One Nation Under A Mormon God?

Post image for One Nation Under A Mormon God?

The painting One Nation Under God by Jon McNaughton promotes a Mormon author.

My initial reaction to the painting was that another Christian is using Jesus and the Bible for political propaganda. It seems I was wrong. The evidence points to the artist, Jon McNaughton, as being a Mormon. The name Jon McNaughton can also be found as a speaker at several Book of Mormon Prophecies Conferences.

The photo on the left is taken from McNaughton’s online image of the painting using the zoom feature. As the caption indicates the book on display is The 5000 Year Leap by Mormon author Willard Cleon Skousen.

Not only does this painting propagate Jesus for conservative politics, but Mormonism as well. Conservative, Mormon Glenn Beck has written the foreword to the 30 year anniversary edition of Skousen’s book. This edition has its own web page 5000YearLeap.net showing Beck’s endorsement as well as a promotion of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. These U.S. documents are mentioned because some think the Glenn Beck might be positioning himself to save the Constitution via the White Horse Prophecy.

Speaking of prophecies, Skousen was no stranger to them as noted in Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck’s life by Alexander Zaitchik who shows how Skousen influenced Beck.

As Beck knows, to focus solely on “The 5,000 Year Leap” is to sell the author short. When he died in 2006 at the age of 92, Skousen had authored more than a dozen books and pamphlets on the Red Menace, New World Order conspiracy, Christian child rearing, and Mormon end-times prophecy. It is a body of work that does much to explain Glenn Beck’s bizarre conspiratorial mash-up of recent months, which decries a new darkness at noon and finds strange symbols carefully coded in the retired lobby art of Rockefeller Center. It also suggests that the modern base of the Republican Party is headed to a very strange place.

A Christian, Mormon and political conflation is what is happening. A Telegraph UK article calls McNaughton a “Christian” artist. Huffington Post commenters point to Christianity. You can find a mocking photo-shopped picture of “Jesus” in the comments at Mother Jones. The center piece of the painting is ‘Jesus’ holding the U.S. Constitution as if this nation is some sort of covenant nation like Old Testament Israel. (Not to mention ‘Jesus’ looks like some male model-type white guy.) All one has to do is pay attention and connect the dots. The world seems to see no difference between religions like Mormonism and Christianity. They seem to connect as if conservative politics + any religion using ‘Jesus’ = Christianity.  Is this the message that conservative Christians want to portray and/or support in anyway?

Conservative politics are not a bad thing, but they do not equal Christianity. Jesus is not coming back wielding the U.S. Constitution. When political fights overshadow those for the Gospel Christianity adds one more cultural roadblock. Jesus did not say,”Use my image to claim what is Caesar’s.” Christians could benefit by being more out spoken explaining, for example, that this painting does not represent Christianity. Or, that Glenn Beck, as entertaining as he may be, is a Mormon not a Christian. There seems to be  silence on these issues when the goal is political change and engagement. However, Christians can agree with others so as to not conflate or hide the Gospel. Christians can speak up and explain their differences and motivations which are grounded in the Gospel.

What next…

Mark

P.s. There is even a spoof of the painting with new image descriptions.

Tags: , , ; Categories: apologetics,Culture,Gospel,theology
The above article was posted on October 8, 2009 by Mark Lamprecht.
© 2004-2014. All rights reserved.


{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dan October 8, 2009 at 6:26 pm

You rock, my man! I’m hadn’t noticed this part of the painting, but I’m glad you did. What I have noticed over and over again is how much conservative politics is matched with the church. It’s like I have to be a Republican to be a Christian. Makes me ill. I wish it weren’t that way.

2 Mark Lamprecht October 8, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Hey, Dan! Thanks, man! :) I’m not sure how much I rock. I agree with you about the Republican-Christian parallel.

3 David Drake October 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm

So disturbing…sigh.

4 Patrick October 10, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Your message is disturbing because it holds no truth. You draw lines between the messengers and not the content of the message. This nation was not founded by Mormons though each person Glenn Beck, Skousen, and Mcnaughton are pointing to non-mormons that have laid the very foundation of this supreme nation. You say Glenn Beck is not a Christian. I beg to differ.

When will we stop dividing lines between groups of idealogy or faith and begin recognizing reason and truth regardless of where it stems?

5 Wes December 29, 2009 at 11:49 pm

*We can’t find God & Truth through ridicule*

We can’t find God, Jesus Christ or Truth through ridicule,
We progress in knowledge by using His eternal Rule;
The Golden Rule or Royal Law of Love,
All of which is revealed to us from above.

Our many bizarre claims of new indoctrinations,
Are authorized eternal truths of Priesthood revelations;
So different but yet safe, secure and sound they are,
Stand the test of time, distance and eternity so far.

And all who stand to fight for God’s revealed law,
Are different in style and intelligence seen by all;
Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ: ALL of God’s Noble Children,
Live by that clean, ennobling message that all enjoy again.

Open hearts and humble lives in prayerful attitude,
Is a good transition to greatness and glowing gratitude;
Hear ye children of God the Oracles of the Lord,
As we all move into one truth, one fold, one accord.

Anger and strife are divisive ways shunned by us,
As we love one another to silence the hateful fuss;
Only power and authority in the eternal Priesthood,
“Make it so!” in Holy Places where we know it could.

My life has grown in virtue and less of fearing it,
I have followed Christ, His Word and the Holy Spirit;
Into testimony and joining God’s Later-Day True Church,
Thus overcoming vice, in rout to God’s celestial perch.

