Sunday, February 24, 2008

Scripture vs. Mormon Theology

Although not popularly known to the general public, Mormon theology teaches that men can become gods. This is made painfully clear in a message entitled, “The King Follett Sermon,” delivered April 7, 1844, by Joseph Smith, Jr. to a supposed gathering of 20,000 Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois.

“I will go back to the beginning before the world was, to show what kind of a being God is. What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the earth, for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible, and to tell you the designs of God in relation to the human race, and why He interferes with the affairs of man.

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make himself visible—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another.

In order to understand the subject of the dead, for consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how He came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.

These ideas are incomprehensible to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.”

Sadly, Smith continues later to destroy the idea that there is only one God, as proclaimed by such verses as Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” He shows his belief in polytheism while puffing himself up with pride claiming to be wiser any other on earth.

In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted [prepared] a plan to create the world and people it. When we begin to learn this way, we begin to learn the only true God, and what kind of a being we have got to worship. Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach Him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer.

When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us.

Now, I ask all who hear me, why the learned men who are preaching salvation, say that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing? The reason is, that they are unlearned in the things of God, and have not the gift of the Holy Ghost; they account it blasphemy in any one to contradict their idea. If you tell them that God made the world out of something, they will call you a fool. But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does, anyhow, and he is within me, and comprehends more than all the world; and I will associate myself with him.”

Amazingly, Joseph Smith, Jr. has been able to accomplish more for Satan in his death than during his lifetime. His false religion has likely caused hundreds of thousands of souls, if not many more, to perish in the fires of Hell because of his cultic heresy. Relating his fantasies to Biblical truth, we see that there is only one God, Who has always been and will always be.

From the Book of Isaiah:

43:10, 11 - 10 You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. 11 "I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no savior besides Me.

44:6, 8 - 6 "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me. 8 'Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced {it} to you and declared {it?} And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, or is there any {other} Rock? I know of none.' "

45:5-7 - 5 "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, 7 The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.

In fact, this entire idea of God as an “exalted man” is absolutely ridiculous. Isaiah 29:16 tells us,

You turn {things} around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, "He did not make me"; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?

As we can see, the Mormon cult in fact has things backwards. We are the creation, not the Creator, nor with the ability to become another creator. Please pray for and share the true Gospel with your Mormon friends, or they may end up spending eternity with Gordon B. Hinckley (not the “Celestial” Heaven).

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Is Contemporary Music Okay for Worship?

Although our culture changes, and with it contemporary styles of worship emerge, I hold to a conservative practice of worship in accordance with Scripture which states in Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” So then, is contemporary music some sort of compromise of conservative Biblical values? I do not believe that it is the differing musical styles which are in conformity with the world, as Scripture calls for us to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24); with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16); and with a new song (Psalm 33:3); but rather, that the content of those musical styles lacking in God-centered praise is that which would constitute conformity with the world. Additionally, worship is not just the use of musical praise, but rather it is an attitude and lifestyle of reverence for the Lord alone (Exodus 34:14), through the name of Jesus Christ alone (Colossians 3:17), in the power of the Spirit alone (Philippians 3:3), by believers as well as all of Creation (Psalm 66:4).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Meeting Felt Needs or Eternal Needs?

When we preach the Gospel, should we do it in such a fashion as to meet felt needs? It sounds great on the surface, and Jesus definitely did meet those needs from time to time in Scripture, but the real question is what is my motivation? If I am an unbeliever and I come to Christ expecting Him to meet my felt needs, what happens when He doesn't? What happens if that is not God's plan? Sadly, what often happens is backsliding or falling away. Maybe a better way to refer to these conditions is by calling them what they are: The unavoidable results of false conversion. If our presentation of the Gospel is based upon meeting the felt needs of unbelievers, when that promise is not fulfilled, the motivation for "conversion" is lost and the new "Christian" loses his faith. If we come to Christ with a proper motivation based upon a proper presentation of the Gospel (i.e. Sin, Hell, The Cross, Repentance, Faith, Redemption, etc.), when trials/temptations come, we will cling to the cross of our Savior for direction and deliverance. This is some food for thought that may be hard to swallow for many contemporary preachers, but it is the Truth as presented by the power of the Holy Spirit which leads to conversion, not the finesse of the preacher. So there is no confusion on the matter, I am not saying to avoid meeting peoples needs, because that is something that our Christian faith motivates us to do. What I am saying is that it is an inappropriate motivation to be dished out to unbelievers in order to attempt to secure a conversion.