An Open Ex-Mormon
I went to the store to pick up food for a mission team that was coming over. The guy who brought my food out saw my JosephLied.com bumper sticker and asked about it. I told him that it was how Joseph Smith was a false prophet. I asked if he was LDS, and he told me that he used to be. Things just weren’t adding up for him. He was so excited about my bumper sticker that he asked if he could take a picture of it. Of course I let him. I then gave him a Steps to Peace with God tract that had our church info on the back of it. I invited him to come check it out sometime. He was very open to what I had to say.
Rob with Aaron Marshall who leads Ratio Christi hereTraining Mission Teams
The beginning of the month, I went to speak to a mission team at Gospel Grace Church in Salt Lake City. They were a Ratio Christi team from Ecola Bible College in Oregon. I spoke to them about testing Joseph Smith as well as doing ministry to LDS.
The very next day, we had a Maven high school mission team from Georgia at our home for dinner and training. Tara was also able to share her testimony with them.
Later that same week, we had our monthly Feast & Testimony Meeting at our home. Very thankful for my buddy from church, Alvarado Toledo, sharing his story on a last minute notice. (Please watch his story and see the pictures on the site linked above.)
Last month was the second time I’ve had someone from my church confirmed to speak to our fellowship, but ended up pulling out due to not wanting to be associated with me due to the type of street evangelism I like to do on occasion. If I dwell on this for too long, it can be rather discouraging. In an ideal world, the
Tara speaks to the GA teamBody of Christ would be united in standing together and encouraging each of its members to fulfill God’s particular leading for His glory. After all, the Church, not unbelievers, is to be the recipient of most of our good deeds according to Galatians 6:10. This disassociation from my ministry is much more discouraging to me than anything an unbeliever may tell me. You’d think that Christians would know better!
A Closed Ex-Mormon
Ratio Christi at the University of Utah brought Frank Turek in to give a talk on the evidence for Christianity. It was brilliant! He’s a gifted communicator and laid out a great case for the Christian faith. I sat next to an Ex-Mormon atheist there. (You can see me in the video seated behind all the questioners at the end of the event.) He asked a question of Frank during his q&a, and given this atheist’s response, it struck me that he wanted absolute certainty before he’d commit himself to Christ, so I asked him about it. The atheist told me that he wouldn’t require that, but if God wanted him to do something immoral, like have him kill his own child, this atheist wouldn’t believe in God. I tried to communicate to this atheist how we’d only believe
Rob with Maven team leaders: Glenn, Tim, and EricGod in that case, like Abraham and Issac, if God had already proven Himself to us. That would provide us good reason for trusting Him to work out what we can’t make sense of at the moment. God had already miraculously shown up multiple times to Abraham, and God promised to establish His covenant through Issac, which meant that he had to have kids. So if he was killed, he would have to be resurrected as the writer of Hebrews said (11:17-9). The atheist admitted to me that not all killing is identical to murder (e.g., killing in self-defense), but he couldn't believe that God would ever do this.
OK, but after listening to Frank’s talk and reading his I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist book, this atheist still thought that the evidence for God was just as good as the multiverse view, which there is no evidence for! It’s purely hypothetical! Please! This atheist did admit to me that the only possible evidence that would give him pause is the teleological argument, but he quickly dismissed it since he assumed we’d need access to another universe to compare ours to in order to justify an Intelligence behind ours. This atheist never stated it, but of course that prior universe would also need another universe to compare and that leads to an infinite regress. This atheist seemed content with that, because of course an Intelligence never has to be factored in!
It was late, and I needed to go, but I thought that there was nothing I would be able to say to this guy that would make any difference at all. So I told him what I really thought of him, viz., I just told him what Paul said in Romans 1: this atheist really knew better and was suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. He said that he sincerely doesn’t see it. I told him that I wasn’t offering this to him as a debate point and I have a higher authority than his reports that I hold to. Other things were said, but I walked away thinking how blind this poor guy is. Frank promised to give him his new book Stealing from God, so hopefully the atheist got it and something in there will be helpful for him.
Last month Facebook pulled a comment made by one of our members on our MormonInfo.org discussion board. They actually labeled it “hate speech.” The comment simply said, “Mormons are like fish; they don’t know they are wet until they get out of the water.” I tried appealing it, but was not able to. It is beyond me how this comment is hate speech! It is a Christian belief that unbelievers are blind. There is nothing hateful about that. That belief should motivate the believer to pray, care, and evangelize the lost, because it is the love of Christ that constrains us as 2 Cor. 5:14 says.
Update on Doctoral Program
My research proposal has been sent to my school. Please pray that it will be accepted and that I’ll be able to quickly cut through all the red tape so that I’ll be able to focus on writing the dissertation!
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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 tax-deductible 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 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/or in your financial giving!
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Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!
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Jehovah is God not Jesus. Read Isaiah 42:5
[I replied:] That's not what Christians believe who exalt Jesus above anything else. For them, He is "God manifested in the flesh" (1 Tim. 3:16) and "God over all blessed forever" (Rom. 9:5) having the fullness of deity (Col. 2:9). Isa. 42:5 and 44:24 clearly speak of the Creator who showed up 2,000 years ago: Immanuel (God with us). That is why the New Testament is clear that nothing was made except by God the Son, 2nd Person of the Triune God (Jn. 1:1-3, 14, 18; Rom. 9:5; 1 Cor. 8:6; and Col. 1:13-8). You need to repent for devaluing Jesus.
[He replied:] First you have to pray to God through Jesus Christ
[I replied:] Since Jesus is God by nature, He is worshiped equally with the Father. Jesus receives both worship and prayer, and we are commanded to do so (Mt. 4:10; 28:16-20; Jn. 5:18-23; 14:14, NAS and in the best Greek manuscripts; Acts 7:59; 1 Cor. 1:2; and 1 Jn. 5:13-5).
Eric Hernandez wrote: It was great meeting Rob Sivulka and letting him share with our students on the MAVEN biblical trip. He moved to Utah and has an incredible heart and calling for the LDS. Check out what he does at Mormoninfo.org
Amazing! So proud of you, man!
Than why does [the Bible] literally say Godhead? Trinity is never found in the Bible but Godhead
There's much more evidence for three separate beings acting as one God. I have talked to so many people that say they used to believe in the Trinity then fell away and said the Godhead made more sense.
[I replied:] the [“Trinity”] term isn't there, but the concept behind the term certainly is. that [“Godhead”] term also needs defining, but you don't beg the question with LDS definitions rather than letting the Bible define it for you. When that happens, you'll see that what's talked about is a Triune God rather than a tritheistic team of separate Gods who are united only in their purpose.