The Trap of Manipulation

Does manipulation work in Gospel sharing? If you have been out there sharing the Gospel and are not a tare planter, the answer is NO! You won’t be able to guilt one into believing by telling them how bad a sinner they are. Nor will be able to convince one to believe by being A FAKE to them.

A critique I personally have on some street preachers is although I applaud them for being zealous and doing the work of the Kingdom, some take the wrong approach. You will find the guilt manipulation more than not with signs or a guy a blow horn saying “you are a dirty sinner, so repent” or something to this effect. While it is true, this is done for effect, to start an argument. The thinking is if I can show how bad a person is, maybe they will accept the Gospel.

The problem comes in based on seeing the street preacher as also a human being. What sins have they committed? Are they not also a dirty sinner in need of repentance? These would be the questions silently being asked by those passing by I believe. So while the zealousness might look great, it stops the conversation, and the ears close to what the Good News is. Rarely if EVER if you watch the videos, you will see the unbeliever show interest in the Good News by this approach. Why? Because they don’t know the testimony of the preacher, they walk away thinking, “who was he to tell me anything, I am not so bad”.

So hammering away with “you are a dirty rotten sinner” is the truth, but if you as the preacher are not also saying “we all are dirty rotten sinners in need of a Savior”, you will lose your audience.

On the opposite end of manipulation are the cordial preachers. “Let me your buddy and you will believe everything I say” is the mentality. While this approach my extend conversations, and unless you are in it for the LONG term with a sinner, this approach really goes nowhere. I am not saying one should not be kind and accommodating, sharing the Gospel in love, but what I am saying is to remove YOU from the equation. It is not about YOU if the person converts or they do not convert! It is about Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.

So what to me is the right approach? TRUSTING in the word of God! Speaking the truth through His word, not covering portions for your own esteem, but speaking to the WHOLE counsel of God. Viewing yourself, placing yourself in the sinner’s shoes, because YES you were in those shoes! Did you reject the word more than once? Were you a bit taken back and confused at first? Ask yourself how you felt and what you were thinking when you yourself were shown the Gospel while as an unbeliever. Then approach every sinner in that respect.

In sales we call it empathy. We never establish any relationship by manipulating one or guilting one to buy what we are selling. The Gospel is not a commodity, it is a truth, but the principle of how it is shared is vital to gain a listener to what you are telling them. With this YOU WILL NOT PLEASE EVERYONE. More than often they will immediately turn you off at the word “God” or “Jesus Christ”, so don’t expect different results. Don’t be tempted into then manipulating an unbeliever outside of what you know, not by your opinion either, it has to come from the word of God. They need to know you were in their shoes! That you understand their plight!

Stick to the word of God, trust in it! If it was God’s decree that unbeliever heard the Gospel from you today and turned, rejoice! It wasn’t in His counsel today, don’t get down on yourself, don’t try harder, just trust in Him. It will be by His hand only who converts that unbeliever. Rejection is part of the persecution and suffering we must endure. Look at this way, Jesus Christ in the flesh looked sinners in their eyes, and they rejected Him!

Fight off the temptation to manipulate, to forgo the trust in God and try a different message. They won’t believe if you gave them a million dollars to do so, and at the same time they will believe if you didn’t! They won’t believe by you telling them how terrible a sinner they are, unless they know that you too needed salvation because you were a terrible sinner! Trust that the Gospel is the POWER unto salvation!

An Ongoing Witness as a Former Catholic

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

It has been 8 years since I left the RCC after my rebirth in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Since that time, I have not regretted leaving not even for a second. If anything, my witness in Jesus Christ has grown stronger as I have witnessed to current Catholics.

I have been persecuted many many times by Catholics, called all sorts of things, attacked, slandered, maligned, and ostracized. My RCC family has basically abandoned me and to this date none of them have turned to the Gospel. Nothing of this has prevented me from growing stronger in my faith in Jesus Christ.

From a sobering angle, I see the headlines of priest abuse which continue to be shown and I continue to see the RCC congregation sleep through the crisis. As they make every excuse in the book as to why this has happened and continues to happen. Vulnerable children continue to be abuse, the church continues to cover up the crimes, the congregation continues to be apathetic and proud. This just further affirms my own disgust at the 4 decades I was took part in this church! I thank God that He granted me repentance!

It saddens me when I encounter the obstinate attitudes of Catholics as I once had. It doesn’t anger me, it makes me quite sad. But I am also thankful God has granted me a new nature to have rid me of that proud behavior to see His glory, to see myself as a sinner in His sight, and to save me through Jesus Christ from my sins despite myself.

