Warning: Mormon Acceptance Propaganda

On January 8, 2013, I was contacted through my blog by Eric Shuster. He is releasing a new book soon so he asked if I would like to help promote it via a blog tour. The book’s title alone – Where are the Christians? The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion – grabbed my interest.

But this inquiring mind wanted to know more about it since I had never heard of the author nor the upcoming book. A quick check on Amazon and Shuster’s website answered the blog tour question for me – no!

The author is a former Roman Catholic turned Mormon. His first book was Catholic roots, Mormon Harvest. His second was The Biblical Roots of Mormonism. The titles alone should give a Christian pause. These books clearly promote Mormonism. The first book is a testimony of Shuster’s conversion to Mormonism that also compares Mormon and Catholic doctrine. The purpose of the second book is explained by the title.

After my brief investigation, I declined Shuster’s offer. I explained that I did not mean to give a personal offense, but I would have to warn people about his book as my duty is to the gospel first.

Shuster politely replied expressing he understood that I did not consider Mormonism to be Christian; yet, he still considers me a brother in Christ. He claimed that his book has nothing to do with Mormonism. Rather, he wants to address ‘Post Christian America’ to encourage Christians to cross denominational lines to influence the direction of this country. He also thought that my reply to him proved his point that Christianity is divided. That we should come together in our common values to make a difference in our communities.

Anyone see the problem with Shuster’s claims? The book might not have anything to do with explicitly promoting Mormonism, but he is implying that Mormonism is just another Christian denomination. He claims to desire uniting through shared values brushing off the fact that our theologies differ to the point that I don’t consider him a brother in Christ, but his book is titled Where are the Christians? The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion.

As I see it, Shuster is the one implicitly promoting a ‘Post Christian America’ where Christianity is defined as a religion which includes Mormonism. Joseph Smith, Jr. even separated himself from the American Christianity of his day. In fact, Smith is recorded as making the following statement about Christian sects of his day in the book History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight;

Not much research is needed to find that many of those same creeds Smith wrote were an “abomination” in the early 1820’s are still used today. And some of today’s creeds are simply derivatives of earlier creeds teaching the same doctrines.

While Shuster may have good intentions with his book Where are the Christians? The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion; good intentions should not overshadow the good news of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, a website has been set-up to go along with the book – FINDYOURCHRISTIANITY.com. In the “about” section of this website more sites under the guise of Christianity can be found. Those websites are operated by “The Foundation for Christian Studies” which is “dedicated to the study, teaching, and practice of Christianity with an emphasis on the doctrines and principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism).”

Everything about the author and his books certainly give a feel for a push through the backdoor for the acceptance of Mormonism as a valid expression of Christianity.

Finally, if you are a Christian blogger and have been approached by Mr. Shuster to promote his new book, take note of the above warnings. Let me offer a few of the many apologetic resources on Mormonism.

For the Kingdom…

Mark

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dr. james willingham January 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Thanks for calling attention to a ghastly charade.

2 Jacob A. Allee January 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Christianity isn’t so divided at all, it’s just that there are a lot of impostors who don’t like us to point them out.

3 Pastor Bill January 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm

A huge problem in the contemporary Western church (giving this kind of propaganda traction) is that we have allowed Christianity to become spoken of primarily as a system of morality instead of defining faith in terms of doctrine. In fact, more than allowing it, many pulpits are complicit.

Thanks for the heads-up.

4 Keith Walker January 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the world view of Mormonism, consulting their official teaching manuals is a good way to see what they really teach. The best explanation of the Mormon World View in print is four pages out of their official teaching manual, “Achieving a Celestial Marriage.” Reading this explanation will help in communicating with and understanding Mormons.

Topics covered are:
-God the Father was once a child.
-God the Father is married.
-Men are Gods in embryo.
-Men can evolve into Gods.
-Once a man attains Godhood, he can create and populate his own world to be peopled by his children.

