Glenn Beck’s “Black-Robed Regiment”

Should we be concerned about Glenn Beck’s 8/28 “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington?

I have watched Glenn Beck almost every day since he has been in the 5 o’clock slot on the FoxNews channel and I agree with virtually everything that he says about the fact that we have been witnessing the decline of the principles and values upon which this country was founded. I tend to agree with much of his analysis as to why and how this has happened. I also agree that returning the Constitution to its rightful place in the legislative and judicial realms of government, as well as “Restoring Honor” would be a good place to start to get things turned around.

As a patriotic American I can stand with the half-a-million people who were present at the 8/28 rally on Saturday to let it be known that the majority of the citizens in the United States are not happy about the current state of affairs. And I could stand with Glenn Beck if we were only being called upon to exercise our rights as outlined in the Constitution with the goal of restoring integrity and honor to the governance of our country.

Many liberal pundits and politicians are calling Beck a radical right-wing hate-monger who is leading a bunch of angry, old, white, disgruntled,  leftovers from the McCain / Palin run for the presidency. The last thing I would want is to be identified with either those who are saying such things or the caricature they have used to cynically portray the majority of decent Americans in this country.

However, just as with the Manhattan Declaration last fall, this issue has been taken out of the political, civil and legal realm, and brought squarely into the religious / theological realm. This presents a serious problem that seems to be lost on many who should be concerned, including a significant number of evangelical leaders who joined him on his program on Friday and who were standing with him on the platform this Saturday. Through his radio and TV programs, and now with the immeasurably successful “Restoring Honor” rally, Glenn Beck has arguably become the single most influential religious leader in America.

It is true that Mr. Beck frequently talks about the need for personal faith in Jesus Christ. He regularly uses the language of conservative evangelicalism. He has devoted entire shows to decry the liberal gospel of collective salvation through social justice reforms and its cousin, Liberation Theology.

However, Glenn Beck is first and foremost a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons. He often speaks about his Mormon faith and how much it means to him. And he credits his recovery from a life of self-destruction through alcohol and an immoral lifestyle to the faith he found in the Mormon church. He was baptized into the Mormon church in 1999 by his radio talk show co-host and close friend Pat Gray.(1)

Now, even though he has been around for awhile, in our celebrity-driven culture, Glenn Beck has become an overnight sensation with superstar status in his new role as a spokesman for many (though certainly not all) religious conservatives. He has eclipsed presidential candidate and fellow-Mormon, Mitt Romney, and is possibly now more influential than Sarah Palin (who is known for her open identification as a born-again evangelical Christian). Again, this is a serious problem precisely because he is on a faith-based mission.

Beck has repeatedly insisted that the Restoring Honor rally was to be decidedly non-political in nature – and he worked hard to make sure that happened. He fervently asked his radio and television audiences to leave their signs at home and to not expect that this would be a pre-election campaign rally:

First of all: No signs. Don’t bring your signs. Bring your hearts. Bring your open minds. That’s it. Bring your kids. Your kids are important. If you bring a sign, you’re going to be disappointed. No signs.(2) (click here for transcript)

But more importantly, he pulled together a group of religious leaders to make sure this gathering was understood to be explicitly religious. For those that might doubt that the goal was to make Restoring Honor about a return to religion, on Monday’s program, Mr. Beck explicitly said that the whole thing was  entirely about “God and faith.” He also believes that God gave a clear sign of his approval and blessing on Saturday:

I want to show you first [the] miracle that happened at…9:59, what happened was there was a flock of geese that ran. It was a flyover, if you will. Someone caught it on tape. Here’s the flyover. This was happening just as the opening music was starting. We wanted to have a flyover, but you can’t fly over in the District of Columbia. It was perfect coordination and perfect timing. Coincidence? Maybe. I think it was God’s flyover.

It was not supposed to happen. We couldn’t get a flyover. We couldn’t even get anybody dressed in a military uniform to present the flag. We tried for almost a year. We couldn’t get it done.

Thank God we had our flyover. (3) (transcript)

The concept to ultimately make this a religious rally can be clearly seen in an exchange months ago between Glenn Beck and historian David Barton on the April 29 Glenn Beck Show:

Beck: So I want to talk to you a little bit about something else you and I talked about off-air for a while and that is the Black Robe Brigade.

Barton: Yes.

Beck: And America, I’m going to ask you now if you have your pastor or your priest or your rabbi, whoever it is, tell them to turn on the show or take down this information because this is important.

You have to do this. The media is not going to it. The government is not going to do it. The parties are not going to do it. They don’t care. They’re about power and control.

If you care about the Constitution, this is what you have to do.

Tell me about the Black Robe Brigade. What were they? Who were they?

Barton: The Black Brigade or Black Regiment were the preachers, because they wore black robes. Black preachers, white preachers — they all wore black probes. And the British specifically blamed the preachers for the American Revolution. That’s where the title “Black Regiment” came from. One of the British officials talked about that.

It’s interesting that the British so hated what the preachers — they claim if it hadn’t been for the preachers, America would still be a happy British colony. So they blamed it on the preachers.

When they come to America, they start to decimating churches. They went to New York City. Nineteen churches — they burned 10 to the ground. They went across Virginia burning churches. They went across New Jersey burning churches. Because they blamed these preachers.(4) (transcript)

On Friday night, at the Kennedy Center, Glenn Beck hosted a program called “Divine Destiny,” attended by approximately 1900 religious leaders who were personally invited to the event. On a section of his website devoted to FAQs about Divine Destiny, we find the following:

Glenn Beck’s Divine Destiny is an eye-opening evening at the historic Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C that will help heal your soul. Guided by uplifting music, nationally-known religious figures from all faiths will unite to deliver messages reminiscent to those given during the struggles of America’s earliest days. The event will leave you with a renewed determination to look past the partisan differences and petty problems that fill our airwaves and instead focus our shared values, principles and strong belief that faith can play an essential role in reuniting the country.(5)

On Friday evening, Mr. Beck was introduced by Pat Gray:

This building was [filled] by invitation [to] some of the best and bravest pastors, priests, rabbis, clerics in the country. Tomorrow, we will announce the beginning of the Black-Robed Regiment. And here is what’s amazing, here’s what’s amazing, they keep saying this is a political event, and it is not. It is not a political event at all. I’m convinced that not just this event, but this time period is going to be remembered as the beginning of the great awakening in America.(6)

So, it is clear that Glenn Beck’s intent was to personally recreate a Black-Robed Regiment to lead the way in “restoring honor” to our country. On yesterday’s (8/30/2010) program which was devoted to discussing the many important aspects of the rally, one of the main focal points was the support and platform presence of  his “Black Robe Regiment.” There were 240 religious leaders, standing arm-in-arm in a display of unity with one another, with the man who had pulled them together for this explicitly religious event and with God. They were there because of their desire to take a stand for truth and a return to integrity and honor in leading this nation, which is a good thing. But they were also there because of their conviction that the only solution to the problem and the only hope for the nation is a return to God – and therein lies the problem, because it begs the question, “Which God?”

As you listen to Glenn Beck and read the many forums where this is being discussed across the internet, you will find that what happened this weekend is being celebrated and hailed as a true breakthrough because of the diverse religious views that these 240 men and women  represent. The group consisted of Protestant pastors (including evangelicals like John Hagee), Catholic priests, Jewish rabbis and Muslim imams. (I have searched everywhere on the internet for several hours trying to find a listing of these 240 religious leaders, without success. If you find anything, please let me know.)

These leaders represent such divergent views of God that we cannot think that this is a call to rally together under the banner of the God of the Bible. Allah is certainly not the God of the Bible. Jews emphatically deny that Jesus is the God of the Bible. Catholics, who are still bound by the decrees of the Council of Trent, are obligated to view evangelicals as heretics if they wish to remain true to the official teachings of the Church.

And then there is the god of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In her weekly e-update, “Understanding the Times,” which came out today (8/31/2010), Jan Markell (Olive Tree Ministries) writes the following:

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.

Leading up to the statement referred to by Jan Markell above, beginning at the 3:01 mark, Beck says the following:

The story of America is the story of humankind. Five thousand 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 came 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 thought that’s what God was telling them to do. And with malice toward none, they got into their boats and they came.

God’s Chosen People, the Native Americans and the Pilgrims (applause).

As Markell noted, this is pure Mormon doctrine. The following is from an article in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism on the Brigham Young University library website:

The Book of Mormon, published in 1830, addresses a major message to Native Americans. Its title page states that one reason it was written was so that Native Americans today might know “what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers.”

The Book of Mormon tells that a small band of Israelites under Lehi migrated from Jerusalem to the Western Hemisphere about 600 B.C. Upon Lehi’s death his family divided into two opposing factions, one under Lehi’s oldest son, laman (see Lamanites), and the other under a younger son, Nephi 1 (see Nephites).

During the thousand-year history narrated in the Book of Mormon, Lehi’s descendants went through several phases of splitting, warring, accommodating, merging, and splitting again. At first, just as God had prohibited the Israelites from intermarrying with the Canaanites in the ancient Promised Land (Ex. 34:16; Deut. 7:3), the Nephites were forbidden to marry the Lamanites with their dark skin (2 Ne. 5:23; Alma 3:8-9). But as large Lamanite populations accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and were numbered among the Nephites in the first century B.C., skin color ceased to be a distinguishing characteristic. After the visitations of the resurrected Christ, there were no distinctions among any kind of “ites” for some two hundred years. But then unbelievers arose and called themselves Lamanites to distinguish themselves from the Nephites or believers (4 Ne. 1:20). (7) (click here for article)

On Sunday, John McTernan posted the following on his blog:

My heart is very heavy as I write this. I attended two events led by Glenn Beck. Friday night, I was at the Kennedy Center for a Glenn Beck special. He had a gospel choir singing with a mixed group of speakers. Beck was freely talking about the “LORD.” There were speakers from other religions. He was talking about the need for a spiritual revival, who can argue about that! The problem is that Beck is a Mormon with a different Jesus.

There were several prayers offered at this event and NONE were made in the name of Jesus. I was deeply grieved after I left.

On Saturday, I attended the huge rally. If it was 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? (8) (click here for his blog)

Again, just as in the Manhattan Declaration, Glenn Beck is calling people of all faiths to come together “in the spirit of God” – and in keeping with Mormon doctrine, he is specifically calling together what Mormons believe are the three strands of God’s Chosen People (Jews, Christians and Native Americans) under the leadership of Beck’s new Black-Robed Regiment. Beginning at 4:40, he introduces the following guests who represent these three groups:

I would like to introduce you to Rabbi Daniel Lapin (applause).

This is John and Kyla Ward. They are direct descendants of the Native Americans that met the Pilgrims on the shores as they arrived. (applause)

And Pastor Paul Jehle is a direct descendant from those that arrived on the Mayflower.

To restore America, to restore honor, we’ve got to start at the beginning and look at the pattern, when people came together, of different faiths, in the spirit of God, and the first thing they did was pray together.

At this point, Pastor Jehle delivers the opening prayer for the rally in unmistakable evangelical terms, clearly naming Jesus Christ as the “Redeemer” and the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords,” closing with the words “in Christ’s name, amen.”

However, we have seen this before. Shortly after the Manhattan Declaration was published, Governor Mike Huckabee commented that perhaps it could be considered as comparable to Luther’s 95 Theses. And concerning the Divine Destiny event and the Restoring Honor rally, following the sentiment expressed in Pat Gray’s introduction at the Kennedy Center, NaplesNews.com published an article with the title, “The Fifth Great Awakening: The Restoring Honor Rally in Washington, D.C.” (The author, Edward Wimberley is a fairly well-known “educator and Presbyterian minister“):

The Second Great Awakening occurred almost a century later and resulted in the emergence of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons), The Seventh Day Adventist Church, The Advent Christian Church as well as the dramatic expansion of Baptists and Methodists throughout the Western States. The Third Great Awakening spanned the 1850’s through the early 1900’s and produced the “Social Gospel Movement,” Christian Science, the Holiness Denominations, and the Nazarenes. The leaders of this era included Mary Baker Eddy, Dwight L. Moody, and evangelist William Ashley “Billy” Sunday.

How is it that the emergence of the Mormon church and the rise of the Social Gospel Movement can be seen as contributing factors in the Great Awakenings? Do these not instead have all the marks of being dark spiritual opposition to the broad work of the Spirit of God at specific times in this country’s history? Both movements have contributed to incredible confusion and the deception of millions of people including an alarming number from among those who would consider themselves evangelicals. That Mormonism is once again contributing to spiritual confusion, while pulling in evangelicals, is evidenced by the following comments from someone who was  at the “Restoring Honor” rally:

I was actually at the 8-28 event in DC… It WAS an evangelical Christian event. Beck made some ecumenical noises up-front and I was prepared to be very disappointed, but almost every single speaker, other than Beck…and all of the major ones, were un-apologetically evangelical Christians. Their words on faith carried far more weight than Beck’s. I heard “Jesus, Lord and Savior” or similar terms through the whole program.

