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. (NKJV)
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; (NKJV)
Okay, everytime I address an issue that falls short of excepting anyone as a “Christian” who wants to be called one, I light up a firestorm and lose a bunch of readers. Oh well. My allegiance is to the clear truth of Scripture, not to popularity. So here goes….
America’s Most Popular Pastor recently went on national television yet again, and was unable to give a clear explanation of what constitutes salvation, and chose the easy road of inclusion and ignorance when asked if Mormons are genuine Christians. Keep in mind that America’s Most Popular Pastor teaches, Shepherds and has the trust of countless hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of Christians in America through his church, TV and books. Here is part of the transcript from FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace:
- WALLACE: And what about Mitt Romney? And I’ve got to ask you the question, because it is a question whether it should be or not in this campaign, is a Mormon a true Christian?
- America’s Most Popular Pastor: Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are. And so, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me, and I don’t think he would – anything would stop me from voting for him if that’s what I felt like.
- WALLACE: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?
- America’s Most Popular Pastor: I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know. I certainly can’t say that I agree with everything that I’ve heard about it, but from what I’ve heard from Mitt, when he says that Christ is his savior, to me that’s a common bond.
It is sad for those who look to America’s Most Popular Pastor for teaching that he is not even educated on basic questions and differences of major religious cults that compete with Biblical Christianity. I will go on public record to say that it is a dereliction of duty for a preacher, Bible teacher or Shepherd (Pastor) not to take time to study just the basics of what differentiates Biblical Christians from major cults that seek to deceive God’s flock.
- James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (NKJV)
- 2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (NKJV)
The last 2000 years have been filled with people who claim “Christianity” and yet deny the very core essence of what qualifies one to be a Christian. These heresies and cults have existed from the very earliest days of the Church.
What’s more, we aren’t talking about some unknown kook fringe group with a handful of followers. We’re talking about one of the top religious organizations in the entire world. We’re talking about a group that has gone to great lengths in the past decade or so to remake themselves as “just another flavor of Christianity”. We’re talking about a group who has not changed anything about their core doctrine, but have changed everything about their language and appearance in order to be accepted as Biblical Christianity. We’re talking about a sophisticated, very dedicated, sincerely convinced worldwide organization that teaches “another Gospel” (Gal 1:8-9) that cannot result in eternal salvation, and yet have reached a point where the vast majority of Christians will not simply state with conviction and understanding, “no, Mormons are not true Christians; they will not be saved believing Mormon doctrine”.
The Bible teacher, Pastor or Shepherd who cannot state this and say why, and has no intention of finding out why because it is to uncomfortable or unpopular, has no business leading God’s people. Period. And I make no apologies for that statement. This “feel good, make people happy, don’t offend anyone, never state conclusively that any other person or group is NOT true Christianity” is a worldly, ear-tickling, man-centered, market-driven butchering of genuine Christianity. We are even seing this cowardice concerning Islam now, where every attempt it being made to find “common ground” and accept them into fellowship.
This obviously calls for me to give at least a basic lesson on why Mormonism is not Biblical Christianity since I have the audicity to declare this opinion so bluntly. As you study the points I give, you need to keep in mind what you will hear in response to these truths:
- That’s not what Mormons believe
- I’ve been a Mormon all my life, and I’ve never been taught that
- We believe in Jesus just like you
- We believe the same Bible you do, but yours was perverted through mistranslation and error
- You are just repeating lies and rumors about Mormonism
- You’ve never read the Book of Mormon, you don’t know what you’re talking about
- All you’ve ever read is “anti-Mormon” teaching, you’ve never heard our side
There is GREAT pressure today to avoid denying that ANYONE is a true Christian if they, or their group simply claim they are. But that doesn’t change reality:
- The only true Christians in this world are those who have responded to and obeyed the God of the Holy Bible in the way HE says we must respond PLUS NOTHING ELSE.
- The Bible alone is God’s inerrant, supernaturally delivered, divinely inspired, revealed written Truth AND NOTHING ELSE – not men’s traditions or religious organizations, not the book of Mormon, not the Koran.
It’s time that Christians stopped being embarrased, ashamed or ignorant of what God Almighty declares as true Christianity. Much of it is Biblical ignorance, a good portion of it is politically correct peer pressure, and it’s all glued together by spiritual cowardice fueled by concern for personal reputation or benefit. We don’t want people to call us bigots or intolerant. We don’t want to be called self-righteous or hypocrites. Pastors don’t want to lose their popularity by being intolerant or offensive. Personally, for individual Christians, I think it is has mostly become a simple case of innocent ignorance which Christian leaders much accept much of the blame for.
So, for those of you who can’t answer the “Mormon question” because of simple ignorance, that excuse it about to end. For people like America’s Most Popular Pastor who have built an entire ministry around never talking about sin, and making exhaustive efforts to never offend anyone with truth, I don’t think the truth about Mormonism matters “as long as they say they believe in Jesus” (regardless of how “Jesus” or “believe” is defined).
