions of the Bible--KJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, etc.--all say the same thing when it comes to sex outside of marriage. You're problem is with God has clearly said about sex being just for marriage because you're more in love with your own philosophy and desires than you are God and His word.
Of course you don't think you're wrong. That's because of the "hardness of your heart," and you need to repent or you will perish as Jesus taught in Lk. 13:3. Salvation is of grace apart from works, but entering into that salvation takes a willingness of heart to make Jesus, not your culture or your desires, your Master. You don't repent from your god, then you're an idolater who is on his way to hell as 1 Cor. 6:9-11 say (in any version).
Regarding the discussing about how to approach a gay person to win them to Christ? I'm afraid some people just want to be scolds. And when you think about it, that approach doesn't take a lot of thought. It's much more difficult to determine what a person you are trying to convince would best respond to. Merely barking like a dog at people may make the barker feel good and self righteous, but the closing rate will be zero. Boldness isn't getting up in someone's face. What's that line, "How's that working for you?" might be a good one to consider when involved in personal evangelism. I'm sort of a modified Calvinist. It's not my job to save people. My job is to be available. To ask questions and to listen carefully to what is said. Make a friend. Invest in people.
[I replied:] The problem is you're thinking too naturalistically and assuming the worst of those who follow the model of Christ, the apostles, and the prophets. The Bible calls it "the foolishness of preaching" (1 Cor. 1:21). Further, I know of too many testimonies of those who have been changed (in part or in whole) by something someone has said by the power of the word absent a personal ongoing relationship.
[He replied:] The point is, what is an effective approach? Some people, for example, will see a coach yelling and screaming at his players and think, "That's how you win. Just yell and scream." For some evangelists, that can be very emotionally satisfying, but the results aren't there. If the only tool you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. And let's face it, it's easy. I would say a good model might be when Jesus was brought a woman caught in the very act of adultery. He didn't excuse the sin, but his approach was to confront those who brought her, with their own sin but gently show her a better way. We need to emulate the attitude Jesus displayed.
[I replied:] I've seen more results from preaching than I have with my friends and family. Sure I've seen results with the latter, but most of them we're still waiting. You assume that's the only tool I use, which I don't. But there are all sorts of approaches called for in given situations, and it seems that most of our situations are with complete strangers who will never turn into prolonged friends. You would make a one size fits all, and I don't think that's accurate with scripture or experience. Besides that, are approach is to be faithful in acting like Christ (and He preached in other ways to strangers as well--Jn. 7) whether we see the results or not. We leave the converting work up to God.
When will you be at the OKC temple? I would like be able to join you as often as I am able I look forward to witnessing side by side with you.
I’m so excited you & Tara are going to go & take the family to some of the temple openings & I want to help with your expenses to do so.
Enjoyed reading your "letter from Rome" and am encouraged by your faithfulness and that of the community of those working alongside you.
Thanks Rob for being faithful. We loved the report. God bless you!
I was wondering if you could help me with some insight on some verses I have gotten from some LDS missionaries I have been meeting with for the past several months. They gave me a list of 5 passages from the New Testament that they use to justify some of the things they do/believe. I told them that I can understand how they come up with their assumptions based on the specific sections of scripture, and that context is key to proper understanding. We have discussed before the importance of context and they have admitted in the past to not having much context when it comes to most sections of the Bible. They have been taught that due to the apostasy, only portions of the Bible that have been approved by their prophets are worth study. Long story short, through many discussions and a lot of God working on their hearts, I believe they are getting to the point where they have some doubts about the apostasy as described to them in the LDS books. So, I told them I believed the verses are being used out of context, but lacked the knowledge to comfortably explain it to them, and asked if I could have some time to study, pray, and seek guidance to get them the best answer. They said yes! So that is why I can use your help.
Here are the passages: (I have left out their beliefs intentionally because I do not want to try and attack or to simply discredit their faith. I just want to point them to the truth and let God to the rest.)
