The Three Most Shocking Beliefs of Mormonism

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.

 

Shocking belief #1 — Mormonism teaches that God became God through a process of growth and development. Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Now if the above passage is true, then Mormonism is false, because Mormon’s teach that God isn’t everlasting, that God wasn’t always God, that God became God through a process of spiritual growth and development. This is what Joseph Smith taught in what Mormon’s call the King Follett Discourse during the early days of Mormonism. It’s completely documented, so there’s no way to dispute its authenticity. The funny thing is, Mormon’s don’t like to talk about this doctrine, although they begrudgingly believe it, if the question of God’s origins comes up. But most people don’t even know about this doctrine, neither do most Mormons talk about it, certainly not to anyone they are trying to recruit into their church. Why? Because everyone knows – at least in the traditional Christian Western World – that God didn’t become God, God has always been God. Just like the Psalm says, “From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” The idea that God started out as a man, like Joseph Smith taught, and then through gradual and steady maturity developed into God, is totally foreign to historical, biblical Christianity. That’s why this doctrine is so shocking. It’s one of the main reasons that Mormonism has always been known as a cult by true Christians of all denominations. To believe that God became God, to believe that God hasn’t always been God from eternity past, to believe that God grew up to become God is outrageous. It’s not only shocking, it’s blasphemy. It takes away the unique status of God Almighty and makes him just one of many developing Gods – which brings up a sub-point related to this first main point. Mormonism also teaches that God had a God, and the God of God’s God had a God, and so forth. Because Joseph Smith taught that God started out as a man and developed into God, there is also the belief in Mormonism that God must have had a God in order to empower, teach and inspire God to become God. Accordingly, there could be all kinds of Gods each operating within their own sphere of authority, ruling their own planets, receiving prayers and praise from their subjects, just like God receives prayer and praise from us on earth. This completely robs God of his glorious status as the only true and living God, because it would mean he wasn’t the only God, nor the greatest God, since there could be many God’s beside him or greater than him. Needless to say, this bizarre doctrine is one of the reasons why true Christians have identified Mormons as a false religious cult.

 

Shocking belief #2 — Mormonism teaches that we can become a God like God if we follow the right spiritual path. Genesis 3:5, “For God knows that when you eat of it (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the Garden of Eden) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the media focuses on Mormonism they usually report things like Mormons once practiced polygamy, but this aspect of their teachings is trivial today. It is generally assumed by the media and the public that Mormons are basically Christians who believe and act a little different, but nothing really that different. But little do they know that Mormons hold beliefs that are shocking and scandalous. I just mentioned the shocking belief that God wasn’t always God, that he became God through faith and hard work, but that isn’t where the bizarre teachings end. Mormons also belief that we can become God too — through the same process that God became God. Now even the most ignorant and uninformed Christian knows that he’ll never become God. Even unbelievers of Christianity know that Christians don’t teach they can become God. This is most basic to any monotheistic teaching – or the belief in one God – that God is God and we are not. Even non-Christian Jews and Muslims teach that God is God and we are not – it’s basic to monotheism. Yet the Mormons not only teach that there are many Gods but that we can all become Gods as well. Now this is a teaching that Mormons themselves will talk about and teach, even though they are mostly careful to present it within their own church and in conversing with other Mormons. It isn’t widely taught to non-Mormons, at least not until they are properly indoctrinated in the teachings of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. So we can see why the pastor from Texas was more than a little concerned about having a Mormon presidential candidate running for the highest office. If Romney is faithful to his Mormon faith, then he must believe that he can become a God somebody, if he is sufficiently spiritual, because that’s what his church teaches. Maybe Romney isn’t a committed Mormon, maybe he isn’t a practicing Mormon, maybe he’s a nominal Mormon, meaning, he was raised in a Mormon family, that’s his heritage, but it doesn’t play a very significant role in his life today. But it should concern people to learn that Mormons believe they can become a God like God, that they can one day potentially rule over a planet themselves, and receive prayer and praise from its inhabitants. This doctrine isn’t historical Christianity, it’s cultic, it’s false doctrine. It was first taught by the Devil, or as he’s sometimes called, Lucifer or Satan, in the Garden of Eden, to tempt Adam and Eve to sin against God, “You will be like God.” Is it any wonder Mormonism is labeled a cult?

