Preparing for Mormon Missionaries

As I said, dear friends, when I started the Twisted Tuesday series on essential doctrines, our new apartment is right next to a Mormon temple. It should not, therefor, have taken me by surprise when two young men knocked on my door last week. This blog is not predominantly about me, unless I feel that there is something encouraging or edifying in my life to share. So, I should briefly explain some things before I continue with what happened last week. I hope this will be helpful to others who struggle in this area, regardless of the reasons. I’m not just socially inept, I’m a hermit.

The recent neurological diagnosis shed a lot of light into this area of my life. It’s actually a sensory issue, new people with different sounding voices, smells, styles of communicating can be overwhelming. Without getting to deep into the subject, my brain processes senses as attacks. Sunlight, wind, heat or cold, loud or repetitive noises, flashing lights, lots of movement, certain textures, or anything new and different. I can manage with one or two, it usually takes several of these factors before I shut down. Imagine getting sand in your eye, and needed to stop walking so you can get it out. All of the sensations that are typical for you would be sand in my eye. It’s not enough to stop me from living a fruitful life, but it tends to make me weary of socializing. The medication and treatment has helped, I can often ignore the sand in the eye sensation now.

I think there’s a second factor that has created the perfect storm, and it’s environmental. We live in a time where we need not even speak vocally to one another to convey a point. My FedEx delivery fellow doesn’t wait at the door, they knock and flee. Neighbors don’t talk to one another, we avoid eye contact wherever we go. Even our cashiers are automated now. I could, and before getting saved did, live comfortably with the most minimum amount of human contact. Once God, by His grace, made me a new creature, born again and desperately desiring fellowship with other saints and, even more desperately, to see the lost be saved, my attitude shifted. I was not magically enabled to work through the neurological and societal walls that made regular conversations so difficult, however I was compelled by love to leave my comfort zone. My husband and my daughter have helped tremendously, even from the beginning by encouraging me when I was simply able to say “good morning” to a neighbor. Yes, it started that small, my friends. I could talk to family, friends, co-workers, and I could even forcefully talk to strangers when the occasion presented itself. The change came from the heart, I wanted to do this, I needed to do this.

Now, we get to the knock on the door. The reason for the interruption in Tuesday’s series. I answered the door. I do that now. Previously, if some strangers knocked on the door, I’d quietly wait for them to leave. They told me they were from the Mormon church and wanted to share Jesus Christ, and peace with me. I asked them to, but they said they would have to come back, so we set up an appointment. Tomorrow at 12. Dear ones, the moment I shut the door I felt my heart drop. Where did the boldness come from to set up an appointment with two strangers come from? The Holy Spirit. In my great weakness He is strong, I believe that God will be glorified tomorrow. This week I have felt my inability more so than ever before, and as such I have felt my great need for God. I cherish this deep discomfort, the opportunity to share Christ with these two young men who have come to my door, has shown yet again that I am nothing without Christ.

I’ve spent the weekend and past couple days preparing. An elder at the church we’re visiting has given me good advice and assistance. I ask that you would all pray for me, and these two boys, as tomorrow comes. If you have advice, or something educational I can watch or read it would be greatly appreciated. I will attempt to record as much of the conversation as possible to share with you all. I do ask, again, that you would pray for me. I have a great need, I serve a great God. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Homeschooling Worksheets – Essential Doctrines and Polycarp

Hello again, dear friends! I hope you’re having a blessed weekend thus far, and will be edifies and encouraged through fellowship. Below I’ve attached three lessons, along with a list of the shorter Westminster Catechism. I love this particular pdf because it comes equipped with Scriptural references. This time I’ve created a short lesson on Polycarp for anyone hoping to teach their children about the early church. I’ve included this weeks Twisted Tuesday lesson, and last weeks which was not posted. So, below is a lesson on Monotheism, the Resurrection, and Polycarp of Smyrna which includes a word-search I had way to much fun creating! I want to also create lessons on the heresies and heretics of the time, and would love your opinions on what age range that would be appropriate for. You’re thoughts are always such a tremendous blessing to me! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Polycarp of Smyrna

Montheism

Resurrection of Christ

ws_catechism

Historical Church Series: Early Church Heretics – Docetism and Ebionism

Hello, beloved, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Today we’re actually going to deal with two specific heresies, double trouble, Docetism and Ebionism. On Tuesday we talked about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how it’s an essential doctrine of the faith. If you missed that post, you can find it here. Alongside these two heresies I’d like to introduce you to another early church leader, Irenaeus.

Let’s start with Irenaeus, who was born around 130 ad in Smyrna, and directly discipled by Polycarp of Smyrna. He would eventually become the Bishop of Lyon, and would spend his days fighting heresy and evangelical work south of France. He would eventually be martyred by Severus, in Lyons, after nearly 80 years of serving the Lord. This man, trained by one who sat under the teaching of the Apostle John, lived and died for the glory of God. Let’s discuss the heresies he fought against so uncompromisingly.

Ebionism was the fruit of the Judaizers we talked about here. They came along in the second and third century, teaching that salvation came through keeping the Law. They also denied the virgin birth, the eternal divinity of Christ, and the Trinity. While they would eventually split into two groups, one with a gnostic bent, and the other with the original Jewish works righteousness, they were all considered heretics. It’s believed that Irenaeus was the first to address this cult, in his work Against Heresies. They do not deny the resurrection of Christ, but do not believe that it saves. You can see a modern day version of Ebionism in the Seventh Day Adventist’s.

