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Apologetics

Mormons want to be called Christians yet deny Christ

Open chat dialogue through social media between Theodore Wright, among Maverick Christians ( http://maverickchristians.com )
with Mark Mason, Mormon (LDS) Seminary Instructor ( http://masonmd.blogspot.com ).  This debate accentuates the issue
as to whether Mormons qualify as Christians or if they are actually deny the gospel of Jesus Christ as wolves in sheep’s clothing.

 

Mark Mason
Describing #LDS Church as non-Christian is a misconception that something other than #Jesus is the heart of #Mormon faith. http://bit.ly/KeojQi

Christianity: Following Jesus in Word and Deed »
Anyone familiar with the history of Christianity knows that it has been quite a complicated matter. The word “Christian” was first used during New Testament times (see Acts 11:26) to describe the disc…

Richard Bragg
But is the LDS Jesus the same as the one in the Bible?

Mark Mason
Yes! Is there any other Jesus than the one in the Bible?

Maverick Christians
Unfortunately, yes. Matthew 24:14 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” We do not find the Mormon Jesus as the one in the Bible. Jesus was not conceived by a one-night stand by God the Father as has been taught within Mormonism.

Mark Mason
I certainly would not argue with Matthew 24:14. It is true. However, it does not address your point about the conception of Jesus as the literal Son of God.

As for the way you described Mary’s conception of Jesus, I don’t know that we fully comprehend how He was conceived; the scripture says, “She was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost” (Luke 1:35 < http://bit.ly/MnQhZI >). Other than that, I don’t know that we can say with certainty how Mary conceived the Son of God. Yet isn’t the point that Jesus is God’s only Begotten Son more important than quibbling over the details of how God accomplished His work. I think you and I would agree that Jesus is God’s Only Begotten Son.

If you are looking for something official on the LDS view of Jesus, here is an excellent resource. http://bit.ly/LAd45H

Maverick Christians
Mormons don’t seem to comprehend the conception of Jesus it seems since they have some differences among themselves about it. Hard to find an actual LDS position on this. The reality, though, is that Jesus was conceived when Mary was a virgin by the Holy Spirit in Bethlehem as prophesied. Not born in Jerusalem as the Book of Mormon says… Alma 7: 10 “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin…”

The point, over all is this, Mormons do not worship the same Jesus as we do. No matter how to try to play down your doctrine and try to blend in with Evangelical Christianity or with other religions in the name of Christ, the difference between our faith and yours is still pronounced and there. We see the disguise LDS puts on and we are not fooled. We have been warned about false Christs that would mislead many.

Mark Mason
The problem with the point of doctrine regarding how Jesus was conceived is that the scriptures do not specify beyond Luke 1:35. There may be opinions beyond that scripture, but there is no official pronouncement of doctrine within the LDS Church regarding how Jesus was conceived. But again, is that really the point? Isn’t the point that Jesus is the Son of God?

I think you are somehow eluding to the fact that because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has additional scripture about the Savior, that fact somehow necessitates that we must be teaching about a false Christ. Is that your point? Because the reference to Alma 7:10 is easily resolved here: http://bit.ly/LWCe0z

Maverick Christians
The Book of Mormon may mention a land of Jerusalem but where is that mentioned in history? I find no reference in history that Bethlehem is part of any land of Jerusalem.

The birth of Jesus by a virgin is significant, Mark. The point is not simply that Jesus is the Son of God. He couldn’t be Messiah if He wasn’t born of an actual virgin. Luke 1:35 actually says quite a lot. Let’s face it “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” is a lot different than the Mormon teaching of God the Father having sex with Mary.

Can you not see that another Christ and another Christ is being preached by the Mormon church. The Mormon church has viewed other churches as apostate from the start. So, Mark are we apostates to the Mormon church or not? At least you will know now that why the Mormon church is viewed as apostate by fundamentalist Bible-believing Christians.

Mark Mason
I think we are going around in circles here. I have stated that we accept Luke 1:35 as the doctrinal statement regarding Mary’s conception and that she truly was a virgin. So, you explain it. Mary was a virgin. She conceived. Jesus is God’s Only Begotten Son (John 1:14, 18; 3:16). By definition the word begotten means to bring into existence by the process of reproduction. Well, clearly this situation is one for the record books! It’s never happened before nor after that glorious moment. How did God accomplish the act? If you care to ask Him, go right ahead. As for me, I’m satisfied with saying that Jesus is God’s Only Begotten. If you want to take the matter up with God, that’s your business. You are the one arguing that God had to perform the miracle in a certain way. Do you know how God did it? Show me the scripture that explains the mechanics of how it happened! It doesn’t exist. So, since we cannot resolve this issue (neither you nor I), let’s move on to something more interesting.

