Somebody has a problem with the truth telling of Ingrid Schlueter and Ken Silva. That somebody is "pastor" Henry (Rick) Frueh of Following Judah's Lion.
Apparently this pastor Rick is following Judah's lion from such a distance that he either doesn't realize or utterly fails to comprehend what it is he's actually following. Pastor Frueh is fed up with the unacceptable lack of bootlicking being demonstrated by Ingrid and Ken and he's not going to put up with it for one more second! Instead he's going to post a poison pen letter on the Internet to prove his point on Christian humility and maligning the character of others.
This is rich! Can you say "IRONY"? But the joke is on poor pastor Frueh.
At any rate, since I'm generally unable to pass up red meat being thrown in my path I decided to defend the honor of two of the most notable and noble voices active in the Christian blogosphere today and left the following comment on his blog:
Laity? Leadership? It sounds like someone here is overly enamored with the Nicolaitane harlot church which Christ hates. I'm not surprised.
I'm sorry Rick, but you've flat out missed the boat on this ill-advised, groundless and reckless diatribe against Ingrid Schlueter and Ken Silva.
I've noticed your thinly veiled swipes at Ken in previous posts here and simply held my tongue, because after all, it's your blog. But since the rabbit has finally stuck his head out of the hole let me tell you plainly that your assessment of the situation is flat wrong.
You're wrong in your absurd assertion that Ingrid Schlueter can't reprove you directly when you've previously and directly contacted her, and you're wrong in your assertion that Ken Silva is a "bully".
I can only guess what hurts you'd have imagined were you on the receiving end of Paul's Mars Hill discourse or if you had been standing in Nicodemus's shoes as he and everything he stood for was utterly destroyed by the King of Glory in a few brief sentences.
Surely you understand that your religiosity and piety are both unimpressive and impotent, especially against the enemies of Christ, do you not?
So feel free to lament the fact that Christ's true foot soldiers aren't nearly nice enough to suit your Victorian sensibilities, and if you sense a case of the vapors coming on after reviewing my comment then I suggest lying down and having a nice sip of tea with lemon, folding your soft hands across your pitter-pattering heart and resting your weary eyes.
But if there is enough fiber left in your being to lift up your sword of the spirit and join the battle then you'll be welcomed among those who take up their crosses daily and follow after Him.
Humility is a prerequisite for submission and obedience. You've mistaken Biblical humility for the men-in-skirts spiritual pacifism that's infected the professing church far too long. This is a metastasizing cancer that must be cut out of the true Body of Christ.
Some are willing to take a stand for Christ and fight the good fight of faith and others aren’t Rick, but you can rest assured that when you stop fighting, you're no longer needed.
I don't know if pastor Frueh will have the intestinal fortitude to post my comment on his blog or respond to it, but either way it will be posted here and will remain until such time as he publicly apologizes and retracts his baseless statements.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Somebody has a problem with the truth telling of Ingrid Schlueter and Ken Silva. That somebody is "pastor" Henry (Rick) Frueh of Following Judah's Lion.
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:13 PM
Ingrid Schlueter of Slice of Laodicea has posted a very timely and important piece on the relationship between the true believer and the false church:
A Slice reader poses this question to fellow Bible-believing Christians:
“When do we leave a church? That’s the overwhelming question that I’m seeking an answer to. I do not believe in church hopping or getting disgruntled over a minute issue (wallpaper in the nursery)and uprooting your family and leaving a church. But, in dealing with error or what we believe to be apostasy, when and where IN SCRIPTURE does God say “Leave that church!”?
There are some who seemingly think there is no such thing as a reason to leave the local church and who will - not unlike the papist lapdogs in Rome - actually go so far as to question whether or not the believer in Christ even has the moral liberty to abandon the local church! One has to wonder if such a question is intended to invite genuine prayerful reflection, or if it's merely a silly prank.
But thanks be unto the Lord that there are still clearheaded and serious minded believers who understand the gravity of this matter. Jim Bublitz of Old Truth posted the following response to the Slice reader's inquiry:
AW Pink on when you are OBLIGATED to leave a church:
If any [pastor] usurps that office [established by Christ Himself], and under cloak thereof do teach or enjoin things contrary to what Christ has instituted, then no obedience unto them is required by this command. But it is just at this point that most difficulty is experienced today. For many years past large numbers of professing Christians have been demanding that the religious leaders should speak unto them “smooth things”, yea, prophesy unto them “deceits”, declining to listen unto what condemned their carnal and worldly lives and refusing to heed the holy requirements of God. In consequence, He has suffered their descendants to reap the evil sowings of their fathers, by largely withholding “pastors after His own heart”, and allowing thousands of unregenerate men to occupy the modern pulpit. Instead of “obeying” and “submitting” to them, God requires His people to turn away from and have nothing to do with them. –AW Pink, Exposition of Hebrews
From Robert Reymond’s - New Systematic Theology Of The Christian Faith:
Separation from one’s local church or denomination is appropriate if it will not discipline heretics (2 Cor. 6:14-18). If a church rejects discipline for theological errors that subvert the foundation of the gospel and becomes theologically pluralistic in practice (even though it may retain an orthodox confession by which it promises to be guided), that church has become “heretical” in that it no longer stands under the authority of God, and the orthodox are compelled to separate from it to bear witness to the marks of the church.
