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Eight reasons why we need apologetics

 
There are several reasons why we need apologetics. The first and most obvious is because we are commanded to defend the faith: 1 Peter 3:15 says, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

Second, we need apologetics because it helps Christians know their faith. This is something that is sadly lacking among believers. Most don’t know much about their faith, let alone be able to describe the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, His physical resurrection, or even be able to tell the difference between justification and sanctification. Apologetics helps to define and defend what the truth of the gospel is.

Third, apologetics is an attempt to keep people out of hell. God takes sin very seriously, and He will punish those who have rebelled against Him and are not covered in the blood of Christ. As Christians, we should be motivated to present the truth of salvation in Jesus. We should not sit idly by and ignore the dilemma of the unbeliever. We need to tell them that sin is real because God is real, and that breaking God’s law has a consequence. Since we have all sinned, we cannot keep God’s Law perfectly. Also, we cannot undo the offense to an infinitely holy God because we are not infinite or holy, so the only thing left for us is to fall under the judgment of God. But God has provided a way for us to escape that judgment. That is why God became man in Jesus. He claimed to be God, (John 8:24,58; compare with Exodus 3:14). Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross, (1 Pet. 2:24). By trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, we will be spared from the rightful judgment of God upon the sinner. Salvation is not found in Buddhism, Islam, relativism, or in one’s self. It is only found in Jesus and we need to not only defend God’s word and truth, but also to present the gospel to all people so they can escape the judgment to come.

Fourth, we need apologetics to counter the bad image that Christianity has received in the media and in culture. Televangelists and their scandals, both sexually and monetarily, are a disgrace to Christianity. The Catholic church hasn’t helped with its scandals involving priests. On top of that, a media is very biased against Christianity and you will see negative opinions of Christianity promoted everywhere.

Fifth, we need apologetics because there is a constant threat of apostasy in the visible Christian church. Such is the case with the Metropolitan Community Church denomination, which openly advocates the support of homosexuality in violation of scripture (Rom. 1:18-32). Also, as of 2002, the Evangelical Lutheran church is in risk of apostasy by entertaining the idea of accepting homosexual relationships into church. “The United Church of Christ set up a $500,000 scholarship fund for gay and lesbian seminarians Friday and urged wider acceptance of homosexuals by other denominations.” (United Church Makes Gay Scholarship, CLEVELAND, June 16, 2000, AP Online via COMTEX). Or “The supreme court of the United Methodist Church was asked Thursday to reconsider the denomination’s ban on gay clergy. (Church court of United Methodists asked to decide on gay clergy ban, NASHVILLE, Tennessee, Oct. 25, 2001, AP WorldStream via COMTEX). Such examples are demonstrations of the incredible need for defending biblical truth within those churches that claim to be Christian.

Sixth, another reason we need apologetics is because of the many false teachings out there. Mormonism teaches that God used to be a man on another world, that he brought one of his goddess wives with him to this world, that they produce spirit offspring that are born into human babies, and that you have the potential of becoming a god of your own world. The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that there is no Trinity, that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, that there is no hell, and that only 144,000 people will go to heaven. Atheism denies God’s existence, openly attacks Christianity and is gaining ground in public life and schools. Islam teaches that Jesus was not God in flesh, that Jesus did not rise from the dead, and that He did not atone for our sins. It teaches that salvation is partly based on one’s works and partly based on Allah’s grace. It teaches that the Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel (Surah 2:97; 16:102); that Jinn are unseen beings, created (51:56) from fire (15:27; 55:15); and that Muhammed was greater than Jesus. Even within the Christian church, there are false teachings. We can see that from both within the Christian church and from outside of it, false teachings are bombarding believers (and non believers) all over the world.

Seventh, the rise of immorality in America is a threat not only to society but also to Christianity. This is a serious issue because an immoral society cannot last long. The Barna Research group statistics show that 64% of adults and 83% of teenagers said moral truth depends on the situation that you are in. 19% of the adult population believes that “the whole idea of sin is outdated.” 51% believe that “if a person is generally good, or does enough good, he will earn a place in Heaven.”

When a society’s morals fail, the society fails. Just look at history and think of Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece or present day Enron, Watergate, and White House interns. Immorality seeps down into all areas of our culture. Consider this: In the New York Times, online, of May 12, 2002, in the article “With Games of Havoc, Men Will Be Boys,” the author, Warren St. John, interviews some players of what he says is a very popular video game. One young man says, “What I like to do is get in the car and drive around and do drive-by shootings. You can haul someone out of their car and beat on them and steal their money and their car. It’s kind of amusing that you have that ability.” …. A publicist from Long Island says the game’s allure comes down to “just going on killing sprees.” Not all video games are violent, but the fact that it is so popular and that the youth are being trained up by them is very disturbing.

