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104. Examining Glenn Beck's Mormonism

This issue answers the question How Christian is Glenn Beck”s Mormonism?

SINCE YOU ASKED

In previous editions, I have attempted to disprove Glenn Beck”s claim that Mormons are Christians (Post 86 & Post 92). I would like to provide more evidence to support my case. Let me reiterate that I am still a Glenn Beck fan. To my Mormon readers, I have no malice in my heart, only a desire for the truth.
 
The roots of Mormonism really began in 1820 when Joseph Smith claimed that he

had received a heavenly vision. He claimed that he went into the woods near his home to pray and ask God which of the Christian churches

was the right one that he may join. He recorded this event which is now considered Scripture by the Mormon Church. It is part of what is called The Pearl of Great Price:
 
“I knelt down and began to offer up the desire of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction, not to imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous powers as I never before felt in any being, just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all descriptions, standing above me in the air. One of them spoke unto me, calling me by name and said pointing to the other, “This is my beloved son, hear him.””
 
Joseph Smith then wrote that he asked the “personages” what Christian church was right and which he should join.
 
“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all of their creeds were an abomination in his sight, and that all their teachers were corrupt” (The pearl of Great Price, chapter II verses 15-19).
 
And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth (I Nephi 14:10).

AS I SEE IT

Think about this conversation that took place. This “personage of light” told Joseph Smith that the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the blood atonement, and salvation by grace through faith were all an abomination. All of these are pillars upon which the Christian faith was built. According to Mormon theology, Christ was wrong  when He said in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of Hades would not overpower His church. If Joseph Smith was correct, Hades did prevail and Joseph Smith was chosen to save mankind. Does this sound like Christianity to you? Read more.
 
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

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8 Responses to “104. Examining Glenn Beck's Mormonism”

  • Alma Says:

    Under the heading “As I See It” you claim that “according to Mormon theology…” when in reality, that’s just how you see it. Anytime you include in your premise that “Christ was wrong” you can be certain that is not “Mormon theology.” The idea that Matthew 16:18 is a promise that Hades will not overpower the Church is what is wrong. Jesus’ promise to Peter was true but Mormons would say your interpretation of that promise is what is wrong–not Jesus.

  • Ed Rodgers Says:

    How can you say it’s just my opinion when I’m quoting from Mormon sources? When Christ said that the gates of Hades shall not overpower it (clearly referring to the church) He meant just that. How much clearer could He be? You’re the one saying that Jesus was wrong, not me. You just proved my point.

  • Darren Says:

    IMHO I myself might interpret that verse as Jesus is saying that hades won’t overcome the church and the Mormons feel like they are restoring the church, not save it as you described.

  • Seth R. Says:

    “This “personage of light” told Joseph Smith that the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the blood atonement, and salvation by grace through faith were all an abomination. All of these are pillars upon which the Christian faith was built.”

    No, you aren’t accurately reporting what God said.

    He told Joseph Smith to join none of the existing Christian churches of his day. He told him that “their creeds are an abomination” and “their professors corrupt.”

    He never went into specifics about what about those beliefs was corrupt. He never stated the “trinity” was false (in a strict sense – Mormonism believes in the Trinity). Nor did he deny the divinity of Jesus Christ (and neither do Mormons.

    We believe Christ to be divine. And we believe God to consist of three separate and distinct beings.

    Really, the only part of the Nicene Creed that Mormons deny is the concept of homoousis.

    Which isn’t biblical to begin with.

    We also consider just about everything about Five Point Calvinism to be an utter distortion of the true Gospel of Christ.

    You’ve basically added your own language to Joseph’s account to make it say what you want it to say. But your added details are not in the original account.

  • Murdock Says:

    We know that Heavenly Father and Christ are separate personages,of flesh and bone, because Joseph saw them. If the Trinity were the truth, then it would be spelled out in the New Testament at the latest. Instead, 325 years after the death of Christ, when the Emperor Constantine needed the politically-destabilizing Arian controversy resolved, the Trinity was conveniently discovered and, even more conveniently, it is an incomprehensible “mystery” which must be taught by hireling clergymen. The Nicene Creed is not Biblical and represents a religion of men rather than a religion of God.

    It is not correct to say that Mormons deny the deity of Christ. We do recognize his deity separate from that of Heavenly Father. (See “Trinity” above.)

    Mormons, of course, believe that Christ died for our sins. Saying that we do not believe in the atonement is egregiously inaccurate.

    Catholics do not believe in salvation by faith ALONE. Are they not Christians either? Mormons, of course, do recognize the necessity of faith for salvation. However, you must also do your part by trying to live righteously. Salvation equation: Faith + Works = Salvation. It is not “boasting” because we recognize that part of what we require for our salvation is free, undeserved grace.

