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Mormons vs. Iglesia ni Cristo: Critiquing Religion in the Public Square

Presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry is taking some heat for Pastor Rick Jeffress's statement that Mormonism is a cult. Pastor Jeffress made headlines by making that statement while introducing and endorsing Perry at the Value Voters Summit in Washington last Friday. Pastor Jeffress is not apologizing:

Jeffress is not backing down amid a firestorm of criticism, telling Fox News on Sunday that Mormons have "never been considered a part of mainstream Christianity." He did, however, point out a difference between a "sociological" and "theological" cult.

"Mormonism was invented 1800 years after Jesus Christ and the founding of Christianity, and it has its own founder, Joseph Smith, its own set of doctrines and its own book, the Book of Mormon. And that, by definition, is a theological cult, that's all I'm saying" [Mark Berman, "Pastor Robert Jeffress: Mitt Romney's Mormonism Is a Cult," Opposing Views, 2011.10.09].

Presidential candidate and Mormon Mitt Romney calls that "poisonous language." Conservative values guru William Bennett calls Jeffress's statement "bigotry."

Meanwhile, I've elicited numerous comments in response to my post about the Iglesia ni Cristo's purchase of the town of Scenic, South Dakota. Reviewing the church's doctrines and practices, I found that the church is not Christian and behaves like a cult. Various church members (almost none of whom have the courtesy to speak to me by name) have called me a redneck (there's the morning guffaw for regular readers) and cast other aspersions while mostly throwing red herrings and inviting us all to come to church with them.

So is there a difference between Pastor Jeffress's anti-Mormonism and my critique of our new INC neighbors in Scenic? Could I be as big of a jerk as a fundagelical pastor trying to help Rick Perry get elected?

Ah, there's the difference. Pastor Jeffress isn't just engaged in a discussion of theological differences. There's plenty be said on the topic of whether Mormonism is a cult or if it fits logically within Christianity.

But Jeffress isn't making a theological argument. He's making propaganda. He's trying to impose a religious test on political candidates. He's trying to give voters a lazy reason to vote for Perry and against Romney that won't involve their having to wrestle with actual policy questions or assessments of which man is practically qualified to serve as President. In doing so, Pastor Jeffress is violating the spirit of the Constitution and the Bible, both of which support a separation of church and state. He is not spreading the Gospel; he is pandering to ignorance and using his clerical authority to score political points for his favored earthly candidate.

I'm an atheist. I don't go to Mitt Romney's church, but I can still recognize that he is one of the only rational, tolerable candidates the GOP has put forward for the 2012 presidential election. (Interestingly, in my book, the only other reasonable adult seeking the GOP nomination is Jon Huntsman, the other Mormon in the race.) If I woke up to President Romney, I would be much less alarmed than I would if I woke up to President Perry, Cain, or Bachmann.

Membership in the Mormon church, the Iglesia ni Cristo, or in no church does not disqualify one for political office. Attitudes toward policy, political liberty, and economic justice do. Candidates Romney, Perry, et al. have an obligation as statesmen to lead America in a conversation about practical solutions to our nation's problems. Perry's supporters disserve the country by using the discussion of Mormonism to cast aspersions on Romney and win votes.

My discussion of the Iglesia ni Cristo has a different aim. It is not an attack on a specific candidate or person. It is a warning that the INC manipulates its members with demands for compulsory church attendance and block voting in public elections. Its behavior appears to threaten negative impacts on communities where it operates. The INC has been controlled for a century by one family, and it operates very much like a personality-based cult with a strict and secretive hierarchy. If the INC builds a giant housing project in Scenic, it will bear our scrutiny as citizens concerned for our neighbors' constitutional liberties as well as for our tax rolls (watch for that INC application for tax-exempt status for Scenic).

And if Gordon Howie runs for office and seeks the endorsement of the block-voting INC... well, then I'll have to decide if I'll have my own Pastor Jeffress moment.


