Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Training Classes

So this is a little embarrassing, but I was approach by a friend about teaching a series of classes on defending the Church.  My first response was no one would come, but I told him I would put a note on my blog to see if anyone in the Salt Lake area would find such a class a couple times per month interesting.  If there was interest I am sure I can get some of my friends who are subject matter experts to come in and teach different material as well.

My experience is that most people struggling with their faith have one of three issues:  1.  They have questions but don't bother to really study the matter out and seek God's help through prayer and exercising faith.  I believe God likes informed obedience based on faith, not blind obedience out of a lack of searching.

Second, many people stop doing the things which build their testimony.  They stop reading their scriptures, praying, serving others and sharing their testimony.  A testimony is felt and experienced, not discovered in a book.  If a person could for sure find God by reading the Bible alone there would be no atheists or people of different faiths.

Lastly, they are dealing with issues of sin.  Usually their own, but often a close friend or relative who is dragging them down, and they eventually either feel so guilty and confused, they talk themselves out of the Church.  I am not one of those who thinks everyone struggling or leaving the Church is a giant sin-sloth oozing through life.  But when I hear people talk about how they now have a "Biblical Faith", I can pretty quickly figure out which parts of the Bible they have decided to follow, and which to leave out. 

Understand, there is no question that some passages conflict with others.  Is baptism required for salvation (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16, etc.) or just faith or confession.  The other day I was told by an anti-Mormon friend of mine that he could never be a Mormon because we had added so much to the Gospel.  I asked him to provide a verse that said obedience and baptism were unnecessary, because I could give him a bunch that say they are and he can only infer they are unnecessary because they are not specifically cited as unnecessary in the supposed "grace only" passages.  Of course he couldn't because they don't exist.

Well, if you live in Utah and would like to attend a series of classes on coping with people's questions of faith, drop a note.  If we get 10 people we will do it.  No charge, of course.  And I will actually concentrate on answering the questions behind the question, since most folks don't usually articulate the problem, only the symptom.