Glenn Beck's "pure personal truth," Part 1
By Marsha West
Here Glenn Beck goes again, claiming he's a Christian, this time at Restoring Courage 2011 - Jerusalem. Glenn gets upset when anyone questions his Christianity. That's weird because he's a Mormon who affirms the official teaching of Mormonism aka the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The LDS outright deny many of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Moreover, LDS doctrine contradicts what Scripture teaches. So of course there are Christians who feel Beck's not a true follower of Jesus Christ -- not the Jesus of the Bible anyway. When his "I'm a Christian" claim is held up to scrutiny Glenn gets his knickers in a knot. At the rally he choked up with emotion and said in an accusatory tone that only Christians question his salvation.
Poor Glenn. He's so misunderstood.
People are wondering, and rightly so, how a Mormon in good standing can also be an evangelical. I mean, Glenn has no plans to leave his church any time soon. Sure, that could change -- and hopefully it will. But right now his wagon is hitched to the LDS and he's in it for the long haul.
What many people fail to understand is that Mormonism is a religion. It is not the same religion as Christianity, not even close, yet they say they're Christians. Take the time to study their Doctrine and Covenants and you'll find their beliefs are very different from historic, orthodox Christianity, especially when it comes to the essentials of the faith. Undeniably Mormons have high moral standards as do Christians. Mormons are right up there with evangelicals and Catholics in fighting the culture war. They oppose abortion on demand, same-sex "marriage" and have many of the same cultural concerns as other people of faith do. One thing's for sure: When it comes to fighting the culture war Mormons put their money where their mouth is, whereas a large number of evangelicals and Catholics are more prone to let sleeping dogs lie.
In his article Is Glenn Beck a Christian Matt Slick acquaints us with a few LDS beliefs:
--There is a mother goddess, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).
--After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 345-347, 354).
--God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321).
--The Trinity is three separate gods, (James Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 35).
--God the Father has a body of flesh and bones, (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22).
--God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine p. 516)
The Bible does not teach any of this! It's what the founder of Mormonism Joseph Smith and Mormon prophets taught. What does Scripture really teach? Matt explains:
Christianity, which is based on the Bible, says there is only one God (Isa. 43:10; 44:6,8; 45:5); that God is a Trinity of persons, not three gods; that God has always been God (Psalm 90:2); that God knows of no other gods (Is. 44:8); that you cannot become a god (Is. 43:10); and that God is spirit (John 4:24). This contradicts Mormonism. Therefore, Mormonism is not biblical, and not Christian. If Glen Beck holds to the teachings listed above, then he is not Christian.
All of this begs the question: Why do evangelical leaders choose to team up with a Mormon? More specifically why did historian David Barton of Wall Builders, Attorney Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, Mike Evans of Jerusalem Prayer Team, and Pastor John Hagee join Glenn at the Restoring Courage rally?
California megachurch pastor Jim Garlow said, "I have interviewed persons who have talked specifically with Glenn about his personal salvation – persons extremely well known in Christianity – and they have affirmed (using language evangelicals understand), 'Glenn is saved,'" Garlow reported. "He understands receiving Christ as savior." (Online source)
David Barton stunned the audience when he went on Live TV and told host Randy Robison (here) that just because Beck attends a Mormon church "doesn't say anything about his personal relationship with Jesus." Which Jesus? The counterfeit Jesus of Mormonism or the Jesus of the Bible? Barton worries that "a lot of people judge Glenn on the label, he's Mormon." He wants us to ignore the Mormon label, says he doesn't care about the label. The host probed: "You believe he's a Christian in every sense of the word?" Without flinching Barton replied, "I do. I have literally watched him pray and hear from the Lord and turn on a dime." He thinks Glenn is hearing from the God of the Bible…but is he, really?
I have a challenge for David Barton: Read Glenn's book The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life co-authored with Dr. Keith Ablow. In the book he lays out his "pure personal truth." (In part 2 I'll shed light on Glenn's view of "truth.")
The Lord Jesus said, "You must be born again" (John 3:3, 5, 7, 8, 1 Peter 1:3) to qualify as a Christian. Muslims do not believe Jesus was God, they believe He was a prophet sent by God. They respect him as much as they respect Abraham, Moses and Muhammad. Are Muslims Christians? No. New Agers are pantheists. For them God is all, all is God. They hold that "Jesus was a highly evolved man who realized his inner divinity -- the Christ Consciousness -- demonstrating that all men could achieve this." Are they Christians? No.
I am a woman. I can call myself a man, but my DNA proves otherwise.
Recently Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, wrote an article to show his support for Restoring Courage. "So it came to pass," said Klayman who is an evangelical, "that Glenn pulled off a magnificent spectacle, bringing Christians and Jews from all parts of the globe together to show their courage in supporting Israel." (Online source) Glenn also brought many Mormons. Why did Klayman not mention them? If Beck was a Muslim would he have left that out of his article? No, he wouldn't have. What he probably would have said was, "Glenn pulled off a magnificent spectacle, bringing Muslims, Christians and Jews from all parts of the globe together…" Surely Klayman would have included "Muslim" if a Muslim organized and hosted the rally!
Giving Larry Klayman the benefit of the doubt, he probably thinks Mormons are Christians because they have a habit of saying they are. It doesn't help that Christian luminaries such as Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Bishop Harry Jackson who presides over one of the largest African American churches on the
East coast and Jim Garlow (referred to above) stood with him at his 2010 rally in Washington D.C. and as I mentioned earlier, other noted evangelicals stood with him in Israel. These men don't seem to have a problem with the fact that even though Glenn says he's a Christian he remains a member of the LDS Church. As a matter of fact, the tour company he recommended to those attending his big shindig is owned by Mormons. Jack Kinsella went to the Israel event and claims this is something he concealed. In a piece he wrote Stolen Blessings: The LDS Connection he says LDS Travel is "identical in every respect to Voyager Travel, except that LDS Travel makes it clear that it is a Latter Days Saints Church operation." Jack was irked that sincere Christians that took Glenn's advice to use Voyager Travel inadvertently contributed to the advancement of Mormonism.
After all the brouhaha over whether or not Glenn Beck is a Christian I do hope our Christian leaders, some of whom are clergy, others attorneys, will not just take his word for it. I hope they'll dig deep into LDS doctrine to find out what Mormons believe. The Bible warns:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1John 4:1)
Believers must test to see if LDS teaching is true or false. For example, do the Latter-day Saints really teach that God has a body of flesh and bones as Matt Slick claimed? Let's visit the LDS Gospel Library Gospel Topics to see if it's true or false:
God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. He is perfect, has all power, and knows all things. He "has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's" (D&C 130:22). (Bold added.)
Yep, Matt was right.
No doubt some Beck fans will be annoyed that I'm "attacking" their hero. I hope you're annoyed enough to research Mormonism (links below) and to go and look at Scripture to see if what I'm saying here is true.
I must digress for a moment to explain why I'm writing a piece on Glenn Beck. Some of the subjects I cover in my column are politics, the culture war, and religion which include the cults, the occult, and a potpourri of aberrant movements within Christianity. My aim is to unearth unbiblical teaching and bring it to light. The reason I do it is because there's a stunning lack of discernment in Christendom that I find deeply troubling.
For many years I was one of those Christians who blazed my own trail. My belief system was decidedly New Age but I called myself a Christian nonetheless. My worldview was anything but Christian, I was a New Age/gnostic/mystic/mess. I professed Christ, yet I rarely read the Bible and when I did I'd find fault in most of what I read. When my Christian mother challenged me on my goofy beliefs I'd snap back, "You believe what you want I'll believe what I want!" And I believed what I wanted for decades! I won't go into all that was wrong with my beliefs now. I'll just say that I was a very eclectic "Christian." And that's mainly because I was influenced by my friends, most of whom were not Christians, and also by the postmodern culture I grew up in. My mother's death and a nasty divorce were the two events that caused me to reassess my life.
That's a whole other subject, so I'll move on.
Providentially God put me in a job where I met and became friends with true believers. My new friends challenged my esoteric beliefs and urged me to read the works of conservative Christian theologians, philosophers and apologists. They also urged me to find a church, read the Bible and get involved in a Bible study. I took their advice.
Realizing its serious business to be a follower of Jesus Christ, I spent most of my free time trying to sort out what I believed and why I believed it. One of the first books I read was Ray C. Stedman's Authentic Christianity. What an eye-opener that was! Then I moved on to John White's The Cost of Commitment and other books by White. But the book that shook me to my core was R.C. Sproul's The Holiness of God. I highly recommend it.
I also read books on the New Age movement (NAM) written by Christian authors who warned of its dangers. I devoured Kingdom of the Cults by Dr. Walter Martin. There's no doubt reading his books and listening to his audio tapes gave me insight into the cults and the occult.
So, why am I sharing my personal journey? I want readers to know where I'm coming from and why I'm committed to exposing false teachers. When I bring to light false teaching/ teachers/ preachers/church leaders, what Jesus called "ravenous wolves," I do it for one simple reason: Wolves influenced my thinking for many years and the unbiblical beliefs I held prevented me from maturing in my faith.
One of my HUGE regrets is that I influenced those around me with all the New Age/gnostic/pagan/psychobabble I was into. I mean, why not? The beliefs I latched onto seemed right for everyone! (Sounds like Oprah, doesn't it?) In The Purpose Driven dismantling of Christianity, part 1 I call this sort of Christianity "syncretism stew," which is Christianity plus… paganism…mysticism… new revelation…signs & wonders…Jungian psychology…man-centered self-esteem… Twelve-steps…universalism (all roads lead to God)… and, thanks to Rick Warren, global peace. This concoction may sound nourishing, but it causes spiritual malnutrition!
Those who believe God enlightens some and not others and that they have some sort of secret knowledge have been drawn into the heresy that the early church faced and defeated, namely gnosticism. Once again the Gnostic Gospel has reared its ugly head.
Christianity never has been nor is it now meant to be some sort of esoteric experience. And besides, going down that road leads to spiritual pride. Authentic Christianity entails a daily walk with the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to his commands. (John 14:15) It is that simple. The only way we can truly know God is through what He has revealed to us in the Bible. If the Bible is not true, if it is just a book of myths and fables as some say it is, if it's not the way God reveals who He is and His ways to us anyone can claim to have the indisputable truth about God.
Stay tuned for Part 2 … You'll discover Glenn Beck's "pure personal truth."
The "God" of Glenn Beck-By Ken Silva
How to be right with God-"What must I do to be saved?"-By David Wheaton
Evangelicals and Glenn Beck's New Age Mormonism-VCY America radio broadcast hosted by Brannon Howse, 2/28/11
Quote from LDS.org: And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God [LDS], and the other is the church of the devil [Christendom]; 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
Quote from LDS.org: LDS Church President Lorenzo Snow expressed the nature of the Father in his couplet, "As man is, God once was-and as God is, man may become."
[A]s the Agent of the Father and Judge of all, Christ is able to be both merciful and just (John 5:22; Romans 2:16). To obtain His mercy, or be saved from His wrath, or indigation [sic], on the day of judgment, men and women must (1) have faith in Christ, (2) repent of their sins, (3) be baptized by one of His authorized agents in water in the likeness of His burial, to come forth born again of the Spirit, (4) receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, again by an authorized servant of God bearing His priesthood, and (5) endure in faith in Christ and repentance from sins to the end of their mortal lives. (Online Source)
The nature of that body…will depend on the result of the Last Judgment, at which Jesus will assign each soul to one of three degrees of glory (heavenly kingdoms): the celestial kingdom in the presence of the Father and the Son for those who accept Jesus Christ and receive all LDS saving ordinances, either as a mortal or by proxy; the terrestrial kingdom, a place of glory in the presence of Christ for righteous persons who refuse to receive the saving ordinances and for those who do not keep the covenants they commit to; and the telestial kingdom for the wicked. A further destination, called outer darkness, is reserved for Satan, his devils, and those mortals who commit the unpardonable sin and thereby become the sons of perdition. Those who are ultimately destined for the telestial kingdom will be those who suffer for their sins in hell; however, these persons remain in hell only the 1000 years during the millennial reign of Christ, after which they will exit hell and be resurrected with an immortal body into a state of peace. (Online Source)