I ran into Spanish speaking missionaries coming out of Walmart when I was going in. There were 4 of them. I introduced myself to them as being Christian missionary. All but one were Hispanic; that other one was Caucasian. All had grown up in the LDS Church except one who converted from Catholicism when he was young. This conversation was not as good as the one I reported on from the previous month. It only lasted about 10 to 15 minutes. I was praying that God would open their eyes while I was talking to them, but these guys just seemed a lot more hard-hearted than the last guys I talked to. I could sense these guys just weren’t into it and wanted out of there not long after we started. Caucasian even went to pull the car out while I followed the rest of them to their car.
As I did with the other LDS missionaries, I asked these guys why I’d believe Mormonism when there’s so much evidence against it. Of course they went to their testimonies. I asked why that would make it true when I and many others also have a testimony that it’s not true and we’ve prayed about it as well and have read all the scriptures. They seemed dumbfounded by that. “Well, we’re just about teaching. You have to go to God yourself,” one responded. I told them, “But again, I’ve done that, so what I’m asking is why should we believe what you have is true and what I have is false?” One replied, “Well every Church has truth to it. We just add to that.” I said, “Sure, but they can’t all be true since they all contradict each other and truth can’t contradict itself. So why should I believe Smith’s testimony that all other churches were wrong, all their creeds are an abomination, and all their professors are corrupt (Joseph Smith History 1:19), the Book of Mormon (BM) says that there are only 2 churches–the Lamb's and the devil's (1 Nephi 14:10), and D&C 1:30 says the LDS Church is the only true Church?”
They tried claiming that there’s evidence for anything. In other words, always two sides to a story. “OK, so how about any evidence why I’d believe your testimony is true?,” I asked. Nothing. “We can’t change your mind,” they said. I said, “Look, I just want to believe what’s true. So again, why should I believe what you believe? You guys know that the Bible claims that there’s a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death in Prov. 14:12 and Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all else, who can know it? 2 Corinthians 11 says that Satan can appear as an angel of light, and are you aware that even God Himself can send you a strong delusion to believe a lie as 2 Thessalonians 2:11 says?” “Oh, yes,” they claimed. “Look,” I said, “if you guys refuse to give evidence or persuade others to believe what you believe, then you are disobeying the Apostle Paul who said, ‘we persuade men’ and ‘imitate me as I imitate Christ.’ Paul told us that we were to test all things and hold to the good. The Bereans in Acts 17 were counted as “more noble” since when Paul came to them with his message, they searched the scriptures to see if what he was saying was true.
They made some statement about all the various versions of the Bible being different. I said, “Why should that be a big deal when there are a billion ways to same the same thing? The problem comes with certain versions, like the Joseph Smith Translation (JST), which actually contradicts all the rest of them. For example, in the JST, Smith sticks in a prophecy of himself in Genesis 50. No other translation has that. Not one Hebrew manuscript has that. Not one Lectionary (early Church prayer book) has it. So again, why think Smith got it right when all the evidence is against him? What this does is it serves as a reason or evidence how Smith went against Proverbs 30:6, which says, “Do not add to His word lest you be proven to be a liar.”
Somehow we got into the racism of the BM. “I wouldn’t be LDS now if my church was racist,” one said. I replied, “Well, your own scripture is racist in the BM.” “How?,” one asked. I told them, “The Nephites were white skinned, but their brethren the Lamanites were cursed with dark skin according to Alma 3:6 and that was to keep them from marrying the Nephites. Then in 3 Nephi 2:14-16 as the Lamanites repented, their curse was taken from them and they got white skin and were able to forgo their segregation. If that’s not racist, I don’t know what is. But God’s not a racist.” One missionary actually brought up the sons of Noah. I said, “So what?” The missionary said, “You tell me.” I listed the sons of Noah, and asked, “Do you actually think Blacks are cursed from this lineage?” The missionary didn’t respond. I went on, “The Bible teaches in Galatians 3:28 there’s neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, but we are all one in Christ. Black or White is irrelevant.”
