(Today I went to the LDS website and took a close look at what they believe about Jesus, his sacrifice on the cross, and the Holy Spirit. It did surprise me a little. If you want to get into the specifics of what they believe and where they disagree with the Bible and possibly go wrong… check this monster post out.)
I’ve read more about Mormonism than I care to type at the moment. It’s a big subject, and Mormons seem to have contradictory views about their own faith. Not unlike Christians really. I know when Mormonism began it grew in large measure because it gave answers to the big questions of the day. What I mean is, while the “church” was mired in traditionalism, cliches, and had developed a distance between itself and the everyday guy, Mormonism had quick answers and an exciting story. Mormons did a better job at apologetics at that time, and many church people gravitated toward it.
I also know that much of the book of Mormon doesn’t jive too well with actual history, although it has been revised a bit since the original. Most of the weird beliefs don’t really come from the Book of Mormon but from later teachings found in the books “Pearl of Great Price,” and “Mormon Doctrine,” etc… Weird teachings such as God living on planet Kolob with all of his spirit wives having spirit babies that come down to earth.
The view of Jesus and Satan directly contradicts the teachings in the Bible and especially with Jesus, Mormonism departs from traditional Christianity.
These days, Mormons want to be included with Christianity, and the world doesn’t see any reason why not since all religion looks the same from the outside anyway. Even so, considering Mormonism a Christian religion has not been widely accepted at all. Most evangelical Churches still consider Mormonism a cult, and Mitt Romney struggles with that mindset within the Republican base every day.
Mormons should in fact be grateful to radio talk-show host Glenn Beck, one of my favorite personalities. I mean, I love the guy. Glenn has presented himself and his Mormon religion as a humble, Bible-based, and thoughtful Christian-type group. Some of you political types might think I’m crazy calling Glenn humble, but you need to actually listen to what he says when describing himself and especially his faith. Despite the fact I grew up reading and learning everything that was wrong about Mormonism, if by their fruit you shall know them, I must say I’ve seen some good fruit in Glenn. Mormons should thank him in regards to putting their churches in a positive light. I think so anyway.
Oh, I think Joseph Smith was sham. I do think parts of the Book of Mormon were plagarized from works of fiction, as well as plagarizations from the Bible, and the curious fact that angels suddenly spoke King James Bible English. They never really spoke an out of date dialect back in the Old Testament days when they were hanging out with Abraham.
I’m a huge critic admittedly. However, when it comes to Jesus Christ…
That’s where I measure whether or not a group or a person is saved, and that’s where I measure whether or not a group or a person is actually a Christian.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6
The more you get into the Bible, and understand the person of Jesus for who He is and what He is, the more you realize there is no need or room anything else or anything more. Jesus is all-sufficient. Christ’s work on the cross was the sum of all the work God needed to do. He really meant it when He said, “it is finished.” And the gates of hell did not stand against His kingdom and require him to start over in America during early American history. We have been, since the time of the apostles, witnesses of Christ from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth, and there was no need to add to that witness. Paul would write:
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. -I Corinthians 2:1-2
And this nugget smacks against Mormonism which would arrive later:
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! -Galatians 1:8
And the Gospel Paul preached, and the Church fathers preached was Jesus Christ. Yes others would come along and begin to preach The Church, but the message of the Scriptures was always just Jesus. The message of Paul, Peter, James, John, the writer of Hebrews was just Jesus Christ, God the Son who paid for my sins by his death, and transforms me by His life.
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. -Hebrews 1:1-3
It is fitting that it is with Jesus Christ, that Mormonism and any other group, must be defined as Christian or not. According to the Scriptures, including the one above, Jesus is God. It was through Jesus the entire universe was made. When you see Christ, you see the Father. They are one, not two separate entities as you and I would be from each other, but one. Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit are not bound by a physical earthly nature that makes this impossible. God is Spirit. God is three yet one.
Mormonism teaches Jesus is separate from the Father, a mere man who has attained the highest order of Godhood and we too can become a god if we are good Mormons. We too can have our own planet to oversee. (I’d wipe mine out 2-3 times a day probably). Jesus claimed to be eternal -not a created being, but part of the Creator himself.
Mormonism teaches Jesus and Satan were brothers and the story begins to sound more like the stories of the Greek gods and less like the teachings of Christ and the Bible concerning Satan.
Christianity, at least evangelical Christianity, is based on the literal interpretation of the Bible as it was originally written in the Greek and Hebrew. Mormonism adds to that. Of course, so does the Catholic Church and others, but the doctrine of Jesus as part of the Trinity, as part of God, is a basic Christian belief going back to the first creeds ever written and spoken.
Can a Mormon be saved, believing Jesus was just a guy, who became a god?
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.