The present state of leadership among television evangelists and church ministers in this country is downright comical and astounding to me. We have heard the failed prophetic pronouncements from numerous "Christian" television personalities as well as the bombastic buffoonery of left-wing "ministers" all proclaiming "their" truth to a world that is looking for direction and correct spiritual answers. Unfortunately, spiritual discernment among modern day Christians is almost as appalling and laughable as many of the leaders who influence them.
Why should it come as no shock or surprise to me to hear Joel Osteen tell Wolf Blitzer from CNN news that Mitt Romney and all Mormons are Christians! It has been well reported that Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and he makes no apologies for it. But when we have "America's Pastor" answering a hypothetical question with an asinine and unbiblical answer, I can only respond like Popeye - "That's all I can standz, cause I can't standz no more!"
When did Mormonism become just another Christian denomination? Is Joel Osteen aware of the Mormon teaching and beliefs and whether they jibe with orthodox Biblical doctrine? It is unconscionable to me that a "Christian Pastor" would EVER make those types of comments, let alone in front of a national audience.
Second Timothy 4:3 says:
A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear.
Joel McDurmon of American Vision identifies these teachings from Mormonism as some of the essential teachings of the Mormon faith. Are they compatible with real Christianity or Biblical teaching? According to Joel Osteen they are! What say you?
Mormonism is no more a Christian than is occultism, Jehovah’s Witness, Unification Church (Moonies), Scientology, Christian Science, or even Islam. For example:Mormons teach that God has a physical body and that Jesus was physically conceived.Mormons teach that Christ was not a god, but only became a god at later point.Mormons teach that we can all become such gods, as Jesus did.Mormons teach that the Trinity is actually three such separate gods.Mormons believe the highest potential of man is to become such a god and subsequently to populate and rule their own planet (or even universe).Mormons teach that a man needs a wife in order to achieve this status.Mormons place the Book of Mormon and others above the Bible as the ultimate authority.Mormons believe the Bible must be properly “translated”—as per Mormons, of course—before it can be appealed to as an authority.Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer are “spirit” brothers.Mormons believe in salvation by works in addition to God’s grace.Mormons believe in a literal re-gathering of the lost ten tribes of Israel, yet in the future.Mormons believe that Zion (New Jerusalem) will be built on the American continent.Mormonism teaches that their “temple garment” underwear, “When properly worn,” protects them “from temptation and evil.” The rules for this underwear are unbelievably ridiculous (see footnote #1 on American Vision website).
Joel Osteen cites Mitt Romney's statement that he believes in Jesus as his Savior and Lord. Just because someone says, "Jesus Christ is my Lord" is NOT proof that they are a Christian. Jesus says in Matthew 7:21,
Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
When judging whether someone is a Christian or not - and we should judge them (1st John 4:1) - we must be sure we are defining our terms correctly and speaking about the same thing! Mormons use very similar language and terms as Biblical Christians, but they mean something totally different to them than they do to us! A "pastor" should be aware of this and point out the discrepancies instead of "accepting" their definitions as being consistent with ours. Failure to do this is reprehensible and an act of treason to the cause of Christ! Giving comfort and aid to false religions and teachers along with commending their teaching to fellow Christians is a practice strictly condemned in scripture!
Second John 1:9-11 states,
Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.
Is it no wonder that the "modern" church is in the condition it is when some of its most "respected" and "admired" spokesmen are spewing this kind of "Christian" theology? Whatever happened to men of God who called a spade a spade and declared unapologetically the truth about these so-called teachings and ministers?
The Apostle Paul warned the Galatians with the strongest of language when he said:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. - Galatians 1:6-10
The Apostle Paul was not trying to reach people with a wider and more inclusive net. He was not trying to tickle their ears or water down the message he was commanded to preach. The Apostle Paul did what every true minister of God is supposed to do - he preached the good news of Jesus in truth and love also protecting those who had come to faith from the ravenous wolves constantly attacking the church and its teaching. If the Apostle Paul and others under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit can say and do that, then that's good enough for me!
Stay Holy, My Friends!
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Readers - I'd love to hear your comments! - Pastor Don