Rob and Mark outside the Ogden LDS Temple
Ogden Temple Outreach Report (Part 2)
The Ogden Temple opening lasted until September 6th. The day before it ended, another guy, Mark, prayed to receive Christ. I evangelizing with local Debra Calderon Silva-Cole, and she invited him to her church. He said he was a Christian, but had no idea how to be saved. After he prayed, he immediately said that Jesus was in his heart. Thanks for praying for open hearts during my time evangelizing at the Ogden outreach!
Angry Non-LDS People
Unsurprisingly, most hearts definitely were not open. Some of the angriest people I deal with are people who have family or friends who are LDS, but don't claim to be LDS! I have two examples from last month. The first was at the beginning of the month. It was a conversation with a Catholic lady, who told me that my sign was very offensive to her and her LDS friends. I was just walking up to the Ogden temple to do evangelism. She wasn’t interested in any dialogue with me. She simply walked away after preaching her feeling to me. As she was walking away, I told her that LDS are going to hell for following a false God who had to follow some other God before he could become a God for us. As Catholic, I thought surely she would know this is blasphemy and would sympathize with what I was up to! Instead, she covered her child's ears. I told this lady that it seems like she ought to check her own heart, since she didn't seem to give a rip that her friends' homes are on fire.
The second example was later in the month right outside the temple entrance in downtown Salt Lake City. Here’s a video I captured of this confrontation. The gal in this video first approached me by asking if I was really so bored to be doing what I do. I assured her that it’s love that motivates me, since I don’t want to see people go to hell. She was quite offended by me and told me that she wasn’t LDS, but her family was. She took off, but quickly came back with her own sign. Well, she got bored and only lasted around 5 minutes before she took off.
We had an exciting Meetup with Brian Mackert last month. God saved him out of the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints--Warren Jeff’s polygamist cult), and now he’s going to be planting the first functioning Christian church in Colorado City, AZ (the FLDS headquarters)! You can watch his video at our Meetup here and view the pictures here.
Phoenix Temple Opening Mission
I was able to raise the funds I needed to go to Arizona next week. Thank you to all who prayed and gave! Please continue to pray. I will be going with John Kauer of Think About Eternity Ministries. We will also be evangelizing at an Arab festival on the 19th, since that is on a Sunday and the temple is closed that day.
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, including online giving, 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).
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 family to be saved
3. Wisdom in all our dealings
4. Strength to keep going
5. Pay off our large debt from medical and dental expenses
You totally inspire me! Thanks for taking God's calling on your life, running and never looking back.
May God bless you and your family in every way.
Blessings and love to all,
Hey, Rob. I've had a few Biblical questions that have been haunting me a bit since I "left" the Watchtower organization. They are questions that people keep using against me in an attempt to rebuke me and my reasoning for the decisions that I've made as far as not attending meetings at the Hall or going in service anymore. my first question would be regarding Jesus' Parable of the Weeds in Matthew 13:24-30. Basically, Jesus compares the Kingdom to a field of grain. I'm sure that you're familiar with this parable. Anyways, the Witnesses place the sewer as himself, his Apostles and disciples as the grain, the enemy as Satan, the weeds as false religion/false Christianity/ false religious ideas, the Master as God, and the harvest as Armageddon. My question is, who really are the grain and the weeds? Is there a false Christianity? Is that possible?
My second question is regarding Matthew 24:14. It reads that, "This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth" during the times of the end. My family uses this one constantly, asking me, "Who else is preaching the good news? Mormons? We already know they are false, so, it can't be them?" I'm just curious as to your thoughts on this scripture, as far as who is preaching it and how are they doing it? if it's not in an organized fashion, are they really preaching it?
My third question has to do with Babylon the Great. The Witnesses teach that Babylon the great is false religion in general. No specific religion. Just any religion that isn't them. "Christendom" included. What is the Christian view of this topic? Who do they believe are Babylon the Great?