None of the above bullets points are sensationalized in any way. They are nearly direct quotes. Please check the following reference for accuracy.

http://www.evidenceministries.org/2011/08/what-is-the-significance-of-mormon-temples-within-mormon-theology/

5 NewNameNoah (@newnamenoah) January 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm

For the first time ever, non-Mormons can see the entire Mormon Temple Endowment ceremony online and judge for themselves. Here are the highlights: http://www.tinyurl.com/MormonSecrets

I filmed these videos myself with a hidden camera. Mormonism is a FAR cry from Christianity.

6 Jason January 17, 2013 at 6:11 pm

He writes “Although Christians among the over 33,000 Christian denominations around the world are unlikely to agree on all points of doctrine, the FCS encourages the study of Christian theology to identify commonality that can be built upon to strengthen individuals, families, churches and communities in Jesus Christ.” What a bunch of nonsense.

Like the teaching that the one true eternal God was once a man living on a planet his god made and somehow “progressed” to become a god. You can sugarcoat this poison all you want, but it still leads to eternal death.

7 theoldadam January 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Ask a Mormon about Nauvoo Illinois and see just how united they are. It matters not, anyway. They are leading people to hell faster than a liberal judge shreds the Constitution.

8 Eric Shuster January 18, 2013 at 7:50 am

Mark – this is Eric Shuster the author you speak of in this posting. I do hope you will give me the opportunity to more fully explain the purpose of this book as a response to what you have written. I do not believe you have fairly portrayed what this book is all about (you have not even read it) and have dismissed it simply because it is written by a Mormon. Thomas Jefferson (who cut and pasted his own Bible) and several of the key Founding Fathers were not Christians in a traditional sense and were in fact Deists – what if we would have dismissed their views simply by virtue of their denominational affiliation? If you do not wish to post my response I understand, but your readers must realize there is far more to “Where are the Christians?” than you have explained in your posting. Please contact me at eshuster@ericshuster.com and I would be happy to provide a posting. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

9 Mark January 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Eric,

My critique was about more than just your new book. I did tie your Mormonism and your two previous books into the mix, yes. Given your previous two books are defenses of Mormonism and, correct me if I’m wrong, you believe Mormonism to be a valid expression of Christianity, therefore I am warning Christians about the ecumenical push your new book seems to advance.

Did I misrepresent your email response to me including the mention of ‘Post Christian America’ and your desire to persuade “Christians” to cross denominational lines?

My plan was not to post your email, but part of what you wrote was the following.

The book has nothing to do with Mormonism whatsoever. The book has everything to do with the fact that Christianity is falling asleep in the United States and if Christians are to have any influence on the direction of our country spiritually, morally, politically and socially it better start finding ways of uniting itself across denominational lines or it will be part of what some are calling a “Post Christian America.”

You are a promoter and defending of the LDS faith. Reading these words of yours leads one to believe you include Christians to come together – Mormons included – to influence America. My desire was to make people aware of your book and your LDS foundation including the websites that mix Mormonism and Christianity.

Thanks for stopping by.

10 Brian January 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Hi all. I’m a Mormon, and I consider myself to be a Christian, as I certainly believe that Christ is the Savior of mankind and I try to follow His teachings to the best of my abilities.

Some of you don’t consider Mormons to be Christians for various reasons. Generally, I’m ok with that. I took no issue with the article and the discussion of the book, as it appears to be the true feelings of the author.

However, I did take issue with the last part, where Mark references several “sources” on Mormonism. I’ve been familiar with all of them (though I haven’t read White’s book) for quite some time, and they would classify as anything but honest sources about LDS beliefs and practices. If I had a dollar for every falsehood that CARM teaches about Mormonism, I’d treat every poster on these threads to a steak dinner. I once had an online discussion with Latayne Scott herself, where she tried to tell me that Mormons believe that the bible “gives Satan power over people,” possibly not realizing I was a Mormon. This is the exact opposite of what Mormons believe, and when I called her out on it, she tried to claim that the Book of Mormon said it (It doesn’t).

If you use those links as your “sources” on Mormonism, you will be misinformed.

11 Bibleman January 19, 2013 at 3:14 am

Utlm.org
Different Jesus (spirit brother of Satan), different gospel (Jesus + works). Polytheistic (as man is god once was as god is man may become). Social tyranny in the small towns and foreign villages they dominate. Doctrinally they are closer to Hinduism. In their teaching there is only one true church, them.