 

Shocking belief #3 — Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Satan are brothers. Hebrews 1:3-4, “The son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustained all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”  The whole first chapter of the Book of Hebrews explains how Jesus is above the angels – talking about the holy and righteous angels. Now if Jesus is superior to the good angels, then obviously he is superior to the bad angels, of whom Satan is one. But it isn’t so much that Jesus the Son of God became superior to angels, because he always was superior to angels because of his unique status as God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. It was that after his atoning death and sacrifice on the cross for sins, and after having won our salvation, he was shown superior to the angels – because after all, not much was known of the Son of God in the Old Testament. The New Testament teaches that Jesus is deity, divine, God-in-human-flesh. Christianity teaches that the Son always was and always will be God, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John 1:1. But Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Satan started out as spirit brothers – only Jesus turned out good and Satan turned out bad. This totally undermines Jesus as the unique Son of God, because it makes it appear that Jesus was just another spirit kid from the neighborhood along with Satan, and it was Jesus who amounted to something, while Satan never amounted to anything good. Can anybody believe this stuff? Apparently Mormons believe it. And Mormons wonder why people label them as a false religious cult? And Mormons are offended at being called a cult? Why is it surprising that Catholic Christians, Orthodox Christians, Protestant Christians – or any other kind of Christian – would label Mormons a cult? If I believed that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers, I’d deserve to be called a cultist. It’s bizarre teachings like this that earns Mormons the label “cult,” because it fits. And I’ve only talked about three strange, novel and bizarre Mormon teachings; there are plenty of other weird doctrines they hold to as well. Anybody who takes the time to really look into Mormon doctrine will find that whatever kind of church it is, it isn’t Christian. In fact, Joseph Smith states that he once asked the Lord which church to attend and claims the Lord replied by saying no church was the true church. Mormonism claims to be the true church, yet instead teaches such bizarre and false teachings that it can only be labeled a cult.

 

I think the most disturbing part of the shocking false teachings the Mormon church promotes is that it undermines and belittles and dishonors the true and living God. Isaiah the prophet writes in his prophetic book, especially chapters forty-four and forty-five, about the uniqueness of God Almighty. For example, in Isaiah 44:6, “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” If this verse is true – which as Christians we presume it is, because it is contained in the Holy Bible, God’s Word – then Mormonism is false, because Mormons teach a different view of God. According to Joseph Smith and the Mormons, God Almighty wasn’t the first and won’t be the last God; in fact, Mormons teach that there are gods in the making right now. This is not Christianity; this is a false cult. Another example, in Isaiah 45:5, “I am the Lord God, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” Now either Mormonism is wrong and this verse true, or this verse is wrong and Mormonism is right, because they can’t both be correct. “Apart from me there is no God,” is true Christian teaching, but Mormonism believes that apart from God there are many other Gods, some of even higher rank than our God, the Bible God. According to Mormonism, the biblical God is just one of many Gods at different developmental stages. Someday, according to Joseph Smith, Mormons might become Gods themselves. According to Mormonism, man and God are essentially the same, only at different developmental stages. God is basically a man who grew up and advanced, like a company man might be promoted to higher and higher levels within the corporation, while other men remain at lower levels. God has been at it longer so he has a great advantage of time and maturity, but theoretically at least, according to Mormon teaching, it could be possible that a human, like Joseph Smith possibly, could pass God up in advancement. That possibility can’t be ruled out in Mormon teachings. But this is such a departure from historic, orthodox, biblical Christianity that it can only, properly be called cultic. Mormonism is a cult, plain and simple. Now that doesn’t mean a Mormon can’t run for public office, or even become president. It just means that if a Mormon did become president, he would be a member of a cult. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t work out as a fine president, but let’s not confuse things by saying, like William Bennett, that it’s hateful to say Mormonism is a cult; it isn’t hateful. It’s simply stating a fact, it’s telling the truth. If I voted for Romney, it would be because I felt he could govern the nation competently. I would not look to him for spiritual leadership; I would hope he could provide civic leadership. But in any case, we need to tell the truth about Mormonism, even if it comes across as impolite or rude. We still have freedom of speech last time I checked; we should use it to tell the truth about Mormonism and lead people out of false teachings.

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