I really don’t understand Beck’s spiritual journey. I think that he would have considered himself a terribly back-slidden Christian 15 years ago when he was a raging alcoholic who’s life was out of control. He turned to Mormonism, found his way out of the bottle and rebuilt his life. He clearly is comfortable with evangelical Christians…he surrounds himself with them.(9)

It was an “evangelical Christian event?”

The Naples News article continues:

In a very real sense, the nation has drifted afar from its religious and patriotic foundations.

However, the spiritual drift of the nation ceased on Saturday October 28, 2010 on the National Mall between the Washington and Lincoln Memorials. On that day, hundreds of thousands of Americans from all walks of life and from virtually every region and ethnic community gathered together to recommit to the task of restoring America’s honor by reaffirming an individual commitment to faith, duty, honor and country.

This profound contemporary spiritual renewal was ushered in by the most unlikely of leaders, a recovering alcoholic, high-school graduate, and college dropout with an unsavory past. Moreover, it was predominantly (though not exclusively) a “Christian” renewal prophetically introduced by a Mormon layman.

The following is from a December 23, 2007 interview with Joel Osteen by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday,

Wallace: And what about Mitt Romney? And I’ve got to ask you the question, because it is a question whether it should be or not in this campaign, is a Mormon a true Christian?

Osteen: Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are.

And so, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me, and I don’t think he would — anything would stop me from voting for him if that’s what I felt like.

Wallace: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?

Osteen: I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know.

I certainly can’t say that I agree with everything that I’ve heard about it, but from what I’ve heard from Mitt, when he says that Christ is his savior, to me that’s a common bond.

I am deeply concerned that Mormonism may now be on a fast-track to be accepted into mainstream Christianity, and perhaps even Evangelicalism. That this is even conceivable is very troubling. Returning to Jan Markell’s article, she notes the following concerning the teachings of Mormonism:

* 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.

* America’s founding fathers were “spirit babies” who created a “sacred Constitution.”

* 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.

Markell’s last point is referring to something I just became aware of late last week when ABI co-founder Jimmy DeYoung alerted me to what is known in Mormonism as “The White Horse Prophecy.” The “white horse” in the prophecy by Joseph Smith is a reference to the first horse of the four horses of the Apocalypse.

An article about The White Horse Prophecy can be found on the pro-Mormon website, FAIR (The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research) at this link. According to the prophecy, someone within the Mormon church is going to appear on the national stage to rescue the Constitution – in conjunction with a group of people that Joseph Smith identified as the “red horse.”

On today’s Glenn Beck Show, he emphatically reiterated that his goal is not to be a religious leader. Yet, a few minutes later, he also remarked that he believes we are now witnessing the 3rd Great Awakening— the first of which, he noted, was largely led by George Whitefield. And more than once (including again today) I have heard him infer or even state that this movement—this new awakening—is something that has started with him and which he is leading.

Even though I question whether or not another Great Awakening is actually underway, that someone with Mormon convictions could suggest that they might be at its forefront should be of deep concern to evangelicals. However, that a Mormon could be enthusiastically endorsed and embraced as such a leader by a significant number of conservative evangelicals seems to say far more about the state of the church in the United States than it does about Mr. Beck.

________________________

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoring_Honor_rally, accessed 8/31/2010.
2. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,600310,00.html, accessed 8/31/2010.
3. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,600442,00.html, accessed 8/31/2010.
4. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,591785,00.html, accessed 8/31/2010.
5. http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/44012/, accessed 8/31/2010.
6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoring_Honor_rally#cite_note-32, accessed 8/31/2010.
7. LSD Beliefs, accessed 8/31/2010.
8. http://johnmcternansinsights.blogspot.com/, accessed 8/31/2010.
9. From an email to an acquaintance of mine

What do we make of Glenn Beck’s 8/28 rally in Washington?
I have watched Glenn Beck almost every day since he has been in the 5 o’clock slot on the FoxNews channel and I agree with virtually everything that he says about the fact that we have been witnessing the decline of the principles and values upon which this country was founded. I also agree that returning the Constitution to its rightful place in the legislative and judicial realms of government, as well as “Restoring Honor” would be a good place to start to get things turned around.
As a patriotic American I can stand with the 100s of thousands who were present at the 8/28 rally on Saturday let it be known that the majority of citizens in the United States are not happy with the current state of affairs. And if I were being called upon by Mr. Beck to exercise my civil liberties as a U.S. citizen which are guaranteed by the Constitution, I would feel a sense of responsibility to stand with him.
However, just as with the Manhattan Declaration in the fall of last year, this issue has been taken out of the purely politcal, civil and legal realm, and brought directly into the theological realm. This presents a problem that seems to be lost on a significant number of evangelicals, including leaders who joined him on his program on Friday and who were standing on the platform with him this weekend.
But is this an overreaction – and is it a legitimate concern? Is it really about more than simply a call to citizens to respond to the direction of the country?  On Monday’s program, Beck was discussing the rally and its importance.
77 Comments
  1. “I am deeply concerned that Mormonism may now be on a fast-track to be accepted into mainstream Christianity, and perhaps even Evangelicalism.”

    As one who’s been in counter-cult evangelism for years, I just shared the same concerns here: http://apprising.org/2010/08/31/sbcs-richard-land-says-mormonism-fourth-abrahamic-faith/

  2. I enjoyed reading your very detailed information.

    Ask yourself – what is Beck’s motive in having a rally that was primarily an evangelical Christian event. What was the motive of James Dobson, John Hagee, Dr. Rev. David Barton, and others that do not consider the Mormon religion to be Christian. http://www.mormontimes.com/article/11725/Focus-on-Family-pulls-Glenn-Beck-article

    The same evangelicals were very much against Mitt Romney being the Republican candidate for President. Dobson was involved with the selection of Sarah Palin as the VP candidate. Before her selection Dobson repeatedly attacked McCain’s religious credentials.

    In the recent past, Beck described himself as a radio clown, an entertainer, and anyone that believed everything he says is a fool. You stated “I tend to agree with much of his analysis as to why and how this has happened. I also agree that returning the Constitution to its rightful place in the legislative and judicial realms of government, as well as “Restoring Honor” would be a good place to start to get things turned around.”

    fact check on some of Beck’s statements.

    His record (as of Aug. 27, 2010):

    True 1
    Mostly True 1
    Half True 3
    Barely True 4
    False 5
    Pants on Fire 3

    http://politifact.com/personalities/glenn-beck/statements/

    If Beck believes in the Constitution, isn’t it hypocritical to oppose the building of Mosques? What does “Restoring Honor” mean? Many lofty words without any specifics. Going back to the time when Mormons were being killed and people objected to their building places of worship. I assume some of the murderers considered themselves to be Christians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_Mormon_War

    Maybe Beck wants to go back to the time when Christians discriminated against blacks. I am old enough to remember Jim Crow law that Christians allowed to occur.

    I am a Christian that can admit that far too often supposed Christians do not follow the teachings of Christ. I doubt you would consider me to be Christian enough because I do not believe everything you believe.

    I cannot understand how you can believe in the teachings of Christ and agree with almost everything Beck says. Not long ago he said his audience should quit their church if the words “social gospel” were used. One of Jesus’s major teachings was to treat others as you would want to be treated. The number of times Jesus said take care of the poor should make the importance very clear. It is especially clear in Matthew 25 – the consequence is also very clear – going to hell. Supposedly, Mormons are big on good works.

    I could provide a very long list of specific examples of Beck’s behavior and Bible verses for why it is wrong. I have a feeling it would also be wrong according to the Mormon faith.

    During the rally, Beck bragged about tithing 10%. It is estimated that he earned 32 million last year alone. Seems like he would have a difficult time fitting through the eye of a needle.

    I think Beck is a very dangerous man that does not have pure motives for what he said at the rally or what he says on TV or radio.

    August 12, 2010
    Bill O’Reilly Offended That Glenn Beck Doesn’t Think Gay Marriage Is a Problem

    http://wonkette.com/417390/bill-oreilly-offended-that-glenn-beck-doesnt-think-gay-marriage-is-a-problem

    Why are evangelicals support Glen Beck?? I have theories.

    • Julie,
      Thank you for your comments.
      Here are a few thoughts in response to a few of your points.

      Concerning opposition to building the mosque at ground-zero: I don’t think he or anyone else opposes it on constitutional grounds. No one is arguing about whether or not they have a right to build the mosque or to freely practice their religion. There are many mosques all over NYC that no one is opposing. It is simply being said that this is incredibly insensitive and the act of building it itself under these circumstances is contrary to the precepts Islam – as has been pointed out but some truly moderate Muslims.

      Concerning agreeing with everything Beck says: I didn’t at all say that I agree with everything the he says. I think I was careful to say that I agree with him on two specific problems and much of his analysis of how we ended up with these problems. If the most dishonest man in the world said these problems exist and such and such is why – I would agree with him. The source has no bearing on whether truth is truth. I don’t know what part of the teachings of Christ are in conflict with this.

      Concerning Mr. Beck’s motives: I was very careful to not attempt to speculate about what his motives are. Only the Lord can see the heart. All I can do is take him at his word unless it becomes incontrovertibly clear that he is lying about this. I don’t know that he has done that, yet. For me to make an accusation about this would cross the line into judging, which I don’t think is appropriate.

  3. “It is simply being said that this is incredibly insensitive and the act of building it itself under these circumstances is contrary to the precepts Islam – as has been pointed out but some truly moderate Muslims.”

    The insensitive issue has gone in both directions. Many African-American’s considered Beck having his rally on the anniversary and location of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech to be very insensitive, but he had the constitutional right. Greta Van Susteren said her Fox News colleague Glenn Beck should move his rally. http://gretawire.blogs.foxnews.com/question-for-a-colleague/

    I am judging Beck based on facts. It is incontrovertibly clear that he frequently lies. The is plenty of evidence to prove he lies. It seems you would want to know about the inconsistency and false statements made by Beck to influence his audience. His statements on the ground zero mosque were inexcusable:

    “My point is that Anti-Mormonism is not just ancient history, which is why I have found the denunciation of the mosque by Reid and by Romney’s surrogates so troubling. Ditto for that supposed paragon of American values, and self-appointed pastor to the nation, and Mormon Glenn Beck, who has referred to the Park51 project as an “Allah tells me to blow up America mosque.””

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/31/a-mormon-with-a-memory-sen-hatch-greenlights-ground-zero-mosque/

    Ground Zero

    2006 Good – Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
    2010 Radical – Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

    The link below links to videos to demonstrate the inconsistencies of Glenn Beck

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/glenn-beck-and-the-park51-imam-appeared-on-gma-together-in-happier-times/

    Even though many conservatives immediately reject the following link because it is considered a liberal site, they provide evidence to back their reporting. There are 115 pages associated with Glenn Beck. Before you continue to take him at his word, spend some time reading some of the information. Many of the statements are mean spirited and petty. Most contain video of Beck’s actual words

    http://mediamatters.org/search/tag/glenn_beck

    The following was disgusting. It was reported by CNN and other news sources:

    “Glenn Beck Attacks Obama’s 11-year-old daughter

    May 28, 2010

    “Glenn Beck, who repeatedly and angrily tells his alleged persecutors to “leave the families alone,” spent a good chunk of his radio program this morning mocking and attacking the intelligence of President Obama’s 11-year-old daughter, Malia.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkCxVl52WCE
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201005280025

    Beck’s statements often totally conflict with something he said on a different day. Jon Stewart is excellent at showing the hypocrisy. Stewart’s last statement captures Beck, “What will he think tomorrow. That’s what so exciting about going to Glen Beck University. What may begin as a Spanish school could end as a Mexican Boarder shop class.”

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-16-2010/mosque-erade

    Some of Beck’s false statements from the link I provided above:

    “Labor union president Andy Stern is “the most frequent visitor” at the White House.”

    “Less than 10 percent of Obama’s Cabinet appointees “have any experience in the private sector.””

    “In the health care bill, we’re now offering insurance for dogs.”

    “”Mitt Romney … gave you government health care that is now bankrupting the state” of Massachusetts.”

    “Forty-five percent of doctors “say they’ll quit” if health care reform passes.”

    It is beyond me why anyone would ignore everything Beck has said in the past and since the rally, while saying Beck was wonderful because he said the right words for Christian ears at his rally.

    • Julie,
      You seem to be bringing in a lot of points that have little bearing or connection to the main point I was making. Rather it seems that you have missed my major point that I am concerned about where this is taking many Christians – in a direction they should not be going.