Judgment won’t be much longer now as HIS Day approaches,
When we all stand face to face – once each other’s coaches;
With heart-to-heart through our single eye to His Glories,
And realize all of the Savior’s blessings in our living Stories.

Yes, we are growing older as the story is yet untold,
We need to grow bolder and let the glory still unfold;
For we all have much more work to do in man’s unrest;
As we continue to find our lives in a familiar grand test.

I know we all can’t wait to see and hear Jesus again,
While trials come and go that seems to never end;
But in that day when our eyes shall ever meet;
Comes: “My Child – Sup with us in Our Royal Seat.”

Hope you enjoy this Poem & God Bless
Wes Underwood / 2007

6 David December 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm

I would be surprised if McNaughton did not include Joseph Smith in the painting somewhere. Has that been considered?

7 Mark Lamprecht December 30, 2009 at 9:33 pm

David, I’ve thought about that. I scanned the picture, but didn’t find Joseph Smith. Have you looked?

8 Rl December 31, 2009 at 9:35 am

I don’t think you got the real message!!!!!! “One Nation Under God” This is why our Country and World is where it’s at. Hatred and Prejudism Get Real!

9 Mark Lamprecht December 31, 2009 at 3:32 pm

I think I do understand. A Mormon god is not the true God of the Bible which seems to be what McNaughton is presenting.

10 David January 4, 2010 at 10:39 am

After I left the message at your blog, I came across a website that provides all the names and some brief comments about the people in the painting as you hold your curser over the individual. I gotta hand it to the marketers – their video and web presentations are first class. But I think that is typical of the Mormon organization – to their credit.

Surprisingly even the text that comes up when you hold your curser over Jesus is hard to criticize even from an evangelical perspective, albiet a little vague.

Here is the website: http://www.mcnaughtonart.com/artwork/view_zoom/?artpiece_id=353

David

11 Mark Lamprecht January 4, 2010 at 10:47 am

David, Mormon’s use terms that *sound* Christian. When we get to actually definitions is where we find the problem. Maybe they are the original postmoderns?

I actually have the link in the first line of this post. :) Thanks though because if you missed it I’m sure others have also.

12 Jae January 4, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Sola Scriptura Leads to Sola Worldura- Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, Seventh Day Adventist and more…

We have seen how the deterioration of morality in society has slowly changed the morality of Christianity in American. First the main-line denominations, now the evangelicals, my former church home. The Anglicans 20 years or more ago embraced homosexuality, then the Methodists, then the ELCA Lutherans, and most recently the independent evangelicals. This is no surprise but certainly a sad reality. How has it come to this? Pastor Tidd of Highlands Church says:

“We reach an understanding of the Bible not just by studying God’s word, but by studying his world,” Tidd said. “If you think he’s the author of both, they both inform each other.”

If evangelicals can disagree about end-times theology and baptism methods and still be considered authentic Christians, he thought, why can’t the same tent hold disagreements about homosexuality?

There you go. It seems to me that the principle of sola scriptura, has lead to sola worldura! We study God’s world and come up with our own interpretation to guide us in establishing moral guidelines. Ouch!

Without a final authority outside of themselves that speaks to faith and morals some pastors believe they have the freedom to disagree on moral issues in much the same way they do with theological issues.

The Catholic Catechism tells us to love christians with same sex attraction recognizing they have a heavier cross to carry than most of us. The Catholic Church condemns the homosexual act but affirms the dignity of the homosexual. Catholic moral theology does not change with the times, but will remain unchanged as long as time exists.

Peace in Christ

13 Douglas K. Adu-Boahen January 4, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Funny, Rome itself seems to make up doctrines much like the idiot over at Highlands – doctrines like the Immaculate Conception (no Bible), the Perpetual Virginity of Mary (no Bible), the efficacy of prayers to the saints departed (no Bible), indulgences (still going on in the 21st century, and still no Bible).

At least the JW attempts to use Scripture – but only twists it and contorts it to suit him. Doesn’t make Sola Scriptura the problem – only means the heart of man is the problem, and that’s good Bible doctrine – Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 8:7-8, 1 Cor 2:14-16. The existence of the cults and liberal movements like the ELCA, UMC, etc. are symptomatic of the sickness of man’s heart, not the insufficiency of the Word to lead and to guide. What did God commend the children of Israel to?

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, they have no light in them

P.S. Rome isn’t all that unified either – if I recall correctly, aren’t there folks who have the same Catholic documents you do but refuse the authority of the Holy See, referring to themselves as “sedevacantists” and starting their own little churches? Funny – I was expecting one great Mother Church, united and strong…

14 David January 5, 2010 at 11:36 am

Douglas,

I myself am an evangelical and can sympathize with your doctrinal frustration with Rome. However, I would like to make two suggestions.

The first would be that you drop the word “idiot” from your vocabulary; especially if you have any interest in evangelism (1 Peter 3:15; also notice Paul’s demeanor Acts 17).

Secondly, I would suggest you befriend an intellectual, conservative Roman Catholic who knows his Bible – maybe even a priest – to have some ongoing, good, passionate dialogue. I think you may find that there are a lot of misconceptions and anectdotal ideas about Rome that get bantered around that only demonstrate our ignorance (lack or knowledge) about the subject in many cases (Pr 19:2; Romans 10:2). (By the way, I have know intention of converting to Catholicism).

Also, sense you mentioned Sola Scriptura, you might want to listen to some lectures from R. C. Sproul on “Reformed Theology” (there is a section on Rome in the series) and “Roman Catholicism”. Sproul is an excellent and respected teacher/theologian. Notice – even in his disagreement – his respectful tone.

