Sunday, August 29, 2010

Russell Moore on Glenn Beck

The Voice Of One Crying Out In Suburbia: Russ Moore nails it!:

Originally posted on my main blog but I am trying to get this link out to as many people as possible....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Glenn Beck and 'Divine Destiny'

Today is the day that Glenn Beck and a cadre of enabling "pastors" and other religious leaders are gathering in Washington D.C. for Beck's "Divine Destiny" rally. There are going to be many ostensibly Christian leaders who are linking arms with Glenn Beck to promote the gospel of Americana.

Exhibit A comes from David Barton in an article from CNN:

"For Christians concerned about Glenn's faith, I would ask the following questions: What fruit do you see produced by Glenn," David Barton, an influential evangelical activist who is joining Beck's rally, wrote on his Facebook page recently. "Good or bad? If you judged Glenn only by the fruits he has produced, would you still hold concerns over his faith?"

"Christians concerned about Glenn's faith should judge the tree by its fruits, not its labels," Barton, a former Republican National Committee consultant, continued. "After all, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton openly call themselves Christians... Although these individuals have the right labels, they have the wrong fruits."

That is so ignorant that one would have to question the heart of David Barton. Glenn Beck's fruit? The fruit of mormonism is spiritual death. That is the fruit that matters. Would David Barton say the same thing about a Muslim who is a political conservative? An atheist? I don't care how Glenn Beck votes or what he writes in books or how emotional he gets when shedding crocodile tears over America, what matters is where he stands with Christ and where he stands is in opposition. He embraces a faith that portrays Christ as a created being and the brother of Satan, he embraces a faith that thinks that God Almighty is an exalted man, he worships in a blasphemous temple where rituals that have nothing to do with the Gospel are performed in secrecy to hide their shame.

Let me be blunt:

Any Christian who would make common cause with an unbeliever and blasphemer in the name of some sort of misguided patriotism doesn't deserve to bear the name of Christ. Period. It is embracing in the name of "God" a man who is a blasphemer.

Is "reclaiming America" so precious that we are willing to abandon the Gospel to advance this vaguely religious political movement?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yoked With Unbelievers

Glenn Beck is inviting all sorts of folks to join him for an event in a few weeks: “Glenn Beck's Divine Destiny”. One has to wonder if he is speaking of his own divine destiny (i.e. to become a god and have a world of his own to rule, where presumably there won’t be any liberals).

Join Glenn Beck for an inspiring look at the role faith played in the founding of America and the role it will play again in its destiny. The audience for the event will be overwhelmingly made up of pastors, ministers and clergy: a modern day Black Robe Regimen. Tickets will be made available to the general public at no cost.

A question for the “pastors, ministers and clergy” who make up the audience for this event. What does this mean to you?:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (1 Cor 6: 14-15)

These verses from Paul are far more than admonitions about marrying within the faith. Is the cause of the Kingdom advanced when you stand shoulder to shoulder in common cause with an unbeliever? Do you really see as an integral part of your calling to “the ministry” joining with a mormon to advance Constitutional restoration?

I wonder if these men have given any thought to the consequences here. Do people see these men embracing Beck in a religious setting and think that perhaps mormonism is something to look into? Beck is one of the top five most visible mormons on the American scene along with Mitt Romney and even if he is not an official representative of the mormon church, he certainly is widely recognized as a member. Joining forces with Beck tells me that these men see “reclaiming America” as more important than preaching the Gospel of Christ.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Glenn Beck’s latest

Praying with Glenn!

Now good God-fearin’ red-blooded Americans can pray each morning with Glenn Beck and get a nugget of spiritual wisdom from Glenn to start their day!

So how many Christians are gathering in the morning to pray for America, prayer initiated by an unbeliever and blasphemer and done so with a "guest pastor", without the faintest notion of the implications of doing so? The fawning comments from people who are Beck fans are troubling and frankly border on being cultic. As I have said time and again, I expect many of them are in a church building on Sunday but are so lacking in basics doctrines of the faith that they don’t recognize that a) Glenn Beck is an unbeliever and b) when he speaks about God, it is not the same God spoken of in the pew Bible in front of them on Sunday. Too many people have received a lifetime of sermons and can’t recognize the difference between the Kingdom of God and America, between an unbeliever and a believer.

