Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pastore Won't Let Up:

His last anti-Mormon column provoked a slew of angry reactions from Mormon readers on Townhall. This one is even harsher.

Mormonism has almost nothing in common with Christianity. Mormonism is polytheistic, it denies original sin, it teaches that both God the Father and God the Holy Spirit have physical bodies, that Jesus was conceived through sexual intercourse between God the Father and Mary, that Jesus was the spirit-brother of Lucifer, that Jesus was a polygamist, that Jesus traveled to the Americas during His three days in the tomb, and that every Mormon male will one day become a God ruling over his own planet, accompanied by multiple wives, just as the God of this Earth, named Elohim – who was once a man – has done here.

Each of these claims are rooted in primary source documents of the Mormon church (see my Cults Study Guide .pdf available free here.) Another good link to start an examination of Mormon theology is here.

However, you will not find this information located on the “Basic Beliefs” page of the official L.D.S. website (here). It is the “meat” you will learn once you’re able to digest the “milk” of basic Mormon theology. There is a lot of Christian terminology on the official website, but upon examination, you come to understand that though the terms are familiar, the meanings of those terms are foreign and heretical.

For now, in the spirit of clarity and to honor brevity, a simple overview of the birth of Mormonism must suffice.

In 1820, a 14 year old farm boy named Joseph Smith went to the woods to pray about the religious turmoil going on around his hometown of Palmyra, New York. Revivals had broken out, and young Joseph didn’t know which of the denominations to join. So, he prayed for guidance. God the Father and Jesus appeared to him in bodily form, and he was told, “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History, 1:19).

Joseph claims he was told all Christianity was heretical, and that he would be correcting eighteen centuries of error.

The Mormon message is clear: historic Christianity false, Joseph Smith’s visions true.

Three years later, on September 21, 1823, in another vision, the angel Moroni appeared and told him of an ancient book written on golden plates buried nearby in Hill Cumorah. He was shown the location, but was prohibited from taking the plates. Moroni told him the plates recorded the history of an ancient American civilization written in Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics – an utterly unique language for which there is no evidence – and that he was to translate them with the aid of two magical seer stones called the Urim and Thummim. Moroni had been given the plates by his father Mormon, and Moroni had buried them prior to his death in the final great battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites that took place near Cumorah in 385AD. After 1,400 years, Moroni – now an angel – had returned to direct Joseph Smith to the plates.

In 1827, Smith was finally allowed to take the plates just long enough to finish the translation before they were to be returned to Moroni. In May 1829, while Smith and Oliver Cowdery were praying in a forest near Bainbridge, Pennsylvania, John the Baptist appeared and conferred the Aaronic priesthood to them. Later, Peter, James, and John appeared and conferred upon them the Melchizedekian priesthood. The translation was completed in three years, and the Book of Mormon was published in March, 1830. On April 6, 1830, Smith and five others formed The Church of Christ in Fayette, New York. After two name changes over the next four years, they settled on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormonism is not Christian, from its birth it has been anti-Christian.

The first Christians believed they had met the promised Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. It is both correct and proper to say Christianity is the completion of Judaism.

However, Joseph Smith considered both Judaism and Christianity not incomplete but false, choosing instead to write his own versions of the Old and New Testaments while also adding additional holy texts. Had he not claimed to be the “corrected” version of Christianity, Mormonism would be a false religion. Yet, by claiming to be the “true” Christianity, he created the archetypical “cult of Christianity.”


Bot said...

Who is an "Authentic Christian"?

Could members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) be more "Christian" than Evangelicals? . . Protestants and Catholics subscribe to the Nicene creed, which was initiated by the Emperor Constantine in the Fourth Century to rid Scriptures of the Apocrypha, which made reference to the oral traditions of Jewish and early Christian temple worship.

First Century Christian churches, in fact, continued the Jewish temple worship traditions:
1) Baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family
2) Lay clergy
3) Anointing with holy oil after baptism
4) Then clothing in white clothing

A first century Christian Church has been reconstructed in Israeli Museum; the above is verifiable there. And read Exodus Ch 29 for Aaron and his sons” ordinances. Jewish Temple practices were continued by Christians prior to Constantine”s corruption (see St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386 A.D., Lecture XXI). Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and not allowing non-Christians to witness them

A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ being separate beings, united in purpose. To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration?

The Nicene Creed”s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity, which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: "There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one."
Scribes later added "the Father, the Word and the Spirit," and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. . . . He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) have concern for their ancestors” spiritual welfare, so they practice proxy baptism. (1 Corinthians 15:29 & Malachi 4:5-6).

Only members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continue these practices of First Century Christians. But Mormons don”t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”:. All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament.

It”s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be the more authentic Christian.

* * *

Furthermore, the National Study of Youth and Religion done by UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005 found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group):
. . . . . . . . . .LDS Evangelical
Attend Religious Services weekly 71% 55%
Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life –
extremely important 52 28
Believes in life after death 76 62
Believes in psychics or fortune-tellers 0 5
Has taught religious education classes 42 28
Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline 68 22
Sabbath Observance 67 40
Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith 72 56
Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily 50 19
Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen
(very supportive) 65 26
Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping Teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality 84 35

Tom Van Dyke said...

Pastor Pastore's essay is purely theological in nature. He is on record as saying that politically, Romney could still get his vote.

I'm not sure how this fits at all into the declared purview and history of this blog, Jon. You've always been disinterested in theology in favor of political philosophy, which has always been A-OK with me.

Stirring up some stink between the religionists, perhaps? ;-)

Jonathan said...

"Stirring up some stink between the religionists, perhaps? ;-)"

Maybe. Madison did say something about offsetting faction against faction.

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