Thank you brother for listening to my opinion.

David

15 Jae January 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Brother Douglas thank you for calling us idiots, may Jesus our Lord bless you! Anyways, all your objections are found in the Bible (either explicit or implicitly written) e.g. Immaculate conception of Mary, purgatory etc. cut and paste the link:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0510fea5.asp

The Catholic Church is very united under the Chair of Peter, Benedict XVI, when she declares a doctrine (e.g. Artificial contraception) it is definitive an article of faith as an act contrary to the Will of God and whoever (catholics included) commits the act freely and knowingly committed a grave sin to God.

Now for those “sedevacantists” you mentioned they are not part of the catholic church anymore, they grouped together to form a separate church, they are actually officially in schism from the Catholic church like some hard-core traditionalists, catholics for free choice and even up to now churches started by Martin Luther and others, etc. For short, if people choose to disregard the teaching authority of the church and thus eventually being declared “anathema” or outside of the Church.

You said, “movements like the ELCA, UMC, etc. are symptomatic of the sickness of man’s heart, not the insufficiency of the Word to lead and to guide.”

That is exactly the problem, Doug because these pastors and evangelical churhes would say to you that their Bible (like the one you have) say otherwise and you are the one’s mistaken in your interpretation and understanding of said teachings (gay-marriage, abortions, artificial contraception etc) and that they are the ones guided by the Holy Spirit and you’re not. They are going to throw that Bible verse back to you (Isaiah 8:20).

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY TO SPEAK FOR CHRIST? or do you think God overlook these kind of scenarios?

Same with our daily life, there has to be a referee (arbiter or judge) of a game whether you are playing soccer, basketball etc. and if there is none, even if you have a handbook/manual the game would be in chaos.

Peace in Christ.

16 Mark Lamprecht January 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Jae, who is the final authority for Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness and Seventh Day Adventists? Hint: The answer is not “The Bible”.

You said

We have seen how the deterioration of morality in society has slowly changed the morality of Christianity in American.

As if Rome has a higher track record on morality? She claims as much, but is it true? I made note at Pope Says No More Pedophiles that this is not true. Also, recent investigations show Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Dublin engaged in a widespread cover-up of abuses by clergy members for decades.

While some Methodists, Anglicans, Lutherans, etc. may wrongly embrace homosexuality at least they are not hiding it as Rome has hidden their transgressions above.

It does not matter what Pastor Tidd stated about homosexuality. This is a violation of sola scriptura as well as a history of Evangelical tradition and doctrine.

You have not made an argument against sola scriptura. Rather, you’ve only objected to it. Do you understand what sola scriptura is? Would you mind defining it for me?

Also, where do you think the Pope gets his authority? Do you think all Pope’s have agreed 100% on faith and morals?

17 Jae January 6, 2010 at 12:58 am

Hello Mark, thanks for the reply. Firstly, let me make it clear as before, I have said we are all sinners including Peter, Paul , the pope, bishops, priests and are all guilty of personal sins which is quite different from a departure from the Truth by declaring, promulgating and teaching what is morally and biblically wrong as TRUE to its flock.

Bro Mark, I did not make an objection to Sola Scriptura but to show the end result of Sola Scriptura wherein it is up to a person to decide which is Biblically correct interpretation according to his will, intellect and rationality.

We believed the authority of the Pope comes from Jesus Our Lord and God given to Peter and to his successors (Matt. 16:18). Faith is made know to all through the Church (Ephesians 3:4-6). Its as simple as that.Jesus appointed specific people, 12 to be exact, to carry out his mission. Even though Jesus has many, many followers, he called out 12 specific individuals to guide his flock. Even in Heaven there is a structured hierarchy where God is the Head, where Archangels and angels follow their rank, position and dominions also in the early church is very very hierachical as Paul described it as having Bishops, presbyters (priest) and deacons. In fact the church could not exist if Jesus had not been around to start it himself and he did, but he left it in the hands of Peter (Mt 16:13-19).So, we see that there was a church, with a specific structure of leaders that were called by God to lead the church. with all believing members. This is the Catholic (Universal) definition of church.

Now, if the church is founded upon the leaders then it is safe to say that “the church” can also mean “the leaders” or “the one’s with teaching authority” or we called as Megisterium and Apostolic Tradition.

Also, look into John 20:18-21 and noticed Jesus “breathed” on His apostles (God-BREATHED).

2 Important messages:

1.) “To Send” means: Authority was given in order to guide and complete the mission of the Church.

2.) “God-BREATHED” means: Inspired by God Himself with His Own Authority to His apostles in the upper room and NOT just to any fellow who believes.

Recently, R. C. Sproul, Jr., wrote a piece in order to answer the question of whether sola scriptura can be found in the Bible (“Is Sola Scriptura in the Bible?”). The reason why this question is worth answering is because it seems to the untutored mind that if one claims that the Bible is the standard by which all doctrine is assessed (sola scriptura) and the doctrine of sola scriptura itself is not taught in Scripture, then the doctrine of sola scriptura is self-refuting. Analogously, if X were to claim that all knowledge comes through the hard sciences, such a claim would be self-refuting, since the claim that “all knowledge comes through the hard sciences” is itself not a deliverance of the hard sciences though X claims to know it.

Here’s the link for more info:

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/11/is-sola-scriptura-in-the-bible-a-reply-to-r-c-sproul-jr/

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/11/solo-scriptura-sola-scriptura-and-the-question-of-interpretive-authority/

Peace in Christ.

