Home > politics, theology > A Mormon With a Mission

A Mormon With a Mission

I’ve posted a couple of articles recently about Glenn Beck on facebook. They were prompted by his “Restoring Honor” rally in which, I was told, he called for a national religious revival – turning our hearts back to God. I decided to watch his opening prayer/speech for the rally and was pretty amazed at what I heard:

1) Beck said “this is not political, this is about God.” He was clear that this is a religious revival/rally, not political. This, by itself, is not amazing. What is amazing is that tens of thousands of professing Christians would applaud and support the revival efforts of a cult like Mormonism that preaches a false gospel. This alone was shocking, but it gets worse:

2) When I listened to the speech, there was a part I had to play back several times because I couldn’t understand what Beck was saying. It didn’t make any sense. Here is the section:

“The story of America is the story of humankind. 5,000 years ago, on the other side of the planet, God’s chosen people were led out of bondage by a guy with a stick who was talking to a burning bush. Man first began to recognize God and God’s law. The chosen people began to listen to the LORD. At the same time, those things were happening on this side. On this land. Another group of people were gathered here and they too were listening to God. How these two people were brought together again happened because people were listening to God. They didn’t have the right to worship God the way they saw fit. And so they got down on their knees. They didn’t want to come to this land, they just did because they felt that’s what God was telling them to do. And with malice towards none they got into their boats and they came. God’s chosen people. The Native Americans. And the Pilgrims.”

It may make slightly more sense in writing, but probably not much. When I heard it, I figured Beck was talking about the Pilgrims and that he just misspoke under the hot sun. It wasn’t until I read this post: http://reformedbaptistfellowship.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/a-mormon-on-a-mission/ that I connected the dots and Beck’s statement suddenly made sense. I guess I just didn’t think Beck was audacious enough to try to pull off a stunt like that at such a high profile rally.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, watch this short video and then  re-read Beck’s quote.

Make sense now? Beck stood before tens of thousands of Christians and told them that the Native Americans were God’s chosen people, just like Israel – and they cheered him on. On stage, Beck had a Jew, two Native Americans, and a Christian – supposedly representing God’s 3 chosen people – and Christians cheered him on. Beck is pushing a Mormon interpretation of American history, an interpretation that is thoroughly anti-Christian – and Christians cheered him on. Now, generally speaking, I can understand how that could happen. The same thing happened to the pagans in Ephesus (Acts 19:32). It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and lose your mind – but Christians have the mind of Christ and we are commanded to be discerning (Rom 12:2; Phil 1:9-11; 1 Thes 5:21; Heb 5:14; 1 Cor 2:16). (I will also add, in response to a comment I received below, that Beck and the Christians cheering him on were wrong and anti-Christian to suggest by the rabbi’s presence that Jews are in any way still God’s chosen people. God has rejected all Jews who reject Christ http://contrast2.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/who-is-matisyahus-god/)

If you think I’m stretching things and twisting Beck’s words and intentions, watch this episode of the Glenn Beck Show where he lays out and defends his fantasy Mormon American history: http://watchglennbeck.com/video/2010/August/glenn-beck-show-august-18-2010-divine-providence-vs-manifest-destiny/ (watch all, but really starts around 3 min in part 2)

Here is a movie version of the history Beck is teaching:
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Mormon-Movie-Journey/dp/B0002ER5VQ/ref=cm_lmf_tit_10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F2XXDzBzCI

Christians need to be discerning. Many are being led astray by the things of this world (politics) and are walking right into a false gospel. Our priority should be the clear proclamation of the gospel, not a political agenda. Which sword will you draw and which battle will you fight?

James Dobson has chosen the sword of a kingdom of this world rather than the sword of the Spirit to fight his battle. In this video that was played at the rally, Dobson explains his support for Beck’s revival:

Shirley Dobson says: “I thank Glenn for what he is doing to awaken us to the truth. He is working tirelessly to bring this nation back to its spiritual and historical roots.”

James then explains that “everything” he believes is now under more attack than ever. Why doesn’t Dobson see that Glenn Beck is the one attacking what he believes by promoting a revival of a false gospel? Well, because Dobson is not focused on the gospel. He says “The three fundamentals on which everything else is based are: the sanctity of human life, the integrity of the institution of marriage, and the preservation of liberty, especially religious liberty.”

Dobson is completely focused on the kingdom of this world, not the kingdom of heaven. The gospel is not a fundamental. Some might object by arguing that Dobson is just talking about politics here, not religion. But that’s not true. Glenn already made it very clear that this rally was about God, not about politics, and James’ wife Shirley explains what that means:

“You know, the Scriptures tell us that those who honor God, He will honor… In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God gives us 4 keys to healing our land: humility, prayer, seeking His face, and turning from evil. Then he promises to hear our prayers and heal our land.”