I am not advocating a theocratic socio-political rule administered by stern Christians wearing black-and-white outfits and tall hats. But these kinds of social trends are disturbing, and they reflect a moral decline in America, where what is good is called evil and what is evil is called good. God tells us in Phil. 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. We cannot ignore God’s word without a consequence.

The eighth reason we need apologetics is because schools are not friendly to Christianity. My own experience in non-Christian schools was a strong awakening to the unprovoked hostility that exists in school, where the philosophy teachers, history teacher, and even the art teacher all took shots at Christianity. Don Feder in the Conservative Chronicle, in his article of Sept. 22, 1993, titled “Fighting Censorship, PAW Does it Its Way,” said that in some junior high libraries, book titles included The Joy of Gay Sex and How to Make Love to a Single Woman. There is an impressions series for grades one to six which promote the New Age and the occult; a controversial drug education program called Quest, which tells students that they alone can decide whether or not it’s OK to use drugs; as well as texts that direct students to fantasize about suicide, attack religion and undermine family authority. Following is an email I received that represents the hostility of secular schools.

Our daughter had acquired an atheist’s heart since leaving home and attending college. It seems that the books in college breed atheists, because they are full of the philosophy of anti-God thinking. She has been in college for four years now, and one of the last times we had a chance to talk to her, she said that she doesn’t think about sin, or heaven, or hell anymore because, according to her, they do not exist. She said that when she was young and asked the Lord to come into her heart, she did not know what she was doing because children do what they are told.

The fact is that Christianity is under attack in the world and we need to fight the good fight of the faith without shrinking back. We need apologetics to give rational, intelligent, and relevant explanations of Christian viability to the critics and the prejudiced who would seek to undermine the teachings of our Lord Jesus.

If there was ever a time that apologetics is needed, it is now.

http://www.carm.org/apologetics/need.htm

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for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

“But sanctify the Lord in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (I Peter 3:15)

There is no “surefire method” of leading Mormons to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Since most Mormons have been in their church for years, it’s highly improbable you will convince any Mormon to embrace Christianity in one session. One major problem is the language barrier. The Mormon uses Christian terminology, but with a vastly different significance; therefore, an understanding of basic Mormon doctrine is essential for real communication.

Because of the complex nature of the Mormon faith, this tract is very limited on the information given. It is intended only as a starting point for the concerned Christian who asks, “Where do I start?” and “What do I say?”

A FEW BASICS

  • Love them enough to tell them the truth. Attack Mormonism, not the Mormon.
  • Be prepared. There is no substitute for being well versed in both the Bible and basic Mormonism.
  • Take control of the conversation. Put the Mormon on the defense by asking pertinent questions.
  • Discuss the “real issues.” i.e. God, Jesus Christ, Salvation and Sin.
  • Don’t get sidetracked! Stay on one subject until you have reached a satisfactory conclusion.
  • Quote only from the King James Version of the Bible or Mormon publications. This is the only version they accept.
  • Share the need for a personal relationship with the Jesus of the Bible. Proclaim Jesus, not a church.
  • Offer him literature. Tell him all the quotes are from Mormon leaders or the Bible.
  • Pray for the Mormon. Never cease to pray for him. God is able to save the most hardened Mormon.

The following is a brief examination of the Mormon doctrine of God compared with the Holy Bible:

THE GOD OF MORMONISM

    “In spite of the opposition of the sects, in the face of direct charges of blasphemy, the Church proclaims the eternal truth: ‘AS MAN IS, GOD ONCE WAS: AS GOD IS, MAN MAY BE.” (Apostle James Talmage, The Articles of Faith, p. 430)“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man,.,. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345)“God himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected Man! (Apostle Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1979 edition, p. 643)

    “… you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you,…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346

    “If we should take a million of worlds like this and number their particles, we should find that there are more Gods than there are particles of matter in those worlds.” (Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 345)

THE GOD OF THE BIBLE

    “…the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” (Deuteronomy 4:39)“… for I am God, and not man;…” (Hosea 11:9)“For I am the LORD, I change not;…” (Malachi 3:6)

    “Therefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee…’ (II Samuel 7:22)

    “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.” (Psalms 86:10)

    “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:…” (Isaiah 45:5)

The following dialogue is a hypothetical witnessing encounter between a Christian and a Mormon missionary. Missionaries always come in pairs, but usually only one will be the spokesman. This same discussion could be applied to a Mormon friend, neighbor, or relative.