18 James Swan January 6, 2010 at 2:12 am

“The reason why this question is worth answering is because it seems to the untutored mind that if one claims that the Bible is the standard by which all doctrine is assessed (sola scriptura) and the doctrine of sola scriptura itself is not taught in Scripture, then the doctrine of sola scriptura is self-refuting.”

Simply demonstrate that God has given special revelation elsewhere. The burden of proof is on those claiming God has spoken infallibly elsewhere. If you can’t produce God’s voice elsewhere, then it follows, there is only one record of God’s voice.

19 Douglas K. Adu-Boahen January 6, 2010 at 7:49 am

Firstly a English lesson regarding modifiers. Doug said:

Funny, Rome itself seems to make up doctrines much like the idiot over at Highlands

The term idiot was NOT applied to the church of Rome – it was applied to the one “over at Highlands”. No wonder this conversation is so protracted – no one can even read a peripheral point. Not amusing.

This will be my last comment on this issue, as I honestly think we are arguing from two completely different presuppositions. I believe that the Word of God superintends the Church and keeps it in check. In fact, I believe, when a church deviates from the Word of God (insert ELCA, Episcopalians, UMC, etc.), it ceases to be a true church. It can call itself whatever it darn well likes – I can call myself an American all I like, but my burgundy British passport says otherwise. Likewise, that church by its rejection of the Word of God’s authority has forfeited its right to be called a true communion. Yes, the Apostles made binding and loosing declarations – but they NEVER passed this down via apostolic succession, and we have NO record of this in the only place that matters – the New Testament.

You, on the other hand, argues that we are far too much sinners to know what the Truth, and so like little babies, we need to have truth dictated to us (never mind the Biblical content of it – oh, and that This Rock article’s use of Scripture was pitiable) by a magisterium who think their forebears put the Bible together. Which one is more prone to error – the one who believes that God has spoken with depth and clarity in the Bible, or the one who essentially says that the Word of God has no real clarity to it and so uninspired, errant men (which is what the Magisterium is) are the authority. That to me speaks volume

For Christ and His Gospel,

Douglas K. Adu-Boahen

20 James Swan January 6, 2010 at 11:28 am

“I did not make an objection to Sola Scriptura but to show the end result of Sola Scriptura wherein it is up to a person to decide which is Biblically correct interpretation according to his will, intellect and rationality.”

Which verses, exactly, have been correctly interpreted by the Roman magisterium? The striking irony is that you used Bible verses to prove your position. That is, you read the Biblical text, and then interpreted it, not using any Romanist infallibly defined verses.

“We believed the authority of the Pope comes from Jesus Our Lord and God given to Peter and to his successors (Matt. 16:18).”

“Believe” indeed. Even this verse hasn’t been infallibly defined by the Magisterium, so you’ve given me private judgment.

“Faith is made know to all through the Church (Ephesians 3:4-6). Its as simple as that”

Is this a correctly interpreted verse? Where does Rome infallibly declare this verse means this?

I was able, without a magisterium, to read Eph. 3 and see that the apostles and prophets were given “insight into the mystery of Christ” that “through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” I did all that without a Magisterium.

“Now, if the church is founded upon the leaders then it is safe to say that ‘the church’ can also mean ‘the leaders’ or ‘the one’s with teaching authority’ or we called as Megisterium and Apostolic Tradition.”

Protestants don’t deny the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. We deny the Roman church is infallible. Only by stretching the Biblical text to the point of absurdity is the Roman Church infallible.

21 David January 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Doug,

I guess I could have been a little more specific when I stated,

“I myself am an evangelical and can sympathize with your doctrinal frustration with Rome. However, I would like to make two suggestions.

The first would be that you drop the word ‘idiot’ from your vocabulary…”.

However, I believe my whole point was on your attitude and tone. To clarify – I WAS referring to your use of the term being applied to, as you put it, “the idiot over at Highlands”.

Regardless of whom your term was being applied to, Rome, Pastor Tidd of Highlands Church or anyone else, your use of the word, in my view, was inappropriate.

Also, if you are going to give someone an “English lesson”, I would suggest you check your own usage i.e., “a English lesson “, “far too much sinners”.

Unfortunately, there is more at play here than doctrinal disagreement. You have tried to avoid my point. I believe you need to examine your attitude and search your heart for remnants of pride.

Many radio talk show host cop this kind of attitude, political and even Christian, but that doesn’t make it right. I know these things brother, because I have been there myself from time to time and have been humbled by learning the hard way.

Douglas – a man of your clearly intellectual capacity does not have to resort to such tactics to make his point. You can attack, in your view, the erroneous ideas and false teaching with passion without personal demolition.

Your brother in Christ,

David

22 Jae January 6, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Hello James, thanks for the reply.

You said, “I was able, without a magisterium, to read Eph. 3 and see that the apostles and prophets were given Believe” indeed. Even this verse hasn’t been infallibly defined by the Magisterium, so you’ve given me private judgment. that “through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” I did all that without a Magisterium.”

Bro James, I guessed you didn’t realize it, but your statement above just made you as your own little pope and Magisterium put together with authority. Protestants use to say we have the “essentials” and the “rest” are not important – just by proclaiming it already affirms authority which they hated the Catholic Church for. Pardon me brother, I don’t consider myself a prophet or apostle who have infallible “insight to the mystery of Christ” but if you insist for yourself otherwise, armed with certainty and confidence then you are the man who should interpret the Bible (esp those hard verses) for us christians.

