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Skypecast

Sunday, 31 August, 2008

Posted by Posted 6 September 2008, 12:45 AM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

For basically the entire Skypecast, it was really busy. We had good conversations with quite a few Muslims, and some Atheists.

When Josh was talking to one Muslim fellow from the UK, he brought up the serious error in the Qur'an regarding Jesus' crucifixion. For in Surah 4:157 it says: "That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not" (Yusuf Ali).
Josh pointed out that the only one that is powerful enough to make someone appear as someone else is Allah, so therefore Allah deceived multitudes of people, and thus damned to Hell billions from then on who believe that Jesus died on the cross. How could someone believe in a God that deceives like that? Josh asked the man a question, "How do you know that Allah is not deceiving you when he gave you the Qur'an?" The man didn't know how to answer.

It was a great night with hundreds of people listening in.

Since Skype has now closed their Skypecasts for the immediate future, that means that there will not be any further Operation 513 Skypecasts for the time being. We may continue running this outreach using alternative platforms in the future, but we will let you know if we do.

To God be the glory!


Sunday, 24 August, 2008

Posted by Posted 29 August 2008, 11:49 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

The Skypecast started at 9pm and was rather busy throughout. The entire Skypecast was also broadcast again live on Voice of Truth Radio. Many people's questions were answered and we made sure that the gospel was preached throughout.

However, there were quite a few technical difficulties during the night, which resulted in people getting dropped, microphones stopped working, etc. Please pray that the entire Skypecast will run unhindered next week.

One of the hecklers we had was a Muslim, and he made the claim that in Christianity we have many different Bible versions. It's a common argument used by Muslims to substantiate their doctrine that the Bible has been changed. However, the argument is just based upon ignorance. For they are not different versions, they are just translations from the original language. We do not claim that any English Bible translation is inspired, but rather only the original manuscripts were. So a translation is the work of Bible scholars in order to bring the Bible to our common language. Just like the Qur'an has many translations as well, such as an English translation done by Yusuf Ali. And Muslims agree that the translation is not inspired, but only the original is.

The man then diverted onto another subject and asked the question, "Does the Qur'an say that Jesus is God?" I argued that the Qur'an says in Surah 29:46 that the Bible is a revelation of Allah. So therefore, if we look at the Bible, we see that Jesus himself claimed to be God (John 8:58). But that contradicts what it says elsewhere in the Qur'an regarding Jesus, such as Surah 5:116 "And behold! Allah will say: 'O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah.?' He will say: 'Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.'" So that proves that the Qur'an is not the Word of God because it has blaring contradictions such as that.

If they claim that the Bible has been changed, we see that Qur'an also states that no one can alter the words of Allah (6:34; 6:115; 10:64)).

The man saw this contradiction, so he quickly tried to change the topic. After some further discussion, we got onto the topic of how one gets to Heaven. This is where I could share the good news of grace to the fellow since he is under the burden of a work-righteous religious system.

Unfortunately, Skype has announced that they will be discontinuing Skypecasts from 1 September onwards. So that means that this Sunday, 31st of August, will be our last Operation 513 Skypecast (until they return). However, we are currently looking for alternative software that we can use to continue this outreach. Please keep us in prayer.

To God be the Glory!


Sunday, 17 August, 2008

Posted by Posted 21 August 2008, 7:27 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

The Skypecast started off really well, with the room filling to 100 people (the max limit in Skype) within minutes. Also, for the entire night there was many people who wanted to have a conversation with us.

One of the first hecklers I chatted to was a Hindu man who had many questions about Christianity. One of the main issues of discussion was, 'Who is God?' As a Hindu, he proclaimed that God is everywhere, so thus everything. That is why there are some 330 million Hindu gods today. However I pointed out to the man that his pantheistic belief is logically inconsistent. For if a tree is God, then God would have to exist (to create the universe) before he existed, which is simply absurd. The man was actually surprised to hear that other God believers don't think God is everything. So he asked what I thought God is, and I said that He is the creator of the universe, with the attributes of being good, holy, loving and just.

The man proclaimed that he believed there is only one God, but just many representations of Him. So he was saying, the god of Islam is the same as the God of Christianity, and the same with Hinduism. But that belief is obviously false, for the the law of non-contradiction within logic demands that something cannot be two mutually exclusive things at the same time in the same relationship. So a trinitarian God (of Christianity) is contradictory with a Unitarian god (of Islam). Thus they both cannot be true.

Later in the Skypecast, I had a chat with a Muslim who proclaimed his own beliefs. But when his beliefs came under scrutiny, he was unable to respond to the blantent contradictions within Islam.