12 Eric Shuster January 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Mark:

I am disappointed you did not contact me and allow me to post a blog. In the absence of your response I will post here what I was going to send you, although it is more fitting for a blog.

As a Catholic for the first 26 years of my life I was often confronted by those who wished to teach me the falsehoods of my religion. My Christian faith was precious to me and I therefore did not bother myself with these random confrontations. When my wife and I decided to take our Christian faith in a different direction as Latter-day Saints 24 years ago we had no idea the road ahead of us. Since that time we have experienced the full force of Christian separation in being excluded from social gatherings, our home being vandalized on several occasions, our children being denied participation on sporting teams and ridiculed by teachers, and every manner of bigotry one can imagine save physical violence—all because we are Mormons.

While living in Houston Texas we became involved with an inter-faith community group called Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM). NAM brought together over 50 Christian denominations in the surrounding area to serve the needs of the needy in the Houston area. NAM graciously accepted the help of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which they later described in a conference as their “go-to congregation.” I was inspired by the unity that came from focusing on shared Christian values in strengthening communities.

Many years later I felt inspired to be a part of building bridges of understanding between Christian denominations. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia (WCE) there are 33,820 Christian denominations in the world today categorized into seven segments. One of those segments is called “Marginal Protestants” in which the WCE places Mormonism for its non-traditional Christian beliefs. I learned that 76% of Americans consider themselves to be Christian and that a host of studies by Barna, Pew, and several Universities provide revealing insights into the beliefs and practices of a variety of Christian denominations. With the state of America falling deeper into immorality and un-Christian living it was difficult for me to reconcile how our country could be 76% Christian, but becoming so un-Godly.

The answer was clear: Christianity is far too divided. One of the great strengths of Christianity is its diversity: there are cowboy churches, snake churches and churches for anything and everybody. However, with such diversity the problem is the inability to aggregate any sustainable influence in society. Sure, in California the Evangelicals and Mormons were able to get together to pass a proposition to define marriage, but such efforts are rare. The potential for Christianity is great, but the division within Christianity is also great. I’ve learned the greatest threat to Christianity is not atheism, but rather the division within itself.

I started my quest by focusing on relations between Catholics and Mormons—the two religions I knew best. My first book Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest discusses the faith journey of my wife and me and offers respectful comparisons of doctrine between the two churches. The reviews for the book tell the story in that it never disparages the Catholic faith and instead helps create a deeper understanding and appreciation for the commonality and differences between the two denominations.

My next book The Biblical Roots of Mormonism seeks to facilitate a dialogue between Mormons and other Christians by using a common scriptural platform—the Bible. Using over 1,000 Biblical references the book helps readers understand Mormon doctrine from a Biblical point of view in a language they can understand.

My latest book, Where are the Christians? The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion, seeks to enlighten readers as to who the Christians are from a historical perspective; what a Christian is from a spiritual perspective; where the Christians are from a behavioral perspective; and how Christianity can be strengthened and more united from a societal perspective. Where are the Christians? highlights the immense potential that exists with Christianity in America, but how that potential is stifled by petty division eroding its influence. There is talk of a “Post Christian America” precisely for this reason, that Christianity has become unable to consolidate its influence politically, spiritually and socially and thus becoming less relevant everyday. The latest presidential election perfectly illustrates this point. To that end I have written this book to try and “wake up” Christians to realize it is time to stand up, exercise faith, and recognize that there is far more in common between the various denominations of Christianity than there are differences, and by focusing on commonalities we can begin to realize the full potential of Christianity in America.

You can certainly dismiss this book because it was authored by a Mormon. However, consider the fact that Thomas Jefferson (who compiled his own Bible) and several of the key Founding Fathers of America were not traditional Christians, but rather Deists. Where would we be today if our country had dismissed their views and contributions on the basis of their denominational affiliation?

As a Mormon I may not be a Christian in your eyes—you have the right to deny me that privilege. But try to remember what Jesus Christ said in the 9th chapter of Luke (verses 49 and 50) when John begrudgingly said “Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.” The loving and perfect response from Jesus was “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”

As I mentioned in my email to you, I would be happy to have an open public discourse with you (debate if you want to call it that) as long as we are able to do so with some fair ground rules of us both being able to ask questions and respond accordingly. I learned long ago that having such a discourse with multiple people in a forum like this is way too time consuming and frustrating – I would rather do it with one person and I hope that can be you. Let me know if you want to take me up on my offer.

