I hope that you had a great December! I sure did! It was a fruitful one for me!’
I have been talking with “S” of the Baha’i faith quite a bit. He and I first met in Toronto. He previously gave me the book The Baha'i Faith: An Introduction to read. We talked about my critique of the book. I am currently creating a document that addresses many of the key points that are presented.
In my last newsletter I shared how I talked to “S’ about John 2:19-21 which says, “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body.” (English Standard Version).
While he seemingly understood what this passage literally meant, he still played lip-service to the belief of a spiritual, not physical resurrection. I also brought up Luke 24:39 which says, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (ESV). We also discussed Luke 24:39 which says, 39 “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
“S” keeps insisting that this is figurative speech in order to stay true to his faith. I told him that this doctrine is important to me because Jesus is fully human just like all other humans. It has been great to get to know him, and to continue this conversation. I would also like to add that Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. How would you respond to this?
“W” stopped by this month in order to drop off the Watchtower magazine. While we had small talk “W” asked if I had anything to talk about. I said yes. I asked him if only God should be worshipped and he replied, “Yes”! We went to Matthew 2:11 in light of the Christmas season. The New World Translation (NWT) is the translation that Jehovah’s Witnesses use. It says, “And when they went into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and falling down, they did obeisance to him. They also opened their treasures and presented him with gifts—gold and frankincense and myrrh.” “W” was able to respond to this by saying that the wise men did not worship Jesus they were just showing him respect. He was able to answer that sincerely because of how the NWT worded it. I then shared the Matthew 2:11 in the ESV where Jesus is worshipped. It says, 11 “And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” While he saw the wise men worshipping Jesus in this translation and other translations he had to stick to the NWT. We see that Jesus is God in many places, but this is a quick one to recall when talking with a person who denies the Deity of Jesus. 28 “Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:28 (ESV). Please pray that “W” will know the biblical Jesus.
I have been talking with a young LDS man named “H”. He recently completed his LDS mission. He really started doubting on his mission because he thought that it was unfair for him to go out and witness while the LDS General Authorities (GAs) do not do the same. I agreed with him. He asked if I believed the LDS plan of salvation to be true. I told him that I did not, but I asked if we could study it together using the principles of good logic.
We looked at some references and beliefs from their holy books, The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), and The Book of Mormon teach that:
We cannot be in God's presence if we have sin. (D&C 1:31-33).
True repentance is stopping sin. (D&C 58:43-43).
If we sin again; our sins return. (D&C 82:7).
That means we die in our sins, and cannot be saved. (Alma 11:37).
If we don't stop sinning in this life; we can’t be forgiven. (Alma 34:32-35). There is no second chance. Isn't that impossible?
He agreed with me that sounds impossible.
An outline, along with other quotes and passages that I used for this conversation, can be found here. Further instructions on how to use it in a conversation are here.
I asked “H” if he wants to hear the good news and he said yes! I shared Romans 10:9-10 which says, “… if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” ESV.
He said that he believed it! He also agreed to meet in person with an ex-Mormon. He still has not told his family about his his new found faith in Jesus Christ. Please pray for him to have wisdom on how to proceed with his new Christian faith and how to tell his family!