Podcast: “Mi reino no es de este mundo”

El primer podcast de Vision America Latina.
Argumentos erróneos en contra de la aplicabilidad de la ley De Dios a todas las áreas de la vida.
Parte 1: No entender lo que significa: “Mi reino no es de este mundo”

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The Revenge of Conscience: Abortion Clinic Counselor Films Her Own Abortion

There is a video on the Internet of an abortion clinic counselor getting her own abortion. Her name is Emily Letts. You can see it here, Abortion Clinic Counselor Films Her Own Abortion. I could not bring myself to watch it even though it is supposedly not graphic. It’s just to grotesque to think about. A good deal of the video is apparently her talking about her feelings six weeks after the abortion. I think that would nauseate me or I would find myself yelling at the screen, “What in the world are you thinking about?”

abortionThe most bizarre statement at the end of the video, “I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby; I can make a life.” And then conspire to murder it? How can such an apparently smart person do such a horrific act and talk about it so calmly? Why make a video in the first place?

The answer is what J. Budziszewski[1] calls the revenge of conscience. I’m going to share some extended quotes from his book, What We Can’t Not Know.[2]

J. Budziszewski is a professor of political science and philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, at least he was last time I checked and when he wrote this book. He got hired because he was a nihilist. Sometime after he got tenured he came back to the faith and apparently they can’t fire him. He is a formidable apologist. In his testimony he says that one day when he was about to pull out the last part of the motherboard that makes us human bravely facing the meaninglessness of life he was hit by a question, “If what I believe is true, why do I love my wife and children so much.” That pulled him back from the abyss. He says that it was like long shuttered windows to his soul began to bang open and shafts of light flooded in.

Budziszewski’s specialty is natural law with a focus on the how we repress what we know. I have not been able to confirm this but I think he is also a Roman Catholic. I am telling you this in case you discover it later and are tempted to throw out the baby with the bath water. So, before you blow this off and head for the door because you don’t believe in natural law or that Roman Catholics can make a case for the faith hear me out.

The first book of his that I read is titled, The Revenge of Conscience, Politics and the Fall of Man.[3] His thesis is that we are going about ethics all wrong in college. We are assuming we don’t know right from wrong and are trying to come to some agreement about the difference. He posits that the problem is not that we don’t know but that we do know and are doing everything we can to pretend we don’t know what we know. Where would he get such a crazy idea? From the Bible, especially Romans 1:18-32. It’s called total depravity in Calvinist circles. If you didn’t know better, reading him you might thing he was a Calvinist.

In What We Can’t Not Know, Budziszewski makes a cogent analysis of the 10 Commandments and why they are still the foundation of all morality and ethics for all people everywhere and in every age, the thing we know that we are pretending not to know. In this and another of his books titled, Written on the Heart, the case for natural law,[4] he makes the case that before the 10 commandments were written on stone they were written into the creation and into the nature of human beings. Sin entered the world and one of its results is the suppression of this truth. Therefore, God revealed the Law in written form as part of his plan to redeem mankind.

For those of us who do not buy the typical flavor of natural law that died when Darwin published his On the Origin of Species and later The Descent of Man, Budziszewski is not arguing that anybody anyplace can reason to the 10 commandments or a version thereof without a revelation from God. He also is not arguing that the natural law exists apart from God. His thesis is that our problem is not so much that we cannot reason but that we will not. In our depravity, we flat refuse to acknowledge God and what we now he demands of us (Romans 1:18ff).