  4. I enjoyed reading your comments and marvel at the many interesting points. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and have been taught to believe in the importance of and the atonement of Jesus Christ my entire life. (Mine is a 56 year old life and is filled with inquiry, peace, happiness, self improvement, joy and concern for my country at this point in time.) I am surely a Christian and do not understand the lasting accusation and suspicion that I am not.

    I am not a scholar and am not well versed in the minutia of quotes mentioned above where the Mormons believe in a different Jesus or a different God. My first reaction is to wonder if these quotes have been taken out of context. I consider myself a mainstream Christian and have always wondered why Mormons are somehow considered untrustworthy and not worthy of being mainstream. The Mormons are well behaved, respectful, generous, believe in strong family values and we have our quirks just like others have theirs. To nit pick this difference, if in fact it exists in some way is, in my view unproductive.

    Given that background, Glenn Beck has not made any movement toward “controlling” or advocating some evil behavior or deed of the many who appreciate his courage to stand up and say something against where the country is headed. On the contrary, he continually asks his listeners to ‘pray about it’, live at a higher level, to clean up their life, to search for truth, to decide to ‘be more’. These are good and valuable messages. (If he crosses a line where he tries to control me in some evil purpose, my family and I will all have pause to rethink and reconsider his qualifications. We are independent thinkers and good thinkers. We recognize good and can distinguish evil.)

    I believe his recommendation that people run from a church who preaches social justice is said in the context that government has been allowed to be the provider of the justice while the church sits idly by. It is not government’s role to equalize inequities between people but the role has been assumed none the less by government and allowed to be swiped from religion by religion. This work to provide justice is the role of religion – each as they see fit. When a church metes out food, money, help or support, this is their proper role and is the right way to take care of those who cannot care for themselves. The church is close to those that need help and is also close to them when they are able to stand on their own. The church will know when to start the help as well as when to stop it.

    When government assumed this job the problem was created and the era of giving a man a fish instead of teaching him to fish began. This is what Glenn Beck is speaking against. We must move back toward personal responsibility. I think personal responsibility includes churches. The church is uniquely qualified to know when, how and how much to help because they know the members of their parish, congregation or neighborhood. The government knows none of these things. They know how to create paperwork, red tape and waste and how to saddle your grandchildren with the bills to pay for it.

    In the mean time, Beck’s idea that religion has gone soft is true. (I think this is evidenced by the poll on this website concerning homosexuality. No one in the poll was supportive of changing religious views of homosexuality, yet someone dreamed up and asked the questions as if this was a possibility depending on the answers given. Unless I misinterpreted the poll, (and I am not perfect and don’t know the whole story) a church was willing to change with the winds of change instead of standing firm. The pollees stood more firm by way of their answers.)

    Beck’s suggestion that we link arms, despite our fine differences against a bigger enemy has great merit. The enemy is civic laziness and not realizing that there is more obligation to life than restaurants, shopping and recreation. As human beings we need limits, we want guidelines, we need encouragement and this Beck advocates very well.

    For now, as it is late, I make these few points and will close. As a total stranger to you, I hope my candid comments are taken in the spirit that they are given, with great respect to you and to dialogue. We love Jesus as you do. Know this.

    Sincere regards,

    • Shannon,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      As I noted, I agree with much of what Mr. Beck has said on certain issues, particularly with the direction the country is heading.

      However, concerning a couple of your observations I would make the following comments:

      Concerning the Jesus of Mormonism – and I say this with kindness and respect:
      The Jesus that Mormonism teaches is not the Jesus of the Bible and the God of Mormonism is not the God of the Bible. Both are fictitious constructions that men have simply made up, believing that God revealed these truths to a man who claimed to be a prophet of God when he was not.

      The Mormon “Jesus” is a created being who is the spiritual brother of Lucifer. There is no salvation in that Jesus. Simply calling him Jesus is not sufficient. For example, there are many men in Latin America whose names are “Jesus” – but there is no salvation to be found in believing in them any more than there is in the Jesus named in the Book of Mormon.

      I am not anyone’s judge – and I was careful to not comment or speculate on Beck’s personal relationship with the Lord. And, of course, I wouldn’t speculate on yours – except to say that for anyone to be a born-again Christian, they need to place their faith and trust in the Jesus that is described in the Bible – meaning the one whom the Bible describes – he must have the characteristics of that Jesus. If he does not, then you’re talking about and believing in a different Jesus.

      If two people are talking and one of them mentions that they know me – and then the other person says, “I know Dave James, too.” The two people have to go further to establish that they are talking about the same person. If the second person says, “Yeah, Dave James is about 65, lives in Colorado and graduated from Harvard Law School, then that isn’t me.” So, the two people realize they are talking about two different people with the same name.

      The Jesus of the Bible is not a spiritual offspring of the Father, nor a spiritual brother of Lucifer. Jesus is the eternal God.

      The same problem is true of the god of Mormonism. First of all, the God of the Bible is not one of many God’s, as is true of the god of Mormonism. The God of the Bible is not simply the God of this world – he is the one and only God of the entire universe. There is a god of this world, but that person is Satan – who is really no god at all.

      The God of the Bible is not an exalted man, as is the god of Mormonism. The God of the Bible is not eternally progressing, as is the god of Mormonism.

      The Egyptians worshiped what they called “god,” as well. But their god was not the God of the Bible. Neither is the god of Mormonism.

      When you describe yourself as a Christian, you are identifying with the many millions of others who also identify themselves as Christians because they try to follow the precepts and principles set forth in the Bible. But that does not make one a Christian in the biblical sense of the word. The only way that someone becomes a Christian in the biblical sense of the word, is to believe only what the Bible teaches about Jesus – not what is said in some other religious book – believe and trust in that Jesus alone as the one and only God who came to earth to die for our sins, in our place, taking our punishment as the substitutionary sacrifice – and who arose from the grave. There is no salvation in any other – even if they have the name of “Jesus.”

      Conversely, someone who has truly been born again by trusting in the biblical Jesus can no longer remain in the Mormon church. It is wrong and unbiblical for someone to identify themselves as both a Mormon and a biblical Christian. These two concepts are mutually exclusive.

      I don’t say these things to be harsh, mean-spirited or judgmental. I say them in kindness and compassion.

      Dave

  5. Great research, Dave. A great many believers follow Beck and even quote him. I think good Americans are so hungry to hear a conservative voice they rally behind someone like him without thought to his deeper meanings.

    Thanks for this. I plan to share it. Trust you all are well.

  6. Such criticism seems so foolish to Mormons. Jesus referred to himself as the “Son of Man” throughout the four gospels. Mormons know that Jesus is the Only Begotten of the Father, whose name is “Man of Holiness.”

    It’s the defense of the precepts, the traditions, of men that cause the Gentiles to be offended by this doctrine and belittle it.

    They justify this attitude on the grounds of the testimony of the Jews, which they received from them, beginning about 2000 years ago and which today they interpret so differently that it has created a great many divisions among them.

    The Church of Christ is not one body of believers any more, but made up of many, many conflicting sects of traditional Christianity, even though they know that Jesus said, if ye are not one, ye are not mine.

    The only thing these sects are united on is their rejection of Another Testament of Jesus Christ, certainly not on the teaching of the Jews in their record.

    But there are many tribes of Jacob, and though the Gentiles were grafted into the new and everlasting covenant, when the unbelieving Jews rejected Christ, they were taught by the believing Jews not to be high-minded because of this – that God preserved the branches of Israel so that he could graft them in again – in a day when his words would be rejected by men and their fear of him would be taught by the precept of men.

    In that day, he said, he would proceed to do a marvelous work and wonder, which not only would cause the wisdom of the wise to perish and the understanding of the prudent to be hid, but which would cause Jacob to rejoice when he saw his children gathering to the standard which God would raise among the Gentiles, which would cause those that erred in spirit to come to understanding, and those that murmured to learn doctrine.

    The testimony of the ancient Americans is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that all men are lost and cannot be saved, only through relying upon the merits of him who is mighty to save, who was crucified upon the cross by the Jews and who rose the third day, with healing in his wings.

    All those who receive the testimony of Jesus, and who come unto him in faith and humility, offering the sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit, who are willing to witness unto the Father that they are willing to follow his Son, and keep his commandments, with full purpose of heart, by following him down into the water, to be baptized by water, by those whom he has sent, shall receive the Holy Ghost and they shall be saved, if they endure to the end, and none else.

    This is the doctrine of true Christianity, and it comes to the Gentiles and the Jews from the descendants of Joseph, to remove the great stumbling block that causes them to remain in the awful state of darkness that they are in.

    All have gone astray, save a few only who are the humble follower of Christ. Nevertheless, they do err in many instances, because they are taught the precepts of men.

    Mankind has nothing to fear from the Latter-day Saints. The prophets testified that the Lord would send out the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of his Spirit. He is determined that the gospel of Christ shall be preached to the poor and the meek and no unhallowed hand can prevent it, for the Lord hath spoken it.

    He says, “…their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them. And the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand.”

    There is so much more to say…

    • Doug,
      Besides the clear exegetical and theological problems with your position, the history of Joseph Smith and all related LDS claims have been thoroughly refuted by many ex-Mormons for decades. The internal contradictions between LDS prophets and with the facts of history has been documented in minute detail and is readily available to anyone who would wish to investigate these claims by the Mormon church.

  7. Dave,
    Thanks to you for your honest and compassionate feedback, it helps me understand where and how this philosophy continues. Frankly it baffles me and I find myself educated today but in complete disagreement. I know you are not being mean – spirited.

    I am certain that I can not have the last word in this debate but I want a word in any case. The situation you describe negates any possibility that modern prophets can exist. I believe that God offered guidance in Biblical times and he would not leave us without his direction in these latter days. There are many instances of prophetic experiences in the world that are not only LDS based.

    I am sure we could go around and around about the triad and their roles but to say absolutely, without hesitation that “It is wrong and unbiblical for someone to identify themselves as both a Mormon and a biblical Christian. These two concepts are mutually exclusive.” is mutually exclusive to me. This is where we part ways theologically.

    In any case, we share a love of and believe and trust in that Jesus alone, was the son of God who came to earth to die for our sins, in our place, taking our punishment as the substitutionary sacrifice – and who arose from the grave.

    Best Wishes,

    shannon

    Perhaps your Jesus is the one from Mexico or possibly Denver.:)

  8. Dave,

    You wrote:

    I am deeply concerned that Mormonism may now be on a fast-track to be accepted into mainstream Christianity, and perhaps even Evangelicalism. That this is even conceivable is very troubling.

    This is a common misconception of Mormon intent, especially here in Utah. Believe me, your concern is misplaced, although I can understand why it arises.

    Mormons don’t seek the power of governmental rule, which is the usual motive attributed to their insistence that they are Christians, and the sense in which you and Markell seem to want to exploit the so-called “White Horse Prophecy.”

    First of all, that “prophecy” enjoys little more than rumor status in the LDS Church. Second of all, it says nothing about “someone within the Mormon church [who] is going to appear on the national stage to rescue the Constitution.” This sentence is a pure fabrication on your part. Maybe you should reread the FAIR document again.

    The picture it paints, however, is not all that inconsistent with current events in that it indicates that civilization will break down in the U.S. with the bankruption of the country by International banksters (with old world roots), who have obtained sole management of the U.S. government, with the break down of local law and order, the rumors of China’s interest in bankrupt California, and failure of national banks (the collapse of fiat currency).

    The conditions are certainly bleak and they are only going to get worse. If the LDS’s long time admonition to prepare for such a time and their organizational strength in the Rocky Mountains helps them to maintain law and order and provide for the needs of the LDS communities, and all those willing to abide their requirements, while, for life elsewhere, things are chaotic and dangerous, then this wisdom and prudence on the part of the Mormons should not be misconstrued as some sinister desire for world dominion. Remember, Joseph of old saved Israel, through the grace of God, he did not overthrow Egypt.

    The Mormons seek to preserve the freedom that the constitution guarrantees them and to possess the economic means to gather the elect of God, because they have been given that commission by Jesus Christ, so that they may prepare for his coming, when he shall rule and reign, whose right it is rule and reign. The LDS Christian’s intent is to occupy until he comes.

    If these doctrines and beliefs have stirred the hearts of men like Glenn Beck to speak out and to take action to secure the blessings of heaven for our country, why miscontrue that to mean that Mormonism wants a fast-track to become a mainstream Gentile church and take over the world in a dominating way?

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Study Isaiah, if you really want to understand LDS Christians.

    • Doug,
      I am not the first one to raise these concerns. There are other developments that I didn’t even get into that are documented on other sites and blogs that support my conclusions.

