Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Polytheism, Human gods....Mormon Theology

The following is a link to Alpha and Omega Ministries blog. The artical is written by James White. It's a fairly short read, but it points out some things about LDS beliefs that are clearly incompatible with genuine Christianity. And it certainly shows that Mormons are indeed polytheist's despite what they say.

http://aomin.org/index.php?itemid=1999


-Jacob

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...clearly incompatible with genuine Christianity."

Which begs the question: what is genuine Christianity? It seems to me that there are far to many claimants to "Truth" for there to be any such thing. To be "Christian" in the broadest sense is to be a follower of Christ. If that's what Mormons claim to be, who am I to stop them? I'll leave that to Christ.

By the way, Muslims regard Christians as polytheistic. It doesn't take much more than trying to explain the Trinity in comprehensible terms to see why.

risen_soul said...

In the future I'd appreciate a name. It's always interesting how often times people like to make snide remarks anonynously.

What is genuine Christianity?

Genuine Christianity is the faith that is in line with the clear teachings of Scripture. I couldn't care less what you would like to broadly define as "christian" I care what the Bible says. Though I would agree a good definition is "one who follows Christ." But then that begs the question, "how does one follow Christ?"

Scripture is clear that Christ followers are those who have repented of their sin and trusted in Him alone for salvation. Of course it helps if you are trusting in the Jesus that the Bible talks about who is God Almighty and not just a created, exalted man as the Mormons claim.

So who are they following not Christ, but a made up pseudo version of Christ, their doctrines are not compatible with Scripture, and are self contradicting.

Muslims may not be able to understand the things of the Spirit, big shock, that is what 1 Corinthians tells us about natural people. But just because they don't get it doesn't mean they are right.

The trinity is a difficult concept that our finite minds have a hard time wrapping around, but God is awesome and infinite, He souldn't be simple to figure out. If He was He wouldn't be God.

But the concept of the trinity is not beyond grasp. There is one God who exists in three individual persons. Each of those persons is fully God, distinct from one another in there person, yet they are the same God. Yahweh.

Origen said...

Very well, you may have a name. My comment is not intended to be snide. I simply think that you're deliberately setting up a definition of Christian that suits your purpose. If you couldn't care less about what my definition of "Christian" is, what makes yours superior to mine?

Does the Bible give an outright definition of "Christian"? I'd like to see where it says it excludes those who profess Christ.

As far as I know, Mormons do believe in the God Almighty of the Bible. They may have a different concept of who God is, but even a cursory look at the history of Christianity shows that this is nothing unique. You're right, the Trinity is a difficult concept. So why should we fault them for coming to their own conclusion. A literalist reading of the NT comes closer to their concept of God the Father as distinctly separate from the Son than the Trinity does. And the mainstream view of the Trinity took 3 centuries to come together.

In the eyes of my Mormon friends, they are not worshipping a separate, made-up Christ -- they are worshiping ours, but with a different interpretation from ours.

"But just because they don't get it doesn't mean they are right."

Of course not. But you make my point. We would disagree with the way that Muslims characterize us as polytheistic. They don't get it from their perspective, but frankly, not many Christians can wrap their heads around the Trinity either. But we bristle when outsiders misunderstand our core doctrines. We should not be so quick to assault Mormon "polytheism" in a similar manner.

That doesn't mean I agree with Mormon doctrine. It simply means that we disagree. Again, who am I to stop them? Ultimately, it is not for you or I to conclude that they are Christian, it is for God.

I, for one, would rather not be caught judging them unrighteously.

risen_soul said...

First of all, let me apologize. I am one who is quick to give a defense but I don't always do so well at the "with gentleness and respect" part that I am commanded to do also. So I'm sorry for being harsh with my reply. I ask for your forgiveness.

However I do want to respond to some things that you have said. As far as whether the Bible defines what a Christian is, well I would say it sort of does.

Acts 11:25-26

"25So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians."

A Christians is a disciple of Christ. A disciple is one who follows the teaching of whom they follow. So a Christian follows the teachings of Christ. Do you feel that this is a fair definition? I think it is.

So therefore when we hold up a person, or group of people's beliefs up to see if they are indeed a Christian, we must hold them up in the light of what Christ taught.

I could call myself a Buddhist if I wanted to, but I don't follow his teaching. So am I really a buddhist just because I call myself one?

You said that as far as you know "Mormons do believe in the God Almighty of the Bible." Well, I would encourage you to learn more about what they believe then. Mormons believe that God is a human who used to live on another planet. He was exalted to godhood. He is just one of an innumerable ammount of gods. He has a wife. Jesus is a separate God from the Father. Shall I go on?

You are right that if you look throughout church histroy there have been numerous idea's presented about God that were different than what the Bible teaches, and they should be condemned as heretical. Paul said very clearly that if anyone should come proclaiming another gospel that they should be accursed (Galatians 1).

The Trinity is a difficult concept, but to those who are given the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:9-16) by the indwelling Spirit of God, the trinity is able to be understood at least in principle.

you say "why should we fault them for coming to their own conclusion?" Because it's heresy! It matters! If you do not know the Christ of the Bible, you do not have salvation! The central teaching about God in the Jewish/Christian teaching has always been that there is ONE GOD! And He alone is worthy of worship. It's not ok to believe in more than one God. It's not ok to think that Jesus is a god but not the same god as the father and that there are many other god's for other worlds.

Isaiah 45:5

"I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God."

You talk about how a literal reading of the New Testament comes closer to the Mormon concept of God. I beg to differ.

