Archive for October, 2011

The Three Most Shocking Beliefs of Mormonism

October 21, 2011

Title: The Three Most Shocking Beliefs of Mormonism

Text: Galatians 5:16-21

Time: October 10, 2011

 

I recently read in the newspaper that presidential candidate Mitt Romney was criticized by a pastor from Texas for being a member of a false cult because of his affiliation with the Mormon church. It stirred up a controversy in the media, but I really don’t know why because Christians have been calling Mormons a cult since Joseph Smith founded the religion in the 19th century.  I felt led to contribute an editorial article in the local newspaper, which reads as follows:

 

Mormonism is a cult, but in politics it shouldn’t matter.

The pastor in Texas who called Mitt Romney’s Mormon Church a cult is absolutely correct, but it shouldn’t matter in terms of electing public officials to political office in our democratic system. Let me explain. First, Mormonism – or the religion founded by Joseph Smith in the 19th century – really is a cult, here’s why. One, Mormons believe that God started out like us, a human, but worked his way up to become God through faith and righteous works. Mormons also believe that God has a higher God, and God’s God also has a higher God, and so on and so on. Historic Christianity believes God has always been God, has always existed as God, that there is no “God beyond God.” That’s why he’s called God Almighty. Two, Mormons teach we can all become God, just like God became God, through faith and pious works. If a Mormon is careful to follow his church’s teachings he might one day become God of a planet of beings who pray and worship him, just like God is prayed to and worshipped by humans on earth. Historic Christianity teaches that we’ll never become God or god, but we’ll always be God’s children. Salvation is possible through Jesus Christ and we’ll live with God in heaven forever. Nobody starts their own planet, becomes its god, rules, receives prayer and worship from its inhabitants. Any church that teaches this, is a cult, which is why Mormonism is a cult. Three, Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are spiritual brothers. Historic Christianity teaches no such thing, which is why there can be no doubt that Mormonism is a cult. But even though Mormonism is a religious cult, this shouldn’t particularly matter in politics because supposedly we aren’t electing a spiritual or religious leader, we’re electing a public official. In principle, there isn’t any reason why someone who holds public office couldn’t be a member of a religious cult, like Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness or Christian Science, Hare Krishna, or whatever, just as long as they do their job. Now voters may have questions about the character or spiritual wisdom of a cult member, but that’s a different issue. Here’s the bottom line — Mormonism is a cult, but that, in and of itself, shouldn’t disqualify Mitt Romney from being president.

 

From this controversy we learn that most people don’t know anything about Mormonism except maybe that they read from the Book of Mormon. But that isn’t the most shocking thing. People need to know about the three shocking beliefs I outline above. If more people knew about these three shocking Mormon beliefs, they’d understand why it’s properly labeled a cult. So let me talk further about these three false doctrines taught by Mormons so that we can all understand that it’s a false religious cult, regardless of whether Romney becomes president or not. (more…)

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Bible X-Files, Part 4

October 5, 2011

Title: Bible X-Files, Part 4

Text: 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10, Luke 10:17-20, 2 Corinthians 2:11

Time: September 28th, 2011

 

What prompted my message series on Bible X-Files was a television series on the History Channel called Ancient Aliens. These shows attempted to build the case for ancient aliens visiting the planet earth thousands of years ago and influencing primitive cultures around the globe. Much of the world’s religions are supposedly traced back to ancient alien visitations.  Against this ancient astronaut theory I’ve tried to argue that aliens haven’t been visiting and influencing human cultures for thousands of years, but instead fallen angelic creatures called demons have been interacting with humanity – and this accounts for many of the encounters that might appear to be alien in nature. Personally, I don’t believe there are any space aliens in existence – certainly there isn’t any direct evidence for them. But even if there were aliens somewhere out in the universe, even if God created other beings besides us on earth, their mere existence doesn’t pose any direct threat to Christianity. If aliens – the real McCoy – were to show up on earth and they started promoting a different spiritual worldview from Christianity, that would be a point of contradiction and conflict, but only in a way that any other major religion poses a challenge to the Christian faith. If real aliens came to the planet earth and they didn’t know the Christian gospel message, we’d seek to evangelize them as we would anyone who doesn’t know the saving grace of God. But I can easily imagine that someone might object to my understanding that demons are behind alleged alien encounters and UFO sightings. Many people would say that real aliens and real UFOs make more sense than explaining things with demonic activity. Many people today would indeed say that because many people today have affectively abandoned the Christian faith and the biblical understanding of reality. In other words, having lost a truly biblical worldview many people today feel that real aliens and real UFOs make for a better explanation of alleged experiences and encounters people claim. But I have to remind everyone, again, there is no direct evidence that aliens or beings from another world even exist or that UFOs are real. Yes, there are personal experiences and encounters with something real, and there are shaky video and still picture images of something in the skies, but again, all of these amount only to circumstantial evidence. But in the case of demonic beings, we have the authority of the Bible to their objective existence. The same Bible that tells us about God, tells us about the Devil; the same Bible that describes Jesus, describes demons. Any real Christian who believes in God, believes in the Devil; any true Christian who believes in heaven, believes in hell; any real Christian who believes in angels, believes also in demons. So we already have beings or creatures in our belief system that can account for much or most of the alleged alien activity. But let me try to explain further. (more…)