Friday, November 16, 2007
Mormons are Now Christians?
Mitt Romney's run for the presidency has placed the Mormon church back into the public eye. But it has also stirred up old questions and concerns. Sensitive to an image that appears less than Christian, they have decided to step up their marketing strategy of painting the church in bold Christian colors. In the November 12 issue of U.S. News and World Report, Elder M. Russel Ballard was interviewed by Jay Tolson as to "The Mormon Way." Here is some of the interchange:
Tolson: What is the biggest misconception that people have about your church?
Ballard: One is that some people say we Mormons are not Christians. We can't comprehend that, when Jesus Christ is the center of everything we teach and believe...The other thing is that some people say the Mormons are a cult. We don't understands that. We're a very strong Christian organization that's doing great things and trying to relieve human suffering, to increase knowledge of the gospel truths.....
[Comment: Mormons are not Christian for the simple reason that they do not confess or believe that Jesus is true man and God, and that they do not confess or believe in God as triune. If they were trying to increase knowledge of the Gospel truths, they would teach the Gospel in truth, not according to the false gospel of Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Book of Mormon, or any other books that contradicts the scriptures.]
Tolson: And what about your sacred Scriptures?
Ballard: We also get that one: "Well, Mormons don't believe in the Bible. You have your own Bible." Which is ridiculous. We think that the Bible is a miracle. We accept the Bible, and we also accept the Book of Mormon. We use them hand in hand as Scripture and guidance and doctrine. Interestingly, the Book of Mormon has more references to Christ and his teaching and his words than are in the Bible.
[Comment: Don't forget that the Mormons accept the Bible in so far as it agrees with the Book of Mormon and their other books. Plus, they interpret the Bible in light of the Book of Mormon, not the Book of Mormon in light of the Bible. As far as the references to Christ, I wonder if Mr. Ballard understands the many typological references to Christ throughout the Old Testament? Any way, mentioning the name of Christ means little if you confess Him falsely.]
Tolson: And the doctrine of the Trinity?
Ballard: Let's put it in simply terms: God the Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost - separate individuals. God is the father of all our spirits. Jesus Christ, son of God, savior of the world, is separate and distinct. When you go door to door, as we did as young men, and talk to the average person - the theologians might have a different view - but people think fo them as distinct.
[Comment: Now we determine truth by what "people think"? Any Christian who cannot identify this confession as false and misleading regarding the nature of the Trinity needs additional instruction. Note that Jesus is never confessed as God in human flesh. Note the emphasis on the word "separate and distinct," as opposed to no reference to the unity of the Godhead. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is ONE." Nothing. And that is simply because they do not believe in the unity of the Godhead, but rather in a plurality of gods. Additional investigation into what they really teach would quickly reveal a very pagan concept of deity, where Mormons become 'gods' themselves and populate other planets. Mr. Ballard may think that this description of the Trinity will be accepted by most people as orthodox and biblical, but true informed Christians know better. It took no time at all for my Bible class a few weeks ago to see the huge holes in this.]
On one hand I am surprised by their very forward attempt to address topics which they have historically been at great odds regarding the Christian church. But they obviously believe that the average person out there will buy their rhetoric. Well, the Church needs to make sure it is informing their people of the differences, because apparently the LDS people are busy blurring the lines.....