“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
That she has an incredible talent, there is no doubt.
Her rendition of “Halleleujah” performed on a subway platform is making its holiday rounds on social media, particularly popping up on the timelines of many Christians.
But Lindsey Stirling, the musician, is not a Christian.
She is a Mormon.
Hopefully, you know something of the heretical poison spewed by this dangerous cult. According to his summary of Mormonism, Andrew Rappaport, in his book What Do They Believe? says this of their belief about God:
“LDS doctrine teaches that God used to be a man on another planet, that He became God by following the laws and ordinances of that god on that world, and that He brought one of His wives to this world with whom He produces spirit children who then inhabit human bodies at birth. The first spirit child to be born was Jesus. Second was Satan, and then we all followed. The LDS Jesus is definitely not the same Jesus of the Bible.” Andrew Rappaport
But, you can just read what the artist herself wrote on Mormon.org to glean that she holds to a Biblically-aberrant “different Gospel,” as Paul would call it. (Galatians 1:6-9) It’s a different “Jesus” that instructs her self-focused form of faith that is distinctly not Christian.
“There was a time in my life when I lost all my ambition, I had no purpose, and I began to hate myself. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was an essential light in my life that helped my [sic] love myself again.”
“I always believed that God had a plan for me but through the scriptures, through personal revelation and through the words of a living Prophet, I was able to come to know that I am a daughter of God, and that God’s plan is a plan of happiness.”
“I am grateful for the Book of Mormon and I know that it is true. When I read it I feel good, and I am more at peace.”
“Loving yourself” and being able to “feel good” because of a false Jesus might be enjoyable on this side of eternity, but that “personal revelation” and those “words of a living Prophet” are sure tickets to eternal demise. So much for that “plan of happiness.”
This sort of language, though, sells well among Mormons and even many non-Mormons who consider themselves evangelical Christians. When the theology you’ve been sold from the pulpit is “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” it’s not a chore to arrive at a mistaken understanding that the Son of God suffered and died on a Cross so that you could “be all that you could be,” that you could have “your best life now,” and that the entire providential arrangement of the cosmos by the Creator God is designed around your health, wealth, happiness, and comfort.
But that’s not the Gospel.
That’s not Christianity. And, while such a theology of positive-thinking deism might help you look in the mirror each morning with a self-affirming mantra of an ill-applied Philippians 4:13, it is a theology that does not save.
If Scripture teaches anything about God and man, it is that God expects man’s obedience. Scripture doesn’t offer God’s promise of your temporal prosperity, your self-fulfillment, or your exaltation. Scripture informs us of our wretched state before a Holy God and, only through the atoning work of Christ (John 14:6) – not the Jesus-brother-of-Satan of the Mormons, mind you – we may be saved through Spirit-wrought regeneration, Spirit-induced repentance, and Spirit-gifted faith.
We’re told to “repent and believe” (Mark 1:15) for the sake of our souls to the glory of God for eternity, not so that we’ll be happy and prosperous in the here and now. Jesus, the real one, never told a first-century apostle or disciple that He loved them and had a wonderful plan for their life. He commanded them to “Follow me,” (Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17, Luke 5:27) which would, in a temporally unfulfilling way, perhaps, mean they (and we) must “take up their cross” (Matthew 16:24). Following Christ wasn’t to claim divine promises that would ensure living the Galilean (or American) dream to its fullest. Following Christ meant your willingness to sacrifice everything … even your heartbeat … for Him.
Scripture exalts Christ, not us. We are, when sovereignly regenerated by His amazing grace, His doulos … His slaves. And there simply is no greater gift than being chosen to be a slave to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Paul points this out. Often taken as some sort of prosperity gospel promise of providential success, the “don’t-miss-it” point Paul is making in Romans 8:28 is that all things do indeed work together for good “for those called according to His purpose.” You can’t be called to the purposes of “another Jesus” from “another Gospel” and receive the eternally glorious benefits of His salvation. Another Jesus will always leave you doubting your salvation with questions of “maybe I wasn’t sincere enough when I said that sinner’s prayer.” But the Jesus of Scripture, the sovereign God who saves, grants assurance, peace, joy, and love (Galatians 5:22-23) that aren’t measurable in this world, and that are eternally gratifying, even when all things pass away. (1 John 2:17) It’s not a function of your sincerity, but rather of His sovereignty.
It is His purpose, His eternal plan and His perfect will, that matters. When we find ourselves in THAT place, all is well, even should the gates of hell come against us. Far from promising certain, unbridled self-fulfillment, Paul exhorts us to seek, to know, and to love that God and His purpose.
And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9-10)
So, enjoy this young lady’s talent.
But please pray for her soul.
She is deceived and, therefore, sadly, she is condemned. (John 3:18) She needs a Savior and His purpose, not an idol from an anathematized gospel (Galatians 1:8) that simply slakes lagging self-worth.
[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]