There's no disputing the sad fact that apostatizing professing church is leading countless thousands - millions? - of souls down the broad path that leads to destruction with their Purpose Driven Deceptions, Emergent new age mysticism, Word Faith heresies, and feel good easy-believism. This is no light matter and the alarm must continually be raised in order that by God's grace some might escape the flames which are even now licking at the feet of these blind leaders of blind. May the Lord of Hosts continue to call his own to "come out of her" (Rev. 18:4), the harlot church - the scarlet woman of Revelation.
Continue reading "Knowing When to Walk Away, When to Run" here
Posted by Coram Deo at 6:29 PM
Well, I've officially been banned from commenting over at Pyromaniacs by Frank Turk (a.k.a. "Centuri0n") after yet another exchange with him in the comments section of his thread entitled The Rest of the Story.
As only my very limited readership might be aware, Mr. Turk and I have vehemently disagreed in past Team Pyro metas about the reprehensible spiritual state of the modern professing church and the legitimacy of such an apostate local body to the true born-again invisible church believer. The bulk of our discussions are captured in three posts here at Absolute Dominion which include links to the source material.
Below are the posts in chronological order:
Says Him, Says I
Ravening and Wickedness
At any rate, my latest round with Mr. Turk resulted in his surprising move to ban me from the Pyro blog altogether. While I find his decision lamentable - not to mention hasty and and childlike - I will nonetheless comply with his demands and will no longer darken the metaphorical door of Pyromaniacs.
This being said I'll certainly leave my link to Team Pyro active since it is a wonderful Christian resource, despite the ongoing and seemingly irreconcilable disagreements between Frank Turk and myself.
In closing I pray that Mr. Turk would wake from his spiritual slumber and that the Lord of Hosts would grant him the discernment to recognize that - despite his protestations to the contrary - something is truly "rotten in the state of Denmark".
Posted by Coram Deo at 5:28 PM
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The professing church is brimming with hirelings. What is a "hireling" you might ask, and how is it relevant to the question of the condition of today's church? I'm glad you asked. Let's see what the Lord Jesus has to say of the hireling:
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (John 10:11-13)
As you can see, the Lord isn't impressed with the hireling, in fact He disdains him and heaps contempt upon him. So what does it say about the state of the church when today's denominational pipelines and seminaries are cranking out hirelings nearly as fast as Mattel cranks out Ken and Barbie? And isn't there a parallel here between the plastic Christianity of these hirelings and their plastic toy counterparts? Why yes, yes there is; they're both fake and without true life.
True life is the life imputed by the Lord of Hosts and is a thing which no man can attain to, it is the gift of God lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Yet today's plastic Christian leadership - equipped with their plastic crosses - shill a plastic gospel that is bloodless, powerless, and ineffectual for salvation. These blind leaders of the blind send countless myriads of deceived followers home each week singing of a heaven they'll never see apart from the change of heart, submission, and faithful obedience to Christ that are foundational to true salvation.
But believer beware! These hirelings become simultaneously defensive and aggressive when their meal-ticket is threatened. If one dares question the status quo of their Nicolaitane constructs, rest assured that the poisoned darts of false accusations and ad hominem are sure to fly his way. All bets are off and all the stops are pulled when these spiritual cockroaches are exposed to the light of scripture. As they quickly scurry from the light they hurl baseless accusations, twist scripture, and resort to absurd claims of spiritual authority in their desperate attempts to maintain their deception at all costs. Not unlike the miserable, feeble old man hiding behind the curtain while pretending to be "The Great and Powerful Oz", the spiritual charlatan will attempt continue his masquerade even when the truth is standing there staring him squarely in the face.
Of the hireling Tozer well said:
A Hireling; No True Shepherd
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
It is doubtful whether we can be Christian in anything unless we are Christian in everything. To obey Christ in one or two or ten instances and then in fear of consequences to back away and refuse to obey in another is to cloud our life with the suspicion that we are only fair-weather followers and not true believers at all. To obey when it costs us nothing and refuse when the results are costly is to convict ourselves of moral trifling and gross insincerity….
Again, the pastor when facing his congregation on Sunday morning, dare not think of the effect his sermon may have on his job, his salary or his future relation to the church. Let him but worry about tomorrow and he becomes a hireling and no true shepherd of the sheep. No man is a good preacher who is not willing to lay his future on the line every time he expounds the Word. He must let his job and his reputation ride on each and every sermon or he has no right to think that he stands in the prophetic tradition. SIZ, 146-147.