Catholics, you are being witnessed to NOT out of hate for you, not because we think you are worse sinners than everyone else, it is because some of us LIVED that false gospel as you are currently doing and we can see your eternal death sentence plain and clear. We don’t want you suffering eternal punishment, we want you to join us in eternal peace with Jesus Christ! This is why we witness the Good News of Jesus Christ to you.

This is not a Catholic vs Protestant debate as you seem to think, it is SIN vs. an Eternal Holy God. If you die in your sins, if you have not placed your full faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ, it doesn’t matter how good a Catholic you were, how good you think you as a person was, unforgiven sinners go to hell. Just one sin puts you in hell, God is a just and holy God!

I and others are NOT telling you to leave the RCC because we want you to join another apostate church, we are telling you to leave so that you experience the eternal rest that only Jesus Christ can provide! You can attend your Mass every day for the rest of your life, and you will NOT HAVE REST in Jesus Christ, I can guarantee this!

The first step to freedom is to acknowledge you are in fact a putrid rotten sinner in God’s eyes. Many are too proud to take this step and stay in those sins. Only when you take this step, you then realize the absolute NEED for a Savior, Jesus Christ! What is preventing you from taking this step to day? Tomorrow might be too late!

25 Reasons Why the RCC Teaches a FALSE Gospel

Galatians 1:8 “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

Why would the RCC be false church?
Here are 25 quick and easy reasons!
1. It teaches doubt in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
2. Provides zero assurance of salvation in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
3. Claims that the propitiation of sins has not been completed on the Cross.
4. Attempts to propitiate sins by the false sacrifice of the Mass.
5. Teaches that justified sinners are under the law instead of grace
6. Teaches that purgatory is needed to cleanse a sinner, instead of the work of Jesus Christ.
7. Teaches that Jesus gave up His authority of the church to a pope in His place.
8. Attacks the TOTAL sufficiency of Scripture, that more is needed in order to believe that Jesus is the Christ, and by believing one could have life in His name.
9. Uses idolatry by adding intercessors such as Mary and RCC saints to help pay for the sins of a Catholic through indulgences.
10. Adds intercessors such as Mary and RCC saints to help Jesus save the Catholic.
11. Uses rituals – sacraments to demand grace from God and save the Catholic instead of placing faith alone in Jesus Christ.
12. Condemns faith alone in the only Savior Jesus Christ while perverting by grace alone one is saved.
13. Adds the Catholic works of “charity” to complete their initial justification.
14. Does NOT teach full justification of a sinner in the present.
15. Adds mortal sins (eternal damnation) to feast days of obligation for Mary.
16. Claims invented tradition is equal to Scripture in authority.
17. Claims that oral traditions are binding even though they cannot pass Scripture’s test.
18. Adds prayers to Mary, dead RCC saints, dead RCC relatives in effect claiming they need not be omniscient or omnipresent, attributes God possesses to hear prayers.
19. Claims by the Eucharist, a RCC priest calls down Jesus from His throne and is present bodily and by deity in the communion wafers and wine.
20. Claims that a RCC priest can lock away Jesus Christ in a earthly tabernacle or monstrance.
21. Claims that the RCC magisterium are the only individuals who can fully comprehend Scripture.
22. Claims that when needed, the pope can be deemed infallible, a God-only attribute.
23. Teaches that sin can be imputed after claiming to absolve the Catholic of their sins.
24. Under the penalty of eternal damnation, condemns the Catholic for missing Mass or deemed holy day of obligation without a valid excuse.
25. Claims that the magisterium is equal to Scripture in authority.

False Gospels

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed

In this modern age there can be a confusion as to what is a false gospel.  If you are holding to Scripture, the confusion should cease. Unfortunately, internet pastors, YouTube legalists and others will try to declare a false gospel on false pretenses. There are however in my view some non-negotiable tenants to the Gospel, and one preaching and believing these tenants can be discerned as a false teacher, unsaved, and must repent.

I have listed briefly below some of the main false gospels which are commonly being taught.

