We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mormonism’s God and Jesus

God the Father. According to the LDS, God was once a man just like us, and his father was a man who became a god by doing good works to earn his salvation and exaltation to God. The LDS God, “Elohim” (called “Heavenly Father” in everyday parlance) has a body of flesh and bones and lives near a star called “Kolob.” Heavenly Father also has wives, but the LDS don’t have an established doctrine about this and it becomes quite difficult to pin them down on the subject. All humans are spiritual children of this god, as are Satan and all the demonic realm. (In the pre-existence before coming on earth, Jesus, Satan and the demons, and humans, were brothers and sisters having the same father.)

A teaching the LDS currently deny was Brigham Young’s theology that Adam was God who came to earth with one of his wives, Eve. Although Brigham Young claimed direct revelation from God as a prophet, this is one doctrine that makes it difficult to get acceptance so it has been discarded.

The Bible tells us God is Spirit and not man (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; Isa. 31:3; Hos. 11:9). We also know spirits do not have flesh and bone because Jesus specifically stated as much (Luke 24:36-39). And we know from Scripture that God is eternal, having no beginning or end (Ps. 90:2; Ps. 93:2; Isa. 40:28).

Personally, I prefer a God better than me, not one who fell into sin and then worked his way to godhood.

Jesus Christ. Mormons claim they are Christians because they believe in Jesus Christ as their savior. However when we examine the identity of their Jesus, we will see that he is not the Jesus identified in the Bible. One can call a dandelion a rose, but it remains a dandelion nevertheless. So let’s look at the differences:

The Mormon Jesus:
A literal son (spirit-child) of a god and his wife
The elder brother of all spirits born in the pre-existence to Heavenly Father
One of three gods overseeing earth
Atoned only for Adam's transgression, thereby providing the opportunity for us to obtain "eternal life" by our own efforts
The literal spirit brother of Satan
Conceived through sexual intercourse between God and Mary.
His death is not able to cleanse some people of all their sins.

The Biblical/Christian Jesus
Uncreated, eternally existing, unique incarnation of God the son.
Unique Son of God with whom none can be compared.
The Second Person of the Holy Trinity
Atoned for our personal sins, thereby securing "eternal life" for us, once we place our trust in his life, death and resurrection.
No relation to Satan, who himself is a created being - an angel who rebelled against God.
Conceived to a virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus' sacrifice on the cross is able to cleanse every person of all their sins.

At this point we can leave the subject as it is, rather than citing the Bible verses and LDS scripture to prove both these identities because I don’t want to spend the time doing so. The point is, that the two are not the same person. So this means either the historical Christian faith is true or else the LDS faith is true. Both identities cannot be true at the same time - it’s called the law of non-contradiction.

A false god and a false Jesus removes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the realm of true Christianity.

8 comments:

Drew said...

Imo, the main reason Jesus isn't their Savior is because they are explicit that they must earn their way into heaven via good deeds.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Actually, the main reason Jesus isn't their savior is that they don't know who he is. They made up someone they call Jesus and expect him to be a savior.

Drew said...

If you state lots of correct things about Jesus but then deny that he saves you freely upon your trusting in him, you are denying his most important characteristic -- that he is a Savior. I certainly believe in the Trinity, but imo people get really bogged down in complex doctrines like it that hardly anyone really understands anyway, and they forget the more important aspect that Jesus saves you freely based on faith. During your Mormon series, you are highlighting all the errors that can derive from forgetting that Jesus is the Savior. But the lack of faith in the Savior is the primary error.

To put things another way, people get all bent out of shape about Mormons, but they couldn't care less about a more "orthodox" "Christian" who believes in salvation by works. In my view, for example, believing that Jesus is NOT Satan's brother is somewhat peripheral, whereas believing that he is the Savior is key.

I definitely agree that it's good to understand the correct facts about Jesus, but think of it this way: How many facts do you have to get right about Jesus before he becomes the "correct Jesus"? How many wrong facts does it take before he isn't the correct one? And then, finally, which wrong facts would negate an otherwise effective gospel presentation?

Celtic Traveler said...

Hi, I'm Mormon.

We DON"T BELIEVE THAT. You have it all mixed up, I'm afraid.

Any questions? Feel free to ask.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Drew,

You miss a very important point. If Mormons today changed their ideas about works salvation, and stated salvation is soley based on faith in Christ, they could still not be saved.

Whether one has all the points about Jesus correct isn't the issue. The issue is who is the Jesus who saves? Is he the spiritual brother of Satan? Was he unable to atone for our individual sins? If not, then how does faith in him save us?

The LDS made up a person who they label "Jesus." If he is not God in the flesh rather than one of three gods, then he cannot save them no matter if they drop the need for works. They may as well put their faith in Mohammed or Buddha.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Celtic Traveler,

I have nothing mixed up. You may not personally believe this, but the LDS teaches it. I get it from LDS publications.

Drew said...

//You miss a very important point. If Mormons today changed their ideas about works salvation, and stated salvation is soley based on faith in Christ, they could still not be saved.//

I think they probably *could* be saved if they changed their idea about works-salvation. But the Bible doesn't absolutely address the issue directly so I don't get overly dogmatic about it. If someone denied that Jesus had been born in Bethleham, for example, but nonetheless trusted in him for eternal life, we probably wouldn't say the person was believing in a "different Jesus" and was therefore damned. The Mormon errors are more substantial than that error, obviously, but my point is that the Bible isn't totally clear on what correct doctrines we must believe to satisfy the element of believing in a "correct Jesus."

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Drew,

I think there is enough about the true identity of Christ in the Bible to know when we have the wrong one. Virgin born, son go God, incarnate God, eternally existing as God, creator of all things, atoned for all our sins by his death and resurrection. The cults with false Jesus - LDS, JW e.g. - fail on a lot of the essential identities. They have "another Jesus" (2 Cor. 11:4)