(A.W. Tozer, Tozer on Christian Leadership)
Give me grace to follow, Lord–especially when it really does cost me something. Amen.
May the hirelings quickly find themselves either out of work or broken and repentant before the One True Living God, the Creator and Judge of the universe.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:43 PM
"Pastor" Rick's media machine is in full spin cycle after World Net Daily editor Joseph Farah picked up the buzz about Christian pastors calling on Warren to discipline Rupert Murdoch, after Warren himself claimed to be the porn purveyor's pastor.
Apprising Ministries has written a blistering expose on Saddleback's efforts to cloud the issue with their massive PR resources:
RICK WARREN: A PORNOGRAPHIC PURPOSE DRIVEN RESPONSE TO JOSEPH FARAH, CHRIS ROSEBROUGH AND KEN SILVA
When my friend Chris Rosebrough of the Christian Accountability Network first approached me with this whole issue of America’s Purpose Driven MegaPastor Rick Warren claiming to be Rupert Murdoch pastor I felt led of the Lord to become involved. Like Warren I am a Southern Baptist pastor myself and I offered to help Rosebrough by writing a short article called Purpose Driven Pornography: Why Rick Warren Must Publicly Rebuke Rupert Murdoch.
The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. (Proverbs 18:17, NASB)
A Wicked Web They Do Weave In Order To Deceive
Yesterday Saddleback “Spin Doctor” Mark Kelly, whose official title is News and Editorial Director for Saddleback Church – Purpose Driven Network, wrote a post called No Incentive for Checking facts. I cover this a little further in Rick Warren: Saddleback’s Purpose Driven Censors Didn’t Spin Fast Enough so here I just point out that it was suddenly pulled without explanation after but hours online. At this point we still don’t know why the “News and Editorial Director” for Rick Warren would be told to remove his newsworthy post, which also contained Saddleback “Chief of Staff” David Chrzan’s allegedly “forceful reply to Joseph Farah of World Net Daily.”
What I’m going to do is in this opening piece is begin to set the record straight regarding some of the facts and events leading up to Joseph Farah’s news story Murdoch’s porn pastor gets heat for mogul’s porn channels which appeared on World Net Daily 5/10/07. In doing so it will also have the benefit of showing you by example just how Saddleback’s Kelly and Chrzan will sow confusion by essentially “spinning” these things backward as to what actually happened.
Continue reading here
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:26 PM
From Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries:
The idols among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion; they, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings and offered grain offerings. In the light of these things, should I relent? You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill; there you went up to offer your sacrifices.
Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking Me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked on their nakedness. (Isaiah 57:6-8)
Climbing In Bed With Spiritual Harlots
In the section Cloud of Witnesses: Contemplative Figures Throughout History of the Be Still...And Know That I Am God DVD Beth Moore gives us some very revealing information concerning this growing apostasy. Her misguided words reveal it really is as I have been warning here at Apprising Ministries, there is a growing apostasy absolutely rampant within the Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD) of the new evangelicalism.
Since I haven’t been attending meetings in the SBC I hadn’t realized until recently that those letters now stand for “Slowly Becoming Catholic.” In Be Still Beth Moore says:
You know, one of the things that time gives us is that it erases the lines in between people so many different sections of the people of God. Because many years later it doesn’t matter any longer that this person was of this practice in the Christian faith and this person of another. Time somehow blurs those lines and we are profoundly moved by the historical narratives of all their lives, of so great a cloud of witnesses; that we can look back on and see what kept them running the race, what kept them running toward the face of Christ at the end of that finish line. (channel 1, 00:18-00:50)
So what do you suppose renowned SBC “Bible teacher” Beth Moore is talking about in this section dedicated to the praise of so-called “Christian” mystics who were practitioners of apostate Roman Catholicism when she says that time “erases the lines?” She’s referring to the Reformation during which many of Christ’s beloved children were brutally murdered at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church. O, but now “time” has somehow erased all of this. No it hasn’t.
Rather, it is the work of gutless professing Christians, who are themselves right now covered in the blood of these martyrs, who are doing so through the pagan idolatry of contemplative spirituality. And if the Lord chooses to sustain me I will have more to say about this travesty in the days to come.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:13 PM
From Christian Research Net:
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
The contemporary moral climate does not favor a faith as tough and fibrous as that taught by our Lord and His apostles. The delicate, brittle saints being produced in our religious hothouses today are hardly to be compared with the committed, expendable believers who once gave their witness among men. And the fault lies with our leaders. They are too timid to tell the people all the truth. They are now asking men to give to God that which costs them nothing.
Our churches these days are filled (or one-quarter filled) with a soft breed of Christian that must be fed on a diet of harmless fun to keep them interested. About theology they know little. Scarcely any of them have read even one of the great Christian classics, but most of them are familiar with religious fiction and spinetingling films. No wonder their moral and spiritual constitution is so frail. Such can only be called weak adherents of a faith they never really understood. TIC, 76.