  1. Steve Hickey 2011.10.10

    Thought I'd chime in with my comments from my Facebook page in response to this matter. Here's why religion is fair game - we all have a worldview which shapes how we live and govern - that includes atheists, secularists and materialists, and me and whoever else. Therefore, that worldview is fair game and Mitt Romney has every bit of right to run for the highest office as anyone else. My comments are in response to this article Here's what I said:

    Ok, cult may not be the right word for mainstream Mormonism. Mormonism IS however a non-Christian religion as it puts forth an entirely different Jesus and they put forth one heck of a bizarre doctrine of salvation. And this is VERY relevant and appropriate to talk about in choosing a President. Until 1978, women and Blacks weren't tolerated in their secret ceremonies - they've never renounced their belief that black skin was the curse of Ham.

    Maybe Mitt doesn't hold these views. If not, he needs to distance himself from them. Even Bill Mahar points out Mormonism is closer to Islam than it is to Christianity. That's a stretch but they do hold the same view of Jesus and dominion. Those freaking out about Perry's supposed connection to Dr. C. Peter Wagner, and the New Apostolic Reformation and their so-called dominionism, would do well to review what Mitt's church teaches. In this article, Mouw does well to call out those using the "cult" word but as expected, he falls far far short of pointing out theirs is a entirely different Jesus. Just because they use the name Jesus doesn't mean they are talking about the Jesus of the Bible. It's part of the deception to use loaded language - words we are comfortable with though ascribing to them an altogether different meaning. Mouw is wrong that this is comparable to the 1960's controversy about Kennedy's Catholicism. Catholics aren't teaching Jesus is Satan's brother or that salvation for men is to get your own planet which you spend eternity having sex with your wives to populate your personal planet with spirit babies (which btw, means salvation for Mormon women-- if your husband calls forth your name-- is eternal sex and pregnancy.)

    The media asked Michelle Bachmann what Christian submission would mean to her if she were elected President. In that vein, I'd love to see a debate commentator ask Mitt about the Mormon doctrines of blood atonement:::::: "In a full Mormon theocracy, blood atonement practice would be implemented by the state as a penal measure. The blood atonement doctrine was the impetus behind laws in the territory and state of Utah allowing capital punishment by firing squad or decapitation."

    BTW - I hope Herman Cain goes all the way! I'm not a Perry fan, if you were wondering.

  2. Roger Elgersma 2011.10.10

    That Baptist preacher from Dallas happened to be exactly correct with his differenciation between social cults and spiritual cults. Although with Steve H's understanding of mormonism they may have some of both. I do believe that the definition of a cult is a group led and started by one person. A real God would reveal himself to more than one person. One person can not by themself redefine God which is what the founder of Mormonism did. A true Christian may have problems with Rich Perry's not sticking with the truth on mormons being a cult just to try to sound politically correct.
    I far prefer to have an open discussion and stay with the truth even though we may differ on what the truth is in this situation than to just try to be politically tolerant by overlooking the problem.
    With our right to vote and freedom of religion we may choose to vote by religious priorities of by the priority of one single issue that is dear to our heart or to vote on a persons integrity or to vote on a wide range of all the issues and personal integrity all combined. So from a religious point of view I might eliminate a few people but from a political point of view I am an American and firmly believe that any citizen may run for president. I have a certificate of live birth from the state of Iowa so I am sure that I am qualified also.

  3. Eve Fisher 2011.10.10

    The First Amendment to the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Note that there aren't any more exceptions to the First Amendment than there are to the Second. And nowhere does it say Christian, Buddhist, Muslim (there's a lot of crazy talk going on right now in Madison about a Muslim shrine being built) or any other specific religion. We have the right to practice any religion we choose; to say what we like; and to assemble peacefully (Tea Party, meet Occupy Wallstreet and vice versa). So saith an old liberal Christian.

  4. Dave 2011.10.10

    Read Hebrews 10:26-27

  5. Dave 2011.10.10

    The church of Christ doesn't bloc vote in the US...please fact check your information.

  6. Dave 2011.10.10

    Also, Jesus Christ is our lord and savior... Praise him forever and ever!

