Is Mormonism Christian?
A Comparison of Mormonism and Historic Christianity

        [COMMENT: If the picture of Mormonism below be true (and it does conform with what I know of the subject), then Mormonism, like Islam, is a Satanic deception.  If Joseph Smith did not write on the gold tablets (if they even ever existed), and if God did not write those tablets, then who did?  The same questions can be asked of the Koran.  What answer is left to us other than a demonic spirit?  

        The moral similarities are largely irrelevant.  The whole worldview is pagan, not Biblical.  See my comments below in the text.   E. Fox]
 

For those interested, this and other items concerning Mormons can be found
at: http://www.thegospeltruthministry.com/mormonism.htm

 

Is Mormonism Christian? This may seem like a puzzling question to many
Mormons as well as to some Christians. Mormons will note that they include
the Bible among the four books which they recognize as Scripture, and that
belief in Jesus Christ is central to their faith, as evidenced by their
official name, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Furthermore,
many Christians have heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing Christian hymns
and are favorably impressed with the Mormon commitment to high moral
standards and strong families. Doesn't it follow that Mormonism is
Christian?

[COMMENT: the first question is not morality, but worldview.  In the Biblical worldview, an open system, which is unique to the Bible, with no parallel anywhere, so far as I am aware, God is eternal creator of, and therefore sovereign over, all things.   When it boils down to essentials, there are only two worldviews, the other being the worldview of the closed system, paganism and secularism.   A person who follows the Biblical morality may, as Paul says, have the law written on His heart, which God honors (see Matthew 25, the parable of the Last Judgement, which is about how non-believers, not believers, get judged -- but that is another story).] 


To fairly and accurately resolve this question we need to carefully compare
the basic doctrines of the Mormon religion with the basic doctrines of
historic, biblical Christianity. To represent the Mormon position we have
relied on the following well-known Mormon doctrinal books, the first three
of which are published by the Mormon Church: Gospel Principles (1997),
Achieving a Celestial Marriage (1976), and A Study of the Articles of Faith
(1979) by Mormon Apostle James E. Talmage, as well as Doctrines of Salvation
(3 vols.) by the tenth Mormon President and prophet Joseph Fielding Smith,
Mormon Doctrine (2nd ed., 1979) by Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie and
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

1. IS THERE MORE THAN ONE TRUE GOD?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed
that there is only one True and Living God and apart from Him there are no
other Gods (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; 44:6,8; 45:21,22; 46:9; Mark
12:29-34).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there are many Gods (Book of
Abraham 4:3ff), and that we can become gods and goddesses in the celestial
kingdom (Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20; Gospel Principles, p. 245;
Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 130). It also teaches that those who
achieve godhood will have spirit children who will worship and pray to them,
just as we worship and pray to God the Father (Gospel Principles, p. 302).

[COMMENT:  Polytheism was almost universal in paganism (I just learned that Jainism, a brand of Hinduism, rejects the traditional polytheism of Hinduism).  All these divinities emerged (evolved) out of the original Great Mother, the womb of all life (See Pagan Worldview).  See below.]


2. WAS GOD ONCE A MAN LIKE US?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed
that God is Spirit (John 4:24; 1 Timothy 6:15,16), He is not a man (Numbers
23:19; Hosea 11:9; Romans 1:22, 23), and has always (eternally) existed as
God - all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere present (Psalm 90:2;
139:7-10; Isaiah 40:28; Luke 1:37).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that God the Father was once a man
like us who progressed to become a God and has a body of flesh and bone
(Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; "God himself was once as we are now, and is
an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!" from Teachings of the
Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-347; Gospel Principles, p. 9; Articles of
Faith, p. 430; Mormon Doctrine, p. 321). Indeed, the Mormon Church teaches
that God himself has a father, and a grandfather, ad infinitum (Teachings of
the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373; Mormon Doctrine, p. 577).

[COMMENT:  This supports my point above.  If the Father evolved into the Father in heaven, then He is not the Father of the Bible, who did not evolve out of anything.  It means that there is hidden somewhere a Great Mother figure who is the real original source of all being.] 


3. ARE JESUS AND SATAN SPIRIT BROTHERS?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed
that Jesus is the unique Son of God; he has always existed as God, and is
co-eternal and co-equal with the Father (John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 14:9;
Colossians 2:9). While never less than God, at the appointed time He laid
aside the glory He shared with the Father (John 17:4, 5; Philippians 2:6-11)
and was made flesh for our salvation; His incarnation was accomplished
through being conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and born of a
virgin (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:34-35).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Jesus Christ is our elder
brother who progressed to godhood, having first been procreated as a spirit
child by Heavenly Father and a heavenly mother; He was later conceived
physically through intercourse between Heavenly Father and the virgin Mary
(Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 129; Mormon Doctrine, pp. 546-547; 742).

