31 August 2010

Have We Anointed an Unworthy Shepherd?

From Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries:
Have We Anointed An Unworthy Shepherd?
By Jan Markell
www.olivetreeviews.org
August 31, 2010

Could we say that the church has failed to wake up very many people so, by default, a Mormon -- Glenn Beck -- has made quite a stir and has become an official spiritual leader? He rallied hundreds of thousands last weekend with themes of faith and love of our country. Americans are desperate and fearful of what is coming upon this land so they look to a Mormon for leadership. I am glad his Saturday event was successful for just some of these reasons:

* Americans came to celebrate America after the highest leaders in our land have trashed her around the world.

* They focused on what was right in America and they also honored our military.

 * Faith and patriotism were lifted up -- two items that the Left despises.

 * Attendees were passionate -- traveling thousands of miles and, once arriving in D.C., walking for miles, even if handicapped.

* Conservative Americans must gather together to fortify one another. Such events strengthen one another and offer hope. Finding kindred spirits in a depressing age is essential.

* Whether the Left heard or not, the attendees sent a message that they are fed up. November is around the corner and they had better look out.

In light of the positive aspects of the honoring America weekend, could there possibly be a down side? I tried to do a fair and balanced radio program last Saturday, August 28, with Brannon Howse, former Mormon Ed Decker, and apologetics' expert Eric Barger. We raised a few issues, and you can hear them here.  I have received some thanks for the honesty and integrity of the two hours, and a few hate e-mails and calls for the position the panel took, which will be explained in the paragraphs below.

The theme of the Friday gathering of spiritual leaders and the Saturday rally was an encouragement to turn back to God. The not-so-subtle theme was "many faiths, but one God."

I believe many conservative Christians would have been relieved if Glenn had not brought out Mormon doctrine that very few are familiar with. He stated at the Saturday event  that the American Indians are the "chosen people" -- blatant Mormon doctrine. The crowd applauded in approval. You can view that here at the 4:30 mark.
 
He stated -- and has affirmed this on his radio and television programs -- that God is the only answer. While much was troublesome last weekend, who else is sticking their neck out saying we have to turn back to God and gathering hundreds of thousands in the process? It would be wonderful if Franklin Graham or even Joel Rosenberg could attract a half-million people and deliver the true gospel. We aren't quite there yet. Again, by default, we defer to Glenn Beck.

The weekend opened on Friday night, Augsust 27, with Glenn's "Divine Destiny" program which again, is straight out of Mormonism. Many participants have implied, or blatantly stated, that Glenn is a "saved Mormon" or on the way to becoming one.

Friend and frequent radio guest John McTernan, was present both days just to observe. He writes on his blog,"There were several prayers offered at the Friday event and none were made in the name of Jesus. I was deeply grieved after I left.
 
"On Saturday, I attended the rally. If it had been just political, I could accept Beck as a leader; however, it went way beyond that. I am not questioning anything about Beck's character or motives. What I am deeply grieved about is that this was not led by the real church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Is America in such desperate spiritual condition that masses of Christians will follow a Mormon for spiritual revival?"

McTernan continues, "The sheep in America are desperate and fearful of what is coming, so they look to a Mormon for leadership. A Mormon leading a meeting like this for America turning back to God should have God-fearing pastors in America on their knees crying out to God for mercy. I am grieved, not so much with Glenn Beck, but that the church is so pitifully weak that a Mormon can now lead God's people, and they do not see the spiritual danger."

What are major Mormon beliefs and how do they play into this scenario? When God is the professed focus of the August 27-28 weekend, what is the deeper meaning? And Glenn is outspoken about his Mormon faith. He so-stated that fact many times over the weekend and in the weeks and months leading up to it. It was not subtle or hidden. But Glenn does not bring out the bullet points below because it reads like science fiction.
 
Mormon theology teaches:
 
* God was born and raised on another planet.

* He has a harem of wives.

* They produce spirit-babies that are sent to earth; there they gain bodies and earn sainthood.

* Jesus is the brother of Lucifer.

* Jesus is the chosen/elected savior by a council of gods from other worlds.

* America is the promised land, not Israel. The holy city is Independence, Missouri, not Jerusalem. Jesus' latter-day agenda is to return to Missouri.

* The U.S. Constitution is as sacred as the Book of Mormon. In the latter days, it will be under siege and will be saved by Mormons. Thus, we must "reclaim America" to save the Constitution and usher in a genuine age of Mormon leadership. They want to build a Mormon kingdom on earth, similar to modern day Dominionists/Kingdom Now proponents within Christianity. Founder Joseph Smith had a socialistic philosophy and wished to have a society that shared things in common.

* America's founding fathers were "spirit babies" who created a "sacred Constitution."

* Salvation is works-based and not through grace and faith.
 
This is what Glenn Beck believes. Is the god of this system, this faith, the one he referred to when he stated, "Today, America turns back to God?"   Is his god concept one we can turn back to?
 
For greater insights, visit the Web site of former Mormon and radio guest, Ed Decker. Also visit the apologetics' site ofEric Barger.
 
Brannon Howse has done extensive radio programs and written cutting-edge articles on this issue for over a week.

Jim Garlow, a popular and influential pastor who partnered with the Mormon faithful in California to defend traditional marriage, was quoted recently in CNN's Belief Blog, saying, "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. He understands receiving Christ as Savior.' "

In short, Mormonism has a different holy book, father, Jesus, concept of grace, salvation, end-times, etc. You cannot be a "saved Mormon." Evangelicals who should know better already call him a "brother in Christ." Some of those share the Mormon "dominion" of the earth and this is their connection. Promoting this false end-time theology of making the earth perfect seems to trump everything elseWe can't save the earth and make it perfect. Jesus Christ has to return to do that.
 
So, was the following the purpose? Brannon Howse has posted a story at his Worldview Weekend site that the LDS Examiner states through Mormon writer Greg West, "As a Mormon, I have to consider an unintended message throughout Beck's work, which has culminated in this event. That message is: 'Mormons are Christian believers. Despite nearly two centuries of misrepresentation and religious envy by sectarian Christianity, Beck has achieved the visibility, prominence, and has had the time day after day, week after week, to speak openly and truly about his core beliefs. Those statements of faith have disoriented and confused those who had previously believed the lies about Mormons."
 
West has proved our point. "Evangelicals and Mormons Together" will be next. Why not? A Mormon successfully called a nation back to God.
 
Most who stand with Glenn, however, do not embrace this theology. Some Christian leaders are just deceived and others think it is hip and cool to align themselves with a man who is so prominent and so pro-America.

John McTernan states, "I know Mormonism real well. There is a Mormon prophecy that America is going to be nearly destroyed with the Constitution hanging by a thread. A Mormon savior would arrive and lead the Mormon church to save America. I can see this coming into play real soon. Maybe the revival Beck is talking about is a massive conversion to Mormonism."

We sincerely hope Glenn Beck will become a true brother in Christ. We can pray to that end and also that Christian leaders will sharpen their discernment and understand the disservice they are doing to the body of Christ by exalting an unsaved man, and allowing him to be a virtual shepherd over millions of Americans who just want to take back America.

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