      I do not know whether or not the leadership of the LDS church has the goal of being considered Christian – but many Mormons would like to be considered Christians – as is evident from one of the other comments. And of course, you have used the term “LDS Christian.” The broad trend within evangelicalism is to be inclusive – so whether the Mormons accept the view or not, I think the fact remains that many evangelical Christians will at least consider many Mormons as born-again Christians. This seems to have happened particularly with regard to Richard Land’s view of Glenn Beck when he recently compared him to Billy Graham. And it seems clear that Beck wishes to identify himself with evangelicals at a “faith in God” level – and wants to be considered “one of us.”

      Therefore, at this point, I stand by my conclusions and will continue to study and think through the issue and the implications.

  9. I see your point, Dave, but Mormons regard themselves, above all else, as born again Christians (there is no other kind of Christian).

    Yet, this is not understood by the LDS Christians in the sense of qualifying as another denomination of the traditional Christian community. Rather, it is understood in the sense of being true disciples of Christ.

    My point is that this distinction between being Christian in the sense of being true disciples of Christ, and being Christian in the sense of being identified as no different than any other Christian denomination, is more important to Mormons than it probably is to most Evangelicals.

    In our view, the Lord’s declaration that “There are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of my gospel, which I have sent forth unto this generation,” leaves us with a great obligation to love those who will not receive it, but it also precludes us from compromising just to be acceptable.

    We want to be loving neighbors, because we are Christians, but at the same time we have to insist that that the only salvation which remains for the Gentiles, is for them to be identified in the same covenant, and to worship at the same altar, with Israel. In short, they must come to the same standard; for there shall be one Lord, and his name one, and He shall be king over all the earth.

  10. In my first comment, I asked about the motive of the evangelical leaders. I knew you were wrong about the rally being non-political. I have watched James Dobson and Beck for the last two years. Now two members acknowledge the reason – to motivate evangelicals to vote Republican. You do not need to worry about the evangelical leaders accepting Mormons as Christians.

    Another reason not specifically stated, but easy to understand from Beck’s instructions about not bringing signs – soften the image of the Tea Party.

    “Glenn Beck’s newly created Black Robe Regiment — which he has said would be apolitical — apparently has a clear political direction, according to two of its members.
    Dr. Richard Lee of the First Redeemer Church in Atlanta, Ga., and Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, both said part of the group’s mission is to return to their places of worship and boost voter involvement.

    “We know the people of America are good, morale, decent people,” Lee told me Tuesday. “If they look within their own hearts, they will vote the proper way and allow themselves to stand up at the voting polls.”

    Beck has repeatedly insisted that the new group and his recent rally would be apolitical.
    On his radio show Monday, Beck discussed the first meeting to create the new group. He said: “I had a couple people that had helped put this together, and some of them had been involved in the Christian Coalition. And when I first called them and talked to them, I said, ‘Look, I know you were involved in the Christian Coalition, but this isn’t Christian, this has to be everybody, and it cannot ever be made about politics. If it’s about politics, it’s worthless.’ And all of them said the same thing: ‘Amen.’ “”

    Read more:
    http://www.truth-out.org/becks-apolitical-black-robe-regiment-will-urge-voter-involvement62915?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TRUTHOUT+%28t+r+u+t+h+o+u+t+%7C+News+Politics%29

    • Julie,
      I think you will find that I did not suggest that the rally was non-political, but rather noted exactly what you have, that Glenn Beck stated that it was to be non-political.

  11. Dave,

    “Beck has repeatedly insisted that the Restoring Honor rally was to be decidedly non-political in nature – and he worked hard to make sure that happened.”

    I interpreted the last part of the above sentence as your conclusion that he was successful in making it non-political because it “happened.”

    I am curious about your statement, “It is true that Mr. Beck frequently talks about the need for personal faith in Jesus Christ. He regularly uses the language of conservative evangelicalism. He has devoted entire shows to decry the liberal gospel of collective salvation through social justice reforms and its cousin, Liberation Theology.”

    I am assuming your consider yourself to be a conservative evangelical, which does not seem to have a consistent or clear definition. I am curious about what is wrong with social justice reforms or social justice from a Biblical perspective or your perspective. What makes helping others “liberal.”

    Searching the Internet did not result in any information linking collective salvation to Liberation Theology, until Glenn Beck and others started using the term in relationship to Pres. Obama and Liberation Theology. The majority of the pre-Obama references were to Catholic churches. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_theology

    There were slight (no detail) references to “Buddhism, Eastern mysticism religions.”

    I researched Obama’s use of the word collective salvation. The anti-Obama individuals, which included Glen Beck, used one sentence out of a paragraph. The results were taking the words “collective salvation” out of context. Obama used the words in a non-religious context as a motivation for helping other to improve “America.” The following is from a commencement speech at Wesleyan University:

    “It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and needs, betrays a poverty of ambition. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential and discover the role you’ll play in writing the next great chapter in America’s story.”

    In the same commencement speech Obama interchanged the word with “collective service:”

    “Surely, if his service and his story can forever shape America’s story, then our collective service can shape the destiny of this generation.”

    Merriam-Webster dictionary has three meanings for salvation. Only one meaning relates to religion.

    • Julie,
      Historically, conservative evangelicalism is defined by specific theological parameters. Those who do not share those beliefs would historically not be considered to be conservative evangelicals – by those on either side. Because of the divergence of practices and politics of of those who share common beliefs, this is what cannot really be defined with any precision.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with social justice. However, historically, what has happened for the last 150-200 years is that when the primary focus turns to social issues (as in Liberalism and Liberation theology), this attention both eclipses the gospel that deals with the salvation of individuals from their sin and broken relationship with God – and inevitably leads to a rejection of the theology that the Bible defines as the gospel of Jesus Christ. When this happens, then either no one is considered to be lost (which is universalism) or there are nebulous standards of what people need to do and be like for them to deserve heaven and eternal life (which is a works-based, rather than faith-based salvation).

      When individuals are born-again, then collectively they will bring about the reformation of society because they will no longer be inherently self-centered and evil because their hearts are changed, as they are new creations in Christ. When those who are not born-again attempt to reform society by trying to get other unbelievers to change their behavior they are doomed to failure and things will actually get worse and worse because there will be fewer and fewer born again believers in society. And this is exactly what we have seen happen wherever Liberal and Liberation theology has been tried.

      It may be true that the term “collective salvation” has been recently coined – but the concept behind it has always been the hallmark of Liberal and Liberation theology. The term “Liberation Theology” was probably coined within the last 50 years. Liberation Theology is just one phase or stream of liberal theology.

      The problem is not a politician’s use of that phrase one time – and arguably that being taken out of context. The issue is the philosophy and theology that is driving policy and legislation – combined with the lack of personal accountability to God, which inevitably leads to rampant corruption – again, which is exactly the situation we have now – on both sides of the aisle.

  12. YOU WROTE: “I am deeply concerned that Mormonism may now be on a fast-track to be accepted into mainstream Christianity, and perhaps even Evangelicalism. That this is even conceivable is very troubling”.

    If you believe that Jesus is the son of God and is your Savior and that he was crucified, died and rose the 3rd day, that there is no other ruler of heaven or earth and without Him you will not life in eternity, then you are a Christian no matter which church doors you beckon.
    The details just don’t matter…it’s all in the heart which the Trinity will read on Judgment day. VERY easy…don’t complicate it.

    • Beth,
      What you suggest would be true if we were all talking about the same Jesus.

      However, the Bible teaches that Jesus, the Son of God, is the uncreated creator God. The Jesus of Mormonism is the created spirit child of God the Father. This means that they are talking about a different person in whom there is no salvation. The details do matter, because they define who you are talking about.

      If someone says, “I know Dave James – he is 6’5″, 62 years old, is a Harvard graduate and was born in Denver” – then they don’t know me. They are talking about a different person with the same name. So it is with the Jesus of Mormonism. They believe in and worship a Jesus of their own making, which is idolatry.

  13. I understand your point…still if anyone even a soul that visits a Mormon Church, believes the statement above…then they have found Jesus… and the real Jesus has found them. No matter what doors they walk thru. If they make this proclamation then we are bound together in the Body and I welcome them. It’s the Heart.
    Religions that lead souls astray do exist…I understand. My point is more to judge the fruits. I don’t question Glenn Becks motives although my eye brow raised when I read he was a Mormon in this article. It made me question his ability to fight off satan’s attacks because he may be deceived and therefore lead others astray…the jury is out for now. Before I read this article, his actions told me that he was a BAC and I have often heard him give all glory to Jesus alone on International TV. That is Bold. I would never have guessed he was a Mormon.

    • Beth,
      I think you have highlighted two of the problems:
      1. It really isn’t a matter of believing “the statement above” if you mean what you said about believing those things about “Jesus.” If you believe those things about anyone but the biblical Jesus, then that belief won’t save you – because you’re not believing in the real Jesus if it is the “Jesus of Mormonism.” The very real possibility concerning Glenn Beck is that he used to be a Catholic – and they do correctly understand Jesus to be the God of the Bible – is that he probably didn’t know enough about the Jesus of Mormonism to have trusted in that Jesus – but rather, has very possibly trusted in the Jesus of the Bible and is born-again. I can’t judge or even speculate on that.

      2. Because he has now embraced Mormonism, over against evangelical Christianity, this means that he is bringing that theological and philosophical package into the mix – and whether intentional or not – he has become a defacto religious leader – which carries tremendous theological responsibility. By mixing Mormon theology with everything else, the whole package is affected. Truth mixed with error is error. And, you are right, he does sound and act like a born-again Christian in many ways – and that makes it an even more dangerous situation.

      A counterfeit dollar bill that was produced on a b&w copier won’t fool anyone and won’t hurt the economy. A million, well-crafted counterfeit $100 bills, will ultimately have a serious fundamental effect on the economy – and these bills will pass through many hands, purchase a lot of goods and services without most people realizing that they are not using the real thing and are actually contributing to a widespread problem that will have ripple effects for years to come.

      2 Corinthians 11:13–15 (NKJV)
      13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
      15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

  14. Beth,

    I believe the details do matter, but I also think, if one believes the things you say, then those who think that the details matter, and that someone has them wrong, should not demonize him or her, but seek to reclaim him/her with patience and love.

    Some non-LDS Christians are upset with the religious things Glenn is saying and doing. Indeed, they sincerely believe that he is misleading patriots down a dangerous path.
    For an explanation of some of this see here:

    http://outofthedust.org/ResponsetoBeth.aspx

    The bottom line is, can believers in the God of Israel, the God of Islam and the gods of self, change America by turning from evil and selfishness to faith, hope and charity, whether the inspiration for doing so comes from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Koran, or the writings of atheists?

    If the answer is yes, then God will heal our land. If the answer is no, because we suspect the motives of one another, the answer is no.

    The only hope America has is, as an Evangelical I know puts it, “Nineveh-like repentance.” I say, let’s put our fears of Mormonism aside and just get on with it.

  15. While there are many Mormons who support and love Glen Beck and his political ideas, there are many Mormons, including myself, who feel loathe to be identified with him and his politics. It is often forgotten that Harry Reid is also a devout, practicing Mormon, although his politics and ethics are dramatically different from Becks.

    As far as Mormonism being accepted into mainstream Evangelical Christianity as a result of Glen Beck, do not worry. Most Mormons have no desire whatsoever to be identified with Evangelicalism and it’s fanatical adherence to absolute Biblical literalism, and blindly rejecting any other book of scripture as the word of God.

    Whether you want to call Mormons Christians or not, does not matter to us either. In the end, a relationship with Christ is personal. I for one, can testify that I have felt His Spirit, and the power of his forgiveness through his atoning blood. That’s good enough for me whether anyone else wants to accept it or not.

    It is ironic however, that Evangelicals DO believe, like Mormons, in a personal, real, and intimate witness of Christ through his Holy Spirit. However, then they turn around ad reject the honest testimony of the Mormon because “our Jesus is the brother of Satan.” However, your negation of my testimony does nothing to diminish the reality of the divine witness I have received, that Jesus is the Christ and that his atoning blood is real.

    Say what you will, and slavishly adhere to your views of Biblical literalism and infallibility. God and His Son are real, and they have in reality visited the Mormon people in their weakness, and you have the testimony of millions of Mormons to that effect, and the fruit of God’s spirit among the Mormons is good, beautiful, and plain to see to anyone who will step into a Mormon congregation to examine it.

    I don’t expect you, or anyone to believe in crazy things like Golden Plates, or “spirit babies.” But how can you deny the reality of the good works and testimonies of honest Mormons and their experiences with Christ? Our experiences with Christ and his blood have nothing to do with whether Jesus was the brother of Satan. It’s so much more simple: “Amazing grace, how sweet a sound, that saved a wretch like me.” It’s as simple as that. That is my faith, that is my testimony, and I can’t deny it.

    • Nathan,
      Thank you for your passionate comments.

      Concerning Mormons and Evangelicals: There are signs and reasons to believe that at least some of the Mormon leadership may desire to have some connection with evangelicals – or at least recognized as Christians rather than cult members (which has been the prevailing view for many reasons – and especially because of the Mormon doctrines of God and Christ).