"Lord, send the Holy Spirit to renew within us a depth and seriousness in our pulpits. Give us boldness in our preaching. Amen."
(A.W. Tozer, Tozer on Christian Leadership, May 20)
Posted by Coram Deo at 6:26 AM
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Ingrid Schlueter has brought back her excellent and information packed website, Slice of Laodicea. Ingrid and Slice played a significant role in my decision to return to blogging after a long hiatus.
It's so refreshing to see a woman of God like Ingrid taking the true and unadulterated whole counsel of God out into the marketplace of ideas while so many effeminate men in skirts are running around the professing church and preaching a watered down, cotton candy, bloodless gospel which has been scrubbed clean of any offense to the world. God help us!
In her article below Ingrid describes the depths to which the visible church has fallen:
Stranger Than Fiction
I’m not sure if there was some sort of meeting somewhere in the bowels of the earth recently where demons assigned to mocking the church met on a new strategy, but pastors dressing and behaving as clowns seems to be a trend. This is why you will find a clown behind the pulpit in the Slice header. It really is just that bad. Here’s a photograph of one Milwaukee area clown/pastor who sponsored a Holy Humor service at the Chapel of the Chimes in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Brookfield is a suburb of our city. Pastor Radke had this to say about his circus service:
“The intent of Holy Humor Sunday is to lighten up a little bit in church,” Radke said before the service. “We don’t have to be stiff. Let’s face it: God must have a sense of humor, too. He created us, and to tolerate us is really something.”
Pastors, when you’re parishoners start looking like this, maybe it’s time you started looking for another job. Here’s the article.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:27 PM
Once again Joseph Farah of World Net Daily nails the crawfishing false teacher, "Pastor" Rick Warren.
Rick Warren's Purpose Driven media machine may be able to silence his critics in the so-called "Christian" media, but they can't stop the mouths of every truth teller on the planet.
Read Joe Farah's editorial here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:22 PM
Frank Turk is at it again.
In his latest misfiring misadventure entitled The Rest of the Story, Mr. Turk aimlessly meanders around the subjects of Calvinism, election, Stephen King, hermeneutics, the resurrection, the Eucharist, and finally ends up on what seems to be the common thread of most his posts, the shameless shilling of soft idolatry. Frank closes his post with some seemingly innocuous, yet truly misguided advice: "Be with God's people in God's house on His day this week...".
Say what? "God's people" are in "God's house" on "His day"? Where is God's house? Is Mr. Turk suggesting those multi-million dollar brick and mortar structures replete with steeples, baptismals, cafes, swimming pools, gymnasiums and circus performers are "God's houses"?
Who are "God's people"? Are they among the myriads preaching false gospels, or perhaps "God's people" are the false converts lining the pews in "God's houses"? And God has a whole day too!?!
This was all such wonderful news to me that I quickly decided - under Berean admonition - to check the scriptures to see if such things were so! But I couldn't find them, at least not as Frank Turk described them. I read many things about God not living in a temple built with hands, and how the bodies of the redeemed are God's dwelling places - His temples. And I read things about God's people only being known by Him who called them - the mystery of the church. And I read things about letting no man judge believers regarding holy days...but, but, but, Frank Turk claims to know not only where "God's house" is, but he also knows who "God's people" are and he also knows "His day"! Simply amazing!! What's next? Should I be on pins and needles anticipating the release of "The Gospel According to Frank"? I think not.
Now if he had instructed his readers to "Go out into those spiritual whorehouses on the day of the week on which they've chosen to propagate their peculiar version of feel good easy-believism and share the gospel with the false converts therein" I'd have been able to understand where he was coming from. If he had been diligent and faithful to the Lord and pointed out the stark truth that today's professing church is under the judgment of God Almighty and in need of corporate and individual repentance and a return to personal holiness before the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe then I'd have nodded my head in solemn agreement and enthusiastically echoed his sentiments.
Perhaps Mr. Turk really believes that every single church with a shingle hung outside is about the work of the Lord.
Perhaps Mr. Turk honestly believes everyone who professes Christ or mutters a few scriptural platitudes once a week - on "His day" of course! - is a Christian.
Perhaps Mr. Turk simply naive and doesn't comprehend the massive apostasy of the visible church and its near wholesale departure from the faith.
Whatever the case it's irresponsible of Mr. Turk to simply send sheep to the slaughter by pretending that far too many of those prowling the sanctuaries of today's professing churches are something other than what they are; ravening wolves seeking to rend Christ's little flock. It's time for Frank Turk to wake up and smell the heresy of the modern visible church and sound the alarm instead of turning a blind eye and pretending everything is just okie dokie. Mr. Turk's Pollyanna attitude toward the desperately sick and spiritually reprehensible state of the modern church reminds me of the sort of fellow who might have asked: "Other than THAT Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"
Below are the comments I left over at Pyromaniacs regarding the post linked above:
Be with God's people in God's house on His day this week
"You may depend on it that the belief that this building or any other building is a house of God, a place peculiarly suitable for worship, is idolatry. You are giving to bricks and mortar some little of the honor which is due only to Christ as an altar." - C.H. Spurgeon
1 Corinthians 3:16
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
It would seem that Mr. Turk's predilection for subtle idolatry is manifested yet again.
