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Thursday, 09 December 2004 07:01

Christians & The Church Of Latter Day Saints

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by David E Lister

As one who has stood on the wall for God's Truth for almost two decades and has experienced the loss of three churches. The growing apostasy and the speed of the apostasy is now amazing me. Two to five times a week I receive a letter from someone who has had to leave his or her church because it has started to introduce The Purpose Driven life or another church growth program, ecumenism, the Alpha Course or some other heresy. One of the ways that ecumenism is contributing to the apostasy is by seducing God's people into believing that Jesus is just another way, but the only way for them. The Roman Catholic Church states this in their catechism by stating in section 846 that there is not other way to heaven except through the RCC, yet in the very next section (847) it states that people of other faiths can achieve salvation outside of Jesus Christ. The common theological term is called inclusivism. Another way that ecumenism is contributing to the apostasy is by good men of God not going far enough in pointing out error or pointing out false teachers and false prophets among God's people. An example of this follows.

Recently Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias along with some other so-called "Christians"  were allowed to speak in The Church of Latter Day Saints' Tabernacle in Salt Lake City Utah (this is the meeting hall made famous by the choir of the same name). As many of you know from the articles posted in the Moriel Quarterly and on our website, the Mormons or Latter-Day Saints are a false Christian cult, with a different Jesus, a different gospel and a different spirit (2 Cor. 11).

Standing Together Ministries and the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University organized this event or meeting . Also speaking at this event were Fuller Theological Seminary President Richard Mouw and Craig Hazen from Biola University, more about them later. We are well aware that the apostate signs and wonders revival ( Toronto & Pensacola) had its beginnings at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Eye witnesses reported that Ravi's message was unsettling in many way to the Mormon leaders, yet the Desert News stated that, " While he {Ravi} acknowledged that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ in many of their views from historic Christianity, he emphasized much of what they share in reverence for a being both consider the divine Savior of mankind." 

Christians and Mormons share a "reverence for a being both consider the divine Savior of mankind" ? The Mormons have a different Jesus! True Christians do not revere the Jesus of Mormons who is the  ½ brother of Lucifer. Yet, judging from the accounts in the newspaper Mr. Ravi's message may have been temporally unsettling, yet it seems it was passed over for the false message brought by Mr. Mouw and the do nothing attitude of Mr. Hazen. (see newspaper quote below). These men spoke before Ravi and after Ravi undermining his message.

Over two years ago via email I spoke with Ravi about his mixing with those in darkness, these collaborators of Satan and traitors of the Truth.   I warned him that by buying airtime on TBN he was risking losing what he accomplished (2 John).   And his collaboration with the false prophets  will in the end, wind up with them stealing his good reputation in order to confuse the people to the Truth and The Faith once and for all delivered to the saints. This continued collaboration with the enemies of the Truth is reprehensible especially since others and I have warned him. As Moriel's article Chink in the Armour pointed out, when Jehoshaphat rides in the chariot with Ahab the people become confused!   When good men go in together with evil men the people become confused, and we know who is the author of confusion.   Ravi in our emails told me "they purposefully set up this {his} ministry not to name names." In other words he was not going to point out the error but just let the wolves in among the sheep and leave the sheep uninformed about these false teachers and preachers. His actions at this meeting prove this out. But beyond this a friend and long time Mormon evangelist who attended all of the functions concerning Ravi reported one of the most disturbing things about all of these events. It seems during one Q & A session held after the Tabernacle event, Ravi was asked by an apparent LDS girl to state what exactly the differences are concerning the Trinity; Ravi declined by claiming he was a guest. He went on to affirm there are deep differences, and then simply talked about how we are to dialogue respectfully between the two faiths. I can't imagine Jesus or Paul leaving a person seeking the Truth in error. My friend went on to report the reason he feels that Ravi did not answer or distinguish between Christianity and Mormonism clearly is, "because he wasn't hired to do that. Standing Together Ministry and Bob Millet of BYU hired Ravi to minister here in keeping with their bridges style." 

The bible is both pro-active (positive - The gospel, the good news) and reactive (negative -pointing out error).   When men make up their own rules instead of following God's example (The Book of Acts is a good way to evangelize, being both positive and negative) people will be left confused, false prophets will abound and grow in influence and the church will be weakened and then God will throw down the Law to show we have broken it and judgment comes.  Judgment begins in the house of the Lord. So let us judge ourselves so that we do not have to be judged. Ravi has not done a good thing here. If anything he has allowed false "Christians"  to gain a reputation among the Mormons allowing Mormons to continue in error.

Again as Moriel's articles have pointed out, you have to define your terms with Mormons: who is Jesus, what is the cross and it's purpose, what is the Biblical definition of the Trinity, the nature of man, the nature of God, etc., least the Mormon fall back into their own understanding of these terms and continue in their error.   Now we are not saying that Ravi did not covered some these definitions or not touch on some of them, but Zacharias is quoted as saying that he "will not deal with theology" for this event. Yet here we have traitors collaborating with and appeasing the leaders of Mormonism, telling them we (the true church) are sorry we have defamed them and sinned against them, and Ravi didn't correct them or point out that Mr. Mouw is a liar and in error and has not told you the Truth!   The main local newspaper shows us this by reporting, "" ¦ what many Utahns may remember most distinctly is the sermon that came before it { Ravi's sermon}. Taking the pulpit to speak of the event's historic nature, Fuller Theological Seminary President Richard Mouw addressed a capacity crowd of several thousand, offering a stunningly candid apology to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and noting that "friendship has not come easily between our communities." He dubbed the evening "historic" and apologized that Evangelicals "have often misrepresented the faith and beliefs of the Latter-day Saints..."  "Let me state it clearly. We evangelicals have sinned against you," he said, adding both camps have tended to marginalize and simplify the others' beliefs. Historical animosity dating back to the founding of the LDS Church by Joseph Smith in 1830 has heightened in recent years between the two groups, particularly in the 1990s, when several high-profile evangelical leaders asserted that, "Mormons are not Christians." Mouw noted the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith's birthday next December and several scholarly events planned to celebrate during the coming year. "I hope many in the evangelical community will take part in those events," he said.