      I agree that many won’t become evangelicals, or even necessarily want to be identified with them in any way. However, many seem to have a desire to be identified as Christians of the same “basic” faith as evangelicals – and conversely, it would seem that more and more evangelicals would be willing to embrace Mormons as brothers in Christ – or at the very least, sincere Christians of the same Abrahamic faith.

      Concerning your personal testimony: In response, I would kindly say there is much more to this (for evangelicals, as well) than the very subjective matter of personal feelings, emotions and the sense of what is right through a mystical experience which is identified as the testimony of the Holy Spirit (who is a person, not a force). Many in all sorts of religions would testify to something similar and could just as easily argue for the validity of what they believe, even if diametrically opposed theologically.

      The only sure foundation is the revealed Word of God, which does not include the claims/writings of a self-identified prophet in the 19th century. There are biblical tests for a prophet of God, which have not been met.

      Matthew 7:21–23
      21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

  16. I have just read every word of this article with all the comments and:

    O. My. Aching. Spirit. Heart. And. Head.

    Surely the Lord is coming soon, for confusion such as I never thought possible abounds. Anyone who knows Jesus Christ will know him and hear his voice.

    Hold the Word of God close and may we love one another and even our enemies as He commands. May we be found faithful and occupying until He comes!

    It’s not about saving America but Jesus Christ as Lord of all! Pray brethren pray!

    Maranatha!

    Ezekiel 2:7 “You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious.” (Scripture references: New King James)

    John 10:1-6 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

    But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

    To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

    And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

    Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.

    Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.”

    Matthew 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

    Mark 13:22 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

    Luke 17:23 “And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them.

    Luke 21:8 “And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.”

    2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

    For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

  17. Nathan,

    I read several articles/blogs written by a Mormon that was embarrassed by Glen’s distorted attack on Liberation Theology as a means to continue the “Obama is not one of us.” Dave does the same thing in his response in “September 2, 2010 at 11:37 pm,” although his wording is much more polite. I can partially understand how Mormons would feel when others attack them as being non-Christian, which I will address below.

    Your statement about evangelical “fanatical adherence to absolute Biblical literalism” is not completely accurate. Evangelicals and other labels assigned to Christians can be very good at picking and choosing Bible verses that support their beliefs, while ignoring Bible verses that contradict their beliefs. There are many Christians that do not believe in an absolute literal belief of the Bible, including Billy Graham who is considered a moderate evangelical. After comments Billy Graham made in 2006, I would guess that Dave would no longer consider Billy Graham to be a Christian.

    There are many different categories to describe different Christians and some individuals fall into multiple categories. I cannot keep them all straight, but some of the individuals in the different categories believe their way is the only way, even though all of the groups claim a belief in the same Bible. They not only believe different thinks, but they attack each other as non-Christian.

    An example of a belief that is contradicted by scripture is “once saved, always saved.” There are Reformed Christian, Calvinist, non-Calvinist, Arminian, and more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseverance_of_the_saints

    Just Release in response to Glen Beck

    “It would be incorrect to state that “most” Christians do not view Mormonism as a Christian religion. A 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center reported that a majority of Catholics (52%) say that Mormons are Christian; 29% say they are not. Among all Protestants, more say Mormonism is a Christian religion than say it is not by a 49%-to-34% margin. This includes 62% of white mainline Protestants who say Mormons are Christians.”

    Of the major Christian groups, white evangelical Protestants are the most likely to say Mormonism is not a Christian religion: 45% say Mormons are not Christians, while 40% say they are Christians.

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1717/glenn-beck-christians-mormons

    • Julie,
      I don’t think you can characterize what I said as an attack on Liberation theology, even a polite one. Besides that, I’m fairly certain that both liberals and defenders of liberation theology would largely agree with my assessment.

      To say that we “pick and choose” comes very close to judging because it gives the impression “that we know better, but intentionally and dishonestly ignore passages that undermine or contradict our position.” That is both unfair and extremely inaccurate. There is not a single passage that is ignored by any responsible theologian on either side of these discussions. Although frequently heard, this charge only comes from those who have not studied the issues enough to know that there are reasonable arguments on both sides. Conversely, no responsible theologian who has studied the issues makes this accusation against the other side – no matter how much they might disagree with the opposing position.

      The differences arise from the hermeneutics involved (principles of biblical interpretation) of which differences of interpretation are only a symptom.

      Thank you for the link to the Pew Study.

  18. I don’t say these things to be harsh, mean-spirited or judgmental. I say them in kindness and compassion. I write this as someone that was baptized in a Southern Baptist church; therefore qualifying for the label of born-again. I refuse to call myself anything except a Christian. The labels of evangelical, born-again, liberal/Liberation theology, etc are divisive and intended to determine who is “really” Christian. The labels or name calling looks especially bad to the nonbeliever and will work against spreading the message of Jesus, even though you blamed individuals you consider to not be born-again.

    Your use of labels and judgments are the far too often “evangelical” look down their noses at what they classify as liberal theology/Liberation theology. There is nothing in the Bible to support your conclusion that anyone that believes Liberation theology is not a born-again Christian. Christians attacking other Christians for not following what you or others have defined as born-again is a sin. There is nothing in the Bible to judge Catholics or mainline church members as not born-again. Jesus did not ask the man on a cross next to Jesus whether he was a born-again Christian, he did not ask “have you been baptized by submersion or sprinkled.” All Jesus asked was whether he believed. Of course the term born-again Christian did not start until the 1960s when evangelicals started using the word.

    A New Generation Expresses its Skepticism and Frustration with Christianity – 2007

    “The study shows that 16- to 29-year-olds exhibit a greater degree of criticism toward Christianity than did previous generations when they were at the same stage of life.”

    “One of the groups hit hardest by the criticism is evangelicals. Such believers have always been viewed with skepticism in the broader culture. However, those negative views are crystallizing and intensifying among young non-Christians. The new study shows that only 3% of 16 – to 29-year-old non-Christians express favorable views of evangelicals. This means that today’s young non-Christians are eight times less likely to experience positive associations toward evangelicals than were non-Christians of the Boomer generation (25%).”

    http://www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/94-a-new-generation-expresses-its-skepticism-and-frustration-with-christianity

    Glenn Beck and Liberation Theology, James Martin, Jesuit priest, a writer and Culture Editor of the Jesuit magazine America. Martin has written about anti-Catholicism. In the below article he provides some history on Liberation theology.

    “Briefly put, liberation theology (and there are many definitions, by the way) is a Gospel-based critique of the status quo through the eyes of the poor. Contrary to what Beck implies, the liberation theologian doesn’t see himself or herself as victim; rather proponents call us to see how the poor are marginalized by society, work among them, advocate on their behalf, and help them advocate for themselves. It has nothing to do with seeing yourself as victim. It is, like all authentic Christian practices, “other-directed.”

    Perhaps more importantly (at least in my reading), it sees the figure of Jesus Christ as the “liberator,” who frees people from bondage and slavery of all kinds. So, as he does in the Gospels, Christ not only frees us from sin and illness, Christ also desires to free our fellow human beings from the social structures that keep them impoverished. … Maybe that’s why Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “If you wish to be perfect, sell all you have, and you will have treasure in heaven, and follow me.” Like I said, pretty disturbing, then and now. … I have no idea if President Obama subscribes to liberation theology. But I do.

    It’s hard to ignore the fact that Jesus chose to be born poor; he worked as what many scholars now say was not simply a carpenter, but what might be called a day laborer; he spent his days and nights with the poor; he and his disciples lived with few if any possessions; he advocated tirelessly for the poor in a time when poverty was widely considered to be a curse; he placed the poor in many of his parables as over and above the rich; and he died an utterly poor man with only a single seamless garment to his name. Jesus lived and died as a poor man. Why is this so hard for modern-day Christians to see? Liberation theology is not Marxism disguised as religion. It is Christianity presented in all its disturbing fullness.

    Glenn Beck’s opposition to “social justice” and “liberation theology” is all the more difficult to understand because of his cloaking of himself in the mantle of believer. “Look to God and make your choice,” he said on Sunday.

    If he looked at Jesus more carefully he would see someone who already made a choice: for the poor.”

    Jesus said to be perfect, give everything you have to the poor and follow me. When Glenn Beck decide to be perfect, maybe then they will have more credentials to decide liberal theology/Liberation theology are not born-again, therefore they are not believers

    http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&entry_id=3224

    • Julie,

      I think if you will check all of my responses very carefully then you will find that I never suggested that anyone was or was not a born-again believer no matter what their theology, except for the matter of the person and work of Christ, who is the necessary object of saving faith.

      If someone has ever trusted in Christ (the person the Bible describes) for forgiveness of sin and the eternal salvation of their souls, then they are forever a child of God. Fortunately, we don’t have to be theologians before we can be saved. And neither will we necessarily have every detail of our theology correct this side of heaven. I am quite sure I do not. Therefore, it is completely possible for someone to hold any number of beliefs which are characteristic of liberalism or Liberation Theology. Again, when it comes to salvation, the only question is in whom or what are they trusting.

      For whatever reason, you seem to be reading between the lines of what I wrote and drawing conclusions about what you think I believe, rather than relying on what I actually wrote. I usually try to be very careful in what I say, although I’m sometimes misunderstood. This particular format, along with emails, since they aren’t edited, make this a real danger.

      If you will check my comments further, you will find that I also acknowledged that Glenn Beck could be a believer, even though he presently identifies himself as a Mormon.

      Concerning social justice: I very carefully commented on this in a previous reply to another reader – so perhaps it would be helpful if you scroll back through the comments. Social justice is extremely important – and even Glenn Beck is not against the principle, and has said so more than once. His concern, as is mine, is that if it becomes the primary focus, rather than individual salvation, then social justice will never happen. Social justice can never happen apart from having a significant segment of any society’s population being born-again believers due to the sinfulness of our hearts. We need to have our hearts changed. Of course, if our hearts are changed by the Lord, then social justice will ultimately and automatically follow.

      I also find it interesting that Jesus never taught about redistribution of wealth, and never once improved the economic situation for a single poor person. He could have given the poor money, but he never did – not even once – including the woman who gave her very last “dime” to the temple treasury. In fact, as you note, he and his disciples were poor – setting the example for how to live without a lot of this world’s possessions – and never suggested that those who did have wealth should help lift the poor out of poverty. This doesn’t at all mean that we don’t have compassion on and help those who are widowed, fatherless and down-and-out – “who is our neighbor?” – but Jesus never came close to approaching it the way Liberation Theology has advocated. In many ways, Liberation Theology and communism are similar, in that the theory and the practice are worlds apart – precisely because of the sinfulness of man’s heart.

      Again, neither I nor Glenn Beck are suggesting that any individual or any group of people are not believers. I’m not defending Glenn Beck, but neither should he be accused of things of which he is not guilty.

  19. Dave,

    Glen Beck is not suggesting is correct. He said Obama is not a Christian. Do you agree with what Beck said below:

    Beck, on his Fox News show last Tuesday, said that liberation theology is at the core of Mr. Obama’s “belief structure.”

    “You see, it’s all about victims and victimhood; oppressors and the oppressed; reparations, not repentance; collectivism, not individual salvation.

    “I don’t know what that is, other than it’s not Muslim, it’s not Christian. It’s a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it,” Mr. Beck said.

    • Julie,

      That’s a little like asking me if I’ve stopped beating my wife, yet. I can only give a qualified answer – which is the same one I gave earlier.

      If you quoted him correctly – and I assume you did – then he did not say Obama wasn’t a Christian. He said that Liberation Theology is not Christian.

      To the degree that Liberation Theology focuses on and emphasizes the need to fix social ills to the exclusion of the gospel of Christ which is about the salvation of individuals – who will then live changed lives, which will collectively change society – he is right, it is not Christian because it is not biblical.

      I have carefully stated that thankfully we don’t have to be theologians to be saved – meaning that we can’t determine the spiritual condition of any individual based on their present theology, unless that theology denies the simultaneous deity and humanity of Christ and / or his resurrection – which would probably preclude them being born-again Christians since these are two of the irreducible minimum truths of the gospel.

      It is possible that Beck has overstated his case on occasion, as I’m sure I have at times – but having listened to him for countless hours, I don’t think that he would really believe that he can categorically judge whether any given person is a true Christian (provided the believe the irreducible minimum truths of the gospel).

      That is definitely not the point he was trying to make in the quote above – which was about the nature of Obama’s theology and not his relationship to the Lord – which, as I have noted, can arguably be separated to some degree.

      Neither Glenn Beck nor I, nor any Christian I know (I’m not presuming either way about Beck’s faith with this statement) is indifferent to the plight of the poor and down-trodden. The only point is that preaching that they must be cared for, as important as that is, is not preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Caring for the poor and down-trodden does not produce salvation, but is rather a product of salvation – and the difference between these two is of eternal consequence.