5:44 PM, May 19, 2007
And lest someone here think I'm somehow ignorant of Hebrews 10:25 or arguing against its admonition, I'm not.
Rather I'm simply pointing to the obvious and consistently demonstrated truth that today's form of church-ianity is merely a perverse shadow of the Nicolaitane harlot church of Rome, and is not the assembly of the Body of Christ described in scripture.
Sadly the modern church legalists are today's best representations of the Pharisees of old. These are whited sepulchres who indeed appear beautiful outward, which memorize scripture and hymnody thinking they will find eternal life, but inside they're full of ravening and wickedness.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Posted by Coram Deo at 6:05 PM
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I just wanted to let my (very limited) readership know that I've not stopped posting, nor have I lost interest in blogging here at Absolute Dominion. I've simply been very busy as of late, however I do plan to pick up the pace later this month.
Along with my normal daily Bible study I'm currently reading Van Til's Apologetic by Greg Bahnsen and The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur and I must confess that these three resources are combining to fuel some radical transformations in my spiritual walk and basic worldview.
Stay tuned since I'm not sure what's going to emerge from this spiritually volatile combination, but it's fairly certain that I'll have much to say on the subjects of Biblical exegesis, hermeneutics, and apologetics over next few months.
Posted by Coram Deo at 6:23 PM
Friday, May 4, 2007
Another gem from Contender Ministries:
Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church) henotheistic or polytheistic? Do you even know what henotheism is? Do you care? The “official” doctrine of the LDS Church is henotheistic, but there is serious internal conflict on this point and evidence toward polytheism. In this article, we’ll take a look at the theology of Mormonism, get our “isms” defined, and attempt to provide an answer to the first question asked. The answer will be important as you share the gospel with Mormons and point out where Biblical truth conflicts with their official doctrines.
Before we proceed, it’s important to get our “isms” defined. The Bible is clearly monotheistic. Monotheism is the belief in, and worship of one God. We don’t need an in-depth etymology lesson, but mono means “one”, and theism comes from the Greek theos, which means “god.” Polytheism is the belief in more than one god. Poly means “many”. Most of us are familiar with these two terms, but the last one is a bit more obscure. Henotheism is the belief that there are (or may be) more than one god, but the worship of only one. “Heno” comes from the Greek heis, which means “one.”
The theology of the Bible is clearly monotheistic. That there is only one God is the consistent testimony of Scripture (Deuteronomy 4:35, Isaiah 44:6, plus dozens of other verses). Christians, Jews, and Muslims agree on this point, which is why they are referred to as the “three monotheistic religions.” Christians, however, recognize the Scriptural canonicity of the New Testament. In it, we find that the one God is triune – that is, there are three persons that are the one God. God exists eternally as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The three are separate persons, but they comprise one God. Old Testament passages hint at this plurality within the one God, but the Trinity doctrine is most clear in the New Testament. This is the teaching of the Bible, but this is not a doctrine of Mormonism.
The Mormon Church teaches a plurality of Gods. They believe that God the Father (Elohim) was once a man on a separate world who attained godhood. He then had many spirit children with his wives, the oldest one being Jesus. According to LDS beliefs, we were all Elohim’s spirit children before our carnal existence. Therefore, Jesus is our eldest brother. Jesus was one of a very few who attained godhood before living an earthly life. For most of us, according to the LDS Church, the earthly life provides a means to demonstrate our obedience and earn our godhood. Therefore, there are practically unlimited worlds that are headed by gods who were once men like us. Through obedience and righteous living, Mormonism teaches that we too can aspire to be gods of our own worlds. As former LDS Prophet Brigham Young taught: “How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be to all eternity.”1 Joseph Smith was clear that we are to follow the same task, when he said, “you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you…”2 Therefore, the number of gods is practically limitless.
In spite of this belief in many gods, Mormons do not want to be classified as polytheistic. In this, they would be in the same class as the polytheists condemned in the Bible. Instead, they prefer to say that they are henotheistic – they believe there are many gods, but they only worship Heavenly Father (Elohim). While they believe Jesus is a god and our savior, they claim not to “worship” Jesus. Instead, they state that they worship Father God in the name of Jesus. Doctrine & Covenants (D&C) 20:20 says, “And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.” In part 2 and part 3 of LDS Apologist Daryl Barksdale’s emails to me, he was adamant that Mormonism is henotheistic, and only worships the Father.
