As someone who was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses — before being saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ in 1994 — I can tell you that a little leaven is all it takes for doctrinal error to develop and multiply. (Gal. 5:9)
Throughout my entire early childhood, I believed that I was a “true Christian.” I believed that Jehovah God was the one true God and that Jesus was God’s Son… Period. This false cult blinded me to Jesus’ true claims of Divinity.
The Watchtower organization, the only true “apostolic voice” in the earth according to Jehovah’s Witnesses, claims to offer the only true path to salvation. I sincerely believed them until the day my eyes were opened to the truth of Biblical Christianity — by the grace of God.
My background helps me understand the power of false religion. False teachings infiltrate our nation, and indeed the world. False teachers and their teachings are like a sticky spider web. Once you become entangled within them, breaking free is nearly impossible.
For this reason, I have looked on in shock while the Mormon church has made several successful attempts at disarming and neutralizing discernment among evangelicals.
Despite the fact that three out of four American Christian pastors believe Mormonism to be a cult and that the majority of American Christians consider Mormonism to be “very different” from true Biblical Christianity, it still hasn’t stopped many evangelicals from embracing the message of one of America’s most popular Mormon communicators, Glenn Beck.
Many evangelicals consider Beck’s Mormon worldview to be completely harmless to their own faith. But should they?
To outsiders, it may be difficult to understand how disposable Jesus’ words are to some American Christians. It may also be hard for some to understand why American Christians oppose the average Mormon on the street, while lauding those Mormons who come in the name of politics (i.e. Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney, etc.)
If you are confused, join the club… So are millions of other Christians!
After all, why would American Christians support those who believe, and even promote, “anti-Christ” principles?
I believe there are at least two reasons why American evangelicals have warmed to Mormonism in recent years.
One, the American church is so scattered, disjointed and disarticulated that some within the flock will often cleave to any form of spiritual leadership if it is deemed safe by their respective “tribes.”
In the GOP, for example, both Mr. Beck and Mr. Romney have each enjoyed immense support from American evangelicals during their careers. The cozy — but slimy — relationship that exists between the GOP and evangelicals has allowed politics to trump legitimate theological concerns.
The second reason is perhaps less instinctive and more sinister. Namely, the fact that evangelicals are willing to side with practically anyone who will take them — and their agendas — seriously. Most GOP Presidential candidates, for example, have been careful to learn the special buzz words that will excite evangelicals.
Over the years, their lip service has included vague promises to:
– “Outlaw” abortions…
– “Outlaw” homosexuality…
– Put “God/Prayer” back in school…
Once elected, however, these newly minted politicians find that it is often easier to raise the required money necessary to win their next election by making new promises than actually trying to achieve their previous promises.
It’s an endless cycle that the wise King Solomon would declare as mere vanity. (Eccl. 1:2,14)
Regardless, here are six strange beliefs held by Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney, and every other good and faithful Mormon that may surprise you.
1. God was once an imperfect man.
According to Mormon teachings, God was once an imperfect human who was granted the fortune of being able to attain godhood and to rule over his very own planet.
Or as the late Mormon President Gordon B. Hinckley put it: “As God now is, man may become!”
In essence, Mormon theology teaches that men can become gods in the afterlife through proper obedience to Mormon doctrines. Man can become gods and, according to Mormons, Jesus was the example.
Anyone familiar with the Old Testament will know that God is a jealous God. (Exodus 20:4-5) He stands alone as the only true God and consistently tells mankind that there is no other God besides Him.
The Mormon teaching of men becoming gods obviously contradicts the entire theme of the Holy Scriptures.
If this was Mormonism’s sole deviation from orthodox Christianity, it would still qualify as absolute heresy. But this is just one of many such devilish deviations from true Biblical Christianity.
2. Jesus is a created being.
Mormons deny the doctrine of the Trinity. They do not believe in the pre-existent Godhood of Jesus Christ. Instead, Jesus was a man who attained godhood through his life and was rewarded with his own planet (Earth). This is the same reward that awaits all faithful Mormons. They hope to follow in Jesus’ path by attaining godhood status in the afterlife and being given their own planet, as their divine dominion.
American evangelicals may claim to distrust Mormons, but they are often easily disarmed when a Mormon speaks of Jesus. By front-loading their message with a man named “Jesus Christ,” the Mormon church has cleverly duped many well-meaning Christians into believing that Mormonism is a fine substitute for true Biblical Christianity.