Your brother in Jesus Christ,
Eric Shuster

13 Keith Walker January 21, 2013 at 12:53 am

Eric,
You keep speaking of Mormonism as if it is just another Christian denomination. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not teach that at all. It teaches that it alone is the one true Church and the only representation of true Christianity on the face of the earth. That being the case, I find your attempt to “cozy up” to “other” Christians disingenuous at best.

Just please answer this one question. If other Churches are really Christian in the eyes of the LDS Church, then why would you be considered an apostate if you left it and joined another Church?

14 Eric Shuster January 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

The term apostate is also used by the Catholic Church and simply means “One who has abandoned one’s religious faith, a political party, one’s principles, or a cause.” Please consider how the LDS faith feels about other Christian religions by examining the words of its late President Gordon B. Hinckley who said: ““We recognize the good in all churches. We recognize the value of religion generally. We say to everyone: live the teachings which you have received from your church. We invite you to come and learn from us, to see if we can add to those teachings and enhance your life and your understanding of things sacred and divine.” (London News Service 8/28/1995. Also see Ensign, November 2002, page 78 and Ensign, October 2006, page 5 for similar invitations). The LDS faith recognizes Christianity among all Christian Churches, but believes the “fullness of the gospel” resides in only one Church. That doesn’t sound like one who does not recognize the validity and importance of other Christian faiths.

The question of whether or not the LDS Church is Christian has been soundly answered whether it be by the “World Christian Encyclopedia” or any number of Christian organizations and world institutions. The assertion is no longer relevant. However, the differences in theological teachings is. There is no universal definition of a Christian as I learned in writing this book. I engaged with the largest Christian Churches in the US and the largest religious organizations and when I compared all of their definition against one another it was a mess. Therefore, you can certainly accuse me of not being a Christian, but must do so based upon a certain definition – a definition that certainly will not be universally recognized. And while you might judge my Christianity, I will certainly not judge yours. The more relevant question for us both is “what type of Christian are you?” See the exercise at findyourchristianity.com to understand what I mean.

However, that is not the purpose of my coming here. The purpose is to help those in this forum understand my latest book and why my being a Mormon has nothing to do with the importance of the subject matter: Where are the Christians in the US among this failing society of immorality? Watch the trailer for the book and perhaps you will understand better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soLDUYU_4H4 .

God Bless,

15 Mark January 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Hi Eric,

Sorry, I’ve been busy. I’m a little confused why you thought you deserved a blog post on my site. I saw the length of your comment and decided to let it stand. I am not in the practice of allowing people from non-Christian religions post in favor of their religion.

Besides, I gave people links to your books and sites; more than enough information about you and your religious causes.

Note, that I am sorry about the vandalism and the ridicule your family has endured.

Now, I appreciate your thoughts on the lack of unity by Chrsitians on the socio-political front. The problem though is that your reasoning is flawed when you include Mormon within Christianity. That the WCE includes Mormonism under “Marginal Protestants” is almost laughable when considering the other sects such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and New Agers in the same category.

You state that, “With the state of America falling deeper into immorality and un-Christian living it was difficult for me to reconcile how our country could be 76% Christian, but becoming so un-Godly.” And further comment, “The answer was clear: Christianity is far too divided.”

Christianity may be too divided, but unifying merely on moral grounds is not enough. For example, I did not become a moral person so that I could therefore confess to be a Christian. Rather, the gospel changed me from an immoral person to one who seeks holiness through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. The answer is not to replace the gospel with a false gospel from a false Jesus as groups like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have done. Nor is the answer to replace the gospel with politics like the right and left seek to do through more moral laws and social justice, respectively.

I’ve already commented on ‘Post Christian America’ in the original post. I see that as an ecumenical movement dangerous to the gospel.

Thomas Jefferson and those Founding Father deists were also not Christians from my perspective. I would not partner with them from a position of standing on the gospel together. I would decline such an invitation for the same reasons I would not sign the “Manhattan Project” which I wrote about on this blog.