My final question just has to do with the name, "Jehovah". My dad uses this one constantly; "That name is in the original text seven thousand times. He wants you to know it. Who else uses that name? How could anybody be true if they don't use the name?" I never have an argument for this one because it seems kind of on point. I mean, I know that the witness don't have the truth for other reasons, corruption, greed, false prophecy, etc. But, they do use God's name. It was in the Hebrew Scriptures thousands of times. In, I believe it's Isaiah, it repeatedly says things such as, "This is what the sovereign Lord Jehovah has said", and "and they shall know that I am Jehovah."
I'm sorry that these questions are so lengthy, and I understand if you can't get to them soon. But any answers to them would be greatly appreciated. I've just come to a bit of a crossroad in my life, where I believe in God and I have faith and believe in Christ, but it seems like I can't find questions to all of my questions no matter which direction I turn. I know that the witnesses do not have the truth, but, I can't seem to find all the answers in mainstream Christianity either. I think that it's mainly because I'm looking at the scriptures wrong. still with that twisted JW thinking, sometimes. Thank you so much for any answers provided to me.
[I replied:] The weeds are unbelievers who look like those who have been truly born-again. The more obvious form are those in the cults—JW’s, LDS, Moonies, Scientology, etc. The less obvious form are those in a legitimate Christian church or believe the same doctrinal things that legitimate Christian churches hold, and yet they really aren’t in a relationship with God through Christ. They’ve never really committed themselves to Christ and trust Him to make them into the people He wants them to be. That’s why Paul tells us to test ourselves to see if we’re in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5) or Jesus says that those who endure to the end are the ones who are saved (Mat. 24:13).
So yes, there is such a thing as false Christianity. There are false conversions and there are false Christians who follow a false Christ. Jesus warned of false Christs who would come in the last days (Mat. 24:24).
As for who is preaching the word in the last days, believers are in all sorts of ways. I don’t see anything from the text that says it must be one way, namely, and organized way.
As for Babylon the Great, different ideas have been thrown out to specify an individual or an individual religion. I don’t know. Here’s something on the whore of Babylon that makes sense to me. So the whore seems to be anti-Christ, but we don’t know who that’s going to be. If that’s right, then mystery Babylon the Great would seem to be the Satanic kingdom. Regardless of who these things are, I know that JW’s are simply a part of that kingdom, since they are teaching a false Christ.
As for the name Jehovah, Christians use as well. JW’s act like they’re the only ones who use it. Well, they obviously use it a lot more than we do, but it’s just incorrect to say that Christians never use it. Here’s a contemporary music example from Brandon Heath: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmbDajre3MU.
Secondly, in another sense, Christians use it all the time if you keep in mind that the term “Jehovah” is often translated as the term “Lord” in both the Old and New Testaments. That’s what Christians feel more comfortable using simply because the term “Jehovah” sounds too Hebrew. It’s like Jesus’ real name was “Yeshua.” Well, we anglicize that to make it easier for English speakers.
Thirdly, we don’t even know how the term “Jehovah” is really supposed to be pronounced, since the original Hebrew doesn’t have the vowels. We only have 4 consonants for the term—YHWH—known as the Tetragrammaton. Should it be pronounced “Johevih,” “Jahavoh,” “Jehivah,” etc.? So instead of guessing the correct pronunciation, we as English speakers simply use the term “Lord.”
Finally, aren’t there other terms the Bible uses to address YHWH? Of course there are. So why must we only use the term YHWH? It would be kind of like using the term “Robert” to address my dad all the time. Strange how JW’s make such a big deal of this.
As for posting on JWinfo.org, you could do it on the Guestbook page, but I was think[ing] of the Facebook JWinfo.org Discussion page.
Don’t worry about asking as many questions as you like. It’s my job. And besides that, I love talking theology.