A disclaimer: This is what I took away from reading Budziszewski, almost all his books. There are more sentences underlined and highlighted in those books that there are lines of pristine text. His ideas as I have presented them here are written on my heart you might say. They have been very helpful and I have never found anything quite like them until I found Rushdoony, Gary North, Gary DeMar, and Joel McDermon. If Budziszewski were to read this he might correct some misperception. In general, I think I’m pretty close.

abortionBudziszewski sounds downright theonomic and reconstructionist though I suspect he would distance himself from that characterization. Here is the quote from What We Can’t Not Know that helped me understand the bizarre behavior of this woman who filmed her own abortion and her thoughts about it. Her purpose was, as she put it, “to provide strength and support to abortion-vulnerable/abortion-minded women in similar situations.”[5]

After reading the following quote from What We Can’t Not Know, this statement by Emily will make all the sense in the world, “Emily further states that having an abortion does not make one a bad or sad person, nor should it make one feel guilty.”[6] The quote is a discussion of the conscience, how it works, what it does. Pay special attention to the 5 furies of the conscience.

The Five Furies pp. 140, 141
Everyone knows that conscience works in two different modes. It works in a cautionary mode; it alerts us to the peril of moral wrong and generates an inhibition against committing it. In the accusatory mode, it indicts us for wrong we have already done. The most obvious way of doing so is through the feeling of remorse, but remorse is the least of the Furies. No one always feels remorse for doing wrong; some people never do. Yet even when remorse is absent, guilty knowledge generates objective needs for confession, atonement, reconciliation, and justification. These other Furies are the great sisters of remorse: inflexible, inexorable, and relentless, demanding satisfaction even when mere feelings are suppressed, fade away, or never come. (Emphasis mine.) And so it is that conscience operates not only in the first two modes but in a harrowing third: The avenger, which punishes the soul who does wrong but who refuses to read the indictment.

Conscience is therefore teacher, judge, or executioner, depending on the mode in which it works: cautionary, accusatory, or avenging.

How the avenging mode works is not difficult to grasp. The normal outlet of remorse is to flee from wrong; of the need for confession, to admit what one has done; of atonement, to pay the debt; of reconciliation, to restore the bonds one has broken; and of justification, to get back in the right. But if the Furies are denied their payment in wonted coin, they exact it in whatever coin comes nearest, driving the wrongdoer’s life yet further out of kilter. We flee not from wrong, but from thinking about it. We compulsively confess every detail of our story, except the moral. We punish ourselves again and again, offering every sacrifice except the one demanded. We simulate the restoration of broken intimacy, by seeking companions as guilt as ourselves. And we seek not to become just, but to justify ourselves.

All of the Furies collude. Each reinforces the others, not only in the individual but in the social group. Perhaps you and I connive in displaced reconciliation by becoming comrades in guilty deeds. Or perhaps my compulsion to confess feeds your compulsion to justify yourself. In such ways entire groups, entire societies may drive themselves downhill, as the revenge of conscience grows more and more terrible.

My examples focus on abortion, which is both the chief means by which our own society is losing moral sanity and the greatest symptom of its loss. The discussion has been seasoned with other illustrations just to show how broadly the Furies do their work.

Two other telling quotes that shed light on what would possess a woman to video the murder of her unborn baby, one about suppressing remorse and the other about suppressing the need to confess.

The First Fury: Remorse pp. 141, 142
The most dreadful way remorse grows is by repetition of the deed, and the bitter fact is that although our efforts to dull the ache by not thinking about it may work after their fashion, they also make repetition more likely.

Needless to say, there are many other ways to keep from thinking, some of them stone-cold sober. One way is to set up a diversion. Because I refuse to give up my real transgressions, I invest in other things with inflated significance and give up those things instead. Perhaps I have pressured three girlfriends into abortion, but I oppose war and capital punishment, I don’t wear fur, and I beat my chest with shame whenever I slip and eat red meat. Easier to face invented guilt than the thing itself.