  7. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    To me, a person is a Christian if s/he says s/he is. And it has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Period. End of discussion.

  8. Dave 2011.10.10

    For your information, the Iglesia Ni Cristo has been in the US since 1968. Even Obama, Reid, Bush, Clinton and many more greet us during our anniversary celebrations. Your incomplete knowledge of a very legitimate church with about a million US citizen members makes your look like comment irresponsible journalism.

  9. Dave 2011.10.10

    Should read "your comment look like irresponsible journalism"

  10. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Please don't feed the trolls.

  11. Jana 2011.10.10

    Not going to weigh in on all of the theological discussion here, but would we be having the same discussion if it were the Lutherans that bought the community instead of paying twice as much for a lake front camp at a popular resort?

    Oh sure, I can see it now, a whole community centered on Lutherans complete with a grocery store that carried lutefisk and an endless supply of green bean casserole fixings, jello and weak coffee. There'd be a community center that taught Norwegian crafts and even dance lessons to hit that perfect balance of minimalistic rhythm and even less emotion.

    At night there would be bonfires and singing/chanting while sacrificing marshmallows over hedonistic fires to create a food that celebrates gluttony call s'mores.

    The mass slaughter of herring would be celebrated by barely cleaning the small fish, normally considered bait, and then soaking it in vinegar and serving it to unsuspecting Catholics and Methodists at rituals called potlucks.

    I've heard these Lutherans actually have their own versions of madrases and institutions dedicated to indoctrination that hide themselves as schools and colleges. These brainwashed youth could soon be all over the Black Hills dressing conservatively and making wallets and bracelets to send home to their families...spreading their message even further across the country.

    We should be afraid, and if you're not...think about it.

  12. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    I'm told that especially in Eastern South Dakota, there was a time when the various towns were all pretty much one religion. Catholic towns, Lutheran Towns, Methodist towns, etc., largely having to do with the ethnicity of the immigrant groups who settled them. I've even heard stories of how Mobridge sent supplies to German in WWI and flew the flag at half mast throughout WWII. In other words, having a religion (or a political persuasion) dominate a town (or region) in SD is not a new thing. It's a really old thing.

  13. LK 2011.10.10

    "At night there would be bonfires and singing/chanting while sacrificing marshmallows over hedonistic fires to create a food that celebrates gluttony call s’mores."

    A lot of us non-Lutherans who have attended your worship services are suprised to hear that Lutherans sing. When we attend your worship services, we have trouble hearing singing over the out of tune organ. :)

  14. Eric 2011.10.10

    This is an irresponsible journalism. But yet again, it's to be expected from blind people such as your self. By the way, how can an atheist review a religious teachings?

  15. Dave 2011.10.10

    Whenever we buy an old chapel or a building here in California, the community are very welcoming because we make it safer and cleaner. Differences in beliefs don't matter to them and us as long as we respect each other. The church's project usually include community clean-up, grafitti removal, planting trees, medical mission, and support form local charity such as cancer society, red cross, homeless shelter, etc.

  16. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    "My discussion of the Iglesia ni Cristo has a different aim. It is not an attack on a specific candidate or person. It is a warning that the INC manipulates its members with demands for compulsory church attendance and block voting in public elections. Its behavior appears to threaten negative impacts on communities where it operates. The INC has been controlled for a century by one family, and it operates very much like a personality-based cult with a strict and secretive hierarchy."

    Cory, don't you think that the Mormons will be voting as a block for Romney? And do you not understand the secretive approach used by the Mormons. I suggest you research what a former Mormon has to say...Ed Decker.

  17. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    "To me, a person is a Christian if s/he says s/he is. And it has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Period. End of discussion."

    Bill, please take seriously Mathew 24:4-5:

    "Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many."

  18. Dave 2011.10.10

    That's a good passage. The church has no messiah but Jesus Christ.... No one else... No one's claiming to be him or a replica of him or a reincarnation of him or a replacement of him in this church.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.10.10

    Roger, I have great faith in your qualifications. Carry on! :-)

    Eric: try substantiating your bleat. What specific commentary in the original post is irresponsible? And atheists can review religious teachings, the logical consistency of their followers, and the morality of their behavior just as well as Christians can read, analyze, and discuss Ayn Rand.