Your application of Luke 9:49-50 assumes LDS are within Christianity. Yet, as I showed in the original post, even Joseph Smith stated that he was not with the Christians of his day who professed the same set of beliefs that Christians hold today.

As to your reply to Keith, there are also Mormon sources which note a clear theological separation from that of Christianity. I do not know why you think the WCE settles the theological divide.

What is it the makes Mormons want to so badly be part of the Christianity which its founder rejected?

16 Eric Shuster January 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Mark:

You are mistaken on two fronts: 1) Joseph Smith did not reject Christianity, the Lord simply told him to not join any of the existing Churches because they were all in need of being restored due to their distorted teachings (can one argue with this due to the fragmentation of Christian Churches then and now?). You are misapplying this event to fit into your argument; and 2) Mormons generally are not desperate to be included in mainstream Christianity, in fact many former Church leaders believed that would be the beginning of the end of the LDS faith to be included in such a grouping. The point here is that division comes when we begin deciding who and who is not Christian by virtue of their religious affiliation. That is commonly known as bigotry. The experiences of my family, and many others who have had it far worse than we have, have come as a result of unrighteous judgments based upon theological interpretation. You certainly have the right to your own interpretation; however, such interpretations are merely opinions and these opinions have in some cases serious unintended consequences. I am absolutely certain without any reservation that Jesus Christ would wholeheartedly disagree with such opinions and methods. Christ was inclusive as opposed to so many efforts of our modern era that seek to make Christianity “exclusive.”

I am sure there are Mormons who long to be accepted into the “Christian Club” that is so heavily guarded by well meaning individuals who believe they are defending the faith to maintain Christian purity. However, I am not certainly one of them. My desire is that we be able to stand shoulder to shoulder as a people united to fight for Christian values so as to turn around the course of our country. If you decide to reject my plea to stand shoulder to shoulder in this effort then I believe you are likely to be one who has pharisaical tendencies, or in other words a “Modern-Day Pharisee” (a chapter of my book is dedicated to this topic).

Mark, I love you as my brother in Christ but it appears you do not extend to me the same. Dig deep into your understanding of the gospel taught by Jesus Christ to understand what you are doing here. I again extend to you the invitation for you and I to have a public discussion on Christianity and Mormonism, I believe we would both learn a great deal as would your readers.

Take care brother,
Eric

17 Keith Walker January 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Eric,
You are not being entirely honest with us about what your church teaches. Apostate is a dirty term and I wish you were more honest enough to admit that. It refers to MUCH more than just leaving the LDS Church to join a different church. While you quote late prophet Gordon B. Hinckley regarding his statements on “other” Christians, let me take the liberty to do the same. I will quote aother former LDS prophet, and even your scriptures regarding the LDS Church’s real thoughts on Christianity.

“Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth. They may be called cockatrices, for they sting wherever they go. Go to their meetings in the Christian world, and you will hear them remark, “Our ministers dictate our souls’ salvation;” and they are perfectly composed and resigned to trust their whole future destiny to their priests, though they durst not trust them with one single dollar beyond their salaries and a few presents,” (Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:176).

“And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth,” (1 Nephi 14:10, Book of Mormon).

“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join… I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History 1:18-19).

This last quote is the rest of what you did not quote in your most recent post to Mark. Smith did not report that God told him that all other Churches are, “in need of being restored due to their distorted teachings.” The adjectives in your scripture are much more damning; wrong, abomination and corrupt. If we said that about your Church, you would be offended.

You also stated, “The point here is that division comes when we begin deciding who and who is not Christian by virtue of their religious affiliation. That is commonly known as bigotry.” That goes both ways. To call “other Christians “apostates, abominable, wrong and corrupt just because we are not members of your Church is worse than bigoted.

Please drop the “nice-nice game” and be honest about what your Church really teaches. Trying to cozy up to us just to get your book promoted is distasteful. Christians do desire to stand shoulder to shoulder to fight for Christian values. We just prefer it to be with those we accept as Christians who also accept us as true Christians as well.