You said, “Believe” indeed. Even this verse hasn’t been infallibly defined by the Magisterium, so you’ve given me private judgment.”

I’m sorry to say but I think it’s not my private judgment but well written historical documents from Patristic fathers, the Apostolic Tradition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the prominence of Bishop of Rome (See of Peter) and was infallibly defined the “infallibility” of the Pope when speaking “ex-cathedra” together with all the bishops around the world ON faith and morals – though it doesn’t make him impeccable (can’t sin).

If indeed christian doctrines are revealed DIVINE TRUTH which men must believe under the pain of eternal lost, then the gift of “infallibilty” is essentianl to her, because if she could err at all she could err at ANY POINT. There is not quarantee to any doctrine to the flock.

You said, “We deny the Roman church is infallible. Only by stretching the Biblical text to the point of absurdity is the Roman Church infallible.”

When God make a promise He will be faithful to it DESPITE human weaknesses and sins of man. So in Matt 16:18 when He gave a great promise to Peter and the Church that the “gates of hell will not prevail against it” – I BELIEVE IT! because just by preaching and proclaiming a heretical (error) teaching as DIVINE (Biblical) TRUTH is already a forfeiture of that promise – e.g. gay-marriage etc.

If God permanently change the name of a man, eg. like Abram to Abraham (from father to Father of a Nation), Jacob to Israel, carries with it a new role, status and responsiblity – so as when Jesus changed the guy’s name from Simon to Peter to guide His Church while He’s away so as not to be led astray in this secularized and relativistic world – where your interpretation (good stuff) is not my good stuff.

Peace of Christ.

23 Jae January 6, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Doug said, “In fact, I believe, when a church deviates from the Word of God (insert ELCA, Episcopalians, UMC, etc.), it ceases to be a true church”.

There is only ONE PROBLEM…WHO IS GOING TO SAY that one church deviates from the Word of God? I beg your pardon but is it you my friend? your church? because the other side would say that you are one who deviated from the Word of God.

Anathema, anyone?

24 Jae January 6, 2010 at 11:14 pm

God’s voice is spoken through the See of Peter with the Bishops (Apostolic Tradition)handed down since since day one of the early Church around the world for stuffs even not mentioned in the Bible (stem-cell, cloning, genetic design etc.), much like in the time of Moses who spoke the Word of God though Isralites have their written Torah.

Peace in Christ.

25 Jae January 6, 2010 at 11:30 pm

The problem is NOT about the sufficiency or clarity of the Scriptures BUT the correct meaning and interpretations of the teachings of the said Book with which the Apostolic Tradition comes in.

Even in the real world we live in, if two parties have a dispute/offenses to another, who do we turn to? The book of U.S. Constitution? book of State laws? manuals? OR a living judicial court like the Supreme Court?

26 James Swan January 7, 2010 at 2:03 am

Ok, so where is the list or document of God’s voice in “apostolic tradition”? Please e-mail it to me, I’d love to see it.

27 Jae January 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Hello James, thanks.

Here is just one instance where you could see God’s Voice through the Apostolic Tradition and the Chair of Peter. This document was made and publicly declared as a doctrine of Faith in 1968 and you could follow all the links and footnotes some where dated back hundreds of years before.

You could also see the chaos behing the scenes before it was made as binding to all christians
where some bishops close to the pope were against him of his apostolic letter, “Humanae Vitae”.

Do you know that prior to 1930 ALL Christian churches agreed that artificial contraception is unnatural and goes against the Will of God?

You could read the complete info:

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6humana.htm

http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2TBIND.HTM

Peace in Christ.

28 Mark Lamprecht January 8, 2010 at 12:17 am

Jae, James asked for something apostolic. How do you come to the conclusion that what you referenced is “God’s voice”?

29 Jae January 10, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Hello Mark, Apostolic Tradition was the body of teaching handed down by the apostles to the church. It is mentioned several times in Scripture and throughout the early christianity.

Christians have always condemned contraceptive sex. Both forms mentioned in the Bible, coitus interruptus and sterilization, are condemned without exception (Gen. 38:9–10, Deut. 23:1). The early Fathers recognized that the purpose of sexual intercourse in natural law is procreation; contraceptive sex, which deliberately blocks that purpose, is a violation of natural law.

Every church in Christendom condemned contraception until 1930, when, at its decennial Lambeth Conference, Anglicanism gave permission for the use of contraception in a few cases. Soon all Protestant denominations had adopted the secularist position on contraception. Today not one stands with the Catholic Church to maintain the ancient Christian faith on this issue.

How badly things have decayed may be seen by comparing the current state of non-Catholic churches, where most pastors counsel young couples to decide before they are married what form of contraception they will use, with these quotations from the early Church Fathers, who condemned contraception in general as well as particular forms of it, as well as popular contraceptive sex practices that were then common (sterilization, oral contraceptives, coitus interruptus, and orally consummated sex).

Many Protestants, perhaps beginning to see the inevitable connection between contraception and divorce and between contraception and abortion, are now returning to the historic Christian position and rejecting contraceptive sexual practices.

It should be noted that some of the Church Fathers use language that can suggest to modern ears that there is no unitive.aspect to marital intercourse and that there is only a procreative.aspect. It is unclear whether this is what some of them actually thought or whether they are intending simply to stress that sexual activity becomes immoral if the procreative.aspect of a given marital act is deliberately frustrated. However that may be, over the course of time the Church has called greater attention to the unitive.aspect of marital intercourse, yet it remains true that the procreative.aspect of each particular marital act must not be frustrated.