    Dave, I look forward to whatever socially beneficial works the INC may choose to do here in South Dakota. But remember, if there is a God, He/She/It doesn't need your works, and your works won't earn you salvation.

    Bill: a return to one-church towns? What an interesting sociological phenomenon that would be. And considering the coverage in the New York Post yesterday about dying rural towns in South Dakota, maybe we've got a cash cow here. Let's take those 80 towns where the U.S. Postal Service wants to close the post offices, buy out the residents with state money, move them all to towns with hospitals and grocery stores, and then put those towns up for sale, lock, stock and barrel. Sell those 80 towns to big churches with big development plans and watch the Jesus-tourism boom! But the churches have to let us keep 90% of the property on the tax rolls. Any takers?

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.10.10

    Dave, listing famous people who say hi to you doesn't change the facts about the mistakes in your theology.

    Bill, I might differ with your generous benefit of the doubt. Generally, I will take a guy who says, "I'm a Christian" at his word. But if he subsequently produces evidence that he behaves in an un-scriptural fashion, I will question the accuracy of his use of the term. It is possible that a person using the term may not fully understand the meaning of the term or may be trying to trick us.

    And hey, Bill, haven't you questioned whether I'm really the atheist I say I am? :-)

  21. Dave 2011.10.10

    God commanded his people to do good to others. It's not a question whether God do it or not, we help whereever and whenever we can. We sent relief to Haiti. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so...

  22. Dave 2011.10.10

    Mistakes in theology , in your view or opinion. What makes you think you are right? What was your basis? The bible? Or your own learning? Everybody thinks he is right while others are wrong. I also think you have bad theology. I have a degree in philosophy but that doesn't make my belief right...

  23. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Yes, I question it, Cory. And I also take you at your word. You have the final say about who you are, not me, brother. The fact that I find myself disagreeing with you is more my problem than yours. :lol:

  24. Dave 2011.10.10

    You're the first atheist I encountered who says God is a Trinity. I debated with atheists before but not to a Trinitarian atheist... Lolz.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.10.10

    When people emphasize the phrase "in your view" or "in your opinion," that's a sign they are losing the debate. If your degree in philosophy doesn't affect the validity of your argument, then don't mention it.

    I view coercion in any form as problematic if not flat wrong, on the basis of respect for individual conscience and liberty. Compelling church members to attend services, to vote according to the orders of fallible human church hierarchy, to not join unions, and to not take disputes to court infringes on individual conscience and liberty.

    I view logical inconsistency as problematic if not flat wrong. Claiming to be a Christian while denying the divinity of Christ reduces the power and meaning of Christianity. If Jesus was not who he said he was, he was either a nut or a liar, said C.S. Lewis. I might add the third possibility that he was just confused... but those three possibilities rather dim the luster of Christianity.

    Also in the logical consistency file: salvation through works. If God is who Christians tell me He is—omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent—He doesn't need us to do anything. Given His mysterious ways, we cannot know if any specific earthly action or earthly formula we might execute is truly able to win his favor. The only clear message on salvation from the Bible is that we can't do it ourselves. If Jesus is who Christians say He is—son of God, divine made flesh—He was sent to do one big thing on the cross that mankind couldn't do, a thing so big and mysterious that it changed not just human history but the universe in a way much deeper than giving the Romans heartburn. If you're saying that salvation in any way on what you do for God, you've got problems. You can't do anything for God. He did it all for you. Go forth, do good, but know that your salvation is not achieved by attending a specific church every Sunday or voting for whomever Eduardo Manalo or any other fallible man tells you to vote for. You do a poor job of convincing me that your God is worth my time and tithe when your God is so weak that he relies on all of our weak, sin-riddled earthly activities. Such bad theology ill serves the community of believers.

  26. Dave 2011.10.10

    Lolz...jesus christ said he is God? You can't find that in the atheist trying to defend the trinity is flawed should all theist to be flawed but siding with trinitarians is poor logic...

    You have zero god, I have one, they have three gods...see, trinity should be the last on your list...

  27. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Steve, I have never had anyone come to me and tell me they are the Christ, have you? Conversely, like Dostoevsky in "Brothers Karamozov" I am more concerned that if JC did show up:

    1. Nobody would believe him or
    2. They would just crucify him again (or at a minimum, run him out of town).

  28. Dave 2011.10.10

    Also, you're the first atheist i encountered who quote cslewis...just admit're a fake shows in your arguments...don't deny your god...

  29. Dave 2011.10.10

    @bill...couple of months ago a group of people knock on my door and said JC already came and he's here already..I used their bible to show them the passage shown above...

  30. Dave 2011.10.10

    By the way, we are not coerced or forced in anyway to vote for anyone...I will vote for romney if I want to...too much misinformation going around here

  31. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Dave, that's interesting. You didn't believe them, and they didn't believe you. Do you think your conversation was productive? Did either of you come away with more love and compassion for one another?

  32. Dave 2011.10.10

    About faith and works, read james 2: faith without works is dead.

  33. Dave 2011.10.10

    @bill, no..but I learned one thing...the passage in matthew 24 is already being fulfilled...

    I love all people around me...but I can't force them to believe what I believe...I can only share it with them.

  34. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    "I love all people around me…but I can’t force them to believe what I believe…I can only share it with them."

    Dave, that is correct, and the first smart thing I've seen you write.

  35. Dave 2011.10.10

    @bill, thanks..may God bless you and our Lord Jesus strengthen you...

  36. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Thank you, Dave. And may God bless you as well.

  37. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10


    Do Catholic Priests forgive sin? I thought only Jesus did that.

  38. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    "You have zero god, I have one, they have three gods…see, trinity should be the last on your list…"

    Dave, the Trinity is not about three gods.

  39. Dave 2011.10.10

    Trinitarians just forget that 1 plus 1 plus 1 equals 3...simple math even kindergarten can answer...

    By the way, what passage in the bible where the trinity is mentioned? None

  40. Dave 2011.10.10

    Trinity was invented in the fourth century..many years after John, the last apostle died...

  41. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    "Trinitarians just forget that 1 plus 1 plus 1 equals 3"

    What does 1 times 1 times 1 equal?

  42. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Steve: "...forgive us our trespasses AS WE forgive those who trespass against us." What do you think that means, Sibby? To me it says WE must be the first to forgive. We set the standard that we are asking the Father to follow. That's part of the ONLY prayer Jesus asked us to say, isn't it?

  43. Dave 2011.10.10

    Steve, multiplying 1's is not limited to three...remember, 1 x1x1x1x1x1 and so on still equals one...that's why Trinitarian apologist don't use that supports polytheism such as Hinduism...

  44. Dave 2011.10.10

    To misinformed people, the church is in more than 98 countries and territories already... Thinking that we bought this property to house all members is irrational...for you information, we have properties in Europe, australia, Japan, Africa, etc too... So this scenic property is just a tiny percent of the properties owned by the church...

    Also, we are composed of people from 108 nationalities and languages...there are caucasian, African, Japanese, English pastors....

  45. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Dave, it's also a pantheist argument. There is really only one thing, no matter how may times you multiply it. A note on Hinduism. They have a "Trinity" too: It is likely that the early Christian gnostics knew about it and appropriated the concept, just as they appropriated a lot of concepts from Zoroastrianism (which is NOT making a savior out of "Zorro.")

    Dave, do people in your church have a sense of humor? Do you think it's okay to laugh when you go to heaven?

  46. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10


    The trintiy does not go beyond three "persons". What makes a Christian? Jesus Christ. Why would anyone, in the name of Chirstianity, take Jesus Christ out of the equation?

  47. Dave 2011.10.10

    I'm laughing ain't I? We laugh and are happy just as we are sad sometimes...we are not weirdo people... We DONT dress in all white or all black... We wear suit and tie...polo and jeans...

    We know heaven is a place to more sadness and tears...

  48. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10


    I may forgive you, but it is Jesus Christ who forgives the sin. And if you want to stay with your logic, then there would be no purpose for going to Confession.

  49. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10


    Don't feel bad, if you were a Mormon, then Jesus Christ is not only denied His Deity, he is considered a brother to Lucifer. Or do you think that too?

  50. Dave 2011.10.10

    Steve, being a Christian doesn't mean making him means emulating him and following him... Christ himself said that the Father is the only true God... And that he did not consider equality with God.

    He is a perfect creation of God and was made lord and savior...

  51. Dave 2011.10.10

    Steve, no... Lucifer is a proud angel... He thought he is equal or even higher than God...

    Christ did not make the same mistake...he did not consider equality with God... He humbled himself...

    Trinitarians are trying to do the opposite and wants to make Christ do what lucifer did... I am not falling for that

  52. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Any time you guys want to try to tie this all together, here's one place to start:

    "It is believed that key concepts of Zoroastrian eschatology and demonology have had influence on the Abrahamic religions.[25][26] On the other hand, Zoroastrianism itself inherited ideas from other belief systems and, like other "practiced" religions, accommodates some degree of syncretism.[27]

    Many traits of Zoroastrianism can be traced back to the culture and beliefs of the prehistorical Indo-Iranian period, that is, to the time before the migrations that led to the Indians and Iranians becoming distinct peoples.

    Zoroastrianism consequently shares elements with the historical Vedic religion that also has its origins in that era. An example is the relation of the Zoroastrian word Ahura (Ahura Mazda) and the Vedic word Asura (meaning demon). They are therefore thought to have descended from a common Proto-Indo-Iranian religion."

  53. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Dave, good to hear, brother. :lol:

  54. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Steve, do you go to confession?

  55. Dave 2011.10.10

    Bill, I studied major religions including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity,...all have influences of ancient beliefs such as Zoroastrianism, the religion of Cyrus the great...

    I am not a pastor nor a preacher... It's my interest to study all these...

  56. Dave 2011.10.10

    How handy this iPad? I can post while on the couch...except my 4 yr old son wants to play angry birds now... Nice chatting with you again Bill and Steve..

  57. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Me too, Dave. It's all very interesting, I agree.

  58. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Okay, back to the topic, Cory.

    As per the discussion with Dave here, Perry and his crew have no business questioning the authenticity of the Mormon faith.

    It's none of their business spiritually.

    Their only reason for doing it is for political gain, I think, and therefore highly suspect, if you believe in the separation of church and state.

    Because it doesn't make any difference in that context either.

    The fact for me is, if I had to be sure the people I vote for had the exact same belief system I do, I wouldn't ever be able to vote for anybody.

    And I don't think that's really what being a good citizen is all about.

  59. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    "And that he did not consider equality with God"

    Dave, you must have missed John 5:

    18Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

    19Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

    20For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

    21For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

    22For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

    23That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

  60. Dave 2011.10.10

    It was john's reiteration of Jewish understanding but read verse 19 the son can do nothing by himself... It was Jesus speaking in verse 19... Verse 18 is not Jesus' words.

    If you continue reading in chapter 8, Christ told the Jews they were liars for they don't understand what he was saying...

    Steve, I never missed any verse in the bible that relates to Christ... I studied all of them... I am not a blind follower...

  61. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10


    Separation of church and state is smoke and mirrors. We currently have a New Age Theocracy and the GOP is trying to replace it with another one:

    Is this all going to tie together somehow to fulfill Mormon prophecy and are the biblically illiterate Christians in America going to be duped into putting a Mormon or a Dominionist into office thinking that these people represent Christianity or Christ? Then after they stack the deck with their own people who is going to remove them?

    I know it sounds far fetched but a few years ago any claim that there would be a socialists running government, appointing Far Left rebels and perverts, would not be taken seriously. Remember, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The reaction to the godless socialism and lawlessness might by a pseudo-Christian theocracy. By the way, under the Mormon plan and prophecy all wealth goes to the Mormon Church and the Church redistribute the wealth to whom the Church chooses in their Kingdom of God, so you still get world socialism.

    All roads to the future now seem to lead to god substitutes ruling the earth. I guess all roads really do lead to Rome, in any final analysis. One might even come to believe that all world religion is part of a vast satanic conspiracy where man is led to believe that he can become like God (it is).

    Anyway, this unusual article by Ed Decker is extremely thought provoking. Whatever you might think, the Mormons are deadly serious about establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth and fulfilling the prophecy about the United States before Jesus can return. The Mormons are on the similar ground as Protestants in Dominion Theology, The Roman Catholic Vatican, Masons, New Age/New Spirituality and all those in various esoteric systems that think man will bring in some utopia on earth.

  62. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Steve, aren't you in fact doing what Dave's group is doing? Insisting that your way of looking at things is the only correct way of looking at them? Why is that? What difference does it make? If you don't want to believe as he does, don't. It seems like you would only care about what his church teaches if you were thinking of joining it. You aren't are you? I thought you said you were non-denominational. I'm assuming that means you have an open mind about those things. Either that, or your belief is so specific that no one church has all the answers for you. Either way is fine, but why would you not allow what you want to yourself to be so for others?

  63. Dave 2011.10.10

    Well, most evangelical christians categorize themselves as saved, others are not..Bill, you got a point...most christian groups believe they are the only one saved...hindus, buddists believe otherwise...monotheistic belief tend to say that they have the true god,...polytheists don't care coz they believe in many gods so the christian god is also true...

  64. Dave 2011.10.10

    Satanic conspiracy where man is led to believe he can become like God? Sounds familiar to me - god-man, man-god,...I don't believe in dual nature..God is is man.

  65. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Dave, exactly. Thank you.

  66. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    "God is God…man is man"

    Dave, I agree.

    Then can man forgive sins? Can man save a soul for eternal life? If you say a man can't, but Jesus can...then Jesus can not be a man.

  67. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    And if we deny Jesus His Deity, and make him a man...then can anyone become equal to Jesus? The belief in a Tri-une God is essentially for a Christ-centered Theology.

  68. Dave 2011.10.10

    What happened to 100 percent man, 100 percent God nicean creed? You agree its false..good.

    Son can do nothing by how can he do all things? The Father is in him...

  69. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    "What difference does it make?"

    God's truth, contending for the faith, faithfully defending the Gospel.

  70. Dave 2011.10.10

    Steve, if JC is god, how can you equal him? You can't...

  71. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    "Son can do nothing by himself…so how can he do all things? The Father is in him…"

    That is true John 5:19;

    "19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."

    That seems to fit your point, but then read on:

    "21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it."

    The Son of God does what the Father can do, but no man can. Suchis the Tri-une nature of God.

  72. Bill Fleming 2011.10.10

    Defending it from whom, Sibby? From what? Who here is attacking your faith? Who here is insisting that you believe something other than what you chose to believe? Not me. Not Dave either as I read him. You have given your testimony. Isn't that enough?

  73. Steve Sibson 2011.10.10

    "Steve, if JC is god, how can you equal him? You can’t…"

    Sorry if I am confusing. That is my point. If we deny the Deity of Chirst, then we then can say we can be like Christ. My read of the Bible is such that we should not go there. There is only one Way to the Father and that is thru Jesus christ.

  74. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.10.10

    You can't equal Jesus, "Dave". That's the point. Nothing you do will ever make you worthy of salvation. Abandon your earthly pride and stop pretending it will.

    But instead, you choose to throw out a fundamental Christian principle to satisfy one legalistic, over-literal interpretation of one line. Absurd. Comments closed.

    (I would offer you, "Dave," the chance to continue your conversation offline with Messrs. Fleming and Sibson, but since you have submitted a fake name and e-mail, I cannot do so.)

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