After Ravi's sermon a local Christian pastor filed this report, "Richard Mouw stated that Christians should join with the LDS people to celebrate the 200 year birthday centennial for Joseph Smith. Why any Christian would want to celebrate the life of a false prophet is way beyond me?" 

Now, Mr. Mouw has set the table to undermine everything Ravi was getting ready to talk about. But Ravi must hold the ultimate responsibility for allowing himself to be undermined and duped. Can you image a Paul or Elijah sitting in on this travesty of Truth and not correcting these false brethren?   Paul corrected Peter to his face publicly (Gal. 2) and Peter commended Paul for it and the result was a stronger apostle (Peter) and a corrected church (sheep) on the right path.

When good men do not go far enough for the Truth God will remove them (see Jehu). While we consider Ravi a brother in the Lord, he is allowing the watering down of the Truth, the perversion of the Truth and through the working with compromisers of Biblical Truth to become a normal function in Christianity (show me in the Bible where the apostles did this) and in the end the people will lose. Ravi has lost and is losing his good reputation with others and me that maintain a strong stance for God's Truth as found in the Bible and find this type of meeting a mockery of God's Word.

It was also reported that the Mormon leaders on the stage were squirming under Ravi's sermon, we know from past experience that they will hold on to the lies of the false teachers when they are given an out such as Mouw gave them. The Mormons will now work closer with these collaborators, and then in the end will lose their souls.   May God have mercy on these Mormons who were lied to by men who say they believe in The Truth, The Way and The Life!

Unless good men and women (Acts 18:26,27) of God hold men like Ravi accountable for his collaborations as well as his doctrine, the church will continue into the apostasy that is so prevalent among us now and Mormons will continue to believe in a lie.

I am afraid if I had been there I would have named these false teachers out loud and to their faces for what they are, I could not have been silent for the sake of the Truth and for the sake of the Mormons. And I would have also warned Ravi of his errors again. (I will be sending this to Ravi.) At this time in history good men and women of God can no longer stand by in silence as others are dying in their sins. May God forgive Ravi and Hazen and any of these other traitors that put on these type events and for what they have done and they are doing to The Truth.

I want to add that this past summer, a so-called evangelism team showed up at the Manti Miracle Pageant to do some "friendship evangelism"  or non-confrontational evangelism. They proceeded to tell the Mormons we were wrong in what we (our mission team combined with the many other teams that we were allied with that led 15 Mormons to a saving faith) are doing and they just wanted to shake their (the Mormon's) hand and invite them out to lunch. While I wrote this off to being young and inexperienced, it seems leading universities are now encouraging what is call "Relational evangelism"  (RE) or non-confrontational evangelism. I know believe that this type of collaboration with the enemies of the gospel is not only being allowed but encouraged from the top down at some our Christian Universities. When the head of this team was corrected he said his team "was wrong to say we were wrong"  but defended their other actions of "friendship evangelism."  Nonetheless the damage was done to these Mormons, and their souls remain at risk.

Craig Hazen from Biola University stated in his closing prayer that, " Even the Mormon Scriptures say that Joseph Smith, Jr. sought wisdom at a crucial time in his life."  To even give a validation to Mormons that there is truth to the account of what is called "The First Vision"  is unwise. Any Mormon apologist worth his salt knows that there are at least 9 different versions of the "first Vision"  and that there are also similar "testimonies"  by other evangelists that appeared in the local newspapers that passed through Palmyra, NY, which was in the path of a great number of circuit riders. While I don't mind finding common ground like Paul's example in Acts 17, we need to be very careful in our approach not to compromise on The Truth, as was done at this event. Without correction the apostasy will speed along. At best we can conclude that Mr. Hazen has folded in the face of the enemies of God and failed to use an opportunity like this to clearly draw the lines between the Jesus of Mormonism and the one of the Bible and his non-correction of Mr. Mouw's statements speaks loudly. Spiritual cowardliness in the name of civility is becoming a norm in Christianity and we can only hope that Mr. Hazen and Ravi Zacharias will have the backbone to issue an apology for the harm they have done and reverse their course.    Mr. Hazen said to the newspaper several times he, "" ¦ didn't want the meeting to end,"  and further noting he, "" ¦was excited to have met in the Tabernacle and suggesting the meeting become an annual event."  Then with a smile, he added, "Don't you all have a bigger place right across the street?" Did Mr. Hazen hear what Mouw said or is he just giving all these collaborators a pass for doing nothing and desiring more of the same? An infection is spreading to the body of Christ as Mr. Hazen now testifies. Dr. Walter Martin called this infection "non-rockaboatis."  This infection will cost Mormons their souls, and removes the backbone from Christian shepherds and turns them into hirelings, then collaborators. Where are the Maccabees at a time like this? (For those that don't know who they were, they were a group of Jews who, when confronted with traitors and collaborators working with the Greeks {164 BC} to defile the Temple of the Lord, drew their swords and first turned on the collaborators and then defeated the Greeks.) But as amazed as I am at the current speed of the apostasy, I am also thankful that God is still giving revelation of His Word to His faithful remnant. At a time of increased darkness we need as much Light as we can get. I pray that good shepherds and people of God will stand up against this trend and these men that are undermining the gospel of Jesus Christ

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