MISSIONARIES AT YOUR DOOR

    Missionaries: (Knock, Knock) Hello, we represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We would like to tell you about a wonderful program for families called “Family Home Evening.” May we come in for a few minutes?Christian: Just a minute, let me get my Bible. (Christian leaves the door and returns with a Bible.) Perhaps you could answer a question for me – Is Mormonism based on the Bible?Missionary: Oh yes! The Bible is one of our standard works. (The other three are: The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.)

    Christian: I understand Mormonism teaches, “AS MAN IS, GOD ONCE WAS, AS GOD IS, MAN MAY BECOME.” Is this true?

    Missionary: Yes, we teach that.

    Christian: In other words, God wasn’t always God, there was a time when he was just a man, and he progressed to become God. Is this true?

    Missionary: (Reluctantly) Yes, this is Mormon doctrine.

    Christian: (Handing his Bible to the missionary) Would you please read Psalms 90 verse 2 and tell me how this verse fits Mormon doctrine?

    Missionary: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Well . . . Uh . . .I’m not sure.

    Christian: According to this verse, how long will God be God?

    Missionary: To everlasting.

    Christian: According to this verse, how long has God been God?

    Missionary: Uh.. Well… it says from everlasting.

    Christian: You mentioned earlier that Mormonism was based on the Bible. Doesn’t this verse refute the teaching of the Mormon Church that God wasn’t always God and was at one time just a man?

    Missionary: Uh…Uh… What about the two sticks in Ezekiel?

    Christian: That’s a very good question. After we discuss this most important teaching about God, let’s look at the two sticks mentioned in Ezekiel. Let’s reconsider the statement, “AS MAN IS, GOD ONCE WAS; AS GOD IS, MAN MAY BECOME.” Doesn’t this indicate that there were gods before our God, there will be gods after our God, and in fact, there are many gods?

    Missionary: Yes.

    Christian: Would you please read Isaiah 43:10 for me and explain how Mormon doctrine deals with this verse?

    Missionary: “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” I don’t know. I’ve never seen that verse before.

    Christian: Would you read and explain Isaiah 44:6 then?

    Missionary: “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” This probably means there is no other God that pertains to this world.

    Christian: But it doesn’t say that, does it?

    Missionary: Well, no.

    Christian: Tell me – Does your God know everything?

    Missionary: Certainly! He’s all knowing.

    Christian: Would he know if other gods exist?

    Missionary: Of course.

    Christian: Read Isaiah 44:8 and see what God says about other gods.

    Missionary: “… Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Well. . Uh… The Bible has been copied and recopied so many times, it’s just not trustworthy, besides, we only accept the Bible as far as it’s translated correctly. (8th Article of Faith of the Mormon Church.)

    Christian: Perhaps you could tell me where is it incorrectly translated and give me your documentation.

    Missionary: I don’t know. I haven’t been told.

    Christian: What about your prophet? Certainly he could give you a correct translation.

    Missionary: We!!… I TESTIFY TO YOU. I KNOW THE BOOK OF MORMON IS THE WORD OF GOD, I KNOW JOSEPH SMITH WAS A PROPHET OF GOD, I KNOW…

    Christian: (Interrupts testimony) Wait a minute! How do you know these things are true?

    Missionary: Because I?ve prayed about it and the Holy Ghost has revealed to me these things are true.

    Christian: Do you know that nowhere in the Bible are we told to pray for an “inner feeling” to know if a prophet is a true prophet, or if a book is from God, or if a teaching is true? The Bible says in I John 4:1 – “… believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Deuteronomy 13:1-5 gives a test for a true prophet. It says if a prophet tells us to go after a different God than the God of the Bible, that’s a FALSE PROPHET! According to the Biblical test, Mormon doctrine and Joseph Smith FAIL THE TEST!

    Missionary: Thank you for your time. We had better go now.

    Christian: Before you go, I would like to tell you what Jesus Christ has done in my life. I have received his free gift of eternal life, based on the finished work at the cross. According to Ephesians 2:8,9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” I base my eternal destiny on the trustworthy word of God, the Bible. Also, I would like to give you these two tracts. You may think they are anti-Mormon, but the only quotes in them are statements from your own prophets and apostles, or the Bible. If you think they are in error, please come back and show me EXACTLY what is in error. I love both of you, and want you to know my Jesus.

    Missionary: Thank you. Good-bye.

