Moral, Religious People Are Not Allies Of Christ

The_Moneychangers001When Jesus lived on earth, He often criticized the most religious, most moral group of people in Judaism–the priests, Levites, and Pharisees. He told parables in which they recognized themselves as the people on the wrong side of right. He usurped their authority to clean out moneychangers from the temple. He called them a “brood of vipers” on more than one occasion, and warned them that they stood under God’s wrath, that they were headed for hell (Matt. 23:26). He called them liars and said their father was the devil (John 8:44).

In spite of this example that Jesus set, many Christians today choose to embrace moral, religious people and call them allies. Fine Christian people are more fearful of the immoral, left-leaning liberals than they are of the legalistic religionist. But Jesus never went after the tax collectors or the Roman collaborators or the prostitutes the way He went after the Pharisees. He never called them names or painted them as uncaring cheats in His stories.

Why did Jesus seem so abrasive when He dealt with these Jews who were meticulous about keeping the law, and we twenty-first century Christians wink at the legalism of our new-found moral friends?

I’m referring specifically to Mormons and the Christians who are willing to “look past” their legalism, their false teaching, their lies, their distortion of God’s revelation and of His Person.

How heinous it is that we have a President who embraces abortion and gay rights, who reinterprets the Constitution. But why would we turn to a Mormon instead? Do we not care about the normalization of Mormonism as much as we care about the normalization of homosexuality? Do we think a man who believes in an invented religion with a prophet who has greater authority than the Bible, would actually think twice about reinterpreting the Constitution too?

It seems to me, Mormons have buffaloed Christians … and others, by their moral front. They want very much to be treated as just another Christian denomination, not as the cult that they are. The problem is, their founder’s and prophets’ writings show otherwise. Here are just a few points of Mormon belief many may not realize.

About God and Jesus (source for these excerpts,

  • “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man…”(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345)
  • “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangilble as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Spirit has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit…” (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22)
  • “As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become” (Prophet Lorenzo Snow, quotedin Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, 105-106)
  • Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point where He now is” (Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, 1:123)
  • When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one his wives, with him. He helped to make and organized this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! About whom holy men have written and spoken—He is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom we have to do” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:50)
  • Jesus is the brother of Satan this is revealed in the Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses 4:1-4 and affirmed by Brigham Young in the Journal of Discourses, 13:282)

About history in America (source of this quote is Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry):

  • The Book of Mormon is supposed to be the account of people who came from the Middle-East to the Americas. It covers the period of about 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. It tells of the Jaredites, people from the Tower of Babel who came to central America but perished because of their own immorality. It also describes some Jews who fled persecution in Jerusalem and came to America led by a man called Nephi. The Jews divided into two groups known as the Nephites and Lamanites who fought each other. The Nephites were defeated in 428 A.D. The Lamanites continued and are known as the American Indians. The Book of Mormon is the account of the Nephite leader, Mormon, concerning their culture, civilization, and appearance of Jesus to the Americas.

latter day cipher coverFor a more comprehensive look at Mormonism, check out The Mormon Mirage by Latayne Scott. For a look at Mormonism through the personal means of a story, see the murder-mystery Latter-Day Cipher also by former Mormon Latayne Scott.

Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm  Comments (5)  
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Books Of Note – When Sparrows Fall

Another noteworthy book I want to bring to your attention is When Sparrows Fall (Multnomah Books) by Meg Moseley.

The Story.
Miranda is a widow with six children, dependent in part on the kindness of her church, a small, conservative group with a domineering pastor. When Brother Chandler decides to move the church and all its members to a nearby state, Miranda sees her opportunity to break away.

Before she can carry through, however, she experiences a severe fall.

Enter Jack Hanford, her deceased husband’s half brother whom Miranda met once. Unbeknown to anyone else, she made Jack the legal guardian of her children should something happen to her. Though she survived her fall, she is in no position to care for the children, let alone homeschool them as she has been doing.

When Jack receives notice of the situation, he makes arrangements to look out for the brood on a short term basis. They quickly win his heart. Learning that Miranda will need some time to recuperate, he gives notice at work that he’ll be taking a leave of absence, and moves in to the rustic, backward cabin.

And so begins the relational adventure that involves blackmail and secrets and a lot of change.

This is Meg Moseley’s debut novel, and I suspect readers will be hearing a lot more from her in the future. She is a talented writer.

In When Sparrows Fall, the language is rich, the scenes are vivid, the characters are true. In addition Meg has something she wants to communicate and does so clearly through the context of the story. Consequently, the best part of the book, in my opinion, is that it makes the reader think.

It’s also a delightful story with interesting twists and surprising events and an unpredictable outcome.

Meg paints each of the characters so truthfully, it feels as if I know these people. Here’s a short sample from a scene right after Jack first met the children:

[Jack] jumped as the front door banged open and shut. Michael and Gabriel raced outside so fast they might as well have had wings.

“Boys,” he hollered to their backs. “Don’t go far. Stay away from the cliffs.”

“Yes sir,” the archangels answered as one. They vanished around the corner of the house without slowing.

Jack took a moment to sort them out. Michael was the older of the two. Sturdy, freckled, and a bit resistant to schoolwork. Gabriel, six years old, had fewer freckles. He was thin, restless, full of energy.

Martha trotted outside, wearing a hooded gray cape over her long denim dress. Jack half expected to see elf slippers with curled-up toes, but she still wore those clunky clodhoppers.

“What are you up to, Miss Martha?”

“Picking violets.” She hopped down the steps, making a racket.

“Don’t go far. Don’t go anywhere near the cliffs.”

“Yes sir.” She ran in the direction the boys took, her elf cape billowing after her.

Interesting children and a college professor unfamiliar with what to expect from them. Add in an environment that is more nearly Amish than average Americana, and you have the ingredients for constant conflict.

However the more serious issues are the internal ones the main characters must deal with. In other words, there are layers of intrigue from first to last.

My main problem with this and other stories that fall in the relational category, is that a good part of the conflict exists because the characters won’t talk to each other. Much of the friction could be reduced (and therefore the story wrapped up) if they would simply be truthful and trusting instead of secretive and independent.

I had an issue with events leading up to the climax. As I read, I understood the main character to be plotting something that involved a good many others. As it turned out, that was not the case. Perhaps I read more into the series of phone calls the character was making, but I was surprised when the time came for the others to become involved, and they were in the dark as much as I was.

The minor issues I noted did not keep me from enjoying this story thoroughly. I’m glad to see Meg’s work available for the public and I trust she will establish a loyal following. I highly recommend this one to Christians who want to read a thought-provoking book involving relationships of all kinds.

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