Docitism, a heretical group which would eventually morph into Gnosticism, believed that Christ was not a real, flesh and blood, man. As such, they deny the resurrection of Christ in bodily form. The duality of docitism fit in much more comfortably with the Platonism of the age. It was appears early on by Apostles and Apostolic Fathers, leading to a more clear explanation of the humanity of Christ. That clarification is still needed today, as the modern docitism found in New Agism still declares that Jesus Christ was spirit and you can achieve Christ “consciousness”.

I hope this series continues to edify and encourage you, dear friends, to stand firm in your faith. The truth of God’s Word has always remained, never has He left His church without a defender. The gates of Hell will not prevail. If, and when, we face persecution, we will not stand alone but with the brothers and sisters in Christ that have come before us. From the end of Acts until this present day, Christ is building His church. There are many voices crying for an end to Christianity, this is nothing new. Be bold, and courageous, filled with love and deep concern for the lost. Until tomorrow, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Essential Doctrines of the Faith: The Resurrection of Christ

In continuing our series on the essential doctrines of the faith, beloved, I’d like to address the resurrection today. If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series I’ll link to them below. The point of this series is to edify and embolden the faithful to share the Gospel with a lost and dying cultish world. You don’t need to have a perfect understanding of all the cults teachings to speak truth into confusion. All you need is a Biblical and historical understanding of Christianity. As such, today we’ll be discussing the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This doctrine is under attack, and has been for decades, but not by the cults only. In fact, some of the cults have a Biblical doctrine of the resurrected King, while professing churches in the ‘mainline’ arena do not.

Historical Church Series -The Early Heretics: Introduction

Twisted Tuesday – Essential Doctrines of the Faith: Salvation by Grace Alone

Twisted Tuesday – Essential Doctrines of the Faith: The Deity of Christ

Twisted Tuesday – Essential Doctrines: Monotheism

The doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is obviously referring to His defeating death, and rising on the third day. It was not possible for death to hold Him, His sacrifice was perfect, His prophecies that He would rise were true (John 2:18-22). To deny His literal resurrection is the call Christ a liar (Romans 3:4), which would make Him a sinner (Hebrews 4:15). If He was a sinner, He was not God, nor was His sacrifice perfect, meaning we are all lost without hope (1 Cor. 15:13-17). This is why the resurrection is such an essential doctrine, without proper Biblical theology in this, you remove yourself from orthodoxy, and place yourself under condemnation with no hope of salvation (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Before we move forward, I need to make some definitional distinctions. We’re going to be talking in terms of liberal and conservative churches. These terms have more than one meaning, there’s the religious meaning and the political meaning. We’re strictly discussing the religious implications, not the political. In other words, when I call a group liberal, for this context of this post, I mean those professing believers who do not believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, Word of God. Whereas a conservative professing believer would take all, or most, of the Bible to be written by men, inspired by the Holy Spirit, thus without error. In the case of the resurrection, the liberal churches do not believe it actually happened. In this way, they are in agreement with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who teach Christ was resurrected Spirit, not in a bodily form.

While liberalism has spread to Mormonism, and Roman Catholicism, both have core doctrines that include a Biblical resurrection of Christ. Roman Catholics have left orthodoxy in the transubstantiation, or the repeated ‘sacrificing’ of Christ in the sacraments. Mormons have confused this doctrine by misunderstanding the Trinity, as do the Oneness Pentecostals. However, it is only the Jehovah’s Witnesses, alongside the liberal churches, who refuse to accept the Biblical doctrine of Jesus Christ rising bodily from the dead. This is one area where I believe the cults are not as deadly as those claiming to be born again. We know when we talk to someone knocking at our door early in the morning, nicely dressed, traveling in pairs, that we’re talking to someone who is promoting a cult. When we talk to a co-worker, relative, or friend that has been deceived by liberal teaching, but professes Christianity, it’s harder to nail down the errant theology.

I hope that this series continues to be a blessing to you, dear ones, and that you’ll be encouraged to boldly share Christ crucified, raised from the dead, as told in Gods Word. If you have not yet watched the Jeff Durbin vs. Andy Stanley debate I’m going to link to it below. They discuss the importance of Gods Word in regards to apologetics. Apologetics sounds like a term meaning we apologize for our faith, but what it is actually referring to is giving a reasoned defensive of our faith. Doing this without a proper understanding of the essentials is very difficult, doing so without believing in Gods inspired Word is impossible. Reasoning about an authority without accepting that authority is not reasonable. Have a great day, beloved brethren, and as always be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Monday Creation Science – Book Review From Tom and Pastor Jim

Below is a link to Pastor Jim at VeritasDomain’s book reviews of the Answers in Genesis Answers Kids books. These reviews are very helpful, and exciting! While on the topic of creation science and books I also shared Tom from exCatholic4Christ’s review of Darwin Devolves by Michael Behe. This review was so entertaining, and helpful!

Answers Book for Kids Volume 1

Answers Book for Kids Volume 2

Answers Book for Kids Volume 3

Answers Book for Kids Volume 4

Answers Book for Kids Volume 5

Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution