September 1, 2010

400-408Let's talk Glenn Beck, Mormonism, Christianity, and spiritual renewal in America.  I've got lots of questions.

1.  Beck has the "support" of prominent evangelical leadership (Richard Land, James Dobson, Dave Barton, Jim Garlow, Jack Hibbs, Dudley Rutherford, etc.) but is this "support" social-political-cultural or theological?  Do think this "support" goes beyond approval to endorsement?  Has Glenn Beck been anointed by evangelical leadership as one of "our" spiritual leaders?  Has he seized, or worse, been given, the mantle of the religious right? 

2.  Mormon theology is clearly non-Christian theology, no one disputes this.  But can a person simultaneously say they are both a Mormon and a Christian?  Of course, Beck is doing it now, and thousands claim to be "born-again Mormons."  The question isn't "can they" but "ought they"?  For Beck, or any person who claims to be a Christian, it comes down to what Jesus asked, "Who do you say that I am?"  How much Mormon theology does Beck also believe?  Does he believe Jesus was the spirit brother of Lucifer on the planet Kolob?  Does he believe the Holy Spirit was a man?  Does he reject the Trinity?  Is he a polytheist?  Does he believe the Adam-god doctrine?  Does he believe he'll become a god too? Does he believe the Father had sex with Mary to produce Jesus?  Does he believe Jesus was a polygamist?  Does he believe the Book of Mormon is equally inspired as the Bible?  Does he believe Jesus came to North America to preach to the Nephites and Lamanites, the American Indians, who Mormons believe are descendants of two "lost tribes of Israel?"

3.  What do you think of a Mormon leading a political movement or becoming a candidate?  As Americans we celebrate religious liberty and happily join with social-political-cultural allies to elect our candidates in order to advance our policies.  Prop 8 would have failed had it not been for the support of catholics and Mormons.  But, as Christians, where do we draw the line in our support of political candidates and causes?  I have far more in common with non-Christian political conservatives like Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney and Dennis Prager, than I do with "Christian" Barack Obama, Jim Wallis, and Nancy Pelosi.  I won't support – or vote for or against – a candidate because of their religion – that would be religious bigotry.  I disagree on worldview and policy with lots of Christians, yet if Mitt Romney wins the nomination he has my vote over any Democrat.  How far does our support go before we compromise the Gospel?

4.  What do you think of a Mormon leading a spiritual revival?  Is Beck leading people into Mormonism or Christianity?  Is there a "Salt Lake City Strategy" at work here for Beck to veil his Mormonism in order to gain evangelical acceptance only later to recruit followers into the LDS?  What if a million people become greater patriots but also become Mormons?

413-423Caller Carla says I'm "knit-picking" in my concern about Beck's Mormonism.

• (:19) Beck1 (Glenn Beck at the 'Restoring Honor Rally' in Washington DC @ 8/28/2010) "This day is a day that we can start the hearts of America again, and it has nothing to do with politics, it has everything to do with God, everything, turning our face back to the values and the principles that made us great."

(:26) Beck2, "So what did these great people give their lives for?  They gave it for the American experiment.  And that's what this is, an experiment.  It's not just a country, it's an idea:  that man can rule himself.  That's the American experiment."

• (:15) Beck6 "If you understand who God is, you will also understand you are one of his children, that has great benefits and unbelievable responsibility."

• (:25) Beck7 "This isn't about one church or one faith over another, it is about the eternal principles of God... For 240 years they have been absent from the American landscape, the black-robed regiment is back again today.... These 240 men and women of all faiths..."

• (:19) Beck8 "The men and women here don't agree on fundamentals.  They don't agree on everything that every church teaches.  What they do agree on is that God is the answer."

• (:44) Beck9 "I know that if you do your job, if you pledge to yourself that you will restore honor in your own life, we will leave freedom better than how we found it.  So our children can find the giant inside of them... Somewhere in this crowd, I know it, I have been looking for the next George Washington, I can't find him, I know he is in this crowd, he may be eight years old, but this is the moment, this is the moment that he dedicates his life, that he sees giants around him."

428-437• (1:40) Beck10.  "The story of America is the story of human kind.  5000 years ago, on the other side of the planet, God's chosen people were led out of bondage by a guy with a stick who was talking to a burning bush.  Man first began to recognize God and God's law.  The chosen people listened to the Lord.  At the same time those things were happening, on this side, on this land, another group of people were gathered here, and they too were listening to God.  How these two people were brought together again, happened because people were listening to God.  They didn't have the right to worship God the way they saw fit, so they got down on their knees; and they didn't want to come to this land, they just did because they felt that's what God was telling them to do.  And with malice towards none, they got into their boats, and they came.  God's chosen people, the Native Americans and the Pilgrims."

(:10) Beck 10a "they got into their boats, and they came. God's chosen people, the Native Americans and the Pilgrims."