      There is a lot of straw-man argumentation going on with respect to evangelicals being concerned about the oppressed. A inaccurate caricature is portrayed – and then that is attacked – which, if it were actually true, would be rightly attacked.

      So, let me state it again, clearly and succinctly:

      1. Liberation theology is philosophically / theologically unbiblical to the degree that it excludes the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      2. Any given Liberation theologians is saved based upon whether or not they have trusted in the living Savior, the god-man Christ Jesus for salvation from their sin, unto eternal life.

      This is my best shot at trying to clear up what I and other conservative evangelicals believe – and I hope that I haven’t stated it in such a way that what I personally believe might be misconstrued or misrepresented.
      Dave

  20. “As you listen to Glenn Beck and read the many forums where this is being discussed across the internet, you will find that what happened this weekend is being celebrated and hailed as a true breakthrough because of the diverse religious views that these 240 men and women represent.”

    Don’t be fooled Fox News sees you as a demographic, Beck has figured out how to get men 30 and over to listen to him. It’s really about advertising revenue. The rally is a way to prove to advertisers how many people his show reaches.

    • Fox News has fooled me? Hmmm. Hadn’t thought of that. I bet they PhotoShopped the pictures of the rally as part of their nefarious scheme – since Nielson ratings do show Fox News at about 5,000 viewers per show – way behind even last place among all cable and network news. Interesting theory.

  21. What? photoshop? I was making a contrast that it’s more about Beck’s influence than about “a true breakthrough” in dirversity. In fact, because Nielsons scores do not reflect his true market often times it’s gathering like these that will demostrate who is really listening. Photoshopping rally pics would not make a whole lot of sense… I must not be communicating my point very well. But I did enjoy your blog and plan to read more! THANKS!

    • I thought you were jabbing – so I was jabbing back in jest.

      It might have been Fox News behind it – but I honestly think it was more Beck’s passion. He personally paid for the whole thing Friday evening.

      If you would like – you can subscribe to be notified whenever I post a blog.

      Thanks, Shaun.

  22. I have studied Mormonism extensively. Mormons believe they came from the planet Kolob. They believe they are going to be gods themselves one day if they obey thousands of little rules, such as not drinking caffeine. They say they believe in one god, but that is just the god of THIS world. There are many, many other gods of other worlds, according to them. They practically deify Joseph Smith, who was the founder of their religion. He was a ne’er-do-well from a shady family, who had a previous history of being convicted for what was then called “glass-looking,” basically fortune telling. When Mormon missionaries come to my door, I tell them I would have no problem with them if they told people what they really believe, but they couch all their language in Christian terms and do not tell you they believe they will be gods one day, because they believe that is giving the “milk before the meat.” I tell them it is deceit.

    I am an evangelical Christian, and I listen to Glenn Beck. But I am becoming more and more concerned about him, because the Bible warns us that in the last days, there will be false prophets that will deceive “even the elect”. Couldn’t he be just such a person?

  23. Very interesting discussion. There is a lot to learn about Mormonism,and I know very little about it. I am a Christian.I think we are now facing the same implacable foe that has ever sought to defeat anything that helps to promulgate the Gospel,as America has for most of its history.I think all people of faith need to come together to defeat this foe by appealing to the God of the Old and New Testaments.Only the Judeo-Christian God can beat this foe,Satan, in the struggle for our earthly freedom and liberty (having already beaten him on Calvary in the battle for our eternal souls).We are in this jam because we have grievously sinned as a nation against the God who gave us our freedom,and who can let us lose it,if we who are called by His name do not repent and humble ourselves and pray (II Chron.4:17).We can debate our theological differences after we win this political and spiritual civil war we presently find ourselves in.For the present,I support Glenn Beck,and think God is using him mightily.I don’t think he’s going to try taking over the world and making us all live like serfs as the left will if it succeeds.

    • Gregory,
      Thanks for your comments.
      I understand the battle that we are in – but it is first and foremost not one against flesh and blood, it is spiritual – and everything spiritual is theological. The theological differences are due to often radically different views of God and his word. We cannot come together as people of all faith because the god of all faiths which are not defined by biblical theology are ultimately the foe himself. When we join together with those of all faiths we are either walking into the enemies camp or allowing him to freely walk into ours.

      I agree that Beck is doing a great service to the country at a political and civil level – and he is even correct that it is “about God and faith.” But he has taken on the mantle of the spiritual leader who will help us get back to God – but the god of Mormonism is not the God of the Bible. I can’t determine, however, if the God whom Beck worships is the God of the Bible or the god of Mormonism – I don’t think that is clear, yet – even though he personally self-identifies as a Mormon. He used to be Catholic – so I would guess that he is not purely Mormon in his personal theology.

      We have to be somewhat careful about assigning “good” to someone just because they are being used by God. The Babylonians were also used by God to carry out his will. And Satan himself is not free from that.

  24. Very engaging and thoughtful article. I am a Mormon, and enjoyed the objective analysis until the end when there were references to what Jan Markell states as Mormon beliefs. Unfortunately, the author did not point out that Markell is a blatant anti-mormon critic and intetionally posed these “beliefs” in wording that makes the items sound ridiculous. While some of those items could be considered Mormon “beliefs” or fokelore, most are not certified Mormon doctrine in any way, shape, or form. The author should have consulted an actual Mormon spokesperson or scholar to comment on those items and included that in the article to be balanced.

    • Richard,
      Thanks for your comments.
      I understand the concern that Jan Markell’s wording could be construed as being a “straw-man” – and that I could have quoted primary sources – which would arguably have been better. I normally use primary sources and the only reason I did not in this case is because what she wrote is widely available common knowledge. Granted, the wording could possibly have been different to be less provocative – but I have read exactly this wording any number of times over the last 25 years that I have personally studied Mormonism – and that from those who had grown up as Mormons.

      I have personally done a taped interview with two Mormon elders at their offices in Dallas and in that interview, asked them about a number of these points, which they confirmed as true.

      What I find interesting, Richard, is that you did not deny the substance of what Markell stated, but only the manner in which she stated it. I don’t want to allow the comment thread to go too far off the main point of the article, but I am planning on doing an article specifically on Mormonism, possibly in the near future. In that article, it will become evident that the things Markell discussed are only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” If I can find the transcript of the interview, I will probably be posting it as part of the series on Mormonism.

      I will, however, try to be careful in my wording – and not state things in an “anti-Mormon” way. I do understand that there are any number of things in the Bible that could be stated in such a way as to sound ridiculous, as well. So, your point is well-taken.

  25. Dave,

    I’m glad that I stumbled across your article and the discussions. I’ve found it to be an enjoyable read and I think if I were half as articulate as many in this thread I probably would be driving a nicer car than I am today.

    I follow Glenn Beck closely and I believe that his goals don’t include converting others or mainstreaming his faith.

    I see Glenn as a problem solver that identifies the problem; America is on the wrong track, performs research and identifies the key points to be addressed, and then aggressively takes steps to address them.

    The forming of a new Black Robed Regiment is one of the key points in addressing the “wrong track” problem. The BRR can reinforce of the importance of the text; “…rights endowed by our creator…”, (rather than rights granted by government), and countering collective salvation. I believe that to be the purpose in starting the BRR and I think Glenn’s role with the BRR will diminish.

    In my opinion Glenn is too focused on addressing the problem to stay directly engaged in the BRR. I look at the 9/12 Project as an example. He started it and almost immediately stepped away and left others to drive it. I expect that he will still talk about the BRR and its importance, but he will leave it to them to carry that torch forward because there is more to be done.

    I’m curious about the concern you have about Mormonism and Evangelicalism being accepted into the mainstream Christianity. What would you like to see happen with these doctrines? I assume that you would like to see the followers move into a mainstream faith. The only reasonable method I can think of requires time, exposure, and open discussion.

    Regards,
    Ralph

    • Ralph,

      Thanks for your lengthy comment.

      I agree that Glenn Beck bounces around by virtue of his ADD personality. On the other hand, he has successfully captured the hearts and minds of millions of Americans.

      However, he does see himself as being on a spiritual mission. This is clear from the innumerable things he has said. Even week before last when his show was about Moses, Jesus, Gandhi and MLK – I think he wonders if history will view him as being the next in this line of spiritual leaders. He uses their language. It also appears that he sees himself as a potential martyr (he wore a bullet-proof vest and had body guards at his recent rally).

      Whether or not he intends to try to take Mormonism mainstream is debatable and I would guess not on his agenda. If not, then it would then be an unintended consequence. Many Americans are personality / celebrity driven – and he is the latest spiritual celebrity. He openly states that this is about “God and faith.” He has become a de facto spiritual leader, intentional or otherwise.

      Then you have the White Horse prophecy. A couple of weeks ago I was speaking with a lady who is a former Mormon – and despite the attempts on here by some to dismiss this prophecy is largely an unknown myth, she says that she heard about it the whole time she was a Mormon. It seems almost certain that Beck sees himself as at least being a potential partial fulfillment of this prophecy – which sees Mormonism as the rescuer of the Constitution and the protector of a large segment of the U.S. population in the Rocky Mountains (which is why they are still concentrated in that part of the United States).

      I think you may misunderstand my views on Mormon and Evangelical theology. I am an evangelical – which actually is the conservative branch of mainstream Christianity. I do not wish to see it merge with liberal mainstream Christianity – which denies many of the fundamentals of the faith.

      Mormon doctrines are heretical. So, even though I would like to see individual Mormons become born-again believers, I would want the Mormon doctrines to be abandoned.

      However, because of the BRR, it seems that many evangelicals are taking a second look, and wondering if Mormonism might be compatible with evangelicalism after all. This is a problem.

      My concerns are more with evangelicals than with Glenn Beck. And again, I agree with much of what he says – and the money he pours into research is phenomenal. I’m glad for his role in bringing many of these things to light. But I’m very concerned that the secondary consequences are going to ultimately eclipse the original goals.

  26. WOW…what a leap from GB protecting himself with a Bullet Proof Vest, due to our crazy world to assessing a self proclaimed Martyr title. Has he proclaimed that?
    I welcome the openness of discussion with Mormons or any misguided religion and firmly believe that GB’s fame will be used by our great God for his good. I apologize but I believe your energy would be best placed on what positive can be gleaned from the GB phenomenon but instead is wasted on fear and accelerating the “crazy Christian” tag that is being placed on us each day. Time is wasted on such…
    Mormon doctrine will NOT be abandoned…but we can get to know Mormons and share the Light that is Jesus with them one at a time…sorry to say… but I believe you won’t have much of a chance at that while you are casting stones at what they currently see as truth and a way of life. I’ve never seen that tactic work… Just saying.

    • I did not draw my conclusion about the martyr issue because of the vest alone. That, obviously, would be as foolish as you made it sound. There are innumerable things that give some indication of this. I watch GB almost every day – and I have seen this pattern emerging. However, I am not suggesting that this Mr. Beck is doing this consciously. But he is aligning himself with spiritual leaders of the past who have gone down in history.

      Given that he sees his efforts as giving rise to the next Great Awakening (and has clearly indicated this – so it’s not speculation) – it is difficult to miss some of the psychology of this. The White Horse Prophecy only serves to reinforce that this may be part of his motivation. I’m not suggesting this is bad motivation, if he believes it to be true – in fact, to the contrary, if he believes it to be true, then his motives are noble and pure – if misguided.

      Of course, Mormon doctrine will not be abandoned by the Mormon church as a whole. But it is regularly abandoned by individuals – and they are won to Christ by a variety of means. I don’t quite understand the “casting stones” comment – I have only calmly pointed out doctrinal reasons why it is problematic for Evangelicals to lock arms with Mormons with something that has “faith and God” at the center.

      What seems to be consistently missed by those who take offense, is that my article was not primarily about Glenn Beck per se, but rather about the Evangelicals who would join with him. Glenn Beck is not the primary problem. And as I have consistently pointed out, I agree with most of what he says and applaud his efforts to be a force for restoring honor and integrity.

  27. Oops…hope I didn’t offend. Not my intention.
    But you said above…”Mormon doctrines are heretical” Mormons would probably hear that as “hey you Heretic”. How are you going to invite them over to dinner after that? I don’t see the potential here to introduce them to Jesus after that.

    I was pointing out that you said…”It also appears that he sees himself as a potential martyr”. Does he? Did he say that?

    The End Times are coming and focus on the lost, not by naming and pointing at them, but by introducing ourselves to them, is what Jesus called his followers to do.

    I don’t think a “heretic” will give you or me a chance to introduce them to our judgmental God as I would guess they would see it. Loving my neighbor does not include calling out their deception in sin in a manner that is offensive.
    I understand your point but believe that the Good News is lost in it.