“Clinic workers may say they support a woman’s right to choose,” said former Planned Parenthood clinic worker Judith Fetrow, “but they will also say they do not want to see tiny hands and feet” (from the need to reassemble the largely pureed remains of an early suction abortion)

The Second Fury: Confession pp. 145, 146.
So driven are we by the urge to get things off our chests that we share guilty details of our lives with anyone who will listen. In its diarist mode, this kind of confession is associated with writers like Anaïs Nin. In its broadcast mode, it is the staple of talk shows like Jerry Springer, which has featured guests with such edifying disclosures as Ï Married a Horse.” But the tell-all never tells all; such confessions are always more or less dishonest. We may admit every detail of what we have done, except that it is wrong. Or we may make certain moral concessions, but only to divert attention from “the weightier points of the law.” We may tell even our cruelest or most wanton deeds, but treat something else about them as more important – perhaps their beauty, or perhaps how unhappy we are.

A person who has already repented and thrown himself on the mercy of God may no longer need to confess; the need to tell the story has been satisfied already. If he does tell the story, he now tells it less for himself than for others. But for the unrepentant man, the opposite is true. His heart is still hot, and the need to confess is still fiery. He tells his story to appease his conscience; because he is unrepentant, he tells it crookedly; because conscience is not in fact appeased, he must tell it again and again.

The Third Fury: Atonement pp. 148, 149
The third Fury draws its power from the knowledge of a debt which must somehow be paid. If we deny the debt, the knowledge works in us anyway, and we pay pain after pain, price after price, in a cycle which has no end because we refuse to pay the one price demanded. It is something like trying to fend off a loan shark. We pay the interest forever because we cannot pay off the principal, and the interest mounts.

In Biblica reflection, the theme of false atonement is very old. The Psalmist implores the Author of his conscience,

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance…
For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:14, 16-17)

The Fourth Fury: Reconciliation p. 153.
The need for reconciliation also explains why the movements for disordered sexuality – homosexual, pederastic, sadomasochistic – cannot be satisfied with toleration, but must propagandize, recruit, and convert. They do not suffer from sexual deprivation, for partners are easy enough to find. They suffer from social deprivation, because they are cut off from the everyday bonds of life. They want to belong; they want to belong as they are; there can be only one solution. Society must reconcile with them. The shape of human life must be transformed. All of the assumptions of normal sexuality must be dissolved; marriage, family, innocence, purity, childhood – all must be called into question, even if it means pulling down the world around their ears. The same thing happened in another great controversy a century and a half ago. “Why did the slaveholders act as if driven by the Furies to their own destruction?” asks John Thomas Noonan: “Why did they take such risks, why did they persist beyond prudent calculation? The answer must be that in a moral question of this kind, turning on basic concepts of humanity, you cannot be content that your critics are feeble and ineffective; you cannot be content with their practical tolerance of your activities. You want, in a sense you need, actual acceptance, open approval. If you cannot convert your critics by argument, at least by law you can make them recognize that your course is the course of the country.”[7]

The Fifth Fury: Justification pp. 154-156
In English, “to justify” can mean to make something just, to show that it is just, to maintain, that it is just, or to feign that it is just. The striking thing is that the first and fourth meanings are exactly opposed. According to the first, I am justified when I am finally brought in line with justice. According to the fourth, I am justified when “justice” is finally brought in line with me. Guilty knowledge demands the former; we attempt to appease it, however, by means of the latter. We rationalize. We make excuses. We preserve the form of the law without its substance.

Of all the games we play with the Five Furies, our game with the Fith is perhaps most dangerous. No one has ever discovered a way to merely set aside the moral law; what the rationalizer must do is make it appear that he is right. Rationalizations, then, are powered by the same moral law which they twist. With such might motors, defenses of evil pull away from us; we are compelled to defend not only the original guilty deed, but others which it was no part of our intention to excuse. At one point in the Congressional debate over partial-birth abortion, when a senator who opposed a ban was asked at what point in the birth process a baby acquires a right not to be killed, she replied, “when you bring your baby home.” It was only one of several inconsistent positions that she took during questioning, but no matter; it shows how the justifications that we employ for our deeds take on a life of their own.

