Thursday, May 31, 2012

My name is J.R. and I was NEVER Mormon

Ministries to religious groups such as the LDS or JW's isn't something that someone just gets involved with unless it somehow becomes a passion of theirs. Unlike ministries out to feed the homeless we are going out to a group that doesn't care to see or hear us. So in order to help you understand my heart I am more than willing to share my life's journey.

I was born in the great city of Kansas City Missouri but moved to a suburb of Sacramento prior to 1980.  For those who know me they will often know that I often say that I'm such a Chiefs fan I bleed red and a Royals fan I bruise blue.  It even goes as far for those who know their sports history that I'm such a Kings fan they followed me to Sacramento.... ha ha.

I came to know Christ at the age of 11.  I had a feeling that Jesus was preparing me for something but didn't know what for.  Apologetics wasn't even in the back of my mind.  Very early on music was my passion.  I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church where the music selection wasn't exactly all that great and found that God had blessed me with a singing voice where the church choir allowed me to use it.  It became such a passion I was a part of the CMEA (California music education association) honor choir for both my sophomore and  junior year of high school. During that time I went from singing soprano all the way to bass.

After my parents decided to move up to Oregon for my senior year of high school music started taking a back seat.  Even though I grew up Southern Baptist I wanted to take a look at what others believe. Maybe it was just my teenage rebellion coming out but I decided to take a hard look at what the church I attended said and how it lined up with the Word of God.  I also looked at what every other faiths believed.  Very early on I knew through research that the Bible was without question the Word of God.  At that point it became a matter of who interpreted it correctly. Just by studying the Word I could clearly see that Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses were way off track.  Yet apologetics still didn't seem like the direction God was sending me.  It would be years before I would look at these again.

After college I got married and it was during this time that apologetics started to interest me.  I had a few encounters with LDS missionaries but not knowing what they believed having been a few years since I looked at it I didn't get into deep discussions. The Lord moved me into a position where I found a great church home for where I still attend today. He put me in touch with a lot of close friends that he knew I was going to need very shortly.

After serving some time in the Air Force Reserves I realized that my wife wasn't taking the vows we made to heart.  After a time of council and prayer it was clear that her decisions weren't going to change and I had to protect both myself and my daughter.  It was during this time that his Word had the greatest impact on my life.  Yet I still had no clue what he was preparing me for.

After a while of trying to rebuild my life I met a wonderful woman whom was going through struggles of her own (click here to read her story). She was coming out of Mormonism and that re-stirred the desire for apologetics that had began a few years back. It was during her research and mine that the passion for apologetics took hold and he began the journey for which I am on today.  We weren't looking to start a ministry by any stretch of the means.  We were wanted to join one here in the northwest.  With no options available we took what I call the Moses mentality (if no one else I'll do it but I by no means am the best person for the job).  The Lord took this little ministry we started here in Vancouver Washington and has spread it global.

With what little interaction I've had with LDS apologist I've quickly learned that they have no desire for truth.  In fact they will spend more time dancing around an issue than they do addressing it. Which has changed the main focus of my time to educating other Christians on how to talk with those LDS or JW friends, family, and neighbors they are so eager to talk to but don't know how.  We have now become a part of the Vancouver Bible Institute which is a part of Truth in Love Fellowship and therefor gives us a 508 tax exempt status.  All of which has taken place in less than 3 years.

I praise God for allowing me the opportunity to serve both him and you.  It is because of him that I continue on.  For I know that there is no way I or our team members will be able to reach all those willing to hear the Gospel.  We encourage you to study and research so that you will be prepared when they knock on your door.

May God bless you and keep you safe.  Thank you for all your support.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Look at the Translators of The New World Translation


The following Wikipedia definition of the New World Translation is accepted as accurate by most people. So I have no reservations in using it.

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is a translation of the Bible published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1961; it is used and distributed by Jehovah's Witnesses. Though it is not the first Bible to be published by the group, it is their first original translation of ancient Classical Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Old Aramaic biblical texts. It was produced by the New World Bible Translation Committee, formed in 1947. This committee is said to have comprised unnamed members of multinational background. The New World Bible Translation Committee requested that the Watch Tower Society not publish the names of its members, stating that they did not want to "advertise themselves but let all the glory go to the Author of the Scriptures, God," adding that the translation, "should direct the reader... to... Jehovah God". The publishers believe that "the particulars of [the New World Bible Translation Committee's members] university or other educational training are not the important thing" and that "the translation testifies to their qualification". Former high ranking Watch Tower staff have claimed knowledge of the translators' identities.
We will be taking a good look at the translators of the NWT and their qualifications to translate "Holy Scripture". The following quote should send up an immediate red flag as to the qualifications of the translators.