18 Eric Shuster January 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Keith:

I am sorry you feel offended and equally sorry you feel I am being dishonest. I am not being dishonest as I have been a member of the LDS faith for nearly 25 years and have lived what is taught and can tell you that you are taking these things way out of context. It is your right to do so, but please know that you are twisting these things to fit your own belief system. The LDS faith is renowned for its efforts to work with other Christian Churches in communities around the world while showing the utmost respect for the diversity of Christian belief systems. You may dig back into the past for quotes that suit your point, but the “actions” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tell an entirely different story. I too can quote a variety of Christian Church leaders of various denominations or cite their actions which caused public shame to the Christian religion, but to do so would be pointless. Shall we live in the quotes of the past or deal with today and the future of Christianity and focus on those who are walking the walk?

I am not playing a “nice-nice game,” those who know me will tell you that this is who I am. I spend time reaching out to those not of the LDS faith because I seek to correct the rampant misconceptions. I am not the one rejecting your Christianity but rather accepting you as my brother and offering to work for the kingdom with you side by side. It is you who is rejecting me and the millions of Christians who belong to the LDS faith. I cozy up to no one to sell books, I am reaching out to all those who call themselves Christians to join with me and others to turn this ship around in the United States. I am giving this my all for my children and their children as well as your own. I am trying to do something about this in the best way I know how. I am doing so honestly and openly with nothing to hide.

If this offends you Keith, then please take a moment to examine who is being judged here and who is the one doing the judging.

Your brother in Christ,
Eric Shuster

19 dr. james willingham January 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Eric: If you were the only Morman, we might well think they were all good. But in addition to the quotes given above by Keith and Mark, I suspect that there are many more, including myself, who has works in our libraries written by former Mormans which high light and underscore the fact that all is not well in LDS circles. From the very beginnings of your sect, there has been a tendency to harsh judgments and misleading interpretations. Just imagine what I think, when I remember that in my first encounter with members of your group that they proved there were three gods who liived in bodies of flesh. That was about 1959. We were quite unprepared at the time for such assault upon the Trinity and Unity of God. There was more, much more. A friend, who also happened to be a Greek scholar, was invited to speak at one of your conferences and who did and abided by the rules until your folks violated it, then he spoke out and they asked him to leave. We do not think, Eric, you are quite so loving and good as you want us to think, especially in view of the teachings of Scripture about the Madness that is in man until they die (Eccles.9:3), having hearts that are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer.17:9). The folks in this column have given measured and balanced answers to your claims, and they as well as others are aware of the vast differences between your sect and the churches that are noted for orthodox views of the biblical and historical faith.

20 Eric Shuster January 22, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Thank you all for your time and consideration. I wish you all the very best in Jesus Christ.

21 Keith Walker January 22, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Eric,
It is one thing to claim that those quotes were taken out of context. It is another thing to prove it. I invite you to do so, otherwise you are guilty of an empty accusation. I do not need to dig quotes from the past. I can quote your current official teaching manuals which are very clear about what it teaches about the identities of the Church of the Lamb of God and the Church of the Devil. Let’s look at the Book of Mormon teacher manual which discusses 1 Nephi 14:10. It is found on an official LDS Church web site.

http://www.lds.org/manual/book-of-mormon-teacher-manual/chapter-4-1-nephi-12-15?lang=eng

From the above information, please answer this question. Is it possible for me to belong to the Church of the Lamb of God if I am not a member of the LDS Church?

By the way. I am not offended by Mormon duplicity (Mormons saying one thing while their teaching manuals CLEARLY teach something else). I am use to it and have come to expect it. It that bothers you, try to look at things from our perspective.

22 Larry January 23, 2013 at 8:39 am

Thanks for the heads up Mark. Evangelicals are far too quick to embrace Mormonism in the cause of “restoring America” (just look at the followings of Glenn Beck and painter Jon McNaughton by professed Christians and even pastors). We dare not put the “restoration” of our nation ahead of the gospel. Mormonism and Orthodox Christianity are mutually exclusive belief systems. The Jesus of Mormonism can be the true Jesus or the Jesus of the Bible can be but they cannot both be.

23 Mark January 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

Larry, you’re welcome. And it should come as no surprise that we agree. 🙂

Keith and Dr. Willingham, thanks for engaging Eric.

