Know what you’re Buying

Know what you’re buying or the surprise may be unpleasant.  The shiny black pickup was my first truck purchase.  While shopping I saw chrome nerf bars on some of the displays and knew my little gem had to have the same.  Not the cheaper black bars, but the shiny chrome ones.  The all black bars faded into the truck whereas the chrome gilded this black beauty.

The dealership contracted with a third party to install them and promised the truck would be ready the next day.  I went by to pick up my new truck. They were running behind and the bars weren’t installed.  What?  I had to leave town and needed the company to keep their end of the contract.  They apologized and promised to expedite the installation of the black nerf bars.  What?  No!  I bought chrome ones.  If I had not been absolutely sure of what I was buying, I would have been driving a different truck than I expected.

Joel Osteen is quoted in the Washington Post saying, “When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God–that he’s the Christ, raised from the dead, that he’s his Savior–that’s good enough for me. […] Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ.” 

If you’re debating buying into that, it’s important to know what you’re buying.  Whether the pitch is for nerf bars or a faith system, it’s essential for all parties to define things the same way.  Otherwise, a person could walk away believing they’ve bought one thing only to receive a surprise. If the salesman promises nerf bars for the agreed upon price, is he selling chrome or black?

Are Joel Osteen and Mitt Romney defining things the same?  Due to space constraints I will limit the focus to three terms; God, Jesus, and atonement.

When a Mormon says he believes in God he does not mean the God who was never created but created everything and who existed before time began. He means he believes in a god who used to be a man on another planet, who followed the laws and ordinances of that god on that planet and became exalted to godhood.  From the “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” Mormonism declares, “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may become.” This is not the God of the Bible which says there is only one God ((Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8; 45:5), who is not and never was constrained by time (Psalm 90:2), space, knowledge or power.

 Mormons teach the first child god had was Jesus and the second was Satan, followed by everyone else.

Brigham Young taught that Jesus was created by God sexually cohabiting with the Virgin Mary in a physical, flesh relationship.  “He [Christ] was not begotten by the Holy ghost,” Brigham declared emphatically.  Mormon President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak”. The Apostle’s Creed reflects the traditional Christ and the most beloved verse in Scripture, John 3:16, which says God “gave his one and only Son [Or his only begotten Son].

Mormons are taught Adam did right by eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden because it made him capable of fathering the human race.  Christians everywhere always teach this was the moment the relationship between God and humans was torn in two. Jesus came to pay the penalty for this inherited as well as our actual sins.  “Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” No other sacrifice is necessary or sufficient.

The Mormon doctrine of blood atonement is that Christ’s blood could not atone for certain sins.  Such deeds required a man’s own blood.  Other sins are forgiven based on a person meeting prescribed requirements — ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,'” (Articles of Faith, p. 79).

This righteousness by works clearly contradicts the biblical teaching of the forgiveness of sins by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9) and the teaching that works are not part of our salvation but a result of them (Rom. 4:5, James 2:14-18).

Why is Mormonism a non-Christian religion? It is not Christian because neither the definition of nor the role of God, Jesus and Atonement for sin is the same.

Jesus said “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven”. Becoming a Christian does not mean belonging to a church, doing good things, or simply believing in God. Being a Christian means that you have trusted in the true God for salvation, in the True Jesus — not the brother of the devil, not the god of Mormonism.

This isn’t my opinion.  This is what God says in the Bible.

We don’t have to agree with each other to love each other.  Mormons are good people who worship “a” god, share common words with Christians, and do many good things.  But that isn’t what makes someone Christian.  It is important to know what you’re buying—and what you aren’t.

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