Summit Lecture Series: Is Mormonism Christian or a Cult? with Douglas Groothuis part 8

Summit Lecture Series: Is Mormonism Christian or a Cult? with Douglas Groothuis part 8 June 14, 2016

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Joseph Smith said:

“God was once a man like us. God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on Earth, the same as Jesus Christ did.”

That is not Biblical and there’s no reason to believe it.

You see, a guy (Joseph Smith) goes out seeking God. He supposedly has a vision of God. An angel comes to him and tells him about some tablets and then helps him translate the tablets with the “seer stone”; and then the tablets are taken up into heaven. Then this guy goes around telling us what the “restored gospel” is. That’s how the Mormon Church has come up with things like this.

There is no historical or archeological verification for where Mormonism deviates from Christianity. They have bizarre doctrines that include Gods begetting Gods, infinite regress, and a belief that God merely assists us to achieve salvation. Sometimes Mormons will say, “After we have done everything, God will make up for the rest.”

This is not true.

God does it all for us, in and through Jesus Christ and through Him only.

Cults redefine and distort the work of Jesus. They deny Jesus’ full atonement for sins and the significance of His resurrection, as making Him the Lord of the universe. Now, if you were to ask a Mormon if they believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus, they would say, “Yes.”

What you really have to ask is “What does His resurrection mean?” Does it mean Jesus is Lord at the right hand of the Father in perpetuity for eternity?

For Mormons, the answer is no, because they believe that other Gods can be formed later. In fact, good obedient Mormon men can become Gods. So, while they do believe in the resurrection, they do not believe in the total authority of Jesus Christ shown through His resurrection, denying its meaning and significance.

Whenever you talk to someone who is a Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, or anything of the sort, you have to have them define and illustrate their terms. Sometimes, Mormons are unaware of their doctrines, with the church keeping them hidden from its followers. This is why you have to be conversant and understand what you are talking about.

Lastly, all cults deny the Gospel of Christ and assert a false gospel. Spencer W. Kimble, a former president of the Mormon Church, once said,

“One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God, that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.”

It’s not insignificant that one of the past leaders of the Mormon Church clearly denied the Gospel.

It is written in Galatians 1:6-10, where Paul warns the church:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be eternally condemned!  As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than the one you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

So, Paul is saying in direct clear language that we already have the true gospel of reconciliation and eternal and to not let anyone turn us away from it, even if it seems to be an angel from heaven. As we have talked about before, Joseph Smith claimed to have an encounter with angel named Moroni who revealed to him new truths. Similarly, Muhammad claimed to be given new revelations from the angel Gabriel when he began Islam. If they had tested the spirits biblically, people would have recognized Smith’s and Muhammad’s claims as false gospel.

Joseph Smith heard or invented a false gospel and he did not test it against Scripture. As a result, we have over 11 million souls – and growing – in Mormonism, denying monotheism, the full deity of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the only Gospel of salvation. Yet, they come in the name of Jesus. They present a wholesome, winning image, and have a strong commitment to community and their Church.

However, in the final analysis, none of that matters, because they are denying the Gospel. They are not true followers of Christ and they, like everyone else, need to hear the good news of Christ.

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