Council of Nicaea I

“[I]f anyone in sound health has castrated himself, it behooves that such a one, if enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who willfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men this canon admits to the clergy” (Canon 1 [A.D. 325]).

The Letter of Barnabas

“Moreover, he [Moses] has rightly detested the weasel [Lev. 11:29]. For he means, ‘Thou shall not be like to those whom we hear of as committing wickedness with the mouth with the body through uncleanness [orally consummated sex]; nor shall thou be joined to those impure women who commit iniquity with the mouth with the body through uncleanness’” (Letter of Barnabas 10:8 [A.D. 74]).

Clement of Alexandria

“Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted” (The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 [A.D. 191]).

“To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature” (ibid., 2:10:95:3).

Hippolytus

“[Christian women with male concubines], on account of their prominent ancestry and great property, the so-called faithful want no children from slaves or lowborn commoners, [so] they use drugs of sterility or bind themselves tightly in order to expel a fetus which has already been engendered” (Refutation of All Heresies 9:12 [A.D. 225]).

Lactantius

“[Some] complain of the scantiness of their means, and allege that they have not enough for bringing up more children, as though, in truth, their means were in [their] power . . . or God did not daily make the rich poor and the poor rich. Wherefore, if any one on any account of poverty shall be unable to bring up children, it is better to abstain from relations with his wife” (Divine Institutes 6:20 [A.D. 307]).

“God gave us eyes not to see and desire pleasure, but to see acts to be performed for the needs of life; so too, the genital [’generating’] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring” (ibid., 6:23:18).

Epiphanius of Salamis

“They [certain Egyptian heretics] exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption” (Medicine Chest Against Heresies 26:5:2 [A.D. 375]).

Augustine

“This proves that you [Manicheans] approve of having a wife, not for the procreation of children, but for the gratification of passion. In marriage, as the marriage law declares, the man and woman come together for the procreation of children. Therefore, whoever makes the procreation of children a greater sin than copulation, forbids marriage and makes the woman not a wife but a mistress, who for some gifts presented to her is joined to the man to gratify his passion” (The Morals of the Manichees 18:65 [A.D. 388]).

“You [Manicheans] make your auditors adulterers of their wives when they take care lest the women with whom they copulate conceive. They take wives according to the laws of matrimony by tablets announcing that the marriage is contracted to procreate children; and then, fearing because of your law [against childbearing] . . . they copulate in a shameful union only to satisfy lust for their wives. They are unwilling to have children, on whose account alone marriages are made. How is it, then, that you are not those prohibiting marriage, as the apostle predicted of you so long ago [1 Tim. 4:1–4], when you try to take from marriage what marriage is? When this is taken away, husbands are shameful lovers, wives are harlots, bridal chambers are brothels, fathers-in-law are pimps” (Against Faustus 15:7 [A.D. 400]).

“For thus the eternal law, that is, the will of God creator of all creatures, taking counsel for the conservation of natural order, not to serve lust, but to see to the preservation of the race, permits the delight of mortal flesh to be released from the control of reason in copulation only to propagate progeny” (ibid., 22:30).

“For necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [children] is alone worthy of marriage. But that which goes beyond this necessity no longer follows reason but lust. And yet it pertains to the character of marriage . . . to yield it to the partner lest by fornication the other sin damnably [through adultery]. . . . [T]hey [must] not turn away from them the mercy of God . . . by changing the natural use into that which is against nature, which is more damnable when it is done in the case of husband or wife. For, whereas that natural use, when it pass beyond the compact of marriage, that is, beyond the necessity of begetting [children], is pardonable in the case of a wife, damnable in the case of a harlot; that which is against nature is execrable when done in the case of a harlot, but more execrable in the case of a wife. Of so great power is the ordinance of the Creator, and the order of creation, that . . . when the man shall wish to use a body part of the wife not allowed for this purpose [orally or anally consummated sex], the wife is more shameful, if she suffer it to take place in her own case, than if in the case of another woman” (The Good of Marriage 11–12 [A.D. 401]).

“I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility. . . . Assuredly if both husband and wife are like this, they are not married, and if they were like this from the beginning they come together not joined in matrimony but in seduction. If both are not like this, I dare to say that either the wife is in a fashion the harlot of her husband or he is an adulterer with his own wife” (Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17 [A.D. 419]).

John Chrysostom

“Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit, where there are medicines of sterility [oral contraceptives], where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well. . . . Indeed, it is something worse than murder, and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gift of God and fight with his [natural] laws? . . . Yet such turpitude . . . the matter still seems indifferent to many men—even to many men having wives. In this indifference of the married men there is greater evil filth; for then poisons are prepared, not against the womb of a prostitute, but against your injured wife. Against her are these innumerable tricks” (Homilies on Romans 24 [A.D. 391]).

“[I]n truth, all men know that they who are under the power of this disease [the sin of covetousness] are wearied even of their father’s old age [wishing him to die so they can inherit]; and that which is sweet, and universally desirable, the having of children, they esteem grievous and unwelcome. Many at least with this view have even paid money to be childless, and have mutilated nature, not only killing the newborn, but even acting to prevent their beginning to live” (Homilies on Matthew 28:5 [A.D. 391]).