GOD PROMISES

    “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit …. (Hebrews 4:12)“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)
For questions or comments you can contact us
by e-mail at challenge.min@cox.net or write:
http://www.challengemin.org/witness.html

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Mormonism teaches:
– God used to be a man on another planet and Mormon members
may become gods of their own worlds.
1
– There are many gods.
2
– The Trinity is three separate Gods.
3
– Entrance into celestial heaven is by the consent of God and the
Mormon prophet Joseph Smith.
4
– God has a body of flesh and bones.
5
– God is married and produces spirit babies by having physical
relations with his goddess wife.
6
– Jesus, Satan, and all of us are spirit brothers and sisters
procreated in a pre-existent spirit life.
7
– God had relations with Mary to make Jesus’ body.
8
– You must shed your own blood for the forgiveness of some sins.
9
– Good works are necessary for the forgiveness of sins.10
Be careful. Rarely will they mention these ‘higher’ doctrines. Therefore, you really don’t know what they are teaching until long after you have joined. Be warned.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach:
– Their church organization is the prophet of God.11
– Jesus returned invisibly in 1914.
12
– Blood transfusions are sinful.
13
– The Holy Spirit is God’s impersonal active force.
14
– Only their church members will be saved.
15
– Jesus was an angel who became a man.
16
– Jesus did not rise from the dead physically.
17
– There is no Trinity.
18
– Good works are necessary for the forgiveness of sins.19

Be careful. Jehovah’s Witnesses will want to begin a home ‘Bible study’ with you. What they really want is for you to join their religion.

These groups are non-Christian cults because they deny the true biblical doctrines of Jesus and salvation. First, Mormonism says Jesus is the brother of the Devil.7 J.W.’s teach that he is an angel who became a man.16 These teachings are not biblical.

Second, both these cults erroneously say that in order to be saved you must cooperate with God by doing good works. The Bible says that salvation is a free gift from God.21 The Bible condemns the addition of our works to the finished sacrifice of Jesus.22 Galatians 2:21 says that if salvation comes by works (“if righteousness comes through the Law”), then Jesus died needlessly. Salvation comes by God’s grace through faith alone, not by our works21 which are impure.29 Simply put, they each preach a false message of salvation.

The Bible teaches: there is only one God;23 God is spirit;24 Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses from all sin;25 Jesus is the only way to God;26 all who receive Jesus as Savior will be saved;27 and Jesus is God in flesh 20 who rose from the dead in the same body He died in.28

These are some of the things the Christian church has always believed. These two cults distort them and thus lead many into eternal damnation. Why? Because…

Only the Jesus of the Bible saves, not the brother of Satan (Mormonism), not an angel made into a man (Jehovah’s Witnesses). Faith works only when you trust someone who is true.

The Mormons and J.W.’s are good people and we love them; but, they are misled.30 They do not know that the true gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for our sins and that we receive His forgiveness by faith alone (faith in the true Jesus). Satan has blinded them.30 Jesus said that if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.31 That is why this Christian ministry is exposing these cults, so you won’t be deceived.

If you want to be assured of the forgiveness of your sins and have peace with God, then you must realize that you have sinned against God,32 and are separated from Him.33 Then, ask Jesus into your life; ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and save you. He will.27 He is Savior and Lord and He is as close as the call of your heart. Then read your Bible and go to church. At least now you know which two not to join. Eternity is a long time to be wrong.

_______________________________

DOCUMENTATION FROM MORMON WRITINGS

1)Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie, p. 321. 2)Ibid., p. 163. 3)Ibid., p. 319. 4)Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, P.289. 5)Doctrine and Covenants 130:22. 6)McConkie, p. 516. 7)Ibid., pp. 192;589. 8)Ibid., pp.741-742; The Seer, p. 158. 9)Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Smith, Vol. I p. 135. 10)Articles of Faith, p. 79.

DOCUMENTATION FROM J. W. WRITINGS

11)The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, pp.197, 200. 12)You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, 1982, p. 147. 13)Reasoning from the Scriptures, pp 70-76. 14)Holy Spirit, 1976, p. 11. 15)Ibid., Feb. 15, 1979, p. 30. 16)Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 1152; New Heavens and New Earth, p. 30. 17)You Can Live Forever…pp. 143, 144, 172. 18)Let God be True, p. 101. 19)Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. I pp. 150,152.

DOCUMENTATION FROM THE BIBLE (GOD)

20)John 1:1,14, 8:58, 10:30; Col. 2:9. 21)Rom. 6:23;3:28;4:5. Eph. 2:8-9. 22)Gal. 3:1-2;5:1-4. 23)Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8. 24)John 4:24. 25)1 John 1:7,2:2. 26)John 14:6. 27)John 1:12; Rom. 10:9-10. 28)Luke 24:39; John 2:19-21. 29)Isaiah 64:6 30)2 Cor. 4:3-4. 31)Luke 6:39. 32)Rom. 3:23, 5:12. 33)Isaiah 59:2.

This tract is free to reprint and distribute. www.carm.org

***However, if you want to bring Mormons to your door to witness to them, THE VIDEO ABOVE shows you how to get them to knock on your door. Just order a free bible***
 
 
 

 

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