1 Peter 3:18 - 21
1 Peter 4:6
1 Corinthians 15:29
Some of these I have a pretty good grasp of, but would rather be safe than sorry. The last thing I want to do is tell them something that is not accurate, so please share what you know, or don’t know, so I can share with them as honestly as possible.
[I replied:] 1 Pe. 3:18-21 and 1 Pe. 4:6: The context is 1 Pe. 1:10-12. That's when Christ spoke to those who, as modern translations say of 1 Pe. 4:6, are "now" dead. So those who are now dead were preached to by the Spirit of Christ in the Old Testament, according to chapter 1, through the prophets. And even if this isn't right, there's nothing that would indicate that Christ gave people a second chance for salvation after they had died. He could have simply preached (or "proclaimed") to them His victory without giving them a chance to repent and go to heaven or paradise with Him. In fact, Lk. 16:19-31 and Heb. 9:27 indicate there is no such second chance.
As for baptism of the dead in 1 Cor. 15:29, on my Home page chart on MormonInfo.org, under the section "Baptism for the dead?," I state: "Baptism for the dead is not required.
The only biblical passage that mentions baptism for the dead was most likely done by those outside of Christianity, since the Apostle Paul made a contrast between what "they" do and what "we" do. Paul said that even those who do baptism for the dead believe in the resurrection. How much more should we, who do not baptize for the dead and are led by apostles who were eyewitnesses of Christ's resurrection, believe in the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:29-30).
Even if some of the Corinthians were performing baptisms for the dead, there is no reason to think the practice was understood to be a means of salvation. Further, even though baptism is normal and a believer should be baptized, it is not essential for salvation since individuals have obviously been saved without it (e.g., Lk. 23:32-43; Acts 10:44-8; and 1 Cor. 1:17).
Finally, there is no second chance for salvation to those who reject it in this life (Lk. 16:19-31; and Hebrews 9:27)."
As for Eph. 5:5, it's true the disobedient go to hell. God wants everyone to repent and obey (cf. 2 Thes. 1:8), knowing that we'll be imperfect at it. 1 Cor. 6:9-11 says that those in the church used to be all sorts of immoral people, but they are "washed," "sanctified," and "justified" (vs. 11). Well that comes about initially by grace through faith, not works as Rom. 4:5, Eph. 2:8-9, and Tit. 3:5 say. But Paul is clear that this faith is such that it expresses itself in love (Gal. 5:6) and James says that we are justified not just by faith, but by our works (chapter 2). If the works aren't there, then whether we lose that initial justification or never had it really to begin with, we aren't saved. Those who are saved by grace through faith, not of works, are the ones who are created to work as Paul said in Eph. 2:10.
The problem with Mormons is that despite what they tell you, there scripture and their general authorities are clear that there is no initial justification, since one's repentance must be so perfect that they are never even tempted again by a sin. If they fall, all the former sins come back on them (D&C 82:5-7), and God can't save them in their sins (Alma 11:37). Their late president Spencer W. Kimball said in his book "Miracle of Forgiveness" that "Trying is Not Sufficient" (164). One must be perfect prior to having the forgiveness that allows one to enter into God's presence in the Celestial Kingdom. Kimball goes on to say that the thief on the cross as well as the woman caught in adultery had no indication that they ever received forgiveness. Exaltation into the Celestial Kingdom must be "earned" (https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/2003/05/dear-are-the-sheep-that-have-wandered?lang=eng; https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/1988/05/an-invitation-to-exaltation?lang=eng; and https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/2001/05/first-things-first?lang=eng). This is why their Bible Dictionary defines "Grace" as follows: "[G]race is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts. ...[G]race cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, 'It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do' (2 Ne. 25:23)" (654).
Also, keep in mind that for Mormons, there are certain sins that Christ's atonement won't even cover (e.g., see D&C 42:18 and 25-9).