“[T]he man who has mutilated himself, in fact, is subject even to a curse, as Paul says, ‘I would that they who trouble you would cut the whole thing off’ [Gal. 5:12]. And very reasonably, for such a person is venturing on the deeds of murderers, and giving occasion to them that slander God’s creation, and opens the mouths of the Manicheans, and is guilty of the same unlawful acts as they that mutilate themselves among the Greeks. For to cut off our members has been from the beginning a work of demonical agency, and satanic device, that they may bring up a bad report upon the works of God, that they may mar this living creature, that imputing all not to the choice, but to the nature of our members, the more part of them may sin in security as being irresponsible, and doubly harm this living creature, both by mutilating the members and by impeding the forwardness of the free choice in behalf of good deeds” (ibid., 62:3).

“Observe how bitterly he [Paul] speaks against their deceivers . . . ‘I would that they which trouble you would cut the whole thing off’ [Gal. 5:12]. . . . On this account he curses them, and his meaning is as follows: ‘For them I have no concern, “A man that is heretical after the first and second admonition refuse” [Titus 3:10]. If they will, let them not only be circumcised but mutilated.’ Where then are those who dare to mutilate themselves, seeing that they draw down the apostolic curse, and accuse the workmanship of God, and take part with the Manichees?” (Commentary on Galatians 5:12 [A.D. 395]).

Jerome

“But I wonder why he [the heretic Jovinianus] set Judah and Tamar before us for an example, unless perchance even harlots give him pleasure; or Onan, who was slain because he grudged his brother seed. Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?” (Against Jovinian 1:19 [A.D. 393]).

“You may see a number of women who are widows before they are wives. Others, indeed, will drink sterility and murder a man not yet born, [and some commit abortion]” (Letters 22:13 [A.D. 396]).

Caesarius of Arles

“Who is he who cannot warn that no woman may take a potion so that she is unable to conceive or condemns in herself the nature which God willed to be fecund? As often as she could have conceived or given birth, of that many homicides she will be held guilty, and, unless she undergoes suitable penance, she will be damned by eternal death in hell. If a woman does not wish to have children, let her enter into a religious agreement with her husband; for chastity is the sole sterility of a Christian woman” (Sermons 1:12 [A.D. 522]).

30 newkrew February 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I just want to comment on the fact that you state that “Mormons” are not “Christians”. First of all the word “Christian” comes from Greek Χριστιανός (christianos) which being translated means “follower of Christ.” Or in other words, a person or group of people, who follow and strive to live Christ’s teachings, and example. You simply have to look at the official name of the group of people that you refer to as “Mormons” to see that you are wrong. The official name of the religion is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”, of Jesus Christ, not Mormon, Joseph Smith or even Brigham Young. The name “Mormon(s)” is simply a nickname
given to the people of this Church. While we do not find it offensive, because it refers to our use of the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible in our quest to live a Christ-like life, it is not what we refer to ourselves as. And we know that it’s only through the Savior’s Atonement and following His teachings that we can return to our Father in Heaven, or God. Not the “Mormon God” as you say… the ONLY God, whose goes by many names (ie:Eloheim, Jehovah-a name He also shares with Jesus Christ) in many lands. But, is the same Supreme Being. The artist Jon McNaughton is promoting no one except for Our Father and His Son. And to say that there is no connection between the Almighty and government, one needs to simply refer to the Bible, Psalms is a good place to start, for clarification. “Government” is defined as 1 : the act or process of governing; specifically : authoritative direction or control, and God has always had “authoritative direction, and control” over this world. You can also go back and review basic Middle School History/Social Studies, there are many non-Christians who that we as a country could only have survived with “Divine Intervention”.

31 Mark Lamprecht February 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm

newkrew, if I understand you correctly, because Mormons have “Jesus Christ” in their name that makes them a Christian institution? If so, consider this, if I posted a comment on elsewhere using the nickname “newkrew” could I then claim that I am the same person posting as “newkrew” at Here I Blog?

It is also my understanding that one of the many things Joseph Smith said against Protestant churches of his day and their creeds were wrong. Many churches use the same creeds today as during Smith’s time and most other Protestant churches use creeds that take the same positions.

32 Daniel Spratlin February 2, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Mark – You would be absolutely astounded at how many Mormons email CARM “proving” that they are Christian because the name “Jesus Christ” is found in the name of their “church.” So, in response, I started the Church of Jesus Christ and Buttered Toast. We have only one doctrine: buttered toast is the only way to go. Otherwise, we don’t care what you believe and since the name “Jesus Christ” is in our name, we can call ourselves Christians!

Obviously this is an exercise in reductio ad absurdim but my point is clear: this is no proof of a Christian. No more than a “burning bosom.”

33 newkrew February 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Hi Mark, I’m sorry if it came across as “only because it is in our name”, I believe that all things are defined by their works, and actions as well, not just by name. Our religion as a whole strives to live a Christ-like life and be an example of His teachings and love. Of course, not all of us succeed at that at all times in our life. But it is our goal. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has helped with humanitarian efforts all over the world in times of need to anyone, members and non-members alike. Membership in the Church is not a requirement, only that there is a need.
And in reference to the churches and religions of Joseph Smith’s time, it’s not that they were wrong…only incomplete.
I apologize if anything I, or any other member of the Church has said or done anything to offend you. I’m sorry, it was not my, nor our intention.

34 12 21 end of the world March 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Good article. thank you

If you want read more about 2012 year and about end of the world predicted at this year, you can do this here

http://2012earth.net/planet_nibiru_2012.html

35 Rick Gollner April 11, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Agreed Patrick. McNaughton, Beck, Skousen, Joseph Smith. None are the answer. Beck is a Mormon by default due to his kid’s decisions but it makes no difference. The Mormons I know, and love, want to be regarded as Christian, and why shouldn’t they? Moreover, why don’t they? Though I’m proud of the Christian moniker, both the loves of my life are Jews! He is one, she the other. What hapened to Judeo-Christian and where’s the link? Of course it’s in the word and the word has made this a great nation. We are Americans, and we’re all in dire need of His grace.