"The publishers (of the NWT) believe that "the particulars of the New World Bible Translation Committee's members university or other educational training are not the important thing." Really?  It would seem to me that the credentials of anyone attempting to translate the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Bible would be at the utmost importance. We will be taking at look at the credentials of those translators.

The publisher of this version may not have made public the names of the translators, but former members of the Governing Body of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization have identified the members of the committee as Nathan H. Knorr (President of the organization), Frederick W. Franz (Vice-President), George D. Gangas, Albert D. Schroeder Karl Klein and Milton Henschel. According to Raymond V. Franz, the "principal translator of the Society's New World Translation" was Frederick W. Franz. And M. James Penton said; "to all intents and purposes the New World Translation is the work of one man, Frederick Franz." We will be examining Franz shortly. But for now, let's take a look at the translators one at a time.
  First, Nathan H. Knorr (president of the organization).  Knorr had absolutely no formal education to speak of. Infact there is no record, that I could find, of Knorr even finishing high school.
At the age of 16, he left the reformed church in 1922 and was baptized on July 4, 1923 as a Bible student following a baptism talk by Frederick W. Franz, with whom Knorr became close friends. Knorr became a volunteer at the Watch Tower headquarters in Brooklyn on September 6, 1923, and became its factory manager in September 1932. On January 11, 1934, at age 28, Knorr was elected director of the Peoples Pulpit Association (now Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.), and was made its vice president the following year. No education, but yet he felt confident enough to assist in retranslating the Bible. The only thing certain is that Knorr knew the right people in the right places. What can certainly be attributed to Knorr is, the doctrine of not accepting blood transfusions was introduced during Knorr's leadership. What a great legacy.

   Next, let's take a look at Nathan Knorr's mentor, Frederick Franz.

Frederick Franz  attended the University of Cincinnati where he studied liberal arts and later (for two years) Biblical Greek. He learned German and could read Latin and Greek and in later years learned Spanish, Portuguese and French and a BASIC UNDERSTANDING of Hebrew. It would appear that Ranz's highest accomplishment of foreign languages was merely two years of Greek.  He mastered NONE. Note his grasp or Hebrew was a "basic understanding". I wonder if these credentials would even qualify him to teach in today's high schools.  Unrelated and having no part in translating the NWT, Franz's nephew Raymond Franz, a member of the governing body of the Jehovah Witnesses, had this to say;

"I had spent nearly forty years as a full time representative, serving at every level of the organizational structure. The last fifteen years I had spent at the international headquarters, and the final nine of those as a member of the worldwide Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses. It was those final years that were the crucial period for me. Illusions there met up with reality. I have since come to appreciate the rightness of a quotation I recently read, one made by a statesman, now dead, who said: 'The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth—persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. I now began to realize how large a measure of what I had based my entire adult life course on was just that, a myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."   He was DISFELLOWSHIPED.Since there is so very little to share about the four remaining "translators", we will look at them all at once.
Milton G. Henschel: Had no training in biblical languages. He was the private secretary and traveling companion to N. H. Knorr from late 1940s until early 1970s. 4th president of WTS from 1992 to 2000. Albert D. Schroeder: Had no training in biblical languages. He took 3 years of mechanical engineering, unspecified language courses in college. He dropped out in 1932 and soon entered Brooklyn headquarters. Registrar of "Gilead School" from 1942 to 1959. Karl Klein: Had no training in biblical languages. He entered Brooklyn headquarters in 1925 and was a member of Writing Dept. since 1950.
George D. Gangas: Had no training in biblical languages. Gangas was a Greek-speaking Turkish national, who entered the Brooklyn headquarters in 1928 as a Greek translator from English to modern Greek publications.

So it would appear that the commitee (Frederick W. Franz) who assembled this team was not particular as to experience and qualifications. Infact we can clearly see that they were not properly educated for such a task. But yet an entire religion was founded and based off of this complete and utter misinterpretaion of the Holy Bible.

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." 2 Peter 2:1


John 1:1 is the most infamous translation error. Most of the scriptures that have been changed are scriptures that refer to the deity of Christ, a scriptural fact Jehovah's Witnesses try to deny.

