Find out how one-size does not fit all
Sally lives across the street from me. She has four kids, the second eldest a son, the rest girls. She and her husband John are good people. They are also Mormons. Also nearby, is Jan, my other neighbor. She’s a Christian who loves the Lord. She and her husband put their faith into practice. At one point when I was out of work, Jan and her husband, Kim, came through for us in a big way with bags of groceries to help out. Jan also is bold as well. She won’t just sit by and let her neighbors be deceived by the enemy if she has anything to say about it. I see her witnessing to those around and sharing the love of Jesus with them.
During the summer, Jan was talking to Sally. I guess the conversation came up that touched on faith at some point and this allowed Sally to talk a little more freely than perhaps she was used to.
As Jan was talking to Sally, she let it slip out that they were Christians. Sally took the bait. “Oh, really? Same here,” said Sally. Jan knew that Sally was a Mormon but was not that versed on Mormon doctrine. “I thought you guys are Mormon,” said Jan. “We are,” replied Sally. “But that’s the same thing.” “It is?” Jan replied incredulously. By now Jan was thoroughly confused. She had always been led to believe that Mormons believed a different kind of doctrine. “Do believe that Jesus is Lord?” asked Jan? “Yes,” said Sally. Jan went on, “How about Savior and Redeemer?” “Yes that too,” said Sally. Jan was caught totally unprepared for where the direction of the conversation was leading and Sally seized upon that and eventually talked about her faith more than Jan. Jan kept hearing all the same things that she believed and with each passing moment, Jan was starting to believe Sally, a Mormon, really was a Christian.
This kind of thing happens to Christians more times than it should. Unsuspecting Christians are caught flatfooted believing one thing, only to be confused by Mormon terminology that sounds strangely similar to Christian terminology. Consequently, by the time conversations end, well-intentioned Christians are usually led down a path that they know sounds odd, yet familiar.
This is the thing that is at the heart of Mormonism. Words that sound the same, but really mean different things. There is an old saying that says, “There is a thread of truth in everything,” and Mormonism is no different.
Originally based on the gospel of Jesus Christ, it has been twisted over the last two centuries to mean something very different from orthodox Christianity. Any Christian that is unprepared for that will have trouble navigating. Perhaps that is the reason Christians don’t trust Mormon missionaries and don’t want to talk to them when they knock on the door, politely excusing themselves to some other more important business.
Nevertheless, Christians have an obligation to engage these Mormons at their door and around the corner from their homes, witnessing to them on the fundamental differences between Christians and Mormons. Just like Sally, there are many Mormons who believe that there is very little difference between Christians and Mormons. We’ll forgo the discussion about how Joseph Smith formed the Mormon Church to set it apart from other Christians. That’s an article for another day. Still, don’t you find it at least curious how Mormons today try to blur the lines between Christianity and Mormonism that Joseph Smith so distinctly drew?
When talking to a Mormon, if all you are doing is taking inventory on the number of similarities without weighting their importance, it will look like there are a lot of similarities. But when one thing represents 99% of the truth and it never gets discussed, it will mislead.
That one thing is this: “Is Jesus God?” The question is not is Jesus A god, rather is He THE God. Are He and the Father one? This is not something that Mormons believe. Yet it is the central question of what Christians believe.
So how can Mormons and Christians be the same? They can’t. If as Mormons they deny the ultimate authority of Jesus, reducing him from Creator to created, then there can be no common ground. Every doctrinal discussion from the Christian’s perspective should always begin with that question. Unfortunately, that’s usually where the discussion ends as well.
The truth about Mormons is that they deny the deity of Christ. This distinction, to the Mormon Church’s surprise, does not set it apart from all other faiths, but rather lumps it in with all other faiths except Christianity.
When you talk to Mormons or press them about where the message of Jesus is, they’ll say it’s ALL about Jesus in the Mormon Church. But in reality, it’s in name only. If it’s all about Jesus why does the Mormon more closely identify to Joseph Smith? If it’s all about Jesus where is the missing cross in the Mormon Church? If it’s all about Jesus why do Mormons spend more time reading the inspired writings of Joseph than they do the actual words of Jesus?
The facts cannot be misconstrued. The Mormon Church is quick to use the name of Jesus, the message of Jesus, the words of Jesus, but when it comes to the worship of Jesus, Mormons are far more likely to worship Joseph and his efforts than Jesus.
How sad that our Lord and Savior, who took the weight of our sins upon His shoulders so we could have eternal life and Mormons waste their time and worship a huckster like Joseph.
I know Mormons will adamantly deny this fact, but true worship is what you spend your time, talent and treasure on. What I is see is Mormons wanting to be more like Joe, rather than like Jesus.