Doubt                                                                                                                                                                                  The main tenant of a false gospel is the teaching of doubt in salvation assurance. That salvation is dependent on self instead of Jesus Christ.  Roman Catholicism among other world religions preach this false tenant exposing it as a false gospel. It will teach that Jesus PLUS your cooperation, your exertion, your “goodness, your works are needed to complete your salvation equation. That Jesus Christ’s atonement was far from sufficient, His death and resurrection only provided a possibility you could be saved, it was not the saving event as this false gospel will teach.  The gist of it is “Jesus only opened the door to heaven, now it is your job to get through the door”.  Salvation is doubted because you are relying and depending on the one in the mirror instead of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Denial of God’s Grace                                                                                                                                        Another tenant is the denial of salvation being by grace alone through saving faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.  Again, tied to doubt, it will preach the sovereignty of man rather than sovereignty of God, that salvation is up to you as the sinner.  It will pervert God’s grace into a meaningless coined phrase. This false gospel will try to say “by God’s grace your works are being counted in your salvation”.  It nullifies God’s grace by attaching human achievement and conditions to His grace. It will pervert God’s grace into claiming it powerless against a sinner’s will, and must always take a backseat to the choice of the sinner. It makes grace into some type of cosmic karma, a quid pro quo system of which God never entertains while giving His grace.

Saved by the Law                                                                                                                                                         A false gospel will preach that one is saved by commandment keeping. And by this a subjective keeping, meaning imperfect.  Galatians 3:10 and James 2:10 both indicate that if you are trying to be saved by the law, if you break any point of the law you are guilty of breaking the ENTIRE law.  This is called an objective truth, so if one desires to be saved by commandment keeping, they must never break any of God’s laws. Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Paul says here that you are either under the law, or you are under grace meaning saved. You will find Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, and many other false world religions using legalism as their main tenant.

Repentance is Not a Necessary Fruit of Salvation                                                                                            A false gospel preached is called the hyper-grace gospel. All one needs to do is profess their so-called belief in Jesus Christ and claim salvation.  Name it and claim it. The resultant repentance of sin, the actual evidence of salvation is not required according to this false gospel. The sinner can go merrily along there way as if nothing changed, no sign of a new life in Christ, keep their sins in tow without any desire to repent. I call it the TARE PLANTING gospel, as these individuals show no life in Christ but claim to be Christians, tares among the wheat just as Jesus promised.  Finneyism, hyper-dispensationalists, some IFB churches, and other hyper-grace preaching will show this tenant of their false gospel.  Note: there are some who also falsely teach that repentance is a precursor to salvation, no!  Repentance is always the result of justification. Like all good things, this comes from the granting by God. We repent in thanksgiving for the salvation that was granted, not as a work to secure our salvation!

Sacraments – Rituals Required                                                                                                                        This false gospel will require work from a sinner to be saved and the demand for grace comes through a ritual nullifying the grace proving this is also a false gospel.  Roman Catholics for example believe that they are being saved through their sacraments, they aren’t. God looks at these works as “filthy rags”, because you are not believing in the One who can save you, but in the ritual.

Other Intercessors                                                                                                                                             When others are needed outside of Jesus Christ to help save you, it shows a false gospel. Roman Catholicism will say Mary and their saints help save them for example. Some will believe their parents can save them by infant baptism. When anyone is added to Jesus Christ’s person and work, it exposes the false gospel.  The attempt here is by idolatry is to reduce the person and work of Jesus Christ and give His deserved glory to others.

Scripture Attacked                                                                                                                                                        A false gospel will always attack the total sufficiency of Scripture, calling into doubt the revealed word of God. It will say “it is not enough”, so other doctrines are employed in this false gospel to satisfy the doubt of the sinner.  The placing of doubt that Scripture is NOT enough, it is NOT sufficient is done by many cults, as they feed their congregation falsehoods while claiming Scripture is some sort of juggernaut only the top echelon of the church can understand.  “Where in the Bible does it say it is the ultimate authority” is the booming cry of this false tenant, with its attack on Scripture, the very revealed word of God.

The Goodness Doctrine                                                                                                                                    This false gospel will say that God being a loving God must save anyone who was a “good person” according to worldly standards.  It dismisses sin and God’s holiness as standards, and employ the “goodness doctrine”.  First of all there is no one who is truly “good” outside of Jesus Christ, and second of all no one enters heaven without their sins being forgiven.  The “goodness doctrine” will dismiss the Gospel as the power unto salvation, and claim God must save everyone who did more good things as opposed to bad things. The “goodness doctrine” is the most prominent false gospel being taught by so-called believers and unbelievers alike.  It attempts to forgo judgment on sin, legalizing all sin or rationalizing it while giving the terms to God that by His love, He MUST overlook the rebellion and the enemy to Him if the person was subjectively “good”.