Consider the way the sexual revolution metastasized. It all began when we decided to dispense with chastity. Now that was not easy to do; there had always been unchaste behavior, recognized as wrong, but this was different. For the protection of the procreative partnership, sex had hitherto been a culturally recognized privilege of marriage. Dispensing with chastity required destroying this privilege. But one thing leads to another; to destroy the marital privilege requires denying what sex is for. It has to be separated first from procreation and second from the particular intimacy that arises from the procreative partnership and is inseparable from it.

Now no one can really be oblivious to the deep claims of these goods. To set them aside, powerful magic is necessary. One must invoke another strong good against them; the moral structure must be distorted so that it can be set against itself. And so the genie of happiness was summoned to the task. But this was not easy to do either; as Samuel Johnson said, Almost all the miseries of life, almost all the wickedness that infects society, and almost all the distresses that afflict mankind, are the consequences of some defect in private duties. Likewise, all the joys of this world may be attributable to the happiness of hearth and home.” It could not be that happiness which was invoked, or the goods of marriage would not be defeated. Comprehensive happiness had to be confused with sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure, moreover, had to be asserted not just as a good but as a right, so that all the moral force of justice could be conjured on its behalf. My right implies your duty.

Back to the original question, what in the world was Emily Letts thinking about that provoked her to make such a video? The revenge of conscience. The video has been viewed on YouTube 2,860 times. It’s like a Hindu prayer wheel; it keeps going around and around and around. Remorse seems to be dead in this woman’s conscience but the need for confession, atonement, reconciliation, and justification keep coming back and demanding their pound of flesh. Our entire society has driven itself mad, as the revenge of conscience has grown more and more terrible. Where is the church? Silent I fear. Time to speak up?

[1] Pronounced Bood-jeh-chef-ski.
[2] J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know, Dallas, Spence Publishing, 2003 (available in Kindle format)
[3] J. Budziszewski, The Revenge of Conscience, Politics and the Fall of Man, Spence Publishing, 1999 first edition
[4] J. Budziszewski, Written on the Heart, the Case for Natural Law, Downers Grove, Intervarsity Press, 1997
[5] LifeNews.com http://www.lifenews.com/2014/03/24/abortion-clinic-counselor-films-her-own-abortion/.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Quoted from John Thomas Noonan, A Private Choice, New York: The Free Press, 1979, p. 82.

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Preparing Christian Soldiers for War

By: Roger Oliver
How does and outnumbered Christian remnant conquer a culture and replace it with a Christian culture? We don’t really, God does but through us by his sovereign choice. We are commanded to do our part. So the question is what to do so we don’t get benched, taken out of the game before it’s over. I think two things.
  1. Be crystal clear about your presuppositions, what you believe about God and what he is about.
  2. Be implacably consistent with your presuppositions in everything you do and say.

To do this you have to constantly train for war, i.e. be in the Word, pray, all of those disciplines that prepare a soldier for battle. I used to carry a small New Testament in a waterproof bag in my rucksack thinking I was going to have time for devotions while in the field. Two chances of that happening: slim and fat. I learned that what you don’t own as a part of your worldview does you no good when you come in contact with the enemy.

A good soldier never runs when he can walk, never walks when he can ride, never goes hungry when he can eat, never goes thirsty when he can drink, never goes without sleep when he can rest because he knows there will be a time when he will have to suffer all these deprivations. In the same way, a Christian soldier never misses an opportunity to eat the bread of life and train with the Sword of the Word because he knows there will be a time when he won’t be able to and whatever he has in his heart (thy word have I hid in my heart) is what he will have at hand to fight with.

Second thing you have to do is be courageous and act. And remember, by faith some conquered kingdoms and by faith others were sawn in half but in all cases God was glorified and his Kingdom advanced. Even those sawn in half received their special reward.