Just listen to the “evangelical-pleasing” language as taken from the official Mormon website, Mormon.org:
But what do we mean when we say He is the Savior of the world? The Redeemer? Each of these titles point to the truth that Jesus Christ is the only way by which we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. Jesus suffered and was crucified for the sins of the world, giving each of God’s children the gift of repentance and forgiveness. Only by His mercy and grace can anyone be saved. His subsequent resurrection prepared the way for every person to overcome physical death as well. These events are called the Atonement. In short, Jesus Christ saves us from sin and death. For that, he is very literally our Savior and Redeemer. In the future Jesus Christ will return to reign on earth in peace for a thousand years. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and He will be our Lord forever.”
Sounds convincing, huh?
To the untrained eye and ear, perhaps. The problem with this statement lies in who they are referring to when they say Jesus Christ. Are they referring to the historical Jesus Christ of the Bible? Or are they referring to the updated “Mormon” Jesus, as revealed to Joseph Smith by an angelic messenger?
In his second letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul warned his disciples specifically against false apostles who preach “another Jesus”:
But the Apostle Paul is not finished.
He has more to say about those who preach “another Jesus”:
In Islam, Jesus is the faithful son of Allah who never died, but ascended up to heaven when his earthly task was complete.
In Judaism, Jesus is a rabble rouser with a messiah complex.
In Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus is the archangel Michael and is therefore not God, but only God’s son.
And in Mormonism, Jesus was selected by God over his brother Satan to be given an earthly assignment, which would allow Jesus to attain Godhood through successfully completing his earthly ministry and mission.
Anyone can love, worship, pray to, and give their heart to “Jesus.” The important question, however, is which Jesus are you following?
Many claim that their Jesus is the true Jesus. And on the Day of Judgment, the Bible proclaims that many will cry out to “their” Jesus in fear of damnation:
Friend, do not be deceived. There is “another” Jesus. In fact, there are multitudes of them.
Not everyone who professes “Jesus” will be redeemed on that great Day. Christ was crystal clear on this matter.
True Biblical Christianity relies upon the eyewitness accounts and testimonies of those who witnessed Jesus’ acts and deeds firsthand. All that you and I need to know about Jesus has been revealed to us in both the Old and New Testament. Those pages are filled with hidden treasures to the patient and discerning believer who will faithfully mine them.
Yet, through their many “holy” writings, Mormons claim to possess previously unknown, extra-biblical knowledge about Jesus Christ that differs from what we find in the Bible.
3. The Bible is Insufficient.
The Mormons profess to be clean on the outside. And indeed, their official statements, polished for prime time, seem to satiate the “Christian” requirements of some professing Christians. However, the Mormon church has one glaring error that should scream of its devilish origins: The Book of Mormon.
Mormons view the Holy Bible as incomplete and insufficient without three additional “holy” writings, which they consider God-breathed and God-inspired, just like the Bible.
The Book of Mormon
The Doctrine and Covenants
The Pearl of Great Price
The Book of Mormon. Mormon Church founder, Joseph Smith, claims he translated the Book of Mormon from golden plates that he discovered buried on a hill (named “Cumorah”) near his home in New York in the early 1800s. According to Smith, these mysterious golden plates had been buried by an ancient North American prophet and leader of the righteous “Nephite” nation, Mormon.
The plates “revealed” that Mormon had hurriedly buried them just prior to his country being conquered in 385 A.D. by their wicked nemesis, the “Lamanites.”
Smith’s claim also includes the interesting detail that the Lamanites were a dark-skinned people while the “righteous” Nephites were white. Until as recently as 1978, the Mormon church officially believed that dark skin was due to a heavenly curse and barred all black people from entering the Mormon priesthood. The righteous, of course, were white.
A letter written in 1998 from the National Geographic Society to the Institute for Religious Research states the truth plainly: “Archaeologists and other scholars have long probed the hemisphere’s past and the society does not know of anything found so far that has substantiated the Book of Mormon.”
Despite the fact that the “Nephites” and “Lamanites” have no basis in history and are disavowed by all credible historians, the faithful still fiercely defend their most holy Book of Mormon. After all, it is the “mythos” that undergirds the Mormon church’s foundation.
Among the 13 Articles of Faith, which are fundamental beliefs expected to be memorized by all Mormons, consider #8:
The Doctrine and Covenants (of the Church of Latter-Day Saints) was originally published in 1835 as a book of revelations given to Joseph Smith. But in the wake of Smith’s death, his successors began adding their own “divine revelations” to the book transforming it into an open-ended scriptural canon that could be added to and edited in real-time.