Caucasian asked, “What was your point in this conversation? What were you hoping to accomplish here?” I told him, “I want to see you guys give up on Joseph Smith and follow Jesus.” One missionary held up his name tag, and said, “We already follow Jesus.” They started walking to the car at this point. I replied, “That’s not the Jesus of the Bible.” “Of course it is,” they said. I replied, “Your Jesus didn’t create everything.” Caucasian claimed he did. I asked, “Did your Jesus create your spirit?” Caucasian said, “Yes!” I said, “I thought your heavenly Father did that.” Caucasian said, “Well, I don’t believe Jesus is the same person as God.” I said, “Well, God is three persons. But the point is that your Jesus really didn’t create literally everything. He didn’t create Lucifer. He didn’t create the planet He was born on as a spirit child of heavenly parents. He didn’t create His spirit-grandfather’s planet. For you guys, the universe always existed regardless of God. That’s not the God of the Bible.”
One said that there are contradictions in the Bible. I asked for one. He said, “One place says we are saved just by faith and another says we are also saved by works.” I said, “James 2 says faith without works is dead, but just like the thief on the cross who simply had faith, he was saved. As we grow, our faith is what produces the works. But works don’t get me saved to begin with. There is no contradiction here.”
I know I was really getting under their skin not only from them walking away from me but also when one said, “Scripture teaches that contention is of the devil.” I told him that the BM teaches that, but not the Bible. The latter teaches that we are to contend earnestly for the faith in Jude 3. They were shaking my hand and getting in the car at this point. I told them, “Look, when you guys get off your mission, please check out my site sometime–JosephLied.com. I love you guys. JosephLied.com!”
That was pretty much it. Much more frustrating this time around. However, you never know what God will do with it. I mean, His word doesn’t return void according to Isaiah 55:11. Wouldn’t that be awesome if we end up seeing one or more of these guys in heaven some day as a result of this conversation? If not, then God will certainly judge them on the basis of this conversation.
Please see the pictures and watch the testimony of Rachael and Keegan Jones on the URL linked above. Rachael is an ex-Mormon, and Keegan was raised in a Christian church, but only recently committed his life to Christ.
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Have you used this section to stress the necessity of a one time change of heart,or do Mormons relegate it all still down to works?([Alma 5]v15,16)
I meant a more definitive declared saved VS. Join[in]g Joseph s church Persevering to the end
Or doing good works? I guess text picking is not so great as they ll revert to 2Nephi 25,saved after all one can do.
[I replied:] No. I've had an LDS use Enos of an example of the BM being born again. So LDS are open to it, but they think 1) like most Christians salvation may be lost, and 2) unlike all other Christians, continued or final salvation is a matter of us being perfect.
BTW, being born again to LDS who have thought about it usually means being baptized.
[A friend posted a video clip of Peter in The Chosen claiming that he thinks God made a mistake choosing him and then my friend said:] “God doesn’t make mistakes. To say otherwise - as The Chosen does in this short clip - is blasphemous. This show is demonic grooming, not “entertainment.”
[I replied:] He didn't say it that we know of, but I don't see why someone that Jesus rebuked with "Get behind me Satan" couldn't have. I love the series even if I don't agree with everything in it. As Paul told the Philippians in chapter 1, regardless, the gospel is being preached and in that we rejoice.
[Someone replied:] No it’s not.
[I replied:] that's just gainsaying my point. Argument? It's a visual commentary that is clearly going through the gospel accounts preaching that Jesus is Lord, the King over all creation, and Savior. He is attacking legalism and preaching the kingdom of heaven is a matter of spirit and in truth. The series opens all sorts of doors up for gospel discussions. It's only cynics who are overly focused on imperfections that can't rejoice in that.
