Thursday, December 13, 2007

God's "spirit children"??

Mike Huckabee has gone and done it. He’s accused the Mormons of equating Jesus and Satan, as brothers. (Although yesterday, after the Republican’s debate in Iowa, Huckabee Apologized to Romney over his “Mormon Comments” and told Romney that his “religion should not be part of the campaign”)

Of course, the Mormons bring this kind of thing on themselves, with their new-age twisted version of what they claim is Christianity. From the ABC blog, some details, as well as the official rebuttal from the LDSers:

Mormons believe that all beings — including Jesus and the Devil — are sons and daughters of God. But while they are both his “spirit children” only Jesus was “begotten in the flesh” and the Church of Latter Day Saints does not put the Devil on the same plane with Jesus Christ whom they worship as “the Savior of Mankind.” (provided by Michael Purdy, a spokesman for the Church of Latter Day Saints):

Like other Christians, we believe Jesus is the divine Son of God. Satan is a fallen angel. .. the Apostle Paul wrote, God is the Father of all. That means that all beings were created by God and are His spirit children. Christ, however, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship Him as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind.” (emphasis added)

It’s not hard to see how the Huck became confused: “His spirit children.” Now, pardon my grammar, but “ain’t that something”, Jesus and Satan both “spirit children.” Even most Christian's who don’t claim to hold “the fullness of actual Christian theology” know that Jesus isn’t a child of God in the same way that you and I are.

Yes humans are made in the image of God. Because of our sin, we are quite far from being full and true images of God, but we’ve got the potential to come into full glory through the image of Jesus Christ. (Read Romans 8:29-30; Col. 3:10) Unlike us, Jesus isn’t a mere reflection, a mere image of God. He is the real deal; fully God, fully man. (Read Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 11:1-3)

It comes down to the Mormon system of beliefs, which is not Christian. The Mormon view of Jesus Christ is completely against what the Scriptures teach.

1. Mormonism denies the biblical doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
They teach that Adam-God had sexual intercourse with Mary, and as a result Jesus was conceived. Orson Pratt alleged that “the virgin Mary must have been for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father . . .” (The Seer, 158-59).
2. Incredibly, Mormonism do actually teach that Jesus and the devil were once brothers. In a speech, delivered in the Mormon Tabernacle at Salt Lake, “Elder” Andrew Jenson declared:

Thus we see that Lucifer, the son of the morning, is our elder brother and the brother of Jesus Christ, but he rebelled against God and was cast down from heaven with his angels” (The Desert News, January 21, 1928).

Nothing remotely akin to this is found in the Bible.

3. Mormonism also contends that Jesus Christ was a polygamist. Brigham Young asserted:

Jesus Christ was a polygamist; Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were his plural wives, and Mary Magdalene was another” (quoted by Ann Eliza Young, Wife No. 19, Chapter XXXV).

This is the stuff of fantasy, not Scripture. One scholar, Jan Shipps (professor emeritus of history and religious studies at Indiana University), a specialist in Mormon doctrine, commented about the Mormon’s “change the name” ploy in recent years, which “reflects an attempt to divorce themselves from the “cult” status – hoping to convince contemporary society that the system truly is “Christian.”

So with all due respect, Mormonism is not “Christian” – Mormonism by any other name is still at variance with the teaching of the Bible.

Now, I do agree as one writer put it, “We aren’t choosing a pastor-in-chief; we’re choosing a secular chief.” Now, of course, I’d prefer a believing “Christian.”
And so yes, to me right now, Mike Huckabee is in many ways a very attractive candidate, although he does seem soft on the tax-and-spend front. But, regardless of any lack of conservative purity, real or perceived, he is a man of deep faith.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney has of course given “The Speech”, in which he mentioned “Mormon” but once. Mostly, he talked of “my religion.” This was the Jack Kennedy speech, the one that was meant to assure voters that the candidate’s Mormon beliefs have no bearing on how Romney might govern as president.

Right. Of course they won’t. In Kennedy’s case, he could make such a distinction in good conscience, for the simple reason that he was hardly a poster boy for following Roman Catholic dogma.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, appears to be a solid “Saint”, a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints in good stead. In fact, he sort of is a poster boy for the Mormon church: a fine, upstanding and prosperous member of his community. Yes, I know, he's not running to be Pope or head of the LDS. He's a politician, and he said the right thing:

Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin.”

Romney more than realizes that Mormonism is still looked upon by a sizable portion of the electorate as a strange, polygamous cult whose members mostly live in the Mountain West. Again, but stated differently, Mormons of today may claim to be “mainstream,” but they’ve a dodgy history, and not much history at that. They’re a young cult.

So I guess the bottom line is, I’m a so-called “conservative Christian”, but also an American. I would vote for Mitt Romney if he were the nominee and were he running against Hillary or Obama or Edwards or Richardson or any combination thereof. But Romney’s beliefs give me great pause, and his claim, which echoes that of the LDS hierarchy, that they are an “authentic” brand of Christianity, rings hollow.

Again, to get some further sense of what Mormons believe, check out this statement put out by the Mormons in the Washington Post. (12/05/07)

unlike traditional Christians, Mormons also revere the Book of Mormon equally with the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. They believe that Jesus visited the Americas after he was crucified and that he will return and reign from the United States and Jerusalem. They believe that the dead can be baptized, that God was once a man and that a human can become like a god. And, they say, God speaks through living apostles and prophets, such as Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Mormon Church.

So Mormons are hardly “Christian” in any sense of the word simply because they believe bizarre things, even though they try very hard to label them as being Christian. And that is the heart of my distrust of Mormons. One conservative commentator has said: “believe what you wish, just don’t hijack my faith while you’re at it.”

As I’ve said, I’ll vote for Romney if he wins the nominee, given the awfulness of the entire Democratic field. But I’ll probably hold my nose and hope for the best.

What do you think?? Am I being too hard and harsh on poor Mitt?

Robert Prater

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