The Pearl of Great Price was written by Joseph Smith and contains many writings including:
– Previously unknown “visions” of Moses as told to Joseph Smith, circa 1830-31
– A translation of a book said to be written by Abraham during his time in Egypt
– An “improved” version of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse as found in Matthew 24
– A lengthy history of the life of Joseph Smith
– And the 13 “Articles of Faith,” which all good Mormons are expected to memorize and internalize
Mormons believe The Pearl of Great Price to be infallible, God-breathed, God-inspired, and equal with the Holy Bible.
Despite all Mormon protests to the contrary, the God of the Bible is adamant that his Word is not to be added to, or tampered with, by men. (See Deut. 4:2; Deut. 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18,19)
4. Native Americans were descendants of the ancient Jews and were physically visited, prayed for, healed, and eternally forgiven by Jesus Christ after His resurrection.
According to Joseph Smith, some faithful Jews from Jerusalem, led by the Jewish prophet Lehi, fled Israel around 600 B.C. during the reign of King Zedekiah. They embarked on ships heading westward across the Atlantic ocean to the “promised land.” These Jews, dubbed Nephites by Smith, landed in the Americas and began to proliferate across the land.
The Nephites soon found themselves in a struggle against the wicked Lamanites, who were a darker-skinned indigenous people group within the Americas. Smith claims that the Lamanite’s black skin was a divine curse used to prevent the Nephites from associating with them.
After Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, Smith claims that Jesus appeared in the Americas to both the Nephites and Lamanites offering them eternal salvation.
Upon his departure, tensions between the two people groups slowly intensified until the Lamanites finally destroyed the Nephites in 385 A.D. after a series of violent battles.
Mormons push this alternate history despite the fact that no such DNA evidence exists to prove their claims. (Also see this) It should also be noted that no secular archaeologist or historian has supported the existence of these ancient people groups.
5. The original Garden of Eden was not in the Middle East but in western Missouri.
Along the bluffs of the Grand River in Daviess County, Missouri, lies a beautiful 3,000 acre plot of fertile farmland with a strange name: “Adam-ondi-Ahman.” According to Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church, this area, just outside of the town of Jameson, is where the first man Adam and his wife Eve raised their children after being banished from the Garden of Eden.
The Garden of Eden, according to Smith, had originally been located 75 miles south of Adam-ondi-Ahman near the city of Independence, MO. According to Smith, this bedroom community of Kansas City hosted the original Garden of Eden and will be the site that Christ will appear on earth once again during His Second Coming.
Based upon the entire Nephite/Lamanite narrative, it is obvious that Joseph Smith believed America held a special place in God’s divine will and purposes.
Consider, for example, #10 of the Mormon 13 Articles of Faith:
6. God has a wife and she is the Mother Goddess.
Does God have a wife? According to Mormon theology, just as there is a Father God in heaven, so too there is a Mother Goddess. Just as earthly men enjoy and benefit from a female counterpart, so too, must God the Father have a wife who is Mother over all creation.
According to a transcript of a sermon delivered by Brigham Young in 1862, ironically entitled: “True Character of God — Erroneous Ideas Entertained Towards Him”, Smith once said he “would not worship a God who had not a father; and I do not know that he would if he had not a mother; the one would be as absurd as the other.” (Source: Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 286)
This concept of a Queen Mother Goddess inhabiting Heaven, alongside God the Father, is an ancient pagan belief that was widely practiced in, and around, ancient Israel. God specifically condemns this practice in the Book of Jeremiah.
Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer: “As for the offerings that you offered in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them? Did it not come into his mind? The LORD could no longer bear your evil deeds and the abominations that you committed. Therefore your land has become a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is this day. It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey the voice of the LORD or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.”
Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, “Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who are in the land of Egypt. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying, ‘We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to her.’ Then confirm your vows and perform your vows!” (Jeremiah 44:17-25)
This “queen of heaven” has been worshiped under different names in varying times and cultures including: Ishtar, Isis, Inanna, Astarte, Asherah, and Ashtoreth.
Regardless of the name used, the belief that God the Father has a co-eternal consort, known as the Queen of Heaven, is considered an abomination in the Old Testament.
This brief list was not meant to be an exhaustive look at Mormon beliefs. Instead, it simply serves as an introduction to some of the glaring differences that exist between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity.