“If everything that is called Christianity in these days is Christianity, then there is no such thing as Christianity. A name applied indiscriminately to everything designates nothing.” B.B. Warfield
His wife called with a report that set him off, enough for him to postpone his back-stage, dressing-room lunch in order to record a nearly five-minute rant about it.
What prompted Beck’s ire was that a Christian school in which the Becks had planned to enroll their children had called to deny their application. The reason, according to Beck, is that they “just really can’t have in Mormons in this Christian school” … because, well, “Mormons just aren’t Christian enough.”
To the extent that the school actually put it in those terms, we can only give a partial “amen.” Partial because the word “enough” as a modifier is grossly incorrect. Saying, however, that “Mormons just aren’t Christian” would get a full-throated, unrestricted, Baptist-worthy “AMEN” from any Gospel-believing Christian – something Mormons decidedly are not.
But Beck says, with noticeable ire, “… I am sick and tired of this …”
It’s not clear if by “this” Beck means that genuine Christians are, to his chagrin, increasingly becoming less amenable to referring to his flavor of heresy as “Christian” – which would be a very laudable thing indeed – or, if by “this” he means that this is the second Christian school which has rejected the Beck application for matriculation. If it’s the former he means, then no longer tacitly accepting Mormons as “Christians” should be followed with a clear, consistent presentation of the Gospel to them. If Beck means the latter “this,” then it’s refreshing to hear that he’s encountered, perhaps, a Christian institution that promotes sound doctrine.
Beck goes on, though, to make a profession that, superficially, would make any evangelical pastor proud. (After all, Beck has preached in places like Ed Young’s Fellowship Church, a Southern Baptist church in Grapevine, Texas. Young apparently gives an “amen” to Beck’s profession, one presumes.)
“Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. By His grace I have been saved.”
Now, here is where a Biblically-informed believer ought to call a time-out, knowing that Beck is not actually a genuine, born-again believer. He may profess Christ, but he assuredly does not possess Christ. To be saved by grace, to genuinely call Jesus “Lord and Savior” must begin with the actual Biblical gospel of Jesus. Mormons have “another gospel.” (See Galatians 1 for details)
But Beck’s profession not equalling possession of genuine Christian faith is easily seen if we recognize that the Holy Spirit who saves is also the same Holy Spirit who sanctifies. How are we sanctified by the Holy Spirit? By His Word. See such places in the Bible as John 17:17 and John 16:13.
This question, “are there Christians in (name a false religion),” reflects a frequently misunderstood phenomenon, most often with regards to adherents of Roman Catholicism, but no less applicable for Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eastern Orthodoxy, or any other either apostate or “Christianized” cult, or even with outright atheism. God can – and does – save souls in any circumstance, because there is only one other circumstance – that of being without Christ in an enemy stronghold of false, damning beliefs. But while God saves anyone in any circumstance, He also saves them from that damning circumstance.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:33
We all start out “condemned already” (John 3:18), and, apart from Christ, remain in that “children of wrath” condition. (See Ephesians 2:1-5) However, when a person is saved, the Holy Spirit does what the Holy Spirit always does – He leads people to Truth. The illumination of the Gospel to once dead eyes is the initial evidence of the Spirit’s work in this way. By leading them to Truth, He is thus leading them away from error, such as Mormonism, or Eastern Orthodoxy, or atheism. It takes time, but the authentically-regenerate believer sitting in a Roman Catholic parish, who is faithfully “abiding in my word” (John 8:31), will eventually be compelled by the Spirit to leave that place of apostasy to find fellowship where “your name and your word” are exalted (Psalm 138:2), where the faith “once for all delivered” is contended for (Jude 3) and where sound doctrine is taught. (Titus 2:1)
It’s why you hear testimonies of life-long Catholics being saved and taken out of the clutches of Rome or atheists from the carnal grasp of worldliness and defiant unbelief. The Holy Spirit doesn’t save anyone, genuinely, and then lead them into a cult or an apostate religion. When’s the last time you heard of someone who was truly saved in a theologically Reformed church to then join the Jehovah Witness cult? The Spirit leads out of error and into Truth. In that sense, there are Christians in the Roman Catholic Church, or the Eastern Orthodox church, in the Jehovah’s Witness cult – but the truly regenerate Christian will not remain there. The Spirit will guide them out.
By this, and this alone, we have sufficient grounds to know that Beck’s profession of faith does not substantiate his possession of faith. He remains a staunch Mormon. Plus, given what other nuggets he spews forth, it’s evident that he is not in the midst of being sanctified by the Word, nor concerned with being obedient to it. (Which is no surprise. Sanctification only happens to genuine disciples and obedience is evidence of our love for Christ. John 14:15)
“The one [school] that just called said that it [Beck’s Mormonism] wasn’t a problem … until it started getting out that my children would be joining apparently … and then … I guess … the bigots came out of the woodwork.”
Beck did not name the school involved in the rejection of his children’s application. What we may surmise, however, is that the school is distinguishing its Christian stance against the anti-Christian teachings of Mormonism. If the school’s requirements, for example, include that the parents must be authentic Christian believers, then, to be obedient to Scripture, the profession of a Mormon would not be acceptable. Mormonism is a heretical cult, regardless of how many Christian words it uses or how frequently the name “Jesus” is bandied about. It could be that the school is obediently aligning itself with the principle found in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, by intentionally not trying to have fellowship with darkness, of mixing believers with unbelievers. For this, the school should be applauded.
Beck continues to explain some rather interesting views of child-rearing. His “Christian” parenting style with regards to matters of his children’s faith reflects a non-Christian understanding, but one entirely common to the post-modern, “be yourself,” subjective cultural mindset.
“I don’t want my children taught the doctrine of my faith.”
In his case, that would be an evidence of God’s mercy on Beck’s children, that they might not be indoctrinated into the cult of Mormonism. But, press pause and ponder this, as a Christian. Do you want your children, Christian reader, to be taught the doctrine of your faith? Of course you do. Why? Because not only are we instructed to do this (see places such as Deuteronomy 6:5-9, Deuteronomy 11:19, Proverbs 22:6, Matthew 19:13-15, and 1 Timothy 4:10-11), but also because we love our children. We know that there is only one “Way, Truth, and Life” (John 14:6) and, having been born again by Him, we yearn for our children to know Him too. Of what significance is one’s faith if it is held with such little regard that teaching it to your children is unimportant, arbitrary, and open to competing views?
“I don’t mind if they learn about another kind of Christianity. I want them to.”
This “many roads to God” notion among the heathen world rears its deceitful head in the visible church too. Those who believe that there are different “kinds of Christianity” are making the same Scripture-denying error as the pagan, though. There is only “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5) The path that leads to life does not bifurcate. It is narrow. It is hard. (Matthew 7:13-14) And Christ alone is the gate. (John 10:9)
“Their faith is their faith, not mine. Their religion will be the religion of their choosing, not mine. I’m not going to shelter my kids. I will expose them to Buddhism. I will expose them to Hebrew school. I would be thrilled to have my kids go to a Hebrew school … and I know that my kids wouldn’t learn about Jesus … but I’d be good with that because they’re still being taught truth.”
Does that sound like something you’d say as a Bible-focused, Christian father or mother? What if your pastor chose to send his kids to a Buddhist school or an Islamic madrasa? Would that seem faithfully appropriate to you?
Beck’s Mormonized venom then kicks into a bit of a cruising gear.
“But I wonder if everyone is protecting their children from my scary little horned-headed children who … oh my gosh … believe something different. I wonder if you’re really looking out for my children or if you’re so afraid that your children or that you can’t actually answer questions … You … You … just don’t want to even be confronted with any other kind of point of view … ’cause I’m not afraid of my kids learning all about your religion, going to your churches, celebrating, knowing your pastors … ME … holding up your pasters and saying ‘They’re men of God.’ I have no problem with my children doing that. Why isn’t it reciprocal?”
Apart from sharing the Gospel with him, a Christian cannot have fellowship with a Mormon. Glenn Beck uses the name “Jesus” but it’s not the “Jesus” of Holy Scripture. He professes salvation by grace, but it’s a different grace interpreted through the lens of a Christianized cult. It isn’t reciprocal precisely because Scripture commands the Christian to be separate (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) and not to love the things of the world. (1 John 2:15) And one of those “things” of the world, Glenn, is the false gospel of Mormonism with its false messiah, who Mormons happen to believe is the spirit-brother of Satan.
Beck ends his diatribe with the expected nationalistic tone of “this is what’s wrong with America,” particularly chiding Texans and Southerners who, according to Beck, continue to be intolerant bigots.
“It’s really fascinating … truly fascinating … this wonderful Christian spirit here in the lone star state. Oh … oh … how things haven’t changed in Texas and in the South since the 1950’s.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormonism, is not another kind of Christianity. It is a man-made cult, inspired by the enemy of God, that slathers its false teachings and damning doctrines with sufficient layers of Christian words, phrases, and ideas to make it appealing. No doubt that many adherents of Mormonism consider themselves “Christian” and believe their message to be genuine. But we are to measure all things against the genuine Word of God.
(Mormons have two “words” of God – the Christian Scriptures and the Book of Mormon. In the introduction to the Book of Mormon, we read that “The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.” Augmenting those two books is The Pearl of Great Price, a collection of LDS doctrine compiled from the writings of founder Joseph Smith. Notably, Mormon soteriology, in its false gospel, states that “Furthermore, there is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God.”)
Mormonism is rank heresy. Its central theological point is summed up in the phrase, “As man is, God once was, and as God is, man may become.” Of the many errors this axiom creates is the fundamentally different “Jesus” of Mormonism. Jesus was God, shed his deity and became man, then became God again. Mormons deny the dual nature of Christ as fully God and fully man. While claiming “grace”, as Beck did in his rant – that he has been saved by Jesus’ grace – Mormons do not use “grace” as Christians understand it. They teach that Jesus suffered for our sins, but that he did it in the Garden of Gethsemane, not on the cross of Calvary. His garden suffering achieves a general salvation for all men. While Paul wrote that Jesus canceled “the record of debt that stood against us” by “nailing it to the cross,” (Colossians 2:14-15) this grace recognized by Christians is absent in the Mormon false gospel. It’s why their “churches” never display the cross.
The theological errors of Mormonism are many. It is a complex, illogical, and self-contradictory system of thought, exactly what one would expect from a man-made religion. Andrew Rappaport, in his book What Do They Believe?, wrote the following about the LDS teaching about Jesus:
“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
Friends, please pray for Glenn Beck and for his children. Pray that they would be granted repentance that leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10) by hearing and believing the Biblical Gospel (Romans 10:17) which is the power of God to save. (Romans 1:16). Be bold in engaging Mormons with the true Gospel of the True Christ of the inspired, and only, Word of God.
And if you happen to know the school that stood firm on genuine Christian convictions, tell them “thank you.” We are all called to “contend for the faith.” (Jude 1:3)
The video of Beck’s full rant is embedded below.
[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]
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