Again later I had a conversation with an Atheist who proclaimed there was no God, yet he had no evidence to back his claim up. So I provided a positive case to Him why there must be God, this then progressed unto why we can know the Bible is true. By the end of the conversation, he couldn't rationally continue to say that there is no God.

The Skypecast was broadcast live on Voice of Truth Radio and we had Rob Liaison help answered a few common questions during the Skypecast. There was 500 people who listened in during the course of the night. So we made sure the gospel was preached often.

We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.

To God be the glory!


Sunday, 10 August, 2008

Posted by Posted 15 August 2008, 10:57 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

As soon as the Skypecast started, the room began to fill up with people. However, this time we had no control over the room at all. So we couldn't move anyone down to the listening area, and that meant that there was heaps of people all talking at once. We knew we couldn't run the Skypecast like this, so we started up another one and thankfully, it was okay in the new Skypecast.

Rob Liaison, from Voice of Truth Radio, helped us out again this week, and it was also good to have Josh Williamson back.

We had various hecklers throughout the evening, one in particular was a conversation I had with an Atheist. He had all the common objections, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?", "Science has disproved God", etc. So I briefly went through the Kalam Cosmological Argument for God's Existence and eventually he admitted there must be a God. I then went on to the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, and because of that everyone's will is in bondage to their sin if they are unregenerate. The Bible says that we cannot choose God, but rather that he must first chose us. So I explained to the fellow the responsibility of man and how that ties into the sovereignty of God. I told him that a man must repent and trust in Christ for his salvation, yet if they do that, it was all a work of God. That way it truly is how Paul stated it in Ephesians 2:8-9, we have no reason to boast, it wasn't even our decision from God's perspective.

I made sure I clearly presented what are the consequences of our sin (eternal Hell) and what God has done to save us through his death on the cross. By the end of the conversation, the man said he now understood the Christian message, however still rejected it, likely because he didn't want to give up his sinful lifestyle. Please pray for him.

Many other topics were discussed, including Islam, "Who is Jesus?", the Trinity, the Bible, etc. And many people's questions were answered.

We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.

To God be the glory!


Sunday, 3 August, 2008

Posted by Posted 8 August 2008, 9:54 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

At the scheduled time of 9pm the Skypecast started and it immediately got busy. Right off the bat, a fellow by the name of Eddie from the US wanted to discuss religion. He did not hold to any particular religion and was unsure about the whole issue. However when asked whether he thought he would go to Heaven, he said yes. He thought that God would weigh out the good and bad things he has done. I pointed out to him that a good and just judge will never accept a bribe, so if God is just He cannot be bribed by anything, not even a person's good works. This lead straight onto the gospel, how we can be saved from God's wrath if we trust that Jesus paid the punishment for our sins on the cross. Eddie wanted to know what distinguished Christianity from every other religion in the world. So I laid out one of major differences, between a salvation earned by ourselves (in every other religion), and a salvation by God's grace (Christianity).

However, it was at this point I noticed Skype was playing up. People were strangely being moved up to the talking area without me moving them up. And there was even a person logged in as me having conversations with people via text messaging. But despite these problems, the gospel still went out, and the entire show was even broadcast live on Voice of Truth Radio.

The next heckler we had was a pantheist who believed God is everything. I think Pantheism is just another form of Atheism, because it's just another excuse to say "I are god and can do whatever I want". Nevertheless, Pantheism is easily refuted by showing that it is self-contradictory. However, this fellow explicitly stated that if someone makes a toy car for their child, that car becomes them. It was at this stage I knew I was not talking to a rational person. After a bit of reasoning with the man, I managed to present both the law and the gospel to him.

After a few more conversations with hecklers, I had a good in-depth conversation with Rob Liaison from Voice of Truth Radio about subjects such as, Atheism, Islam, Catholisim, "Does Baptism save?", "Is Mormonism Biblical?", "Do our good works credit us salvation?", etc.

We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.

To God be the glory!


Sunday, 27 July, 2008

Posted by Posted 1 August 2008, 10:54 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

The Operation 513 Skypecast started at the scheduled time of 9pm on Sunday, and was also simultaneously broadcast live on Voice of the Truth Radio. Andrew Caswell and Ralph Patrick graciously helped out for various parts of the Skypecast, as Josh Williamson was unable to be there.