Listen folks… I have family members and friends who are sincere, devout Mormons. They are probably reading this. It PAINS me to have this matter separate our relationship. There is one of my extended family whom I have the greatest respect for. He is a person of the highest integrity, biggest heart, and wonderful character. We have talked frankly about this issue. He believes I am sincerly mistaken, as I do about him. I have told him that I would be less than loving to beat around the bush and pretend differently if I truly believe his beliefs will not result in salvation. We are DOING NO FAVORS by allowing millions of people to pass out of this world into eternal condemnation because we didn’t want to offend their sincere beliefs, and because we don’t want the discomfort that comes from being “intolerant” of every belief.
I don’t offer this lesson in self righteousness or arrogant condescension. I offer it with the greatest of care for the souls of those who are giving their lives to a false religion, believing a lie they won’t discover until one second after it’s too late to do anything about it. We need to have the courage to love the lost and deceived by speaking the plain truth in love. Not pretending like they are “okay” simply because it saves us from criticism, broken relationships, insults or name calling.
Now, let me close with A FEW reasons why Mormonism is not, and cannot be Christianity, and cannot lead to salvation. These are just the basics, hardly an exhaustive list of reasons. Remember, this is based on the official Mormon Church doctrine and published beliefs. It doesn’t matter if your Mormon friends say “that’s not right, you’re just repeating lies about us”. This is what the Mormons officially teach, regardless of their public efforts to label it “anti-Mormon”:
- Joseph Smith taught that God was not always God, and was once a man: “I’m going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil so that you may see. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God. He was once a man like us, yea that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth.” (“King Follett Discourse,” Journal of Discourses 6:3-4, also in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345-346, and History of the Church, vol. 6, 305-307)
The Truth? Psalms 90:2; Rev 4:8-9; Romans 1:22-23
- Mormonism teaches there are many Gods: “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it….In all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods.” (Joseph Smith, Founder and First Prophet, History of the Church, Vol 6, pp. 308,474)
The Truth? Deuteronomy 6:4, 32:39; James 2:19; Isaiah 43:10-11, 44:6-8, 45:5-6,18-22
- Mormonisn teaches that MAN may become God, the basis of all false religion starting with Satan’s rebellion, and the deception of Adam and Eve: “Here then is eternal life…to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you…To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of God.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol 6, page 306.)
The Truth? Genesis 3:1-5; Heb 9:27; reference verses that describe the character of God.
- Mormonism denies the virgin birth of Christ: “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers…Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father.” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 547, 742.)
The Truth? Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:27, 34
- Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Satan are brothers: “The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer; this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind.” (Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15.; Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4:1-2)
The Truth? Colossians 1:15-20; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:1-13
- The accuracy, finality, inerrancy and authority of God’s Word is denied: “One of the great heresies of modern Christendom is the unfounded assumption that the Bible contains all of the inspired teachings now extant among men.” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 82,83).
The Truth? It’s not an “assumption”; it’s a provable fact; 2Timothy 3:16-17; 2Pet 1:3; Rev 22:19
These are specific and direct examples of why Mormonism is completely incompatible with Biblical Christianity. It doesn’t even address the overwhelming problems with their other false teachings, the contradictions and inaccuracies of their “holy books”, and the, quite frankly, bizarre rituals and practices that serious, knowledgeable Mormons engage in.
You’ll hear these examples labeled as lies, misinterpretations, exaggerations, misunderstandings and “anti-Mormon” propaganda. The simple truth is that they are the official doctrines of the Mormon Church. This list is just a few of the basics but more than adequate to declare definitively, and without ambiguity, that Mormonism as officially taught and practiced by the Mormon Church is a false religion and wholly unChristian. Anyone who knows, believes and places their faith in these doctrines cannot be saved. For those Mormons who call themselves “Mormon” but are ignorant of these doctrines, that is for God to judge, not me.
When it is all boiled down, Mormonism is JUST LIKE ALL OTHER FALSE RELIGIONS. It starts with the lie from the Garden of Eden that “man can be like God” and that salvation can be earned.
All false religion is about what man CAN DO.
True Christianity is about what has already BEEN DONE
for man, by God, through Christ.
Since America’s Most Popular Pastor influences countless numbers of people who are seeking genuine Christianity, do you think he could find time to read just three or four of these points that clearly answer “the Mormon question”? What I really want to know, is whether or not he would speak this truth once he knows it. According to America’s Most Popular Pastor, God has not called him to preach about sin or anything negative, and he has repeatedly passed up the opportunity on nationwide TV to declare the there is only way to salvation, available through Christ alone and no other.
So I’m not placing any bets on America’s Most Popular Pastor declaring that anyone is excluded genuine Christianity for much of any reason. But that’s just me…
As for those of you reading this, will you have the courage to speak the truth in love?
Lord God, help us to learn the Truth, love the Truth, stand up for Truth and speak the Truth in love no matter what others think about it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?