Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No Mr. Scarborough…

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An Open Letter to Joe Scarborough in view of his recent article: Jeffress throws Jesus under the bus.

Dear Mr. Scarborough:

I know precious little about Robert Jeffress, his background, personal life, or theology – but I would encourage you to reconsider his comments about the Mormon religion. For you to accuse Mr. Jeffress of reckless judgmentalism raises serious questions concerning your own understanding of the issue, and I would suggest that your culpability here is enhanced in view of your own background and training (which you describe in your article). In view of your exposure to the Scriptures over the years, you should know something about historic biblical theology, which has always asserted the supremacy and uniqueness of Jesus Christ. It is no rumor when I inform you that Mormons do believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers – a teaching which places it squarely outside the pale historic Christianity. If you are in doubt of this, then I encourage you to research this matter for yourself. As a journalist, it is your ethical duty to have adequate knowledge concerning your subjects of analysis – especially if you are going to judge another man for his assessment of these issues, like Jeffress. In the official Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints publication entitled, Gospel Principles, it is clearly asserted that Satan and Jesus Christ are “our brothers” – both of whom vied for the position of Savior:

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Now we should contrast this with historic Christian teaching. Nowhere in the Bible will you find Satan and Christ being referred to as brothers. Such a claim as this is disastrous and undermines the very person, nature, and work of the second person of the Trinity: the Son of God. In fact, Satan (Lucifer) is a fallen angel who fell in sin (Luke 10:18) and awaits his eternal doom, along will all the other angels who fell with him (Rev. 12:9). To liken Satan with Jesus is no small matter. For that matter, it is no small issue to liken the eternal Son of God to the angels in any capacity. It is this very error to which the author of Hebrews directs his polemic in Hebrews chapter 2. It is in that chapter that the supremacy, condescension, and exaltation of Christ is revealed; however, the author of Hebrews never calls the devil a brother – not of Christ, nor of the children of God. Despite the LDS's attempts to redact their teachings, their own book - Gospel Principles – well summarizes their actual beliefs. Their Christology alone places them in a class of thought that is well outside of Christianity. But should you pursue their teachings even further, you will find other matters of concern:

Their Repeated Reversals of other Teachings of Christ: Central to Mormon doctrine is the exaltation of earthly marriage. This emphasis on marriage is that which by far exceeds what the Bible teaches. Many Mormons place their hope in the idea that, if they are good enough (Gospel Principles, p. 231), they will continue as families (with marital covenants fully intact), ad infinitum. But Jesus clearly taught that earthly marriage will not continue into eternity (see Matt 22:25-31). Yet despite this clear teaching, the Mormon “scriptures” refute what the Savior taught: “When we are married in the temple by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, we are married for time and eternity. Death cannot separate us. If we obey the commandments of the Lord, our families will be together forever as husband, wife, and children.” (Gospel Principles, p. 232). A careful reading of the Mormon “scriptures” reveals that they frequently throw the teachings of Christ “under the bus,” and that with much impudence.

Their Repeated Subjugation of Biblical Authority: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts four books as scripture: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.” (Gospel Principles, p. 49). Though the Bible is included in their list of authoritative books, it is frequently derided by the latter works. In the end, their books of true importance are - Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. In fact, for Mormons, the supremacy of the book of Mormon represents one of their core distinctives: “Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon into English through the gift of the power of God. He said that it is ‘the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4:461, in Gospel Principles, p. 50). With such a view of the book of Mormon in place, the supremacy of biblical authority is completely eliminated.

Their Dishonesty over Racism in the Book of Mormon:  The Bible clearly rejects racism, but the book of Mormon clearly promotes it: 2 Nephi 5: 21- 'And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.' and - Alma 3: 6- 'And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.' These horrific doctrines were conveniently whisked away by their “prophet” in 1978 – not because the doctrines were so horrific, but because of mounting pressure from without. Mormonism has allotted itself the convenience of having ongoing prophets who have the right and authority to change and refute their very own “scriptures” – “We have a prophet living on the earth today. This prophet is the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has the right to revelation for the entire Church. He holds the ‘keys of the kingdom’” (Gospel Principles, p. 44). This has revealed their true opinion about their own “scriptures” – The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Their constant need to redact their own scriptures is quite telling. Thus, their proclivity to play fast and loose with the book of Mormon, which Joseph Smith called “the most correct of any book on earth,” should give anyone pause.

Mormon Christology is, by itself, dangerous enough, but I have supplied these additional concerns in order to illustrate the breadth of error found within the very religion that you have chosen to defend. Mr. Scarborough – I must suggest to you that your charge of judgmentalism is deeply premature. While I know not Mr. Jefress’ heart, nor yours, I fear that you yourself have made a premature judgment with precious little facts on your side. Your choice to side with Mormonism in this manner raises questions about who is actually “throwing Jesus under the bus,” as you repeatedly say in your Politico article.  I challenge you to search this matter out and give it careful consideration. My ultimate prayer for the Mormon community is that they would abandon the false and shifting doctrines of their leaders, and flee to Christ and His teachings alone.