The Bible is clear that Jesus accepted worship (Matthew 21:1-11, John 9:35-39, 20:28-29). Were He NOT God, it would have been blasphemous for Him to accept worship. The Pharisees even challenged Him to rebuke those who worshipped Him, but Jesus refused to do so. We’re therefore left with a choice. Either Jesus was a blasphemer, a lunatic, or he was truly God and deserving of worship. Since Jesus blatantly condemned blasphemy, it is doubtful that he would engage in it. No evidence of hypocrisy is evident in Jesus’ actions throughout the gospels. Psychologists have studied the gospel accounts and have found Jesus to be quite lucid and displaying no signs of lunacy or mental illness. Therefore, the only option left is that Jesus was God and deserving of worship.
While I do not consider the Book of Mormon to be Scripture, it’s interesting that even the Book of Mormon records and condones the worship of Jesus. 1 Nephi 11:24 says, “And after he had said these words, he said unto me: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him.” 3 Nephi 11:16-17 says, “And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying: Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him.” Finally, 4 Nephi 1:37 says, “Therefore the true believers in Christ, and the true worshipers of Christ, (among whom were the three disciples of Jesus who should tarry) were called Nephites, and Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites.”
It’s no wonder that the Book of Mormon would record appropriate worship of Jesus, because it also mentions that Jesus IS God. The Book of Mormon title page has these words written by Joseph Smith Jr., “…And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations…” Wow! This contradicts the belief that Jesus had a beginning! Mormonism teaches that Jesus was the first born of Elohim’s spirit children. Here, Smith states that Jesus is not just a God, but the ETERNAL GOD. This is inconsistent with LDS doctrine! The same words are used in 2 Nephi 26:12, “And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.” We go on, 3 Nephi 19:18, “And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.” Other verses in the Book of Mormon kind of confuse Trinitarian thinking – but vastly depart from Mormon thinking – by referring to Jesus as the “everlasting Father” (Alma 11:38-39). Even some verses in the D&C refer to Jesus as God. D&C 18:33 says, “And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it” (see also 17:9, 18:47).
As I said, I do not consider the Book of Mormon to be Scripture. The Bible alone constitutes God’s Word to man. Nevertheless, the preceding discussion of the view of Jesus in Mormon Scripture is important. Mormons must make a choice. Is the current LDS doctrine that Jesus is only a god, and therefore not the proper object of our worship correct, or are the LDS Scriptures correct? They can’t both be correct. So is it the LDS Scriptures that are inspired, or the current prophets? Or neither? If you are a Mormon reading this, don’t answer so fast.
It turns out, the current Mormon Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley has also departed from official LDS doctrine at least once on this issue. In his "First Presidency Message: The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" printed in Liahona Magazine (an LDS publication) in March 1998, Hinckley wrote of Jesus, “None so great has ever walked the earth. None other has made a comparable sacrifice or granted a comparable blessing. He is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. I believe in Him. I declare His divinity without equivocation or compromise. I love Him. I speak His name in reverence and wonder. I worship Him as I worship His Father, in spirit and in truth. I thank Him and kneel before His wounded feet and hands and side, amazed at the love He offers me” [emphasis mine]. When I told Mr. Barksdale of a Mormon I knew who confessed that she worshipped Jesus, he refused to believe me and demanded I tell him her name so he could verify this (as if I would subject her to the rantings of that bitter man). Well Mr. Barksdale, I won’t divulge her name, but if you’d like to have this out with your prophet, you’re welcome to do so.
In spite of LDS attempts to distance their church from the theology of polytheism, they have failed. The references to appropriate worship of Jesus and the Father in both LDS Scripture and by their current prophet are not refutable. Since the LDS Church believes that the Father and Jesus are two different gods, then we must conclude that orthodox Mormon doctrine espouses polytheistic worship. They can no longer hide behind the obscurity of the term henotheism.
What is the Christian response? I fully submit to you that it is fitting and proper to worship both the Father and Jesus. These are two persons but they are one God. I am monotheistic in my worship, but can still worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We must not forget that the Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of Mormonism had a beginning. He was born of Elohim, progressed to godhood in a pre-existence, gained a physical body thanks to a carnal encounter between Elohim and Mary, is our spirit brother and the spirit brother of Satan, and is not fully able to atone for our sins. LDS doctrine teaches that there are sins for which the blood of Christ cannot atone. That is not the Jesus of the Bible. That is not the Jesus I know. I am not cruel, callous, or uninformed when I say this, as I have LDS agreement on this:
"In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, 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'" (LDS Church News, week ending June 20, 1998, p.7)
LDS President and Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley and I agree on two points. First, we both agree that Jesus is worthy of worship. Second, we agree that the Jesus he worships is not the Jesus I worship. The Jesus of the Bible is co-eternal with the Father – He has no beginning and will not end. He is not my spirit brother. He did not “progress” to godhood. And the Jesus I know – the Jesus of the Bible – gave his life in a sacrifice that is fully sufficient to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Praise God! The Jesus I know and love – the Jesus of the Bible – will come again someday to gather His flock. I heartily echo the words of the Apostle John as he concluded his Revelation in chapter 22, verse 20: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” AMEN!