Mormon doctrine affirms that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers (Gospel
Principles, pp. 17-18; Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).

[COMMENT:  That means that Jesus is not the Son of God in the New Testament sense.  He is a created being, probably evolved out of the original cosmic soup like everything else.] 


4. IS GOD A TRINITY?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed
that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost are not separate Gods or
separate beings, but are distinct Persons within the one Triune Godhead.
Throughout the New Testament the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as the
Father are separately identified as and act as God (Son: Mark 2:5-12; John
20:28; Philippians 2:10,11; Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3,4; 2 Corinthians 3:17,18;
13:14); yet at the same time the Bible teaches that these three are only one
God (see point 1).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are
three separate Gods (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370; Mormon
Doctrine, pp. 576-577), and that the Son and Holy Ghost are the literal
offspring of Heavenly Father and a celestial wife (Joseph Fielding McConkie,
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 2, p. 649).

[COMMENT: The Christian doctrine of the Trinity has been the subject of much confusion, in my estimation, but be that as it may, Christians are not tri-theists.  Whatever the persons of the Godhead are, they are not separate gods.   This is paganism, not Biblical religion.] 


5. WAS THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE
a GREAT EVIL or a GREAT BLESSING?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed
that the disobedience of our first parents Adam and Eve was a great evil.
Through their fall sin entered the world, bringing all human beings under
condemnation and death. Thus we are born with a sinful nature, and will be
judged for the sins we commit as individuals. (Ezekiel 18:1-20; Romans
5:12-21).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Adam's sin was "a necessary step
in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us" (Gospel Principles,
p. 33; Book of Mormon - 2 Nephi 2:25; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp.
114-115).

[COMMENT: This "fall upward" is another common pagan theme, which makes no logical sense in the Biblical worldview.]


6. CAN WE MAKE OURSELVES WORTHY BEFORE GOD?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed
that apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross we are
spiritually "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1,5) and are
powerless to save ourselves. By grace alone, apart from self-righteous
works, God forgives our sins and makes us worthy to live in His presence
(Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6). Our part is only to cling to Christ in
heartfelt faith. (However, it is certainly true that without the evidence of
changed conduct, a person's testimony of faith in Christ must be questioned;
salvation by grace alone through faith, does not mean we can live as we
please - Romans 6:1-4).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that eternal life in the presence of
God (which it terms "exaltation in the celestial kingdom") must be earned
through obedience to all the commands of the Mormon Church, including
exclusive Mormon temple rituals. Works are a requirement for salvation
(entrance into the "celestial kingdom") - Gospel Principles, p. 303-304;
Pearl of Great Price - Third Article of Faith; Mormon Doctrine, pp. 339,
671; Book of Mormon - 2 Nephi 25:23).

COMMENT: The notion that heaven is earned is a clear sign that the religion has no concept of grace, and thus no Biblical concept of love either.  Love is an attitude and way of relating to others.  Grace indicates the free nature of that gift of love.  So, love, by definition cannot be earned.  God saves us because He loves us.  It has nothing to do with us earning our way.   Mormonism is caught, like all pagan religion, in the trap of salvation by works.   Christians have not done a very good job of explaining this, but that is no justification for the errors of Mormonism. ]


7. DOES CHRIST'S ATONING DEATH
BENEFIT THOSE WHO REJECT HIM?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed
that the purpose of the atoning work of Christ on the cross was to provide
the complete solution for humankind's sin problem. However, those who reject
God's grace in this life will have no part in this salvation but are under
the judgment of God for eternity (John 3:36; Hebrews 9:27; 1 John 5:11-12).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that the purpose of the atonement was
to bring resurrection and immortality to all people, regardless of whether
they receive Christ by faith. Christ's atonement is only a partial basis for
worthiness and eternal life, which also requires obedience to all the
commands of the Mormon church, including exclusive Mormon temple rituals
(Gospel Principles, pp. 74-75; Mormon Doctrine, p. 669).

[COMMENT:  This, of course, is nonsense.  We must challenge the Mormons to an open and honest contest of ideas, based on fact and logic.  That is where God wins.  As in, "Come, let us reason together..."   Or as with Elijah on Mount Carmel with the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18)] 


8. IS THE BIBLE THE UNIQUE AND FINAL WORD OF GOD?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed
that the Bible is the unique, final and infallible Word of God (2 Timothy
3:16; Hebrews 1:1,2; 2 Peter 1:21) and that it will stand forever (1 Peter
1:23-25). God's providential preservation of the text of the Bible was
marvelously illustrated in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that the Bible has been corrupted, is
missing many "plain and precious parts" and does not contain the fullness of
the Gospel (Book of Mormon - 1 Nephi 13:26-29; Doctrines of Salvation, vol.
3, pp. 190-191).