There is a thing called harmonization of the text and it is very important. The Mormon position is contradictory. The Bible cannot teach that there is only one God and yet there are more than one at the same time and be inerrant. Rather the harmony of the text from both Old and New Testaments is that there is only one God. The Father is defined as God, Jesus is defined as God and the Spirit is defined as God. They are all seen to be separate individuals, therefore God must be one in three and three in one. You cannot say that there is one God and three god's. That would be a contradiction.

It is a fallacy to say that the "mainstream view of the Trinity took 3 centuries to come together." Just because it took 3 centuries for the church leaders to convein and condemn heretical teachings about God and clarify what the biblical doctrine is, doesn't mean that the concept of the trinity wasn't known and taught from the the N.T. times on.

Clearly, Thomas a Jew, was monotheistic. He believed the shama, "Hear O Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one." But it is he who falls to his knees and calls Jesus God after the resurrection. He was not blapheming, He was right. Jesus is God. In Acts a man and his wife die for lying to God the Spirit.

In Genesis 1:26 we see that God says "Let us make man in our image" a clear reference to the nature of God's trinity, though not at that time as clearly understood. But the Jews who knew there was one God knew that there was something about his nature that was plural.

By the time of the apostles the trinity (though not called that) was clearly taught and known. The council that met was merely to refute heresy that had been creeping into the church.

It may be that in the eyes of your "Mormon friends" that they are not worshipping a separate made up Christ, but our own. But again, that doesn't matter if they are wrong. And they are. Theire beliefs stand in contradiction and oppostition to the clear teaching of Scripture.

I think it is a responsibility of a Christian to point out false doctrine and warn others to stay clear. As well as our responsibility to warn those who have believed in a lie that their soul is in danger.

It's real easy to say "Judge not lest ye be judged" but the truth of the matter is there are times when judgements are necesarry and commanded by Scripture.

Ultimately God judges people, yes. But God has given His word that is already judging people. And we are told in 2 Cor. 10:4-5

"4For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,"

it is my responsibility to wage war against arguments and lofty opinions that are raised against the knowledge of God.

It is a false humility to just say "who am I to judge" when Scripture commands that we do judge in certain instances. Specifically when someone calls themselves by the name of Christ, it is they whom we are to judge.

Mark 1:17 said...

Origen:

You said, "Who am I to stop them?"

1 Peter 3:14-16
"But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."

1. You are called to defend your faith, the Hope that is within you!

Matthew 28:19-20
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

2. You are called, moreso, commanded to teach others all that Christ has taught and commanded you through the Gospel being preached from age to age.

Now, let us take a look at who the Bible says the Man Jesus is:

Colossians 1:15-20
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians 2:13b-15
"God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him."

Now let us look at what Christ has done for us!

Colossians 1:21-23
"And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Colossians 2:13
"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive togher with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses."

That is a Biblical definition of who Jesus (his human name) Christ (His Title) our Lord (His position of authority) is and what He has done for each and every person on the face of this earth.

Again you ask, "Who am I?"

What does the Bible say a Christ Follower is?

John 1:12 -- I am a Child of God
John 15:15 -- I am a friend of Christ
Romans 5:1 -- I have been Justified
1 Cor 6:17 -- I am united with Christ
1 Cor 12:27 -- I am a member of Christ's Body
Eph 1:3-8 -- I am chosed and adopted by God
Col 1:13-14 -- I am redeemed and forgiven
Col 2:9-10 -- I am complete
Romans 8:1-2 -- I am free from condemnation
Romans 8:31-39 -- I cannot be separated from God's love
2 Cor 1:21-22 -- I am established and anointed and sealed by God
Phil 3:20 -- I am a citizen of heaven
Eph 2:10 -- I am God's workmanship

I is the least you can do to stand up for Jesus Christ. He died for you, He took upon Himself the penalty and Just Condemnation of Your sins at the Cross.

Truth by definition is Intolerant!

Jesus said in John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

Sounds to me that Jesus was making a pretty difinative statement to all people. He didn't say, for some I am the way, the truth, and the life. Or for Christians I am the way, the truth, and the life.
FYI...Jesus was not a Christian...He was a Jew.
Anyway, back to the topic at Hand.

Who are you NOT to stand up for the ONE who stood up for You???

Maybe it is because you are scared that standing up for Christ will make you an exile in this world. I have news for you...you are an exile in this world already by definition of being a Christ follower!
Hebrews 11:13 "These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth."
1 Peter 2:11 "Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul."

Maybe you think that you will go through a time of pursecution? Guess what? Jesus never promised peace in this world...but He did promise trials!
Look at what Peter tells us about suffering:
1 Peter 2:20-25 "For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reciled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."

One more Scripture passage and I will be done:

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 "From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors of Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Who are You? You are Christ's Ambassador! If you do not stand up for Christ as His ambassador, how will people hear about the Truth of the Gospel, the Truth of Jesus Christ, the only way to the Father and to be forgiven and reconciled. Christ is the only mediator between man and God (Heb 9:15).

You Origen...along with all who share in the True Body of Christ empowered by the Spirit of God...have been called out of this world to be an ambassador for God to the world.
If you are Truly a Christian as you claim to be, You are sent by God the Father through Jesus Christ and Empowered by the Spirit to Stand up for Christ and Unappologetically preach the Gospel...which is Jesus Christ (the GodMan who came to earth, lead a perfect life, died for the sins of men and was burried, for proof of His claims He was raised from death and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.)

That is who you are...that is your duty and calling as a Christ follower. I pray that God will give you the Grace and the strength that you need to stand up for Him in all situations.

Grace and Peace be with You as you serve our Risen Lord.

In Christ,

David

Mark 1:17 said...

Jacob -- Greetings!

It has been a long time...

I hope to resume posting on my site in July and will be continue to frequent your site as time allows. I hope all is still well with you and your family.

Keep up the Good Fight!

Dave