    In 1940, the Germans overran France in a matter of weeks. However, in 1944, not only was France liberated but Germany was conquered. The Germans had not “prevailed” in 1940. The gates of Hell did not prevail either because, like the 1944 D-Day liberation of France, Joseph and the Restoration ultimately defeated Hell. Thus, the promise of Matthew 16:18 was met in early 19th century America.

  • Ed Rodgers Says:

    Thanks for you comments. Let me respond to your points. First of all, the Bible makes it clear that God is spirit (John 4:21). He is not flesh and bone. All biblical references like “the hand of God” are clearly figurative language. If you try to make obviously figurative language literal, then Psalm 91:4, which speaks of wings and feathers, could be used to prove the God is really a chicken. He is spirit. As such, no one has seen God at any time (1 John 4:12). If the Bible says no one has seen God, and Joseph Smith claims that he saw God, guess who’s not telling the truth.

    Regarding the Trinity, your claim that it is not spelled out shows that you have not spent much time in the Bible. While the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible, the concept of the oneness of the godhead is sprinkled throughout Scripture. The word has been adopted to simplify discussions of the concept. Consider these verses that unite the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

    …how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleans your conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14)?

    “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

    Second, while Mormons claim to hold to the deity of Christ, my question is Which Christ? The Christ of Mormonism is the brother of Lucifer. This hardly makes him worthey of worship.

    Third, thank you for pointing out that Mormons believe in faith plus works. This is clearly an unbiblical position. The New Testament stresses over and over that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was sufficient. Your view says that you have something to add to what He did on the cross. What an insult to our Lord! Consider the following verse (which also supports the Trinity):

    He [God] saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to HIs mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3:5-6).

    Finally, to say that Joseph Smith and the restoration defeated hell is one of the most preposterous statements I have ever heard. The victory was one on the cross and only on the cross. You have helped point out the vast differences between Mormonism and Christianity, and why I say that they are mutually exclusive.

  • Seth R. Says:

    There’s a lot of misunderstanding among Mormons when it comes to the word Trinity. Most Mormons when they hear the word “Trinity” basically think modalism. They think that you mean a single being with multiple personality disorder. That’s why most Mormons on the street reject the word “trinity.” Because they don’t understand what you mean by it.

    But if you read the Book of Mormon, you’ll realize that Mormonism actually has a pretty strongly defined doctrine of the Trinity. And Mormons are actually trinitarians – meaning, we believe that God consists of three beings who are all perfectly united in some sense.

    The only thing we reject is the notion of homoousis – the idea that all three beings share the same “substance.” This is purely a post-biblical innovation and you will never find anything about “substance” in the Bible.

    As for Jesus and Satan being brothers – you are changing the subject. But I’ll bite anyway.

    Why should Jesus being the brother of Satan be any more upsetting than God creating a being like Satan out of nothing? Which idea makes God less worthy of worship?

  • Ed Rodgers Says:

    I’ll agree that there’s a lot of misunderstanding. When I have asked the Mormons who have come to my door about their understanding of God and Jesus, they have quoted, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost” (Joseph Smith, The Pearl of Great Price, Articles of Faith, p. 59). On the surface it gives the impression that Mormons believe in the biblical doctrine of the Trinity, one God manifested in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. However, the Mormon doctrines of all three are quite different from the biblical doctrines.
    The Mormon doctrine of God says that 1). God has a body of flesh and bone like man’s. 2). God has evolved from mortal man. 3). there is more than one god. 4). Mormon males strive to become gods. Every one of these runs counter to the biblical doctrines of God. Compare these 4 points to the following verses from the Bible: Before Me there was no god formed, and there will be none after Me (Isaiah 43:10), God is spirit…(John 4:24), God is not a man, that He should lie, not a son of man that He should repent (Numbers 23:19). I could make the same comparison for the doctrines of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Consider, for example, the following statement by Elder B. H. Roberts citing Sir Oliver Lodge in Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse, p. 11 note:”His [Jesus’] humanity is to be recognized as real and ordinary, whatever happened to Him may happen to any one of us. The Divinity of Jesus and the Divinity of all other noble and stately souls, in so far as they, too, have been influenced by the spark of Deity, can be recognized as manifestations of the Divine.”

    My point is that while Mormons use the same terms, including the Trinity, the meanings are not even close to the biblical meanings. The Mormon claim the Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, simply solidifies my point. Regarding your final paragraph, the Bible says that all things wre created by Christ and for Him (Colossians 1:16). Christ is eternal. Lucifer (Satan) was a created being. With all these differences, wouldn’t you agree that we’ve got two vastly different religions here? (I continue to appreciate your mature approach to our discussion.)

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