Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2)
Spiritually Obtuse Evangelicals And Jesus’ Brother Satan
As rapidly apostatizing mainstream evanjellyfish as it continues its lust for acceptance by unregenerate mankind, pitifully begging for his approval, this online apologetics and discernment work of Apprising Ministries has no shortage of silly developing trends to cover. Through evangelicalism’s embrace of the sinfully ecumenial Emerging Church aka Emergent Church, which has grown into a full-blown neo-liberal cult operating within its walls, we’re seeing doctrinal lines blurred and erased at levels unprecedented. Take for example an article of mine from almost three years ago called the Mormon Church Is Now Christian.
I asked within: Does that statement come as a bit of a shock to you? Then I said that if you listen to all the rhetoric a while back from several evangelical Christian leaders who endorsed Robert Millet’s A Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-day Saints, a book which was written by a dedicated LDS apologist and actively practicing Mormon, you just might get the impression that Mormonism is now just another acceptable form of Christianity. As I also pointed out Millet is Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University and an active apologist for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons).
My friend Bud Press of Christian Research Service further informs us that Millet is “the ‘Manager of Outreach and Interfaith Relations’ with the Mormon Church Public Affairs.” I happen to have much experience with Mormon doctrine, as well as with LDS people, from living ten years in a heavily Mormon area of Wyoming not far from Salt Lake City; so in my prior post I used the pro-Mormon Millennial Star blog to show you why having spiritually obtuse “evangelical leaders” lend their name to this book was so welcomed by the LDS Church. Below is what one Mormon writer said:
I applaud Eerdmans for making the offer, Millet for taking the opportunity, and Richard Mouw (who wrote the fore and afterword) for consistantly putting his reputation on the line for the Mormons.
I predict some Evangelicals will actually read it and find that Mormons are not as heretical as previously thought, but not as many as I’d hope. Others will demonize Mouw, Eerdmans and Owen as “giving away the store,” as James White already has. Quelle surprise… (Online source, emphasis mine)
Yes, that’s right; this book of Mormon doctrine was published Eerdmans, and here’s what Dr. Jame White of the fine work Alpha & Omega Ministries astutely observed at the time:
Robert Millet is the Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding and professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. A believing Mormon, he has been key in the dialogues taking place between certain non-LDS scholars and pastors and LDS scholars from BYU. His book, Another Jesus?, though advertised by Eerdmans as a work “intended to inform rather than to convince or persuade,” is pure apologetic from start to finish. You could find this kind of work at your local LDS bookstore, but thanks to Richard Mouw of Fuller Seminary, now you will be able to find it in your Christian bookstore, too!
Yes, friends and neighbors, not only has Richard Mouw apologized for all of us mean-spirited folks who have labored to witness the true God and the true Christ and the true Gospel to Mormons for decades, but now he has made sure to provide a “Trojan Horse Apologetic,” a work that attacks the Trinity, deity of Christ, sola scriptura, justification by grace through faith alone, the sovereignty of God in salvation, the finished work of Christ on the cross—OK, like I said, it is an LDS work of apologetics, so it is pretty well opposed to sound theology at just about every point—and he has made sure that book will be right there in your local Christian bookstore (how many bookstore owners will recognize it for what it is? Then again, what section will they put it in anyway?). Cards, roses, and copies of the Book of Mormon can be sent to Fuller Seminary in thanks. (Online source)
This would be the same Richard Mouw who was also part of the whole Ravi Zacharias debacle in Salt Lake City “when [Zacharias] accepted an invitation to speak at the LDS temple in Salt Lake City but failed to make any distinction between the true Jesus Christ of the Bible and the demonically inspired false Christ of Mormonism.” So here’s the president of an ostensibly orthodox Christian theological school and Mouw writes both the Foreword and the Afterword for Millet’s book of blasphemy; but it gets even worse as Bill McKeever points out in A Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-day Saints (Review). McKeever, who is hardly harsh, tells us:
Richard Mouw, the president of Fuller Theological Seminary, writes the “Foreword” and “After word” to A Different Jesus. He takes full responsibility for Millet writing the book and Eerdmans for publishing it. “Indeed, I encouraged him to write this book, and I urged the Eerdmans folks to publish it” (p.viii)… Mouw has also gained a reputation over the years for the many apologies he has given on behalf of Christians whom he feels have been bearing false witness against the Mormons. He uses his “Foreword” to take another shot…
I’m not the only one noticing this rash of supposed evanjellyfish apologists apologizing for the historic, orthodox, Christian faith, which is the central point I’m drawing out here in this post: We certainly do have an infestation of spiritually spineless people in the church visible posing before people of the world and apologizing for the Gospel of Jesus Christ instead of preaching it to them. Specific to Richard Mouw, as an evangelical Christian here’s what he said in his Afterword of LDS apologist Robert Millet’s book A Different Jesus (ADJ), which also appeared on the websites of LDS bookstores while being used to promote the non-Christian cult of Mormonism:
I think that an open-minded Christian reader of this book will sense that Bob Millet is in fact trusting in the Jesus of the Bible for his salvation. That is certainly my sense.
This despite the fact that Millet clearly states the official Mormon teaching about Christ on page 20 of ADJ—“Jesus was the firstborn spirit child of God the Father.” And there can be no mistake here because I personally have ADJ and in the paragraph before that quote Robert Millet cites LDS “Apostle” Bruce R. McConkie from his book The Promised Messiah—“[Jesus Christ] was born, as were all the spirit children of the Father. God was his father, as he is of all the rest.” Since I covered this in greater depth recently in The “Jesus” Of Glenn Beck here I’ll simply show you the following from the official website of the LDS Church where we read:
On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers. (Online source, emphasis mine)
Here’s a news flash: If you claim to be Christian and you can read this official LDS doctrine that our great and mighty, generous and merciful, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan without feeling anger rise within then you’d better check to see if you’re even in the faith (see—2 Corinthians 13:5). If Richard Mouw thinks this Jesus, whom Robert Millet has given himself to, is the Jesus of the Bible then it’s well past time for people supporting FTS to investigate what Bible it is he’s reading. And now we consider this from Bill McKeever as he tells how Mouw says he:
has no doubt that Millet has been honest in presenting his case in the book, but at the same time he admits that “The question of whether he really does mean what, say, an evangelical means when he uses the same words that we employ is, of course, a more complicated matter” (p.180). If this is so, doesn’t that place the entire book under suspicion?… (Online source)
Um, ya think? Now in regard to Robert Millet’s laying out “the ‘more’ of Mormonism (baptism for the dead, temple rites, the ancient office of prophet and apostle, golden plates, and new revelations),” McKeever correctly explains that Mouw does admit that these are “reminders that the divide between many LDS doctrines and some key beliefs of Christian orthodoxy is still wide indeed.” Well, I should say so; think Grand Canyonesque, McKeever next tells us :
On the same page, Mouw states that God is “Wholly other – eternal and self-sufficient – who is in a realm of existence that is radically distinct from the creation that was brought into being out of nothing by God’s sovereign decree. On this view of things, to confuse the Creator’s being with anything in his creation is to commit the sin of idolatry. Mormons, on the other hand, talk about God and humans as belonging to the same ‘species.’ Inevitably, then, the differences are described, not in terms of an unbridgeable gap of being, but in a language of ‘more’ and ‘less.’ “ He goes onto say: “This kind of disagreement has profound implications for our understanding of who Jesus Christ is” (p.182). (Online source)
And now we’re about to enter the whacked Wonderland of postmodern Humpty Dumpty language; please keep in mind this is not at all related to Bill McKeever, but rather, what he’s telling us concerning Richard Mouw:
These comments make me question his conclusion on page 183 where he says: “I think that an open-minded Christian reader of this book will sense that Bob Millet is in fact trusting in the Jesus of the Bible for his salvation. This is certainly my sense.” If Mouw agrees that the Mormon view of God is idolatrous, and that this has profound implications for understanding who Jesus is, how can a person like Millet be trusting in the “Jesus of the Bible” when he believes in this idolatrous version of God the Father? Based on Mouw’s explanation in the previous paragraph, should we not conclude that Millet is an idolater when he admits that he believes that “God is an exalted man” (p.145)?
In 1996, Millet also wrote: “Knowing what we know concerning God our Father — that he is a personal being; that he has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as our own; that he is an exalted and glorified being; that he was once a man and dwelt on an earth…” (“The Eternal Gospel,” Ensign (July 1996), p.53). Are we, as Christians, going to change the biblical definition now to say that an idolater can be a saved individual at the same time? Mouw’s reasoning becomes even more problematic when we take into account that the Jesus of Mormonism is the literal offspring of what must be a non-existent God! (Online source)
Twisting The Postmodern Gumby Bible Until Unbelievers Are Also Believers Too
McKeever has insightfully taken us to the heart of the matter here: Why are Christians so willing to try and bend the Bible like Gumby into whatever shape it needs to be so that we can be inclusive and then consider people who are unbelievers, um, believers? This back story from a couple of years ago now sheds much light upon the Glenn Beck issue, where this baptized, and practicing, Mormon is now being considered as Christian albeit in “the fourth Abrahamic religion.” Today in her Washington Post article Glenn Beck may be unlikely leader for conservative Christians Michelle Boorstein informs us:
A few weeks before organizing a massive rally on the Mall that had the feel of a religious revival, Glenn Beck sought the blessing of some of the country’s most prominent conservative Christian leaders. The Fox talk show host wanted their support as he shifted from political commentary to a more spiritual message, he told the group of about 20. This is where God is leading me, Beck declared, according to Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, who was there, along with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.
Land said most in the group found Beck’s faith genuine and heartfelt, although not everyone agreed to embrace him publicly. “We walked back to the hotel after and said: ‘That was extraordinary,’ ” Land said of his conversation with Dobson after the dinner in Manhattan. “I’ve never heard a cultural figure of that popularity talking that overtly about his faith. He sounded like Billy Graham.” (Online source)
Sounded like Billy Graham; so somehow, Graham’s a Mormon now? Then yesterday Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, appeared on NPR Radio’s All Things Considered with Melissa Brock and Robert Siegel to discuss Glenn Beck And Obama’s Christianity. The program begins by reminding listeners:
Glenn Beck’s big Washington rally over the weekend was many things: It was a benefit for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, it was widely described as a Tea Party event, and it turned out to be, as much as anything, a call to faith, a religious rally.
Mr. GLENN BECK (Host, “The Glenn Beck Program”): Something that is beyond man is happening: America today begins to turn back to God. (Online source)
The pertinent question is: Which God? Siegel then asks a question similar to the one I recently discussed with host Derek Gilbert in Pastor Ken Silva On View From The Bunker Podcast: What should we make of this latest mix of religion and politics? Siegel goes on to say:
We’re going to ask one of the guests at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday what he thinks. Dr. Richard Land has been President of the Southern Baptist Conventions Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission since 1988. He’s considered one of the country’s most influential evangelical Christians. (Online source)
What follows below is part of the transcript from this NPR program where you’ll see “one of the country’s most influential evangelical Christians” in lock-step with apostates Phyllis Tickle—Empress of Emergence Christianity—and Emerging Church guru Brian McLaren trying to get us to believe that Mormonism is supposedly “the fourth Abrahamic faith.” Although. not surprisingly, guru McLaren goes even further and includes Mormonism as a part of Christianity, which you can see for yourself in The New Christianity Of Brian McLaren And The Emerging Church:
Dr. RICHARD LAND (President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention): Well, thank you. It’s good to be with you.