1. Brigham Young in Watt, ed., Journal of Discourses, 14:71-72.
2. Joseph Smith Jr., The King Follett Discourse (Utah: Joseph Lyon & Assoc.) 1963, p. 6.
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:10 PM
From Contender Ministries:
1. If Gods are individuals who have passed through mortality and have progressed to Godhood, how has one person of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit) attained Godhood without getting a body? (See Acts 5:3,4)
2. If Gods are individuals who have passed through an earth life to attain Godhood, how is it that one person of the Trinity (Jesus Christ) was God before He received a body or passed through earth life? (Matt. 1:23 and Hebrews 10:5)
3. If the Book of Mormon really contains the fullness of the Gospel, why does it not teach the doctrine of “eternal progression”? (See D&C 20:8,9)
4. God said, “Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any”. How can there be Gods who are Elohim’s ancestors? Surely an all-knowing God would know this and wouldn’t speak falsehoods. (See Isa. 44:8 and Journal of Discourses Vol. 1, pg. 123)
5. How can any men ever become Gods when the Bible says, “Before me there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me”? (Isaiah 43:10)
6. If Adam is the “only God with whom we have to do”, did Adam create himself? (Journal of Discourses Vol. 1, pg. 50, 51)
7. Joseph Smith stated that without the ordinances and authority of the priesthood no man can see the face of God and live (D & C 84:21, 22). He also said that he saw God in 1820 (Joseph Smith 2:17). Joseph Smith, however, never received any priesthood until 1829 (D&C 13). How did he see God and survive? In which was he in error: his revelation in D & C 84:21, 22 or his experience in the grove?
8. If a spirit is a being without a body (See Luke 24:39), why do Mormons teach that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones? (See John 4:24)
9. If the Father is Elohim and Jesus is Jehovah (as the Mormons teach), how does a Mormon explain Deuteronomy 6:4, which in the Hebrew says, “Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our Elohim is one Jehovah”?
10. If the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel, why doesn’t it teach that God was once a man?
11. If Mormonism is the restored church, which is based upon the Bible, why are Mormon leaders so quick to state that the Bible is “translated wrong” when faced with some conflict between the Bible and Mormonism?
12. If Jesus was conceived as a result of a physical union between God and Mary, how was Jesus born of a virgin? (Journal of Discourses Vol. 1, page 50)
13. Why did Christ not return in 1891 as Joseph Smith predicted? (History of the Church, Vol. 2 page 182).
14. Journal of Discourses Vol. 2, page 210 says Jesus was being married to Mary and Martha in Cana. Why then was he INVITED to his own wedding? (John 2:1,2)
15. Why does the Mormon church teach that there is no eternal hell when the Book of Mormon teaches that there is? (I Nephi 14:3, II Ne. 9:16;28: 21-23, Mosiah 3:25, Alma 34:35, Heleman 6:28 and 3:25,26).
16. How can Mormons teach that the repentant thief was not saved when the Book of Mormon states that Paradise is where the righteous go? (Luke 23:43, Alma 40:12, 16)
17. How did Nephi with a few men on a new continent build a temple like Solomon’s while Solomon needed 163,300 workmen and seven years to build his temple? (See I Kings 5:13-18 and II Nephi 5:15-17)
18. If the book of Mormon is true, why hasn’t a valid geography been established for the book?
19. Why was Joseph Smith still preaching against polygamy in October 1843 after he got his revelation in July 1843 commanding the practice of polygamy? (D & C 132; and History of the Church Vol. 6, page 46, or Teachings of the Prophet, page 324)
20. If Lehi left Jerusalem before 600 B.C., how did he learn about synagogues? (See II Nephi 26:26)
21. If the Book of Mormon is true, why do Indians fail to become white when they become Mormons? (II Nephi 30:6 – prior to 1981 revision)
22. What kind of chariots did the Nephites have in 90 B.C. some 1500 years before the introduction of the wheel on the Western Hemisphere? (Alma 18:9)
23. How do Mormons account for the word “church” in the Book of Mormon, about 600 B.C., which was centuries before the beginning of the Church on the day of Pentecost? (I Nephi 4:26)
24. How do Mormons account for the italicized words in the King James Version (indicating their absence in the Hebrew and Greek) being found in the Book of Mormon? (A comparison of Mosiah 14 and Isaiah 53 will provide at least 13 examples)
25. How did the French word “adieu” get into the Book of Mormon? (Jacob 7:27)
26. Was it right or wrong for Solomon to have many wives? (See Jacob 2:24; D & C 132:38,39) Which is it?
27. If polygamy was a provision for increasing population rapidly, why did God give Adam only one wife?
28. D&C 129:4, 5 says, “When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.” How can this test distinguish between an angel of God and a Jehovah’s Witness missionary…or a Mormon Elder.