Airborne all the way. Rangers lead the way. 😉 (Got hit with the martial spirit this morning)


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Rushdoony on Government

By: Roger Oliver 3/24/2014

Random quotes from Rushdoony, Systematic Theology Vol II, the church. Pertinent passages strung together that I posted in Spanish in an article on vision-mexico.com and on Facebook to provoke thoughtful questioning of the new educational reform in Visión México. Expands on another Rushdoony quote, “We must abandon the renewed paganism of statism. We must become a truly Biblically governed people.”

If we abandon the paganism of statism, what kind of government should replace it? What does it mean to be a truly Biblically governed people? Elder based government based on the family from the bottom up rather than a top down bureaucracy.

God thus ordained that the family be the nucleus of government. Various references to elders in the Bible make clear that eldership is a pattern for government in a variety of spheres. There are elders of the people or of the country, who made up the civil government.

This Biblical form of government requires that men and the families be trained to govern. The basic government is on the family level, and all other forms of government rest thereon. This means that a society is as secure as its family structure. This is a fact often confirmed by sociology and psychology, and with reason, because God has so ordered life. This structure ensures a strength in government. Whether in church or state, it is a stabilizing force.

What this pattern of eldership does is to create a network of responsible and governing men on the local level. Government is not primarily a function of remote state officials, or high-ranking church officers, but of every man in his place. Instead of a concentration of government at higher levels, government under God is diffused throughout society, and responsibility is made a mandate for every man.

It must be said that modern men are largely slaves. They leave the government of their children to their wives, the schools, or the church. The free man is thus a governing man. The slave, one who seeks security above freedom, cannot be an elder.

Without the law of God, and the examples of God’s judgment on lawbreakers in Scripture, history will be the continuing and weary round of judgment on unconfronted covenant-breakers. Even more, it is not merely knowledge of the law, but a life of faithfulness which is required. The goal is “that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:7).

The training for government in church, state, and other areas is in Scripture essentially within the family. Men must early be prepared for responsibility and eldership by being taught that their sins are more serious in the sight of God because they are men. It is not enough for boys to be trained to be good; they must also be trained to be able rulers of themselves and of their domain under God. An elementary qualification of any covenant man is cited by Paul as he discusses the church: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Tim. 5:8.)

The attitude of modern man is that status is a license for irresponsibility. Women have imitated men, and the feminist “liberation” movement is a demand for irresponsibility, and hence its close ties to the sexual revolution and to the homosexual and lesbian causes. The covenant child must be taught that he must be the most responsible person in his society if he is a boy, because he must function as an elder in his home and calling.

We dare not share in the evolutionary doctrine that the family represents an early and primitive stage in the history of man, and the state a higher one. Neither church (i.e., the Christian synagogue) nor state can be given apriority over the family.

The family is central to the covenant and therefore to every Christian institution, church, state, school, and all things else. Some churches still number their membership by families instead of individuals, a sound covenantal practice (In terms of I Corinthians 7:14, if one member of a family is redeemed, the family is numbered in terms of that one person.)

God’s Kingdom is much more than the Christian Church, state, school, and family and it is more than time and history. The necessity for salvation, God’s Kingdom, and God’s church refers to more than man’s institutions, although it can be inclusive of them. However, on the premise of the necessity of the institution of the church, men required membership of all men (It can be added that the state also sees itself as a necessary institution and as something more than man and transcending man.)

The eldership is a means of recapturing government for God; it is the starting-point of dominion, and it is the essence of godly government. In this calling, the wife is a help-meet in the exercise of man’s calling and dominion.

The alternative to God’s government is centralization, totalitarianism, and tyranny.

Accountability is a popular subject these days in the church. I always ask, “To whom and by what standard.” Provokes more quizzical looks than answers. Accountability would be dealt with appropriately in a family based elder leadership system.

