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Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: MarieP] #19267
Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:31 AM
Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:31 AM
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Bingo! Thanks, Marie! I remember that now! (Maybe I was the tired one!) I also remember that he had quite a bit to say about the King James only crowd and how their actions had made it more difficult to minister in Salt Lake.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: Pilgrim] #19268
Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:09 PM
Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:09 PM
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Wes Offline
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Pilgrim,

The statement of faith has many similarities to the Apostle's Creed. As you have noted it is a simple statement and doesn't answer the questions you have raised as well as which theological system he believes in. However, it does put down a solid foundation in much the same way the creed does without getting into those distinctions which cause division within the Church. IMHO I think the Ravi Zacharias organization has done that by choice in an effort to keep from being indentified with a particular denomination. That's just my opinion.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: gotribe] #19269
Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:38 PM
Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:38 PM
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Dr. White now has an update on this in his blog.

Another good blog to watch for updates is found here.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: Wes] #19270
Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:47 PM
Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:47 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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However, it does put down a solid foundation in much the same way the creed does without getting into those distinctions which cause division within the Church.

I once visited a Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, MA. which held to the same view, i.e., "distinctives only cause division within the church". It was rather strange to not see the Trinity Hymnal with the Westminster Standards in the back. There were no books, booklets, tracts nor pamphlets which one could read that would indicate that the church held to the Reformed Faith. After the service, which too was very "generic", which was especially true of the sermon, I approached one of the Elders and asked him why there was no literature which would inform people what made their church what it was; i.e., a PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. His reply was that not only do they not want any literature that speaks of the Reformed Faith specifically, but they discourage people from even speaking the word, "Calvinism" in the church because such things cause problems.

Personally, I found his response to be one of deceit as well as one that revealed that he had either little understanding of the glory that is to be seen in the doctrines of sovereign free grace, the long history of Calvinism, or that he did know these things intellectually and chose to ignore them; which to me indicates something of the condition of his heart. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" />

So, what am I saying here, in regard to Ravi Zacharias? Nothing specifically, because as I said initially, I know nothing about the man nor his ministry. But what I am saying is that such "generic" statements raise the red flag before my eyes and I immediately become suspicious. The overwhelming majority of para-church organizations out there are "generic" in their beliefs and in what they teach. And consequently, to accomplish "success", the gospel and the doctrines of Scripture are most always "dumbed down". And you know full well what results flow from such things. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> A perfect, albeit extreme example of this type of approach; i.e., generic statements in the window so as to attract people to come inside, is Robert Schuller's ministry. I could also mention that the cults use the exact same approach. Have you had a Jehovah's Witness come to your door lately and listen to how they now deliver their "pitch"? If not, let me inform you that it sounds remarkably similar to what I hear from the typical "Evan-jelly-cal"........ generic, broad and "non-divisive" statements that are deliberately designed to get the "target individual" to let them in; into their mind and heart.

What Zacharias actually believes and how he actually runs his ministry is something you will have to judge. But the "store front" which he has designed does not attract me personally. Rather, it makes me want to <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: gnarley] #19271
Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:25 PM
Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:25 PM
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Gnarley you said--
Quote

Sure Janean, lets be true to our "reformed" (in this case an oxymoron if referring to Reformed) faith & preach to no one that have not previously accepted our "faith" --in this case another oxymoron.



I'm not exactly sure what you are saying here, but you sound like I'm totally down on Ravi going into the temple. I don't really know yet, because I don't have all the facts. Yes it was a great opportunity for him, but my curiousity wants to know what exactly did he do with that opportunity. Did he "water down" things?? If his intent was to simply go to try and build a bridge and not present a proper apologetic there, I believe he failed in his opportunity. That's why I'm curious; exactly what did he say about Jesus. So far, from the articles I've read, I'm getting red flags. So that's why I'm curious and I don't think I can make a full judgment about the whole issue until I can read the whole sermon. But another huge red flag about the whole event is that there wasn't just Ravi's talk there, but also the worshipping together. That bothers me. Worship with a Mormon?? There's something wrong there.

Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: Pilgrim] #19272
Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:32 PM
Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:32 PM
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Pil,

I recognize and appreciate your concerns. The examples you've sighted demonstrate the problems that flow from trying to please everybody. However, many para-church ministries do that particularly because they don't represent any one denomination and want to be inclusive.

I also recognize the challenges faced by a successful world-wide para-church ministry because I'm a member of the board of directors of one with a significant outreach around the world. Let me tell you this is a big concern and one the directors take very seriously. However, I would recommend further review before casting judgment. In western civilization theology benefits from the Reformation which corrects the errors or Roman Catholicism and Arminianism. However, when your in a third world environment and communicating with different cultures, Muslims, Budhists, Islam, and various pagan religions the distinctions your drawing have a somewhat different perspective. In America we fight over such distinctions while in much of the world they don't know nor understand the key truths embedded in the Apostle's Creed let alone the deeper truths expressed in your concern.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: Wes] #19273
Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:41 PM
Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:41 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Quote
However, I would recommend further review before casting judgment.

I really tried to make it very clear that I am not, nor can I, make any reasonable "judgment" in regard to the man or his ministry simply from the fact that he has chosen to provide only a very brief and generic "Statement of Faith" on his website. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

However, the fact that this is what he has chosen to do this does provoke some skepticism in me due to the reasons I've stated previously.

You must admit, that there is a HUGE difference between a para-church group which simply distributes Bibles world-wide and someone whose ministry is to make an apologetic for biblical Christianity. The former is simply providing the "source" of all truth; the latter is proclaiming what they believe to be the true doctrines of that "source". I cannot make any apologies for my desire to see "truth in advertising", as it were, for ministries that are claiming to be Christian; representatives of the Living God who are allegedly bringing the Gospel to the masses. The importance of this should be self-evident, especially when the majority of such organizations are preaching "another gospel" (Gal 1:7, 9; 2Cor 11:4)

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: Pilgrim] #19274
Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:16 PM
Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:16 PM
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Pilgrim,

As I said I recognize and respect your concern. Actually there isn't such a HUGE difference in my example of para-church ministries because the organization I'm speaking of does not simply distribute Bibles. It also leads people into Bible study, helping them to know God, that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone, and that repentance and faith are required of those who would follow Him. These training materials are entitled Project Philip courses drawn from the example in Scripture where the Philip comes along side the Eunich's carriage and helps to explain what he is reading. These materials are written in several languages and used to help a person actually earn a Bible by completing the study and learning about God, man, sin, salvation, and key truths in God's Word.

So these materials have to contain clear and sound Biblical teaching too which has to be evaluated closely. In addition to this very successful study course many churches have been planted in foreign countries in cooperation with local churches. This requires correct bibliology, soteriology, and eccclesiology.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
An Update [Re: Tom] #19275
Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:19 PM
Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:19 PM
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Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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I just recieved something from a friend of mine who attended this event.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (MORMONISM)
Last weekend, a friend of mine named Marty and I, drove down from Boise Idaho, to Salt Lake City. We met another friend of mine named Bill McKeever of the Mormonism Research Ministry (www.mrm.org). Bill, and Marty, and I attended a lecture given by Dr. Ravi Zacharias in Temple Square.
Temple Square is the mecca of Mormonism. It is the spiritual world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons. It is an extremely rare event to have an evangelical Christian present a lecture in the tabernacle in Temple Square on a Sunday evening. But, Dr. Zacharias is a world-renowned Christian defender of the faith and after two years of planning, he spoke from the same pulpit at Brigham Young and other Mormon "prophets" have also spoken. Dr. Zacharias was of course polite, being a guest, and yet at the same time quite profound in his address. He is an excellent speaker and an excellent communicator of the Christian faith.
There were many memorable moments. The president of Fuller seminary, Dr. Mouw, who attended the lecture and who spoke briefly prior to Dr. Zacharias, stated that we evangelicals have sinned against Mormons. He then offered an apology to the Mormons and asked their forgiveness for our misrepresentations of Mormon theology. Mouw then mentioned celebrating the 200 year anniversary of Joseph Smith's birth (Dec. 23, 2005). I couldn't believe my ears. Mouw then said the following about Joseph Smith and justification. You won't believe it.