24 Brian January 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Wow! This thread seems to support the idea that “there is nothing that a Christian hates more, than another Christian, that believes slightly differently.” As a Mormon, I’m certainly grateful that my (not Mormon) Christian friends and associates aren’t nearly as judgmental and ignorant of my beliefs that these threads suggest.

– and Dr. James Willingham – if you have libraries of books about “Mormons,” then perhaps you could learn to spell the word right if you read them.

25 Larry January 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Slightly differently? Jesus is the un-created Son of God, second person of the trinity, an eternal Being who became incarnate in Mary’s womb via the Holy Spirit’s action vs. Jesus is a created being, the brother of Lucifer who was conceived in the normal fashion when “god” had sexual intercourse with Mary. Yeah, just a technicality really.

26 dr. james willingham January 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Sorry Brian in the lateness of the evening, my attention tends to drift. But then considering the subject and its tedium, it is perhaps understandable.And as to Mormons not being judgmental, you should perhaps ask some of the folks in the old West frontiers about how harshly their Christian Orthodox Faith was condemned by the sources of Mormonism. And, if you folks have changed, why the differences between you and the folks of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Missouri. I understand that they are bit more orthodox than your folks.

27 Keith Walker January 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Brian,
I think I have demonstrated clearly enough that I am not ignorant of Mormonism. No one here hates Mormons. What I do hate is when disagreement is labeled “hate.” Those who throw that word around never really seem to understand that if you disagree with me, then you are a hater according to your own definition. That is also called hypocrisy.

There are more differences between Mormonism and Christianity to call those differences “slight.” I do not believe that God the Father was perhaps once a child, mortal and progressed to become what he is now. I do not believe I have heavenly parents, nor that marriage in a temple is required for me to have a posterity that will be as innumerable as the stars of heaven. I do not believe that I will become a god and have jurisdiction over worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by my own offspring.

NONE of the above is considered “Christian” by any, I repeat, ANY Christian denomination.

28 Mark January 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Keith,

Interestingly enough, I quoted a Mormon on this blog in the past who explained that the LDS reject the Trinity. The quote was:

We reject the Nicaean Creed and the non-biblical concept of the Trinity (non-biblical word) as a 4th-century fabrication. We do believe in the Bible’s teaching of the God Head which is comprised of God the Father and The Son Jesus Christ; both with tangible, perfect, glorified, bodies of flesh and bone (no blood), parts, and righteous passions. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit whose image is in the likeness of a man which is in the express image and likeness of God. These 3 beings are 1 in purpose, but we only pray to and worship God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. We do not pray to or worship Jesus and we do not pray to or worship the Holy Ghost. We interpret the “God is spirit” verse figuratively because the Bible speaks of God’s corporeal nature in nearly every other instance.

We do not believe that God the Father and Satan are brothers. We believe that Jehovah (Jesus Christ, the Son of God) and Lucifer were spirit brothers. Lucifer (son of the morning) is our spirit brother who fell from heaven for rebellion at the grand heavenly council, where we were present and “shouted for joy” and overcame Satan by our love, faith, and testimony for Christ.

29 Keith Walker January 24, 2013 at 1:52 am

Mark,
Give me an honest Mormon any time. I respect those who admit to and stand up for their beliefs much more than I do those who pretend our differences are insignificant for the sake of protecting the reputation of their Church.

30 Brian January 25, 2013 at 2:06 am

How can you claim that you know about Mormonism when you can’t even get the basics of the basics right? http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormonism-101#C14
The “sources” on Mormonism that Mark posted contain many claims about what Mormons believe. Some are true, and others are false. If you think that they are accurate sources, then it’s a dead giveaway that you really don’t know much about what Mormons believe.

31 Keith Walker January 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Brian,
THANK YOU for bringing up the Mormonism 101 FAQ! You have just given me the opportunity to prove one of two things. Either you are more ignorant of your faith than you claim I am, or you are lying about it.