[The friend who started the topic replied:] So you believe God used the cult of Mormonism to open doors to reach the lost with the gospel? Mormons deny the Trinity, Rob. They believe Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer, among other blasphemous teaching spawned by their "prophet" Joseph Smith. Jonathan Roumie is a practicing Roman Catholic who is using every opportunity to point people to the apostate RCC and its false gospel. He urges his many followers to pray to Mary and use the rosary during prayer. I do not rejoice in any of this. No Bible believing Christian would. https://christianresearchnetwork.org/2021/06/30/is-god-really-the-one-behind-the-chosen-as-the-creator-of-the-series-declares/
[I replied:] You don't need to tell me about Mormonism, since I'm a missionary to them. I run Courageouschristiansunited.org and JosephLied.com. My wife is an ex-Mormon, so many of my in-laws are LDS. I've been evangelizing them for about 50 years now.
God uses even pagans to bless others. Take King Cyrus for example.
The Chosen, in being faithful to scripture, specifically refutes Mormonism. The film series specifically quotes Jesus telling the woman at the well that God is spirit, and such that He's not limited to a particular locale (Jn. 4). The film series also refutes Mormonism in the 2nd season episode 1 where it teaches from John 1 that Jesus created everything outside Himself from the beginning.
As for what one of its actors is or does has no relevance for my enjoyment of this film that gets the gospel out... again, just like Paul said in Philippians 1 where he rejoiced in that even though others were doing it out of bad motives. So I don't care if one of the actors is even an atheist. In logic, your argument is a fallacy known as guilt by association.
Having said that, the RCC is still part of what C.S. Lewis called "Mere Christianity" and the vast majority of Protestant theologians familiar with the subject recognize that. For more on that, see https://www.courageouschristiansunited.org/blog/is-catholicism-a-false-gospel-like-mormonism-57039. What Catholics do with Mary is irrelevant to their salvation, since they all recognize Mary as a means, not an end, who is Jesus, God over all blessed forever (Rom. 9:5).
[She replied:] Praise be to God that your wife is no longer in the Mormon cult. CRN has many articles posted that will enlighten you on The Chosen. I'll post a link so that you can read them if you wish. As for what "all" Catholics believe. It seems you are unaware that many Catholics believe that Mary is co-redemptrix. There are many more troubling things about their veneration of Mary. I'll post a link below. https://christianresearchnetwork.org/?s=the+chosen&submit=Search
Here's an article on The Chosen https://christianresearchnetwork.org/2022/01/11/the-chosen-dilemma-not-a-faithful-film-version-of-the-gospel-accounts/
[I replied:] Of course the "co-redeemer" title is obnoxious, but it only takes a quick internet search to discover what is actually meant by it and syntax should always be secondary to semantics. RCs go to great lengths to point out that "co-" is from the Latin "cum," which means "with." It doesn't mean "equal," which they all claim would be heresy and blasphemy. Here's one example: "Mary is not a co-Redeemer and is not able to save anyone, not even with and under Christ. Christ alone redeems; Mary merely immerses herself in all that Christ does toward our redemption. Her role is not co-redemptive."
So the point is that it's basically saying Mary cooperates in Christ's redemptive plan in unique ways, particularly her "so be it" to God at the annunciation. Again, she's the means, not the end.
Regardless, this "co-redeemer" issue isn't even a dogma of the RC and the last 2 popes have distanced themselves from it to a certain extent. As far as The Chosen, again, none of this matters since the series doesn't bring it up.
I don't see why a film must always simply quote verbatim what the book says. It's interesting to get others' perspectives on possible back stories that illustrate what is going on in a particular story. No one is claiming it's scripture, not even Dallas. But if commentators do this all the time and we don't have a problem with it, then there should be no problem if filmmakers do it. The issue is are the fundamentals of the gospel message distorted, and I certainly don't see that they are. So I think too many like yourself are making a mountain out of a molehill, and should be thankful that the gospel is being proclaimed like Paul was doing in Phil. 1 and that people are coming to Christ through it.
