by Dr. Jerry Newcombe
[Editor's Note: This year in the US, there is lot of interest in Mormons because one of the Republican aspirants for the US Presidency, Mitt Romney is a mormon. Many of us don't know much about mormons. This article summarizes how they are different from Christians. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Malankara World.]
I've heard some people talk about Mormons (members of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints") as if they are just part of another denomination within Christendom, like Methodists or Baptists. Is that true?
First of all, Mormons tend to make great neighbors and friends; they tend to be honest and hard-working people, devoted to their God(s), their family, and their country. Mormons can make great political leaders as well. The missionary zeal and faithful tithing of the average Mormon should put the average Christian to shame.
Itís a free country. Mormons can believe whatever they want to.
But by virtually every theological criterion, Mormonism is outside the bounds of traditional, historic Christianity. When Mormons refer to "God," they're not referring to the God of the Bible. Ditto when they say "Jesus."
In historic, biblical Christianity, there is only one true God, who is eternal and unchanging. But Bill McKeever, in Rose Publishing's book, 'Christianity, Cults & Religions', notes that in the Mormon view, "The one whom Christians call ĎOur Heavenly Fatherí is one God among many Gods stretching into eternity past" (p. 89).
We can become gods who will one day rule our own planet, says Mormon teaching, if we're righteous enough. McKeever quotes the fifth Latter Day Saints president Lorenzo Snow, who stated, "As man is, God once was; as God is, many may become" (p. 89).
In the traditional Christian view, the one God is a Trinity, existing in three eternal, divine persons without beginning or end. The late Walter Martin was a prolific theologian on groups at the fringes of Christendom. He said of the Mormon view, "The Trinity consists of three gods born in different times and places; the Father begot the Son and Holy Ghost through a goddess wife in heaven" (The Kingdom of the Cults, 1965 / 2003, p. 192).
When Mormons talk about Jesus, they are talking about a divine being who is the brother of Lucifer. This is not historic Christian teaching by anybody's reckoning.
Even though Jesus is divine in Mormonism, so also are a lot of others. Mormonism is polytheistic, whereas Christianity is monotheistic.
Mormonism is not only polytheistic; it once was officially polygamous. At least until the Supreme Court ruled that marriage in these United States is between one man and one woman (Reynolds v. United States, 1878). The case was brought on by a Mormon with many wives. Utah could not become a state until after it dropped polygamy.
In Mormonism, everything pivots around the claims of their chief prophet and founder Joseph Smith (1805-1844) from western New York state, who claimed to have received divine revelations that told him that all of Christianity (prior to him) was hopelessly corrupt.
Smith also claimed to have found special golden plates, which had been buried, given to him by the angel Moroni. Tablets that only he could read.
Because of reported revelations to Smith, Mormons have three other books of "Scripture" in addition to the Bible. From the historic Christian perspective, the additional "revelations" end up nullifying the core message of the Bible.
About the Author:
Jerry Newcombe is the senior producer and host of Truth that Transforms with D. James Kennedy (formerly The Coral Ridge Hour). He has also written or co-written 21 books, including Answers from the Founding Fathers, available from Truth in Action Ministries.
Source: Christianity.com Daily Update
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