    • No offense taken – I’m very thick skinned.

      Of course there is a balance between between how we deal with personal relationships and how we deal with issues – and they can be separated.

      The consistent biblical pattern through the New Testament – including by Jesus and all the apostles – is that they quickly and sternly call out false teaching and false teachers. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a place where they didn’t – and in much stronger terms than I used. If anything, I have been more careful than either Jesus or Paul ever were. A quick perusal of the Gospels and the letters to the churches will confirm this. (And Paul named names.)

      However, and here is the balance, Jesus and Paul both carefully and compassionately dealt with the those who were in sin and / or being led astray by the false teachers. There is a marked distinction between the two methods – and there is a place for each.

      Rather than the Gospel being lost in being too offensive, I fear that the Gospel is more often lost because we fail to make a clear distinction between truth and error and so there is no compelling reason for someone to consider the claims of the Bible concerning the God who loves them completely and unconditionally, and who will also judge those harshly who have not trusted in Christ for their salvation.

      We do worship a judgmental God – but his judgments are always righteous. He is also holy, loving, gracious, merciful, compassionate, among many other things. Whenever we present a picture of God that emphasizes one attribute to the exclusion of another, we are not only being dishonest, but we do our hearers a great disservice.

      Of course, I don’t go up to my neighbors and call them “heretics.” But you’re making it sound as if that is the only alternative to only telling people about the love of God. That is an inaccurate portrayal of the actual situation.

      Concerning Beck seeing himself as a potential martyr: I think you’re reading more into this than I intended. I was not saying that he is *trying* to be or wants to be a martyr. On the other hand, the fact is that he thinks there is a possibility that he will be assassinated (otherwise there would be no protection) and he does see himself in a similar role to Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King – and trying to at least be a catalyst for a spiritual awakening (which he has stated in any number of ways). Therefore, by default he would be a martyr. So, in that sense, yes, he has said it.

  28. I love to read about Paul and his work in his time. These are new times and just as we don’t abstained from red meat or stone people at the gate we should be relevant to our times to be effective.
    You and I won’t agree on this and that is ok. Of course you don’t go up to your neighbors and call them heretics…you don’t have to in the time…we have the internet…they hear us loud and clear.
    I’ll let you have the last word on this if you want it. I have said all I can.

    • The times may be new, but the nature of the problems and the nature of people are not. There is nothing new under the sun. God has given us these things for our instruction concerning how we are to handle the various types of issues that we face in the world in every generation. The biblical principles are as universal and timeless as the problems they address.

      I do have a question: Did you come to be a born-again believer in Christ before or after you found out you were a sinful, and will one day face judgment before a holy God? If before, exactly what were you saved from? If after, then this illustrates my point.

  29. after…someone gently brought me to the feet of Jesus through time and energy in a kind and loving manner and not once made me feel unworthy.

    • For every testimony like this, my experience over the last 25 years tells me that there are at least 10 in which people had first become aware of their sinful unworthiness to stand before a holy God.

      It does raise the question, as I noted before, what was it that you were saved from?

  30. I am grieved (and have been for the past 40 years) that Christendom has been so confounded and confused with lousy theology, lousy hermeneutics and lousy eschatology. There are thousands of divisions and hardly any two can agree on much of anything. This dismal state of affairs kept me a Roman Catholic for about 15 years while a wandered through the theological mine-field of modern evangelicalism. To make matters worse, the Church has been asleep at the switch for the past century. We have been taught that “politics is dirty” and “no sense polishing the brass on a sinking ship” and “the law of God is done away with” other nonsense until we have awaken in a land our fathers conquered for us. No wonder an imposter like Beck can go so far. He knows what he believes and is not afraid to say it with clarity and without apology. Maybe he will be God’s instrument to shame his true Bride into true repentance. I steered clear of protestant churches for many years because I found them mostly filled with ignorant, feministic and down-right cowardly men. Thankfully I have observed the beginnings of an awakening that is happening basically in the backwaters of Christendom but not in the “mainstream.” My faith and trust is God alone, so I sleep well knowing he is working out all things for our good and his glory according to his perfect will.
    Living happy and free in Canaan Land.
    Steven James
    http://www.truthinliving.org

  31. I have been viewing Glenn Beck’s TV program for the past year. At no time during that year has he ever promoted his Mormon faith. In fact, Glenn has often stated the opposite. He has stated that it’s not about following a religion or rituals, it’s about having a personal relationship with God. I am a Christian. I believe that Glenn Beck is a Christian, who is inspired by God, to do His will. I attended the rally at the Lincoln Memorial on 8/28 with my son and my son in-law because we believed that God had placed it on our hearts to attend, to make a stand for restoring Faith, Hope, Charity, Truth, Honor, God, and Godly principles in our great nation. I did not attend the rally for Glenn Beck. I attended the 8/28 Rally for God. If one believes that the United States was divinely created, then the re-establishment of the Black Robed Regiment should excite, inspire and unite Godly people to stand up and do Godly things for this unique country, regardless of denomination. The 8/28 rally focused on honoring those people in our community who make our country great, by their daily actions, exemplifying Faith, Hope, and Charity. Jesus was mentioned several times at the 8/28 rally, but for those people disappointed that Jesus wasn’t mentioned enough need remember that the rally wasn’t just for Christians. The divinely created Bill of Rights, guaranties the freedom for all religions, which God desires to be so. He gives us freewill to choose the right path, in our own time. We all have different beliefs and our founding fathers knew God’s desire for us to give our hearts to Him freely, individually not collectively. This is why Glenn Beck believes we must preserve these rights and freedoms in our country.

    • Michael,

      Thank you for your thoughtful email.

      While it is true that Mr. Beck has not strongly and incessantly done so, I’m not sure it is accurate to say that Mr. Beck has never promoted his Mormon faith, because he has on several occasions. (Although, I suppose it could be debated on what constitutes promoting something.) He has certainly discussed it enough that a lot of people know that he is a Mormon.

      However, whether he has promoted it is beside the point. My article was not really about or against Glenn Beck per se. It was about the Black-Robed Regiment – and the evangelical Christians who are standing with him in his capacity as a religious leader – whether or not that is acknowledged.

      As I note in the article, on the Monday after the rally on his program he stated that this is all about “faith and God” – which begs the question that I raise in my article, “which God.” The God of the Bible and the god of Mormonism are not the same – and the Jesus Christ of Mormonism is not the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

      I fully agree with the need to preserve our rights and freedom. However, it is not appropriate to suggest that the Bill of Rights was “divinely created.”

      My concern now is what it was a month ago and is heightened by the fact that he is now promoting emulating Gandhi, who for all the goodness that Mr. Beck is now attributing to him was a worshiper of millions of false gods. How can Christians join with him in an endeavor that is all about “faith and God” when in that faith he joins those who worship other gods. In the long run, this is going to become very problematic for Christians because he has not yet arrived at where he will be theologically a year from now – and it is about theology. In the end, everything is about theology – including Faith, Hope and Charity.

  32. David,
    There are two groups of Mormons. One is a conservative group based out of Salt Lake City, Utah and the other is a radical faction based out of Independence, Missouri. The conservative group from Utah, follows Biblical teachings.
    I have been watching Glenn Beck’s show every night for the last year. At no time during that year did Glenn give me any reason to believe he doesn’t follow the teachings of the Bible.
    I believe that Glenn Beck is a Christian. He promotes his Christian beliefs. This is evident in Glenn’s actions. On his show, he surrounds himself with Christian guests. If he didn’t believe in Christianity, he wouldn’t be promoting it. Glenn Beck has emphasized on his program that America is about people helping people, tithing, and recognizing that we get our rights and our blessings from God. All of what Glenn states on his program can be found in the Bible. Glenn has stated many times on his program that we shouldn’t blindly take what he says as fact and that we should do our own research to find the truth. Your concern about people blindly following Glenn Beck’s belief system, implies that people (Christians) can’t think for themselves. We are all children of God. Instead of judging what you don’t know about Glenn, maybe you should embrace what you do know about him.

    I admire and am thankful for Glenn Beck taking the initiative to restore God and Godly principles in the USA. He is gutsy, and is standing up for what he believes is right. He is uniting religious leaders of different faiths and denominations to restore purpose and to establish order back in this country.
    Lies and deception have plagued our great nation. Glenn is voicing what many of us feel and believe but have been afraid to say. I believe he has woken the sleeping giant.

    Glenn doesn’t profess to be a religious leader. He is a person who knows that one can’t convince people to change with mere words, in a world of lies and deceit. The hearts of people must change and this change will only come when people understand the truth. Only God can change people’s hearts. This is why restoring God in this country is necessary.
    I don’t believe it is important who delivers the truth. I think it’s more important to focus on the message and not the messenger. God loves and welcomes all into his kingdom.

    You doubt that the United States was a divinely created nation. I believe it was divinely created. The early settlers left Europe because of religious persecution, in search of a land where they could freely worship God. The United States was established with God as its Center/Focus. Our founding fathers created our great governing documents; the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and its first 10 amendments, the Bill of Rights, pursuing divine guidance and inspiration with every word that was written. God and Biblical principles was of foremost importance in the establishment of United States, as evident in the essential theme throughout our governing documents, “In God We Trust” printed on our money, God and Biblical symbols inscribed on our government buildings, “One Nation Under God” in our pledge of allegiance, each session of congress is commenced with a prayer, “God Bless America” is the song of choice at our national pastime and the Bible is used to be sworn on, in our judicial system.
    There is no other country in the world that has established itself as a republic, with a platform recognizing God as our creator, having been blessed with wealth and prosperity, for so long. This great nation shows more generosity and compassion than any other in history.

    I watched Glenn’s program the evening he spoke about Gandhi. I take it that you didn’t, otherwise you would have heard him speaking on the topic of peaceful protests. He stated that it was our right to voice our objection to government policies and legislation, when we believe them to be wrong. He went on to say that we should conduct these protests in a peaceful manner. He stated that violent protests will always go against popular support. He used the example of Gandhi’s peaceful approach to protesting and highlighted how effective it was. He also used Martin Luther King (MLK) and Jesus Christ as other examples of people who were very effective with peaceful protesting. Glenn said we should be more like Gandhi, MLK, and Jesus Christ in our approach to addressing our discord with our government.

    Glenn Beck professes to be a Libertarian. Initially, I struggled to understand how a libertarian could be a Christian, considering how the Bible teaches that Christians should help the needy (Widows, Orphans, neighbors, etc.). It makes perfect sense for Christians to be libertarian. The Bible teaches that God gives us a free will. God gives us freedom to choose right from wrong. God also states that we need to tithe our money, to acknowledge that He owns it all. God also states that we need to be good stewards of our finances. The government is continuously passing legislation that restricts our rights and freedoms. Politicians say it’s because of the ever changing world that we live in. I believe it is purely the power corrupting politicians – power that we have let our government representatives slowly take away from us (We The People). Government is forever making laws that restrict what we do, what we consume and what we say. These representatives may believe that this is the right thing for us, but our Godly Founding Fathers knew better. They respected God’s wisdom. They knew that God’s design was the perfect design.
    We need to be good stewards of our money. No one spends our money more wisely than we do. The government uses our money frivolously, for example, to support a large bureaucracy, lavish living, useless grant programs, studying abstract subjects, and entitlement programs, which cause people to be dependent on government. As a middle class American, I pay nearly 35% in taxes. I can honestly say that my tax dollar is not spent helping those I choose to help. I believe it should be people helping people not government helping people. God wants people to give with a good heart, and not forcibly by government legislation.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and allowing me to share mine with you.

    I pray that God gives you peace and puts your mind at ease, with respect to Mr. Beck.

    • Michael, thank you for your email.

      The Mormons, both incarnations, have unbiblical teaching. Of course, they would argue differently – but it is demonstrably true.

      I am not Mr. Beck’s judge concerning whether or not he is a Christian or not. He certainly considers himself one – and in broad “world-religion terms” – anyone who claims to be a Christian is – but not necessarily a Christian in a biblical sense. These are two vastly different things.

      I never suggested that people are following Beck blindly. Quite the opposite. Many are following him because they believe he is promoting Christianity – and in many ways he is promoting Christian values – but those, too, are not the same thing.

      I did hear the entire program concerning Gandhi.

      God is in control – so in that sense it is divinely created. But it was not created in the same way nor for the same purpose as when he created Israel.

      The reason the nation has prospered is quite simply because God’s way does work. So, when things are done according to the Lord’s wisdom, to that degree anyone or group will experience success.

      I have stated repeatedly that I do agree with most of what Mr. Beck says. However, despite his protests to the contrary, he is a leader in a movement – and using his words, “It is about faith and God.” That makes him a religious leader by default.

      However, in the past couple of weeks, he has largely gone a different direction.