The Oprah Doctrine                                                                                                                                             This doctrine I call the “many roads to heaven” false gospel.  It promotes interfaith dialogue, searches for ecumenism, searches for common ground when there is no common ground.  It will employ the “goodness doctrine” previously mentioned as a key tenant.   With this false gospel, it will claim Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, even Wiccans and Atheists will be saved, they just have different ideologies. Again demanding that God overlook His command for the actual Gospel, and take into account the individual and their devotion no matter if it goes against His will or not.

When Your Family Fails You

Matthew 19:29  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

I do not think I am alone as a former Roman Catholic from a devout practicing Roman Catholic family, in that I have been completely rejected in my witness to my family. I spent much more time with family members, witnessing the Gospel, pleading with them, sending them things, much more in detail than anyone out there, and it has not made a dent.

If anyone out there can actually see the regeneration of my heart, it would be my family. They knew my life before I was saved, and now thereafter.  I have published books for example, and I guess my expectation to be honest is that maybe, just maybe, a family member would take up notice and say “he had never done that before”, nor did I even talk about faith much with them or the things of salvation.  Not ONE ounce of encouragement has come from them, but I have rec’d much from the actual Christian church so I know what I have done and have been doing is not in vain.

Releasing the Expectations

A tip that I can give to those in a similar circumstance is to release your expectations with your family. Don’t give up on them, but don’t expect they will turn or listen or encourage you, because it will constantly serve as a frustration point!  They can hear, they aren’t stupid, they just need their hearts changed as your heart was changed by God.

With this, don’t threaten, don’t give ultimatums either. If you are dealing with a proud stubborn individual, which we all are, ultimatums ALWAYS tend to produce BAD results. Just release your expectations and love them as family members, unsaved, but you can still be there for them, you can still be a light in their darkness. You don’t have to EVER appease them in their faith though, I should say NEVER do this!  Treat them in the things of faith as a complete outsider until you see a change.  Why is this important? Because they seek compromise of the Gospel with you, don’t ever give them an indication that they are following Jesus Christ, because they aren’t!

When you have done all that you can do, leave it up to God. Be patient and wait, if it is His will that any of them turn, you will be probably the first to know. If it is not His will, rest in this as well.  We desire with our whole hearts that our whole family turns on to the Good News so that they can live with us eternally with our Savior Jesus Christ. So be their light in the darkness, hope, pray, and be patient.


A Sad Day

Yesterday, I attended another funeral for an aunt in a small Roman Catholic Church.  I could not help but immediately noticing the two large statues upon entering, one a depiction of Mary holding a perpetual infant Jesus, and the other of Joseph doing the same thing.

My thoughts were sad that my aunt was gone, but also with the congregants and my RCC family. Many of whom I have witnessed the Gospel to, but still hold to the RCC, which tells me they rejected the Gospel of the their salvation.

I guess God planned it, but I sat alone in the only empty pew. My family glancing at me as I was not participating in the Mass.  I could only hope they saw by my actions that they too should think about what they are doing. I was indeed an outsider surrounded by unsaved sinners and could only pray as I looked around that God would open their eyes.

The priest was without enthusiasm, a walking dead man is how I would describe him, no life whatsoever in his eulogy.  But one striking detail I do recall is that he pronounced that my aunt was in heaven “having a party” with my other relatives and her husband.  First of all, he bypassed the RCC teaching on purgatory, and second of all that was a comment made based on FB comments I was reading from my cousins.  30 years ago, a RCC priest would never declare such a thing, now they do at almost every funeral.

I could only hope she repented and believed the Gospel before her death, as the choir sang towards the end “Jesus, please remember me when you enter your Kingdom”, a line from the thief on the cross.  Honestly, I would not know if she did, but based on her family’s actions and faith, my hope is fleeting.

The empty pew signified to me that although I have shared the Gospel, sent out books, sent out Bibles, sermons, CDs, Gospel tracts, many letters and emails, that in 8 years of this mission, my family has rejected me. Indeed the passage of which turned me from the RCC for good comes to mind, Mark 3:31-35, Jesus’ earthly family too rejected Him, and His statement was not to worry, that whoever does the will of God was His family.

The empty pew also signified that I was indeed an orphan, surrounded by unsaved unbelievers in my family. I can only pray as I looked over at my Mom, that her funeral is a much different occasion, that we celebrate her conversion into the Kingdom instead of listening to nonsense.

