Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mormons; can't live with em' can't live without em' -By Pastor Chase Gordon

Mormonism.



The theological bane of Christianity. A look-alike belief system that tries to pass itself off as Christian. I don’t like Mormonism. Real Christians don’t like Mormonism. While I would acknowledge the possibility that one can be a Christian (an ignorant one, mind you) and a Mormon at the same time, one does not find salvation through the Mormon faith because the teachings of Mormonism are at odds with the Holy Bible.



That being said, what religious group is all over the news lately for attempting to save America from its current moral, spiritual & economic freefall into oblivion? Mormons.



What religious group was chiefly responsible for passing “California Proposition 8” (later overturned by activist judges), a state Consititutional Amendment that said “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”? Mormons.



Who was the leader of the national event that took place last week that was a spiritual wake-up call to restore honor and return this nation to its Christian roots and its Christian legacy that began with the founding fathers? Glenn Beck. A Mormon.



What political commentator, radio & television host is inviting pastors and Christian historian David Barton, to come on his program to discuss American history, the faith of the founding fathers, the influence of the Bible on our Constitution, the pastor-patriots of the revolution, and our need to turn from spiritual depravity back to God? Who is calling for pastors and layman alike to show courage, stand up for truth, and defend the principles that have made this nation great? Same guy.



Why is it that I find myself liking Glenn Beck, a MORMON, of all things?



This brings me back to the struggle and turmoil I felt in the last election cycle. Our best options for the Republican candidate, in my estimation, were a choice between a Mormon, Mitt Romney, and a former pastor who was “squishy” on upholding the rule of law. I liked neither of these options, but decided the Mormon was actually the lesser of the two evils.



Not without reluctance, after careful examination of the issues and the candidates, after many prayers, much counsel and careful consideration, I found myself going to the Iowa straw poll two years ago to nominate Mitt Romney for presidential candidate. As I stood in line to vote in the poll, I was greeted by a former member of my church who had moved to another city, and who was also campaign manager for a competing candidate. He scorned me for how I was voting and told me that I would be judged by God. Well, neither of our guys won, and we both ended up pulling the lever for the liberal-conservative candidate John McCain, over the Marxist borderline Communist candidate Barack Obama.



In the end, the anti-Mormon Christian vote won, but Christians as a whole lost in the most devastating fashion in all of American history. Which brings us to where we are today, facing the same struggle and the same frustrations. Which brings me back to Glenn Beck. Another Mormon.



The 8/28 Rally led by Glenn Beck last week, on the surface at least, seemed like a noble effort to restore America back to God and its Christian roots. Time will tell of its real impact, but meanwhile, the event itself is shrouded in controversy. Controversy from the self-loathing Americans who hate God and want to be like Europe. Controversy from the good guys who love America, love God, but hate Mormonism.



A friend of mine pointed me to an article written by an esteemed Christian conservative, who spoke out in anger over the Christian leaders who participated in the rally led by Beck. Saying their participation in this event, led by a Mormon, is just what Satan wants, because their participation will serve to legitimize Mormonism as Christian, and cause untold numbers of people to be deceived and go to Hell.



This is quite an accusation, but the article writer made several legitimate points for consideration:



(1) Chiefly, Glenn Beck is…a MORMON.

(2) Glenn Beck is quoted as saying many things that reflect his MORMON views.

(3) Glenn Beck is quoted as using terminology that could be classified as “New Age.”

(4) The blending of Christianity and MORMONISM has apocalyptic ramifications, trending toward a one-world religion.

(5) Glenn Beck’s rally is being praised by other MORMONS who see this event as a monumentous MORMON victory in mainstreaming their faith in MORMONISM.



All of these points duly considered, are in fact, very disturbing. Mormonism—yuck.



Mormonism IS disturbing. The quotes stated in this article are disturbing. But perhaps the greatest disturbance to me of all of it is not the conspicuous presence of Mormons in the fight to preserve our nation, but the conspicuous ABSENCE of Christians. It is disturbing to me that Mormons appear to be leading the charge again and again. It is even MORE disturbing to me that Christians are NOT.



Should Mormons NOT defend our nation?



As Americans, I believe they SHOULD defend their nation and doing so is an act of good conscience. Patriotism is commendable, even among infidels (consider Thomas Paine or even Benjamin Franklin). Despite their theological errors, are their actions appropriate or inappropriate? As Americans, I feel their actions are appropriate. Christian or not, their efforts are defending Christians. One must also ask, which behavior legitimizes Mormonism more, our participation alongside of them in defending Christianity or our conspicuous absence in letting them fight a Christian cause by themselves?



What Glenn Beck is doing is bittersweet. It’s sweet in the sense that Glenn Beck (if even by accident) is fighting a Christian cause. It’s bitter in the sense that it took a Mormon to do it because Christians keep passing the buck.



But what of the theological ramifications? Good question. Does association with a Mormon in preserving Christianity legitimize Mormonism?



As I pondered these issues and reflected on these questions, I was reminded of a parable told by Jesus—the parable of the Good Samaritan.



Samaritans to the Jews were in some ways very much like what Mormons are to Christians. They were religious knock-offs. The REAL way of salvation belonged to the Jews. The anti-Samaritan bigotry ran deep among the Jews—and for good reason.



Despite this fact, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan to a bunch of bigoted Jews.



A Jew (important detail), is robbed and beaten by thieves and left for dead alongside the road.



A priest walks by, sees the need and keeps walking down the other side of the street. Perhaps he felt his religious duties were more important to attend to than his duty to his own countrymen. Though he was certainly the most qualified to reach out to this man, he decided to limit his service to God within the four walls of his own church and not dirty himself with the less than transcendent role of “good neighbor.”

Then a Levite, a.k.a. church worker walks by. Again, doing nothing. Following the example of his pastoral leadership, too busy serving God to take out time to serve his fellow countrymen.



Lastly, a Samaritan walks by. This Samaritan is the LEAST qualified to minister to anyone—he’s not even part of the TRUE faith! And yet, something happens to him when he sees the JEW beaten and left by the side of the road. Thankfully, though he was ignorant of good theology and not well-suited to minister to Jews, he did anyway. Unlike those before him, he saw the glaring need and was compelled to act, and did so with great compassion.



The Jews forfeited their opportunity to reach out to their own countrymen, but a Samaritan proved the good neighbor in Jesus’ parable.



Who is the good neighbor in today’s story?



How long now have today’s pastors forfeited their responsibility to save their countrymen? How long have today’s Christians followed the example of their derelict leaders?



I know we have believed we should not mix church and politics, church and education, church and government, etc. and have withdrawn from the public square over and over again. But the point is, we were wrong. Now Mormons have become our example of good neighbors.



Perhaps we can help Glenn Beck get the spiritual wake-up call that this nation needs.



Perhaps Christians can better demonstrate to the Mormons the REAL way of salvation, by our INVOLVEMENT as opposed to our AVOIDANCE. While we talk of fear of “the establishment of a Mormon Theocracy”, American civilization crumbles before our eyes.