John 1:1
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Remove this truth and all of Christianity falls apart!  If Jesus is not God then there is no salvation. For only God is uniquely qualified to atone for the transgressions of man against the laws of a righteous and just God. If Jesus is not God then he would not have been the PERFECT sacrifice and he would have fallen short and failed at the cross. But he did NOT fail and all sins were atoned. Therefore JESUS IS GOD!!!!!!!!!!!



May the truth of the Lord be your goal.
Ernest Eulenfeld

Thursday, May 24, 2012

As A Matter Of Fact I Am A Christian?

                                       (This article was written to compare Mormonism to biblical Christianity)
I am certain that the second you saw the title of this blog your brain flashed back to your high school English class. "I'm sorry, but shouldn't a statement of declaration be followed by either a period or exclaimation point?" you asked.  Well, under normal circumstances you would be right. However, these are not your normal circumstances.

  The question of Christianity and/or its definition is passed around like a hot potato by some and bitten into like a Pitt Bull by others. The purpose of this article is to examine, however briefly, just what a Christian and Christianity is -- and to determine if Mormonism falls into that definition. Well, lets's take a quick look, shall we?                                                                                    

First, since this is an internet blog, it would only seem appropriate to start off with an "internet" definition. Wikipedia defines Christian/Christianity as follows:

Christianity (from the Ancient Greek: Χριστιανός Christianos, a term introduced in Acts 26:28 to describe those who followed the teachings of Jesus Christ) is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings. Adherents of the Christian faith are known as Christians.

Christians generally believe Jesus is the Son of God, God having become human and the saviour of humanity. Because of this, Christians commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah. Jesus' ministry, sacrificial death, and subsequent resurrection, are often referred to as the Gospel message ("good news"). In short, the Gospel is news of God the Father's eternal victory over evil, and the promise of salvation and eternal life for all people, through divine grace.

I would suggest at this time that you make at least a few mental notes, such as: According to this definition, Jesus is God and became human to die for the sins of mankind. Interesting. Moving on, let's take a look at how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it. Merriam-Webster defines Christian/Christianity as follows:

"The religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies."

I find this definition to be quite interesting because, besides being a follower of Jesus Christ, to be a Christian one must base their beleifs on the BIBLE as HOLY SCRIPTURE.  No other!

Notice how that of these two definitions, no other books were mentioned. No other dieties. No mention of accepting a certain prophet in order to be a "saved Christian". {Tenth article of Faith, LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith stated in his book, doctrines of Salvation, that there is "No salvation without accepting Joseph Smith.  The word "salvation," used in this context, must really mean "exaltation" because former Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie stated in his book Mormon Doctrine that general salvation is given to everyone regardless of belief.  Personal salvation or exaltation to the highest form of Mormon heaven comes only by accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of god and by following the laws of the LDS church.}  Wow, I'm pretty sure salvation comes through Jesus Christ and Him alone. Moving on.

   And now, my friends, let us look at the true authority (The Bible) on what a Christian is and add it to our list. A true Christian is one who has had the blood of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death applied to him or to her—but only after  having acknowledged  and  repented of their sins (toward God the Father) and  accepted Christ as their personal Savior (Acts 3:19; 2:38; Ezek. 18:21-23).  Repentance literally means a change of mind and attitude, as well as a complete change of conduct.   In repentance, one literally turns from the way of sin (breaking God’s law) that leads to death (Prov. 14:12; 16:25; Matt. 7:13) and begins walking God’s  way—the true, Christian  way of life (John 14:4-6; Acts 16:17; 18:25-26; I John 2:3-6).

Living in God’s Grace
One becomes a Christian by simply believing, putting their trust and faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, and asking God the Father’s forgiveness, and then one comes under God’s saving grace (Rom. 3:23-26; 6:23). This grace (which is so precious!) is a free gift from God—totally undeserved by anyone. No amount of effort by anyone could ever come close to earning this gift of God’s favor. Being a “good person” will not earn you salvation—for God does not “owe” salvation to anyone!  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8-9).

Once having received the gift of God’s Holy Spirit—what should the newly converted Christian then do?  Can a true Christian continue living as before? Does being “under grace” mean that one can go back and continue practicing what he or she supposedly repented of?  Absolutely not!  The apostle Paul makes it clear that one is not to continue to live in sin—continually transgressing the laws and commandments of God.  Notice Romans 6:1-3: “What then shall we say?  Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound?  MAY IT NEVER BE! "(James 2:17 "Even so faith,if it has no works, is dead,being by itself."We who died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?  Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?”

A New Life in Christ
Notice how Paul goes  on in Romans six to describe the  new  life  of  a  true Christian. 

“Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death; so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection.  Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin; because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin. 

