The Trademark of a Cult: Faith vs. Works



A cult is any group that defines itself in Christian terms, but denies one or more of the essentials of historic biblical Christianity. For example, the many Mormons that have recently posted here want to be considered true Christians, and even use Christian language borrowed from scripture, but always with a tell tale flaw. While they may use the Christian vocabulary, they do not use the normal Christian definitions. The fundamental doctrine of grace is good example.

We like to take pride in our accomplishments. Yet, the bible teaches that “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags,” (Is 64:6). It seems very counterintuitive that salvation is not something you can earn with your good behavior but that it is a free gift from God. Paul wrote to the Ephesian church,“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. ” (Eph 2:8–9)

This doctrine of unmerited grace appears in no other world religion. It is just not the sort of idea men would come up with, thus I believe it is an authenticating characteristic of Christianity. Accordingly, the converse is a sure mark of a cult. Men like Joseph Smith or Charles Taze Russell always pervert the Gospel into a personal achievement.

Cults like Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses make good works the means of salvation. Joseph Smith was brazen enough to add to God’s word in his crudely crafted work of fiction. He wrote, “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). This exactly what one would expect in a man-made religion. Yet, surely our behavior counts?

In converse, Christianity makes salvation the means of good works. James the brother of Jesus wrote, that “faith without works is dead” (Jms. 2:17). Cults often use this argument by James to justify their works based salvation. It may seem that James is contradicting Paul’s teaching yet really he is not. James is addressing false converts, who claim to be Christians but show no evidence of it in their lives. When read in context, James’ point is not that works are the basis for salvation but the result of it.

If you are a Christian, this is a sure way to guard against pride. The next time you feel some well deserved satisfaction in your works, consider this:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ” (Eph 2:10)

According to scripture, it wasn’t even your idea! Doesn’t leave much to boast on… does it?

Why Christianity is Different From Mormonism

Cris, I haven’t seen you appeal to anything for proof of the authenticity of your system of belief that is any different, or any more persuasive, than the things that millions of Mormons appeal to for proof of the LDS system. Or Muslims or Buddhists, for that matter. I don’t understand why you think you’re somehow different.

It’s not that I think I am different. It’s that I think Christianity is different. All of those religions have contradictory truth claims, they can not all be right. So the challenge is to do some honest investigation. When you do biblical Christianity comes out on top as utterly distinct. It is not even close. (follow the blue hyperlinks for documentation)

I’m not appealing to my feelings or a “burning in my bosom”. I appeal to the accuracy of the New Testament transmission. I appeal to the historical veracity of the Bible as verified by archeology. I appeal to the 100′s of prophecies fulfilled in Jesus. The accurate prophecies concerning nations like Israel, Tyre, Greece and Rome. I appeal to the historical argument for Jesus resurrection which you can find presented and defended on this site. Joseph Smith was dragged from jail and beaten to death for being a con man, Buddha has a grave, Muhammad has a grave, Jesus has an empty tomb and lots of evidence supporting his resurrection. This is exactly where Mormonism utterly fails. Textual criticism shows the book of Mormon to be plagiarized. Archeology and DNA science has proven the book of Mormon to be false. There are also numerous documented false prophecies given by Smith.

I don’t think I am any different, just blessed, and I want you to find the truth as well.


The Mormon DaVinci Code


The recent debate which ensued over my Christian Transhumanism research attracted the attention of the Mormon Transhumanist Association.  Mr. Lincoln Cannon seemed to feel slighted that they only merited a passing mention because I do not consider Mormons to be Christian. It’s disingenuous in the extreme that they identify as such. They are not even remotely Christian. It is clear that they do not follow the New Testament teachings of Jesus, rather the elaborate fictions created by a masonic con man Joseph Smith. I recently read a piece by researcher William H Kennedy who connected Italian dictator Mussolini to Mormons via their common belief to be blood descendants of Jesus.(Apparently, Mussolini was even given the “baptism for the dead” and is a Saint in the LDS Church.)[1] Mussolini aside, this fact about the Mormon bloodline belief I had to verify for myself.

Not only is it true, apparently Smith even claimed to be in the blood line of Jesus. In the book, Dynasty of the Holy Grail: Mormonism’s Sacred Bloodline, Vern G. Swanson cites Brigham Young on the matter of Smith’s pure divine heritage:

“That blood which was in him was pure and he had the sole right and lawful power, as he [Joseph Smith] was the legal heir to the blood that has been on the earth and has come down through a pure lineage. The union of various ancestors kept that blood pure.” [2]

LDS apostle, Wilford Woodruff, recorded Joseph Smith claiming that Jesus was married in his journal on July 22, 1883:

“Evening Meeting. Prayer By E Stephenson. Joseph F Smith spoke One hour & 25 M. He spoke upon the Marriage in Cana at Galilee. He thought Jesus was the Bridgegroom and Mary & Martha the brides. He also refered to Luke 10 ch. 38 to 42 verse, Also John 11 ch. 2 & 5 vers John 12 Ch 3d vers, John 20 8 to 18. Joseph Smith spoke upon these passages to show that Mary & Martha manifested much Closer relationship than Merely A Believer which looks Consistet. He did not think that Jesus who decended throug Poligamous families from Abraham down & who fulfilled all the Law even baptism by immersion would have lived and died without being married.” [3]

This was not a unique belief but was common within the Mormon leadership as Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde stated,

“Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show this, and prove that it was not the Savior of the world, then I will acknowledge I am in error. We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified” [4]

Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt also held the heretical belief,

“One thing is certain, that there were several holy women that greatly loved Jesus — such as Mary, and Martha her sister, and Mary Magdalene; and Jesus greatly loved them, and associated with them much; and when He arose from the dead, instead of showing Himself to His chosen witnesses, the Apostles, He appeared first to these women, or at least to one of them — namely, Mary Magdalene. Now it would be natural for a husband in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear wives, and afterwards show himself to his other friends. If all the acts of Jesus were written, we no doubt should learn that these beloved women were His wives” [5]

Smith did not exhibit Christ like character. His arrest record and womanizing are a matter of public record. The book of Mormon has been demonstrated by scholars to be plagiarized from various sources. It’s all available in the historical record and it does not bode well for Latter Day Saints. So are Mormons Christian?  Was Jesus a polygamist? Is the DaVinci Code true?

Not a chance.

When Mormon Transhumanists use these conjured Mormon scriptures to prop up their ambitions to make gods of themselves you can be sure they are deceived. There are a host of other reasons why Mormons are not Bible believing Christians, let me commend to you the film The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon:


[1] William H. Kennedy. The Mussolini Code. http://www.williamhkennedy.com/ducedavinci.html (accessed 02/25/20110)

[2] Vern G. Swanson. Dynasty of the Holy Grail: Mormonism’s Sacred Bloodline. Google Books Link. 285.

[3] Wilford Woodruff’s Journal 8:187, July 22, 1883.

[4] Orson Hyde. Journal of Discourses 2:82

[5] Orson Pratt. The Seer, p.159 http://www.archive.org/details/OrsonPratt

The Real Angel Wars – Exposing An Ancient Heresy

THE REAL ANGEL WARS

According to Scripture, the origin of sin is found in free will. God gave us the power of choice, which in itself is a good thing. Tragically, human beings misuse their God-given freedom. CS Lewis wrote, “If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”

Actually, Ken is somewhat correct in that evil originated in heaven before it did on earth. Evil was born in the pride of an archangel in the presence of God. This is a tremendous mystery, but it is, nonetheless, the essence of Christian teaching on the source of evil.  Isaiah 14:12 records the fall of Lucifer, which most conservative scholars agree is Satan.

How you are fallen from heaven,

O Day Star, son of Dawn!

How you are cut down to the ground,

you who laid the nations low!

While most contemporary critical scholars believe that this passage, in context, refers to “the king of Babylon” (v. 4), biblical prophecy has a way of leaving its immediate context for a heavenly one. That is certainly the case here. Consequently, the fall of man is a repeat of the choices of  Satan, who rebelled against God by a similar but primeval arrogance and disobedience. Paul interprets for us, “[An overseer] must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil” (1 Tim. 3:6). According to Revelation, other angels followed suit. A third of them rebelled with Lucifer and became his minions:

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.

And the dragon and his angels fought back,  but he was defeated,

and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent,

who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth,

and his angels were thrown down with him.

(Revelation 12:7–9)

Obviously sin was in the universe before it was in the world; So Ken is right that there was sin in heaven before there was sin on earth. But the term “original sin” is applied to humanity. According to Genesis 1–2, Adam and Eve were created with complete innocence. They had no evil in their natures or their environment. They “were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:2 ), and they were ignorant “good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). Furthermore, the very temptation to “be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5) implies they did not know evil before they fell. I hope you can see now how Ken’s theory is opposed to the very foundations of biblical theology.

Adam was free in that his actions were self-determined; God specifically said, “You are free” (Gen. 2:16).  It is significant that Adam and Eve were not enticed to lie, cheat, steal, or kill. Because they were innocent as I have shown, their moral nature was uncorrupted; thus, they were simply not vulnerable to these kinds of temptations. The command not to eat the forbidden fruit was not a command to stay away from what was intrinsically evil. They weren’t tempted by overt evil. What they were vulnerable to was a test. Would they obey God simply because He said it? Satan asked, “Hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1). No evil from within or from without drew them to original sin, only their freedom. In his book The Problem of Pain CS Lewis wrote, “The lost enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded.”

A NEW SPIN ON AN ANCIENT HERESY



Documentation:

Here’s a link to see the Anathemas Against Origen.

Here’s the teaching of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, which is again remarkably similar to Ken’s

“[T]he soul—the mind of man—the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so: the very idea lessens man in my estimation…. We say that God himself is a self-existent being…. Man does exist upon the same principles…. [The Bible] does not say in the Hebrew that God created the spirit of man. It says ‘God made man out of the earth and put into him Adam’s spirit, and so became a living body.’ The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal with God himself…. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it had a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had not beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic. That which has a beginning may have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits; for they are co-equal [co-eternal] with our Father in heaven.” ~ Joseph Smith, April 7, 1844

full text of Joseph Smith’s discourse on pre-existence


References:

Norman L. Geisler, Systematic Theology, Volume Three: Sin, Salvation (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2004), 82-90.

Brigham Young University. http://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=5321 (accessed 7/02/2010).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-existence (accessed 7/02/2010).

Mormonism

This looks like a good one to share with your Mormon friends. I really like the documentaries produced by this ministry. Jerricho Unearthed is a fave!

Also check out my Mo Joe video.