|From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase|
Part 5 of a series. Read part 4.
Why are some self-described evangelicals willing to embrace a religion that replaces the Triune God of the Bible with a pantheon of false deities?
As we began this series, we said that it is only necessary to ask essential questions about Mormonism, and compare the answers with Scripture, to understand how false and evil it is. Thus far our focus has been on the question, "What does Mormonism say about Scripture?"
In this article we are going to begin to address a second essential question about Mormonism: What does Mormonism teach about God? More specifically, what does Mormonism teach about God the Father, about Jesus Christ, about the Holy Spirit, and about the Trinity?
Essentially Polytheistic and Pagan
We are going to find that Mormonism teaches not the authentic God the Father of Scripture, not the authentic Jesus Christ of Scripture, not the authentic Holy Spirit of Scripture, but rather a collection of "gods" (with a small "g") that can only be accurately described as pagan monstrosities. These teachings are the heart of the Mormon heresy.
We are going to see that Mormon theology is essentially polytheistic. Mormonism teaches the existence of many gods, not the one true and living triune God of Holy Scripture.
We shall also see that Mormon theology is essentially pagan. The gods of Mormonism are the successors of the gods of Egypt, the gods of the pagan nations that Jehovah drove out of the land of Canaan, the gods of Babylon, and the gods of ancient Greece and Rome. The gods of Mormonism are Satanic counterfeits of the one true and living God of the Bible.
How Can Evangelicals Embrace Such a Pagan Theology?
At this point you may be asking a very good question: If Mormon theology is essentially polytheistic and pagan, how can growing numbers of people who claim to be Evangelical Christians, and even men who are prominent leaders of the nominally Evangelical church - people who claim to believe in the God of the Bible - refuse to admit that Mormonism is a cult? How can they dare to suppress that fact? How can they even entertain the idea that anyone who believes Mormon teaching is a Christian?
As always we must turn to the authentic Word of God for the answer to such a question, and God does not fail to give us the answer. We find that the Apostle Paul faced the same problem in the early church at Corinth. The Corinthian church had a very good beginning. We read in the eighteenth chapter of Acts that Paul helped found the Corinthian church, and personally instructed the believers there in the true faith, every day for a year and a half.
But the Corinthian church was a small Christian minority among an overwhelmingly pagan majority. After Paul left, members of the Corinthian church began to adopt an attitude of tolerance toward the paganism around them. And so Paul wrote to them, to shake them out of this attitude of inclusiveness. He wrote to remind them that authentic Biblical Christianity is exclusive and not inclusive. He wrote to remind them that the way to eternal life, as Jesus said, is narrow and not broad. Here is how Paul put it:
I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted - you may well put up with it! (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
This is exactly what is happening in the Evangelical church today. Mormonism comes, preaching another Jesus, preaching another spirit, preaching a different gospel - and growing numbers of self-described Evangelicals are putting up with it, even welcoming it. When they do this, they are forsaking the clear teachings of the Word of God.
Today's Weak Doctrine of the Trinity
You may also be asking the question that logically follows: How could this happen?
Here is the reason: In the last several generations, the Evangelical church has lost its grasp of the fullness of the Biblical doctrine of God, and especially the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity.
We find a weak doctrine of the Trinity in the church today - if the doctrine of the Trinity is taught at all. We even find some men, including radio and television preachers who call themselves Evangelical, openly denying the doctrine of the Trinity.
Under such conditions, it is no wonder that an essentially pagan religion like Mormonism can gain a hearing and a foothold in the nominally Evangelical church. Those who do not have a firm grasp of the truth about the God of the Bible, and how vital that truth is, can easily put up with Mormonism. If you do not have a firm grasp of the fact that the one true and living God declares that He alone is God, one God revealed in three Persons, and that there is no other god, you can easily put up with Mormonism. If you do not have a firm grasp of the nature of Biblical truth - that God's Word is uniquely authoritative and that all human authority must submit to it - you can easily put up with Mormonism.
Truth and Error: Not a Continuum But a Great Divide
We live in an age when most people think of truth and error as a continuum. In our day, even most Christians think this way. They think that on one end of the spectrum is light, and on the other end of the spectrum is darkness, and in between there are varying shades of gray.
And so, the thinking of growing numbers of self-described Evangelicals today goes something like this: Mormonism is one of those shades of gray. Mormonism has some of the truth, Mormonism has some of the light, and so we need to take an inclusive view of Mormonism. We aren't really that far apart theologically. And so, they say, we can work together with Mormons in moral and spiritual endeavors.
That is a lie of the Devil. Listen to what God's Word says:
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7)
And this, from Second John beginning at verse seven:
[M]any deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.
In other words, like Mormonism, they do not confess the true doctrine of the incarnation of Christ. And so John continues -
This [the person who does not confess the true Christ] is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (2 John 7-11)
The force of the original language is this: "Do not offer a single word of encouragement to such a person, because if you do so, you are sharing in his evil deeds just as if you did them yourself."
This is not the language of inclusiveness or theological tolerance within the church. This is not the language of a continuum between truth and error. This is not the language of our postmodern era, that says that you have your truth and I have my truth, and we all need to get along under one big ecumenical tent.
Not at all. This is the language of a great divide. This is the language of light and darkness, truth and error, spiritual life and spiritual death - with a great gaping divide between the two, not shades of gray.
That is how we must approach anything that is not authentic Biblical Christianity. That is how we must approach anyone who would bring such doctrines into the church. That is also how we must approach anyone who says that we must be tolerant of such things, that we must overlook differences, and work together in moral and spiritual causes with those who embrace such things.
Examining Mormon Theology: The Correct Approach
On the contrary, we need to expose the false gods of Mormonism. But we must approach that task in the proper way. I mentioned a few moments ago that we have a weak doctrine of God in the evangelical church today. And so, as we examine the false gods of Mormonism, I want to make sure that we have a firm grasp of the authentic God of the Bible in our minds. You cannot identify the counterfeit - and you cannot understand why the counterfeit is a counterfeit - unless you have a firm grasp of the genuine article.
So, as we proceed, I want to first present what Scripture has to say about God. Once we have that standard of truth clearly in our minds, we can hold up Mormon theology against that standard, and see what pagan monstrosities the false gods of Mormonism really are.
And so as we continue we are going to first examine the Biblical doctrine of God the Father, and compare it with Mormon teaching. And then, in future articles, we are going to do the same with the doctrine of God the Son, Jesus Christ, and the doctrine of God the Holy Spirit. We will then conclude this part of our study by examining the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity. We will then compare all of this with Mormon teaching, which denies the Trinity.
Next: Mormonism's "Father God" - A Pagan Monstrosity
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