"Now if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him.  For when He died, He died unto sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives unto God.  In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof. Likewise, do not yield  your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from  the dead, and your members  as instruments of righteousness to God” (Rom. 6:4-13, emphasis added)."

In both the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27) and the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) Christ makes it clear that once having received a gift from God, one is not expected to sit on it or bury it—but to build on it, to increase it. Christians are to grow spiritually to become ever more like Jesus and the Father (II Pet. 1:3-11; 3:18; Eph. 4:11-13; 5:1).  With this goal in mind, the true Christian studies his or her Bible regularly (II Tim. 2:15) to learn to follow the example set by Christ when He walked the earth in the flesh (John 13:15; 14:6; I Pet. 2:21; I John 2:6).  In this way, God leads one through the power of His Holy  Spirit and creates  in each Christian His godly character (Eph. 2:10) and the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5).

Now that we have gotten a good idea of what a true Christian is and beleives, let's take a quick look at just a couple of things the Mormon religion believes and compare them to the definitions we mentioned. First, Mormonism teaches "We accept Christ's atonement by repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and obeying all of the commandments," (Gospel Principles, Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979, p. 68.).

Whoa, stop the bus! Notice that "obeying all the commandments" is part of the atonement and is necessary for salvation, contrary to what we have learned from the Bible's definition . “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8-9).

Now in defense of their beliefs, many Mormons will quote the book of James, chaper 2 verse 20 to be exact. It says; "... faith with out works is dead". Well, they are correct. However, this verse is taken completely out of context. The verse does not say that one must ADD works to faith to be saved. It merely means that if one claims to have faith and is a follower of Christ, but their works do not show that faith, then their faith is dead thus their salvation is false.

The following verses 21-24 speak of Abraham WILLING to sacrifice his son for God. It was his willingness to obey the Lord, that His,(God's) righteouness was imputed into Abraham. Keep in mind that Abraham did NOTHING but SHOW his faith in God. His "works" reflected and justified his faith.

Next we are taught by Mormonism that Jesus' sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all our sins, (murder and repeated adultery are exceptions), (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, 1856, p. 247).  Again, contrary to what we have learned. "“Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death; so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life." There is no newness of life if we are still in ANY part of our sin.

The Mormons arguement with this is based on what we just discussed.  Since we are to assist Jesus in our salvation by our good works, then we can not be completely atoned for all our sins. I have only three words to say about that, Perfect Sacrificial Lamb. Because of Adam’s sin, mankind became dead in trespasses and sins. It took a perfect, sacrifice to atone for that sin and to make it possible for believers to be reconciled to God. It took a perfect sacrifice to be the complete atonement for you and for me and for all people. But only God is perfect enough to apease a wrathful God. So who on earth was perfect enough to pay the debt owed to a perfect God? Only God him self. Immanuel. God with us. Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ had to be that sacrifice. Jesus was a man from among men, a lamb from the flock, fully God and fully human. He had the same potential to sin as Adam had had, yet he did not. Thus he could be the final and perfect scacrificial lamb, the lamb without spot or blemish.

John 1:29: "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
1 Corinthians 5:7: "...For even Christ our passover is [was] sacrificed for us."
1 Peter 1:18 and 19 "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
Therefore since the perfect sacrificial lamb was slain for our sins then or sins have been indeed, COMPLETELY atoned.

Now as we learned earlier, the Bible is the only book used by true Christians/Christianity, but Mormonism uses the Book of Mormon, "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" which we are warned about in Galatians 1:8, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price and the Journal of Discourses. Well, let's see what the Bible has to say about that.  2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..." By looking at this verse, it is obvious that the Bible is sufficient and complete. No other book is needed to receive the holy word of God.

Granted we have only covered but a couple of the things Mormonism teaches, (the list goes on) but compared to the definitions listed above, especially that of the Bible, it is very difficult to catagorize Moronism as being Christian/Christianity. In fact, it is enough to determine that we are comparing apples to oranges. Their belief system and doctrines contradict those of Christianity and the Bible. If the god you believe in differs from the God of the Bible, then I highly suggest you examine your religion and faith.

In John 14:6  Jesus said, " I am the way the truth and the life, no one come to the Father but by me".
Jesus is the only way to be reconciled with the Father. If your Jesus does not match the Jesus of the Bible, then there will be no reconciliation for YOU!

                                                                     God bless and may the truth of the Lord be your goal.
                                                                                                                                 Ernest Eulenfeld

            (Some information was taken from the Biblical Truth Ministries, and