36 Carol June 14, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I believe that Jesus Christ is our Saviour. I believe that our Founding Fathers believed this also. They wanted this country to be the “Land of the Free”. They were Christians. Protestants are Christians. Catholics are Christians. Mormons are Christians. If you want to call all of us “idiots” I guess that is your right since it is still is a free country. I also believe that as long as there are enough of us, America will be blessed. I am sorry you don’t feel that way and like to make fun of Christians.

37 Mark June 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Carol, which of the U.S. Founding Father professed faith in Christ? I’m not making fun of Christians. I am not even making fun of non-Christians like Mormons. What did Joseph Smith think of the Christian statements of faith during his time? What is the difference in them today?

I do agree that the Founding Fathers wanted this to be a free country. They may have even used biblical principles with a Judeo-Christian worldview.

38 Georgia September 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Lol…I just happened upon this site and couldn’t help but comment. Great debate. Here are just a few quotes from signers of the Declaration and/or Constitution, and this is by no means a comprehensive list:

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” ~Patrick Henry

“This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.” ~Patrick Henry

“I . . . recommend my Soul to that Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.” ~Samuel Adams

“On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.” ~Charles Carroll

“I desire to bless and praise the name of God most high for appointing me my birth in a land of Gospel Light where the glorious tidings of a Savior and of pardon and salvation through Him have been continually sounding in mine ears.” ~Robert Paine

“My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!” ~Benjamin Rush

“I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other [Acts 4:12]. . . . [I]f you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness, you must forever perish.” ~John Witherspoon

39 skindt September 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

sounds like everyone is searching for truth and wants to follow Christ and I think that’s great. I don’t see the point in criticizing other denominations though, that doesn’t seem very “Christian” to me. The way the world is heading these days, every so called “Christian” should band together and help fight the decline of morality. The family is getting attacked from many angles and the world is evolving into a “me-first” environment.

40 CHUCK November 13, 2010 at 11:47 am

The ‘real’ Church isn’t about compromising the ‘Word of God’ in order to ‘band’ together. That is what the ‘apostate’ church is all about in their united religions initiatives. Follow His Messiah, and not men.

Matthew 7:21-23
[21]Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [22]Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [23]And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

41 Patrick B. November 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Mormonism believes in a multiplicity of gods, is anti-Trinitarian and has no historically provable claims concerning ancient places or events. It is therefore not Christian. Beck adheres to the mormon religion, therefore he cannot be considered a Christian.

To say we need to “begin to recognizing…truth regardless of where it stems” is a self contradictory statement. Religious tenants that contradict each other cannot both be true. There cannot be more than one source of Truth concerning “Faith” (religion.) The only source of religious truth is God, and since God cannot contradict Himelf, there can only be one religious Truth. We need to discover how and where He has revealed Himself to us and to follow what He has asked us to do.

42 Mark November 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Patrick,

Would Joseph Smith, the “prophet” and founder of Mormonism have considered me a Christian?

43 Larry F. April 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

Those who claim Glenn Beck (or any Mormon) is a Christian are ignorant both of what Christianity teaches and what Mormonism teaches. The two belief systems are mutually exclusive. Jesus cannot be both the uncreated, incarnate God of the Universe and a created being whose brother is Lucifer (as Mormonism teaches). This just one of many, many irreconcilable differences between the two belief systems.

44 Hank Hieftje April 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Mark,
To say that Glen is a Mormon and not a Christian shows a lack of homework on your part—to be kind. Mormon is the name taken from the title of The Book of Mormon, Mormon being the prophet in the book.

The offical name of the church is –The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Sounds Christian to me. Latter being that we are in the latter days , as many believe—-even Islam—-but they believe it will be the return of the 12th Imom, I think. In any case all us infidels must be dealt with first—-i.e killed, converted to Islam or become slaves—-it’s written in the Koran.

The above 50 posts are mostly dancing. One word defines a Christian—”WORKS”. If you believe in what those who have died and had their lives given back have said. There are two questions they all seems to remember being asked. And both are summed up in your “works” upon this domain—there you will be judged—-so fight nice children. Ciao, Hank

45 Mark April 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Hank,

I am having trouble following your premise and conclusions. I grew up in a sect of Mormonism, first named RLDS, so I am aware of the history. Just because a group puts “Jesus Christ” in their names does not make them a Christian. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a version of God’s name in their name, but vastly disagree with Mormonism, so which one is Christian?

Early Mormon leaders disagreed with Christian doctrine and put them as being part of something less than Christianity claiming they were all wrong and outside of the true church. That is, those Mormons would not accept historic Christians to be Christians. I also do not believe Moroni to be a prophet.

At the bottom of the following post I have a chart showing the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. Cf. Thoughts on Moore on Glenn Beck and the Gospel.

46 jazzpast October 1, 2012 at 1:50 am

mormons make me want to PUKE! Joseph Smith the founder of mormonism was nothing but a criminal and polygamist, pedophil, racist, murderer and horse thief with over 27 wives. Some say over 60 wives. He wrote the book of Abraham it was a complete made-up lie. Godless LDS mormon cult members are not Christian! Your mormon God lives on planet Kolob. Your mormon God isn’t my Christian God. Your LDS mormon cult is the work of SATAN and those who follow your false teachings will die and go to hell.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: