Periodically I see articles or website comments from Mormons decrying the fact that they are not accepted as Christians by mainstream Christianity. They state that they are Christians, that they worship and pray in the name of Jesus Christ. So, are they Christians, or should they continue to be considered a sect?
Everything presented in this article about the Mormon faith is taken exactly as written from the Mormons' sacred documents -- the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants -- all written by self-proclaimed prophet Joseph Smith, and from some of the writings of Brigham Young, Smith's successor. So, let's compare what those writings say with what is written in the Bible.
Christians believe there is one God, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, the Supreme Being, unique, uncreated, self-existent from eternity.
Mormons worship a "God" who is one of a numberless myriad of "gods." Their "god" started his existence as the man Adam, created by some other god. Their doctrine is fuzzy on this point, because it would seem that their own "god" created Adam, yet this doesn't make sense when you consider: this Adam somehow advanced to become the archangel Michael, who later somehow advanced to become "God." So it would seem that they have "god/Adam" creating himself.
Just when and how this advancement of Adam to godhood took place is never made clear. What is made clear is that this path of advancement is open to any Mormon man (never a woman!). The ultimate goal of every Mormon man is to advance by obedience to the precepts of Mormonism until he himself becomes god of his own universe. Unknown millions have already completed this journey and become gods, and unknown millions of Mormon men will do so in the future: there is no limit to the number of "gods" that may exist. In order for this to be true, there would have to be many hundreds of passages in the Bible that are absolute lies, such as, "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me" (Isaiah 45:21). The Mormon "god" is not the Supreme God worshipped by Christians.
Christians believe there is one Mediator between the one God and man: Christ Jesus, the Only Begotten of the Father.
Mormons believe that Jesus was not the Only Begotten of the Father. He had a brother named Lucifer. Yes, the very Lucifer who led an angelic rebellion against God and is now known to us as Satan. In Mormon doctrine, Lucifer rebelled because he was enraged by the fact that God chose his brother to save mankind, instead of him. In order for this to be true, many other passages in the Bible must also be lies, such as, "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). The Mormons further believe that Jesus was just a man, the same as any other man, and it was necessary for Him to go through the same stages of advancement that Adam supposedly went through in order to become "god." This is not the Jesus Christ worshipped by Christians.
Christians believe that Mary conceived the child Jesus in her virginity, by the miraculous generation of life within her by the Holy Spirit.
Mormons believe that their "god," in the fleshly form of the man Adam, impregnated Mary by physical sexual intercourse.
There are many other points on which Mormons and Christians hold widely different beliefs, though these are of a less critical nature than those listed above. For example:
Christians believe each person must choose for himself/herself whether to accept Christ. Mormons believe the dead can be saved through intercessory baptism by someone living.
Christians believe the Holy Bible is God's inspired and infallible Word. Mormons believe the Bible has been supplemented, supplanted and in many cases overridden by Joseph Smith's teachings. The apostle Paul warned specifically against just such corruption by anyone teaching "another gospel."
Christians believe the Bible speaks to modern man for God. Mormons believe that their President speaks for God on earth, just as Catholics believe the Pope does.
Mormons reestablished the Levitical priesthood in a corrupted form, despite the clear teaching of the Book of Hebrews that the Levitical priesthood has been replaced by a better and eternal priesthood under the Eternal High Priest Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that all believers are of the "royal priesthood," while Mormons believe their church leaders can make Levitical priests of only those whom they consider worthy.
Christians believe that upon death or translation in the Rapture, they will be transformed into eternal spiritual beings who "neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven" (Mark 12:25).
Mormons believe that if their marriage is "sealed" in a Mormon temple on earth, they will remain married throughout eternity. This is crucial to the Mormon man's belief that his earthly wife and family are the beginning of the kingdom and universe that he will rule when he becomes "god." From their beginnings, Mormons taught and practiced polygamy and the bearing of many children by multiple wives: this assured the man a "jump start" on the building of his kingdom. They changed both their practice and their teaching only under severe political pressure. This pressure and the Mormon submission to it were critical factors in the acceptance of the Mormon-dominated state of Utah into the United States.
Christians believe they will spend eternity in the presence of God the Father and His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. The Christian's ultimate desire is to serve and worship the God he/she loves.
Each Mormon man believes he will grow to be equal with his "Adam-god," and will then depart from him to his own universe, where he will reign supreme. The Mormon's ultimate desire is to become a god and to be worshipped, not to worship his Creator and Lord.
Mormons do not reveal many of these doctrines openly to the public, because they know that conservative Christians find them repugnant and blasphemous. They proclaim to the world that they are "genuine Christians who worship and pray through Jesus Christ," but have some "differing viewpoints on the nature of God." They do this because, for reasons that I don't fully understand, they very strongly desire to be accepted into mainstream Christianity, despite their vast differences in beliefs and values. Only when an initiate has been accepted into the Mormon congregation is he/she gradually exposed to these heretical doctrines and slowly led astray from the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. Many Mormons will deny much of the information provided about them in this article, or they will try to frame answers in their own terms, with their own definitions, that would seem to refute these arguments. They will say, "Of course I believe in God!" - but not the same God that Christians worship. They will say, "Of course I believe in Jesus Christ!" - but not the Jesus Christ of the Bible. They have been taught to defend their faith in a way that does not seem to contradict the Bible.
Some well-meaning Mormons, in fact many, may truly believe that they are Christians. But if they genuinely believe this, then they either don't understand true Christian doctrine, or they don't understand the critical importance of the differences between their doctrines and traditional Christianity. You are not a Christian if you worship some "god" who was born a man and advanced to "godhood" by his efforts, only to become one of many, many such "gods." To be a Christian, you must worship the One God, Supreme Creator and Ruler of THE universe - not one of many universes with many gods. "there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:6).
You are not a Christian if you believe in some mutated Christ who was also born as a man and had to advance to "godhood," who is not the Only Begotten, but is actually a brother to Satan, who is not co-eternal and co-equal with God the Father. Christ is eternal (John 1:1), co-existent and co-equal with the Father (John 10:30, I John 5:7), and the Only Begotten of God (John 1:18, John 3:16). When Mormons use the words "God" and "Christ," they are not talking about the God and Christ of the Holy Bible, but the god and christ of Joseph Smith's imagination.
Dan Wafford lives in beautiful coastal Georgia. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University and an MBA from Stanford University. He writes Christian articles, essays, songs and books, as well as novels and popular music. His book The DiVine Code, which reveals details of encoded messages in the Bible, is currently available at Amazon.com. More information about The DiVine Code is available at http://www.thedivinecodebook.com
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