The overseers’ job is primarily justice, judgment according to the Law/Word of God. The Biblical model found in Exodus 18 and Deuteronomy 1 is a natural organization of families, tens, fifties, hundreds and thousands. If the leader of a group of 10 families cannot solve the problem he was to appeal to the overseer of the group of 5 of these groups of 10, i.e. 50. Two 50’s make a group of 100 with an overseer for the same purpose. 10 groups of 100 make a group of 1000 with an overseer at that level for the same purpose. The focus is on justice, not control. (Exodus 18:13-26, Deuteronomy 1:9-17.)

“Without the law of God, and the examples of God’s judgment on lawbreakers in Scripture, history will be the continuing and weary round of judgment on unconfronted covenant-breakers.”

How should this affect the way we present the Gospel? What to do when you discover a new convert still sleeps around, at least with his girlfriend. It needs to be confronted in discipleship of course, but again, by what standard if not the Law? Should not something about this have been part of the gospel presented to this guy from the get go. Should we not be presenting Christ as Savior AND King?

I find myself using more and more the armament of apologetics as part of sharing the Gospel. But I’m still stuck in second gear because of a lifetime of formation using a Gospel tract and an perhaps oversimplified “presentation” of the Gospel. If you have any thoughts on this matter I’d love to hear them.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses vs. The Shorter Catechism

By Roger Oliver

toca puertas

What do you do when the Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on your door? My mother used to ask them why they didn’t salute the national flag. That seemed to do the trick. Considering where we are nowadays as a nation I’m wondering if they were onto something in that area. An evangelist friend takes over the conversation. “I am really happy that you are interested in spiritual things. Has anyone ever taken a Bible and shown you how you can know you are going to heaven?  May I?”[1] He talks so fast they can’t get a word in edgewise. I can’t. They always come by my house on Sunday morning when we are getting ready for Sunday service in our little house church. The have kind of given up on the “güeros altos” (tall white people) so they pretty much leave us alone.

A visit from the Jehovah’s Witnesses can be intimidating. They are taught to be intimidating. If you get in a disagreement with a Mormon they will try to beat you with kindness. If you get into a disagreement with a Jehovah’s Witness they will get angry and argue with you. My advice: if they ask you to join them in a Bible Study, don’t do it unless it is your calling and ministry. They will take over you house and dominate the study with their heretical agenda. It’s an ancient heresy you don’t want to get involved with. If you live near one of their meeting places and are regularly assaulted with these visits AND you feel called to this, a very good resources is Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, by Ron Rhodes.[2] Ron’s calling is to deal with the heretical sects and he is very good at it.

If this is not your calling, what do you do when they come to the door? You don’t want to be rude but most of us don’t have the time to study the particulars of their heresy to be able to respond really well. We kind of think we need a seminary education or at least a course in the sects in order to deal with them. Not so. From the mouth of babes.

niño leyendo bibliaIn the Learning Center we teach the Westminster Shorter Catechism to the children and have a competition with a financial prize for the winners. This was Andrea Schwartz’s idea and a good one it was. We call it “Basic Principles of the Christian Faith (principios básicos de la fe cristiana). The word “catechism” sounds Roman Catholic and causes and allergic reaction among the evangelical Christians we work with. So what does the catechism have to do with responding to the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Turns out a lot.

A few weeks ago on a Sunday morning the Jehovah’s witnesses made their required visit in the neighborhood to win their salvation points. There is a kingdom hall down the street from our house. They visited the neighbors across the street who attend our house church. Later at breakfast in our house church the neighbor, Cristi, asked what they believe. Lolita, another neighbor, answered that among other things they don’t believe in the Trinity or that Christ is God.

Ximena, Christi’s 9 year old daughter (the twins who live across the street) jumped right in and said she knew what she would say to them the next time they visit, question 6 of the Shorter Catechism. She quoted the question and the answer, and this without having taken any courses on how to witness to JW’s.

How many persons are there in the Godhead? There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

¿Cuántas personas hay in la Divinidad? Hay tres personas en la Divinidad, el Padre, el Hijo y el Espíritu Santo, y estas tres personas son un solo Dios, las mismas en sustancia, e iguales en poder y gloria.