The verbiage I used in my comment about the differences between Mormonism and Christianity are nearly direct quotes from one of the LDS Church’s official teaching manuals. In my opinion, the best explanation of the Mormon World View in print is four pages out of their official teaching manual, “Achieving a Celestial Marriage.” You can read those four pages here. Be sure to check for accuracy and context.

http://www.evidenceministries.org/2011/08/what-is-the-significance-of-mormon-temples-within-mormon-theology/

Now, regarding the FAQ, I agree that misunderstanding about Mormonism needs to be cleared up. The best way I know to do that is for there to be open, honest dialogue with full disclosure. Unfortunately, the Mormon Church and you seem to disagree with that sentiment.

You have just provided an example of that. Mormons routinely point to mormonnewsroom.org for accurate information on Mormonism. When you check the FAQ of that site, one of the questions answered is, “Do Latter-day Saints believe that they will ‘get their own planet’? The answer in part is, ‘No. This idea is not taught in Latter-day Saint scripture, nor is it a doctrine of the Church.’”

This is a surprising answer when you take into consideration that an official teaching manual “Gospel Fundamentals” found on LDS.org (an official Mormon Church web site) teaches of faithful Mormons, “They will receive everything our Father in Heaven has and will become like Him. They will even be able to have spirit children and make new worlds for them to live on, and do all the things our Father in Heaven has done.”

http://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-fundamentals/chapter-36-eternal-life?lang=eng

So, which is it? Do Mormons believe they will get their own worlds/planets or not? Their public statements say “No” all the while they teach privately that they do. This does not make for open, honest dialogue with full disclosure.

If we want to truly understand Mormonism, consulting their official teaching manuals is a viable solution. In the “Achieving” manual, the one I used in my previous comment, topics covered are:

-God the Father was once a child.
-God the Father is married.
-Men are Gods in embryo.
-Men can evolve into Gods.
-Once a man attains Godhood, he can create and populate his own world to be peopled by his children.

None of the above bullets points are sensationalized in any way. They are nearly direct quotes. Again, please check the above reference for accuracy and context.

Now which is it Brian? Did you know your Church really taught these things or were you lying about it?

32 Pam Caylor July 21, 2013 at 3:26 am

Mark,
I somehow came across Eric’s book online. As you mentioned above, the title captured my attention, too. I then went to my FB page and searched Eric Shuster. I somehow “missed” his banner pic with his three published books, but on that day, his top post was a chance for a FREE copy of his book! I am a Christian book fiend, so i emailed him and humbly requested – if not too late – a copy with the exchange for my promised review. A couple days later, i went back to Eric’s FB page … THAT is when i saw his other books and decided id better do a little more “research” on this “christian author” … oh boy … Next thing i knew, i received a package in the mail … i could NOT figure out WHAT i had ordered! When i opened it, there was a free copy of Where Are the Christians? And it was very nicely autographed to me … once again, i found myself “drawn” to the book … 
I ran a pro life ministry for 6 years. The ministry i ran is “ecumenical,” with a large base of catholic volunteers AND board members. (I am NOT “proud” of that fact!) AFTER i resigned from the ministry, God dealt with me and showed me the unbiblical basis of ecumenism. Even though i had FIRST sought advice before taking over that ministry, and had been mislead down the ecumenical path by EVERY Christian Pastor and Leader in my life or realm of influence at the time, i have since repented and turned from it, NEVER to return. 
I said all that to say that it is fascinating to me … that they – mormons especially – are so extraordinarily “good” at the game of “marketing” … While a cursory scan of the book reveals a significant amount of Bible verses and references, it also reveals that it is a book that is significantly and unashamedly mormon and therefore of ZERO “interest” – and of even LESS “VALUE” – to me.  
thx for the write up!
Your “Friend for Life,”
Pam Caylor

33 Penguina November 25, 2013 at 11:45 pm

That certainly explains a lot. I saw the book tonight at my local libary and took it home. As began reading I wondered why aren’t they mentioning the oldest and 2d largest branch of Chrisianity worldwide, the Eastern Orthodox Church and instead putting in Mormonism which is one of the newer religions that many, Christian or not, consider to be a cult?  I suspected something sneaky. I googled the title and mormon propoganda and got your page. The book goes back to the library tomorrow. As a devout Orthodox Christian I will NOT waste my time on this. Beware of the “pharisaical test”…the questions are very, very  leading!

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