James continues: “[God], may your truth go forth and transform hearts and lives so that our thoughts and actions individually and corporately once again reflect the heritage of faith upon which we were founded.”

Shirley: “Lord help us to have courage and perseverance to stand in the gap as a people devoted to your Word, and to your ways, so that we may bring honor to your holy name and reflect your truth in all that we do. Amen.”

Several things to note:
1) In this “speech” and the at the rally in general, they turn God into a tool to accomplish their political ends. They do not desire that men be saved so that God will be glorified. They desire that men will be saved so that we can live in a nice country again. God is not the end, He is a means to the end. (Compare http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/resources/why-god-is-not-a-megalomaniac-in-demanding-to-be-worshiped )

2) 2 Chron 7:14 is talking about the nation of Israel. The Mosaic Covenant contained numerous physical blessings and curses that depended upon Israel’s obedience. 7:13 specifically mentions one of these temporal, physical curses: drought, locust plague, and disease (compare Deut 28:18, 21, 24). But Christians are not part of the Mosaic Covenant. The nation of Israel, though established by God, was a kingdom of this world. We are citizens of a kingdom that is not of this world (Jn 18:36; 1 Pet 2:11). Therefore we cannot simply quote a verse about the Mosaic Covenant and apply it to America. There may be application, but it is not 1:1 the same.

3) Shirley says that God will honor those who honor Him. But Shirley is not honoring God. One of the 4 steps she mentions is “turning from evil” but she refuses to turn from evil. Instead, she welcomes evil with open and approving arms. Glenn Beck’s idolatry and false gospel are evil, and the Dobsons embrace it, rather than turn from it. Shirley prays that God will cause us to be a people devoted to the Word and to reflecting God’s truth in all we do. I hope that God answers that prayer. I hope that God opens the Dobson’s eyes and causes them to be devoted to the Word and to reflecting God’s truth in all that they do, because right now they are ignoring God’s Word and obscuring His truth, which says:

“Gal 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

“2 John 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.”

For more:

A sermon I gave on John 18:28-28 talking about politics and being a citizen of the kingdom of heaven http://www.porticochurch.com/messages/John_18_28_20071118.mp3
James White short video on Mormonism

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/08/30/an-faq-on-the-difference-between-mormonism-and-biblical-christianity/
http://contrast2.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/which-sword/
http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/09/worst-of-all-evils.html
http://www.russellmoore.com/2010/08/29/god-the-gospel-and-glenn-beck/
http://reformedbaptistfellowship.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/a-mormon-on-a-mission/#comment-4414

  1. shematwater
    September 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    It just might be that these people are not quite so religiously bigoted as you and are able to join in praising God without the thought of destroying others.

    If you really think Glenn Beck was “pushing” mormonism you really need to open your eyes and try a little of that discerning you mentioned.
    He had a Jew up there as well, who flattly denies that Jesus is God. Why are you not railing on the Christians for opening approving of a Jew at the rally?

    The reason is that you are not so much concerned about there being a falsed religion involved, as being concerned that it is the “Mormons.”

    • September 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm

      shematwater, what precisely do you believe makes me “religiously bigoted”? Is it because I believe anyone preaching a false gospel is accursed? Or is it because you don’t think Mormonism is a false gospel?

      In regards to Jews, I already wrote that post http://contrast2.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/who-is-matisyahus-god/
      But thank you for reminding me to point people to that post.

    • September 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm

      And am I to assume that you agree with Beck that Native Americans were “God’s chosen people” since you don’t think Beck is pushing Mormonism when he says that?

  2. Murdock
    September 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Well, Bible-thumper, you figured out that Glenn Beck is audacious (Imagine that!) and that: Jews –> Native Americans –> Christians = Book of Mormon.

    It’s clear from Brother Beck’s conversion story (get the DVD, the Youtube video is too abreviated) that, well before he investigated the Church, he was a spiritual seeker. From his TV and radio programs, it is clear that, once converted, he did not stop being a spiritual seeker. Indeed, for some time now, he has been digging back through the history of Latter-day Saint speculative theology and even folklore and raising certain things for renewed discussion (Cleon Skousen, the Bat Creek Stone, etc.). There is nothing wrong with that. The Church realizes that there are yet a vast number of open questions and, unless and until they are addressed by modern revelation, individuals are free to form opinions within the (wide) bounds of the teachings of the Church. I am sure that, compared to Brother Beck’s catechised Catholic background, he found the field of Mormon theology to be an open frontier.