A few weeks later the JW’s visited the home of another of our students, Marleny, who lives across town from us. Marleny is a junior higher. It was a Saturday morning and her parents were asleep. As she tells the story the JW’s asked if they could talk to her parents. She told them her parents were asleep. Not wanting to waste the visit they began talking to her about God. After positing their version of who and what God is they asked Marleny what she thought. She responded with the answer to question 4 of the shorter catechism.

What is God?
God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

¿Qué es Dios?
Dios es un Espíritu, infinito, eterno e inmutable en su ser, sabiduría, poder, santidad, bondad, justicia y verdad.

Marleny says the JW’s were stunned into silence. They didn’t know what to say. Seems the beat a hasty retreat saying they would come back when they could talk to her parents. Marleny’s mom told me the story the following Monday at the Learning Center. She was beaming! So was I!

Of course we tell these stories during Bible class in the Learning Center. As I was writing this one of the moms who work in the Learning Center came to me with another similar story about an encounter her twin boys. Esteban and Samuel, had with the JW’s. The are 11 years old. The JW’s came to their door last Saturday. Grandma said, “It’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Don’t open the door.” But the twins would have none of that. They ran to the door to engage these guys. When the JW’s put their standard question, “Who do you think God is?” the boys responded with the answer to question 4 of the shorter catechism, “What is God?” The JW’s response was, “Glad to see this is a family that knows about God and the Bible. See you later! Bye, bye.” Pretty cool.

The boys’ version was typical boy. The JW’s came to the door. We answered. They asked, “Who is God.” We answered, “God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth,” and they left. Little irrepressible warriors of the Cross. With kids like these, don’t you think Mexico has a future and a hope?

We are all very proud of Ximena, Marleny, Esteban and Samuel. They took the catechism beyond the contest and the repetition in class. And they say, “Repetition and rote memory are old fashioned.” A wise fellow once told me, “Repetition is the mother of skill.” I think so too.

I taught a two week class on the sects several years ago at the seminary here. Two weeks is not enough time to master the particulars of the Christian cults. What to do? I defined a Christian cult as a group that names the name of Christ but denies Christ’s person and work. Specifically, they deny Christ’s deity, his humanity and/or His efficacious work on the cross. They usually offer a works salvation. We visited the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Luz del Mundo, the three major Christian cults in Mexico, and invited their leaders to come to class and tell us what they believed. The Jehovah’s Witnesses turned us down. They did not want to darken the door of an evangelical Christian seminary.

The students were permitted to ask questions but were not allowed to be aggressive or to offer corrections to their heretical doctrines. It was a kind of presuposicional apologetic methodology applied to an interaction with a cult leader. Of course they walked right into the corner and admitted to what they really teach, something they often try to hide from the unsuspecting. When we visited the Mormons one of my students overheard the leader say to the woman who was going to lead the study that day, “Just use the Bible. They don’t believe in the Book of Mormon.”

Thursday of the second week of class we had dinner at my house and celebrated a communion. Few times in my life have a heard more insightful prayers of grateful thanksgiving for our orthodox Christology or more tender hearted pleas for the salvation of these lost and confused souls.

What do you say when the Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on your door? The best answer is to boldly speak what you believe. If you’re not sure about that, start with the Westminster Shorter Catechism. If you are dealing with a Christian cult, know your Christology. Here’s a novel idea, read your Bible, study it. You really don’t need to know all the phenomena of what every religion in the world believes in order to meet them head on and challenge their false faith. You absolutely do need to know and be crystal clear on what you believe.

[1] Larry Moyer, founder and director of Evantel and the very effective Bad News, Good News tract. Check it out at http://evantell.org/.
[2] Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eugene, OR., Harvest House Publishers, 2009. Kindle edition available at Amazon.com. Ron is also a dispensational premillennial prophesy expert and has written several books on the subject. I don’t agree with his eschatology but he is very good with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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