Islamics of The West
As you perhaps have observed my Teachable Moment Articles production have slowed down these past few months. I am using my designated article writing time to compile a book of Teachable Moments. The first half of the book, ask T-Moments, best will focus on the why of Teachable Moments, what it means to raise a New Covenant Child, and how does a parent create good teachable moments. The second half of the book will be a compilation of 52 Teachable Moments Articles, one for each week in the year. Please pray for me as I work hard to get this done.
During the next few weeks I will be sending you two T-Moment articles on Mormonism and one on Islam, which, I believe, are the two most devastating cults of our time. I refer to Mormonism in these articles as the Islam of the West, and Islam as the Mormonism of the East. This new label is based on the common doctrines and practices they both share in regard to a works oriented salvation and righteousness, something the Bible warns against (Galatians 2:16). They are also two religions that are very coercive and controlling in regard to their converts and followers.
Galatians 2:16 “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
Along with a good works theology both pervert who Christ is. The Mormons see Him as a god, who all hard working Mormons can become equal to some day, and Islam sees Him as only a good prophet.
My primary resource for these articles comes from the Gate Breakers by Dr. Stan Fleming (pages 73-97), Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons, by Mark J. Cares, the God Makers film, my own readings in the book of Mormon, and the experiences I have had with Mormons in Wyoming and Idaho.
What is the core of Mormon Doctrine?
In the movie, The God Makers, Ed Decker gives perhaps the simplest and clearest perspective of the Mormon doctrine:
- “Mormonism teaches that trillions of planets scattered throughout the cosmos are ruled by countless gods who once were human like us.
- They say that long ago on one of these planets, to an unidentified god and one of his goddess wives, a spirit child named Elohim was conceived. This spirit child was later born to human parents who gave him a physical body.
- Through obedience to Mormon teaching, death, and resurrection, Elohim proved himself worthy and was elevated to godhood as his father before him.
- Mormons believe that Elohim is their heavenly Father and that he lives with his many wives on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob. Here the god of Mormonism and his wives, through endless celestial sex, produced billions of spirit children.
- To decide their destiny, the head of the Mormon gods called a great council meeting.
- Both of Elohim’s eldest sons were there, Lucifer (Satan) and his brother Jesus.
- A plan was presented to build planet Earth, where the spirit children would be sent to take on normal bodies and learn good from evil.
- Lucifer (Satan) stood and made his bid for becoming savior of this new world.
- Wanting the glory for himself, Lucifer (Satan) planned to force everyone to become gods.
- Opposing the idea, the Mormon Jesus suggested giving man his freedom of choice, as on other planets.
- The vote that followed approved the proposal of the Mormon Jesus, who would become savior of the planet Earth.
- Enraged, Lucifer (Satan) cunningly convinced one-third of the spirits destined for Earth to fight and revolt. Thus Lucifer became the devil and his followers the demons.
- Satan and his band of rebels were thusly sent to this world in Spirit form. Because of their rebellion, they would forever be denied bodies of flesh and bone.
- Those who remained neutral in the battle were cursed to be born with black skin. This is the Mormon explanation for the Negro race.
- The spirits that fought most valiantly against Lucifer (Satan) would be born into Mormon families on planet Earth. These would be the lighter skinned people, or “white and delightsome,” as the Book of Mormon described them.
- Early Mormon prophets taught that Elohim and one of his goddess wives came to Earth as Adam and Eve to start the human race.
- Thousands of years later, Elohim in human form once again journeyed to Earth from the star base Kolob, this time to have physical relations with the Virgin Mary in order to provide Jesus with a physical body.
- The Mormon Apostle Orsen Hyde taught that after Jesus Christ grew to manhood he took at least three wives: Mary, Martha, and Mary Magdalene
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. Through these wives the Mormon Jesus supposedly fathered a number of children before he was crucified.
- Mormon founder Joseph Smith is supposedly one of Jesus’ descendants.
- According to the Book of Mormon, after his resurrection Jesus came to the Americas to preach to the Indians, whom the Mormons believe are really Israelites.
- Thus the Jesus of Mormonism established a church in the Americas as he had in Palestine.
- By the year 421 A.D., the dark-skinned Israelites, known as Lamanites, had destroyed all of the white-skinned Nephite’s in a number of great battles.
- The Nephite’s records were supposedly written on golden plates buried in the Hill Cumorah by Moroni, the last living Nephite.
- About 1400 years later a young treasure-seeker named Joseph Smith, who was known for his tall tales, claimed to have uncovered the same gold plates near his home on upstate New York.
- Joseph Smith is now honored by Mormons as a prophet because he claimed to have had visions from the spirit world in which he was commanded to organize the Mormon Church because he considered all Christian creeds an abomination.
- It was Joseph Smith who originated most of these peculiar doctrines which millions today believe to be true. By maintaining a rigid code of financial and moral requirements, and through performing secret temple rituals for themselves and the dead, the Latter-day Saints hope to prove their worthiness and thus become gods. The Mormons teach that everyone must stand at the final judgment before Joseph Smith, the Mormon Jesus, and Elohim.”