[COMMENT:  It is, I think, misleading to call the Bible the "final" word of God.  God continues to speak to us with total and ultimate authority.  To make its case, Mormonism would have to bring out the Book of Mormon for open and objective inspection to see whether its claims are true.  Otherwise, we should tell them there is no use discussing.  We want an open, honest discussion, or none at all. 

Christians must also do that with the Bible.  It is precisely in the open contest for truth that God wins the debate.  Christians often have very wrongly held the Bible back from an open inspection, a scientific inspection.  What God has given us is a very testable Bible.]


9. DID THE EARLY CHURCH FALL INTO TOTAL APOSTASY?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed
that the true Church was divinely established by Jesus and could never and
will never disappear from the earth (Matthew 16:18; John 15:16; 17:11).
Christians acknowledge that there have been times of corruption and apostasy
within the Church, but believe there has always been a remnant that held
fast to the biblical essentials.

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there was a great and total
apostasy of the Church as established by Jesus Christ; this state of
apostasy "still prevails except among those who have come to a knowledge of
the restored gospel" of the Mormon Church (Gospel Principles, pp. 105-106;
Mormon Doctrine, p. 44).

[COMMENT:  In my few contacts with Mormons, I have discovered that they hate the Nicene Creed -- which is where, I think, they believe Christianity fell into apostasy. 

You might as well bring that up right away if you meet them.  Otherwise you will go down lots of rabbit trails leading nowhere.  Force the antithesis.  Get the differences between Christianity and Mormonism right on the table.  And make them admit what they really believe.  Only if real Mormonism is compared with real Christianity can the decision be made between them.  

I stand on my comment above, that Mormonism is a demonic intrusion, and that it does not even get off the blocks so far as being Biblical.  Keeping their beliefs secret is part of their demonic connection.  Satan can survive only in the dark. 

Those are harsh charges, and I do not make them lightly.  But I do not take truth lightly either, and they are not being truthful.  

ON THE OTHER HAND....   There are rumbles heard now and again that some Mormon leaders are really wanting to move in an orthodox direction -- partly, at least, because some of them are admitting that there has been no historical evidence unearthed for their historical claims.   Keep them in prayer that God will open their hearts and firm up their backbones to be honest truth-seekers.  

And pray that we Christians can lead the way in that for all people.  E. Fox]  

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Conclusion: The above points in italics constitute the common gospel
believed by all orthodox Christians through the ages regardless of
denominational labels. On the other hand, some new religions such as
Mormonism claim to be Christian, but accept as Scripture writings outside of
the Bible, teach doctrines that contradict the Bible, and hold to beliefs
completely foreign to the teachings of Jesus and His apostles.

Mormons share with orthodox Christians some important moral precepts from
the Bible. However, the above points are examples of the many fundamental
and irreconcilable differences between historic, biblical Christianity and
Mormonism. While these differences do not keep us from being friendly with
Mormons, we cannot consider them brothers and sisters in Christ. The Bible
specifically warns of false prophets who will teach "another gospel"
centered around "another Jesus," and witnessed to by "another spirit" (2
Corinthians 11:4,13-15; Galatians 1:6-9). Based on the evidence presented
above, we believe Mormonism represents just such a counterfeit gospel.

It has been pointed out that if one claimed to be a Mormon but denied all
the basic tenets of Mormonism - that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that
the Book of Mormon is true and divinely inspired, that god was once a man
who progressed to godhood through keeping the laws and ordinances of the
Mormon Church, and that the Mormon Church was divinely established - the
Mormon Church would reject such a person's claim to being a Latter-day
Saint. One cannot fairly call oneself a Mormon if one does not believe the
fundamental doctrines taught by the Mormon Church.

By the same token, if the Mormon Church does not hold to even the basic biblical truths believed by the greater Christian community down through the ages, how can Christians
reasonably be expected to accept Mormonism as authentic Christianity?

If the Mormon Church believes it is the only true Christian Church, it
should not attempt to publicly present itself as a part of a broader
Christian community. Instead it should tell the world openly that those who
claim to be orthodox Christians are not really Christians at all, and that
the Mormon Church is the only true Christian Church. This in fact is what it
teaches privately, but not publicly.
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Statements of 5 Christian Denominations on Mormonism

Christian churches teach belief in God as an eternal, self-existent,
immortal being, unfettered by corporeal limitations and unchanging in both
character and nature.  In recent years, several Christian denominations have
made studies of Mormon teaching and come to the conclusion that there are
irreconcilable differences between LDS doctrine and Christian beliefs based
on the Bible.

  a.. Lutheran Church statement

  b.. Presbyterian Church (USA) statement

  c.. Roman Catholic Church statement

  d.. Southern Baptist statement

  e.. United Methodist Church statement

 

 

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