"What a wonderful thing it is that we can meet together to talk about the Lord Jesus and about who he is and what he has done on our behalf. There is much here to talk about. I personally take great encouragement from words that Joseph Smith uttered on the occasion of the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April of 1830: "We know," Joseph said, "that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God." And then he added: "And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, and we know also that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength."

When he said this I turned to my friend Bill and said, "Is Fuller seminary going liberal?" Bill's expression to me was one of disbelief at Dr. Mouw's words. It is very unfortunate. Bill later wrote an email that he sent to all on his ministry's email list. I quote Bill:

"For Mouw to quote Joseph Smith regarding justification and sanctification demonstrates that he has no clue as to what the issues really are, unless perhaps Mouw believes that justification is, 'All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations' (D. & C. 132:7), in which men must abide to be saved and exalted, must be entered into and performed in righteousness so that the Holy Spirit can justify the candidate for salvation in what has been done. (1 Ne. 16:2; Jac. 2:13-14; Alma 41:15; D. & C. 98; 132:1, 62.).' I can only hope for the sake of every student attending Fuller Seminary that he doesn’t. And BTW, I will definitely pass on his invitation to join in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s birth. The fact that millions of souls will be cursing Smith’s name throughout eternity gives me no cause to celebrate. To suggest we join in the celebration of a man who was clearly a false prophet is unthinkable. Fuller Seminary should be hanging its head in shame. Since some may not have read what he said..."

One last thing. I had the privilege of sitting about seven rows back from the front on the aisle seat as Dr. Zacharias spoke. During his presentation, he described the biblical position of man's depravity and sinfulness before a holy God (by contrast, Mormonism teaches that we are basically good). During a crescendo of illustrations and Scripture quotes that were describing the sinful nature that we all possess, one of the general authorities of the Mormon Church (Bruce Porter, a member of the Seventy), looked at me. We were separated by about 40 or 50 feet. It was a perfect opportunity for me to mouth silently the words "That's you." He then turned his head away.
In all, it was a very memorable evening.

Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: Wes] #19276
Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:06 PM
Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:06 PM

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Even Ravi's generic statement of faith is unacceptable to me: "We believe Jesus Christ to be true God and in His incarnation to have been true man." Many heretical sects teach that Jesus was true man but no longer is.

Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle #19277
Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:29 PM
Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:29 PM
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Speratus said:

Even Ravi's generic statement of faith is unacceptable to me: "We believe Jesus Christ to be true God and in His incarnation to have been true man." Many heretical sects teach that Jesus was true man but no longer is.


You seem to be building a case on what is not written. Is that a fair assessment? So how would you suggest this be phrased to protect against this error?


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: Wes] #19278
Tue Nov 23, 2004 6:01 PM
Tue Nov 23, 2004 6:01 PM

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Wes,

The words can be interpreted two difference ways. One way invents a Christ who saves no one. To guard against this heresy, I would recommend that Ravi confess the Athanasian Creed.

Quote
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood; Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ: One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person."

Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle #19279
Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:21 PM
Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:21 PM
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Speratus,

Would you then go so far as to say that those who profess their faith using the Apostle's Creed or the Nicene Creed leave themselves open to your objections too?


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle [Re: Wes] #19280
Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:26 PM
Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:26 PM

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Wes,

When false teachers invented false doctrines, Christians responded with pure expositions of scripture: the Ecumenical Creeds. Ravi has chosen to ignore these creeds and develop his own creed which accomodates false teachers who deny Christ. I will have nothing to do with him. Romans 16:17

Re: Ravi speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle #19281
Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:48 PM
Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:48 PM
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Tom Offline OP
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speratus

It is of course your right not to have anything to do with him. However, I think you are being a little too hasty before you have all the facts in.
I have written Ravi to get him to clarify what he says, if and when I get a response I will post it.

However I will say this, one of the first times I heard about Ravi, was on a list of Reformed Christians.

Tom

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