(2:50) Dave Barton on the Frank Pastore Show Monday, August 30th.

(:15) Barton (short) "And see that's the thing with know God's not into the labels, He's into the personal relationships, and I don't think there's any doubt for what Glenn has that and I think the fruits bear witness of it."

LDS Church News (6/20/1998) "In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.' 'No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak'" (LDS Church News, week ending June 20, 1998, p.7).

The Ensign (May 1977) "It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (LDS Seventy Bernard P. Brockbank, The Ensign, May 1977, p.26).


458-508 A quick overview of Mormonism.

                  In 1820, a 14 year old farm boy named Joseph Smith, went to prayer out in the woods due to his deep concern over the religious turmoil going on around his home town of Palmyra, New York.  Apparently, a revival had broken out and Joseph didn't know which of the denominations to join, so he prayed for guidance.  God the Father and Jesus appeared, and he was told, "I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all the creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt..." (PGP, Joseph Smith, 1:16-19).  Three years later, on September 21, 1823, he had another vision, this time the angel Moroni appeared and told him of an ancient book written on golden plates buried nearby (called Hill Cumorah today).  He was shown the location, but was prohibited from taking them.  Moroni told him the plates recorded the history of an ancient American civilization written in Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics, and that he was to translate it with the aid of two magical stones called the Urim and Thummim. Four years later, Smith was allowed to take the plates just long enough to finish the translation before they were to be returned to Moroni.  In May 1829, while Smith and Oliver Cowdery were praying in a forest near Bainbridge, Pennsylvania, John the Baptist appeared and conferred the Aaronic priesthood to them.  Later, Peter, James, and John appeared and conferred upon them the Melchizedekian priesthood.  The translation was completed in three years, and the Book of Mormon was published in March, 1830.  On April 6, 1830, Smith and five others formed The Church of Christ in Fayette, New York.  After two name changes over the next four years, they settled on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

            The Mormons built their first temple in Kirtland, Ohio in 1836, yet everywhere they went they faced serious persecution for their heretical beliefs, being literally run out of town numerous time throughout Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois.  While constructing a temple in Carthage, Illinois, Smith ordered his men to stop an anti-Mormon newspaper by destroying its printing press.  When wind of this reached the authorities, Smith and his brother Hyrum were arrested.  Followers smuggled two guns into the Smith brothers to assist in their jailbreak, but the plan was thwarted when the town's people stormed the jail, and a gunfight followed.  Joseph and Hyrum were gunned down, along with two townspeople.  After their deaths, a Vermont house painter named Brigham Young (1801-1877) assumed leadership as the next Prophet of the LDS.  Realizing only persecution faced them if they remained, Young and 12,000 followers gathered  into 400 wagons and set out on the Oregon Trail in February 1846, arriving at the Great Salt Lake 17 months later, in July 1847.  By the time of his death in 1847, Young's wagon train community had swollen to over 140,000 Mormons throughout the Utah Territory, to which he played a large part, fathering 57 children through 53 wives. 

            Under the fourth prophet, Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898), open polygamy was banned allowing Utah to become a state.  Spencer Kimball (1895-1985), the twelfth prophet, repealed the ban and allowed blacks and American Indians to receive the priesthood on June 9, 1978.  Ezra Taft Benson and Howard Hunter followed, as the 13th and 14th Prophets of the Mormon Church.

            Mormon Presidents:  1) Joseph Smith (1830-1844).  2) Brigham Young (1847-1877).  3) John Taylor (1880-1887).  4) Wilford Woodruff (1887-1898).  5) Lorenzo Snow (1898-1901).  6) Joseph F. Smith (1901-1918).  7) Heber J. Grant (1918-1945).  8) George Albert Smith (1945-1951).  9) David O. McKay (1951-1970).  10) Joseph Fielding Smith (1970-1972).  11) Harold B. Lee (1972-1973).  12) Spencer W. Kimball (1973-1985).  13) Ezra Taft Benson (1985-1994).  14) Howard W. Hunter (1994-1995).  15) Gordon B. Hinckley (1995-2008).  16) Thomas Monson (2008-present).


The Book of Mormon  

            This recounts two migrations of people from the Ancient Near East to America.  The first, the Jaredites, left the Tower of Babel region on 8 barges around 2,500 BC, and arrived on the west coast of Central America 240 days later.  They established an entire civilization, though eventually wiping themselves out due to their evil and hostile ways (over 2 million people lost their lives in one battle alone!)  The second, led by Lehi, sailed from Jerusalem around 600BC, coming to land on the west coast of South America.  Lehi's evil sons, Laman and Lemuel, were cursed with dark skin for their rebellion and remained a bloodthirsty and idolatrous people (i.e., the Indians); while the Lord blessed Lehi's peaceful and loving sons, Nephi and his younger brothers.  The Nephites migrated north into Central and North America, though always in conflict with the Lamanites.  However, during a time of peace that lasted 200 years, Jesus visited the Nephites following his crucifixion and resurrection to establish his church among them.  Soon thereafter, war resumed.  In 385 AD, near Hill Cumorah in upstate New York, the two groups assembled for the final battle.  All the Nephites were slaughtered by the Lamanites except for one man named Moroni.  Before his death, Moroni was able to safely bury some golden plates upon which his father had recorded the history of his people.  Moroni's father was named Mormon.  1,400 years later, Moroni, now an angel, returned to direct Joseph Smith to the plates.

512-523 Calls


544-554 Calls



• (:54) B&W Q2 (Chris Wallace with Fox News Sunday interviews Glen Beck after the 'Restoring Honor' Rally @ 8/29/2010) "You talk about miracles, you talk about an end to spiritual darkness, you talk about America turning back to God, do you believe that you have a role in trying to save this country? ... I think Chris that every American should feel that way...I think every American has a role in saving this country...Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, it doesn't matter, we all know the country's in trouble.  We may disagree on how to solve it, but we all know the country's in trouble.  And I've come to the place where I believe that there's no way to solve these problems, these issues, there's nothing we can do that will solve the problems that we have and keep the peace, unless we solve it through God, unless we solve it in being our highest self."

(:38) B&W Q3 "What was the message, that those tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people who came to watch you, what were they trying to tell our leaders? ... People aren't really happy with things, a good number of people are not happy with the direction we're going.  The second message they should get, the politicians, is where are you headed?  Where are you taking us?  We want the truth.  Americans just want to know the truth.  That's why I said in the speech, demand the truth from yourself first before you demand it from someone else. You've got to demand the truth from yourself."

• (:57) B&W Q5b "The central message was that we need to return to God, we need to get straight with God individually, and that's going to help us as a nation... You said recently that the reason that a growing number of Americans don't think president Obama is a Christian is because they don't recognize the faith that he's practicing.  In fact, you even called it a perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  ... But who made you the God squad?" "Oh, nobody made me the God Squad.  The Pope even said, this is Pope Benedict, that it is demonic not divine when theology crosses into the line of doing that which only the divine can do.  He was speaking specifically about liberation theology.  You wanna ask anybody in the Catholic church, they witnessed it, it's Marxism disguised as religion and it happened in South America."

628-638 Calls

• (:47) B&W Q5c "I'm a Mormon, and most Christians don't recognize me as a Christian, so who am I to say?  I'm not judging.  I'm saying, most Christians would look at collective salvation, which is my salvation, my redemption, is incumbent on what the collective does.  So, I can't be saved unless the collective is saved.  Well, that is a direct opposite of what the Gospel talks about.  Jesus came for personal salvation.  It's like people say, you know, you just accept Jesus and you're saved.  That's not what my church teaches.  You are, but then you've also got to get in there and plug, you've got to change your heart as well.  Okay, that's what I happen to believe. What does the president believe?"

(:15) Obama CS 1 July 1995

(:09) Obama CS 2 May 2008

• (:39) B&W Q5d "Four different speeches since he's been president, and mainly students, that your salvation is directly tied to the collective salvation.  That's not something that most Christians recognize.  I'm not demonizing it.  I disagree with it.  The Pope has said, he's actually demonized it, people aren't recognizing his version of Christianity just like, and 48% of the African American community doesn't recognize it either by the way, they didn't recognize it with Jeremiah Wright they don't recognize it now."


• (:45) B&W Q10 "We should be looking for people with the right ideas.  My feeling right now is, the country is in trouble, and I don't see a political solution because I think we're too divided.  I think both parties have sold their souls.  You know, our founders, if you read their speeches, or you read their documents and their letters to each other, when they founded our country, they all said it would happen if the people turn from God.  So, let's take them as people who knew what they were talking about, whaddayou say we give the ol' "Let's turn back to God thing a try and see what happens."

• Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, Washington Post (8/31/2010) Is Glenn Beck preaching Mormon 'restoration' theology?

• Phil Hotsenpiller, Washington Post (8/30/2010) Ground Zero mosque not About tolerance.

• Washington Post (8/31/2010) Glenn Beck may be unlikely leader for conservative Christians.

• Daily Express (8/31/2010) CLIMATE CHANGE LIES ARE EXPOSED.

• Fox News (8/31/2010) TRANSCRIPT: President Obama's Oval Office Speech on Iraq.

• Martin Sieff (8/31/2010) Style Over Substance In Obama's Iraq Speech.

• John Bolton (8/31/2010) Obama Wrecked Iraq.

• WSJ Editorial (8/31/2010) Oval Office Ambivalence: Obama's address focused too much on the costs of the Iraq war and not enough on what U.S. troops achieved.

• Candi Cushman, Citizen Link (6/2010) Parents beware:  "Anti-bullying" initiatives are gay activists' latest tools of choice for sneaking homosexuality lessons into classrooms.