One can only imagine the outrage if this were spiritual thoughts and prayer led by a Muslim. Or even worse, if it was prayer and spiritual thoughts from some commie pinko lib’ral like Jim Wallis. Conservative Christians would be outraged. But Glenn Beck? That is apparently OK with way too many people. Beck is a far greater danger to the Gospel witness than Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. A wolf that makes no pretense of being anything other than a wolf is easy to spot. It is the wolf who tries to clothe himself like a sheep that is the danger we are warned about in the Bible.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Making lost kids more moral

I read a blog post at Beliefnet this morning touting how moral mormon kids are compared to kids in evangelical churches.

One of the researchers in the National Study of Youth and Religion, Princeton Theological Seminary professor Kenda Creasy Dean, now draws upon the data to issue a gentle jeremiad to Protestant congregations. In Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church, she argues that if teenagers don't have a firm grasp of core Christian doctrines and instead worship at what she calls "the Church of Benign Whatever-ism" -- or don't worship at all -- it's because youth pastors and other leaders have watered down the message, she claims. Teenagers in Protestant churches get the idea that they're supposed to feel good about themselves, but that little is expected of them; Christianity is designed to make them "nice," but it's not supposed to form them as disciples. The first part of the book draws upon copious research data to diagnose the problem that Protestant teens are being taught a brand of Christianity that is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Then the book takes a surprising turn. In a chapter called "Mormon Envy," Dean further indicts Protestant churches by holding up Mormonism as an example of a religious group that is doing right by its teenagers. She makes it clear that she has serious theological disagreements with Mormonism, but from a sociological perspective, Mormonism is succeeding in creating young adults who firmly understand what they believe and why their faith needs to have a claim on their behavior.

I can safely say that few mormons know much about what their church believes beyond the talking points. Once you press them, they are completely unprepared to address the glaring discrepancies between what their church teaches and what the Bible teaches, or even more tellingly what their church teaches now and what the “prophet of the restoration” and his cronies taught. Nowhere is this more true than among the missionaries, young people who supposedly are firmly grounded in their faith. What they are grounded in is having it pounded in their head that their feelings rule and that those feelings influenced by years of indoctrination by their parents tell them that mormonism is true. If that is the sign of success, i.e. borderline brainwashing, I want no part of it.

In many ways mormonism is more of a culture than a faith, a culture that requires certain pious activities and a certain mindset. Mormonism overcomes a problem that evangelical churches have yet to “solve”: how do you integrate and retain young people who are not transformed by the Gospel? Mormonism accomplishes this by replacing the Gospel with a religious culture. The end result are kids who are very, very nice and respectable, who go to church in their Sunday best, get married young and have big families. Those same kids are as lost as a Muslim in Saudi Arabia or an atheist in France, but they sure are nice people!

Molding kids who obey a series of rules and are taught from a young age to parrot back their “testimony” that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that they know this church is true is not a behavior that Christians should seek to emulate. The answer is not to try to retain kids or make them more moral by making them go to church but rather by presenting the Gospel to our kids and leaving the results up to God. That might mean that some children are not going to keep going to church but that is not really up to us nor is that our goal. Our goal is to see lost sinners come to faith in Christ and our role in that is to proclaim the Gospel, not to make our kids obey religious rules. Sure we should bring our kids to the gathering of the church and sure we should teach them about Jesus and of course we want to make our kids obey certain rules, but that is not the end result we are after.

Touting mormon kids exhibiting morality is just another way for the mormon church to try to infiltrate the Christian church.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The book of Hebrews: A testimony against Mormonism

Well of course it is not just a testimony against mormonism but it certainly seems at times to have been written with Joseph Smith in mind. I was struck by this again tonight as we read in Hebrews 7 at the gathering of the church, especially here:

The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. (Heb 7:23-24)

Notice the contrast between a priesthood of Aaron that served in the temple that required many members and the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek that only Christ holds. Of particular note here and throughout the book of Hebrews is the difference between the priesthood of Aaron with many priests and the priesthood of Melchizedek which is always spoken of exclusively referencing Christ in the singular. There is only One who holds this priesthood and His name is Jesus Christ. The smiling young men in dark suits and white dress shirts going door to door and the men who claim to be bishops in a restored church and the old guys in Salt Lake City who declare themselves "apostles" all have blasphemously and presumptuously declared that they share in a priesthood that is reserved for our Great High Priest Jesus Christ and Him alone. By claiming the priesthood that only Jesus Christ can hold these men place themselves on equal footing with Jesus Christ. Providentially the Bible recorded the refutation of the false notion of a "Melchizedek priesthood" with millions of holders long before Joseph Smith concocted his heretical story of ghosts giving him a priesthood that no mere man can hold. I have placed and will continue to place my hope and assurance in Jesus Christ and His priesthood and not in the pale shadow and mockery instituted by Joseph Smith.