I’m really thankful to see YHWH drawing you out of darkness and into a real knowledge of Himself. Be patient. Growth is a life-long process. Enjoy the ride!
thanks so much for the update. Lots of exciting stuff to report (some of the stories are funny as well :)) God is using you to His glory and the good of others. Will be sending $100 towards your Phoenix trip.
Thank you for sharing your news letter and your witnessing experiences and testimony's Rob,
Praying for your ministry, family and friends and all those you touch for Christ's sake brother.
What would you say [to this email addressed to me]?
I really hesitated messaging you. I know how this whole thing goes down. I know all too well how much Born Agains/Pentecostals/Assemblies of God/Baptists (or whatever you label or don't label yourself as) like to debate; which I have absolutely no interest or desire doing. As a dialogue of this nature is utterly futile. I have no delusions of ever changing your mind of what you believe or what you think I believe. By that same token, nothing you say (no documents, arguments, "scholarly" opinions, etc.,) will ever persuade me to see things the way you do, or dissuade me from the way I see things.
My single intent of responding to your invitation to PM you is to stand as a witness of truth and light and bear my personal testimony. I do have a true relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. It is ignorantly arrogant for you to say that I do not. You have no idea the path I have taken to foster that relationship. Not only is He my Savior, He is my brother and my friend. He is the same for me as he is for you.
Funny, yet tragic, you don't feel the same way. I believe, from the little I know about you, that your intentions are good. Your approach could use some work, but at the final judgment, the Lord will see you as a valiant servant striving to build His kingdom. In my opinion, you will be with Him. Yet, you see me as a damned soul who needs saving. And unless I have a paradigm shift, I will have no chance of getting anywhere near heaven.
Why? Why do you, and so many like minded people, spend so much time and energy focusing on tearing down other religions (especially other Christian religions, which does include Mormons, despite what you think)? What is it that's missing in your life that you can't focus that time and energy on building your own testimony and go about perpetuating good, love and light? What is so threatening about the Mormon church that there are sermons, books, lecture series, college courses (that one floors me) so hell bent on destroying it?
I'm sure you're response is that I'm a cultist who is lead by Satan, or at minimum, I am being deceived by him. I am here to assure you that nothing is further from the truth. No matter what you think, have read, have been told.
You say that you are a reformed Mormon who has seen the light. Well, I am a reformed Born Again who was brought back to the light. To the fullness of Christ's Gospel.
Again, I have no delusions of convincing you that what I am saying is true. I am simply saying them because it is true and you invited me to share it.
One final note, Easter Sunday 1989 I was radically saved at the Salt Lake Christian Center. So consider that I'm covered either way.
[I replied:] Lots to say here. First, how does she know that God can't use an argument or anything else you say to get her to change her mind? Seems quite presumptuous.
Second, if arguing or contending for the faith is pointless, then why does scripture advocate it (2 Cor. 10:4-5 and 1 Pet. 3:15)? Even the D&C advocates it (71:7-10).
Third, if she has a personal relationship with Jesus, then does she pray directly to Him? Her late apostle said she can't. Every LDS knows that you pray directly to the Father only in the name of Jesus. If she doesn't pray directly to Jesus, then what kind of personal relationship is that?
Fourth, if she's buying Mormonism, then Jesus isn't the same for both of you. Jesus is the Creator of literally everything, and hers isn't.
Fifth, she answers her own question as to why you spend so much energy trying to convert her... because she knows that you see her as a damned or deceived soul.
Sixth and finally, false conversions happen and only those who endure to the end are saved. If she continues in her rejection of God, then it's obvious she went through a false conversion and isn't being led by the Spirit of God.
[She replied:] I would say all of the above changes nothing. Wait, I take that back. It has changed something. The point made by your friend, how can I have a personal relationship with Christ if I don't pray to him directly? I have been pondering this question a good part of the day and am now more clear than I was prior to your message. So thanks for that. Thank your pastor friend for providing an opportunity for me to get closer to my Savior by pondering my relationship with him.