Maverick Christians
Well Mark, it has been explained to you now but you still doubt, shrug your shoulders and ask how. As I said, God already told us right in that verse about the birth of Jesus and also in Matthew who said verbatim how the birth of Jesus Christ was. Mormons have another story which denies that by casting doubt.

So all you care about is that Jesus is God’s Only Begotten Son. It doesn’t matter to you that the Mormon tale about God the Father having sex with Mary goes against requirements for Him being Messiah. If Jesus is not Messiah, born of a virgin, then neither is He Christ, for Messiah means Christ.

You now want to come on to a new discussion when you cannot adequately answer the previous? You should awaken to the fact that this is a crucial subject instead of passing it off. It is for reasons such as this that the Mormon Church is rightly perceived as a cult and thus non-christian. Truly the Apostle Paul has said that they wrestle with the Scriptures to their own destruction.

http://maverickchristians.com

 

At this point, Mark Mason did not reply. He resumed later for a second round…

 

Mark Mason
I don’t doubt. I don’t shrug my shoulders. And please don’t put words in my mouth. My point is that the scriptures have not explained how Jesus was conceived. “Overshadowed by the Holy Ghost” does not explain the mechanics of how something happened, only that the Holy Ghost was present and that something happened by the power of God. Luke 1:35 no more explains the mechanics of the event than to say that Moses raising his staff to part the Red Sea explained how the sea parted. The mechanics are not explained in either instance. I fully accept on faith that Moses parted the Red Sea even though I do not comprehend physically how God performed the miracle and I also accept that Jesus was conceived by the power of God without the need for additional explanations. That Mary conceived in some way that God refused to explain is not relevant to my faith in the fact that God performed the act, that Mary was in deed a virgin, and that Jesus is in fact God’s Only Begotten Son. So for the last time, I repeat. The crucial fact here is that God is the Father of Jesus not how he performed the act of siring His Only Begotten Son, for in deed God is the sire of Jesus.

Now, I hope you can see that I am not passing this subject off. I am trying to say that neither of us knows how it happened, any more than the phrase “overshadowed by the Holy Ghost” can reveal the full meaning of what happened. So instead of continuing a fruitless conversation, I recommended that we talk about something that we can discuss. By fruitless I mean we can debate the point endlessly and still not find an answer because the scriptures are silent on the matter and anything said further is a point of interpretation. At best we can say regarding this point that we disagree on interpretation.

Now, does the fact that the LDS Church disagrees with other Christians’ interpretation of scripture mean that the LDS Church teaches another Christ and is therefore not Christian?

I submit that, if having a difference of interpretation means a group of people teaches another Christ, then I challenge whether there is any true unity among the multitude of Christian sects. For instance, within the Evangelical movement there are differences of interpretation regarding scripture. Does that mean that some Evangelicals might not be Christian in the eyes of some of the Fundamentalist brethren, if such a group of Christians were to say someone does not interpret the scripture the way that they do? Furthermore, would some Evangelicals say that Baptists are not Christian because they do not believe that baptism is necessary? Would Seventh Day Adventists say that Evangelicals are not Christian because they do not attend Church on the Sabbath of the Old Testament or Saturday? Would Evangelicals say that Catholics are not Christian because they pray to the Virgin Mary and to the Saints? Who then are these “true” Christians some people are speaking of? Isn’t the criticism a matter of doctrinal perspective? If some Christians are going to criticize a select group then they must equally apply their criticisms to all other groups within the Christian denominations. It seems to me that many are picking and choosing whom they favor rather than equally applying the standards of their argument to all Christian sects.

My point to begin with is that the argument that Mormons are not Christian is based on misconception and specious reasoning. While you and I differ in opinion and interpretation regarding the scriptures, I extend to you the courtesy of calling you Christian. My request is that you would do the same for me.

Maverick Christians
The Scriptures don’t have to explain how. They stated that Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. You can clearly tell it wasn’t by sex with God the Father. Big difference between the two. The first shows Mary as a virgin conceiving Jesus. The other does not. This is a big difference and is one that shows whether Jesus is Messiah or not. As said before, your Book of Mormon says the wrong place for the birth of Messiah. Bethlehem is not in any land of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a city 5 miles away.

LDS just doesn’t simply disagree on some minor doctrines with Christians but goes against a number of basic essentials regarding the nature of God and of the gospel. Mormonism is literally “another gospel” which is there is no other as Paul afore spoke of. You can pick as many things as you like to show what similiarites you believe Mormonism is with Christians but in fact it has far deviated from the gospel of Jesus Christ as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. Mormonism teaches another Jesus with all the fantasy stories made up about Him. Good works cannot save, only trusting faith in God’s Son Jesus can.