    However, Bible-thumper, you should be aware that Brother Beck’s views, however permissible, are sometimes closer to and sometimes farther away from mainstream orthodox Mormonism. It is generally recognized that the Saints’ 19th Century trek on the Mormon Trail recapitulated Exodus. Therefore, I see nothing particularly strange in Brother Beck’s view that the Pilgrims’ voyage on the Mayflower recapitulated Lehi’s voyage from the ancient Middle East to the Western Hemisphere.

    On the other hand, I do not know quite what to think of Brother Beck’s talking about: “How these people were brought together AGAIN happened because people were listening to God”. I also do not know what to think of his emphasizing that the Native American couple on stage were descendants of Native Americans who first met the Pilgrims. There is nothing about this in the Book of Mormon or in modern revelation to date. So, I think that, on these points, we have left Mormonism for Beckism. But, maybe he has a point.

    Bible-thumper, if Brother Beck continues with his present themes, you might be interested in:

    1 Nephi 13

    2 Nephi 10

    3 Nephi 20

    3 Nephi 21

    Ether 13

    Better be careful. Those who fight against Zion sometimes wind up all wet.

    Murdock

    • September 11, 2010 at 9:45 pm

      Mormon, Beck is not my brother. I will let the two of you debate disagreements over your fantasy anti-Christian history.

  3. September 12, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Murdock What is a spiritual seeker?

    • Murdock
      September 14, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      Robert

      Before he was LDS, Glenn Beck was trying to figure it all out, the meaning of life or whatever. As an expression of that, he put together what most people would consider a bizarre reading list for self education. He wondered (A) whether there is more to life than what he was living and (B) if there is more to life than what he was living, what is it? Now that he is LDS, he has the answers to those questions. For the typical John or Jane LDS convert, although not all converts, that would be enough. However, for Glenn Beck, those answers seem to have sent him off looking for the implications of those answers. So far, in the couple of public instances where this has been apparent, he has not been original in that regard, and, instead, he is rooting around in the dusty archives of Mormon culture. It will be interesting to see if there are more public indications of what he is up to.

      Murdock

  4. September 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    What is spiritual about seeking more to life? It just sounds like he’s a more to life seeker.

  5. shematwater
    September 15, 2010 at 8:48 am

    A religious bigot is one who shuts another person out because of their religion. For you to claim that these Christian leaders should have nothing to do with a member of the LDS church because he is a member makes you a religious bigot.

    It is all rather simple. This was the focus of your entire article, that they should have refused to associate with him because he is a Mormon.

    Now, if this was a “christian” rally I might see your point. However, it was not. It was a “Religious” rally, evidenced by the fact that jews were also present, and I have heard reports that even some muslims were there.
    Because of this rather diverse mixture of religions, for you to single out one to be cast out is bigotry.

    • September 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

      If that is your definition, then I gladly accept the label of religious bigot.

      • Tom Hardy
        September 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm

        “If that is your definition, then I gladly accept the label of religious bigot.”

        Brandon, I gladly stand along side you on that matter.
        I believe that you accurately presented the facts and I believe that the Dobson’s though maybe well meaning have thrown discernment out the window on this one.
        From their comments, I would have to conclude that the Dobson’s consider Beck a fellow Christian. Or at best don’t see the implications behind their actions.

        This doesn’t actually surprise me however, because in the last few years I have seen charlatans pull the wool over the eyes of otherwise very strong Christians.

  6. September 18, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Great article, thanks so much – I posted it to my Facebook wall. I am writing several articles on my blog regarding the Christian response to the Beck rally.
    Blessings, Mark

  7. October 7, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Very good article. I for one like some of Beck’s politics, and I think his appeal to the political beginnings of the country are powerful, but I agree that as Christians we must be able to discern (what I consider some good politics) from good religion or the Gospel.

    As a Christian we can agree with some of Beck’s politics, yes as a Christian we have to reject any of his theology which confuses Christ and the Gospel. The sad thing to me is that many Christians are closer to Mormons than historical Christianity. Many Christian pastors wrongly teach that America is a chosen nation and all we have to do is repent and God will “bless” us again.

    Sadly too many Christians hear something they agree with Beck in Politics and then they foolishly listen to him when he blathers about God and Jesus and the Gospel.

    Let us all remember that as Christians we are citizens of two Kingdoms.

  8. Bill Brown
    October 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Brandon, I clicked on your blog link while on the Puritan Board (I’m “Herald” on the PB). While looking at your blog I noticed this article on Beck. Interesting, since I wrote an article on Beck less than an hour ago: http://bit.ly/aMPrcD

    Keep up the good work with your blog.

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