How do the Mormons Represent “Jesus” and how Does the Bible Refute Them?
- Mormons ( Islamics of the West), believe that there was a time when the spirit of Jesus Christ did not exist. After his spirit was begotten (by God the Father and mother in heaven) and raised to maturity in a premortal state, he obtained a body and was resurrected, just as his father before him. But the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ remains the same. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8) NIV
- Mormons teach that Jesus is but one god in a pantheon (multitude) of gods. However, the Bible teaches that there is only one God, and He has revealed Himself to us as the Triune Father, Son, and Holy Sprit. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the everlasting Father and only true God. “For unto us a child is born…And he will be called…Mighty God, Everlasting Father…” (Is. 9:6) NIV
- Mormons teach that Jesus is the brother is Satan. However, the Bible does not teach this. Instead it teaches that Jesus was the only Son of God. “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son…” (John 3:16) NIV
- Mormons teach that Jesus was born through the physical act of sex between the Mormon Father God and Mary. However, this is contrary to the scriptures that each that Jesus was conceived by the spirit of God. “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through that Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 1:18) NIV
- Some of the early leaders taught that sinners for certain sins required blood atonement. Although this is not currently taught in Mormonism, it is important for Christians to understand that confusion has existed in the history of Mormon doctrine over the issue of blood. Author James Spencer in his excellent book Have You Witnessed to a Mormon Lately? shows us that Smith and Young taught that the blood of Jesus was not sufficient for some sin. “Blood atonement in Mormon doctrine says it is sometimes necessary to shed a man’s blood to save his soul.” The idea is that he can commit sins that are so grievous that he can only go to Heaven if his own blood is shed, that is, if he is killed. This doctrine was birthed in a vision of Joseph Smith’s in which Peter had killed Judas. That he had hung him for betraying Christ. Brigham Young, as usual, carried the doctrine to its logical ultimate conclusion. He said if he found a brother in bed with his wife he would; “Put a javelin through both of them, and be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God.”
How Do the Mormons Represent “Salvation” and what does the bible say?
- Mormon salvation = faith + baptism + obedience to the laws and ordinances + membership in the Mormon Church. But the Bible teaches that salvation is strictly a faith issue with God because we can’t become “good enough” to earn it. “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law…” (Gal. 2:16)
- Mormons keep genealogies to proxy salvation and baptism for the dead. But the Bible tells us that taking note of endless genealogies is unproductive. “As I urge you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work-which is by faith.” (1Timothy 1:3-4) NIV
- In order to obtain the highest exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom and become gods, Mormonism teaches that couples must be married in the Temple. The ceremony involves them being sealed for time and eternity by taking vows in a secret ritualistic ceremony. According to Ed Decker and David Hunt in the new edition of their book, The God Makers, this is causing thousands of divorces today. Why? Because Mormon authorities influence those married to non -Mormons. They convince them to get divorced and marry a Mormon who willingly submits to the Temple ceremony. Decker and Hunt say, “The amazing thing is that there is not one verse in either the Bible or the Book of Mormon that teaches celestial marriage for eternity involving secret or even scared rituals in a Temple, much less that says it is essential for eternal life.” They do it because some authority got a supposed revelation. The weird thing today is that the practices of Mormonism contradict its own Book of Mormon.
There will be many cults your children will encounter during their lifetime. It is your responsibility as a parent to teach them the differences between what cults believe and what the Bible teaches. Team up with some other families in a study on the false teachings of other religions. Better yet, convince your pastor to start a church family study on the cults.
In your teachable moment time, look at the salvation plan of Mormonism or Islam, and compare it to what the Bible teaches. Proceed to your back yard where a garden of flowers is blooming. But before you do, buy a plastic flower that blends in with your garden. Put it in the garden, right before you begin your teaching. As you are walking to the garden with your children, tell them there is a fake flower in the garden. If they guess which flower is fake, they will get a reward. They have to guess at first, though, from a distance. Hopefully, they will not really be able to guess correctly; but give them all a chance anyway. Move a little closer; and then read aloud the parable of the tares in Matthew 13. Ask them to identify some of the different parts of the parable. Then move them a step closer to the flowerbed. Keep repeating this process (guessing, interpreting the parable) until they get to the flowers. Then have them touch all the flowers. I could be wrong, but I think they will finally be able to pick out the fake flower. As you conclude your time with them, tell your children that from a distance cults look like the real thing, as do many things that are wrong. But if they become students of the Word, they will be able to see clearly what is right and wrong. Reading and studying the Bible is like walking up to the garden for a better look and feel. Then in your prayer time ask God to make them as discerning as the angels in the parable of the tares; able to pick out the wheat from the tares.
- The Gate Breakers by Dr. Stan Fleming (www.Christianbook.com)
- The God Makers (Jeremiah Films 1 800 633-0869)
- Speaking The Truth in Love to Mormons by Mark J. Jones (Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)