I cannot call you Christian or brother when you believe in a false gospel and believe twists and spins against the prophesies of Jesus as Messiah. Nor am I under any obligation to. Comments you have made have added nothing but protest on your part. Since I cannot call you Christian and you demand and expect it, good day to you.

 

All Mark essentially did after this was to repeat himself, therefore, I reiterated what I said as a summary and dropped from the conversation since the Bible says…

A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
– Titus 3:10-11 (KJV)

 

The Mormon acclamation of Jesus as the incarnate Son of God is insufficient for Mormons to be recognized as Christians when they show Jesus as failing Old Testament prophesies regarding His conception and birth place. If Jesus were not born of a virgin in Jerusalem, He could not be Messiah.

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
– Isaiah 7:14 (KJV)

The Book of Mormon said that Messiah would be born of a virgin in Jerusalem. Clearly Holy Bible prophesy declares that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which also Jesus was born at…

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
– Micah 5:2 (KJV)

Are we to accept as Christians those who present a testimony of Jesus that change the story about Him as if He failed the Holy Scriptural qualifications for Him being Christ (Messiah)?

Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son.
– 1 John 2:22

Therefore, not only are Mormons not Christians, they are anti-christian by what is, in fact, their denial of Jesus as the Christ due to their beliefs in the Mormon religion’s contradicts with the Holy Bible. What shameful lies they tell about Jesus!

For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
– Jude 1:4 (NKJV)

Just because someone accepts some basic teaching to Christian faith, they are not justified and received by God while they reject other basic essentials.  There are certain basics to Christian faith that someone must come to believe in order to be saved.  Mark Mason makes a tall request. If I were to call Mormons as Christians, I would be denying Jesus and the gospel. To call someone who is not a true believer in Jesus as a “Christian” or a “brother” would be to say that though someone believes a false testimony of God and/or a false way of salvation that God still accepts them into His Kingdom.

To Mormons, we Christians are their mission field. If we do not accept them as Christians, then they have greater difficulty recruiting us and converting us to Mormonism. This is why they try so hard to gain acceptance as Christians.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

 

The Bible does not have to describe the mechanics of the conception of Jesus in detail. The Bible says that Mary was overshadowed by Jesus and that the birth of Jesus was by a virgin.  It is clear from that Mary did not have sexual intercourse with God the Father.  The issue here is not whether Jesus is the incarnate Son of God or not.  Nor is the issue if He was conceived or not.  The issue is whether Jesus was born of a virgin or not.  The Bible is clear that Jesus was born of a virgin.  The Mormon I chatted with was evasive about this only saying, “Yet isn’t the point that Jesus is God’s only Begotten Son more important than quibbling over the details of how God accomplished His work.”.  Since it is a requirement for Messiah to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, I do not see how it cannot be important.  It is a crucial issue.

The Mormon I chatted with refused to either acclaim or deny the virgin birth of Jesus.  He avoided the topic and tried to change the subject to the incarnate Deity of Jesus as much as he could.  So, since he doesn’t know how Jesus was conceived, how can he also know if Jesus is Christ/Messiah or not?  Is this a testimony of a professing Christian to make key doctrines of the Christian faith out to be mere trivia?  I do not think so.  If he did acclaim the virgin birth of Jesus, he would contradict Mormon teaching.  If he denied the virgin birth then he would be facing rejection of the LDS Mormon church by Christians.  Is this neurtrality acceptable?  NO!  There is no way of being neutral about Jesus…

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. – 1 John 4:3 (KJV)

Denying Jesus can be done by statement again Him or by simply not confessing Jesus. Beware when you receive shifty answers that do not truly address questions.  The reason they do this is because they have something to hide.  From what I have described, the antichristian nature of Mormonism is easily exposed when you look just beyond the surface. Mormons will not be forward about their church’s doctrines that others find offensive.  They may act like commonly disputed teachings of theirs are not important when you are outside their church, however, inside their church they will treat their doctrines with the utmost importance.

There are a number of doctrines that the Mormons teach that contradict the true Bible gospel and the true nature of God as the Bible describes. For more infomation on this, please see MormonWiki.org. Regarding the Mormon teachings on the conception of Jesus and where Mormon teachings are denying the virgin birth of Jesus, please see http://www.mormonwiki.org/Conception_of_Jesus.

 

Presented for your edification by Theodore Wright.

 

 

 

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