SIEGEL: Let me ask you about that rally: a very partisan political figure, a man who has accused president Obama of being a racist, then questioned his Christianity, holds a big rally with, among others, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Is the message here that God wants the Republicans to win in November?
Dr. LAND: Well, that certainly would not be the message you got from the rally. The rally did almost everything it could to not be political and to be as ecumenical as possible.
We had rabbis praying. We had Catholic priests praying. We had Muslim imams praying and participating. We had Protestant Christians. And he kept saying over and over again this is not a political event, and politics is not the answer. The answer is spiritual renewal and rebuilding a civil society one person, one family, one church, mosque, synagogue, temple, and one community at a time.
SIEGEL: Are you concerned about what Glenn Beck has said, for example, on “FOX News Sunday,” yesterday, more pointedly than from the podium on Saturday, that Americans do not recognize President Obama’s brand of Christianity? And you share that belief, by the way.
Dr. LAND: Oh, I recognize it. To me, he’s a very typical, mainline, liberal, Protestant Christian. I know lots of people like the president and who have been deeply influenced by liberation theology.
I think liberation theology is wrong. I reject collective salvation as an oxymoron.
SIEGEL: And Mr. Beck’s assertion that most Americans wouldn’t recognize the kind of Christianity that President Obama practices obviously you would disagree with. You say we know what that is.
Dr. LAND: Well, I do. I do know what it is. And I disagree with it. But, you know, it’s a free country, and that’s one reason we have freedom of religion. There were lots of differences of religion that were present at the rally. I mean, you know, you had Jewish rabbis, and as you can imagine, I would have some differences of opinion with Jewish rabbis and with Muslims and with Catholics.
But we were all there together talking about the fact that we need we believe that America needs a return to a greater faith in God, that this country is in trouble, and it’s in trouble at a very basic level. And it’s going to have to be rebuilt at a very basic level and that politics is not the answer.
SIEGEL: Glenn Beck is a Mormon. Is that brand of Christianity as distant or more so from yours than the National Council of Churches mainline Protestantism you…
Dr. LAND: Probably more so.
SIEGEL: More so.
Dr. LAND: And look, Glenn knows this. He said, look, I’m a Mormon. Most Christians don’t think that I’m a Christian. And so, you know, I’ll quote the pope, when he’s talking about liberation theology.
I do not think Mormonism is an orthodox Christian faith, with a small O. I think perhaps the most charitable way for an evangelical Christian to look at Mormonism is to look at Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic faith.
SIEGEL: Not a Christian faith.
Dr. LAND: Not a Christian faith. (Online source)
Being an SBC minister myself, and having studied Comparative Religion and non-Christian cults for 23+ years, I can assure you that Islam and Mormonism are not Abrahamic faiths, As you’ll read in Keeping You Apprised Of: Islam, the god of the Quran is not the God of the Bible; and Mormonism teaches polytheism (many gods), which is in complete conflict with the monotheism (one God) of the Bible. And so I’ll close this out, for now, with the following from Land Calls Mormonism “The Fourth Abrahamic Faith” While The SBC Calls It a “Cult”, a post today by Kyle Mantyla of the secular site Right Wing Watch. Of Land’s outlandish opinion writes:
Really? That is pretty amazing that Land would place Mormonism on par with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, especially considering that the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board labels Mormonism a “cult” [PDF]… (Online source)
As I essentially asked in Why Glenn Beck Wants To Save America, what does it say about the current state of the man-loving visible church when those who do not even claim to be Christian are showing more discernment than our so-called evangelical leaders?
 http://tiny.cc/mqjge, accessed 8/31/10.
 http://tiny.cc/zwmhk, accessed 8/31/10.
 Robert L. Millet, A Different Jesus?: The Christ Of The Latter-day Saints [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005], 183.
 Ibid., 20, emphasis mine.
 Ibid., 182.