Defending Christmas In An Unbelieving World – Scientology (Part 3)
I admire the depth of God’s Love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Does that amaze you as much as it does me? God loved the world (kosmon) so much that He gave (edoken) His only begotten (monogene) Son. God gave us Jesus – that’s how much God loves us. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Jesus did not die for us after we stopped being sinners or after we started being good. He died for us “while we were still sinners.”
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7
The Apostle Paul wrote often about God’s Love for sinners. Paul knew well the heart of God and that God wanted him to preach the Gospel to everyone – no matter what they believed. Paul knew the power of his message.
“I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:14-16
I remind us of these truths because we may sometimes question whether witnessing to cultists is something God would want us to do. I believe it is. Remember that many of the Gentiles Paul preached to in the 1st century AD were cultists. Many of the Gentile religions were cultic in nature. God sent Paul to them specifically to open the door of salvation to non-Jews and the world.
If Paul visited your church today and you asked him about witnessing to Scientologists, what do you think he would say? Do you think Paul would view Scientologists as sinners who need to hear the Gospel of God’s Grace?
If Jesus visited your church today and you asked Him about witnessing to Scientologists, what do you think He would say? Do you think Jesus shed His Blood for Scientologists? Do you think He would want you to preach the Gospel to Scientologists? Do you think Jesus would want you to teach Scientologists to observe everything He has taught you?
I think the answers are clear. Yes, Jesus and Paul would want you and me to preach the Gospel to Scientologists, lead them to saving faith in Christ, and teach them to obey Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
So, what do you and I need to do to prepare our hearts and minds to witness to Scientologists?
1. Pray. You are entering supernatural territory. Ask God for wisdom. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you as you share the Gospel. Ask Jesus to reveal Himself as the Word of God as you talk about Him. Ask God’s Spirit to convict them of their sin and convince them of their desperate need for salvation.
2. Know what you believe about God and His Word. If you’re going to talk with a cultist about his or her need for salvation, you need to be very sure of what you believe. If you aren’t sure, get sure. You will need to know God’s Word well and rely on His Spirit often as you talk with cultists about Christ.
3. Feel God’s Love for the souls of Scientologists – just like He loved your soul before you were saved. Ask God to help you love like He Loves. If possible, develop friendly relationships with Scientologists so they understand you really care about them – and are not just trying to win them over to “your side.”
4. Ask Scientologists questions about what they believe to find out how deeply they are entrenched in Scientology. They may be new to the cult or have little knowledge. They may be very involved and have a lot of knowledge. Knowing where they are in their “faith” will help you steer the discussion in a direction that will be helpful to them.
5. Be prepared to share with them what you know about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard. Scientologists are taught that Christians “don’t know,” are misled and need to be “cleared,” so they may not be open to general statements about what you believe. Be ready to document what you “know” about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. There are many books and websites with great historical information about the truth behind Hubbard and his “religion.”
6. Know enough about the claims of Scientology that you can “take the roof off” their beliefs. I like to use material straight from Hubbard’s writings and the official Scientology website (http://www.scientology.org/) so they can’t argue away my statements because I’m using what someone else says about Scientology beliefs. Quote to them from their own quotes. It’s a powerful technique that can make an opening for deeper discussions. Know enough about the terms Scientologists use so you can dig into the fallacy of their beliefs.
7. Scientology officially claims in its creed that Scientologists should respect all religions and the religious beliefs of others. Ask the Scientologists you’re witnessing to explain what that means to them. Listen respectfully and ask any questions that flow logically from their comments. Ask them if they respect Christianity and the beliefs of Christians. If they do, then share with them the basic beliefs of Christianity and ask them what they think about those beliefs. If they don’t respect the beliefs of Christians, ask them why not since that respect is part of the official creed of Scientology. Follow up with other questions and comments that lead to an opportunity to share the basics of Christian salvation.
8. Scientologists are taught that they have a special “knowledge of life” because of the insights that came to L. Ron Hubbard in 1951 after he observed people using Dianetics – “and found a commonality of experience and phenomena. After carefully reviewing all relevant research data, he isolated the answer: Man was neither his body nor his mind, but a spiritual being. This was the source of all that is good, decent and creative in the world: the individual being himself. With this discovery, L. Ron Hubbard founded the religion of Scientology, for he had moved firmly into the field traditionally belonging to religion—the realm of the human soul.” (www.scientology.org) Ask the Scientologist you are talking with why they trust the insights of one man, L. Ron Hubbard, as the sole authority for their eternal souls. You need to be ready to argue for the sole authority of the Bible. Hubbard’s life was built on lies. The Bible was built on Truth. Why would anyone want to trust their eternal soul to a liar instead of the Savior?
9. At some point during your conversation open your Bible to a particular passage and ask the Scientologist to read it. If they won’t touch the Bible or read from it, ask them why. Remind them that you have read the writings of Scientology to understand their beliefs and you’d like them to read portions of the Word of God to understand your beliefs. This is IMPORTANT to do because the God’s Word is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) One of the most powerful weapons in your spiritual arsenal is God’s Word. Place your Bible in the hands of the person you are witnessing to and watch the power of God work. Tell them what the Bible says about God, life, death, sin, salvation, eternity, Heaven, and hell.
10. Many Scientologists will argue all day long with you about the authority of the Bible over the authority of L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings, but they will often listen to your personal story. Everybody has a personal story and many people like to hear the stories of others. Tell them who you used to be and what Jesus did for you. Tell them what salvation means to you and why you love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Those four areas have a special interest to Scientologists because of the teaching of L. Ron Hubbard. Tell them how knowing Jesus has impacted your thinking, your emotions, your will, your inner strength, and your eternal soul. Tell them about Jesus dying because of their sins and being raised because of our justification (Romans 4:25). Tell them about the peace and joy you now experience in Christ. Share with them how they too can know that peace and joy through faith in Christ. Pray with them to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” for salvation (Acts 16:31).
Leading a Scientologist to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is just the beginning. They will need a lot of help getting out of the cult. More about how to do that in the next part of our study.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
Building Confidence Through Evidence
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”