The first conversation I had was with a gentleman who thought that all religions were just created out of fear for things. I informed the man that that is not necessarily true. I think religions were created because of the fact that through creation we can know there is a creator (Rom. 1:20), yet some religions worship the creation rather than the creator (Rom. 1:25). I also pointed out to the fellow that we all have a conscience (Rom. 2:15), so we know the difference between right and wrong. And because people recognise they have done wrong, various religions have incorporated a sacrificial system (whether it be animals, good works, etc) into their beliefs which they think will pay for their sins. Yet also we know that because pretty much every religion believes different things to each other, they all cannot be correct. So I reasoned with the man, showing him that all the other sacrificial systems (of good works, etc) can never properly satisfy God's justice, only in Christianity through the death of the sinless Son of God. And that is what happened on the cross 2000 years ago.

The next heckler we had on was a self-proclaimed Atheist. He wanted to know why we would believe in a God. So I presented the Kalam Cosmological Argument for God's existence to the fellow, and he remarked, "Wow! You are not like any other Christian I have met as you actually present good reasons to believe the things that you believe. What you are saying makes sense." So then I talked about why we can know there is a judgment after we die, because God is just. Then after a rather lengthy discussion about how we can know God is just and the topic of where morality comes from, I brought him through the law and the gospel.

Next we had a Muslim lady who was very talkative, and as soon as she was moved into the talking area, she stressed that religious discussions need to be had and done in a reasonable manner. She thanked us that our Skypecast did that. She also emphasised the point that we cannot just believe in a religion because our parents brought us up in, but rather we need to have reasons for the things that we believe in. I completely agreed with her, and at that point, I wondered if she would still say that at the end of the conversation we were having. ;)

So I brought up some of the logical inconsistencies within Islam, and the best she could respond with was, "You cannot learn about Islam from reading an English Qur'an; it must be in the Arabic." I find that position rather self-refuting because I asked her if someone could become a Muslim by just learning about it from an English Qur'an, and she said yes. Why the double standard? She also brought up the intriguing claim that the Bible says that another prophet will come, and she said that it was talking about Mohammad. However when asked for the reference, she could not provide one. She said she had just heard about it from her 'Christian' friends. It says that nowhere in the New Testament. Moreover, I pointed out to her that I've met another Muslim lady who said it was okay to worship whatever god you want (even the trees). Should I use her as my final authority to learn what Islam is? Of course not. The same with Christianity; we should look at what the Bible actually says.

At the end of the conversation, she said that Muslims know that Christianity is a religion from God (yet strangely don't believe it?), and she admitted that there would always be these contradicitions within Islam, yet she would not give up her beliefs. Please pray that God will open her eyes to the truth and she will trust in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.

To God be the glory!


Sunday, 20 July, 2008

Posted by Posted 25 July 2008, 11:02 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

The Skypecast started off at 9pm, and straight away we had a person from China who wanted to discuss the topic. She professed to be a Christian, yet when asked how someone gets to Heaven, she responded, "If you try to be holy you'll get to Heaven." She subscribed to a salvation by works system, and so I brought her through the 10 Commandments to see if she really was holy. But, like the rest of us, she fell way short of God's perfect standard. However, she said you only need to try to be holy, you don't actually have to be. So I reminded her that God is a just judge and will not be bribed by any of our good works. This then lead straight into the gospel message and what one must do to be saved. I also outlined the proper view of our good works, that they are only an out-working of our faith; it simply shows we are converted. She thanked us for our time and even emailed us later asking for an online Bible to read.

Josh Williamson had a conversation with a fellow who brought up the apparent recent discovery of a three foot stone tablet that talks about a person rising from the dead after three days, which has been dated to a number of years before Christ. Some people have tried to use this discovery to say that Christianity stole its ideas from other religions. However, Josh pointed out that this is a Jewish writing and the Jewish faith did not believe in an individual resurrection of a person, but only a general resurrection at the end of time. Moreover, the dating of the tablet is still uncertain, and additionally, the translation is still up in the air, whether it is "three days you will live" or "three days you are living".

The man then proposed that dating of papyri is done through Carbon-14 dating. He said that Carbon-14 dating is a well-established accurate form of dating once-living things to a precision of 12 months in 30,000 years. The man tried to use this to show an inconsistency within the Bible regarding a date mentioned, yet he could not even provide the reference to it in the Bible. So Josh pointed out that within Carbon-14 dating, a major assumption it takes is that the Earth's magnetic field has been a constant strength in the past. But rather the evidence is to the contrary, which would give the artificial inflated years the more you go back in time. This is because with a stronger magnetic field, it would provide more protection against cosmic rays, thus producing much less Carbon-14.