29. If Joseph Smith was a true prophet, why did he fail to realize that “Elias” is the N.T. form of the name “Elijah”? (D & C 110:12,13 and 1 Kings 17:1 and James 5:17) How could Elijah (Elias) have appeared to Joseph Smith in the Kirkland Temple as two different people?
30. If children have no sins until they are eight years old, why are they baptized at age eight to wash away non-existent sins? (See Moroni 8:8)
31. How could the Garden of Eden have been in Missouri when the Pearl of Great Price declares that it was in the vicinity of Assyria and had the Euphrates and Hiddekel Rivers in it? (See P of GP Moses 3:14 and D&C 116 and 117; Genesis 2:8-15)
32. Brigham Young said, “The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy”. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, page 269) Why did the Mormons yield to the pressure of the government and stop practicing polygamy?
33. Heber C. Kimball stated, “We are th people of Deseret, she shall be no more Utah: we will have our own name”. Why did this prophecy fail? (J of D. Vol. 5, page 161)
34. How did Joseph Smith carry home the golden plates of the Book of Mormon, and how did the witnesses lift them so easily? (They weighted about 230 lbs. Gold, with a density of 19.3 weighs 1204.7 lbs. Per cubic foot. The plates were 7” x 8” by about 6”. See Articles of Faith, by Talmage, page 262, 34th Ed.)
35. When Christ died, did darkness cover the land for three days of for three hours? (See Luke 23:44 and III Nephi 8:19, 23)
36. If the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, why have the Mormons changed it? (There have been over 3,000 changes in the Book of Mormon, exclusive of punctuation changes)
37. If God speaks through a prophet, why do Mormons vote on whether or not to receive and authorize it?
38. It has been established that the “Sensen” manuscript was simply a common Egyptian burial papyrus. Why do the Mormons still accept the Book of Abraham which was translated from that manuscript?
39. Why is it that no other writings have been found in the language of “Reformed Egyptian”, the supposed language of the Book of Mormon plates? Is there evidence that such a language really existed?
40. Joseph Smith said that there are men living on the moon who dress like Quakers and live to be nearly 1000 years old. Since he was wrong about the moon, is it safe to trust him regarding the way to heaven? (See The Young Woman’s Journal, Vol 3, pages 263, 264.)
41. Why do Mormons not study Hebrew and Greek so that they can intelligently discuss the accuracy of the translation of the Bible?
42. Joseph Smith prepared fourteen Articles of Faith. Why has the original No. 11 been omitted?
43. According to Hebrews 7:24, the Melchizedek Priesthood is not transferable. Why do Mormons pass it from one to another?
44. If Mormonism came as a revelation from God, why are the Mormon Temple Oaths almost identical to the oaths of the Masonic Lodge?
45. Why did the Nauvoo House not stand forever and ever? (D&C 124:56-60)
46. If genealogies are important, why does the New Testament tell Christians to avoid them? (I Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9)
47. The Bible says, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin”. Why did Brigham Young say that there are some sins which can be atoned for only by the shedding of ones own blood.
48. God rejected the fig leaf aprons which Adam and Eve made. Why do Mormons memorialize the fall by using fig leaf aprons? (Gen. 3:21)
49. Why do Mormons insist that Ezekiel 37:15-22 is about two books instead of about two kingdoms as God Himself explained in verse 22?
50. If Acts 3:20, 21 is a prophecy about the restoration of Mormonism, why didn’t Jesus return in 1830?
51. Revelation 14:6,7 is part of the body of prophecy about the future Great Tribulation. How could that passage have been fulfilled by Moroni in 1830?
52. In light of Ezekiel 28:13-15 and Hebrews 1:5, how can Satan and Jesus be brothers (as the Mormons teach)? (note: Satan was created)
53. If no person ever receives the Holy Spirit before baptism or without the laying on of hands, how does a Mormon explain the case of Cornelius? (See Acts 10:44-47)
54. If baptism for the dead was a Christian ceremony, why did Paul use the pronoun “they” rather than “we” or “ye”? Why did he exclude himself and other Christians when referring to it? (I Cor. 15:29)
55. Since the Bible says that a Bishop should be the husband of one wife, how can Mormons claim that polygamy is proper for New Testament Christians? (I Timothy 3:2)
56. Why does the Mormon church teach that the broad way leads to the Terrestrial Heaven when Jesus taught that it leads to destruction? (Matthew 7:13, 14)
57. Are you sincere enough about your personal salvation that you will carefully study the following Bible references to discover the Bible’s way to salvation?
John 10:9; I Corinthians 1:18; Ephesians 2:8-10; Colossians 1:12-14; Romans 4:8; I Peter 2:24; Acts 16:31; John 1:12; I John 5:12, 13; Romans 5:1 and Romans 8:1
58. Are you courageous enough to personally receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and follow the truth regardless of ridicule, antagonism or persecution?
John 1:12; Col. 1:27, and Revelation 3:20
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:54 PM