[She replied:] So I'm making a mountain out of a molehill? I should be thankful that the gospel is being proclaimed? Should I also be thankful that God spoke to Dallas Jenkins when he was in a synagogue in Israel? Dallas's own words: "I felt that God was laying on my heart was that in several years the Chosen was going to be what people thought of when they pictured the disciples. When they pictured Jesus’ people. People that were around Jesus. Because up to that point, the movie, the mini-series about Jesus, you don’t have anything in your mind specifically about Simon Peter or Mary Magdalene. There’s no visual in your mind. And, I felt like God was saying, well, this is going to be the definitive portrayal of my people, and this is what people are going to think of around the world when they think of my people. And I’m not going to let you screw it up." And he knew that God was speaking to him...how? I think you'll agree that for a Christian to blaspheme God is screwing things up, royally. Lastly - I don't think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill for being concerned that DJ teamed up with a group of Trinity deniers, whose main aim is to proselytize people into a cult, to produce a movie that's a definitive portrayal about God's people. Oy vey! Dallas admits that 95% of the material is not found in the Bible. https://midwestoutreach.org/2022/01/06/the-chosen-dilemma/
On Mary: Some Catholics view Mary as a co-redemptrix or a mediatrix who plays a key role in the salvation of mankind. (The suffix -trix is a feminine word ending in Latin, so a redemptrix is a female redeemer, and a mediatrix is a female mediator.) Within Catholicism, there is a drive to define a new Marian dogma in which Catholics, as a matter of faith, would be obliged to accept these three doctrines: (1) Mary participates in redemption with Jesus Christ, (2) grace is granted by Jesus only through the intercession of Mary, and (3) all prayers from the faithful must flow through Mary, who brings them to the attention of her Son. This movement would, in practice, redefine the Trinity as a kind of Quartet. More ... https://www.gotquestions.org/Mary-redemptrix-mediatrix.html
[I replied:] well I still see it as mountain out of a molehill. Christians have worked with atheists companies to get their work out, but now that it's an LDS company you're freaking out. Again, I've already demonstrated how The Chosen refutes Mormonism. That's what matters. You're worrying about LDS using the film. So what? They use the Bible already. That doesn't entail we should avoid the Bible.
I really don't care that Dallas holds that God was speaking to him. Perhaps God was. I'm not a cessationist, and neither is most of the Church.
I also don't care that most of the series isn't in the Bible. Where's the rule that says most or all of it has to be? It just seems to come from your own legalistic standard. Again, most of the words in a commentary aren't in the Bible either. So what? They are the interpretations of the commentators... or even pastors preaching. Sometimes they get it right, and sometimes they get it wrong. Big deal! Again, it's not scripture.
As for Mary, again, she is a means to the end. We are also means to the end. That's why Paul can say that he and we can save (1 Cor. 9:22 and 1 Tim. 4:16). Ha! We are saviors according to the Bible! We all understand that as a means here. You should do the same with the RC's understanding of Mary for the reasons I've already stated.
Again, my original reply still stands and no one has refuted it. Getting all upset at what Peter could have said is certainly no good reason to warn others about avoiding the whole series that is bringing people to Christ. That's what you should rejoice in instead of focusing your efforts on all this nitpicking.
[She replied:] I'll give you the last word....words.
[I replied:] k, my last words... love you Sis!
For those ministering to Mormons, I have created a free tool of a parallel Bible version. I placed Joseph Smith’s Translation (also known as the Inspired Version), the King James Version, and a Greek-English interlinear Bible side by side. If Joseph Smith added something new but not in the KJV, I would underline those words. If something was in the KJV but not in Joseph Smith’s version, I would highlight the words in the KJV. Then a person could go to the source material (Greek) to see if there is any support for what Joseph Smith added or subtracted. Matthew 24 is a good example of differences. My website is www.jacksresearch.com. I also have a video called “The Mormon Scriptures, Are They Reliable?”
In His service,
I just want to drop a note to encourage you and your family. Thank you for sharing your stories and heart and mission for the Kingdom of Jesus! You are an inspiration and I am praying for you daily. Thank you for being God’s hands and feet every day and for being will to take the time to invest eternally to plant those seeds in so many lives one and two at a time. Bless you and your loved ones. May The Lord multiply your time and relationships for HIM. You are a Rock Star!
Oh Rob your the BOM! Lol thanks for your great work