I then had a chat with a Muslim man and he firstly brought up the topic of "Who is Jesus?" He said that he is just a prophet of God. So I asked the man if prophets of God could lie. He said that they could not. So I pointed out to this Muslim that Jesus, therefore, must have been speaking the truth when He said that He is God (John 8:58). After hearing this, the man wanted to quickly jump off that topic to the question what happens after we die. Since the Qur'an believes in the judgment to come and the Law of Moses (10 Commandments), I asked him if he had kept them all. He had not, yet was relying on Allah's mercy to get him to Heaven. I pointed out the contradiction within Islam regarding Allah's justice, and the man seemed to have no answer for it. So I proclaimed the gospel to the man and what he must do to be saved.

We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.

To God be the glory!


Sunday, 13 July, 2008

Posted by Posted 18 July 2008, 11:09 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

It was only Andrew Hsu and I on Sunday evening operating the Skypecast. However, God still brought in 354 people all up to listen in over the course of the night. We had many people who wanted to join in on the discussion, or a ask a question, or object to something that was said.

Andrew had a chat firstly with a Muslim regarding how one gets to Heaven. Then he had a discussion with a non-religious bloke from New Zealand about various topics. The fellow asked about, "How do we know the Bible is not corrupt?", "Who was Jesus?", and Andrew also made sure he brought the person through the law and the gospel.

I firstly had a conversation with a Pantheistic lady from the US. She believed that everything is God and one day we will recognise our divine nature. So I pointed out that it is logically impossible for that to be true. Since the universe had a beginning, then that would that at one point God did not exist. But in order to have the universe begin, God needs to make it. So then God would have to exist before he existed in order to make himself. That's simply absurd. She tried to assert that the universe is eternal, in a state of constant fluctuation, expanding, then bouncing back in, then expanding again. I pointed out to her that this vacuum fluctuation cosmological model she subscribes to has so many flaws that even the inventor of the idea has already thrown the model out. I proceeded to give a positive case for way the universe needed to have a beginning from both philosophical and scientific reasons. She showed to be a perfect example of someone with blind faith, as she could provide no evidence for why she believed the things she did, and would not change her belief in light of the evidence to the contrary.

I then had a chat with a Muslim fellow who wanted to respond to a claim that was made earlier in the Skypecast that Islam is logically inconsistent. So I presented my argument from Allah's justice to the man and he seemed to be unable to reconcile the inconsistency. This lead onto the gospel message, that we can have forgiveness of sins without God compromising His justice because Christ paid the fine on the cross. As Muslims tend to do so often when they cannot defend Islam, they go on the offence against Christianity. Or more specifically, the Bible. I showed the man numerous verses in the Bible that teach Christ's divinity. The usual Muslim line, which this man used as well, is "the Bible has been corrupted." I asked him for any evidence to support his claim. He could provide nothing.

Nevertheless, the gospel went out to many people, and a lot of people were able to get their questions answered.

We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.

To God be the glory!


Sunday, 6 July, 2008

Posted by Posted 11 July 2008, 5:30 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

As soon as the Skypecast opened at 9pm we had a person who wanted a to have a chat with us. At first he said he was an Atheist, but after I gave him some proofs for God's existence, he acknowledged there must be a God. So I then showed him why there must be a judgment after we die and I asked him where he thought he was going to go. The gentleman said, "Heaven", so I brought him through God's law to show him his sinfulness. This then led onto the gospel and what someone must do to be saved. The guy then asked whether we take the Bible literally. I responded, "I read the Bible plainly, taking into account the different genres. So the poetry in the Bible I don't take as narrative, and the narrative I don't take as poetry." He was surprised to find a Christian who actually believed in Noah's Ark and the Creation story. He tried to contend that Evolution has been proven though, however when asked for the evidence, he was lacking.

After some more various questions about the Bible and Christianity, I tried to steer the conversation back to the gospel. I laid the options clearly out for the fellow, either eternity in Hell or Jesus taking the punishment. The man said he would think about it and was very glad he could have this conversation.

It was rather quiet for the rest of the night, but the gospel still went out to the people that were listening.

Please pray that God will bring in more people next time to hear the gospel preaching.

We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.

To God be the glory!


Sunday, 29 June, 2008

Posted by Posted 4 July 2008, 8:03 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

There were major technical difficulties the entire evening on the Skypecast. Only Josh Williamson and I were able to speak. That meant that we could not even have a chat with any hecklers. Nevertheless, if people had questions, they were able to field them to us via chat message and we were able to answer them on air. It was also a rather slow evening with the total number of listeners amounting to just over 100.

Despite the technical difficulties, the gospel still went out clearly.

We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.

To God be the glory!


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