My aunt lived a good life! She had many children, grandchildren, was in good health for most of her 82 years, blessed by this life by God, but never turned from the RCC to His truth. I reserve judgment up to God and do not make condemnation, because I do believe one can have their heart changed up until the last breath of their life, nothing is impossible for Him, but if that is the case with her, she will possibly regret the life she lived away from Him, how her children are in peril now because while having rejected the Gospel, they too do now.

If there is a Catholic reading this, do NOT waste another day arguing on FB, do not waste anymore time in the RCC.  When you pass away someday as we all will, you will have nothing to fear if you placed your faith alone in Jesus Christ, and your life will be a testament to His Gospel.  The funeral for my aunt, that was no testament to the Gospel, as I looked around, the only thing I honestly saw was UNCERTAINTY, the walking dead.  The priest can sprinkle gallons of “holy” water on your coffin, he and the congregation can recite repetitious prayers, he can dowse incense and even say you are in heaven, but none of this can SAVE YOU! NONE OF THIS CAN SAVE YOU! I repeat this because it is TRUE.



God Uses Any Means

What I have submitted to based on my experience in walking in the light now for the past 8 years is that God will use anything and anyone to grow His seeds.  The obvious are the great preachers of the word who unapologetically preach on the sinfulness of sin and the holiness of God and His sovereignty over salvation.

The less obvious are things God will bring into your life, what He will remove, and how He is all working things to our good, to those who love Him.  He will free up your time so that you can share the Gospel more for example. He might place you in a seemingly awkward place so as to grow you as His child, to help you get over your fear.  Yes, not all things in sanctification happen inside the walls of a building with a steeple and a bell if you presumed this.

God will use any means necessary. Unorthodox things such as He did in my life.  About a year after my rebirth, I really had no desire before this point to get a dog. But this desire suddenly came upon me after a trip to Colorado. I was going through many hardships during this time, and getting dog realistically before this point was not even on my radar.  I had just ended a horrible relationship as well, my job prospects were shaky, and my new life in Christ was starting to form.

God knew what I needed before I did. That sudden desire to get a puppy in April of 2012 was placed in my heart.  So I searched for a breed, a Gordon Setter which are hard to find. Sometimes the waiting list is 3 years just to get one, but I looked anyway.  I found an ad, called the breeder, and I recall what he said “I can’t believe you just called, I just placed that ad an hour ago and didn’t think it would be found for awhile”. He had puppies for sale!  He told me to send him a deposit, and I would assured to have one. So I did.  I know it was God who had this plan in action all along, because the odds of all this were better to win the lottery.

So Leo, my puppy came home with me in June of 2012.  A TRUE blessing!  He had a way about him, a very quick learner, also very compassionate and patient.  His aim was to be obedient, even as a 8 week old puppy and it continues to this day.  God showed me many things I was lacking, which was forgiveness, patience, obedience, compassion, being kind and considerate, happiness, etc. all through Leo.  He also taught me not to take any day for granted. Yes a dog was brought to me to teach me things, God will use anything and I am glad that He did.

I know the time with Leo is end someday, dogs are given a short life here, and I dread the day when we will need to say goodbye. So I do not take any time with him for granted, and try to learn as much as I can from him. Funny that we think a dog learns from us, it is the other way around.  I often think “am I being as obedient to God as Leo is to me?” for example.

So look around in what God is doing in your life. It might be something you least expect. In my case Leo replaced all the human garbage I was enveloped in by God, allowing me to grow in Christ quickly and steadily.  In your case it could be moving to another state or country. It might be a change in a relationship, or anything which would help you FOCUS on Him and His word.  He will place a sudden irresistible desire in your heart of which you will realize was a true blessing.  He is always going to be 100,000 steps of us and our thinking and our ways, rest in His sovereignty!

God is not restricted by human terms. He does things all to His purpose and glory, secret things we will never be aware of, but rest assured, if God is with you who can be against you!  He isn’t waiting for sinners to vote Him in every 4 years as God, not constrained by a government shutdown, and He certainly isn’t waiting  for you to clean up your act before He can save you.

He is not constrained to walls of a church or religious pomp and circumstance either. He used a giant fish to get to Jonah, an Ark to enlighten Noah and His family, dividing a undividable Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites, and a bright light to stop Paul in his tracks. His reach has no limit, no boundary, and there is no wall big enough or high enough He cannot break down in an instant!  He is God, He is good!  Praise Him for His glory!