The Godhead explains it perfectly. It really does make so much more sense God being 3 distinct persons, c'mon, right? The whole baptism of Jesus thing and the Trinity, I mean, really? I was a Born Again for 3.5 years, and no matter how many people attempted to explain how God was in the water, speaking from heaven and descending like a dove all at the same time, I was still left perplexed.
Again, ironic and sad that I can consider you a Christian, despite our differences, but you consider me a sheep being lead astray by a wolf.
And since your friend wants to bring up something a late LDS apostle said, I'll go ahead and add this quote from the person I believe your friend is referring to:
Bruce R McConkie BYU speech march 2 1972
"It follows that the devil would rather spread false doctrine about God and the Godhead, and induce false feelings with reference to any one of them, than almost any other thing he could do. The creeds of Christendom illustrate perfectly what Lucifer wants so-called Christian people to believe about Deity in order to be damned."
BTW, this talk a REALLY good explanation of the Godhead, you should read it sometime. And not just the picked apart, taken out of context, fuse the beginning of one sentence with the end of another version that your colleagues like to pedal as an authentic document.
We could argue for days Jeff. And no, Doctrine and Covenants 71:7-10 does not say to argue. Not in the way that you and your pastor friend like to. It's the spirit (or should I say lack thereof) in which you contend. I cannot imagine this is what the Savior had in mind when it comes to bringing people to Him.
So I'm going to leave the party now. I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to. But thanks again for helping me strengthen my testimony. Yes, I said testimony. Don't get caught up in semantics.
[I replied:] "We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son, and we do not worship the Holy Ghost." McConkie went on to say, "Our relationship with the Father is supreme, paramount, and preeminent over all others. He is the God we worship. ...Our relationship with the Father is one of parent and child. ...He is the one to whom we have direct access by prayer, and if there were some need--which there is not!--to single out one member of the Godhead for a special relationship, the Father, not the Son, would be the one to choose. Our relationship with the Son is one of brother or sister in the premortal life and one of being led to the Father by him while in this mortal sphere." Then McConkie chided those that "[i]n an effort to be truer than true they devote themselves to gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous. ...Another peril is that those so involved often begin to pray directly to Christ because of some special friendship they feel has been developed. ...This is plain sectarian nonsense. Our prayers are addressed to the Father, and to him only." http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=602
As for the Persons of God being distinct, of course they are. They're just not separable as LDS think they are. For more on this[, see here]. That's why we have no problem praying directly to any of the Persons.
I’ll be praying for you as I know I’d like to see you make the trip. I so enjoy all you do/say in your never-ending drive to let Mormons hear the TRUTH of God’s Word. I appreciate you & Tara so much because He’s using you mightily & will keep on doing so because you are FAITHFUL. It’s a thrill to read what you write, see the pictures & learn about each time you encounter different Mormons. Satan won’t give up & that’s what I enjoy about you all—NEITHER DO YOU! I am happy to send some money to help each time the Lord prompts me to do so. I sent this last time BEFORE I knew you planned to make the trip to the Phoenix temple & when I read your Newsletter, I had to smile & think, “God already had me become a part of your trip!”
Thanks for your faithfulness over the years. …Evangelism, discipleship, and church planting in Utah are bringing glory to God. Keep the faith and honor God.
I hope you are well. We met years ago at Watermark Church in Dallas. I made a donation to your trip. I hope it goes well. Can you please pray for me and my family? Also my best friend in the world is a Mormon and that is one of the reasons why I stand with what you are doing. …Can you please pray that he and his family will find the truth found only in Jesus? I believe what you do truly does take courage and I respect you for that.
Thanks for helping us understand the differences between mormonism and christianity. I converted from mormonism to be a christian and have long believed that Joseph was nothing more than a con-man and false profit.
Hi Rob! I have been thinking of you and your family, prayerfully:-) Just wanted to let you know, it is awesome the ministry the Lord has you doing! I could not do it, but then again, we all have different gifts and our all part of the body of Christ.