      Dave

  33. Dave-
    Just a thought about the Beck controversy… We are not really talking about differences in theology here. The point is not Mormonism vs. Evangelical Christianity, it is simply a question of whether or not we will return to the values that founded this country and made her great.
    There were many doctrinal differences between the Founding Fathers (Christians/Deists/etc.),not to mention the political differences they had (Slavery was but one.) The important thing to remember here is that (as B.Franklin said,)”Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
    Though the Founders had sharp theological and political differences, they knew they had to work together or the country could not be born.
    Our country is facing perhaps the most serious political threat it has ever faced. There are many domestic enemies who want to socialize our system. If we do not return to the values our Founders put in place and stay true to the U.S. Constitution, our freedoms will disappear.
    Don’t compromise your theology but let us find those things that bind us together from a moral perspective and work to preserve the Union. We do not have to agree on theology to work together. So what if Glenn Beck is a Mormon. If God could use a donkey to speak to a wayward prophet in the Bible, why can’t he use a reformed alcoholic to bring moral people together to save our country from corrupt politicians on both sides of the isle?
    We are not electing a new Pope here. But we just may be able to save the USA from destruction. I believe God is working outside our “box” and we need to listen to Him.

    Blessings to all!

    Charles

    • Charles, Thanks for your comments.

      In my reply to Michael, I wrote the following: “I have stated repeatedly that I do agree with most of what Mr. Beck says. However, despite his protests to the contrary, he is a leader in a movement – and using his words, “It is about faith and God.” That makes him a religious leader by default.”

      I understand and agree with the sentiment of your thoughts. And if this were only about the values upon which this country was founded, then there wouldn’t be a problem.

      However, those values a based in a Judeo-Christian ethic / worldview. And we don’t live in that world anymore. We live in a vastly different pluralistic society where Christianity is increasingly belittled and under siege. And we are being rallied by a man who seems to believe in a god that is vastly different that than the God of the founders – even if some were deistic or actually deists.

      The object of Beck’s call of return has been clearly and repeatedly “God.” However, his view of God (if the god of Mormonism) – and how that translates into a worldview – is vastly different than the majority of those rallying around him in this call – and it is even different within his Black-Robed regiment, which includes Muslim Imams.

      It is Mr. Beck who has chosen to make it a theological issue. And that is the problem. He could have chosen a different path. An example of someone who has generally kept it at the “values” level – rather than the theological level is Sarah Palin. (By saying this I’m not suggesting whether or not I support her.) That is the rhetorical path, which, if Beck had chosen it, would not have evoked a response from me and many others who share the same concern.

      Dave

  34. Dave-
    Thank you for your reply (November 15, 2010 at 6:02 pm). I just wanted to inject something more into this discussion (which, by the way, I applaud you for sponsoring. I think it is healthy when done in a respectful manner).

    I am sure you are familiar with Dr. James Garlo, a pastor in San Diego who worked hard on the Prop 8 issue in CA to defend marriage. Reluctantly, at first he did not want to work with the Mormons who offered their help because, “My disagreement with Mormon belief is substantial.” This is too long of a story to even summarize here, but he says, “I suspect that the LDS church provided the lion’s share of the workers.” Garlo said they even promised to refrain from proselytizing and they kept that promise.

    As he stated to the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times; “As evangelicals and Mormons, we are not theological brothers and sisters. But we are friends and neighbors. And on that basis we work together to defend marriage. Most of us are familiar with the term “co-belligerency,” which means that people with diametrically opposing views on certain critical issues work together. It was in that role that [we] came together.”

    As a side note to anyone who may be interested to learn more, a good book on understanding the harmony/disharmony between Mormons and Evangelicals is, ‘How Wide the Divide; A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation.’ It is authored by a Denver Seminary professor and a BYU professor. Very enlightening.

    Additionally, Dr. Garlo asks, “But what about Glenn’s Mormonism, many ask? That is a legitimate question. Glenn was raised… as a Catholic…became a heavy drinker, destroying… his life. … the Mormons [helped him] turn around his life. My personal read-out would be that Glenn’s Mormon ties are not profoundly deep rooted. I simply do not see evidence that he has deep Mormon theological motifs.”
    “[As] to Glenn’s spiritual condition… I have listened and watched very carefully [and] interviewed several people who have… talked very specifically with him regarding his own personal salvation. Glenn unequivocally… relies on the atonement of Jesus on the cross for forgiveness for his sins… Few people use the term atonement. Glenn did.”

    Additionally after one of Glenn’s TV shows, where he laid out the gospel using his well known blackboard, James Robison told Dr. Garlo, “Richard Land [Southern Baptist] just called me and said he never expected to hear the Gospel so clear on secular television.”
    “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. At the risk of throwing a verbal grenade, there is no ambiguity about Glenn’s faith, such as what we see in the “is he a Muslim / is he a Christian” discussion regarding our President.”

    Glenn Beck’s beliefs are not really the issue here. Individual salvation is known only by God and I doubt any honest person would argue that there are most likely both ‘saved’ and ‘unsaved’ people in every church, regardless of the label.

    The REAL question is: Do we believe God is answering our prayers and working in our midst? Is my trust in God or in a man? Is it so hard for Evangelicals to believe God could use someone we would normally consider unorthodox? Speaking of unorthodox… look at John the Baptist!

    I agree with you, Dave when you say that, ‘we live in a vastly different pluralistic society where Christianity is increasingly belittled and under siege.’ But don’t you believe God is able to defend his Word and bring His will to pass? Haven’t Christians been praying 2Chronicals 7:14 for years?

    Why couldn’t God be answering those prayers by doing ‘a new thing’ which is ‘out of the box’ from what we would expect Him to do? Remember, throughout the Old Testament, God had His prophets do things that seemed ‘ungodly’ to the people of the time. And many quit following Jesus because His sayings were hard for His followers to accept. God IS doing a new thing in the USA!

    Sure… we need to remain vigilant, prayerful, discerning, but we also need to remain flexible- ‘new wine skins’ and heed the warning of a Pharisee named Gamaliel (Acts 5:33-40) or we “may even be found fighting against God.”

    Glenn Beck is no religious leader but he is encouraging the people of this nation to return to the virtues that this country was founded upon. NO ‘RELIGIOUS’ LEADER IS CURRENTLY DOING THAT! Where are they? God uses whoever is willing. Apparently no ‘Christian’ leader is either willing or able to pick up the ‘baton’ so perhaps God is using a flawed, humble, recovering alcoholic in spite of our objections.

    Let us all keep praying and apply ‘Faith, Hope and Charity’ in our lives and in the lives we can each touch. “…for if this plan or action should be of men, it will be overthrown;” (Acts 5:38b) God works in mysterious ways… I pray He shows us His ways. May God bring Glory to Himself through the USA once again.

    Thank you for your time.
    Blessing to you all…

    Charles

    • Charles,

      I appreciate your thoughtful input.

      It seems, however, that we are somehow “talking past each other.” And it seems you may be reading far more into my comments than what I said, implied or intended.

      I have no doubt that the Lord can use anyone to accomplish his will – and as not limited by their theology or practice – as he repeatedly used even the Assyrians and Babylonians to carry out his plans. So, this is not about Mr. Beck’s role in current events nor about whether or not God might use him in some way.

      Also, I have been very careful to neither attack Mr. Beck personally nor speculate on his spiritual condition – because as you note, only the Lord knows the heart. And I, too, have made exactly the same observations and comments concerning Mr. Beck’s background and salvation. I have heard his testimony and his presentation of the gospel – both of which were articulated in a clearly evangelical way. I think it is quite possible that because of his Catholic upbringing his understanding of who Jesus Christ is (namely God incarnate) could have been completely accurate 10 years ago when his life turned around. If at that time he did understand and appropriately respond to the gospel (which includes Jesus’ identity) then he was and is saved.

      I don’t know that his theology is thoroughly Mormon or if he now holds to the Mormon view of Christ. However, if he does understand that the biblical view of Christ and the gospel is radically different, yet chooses to remain a Mormon, that is problematic. If he does not understand they are radically different, that, too, is problematic – precisely because, as he has said repeatedly, this is not about politics, but about “faith and God.” And because of this – and his countless programs with explicitly religious themes – he is a defacto religious leader. As I wrote in a personal email to an acquaintance on this topic, Al Mohler may be the current face of “evangelicalism” – but Glenn Beck is the current face of “evangelicals.” And, this is problematic because he consistently identifies himself as a Mormon and consistently acknowledges that there are differences between his church and the faith of evangelicals.

      And, as I have noted, this is not about Glenn Beck per se. It is about evangelicals being broadly either unconcerned or illiterate about joining with a Mormon to rally around faith-centered issues.

      I understand and appreciate the concept of co-belligerancy – but let’s not do it with “God” at the center if we are not talking about the same God.

      I can stand with Mormons or Muslims to decry and protest human rights abuses or other immoral issues on grounds that are not primarily theological. However, if the Muslim says that we are doing this in the name of Allah, then I cannot join with him – because Allah is not the God of the Bible.

      This may seem too nuanced for some. However, it is this lack of spiritual and theological nuance that has allowed evangelicalism to largely become little more than a civic religion and a political cause. We must take the long view – and be concerned about where this is going – and what we will leave the next generation.

      Dave

  35. Dave—
    I’m submitting this a second time because an Error msg. occured with the CAPTCHA Code– again.

    Sorry I couldn’t answer sooner.

    Thank you once again for your response (November 17, 2010 at 6:38 pm). I believe this discussion boils down to how we answer the following questions:

    1) Do we believe God is working today in America to answer our prayers concerning the direction our country is going?

    2) Since we know God has used seemingly unorthodox methods in the past (Old and New Testament), do we believe He could be using someone evangelicals rightly consider unorthodox to do a job no evangelical leader is willing or able to do?

    3) If we DO believe God works in mysterious ways, can we be flexible enough (without compromising truth) and strong enough to allow God to do things His way, using the opportunities He gives us to impact our culture? Or do we stand idly by?

    4) If our answer to #2 is no, then what do we believe is the answer to the dilemma America is currently in? Is there hope for America? Will God intervene?

    5) What can I personally do to help bring America back from the brink of destruction; spiritually and in every other way? Short term, long term?

    We must ask these HARD questions of ourselves. The last one is perhaps the most important.

    6) Do I truly trust in God alone, enough to step out into the darkness?

    We cannot continue to stand by and do nothing. God will guide us if we step out in faith. We must put feet to our faith, trusting Him, one-step at a time.

    Thank you, Dave and all who love America. God Bless America!

    Charles

    • Charles,

      I think perhaps the way you have framed these questions may actually highlight the heart of the problem I’m trying to define. Your questions are legitimate in their own right. God is in control and can use anyone and anything – but that doesn’t mean that we as evangelicals can or should identify with Beck – even though he is on track with many political / civic / social issues.

      I think that perhaps the reason you and others think we can legitimately lock arms with Mr. Beck is because the differences between evangelical Christianity and Mormonism are not viewed as significant enough to justify not doing so if there is agreement on the problems with America.

      Sometimes it helps to consider extremes to test the validity of a position. So, let me ask this – what if Mr. Beck were a Hindu who was saying exactly the same things? (He often cites Gandhi as someone to emulate concerning social issues / change.)

      What if his message, perspective and opinions were exactly the same as they are now on every point, but his view of God and spirituality was that of Hinduism with its pantheism, millions of gods, reincarnation, karma, etc. – and yet he were to say, as he does now, that “this is all about faith and God? Could / should evangelicals join with him?

      If you would say that we should not or cannot *as long as he insists on making it about faith and God* – then wouldn’t you acknowledge that the exact same problem exists with Mormonism – with its essentially limitless number of finite gods (all humans are progressing toward godhood) and the denial of the unique deity of Jesus Christ?

      God may be using him – but we cannot join with him anymore than we could join the Babylonian army (even though I realize that it isn’t fair to compare Mr. Beck with the Babylonians, and I don’t mean to do that.)

      Nor does this mean that we should idly stand by. It sets up a false dichotomy to suggest that we only have these two choices – join Beck or do nothing – or be guilty of doing nothing.

      It is also a false dichotomy to suggest that if we don’t join Beck that somehow we don’t believe God can use unorthodox ways to accomplish his purposes.

      I think I could also ask the question, “Is God so limited in answering our prayers and accomplishing his will that Christians must join with someone who has a pagan view of God – or at least explicitly continues to identify himself with a cult which does, even if he doesn’t personally?”

      Could this not just as likely be a judgment of God and his condemning commentary on our country being in such a state of affairs when we must look to a “pop star” like Mr. Beck for spiritual guidance?

      Is it possible that the situation is not rather comparable to when Israel called for “a king like all the other nations” – and God gave them Saul? Certainly God used Saul – but that simple fact does not mean that a believer should have aligned himself with Saul. The righteous believer should have waited for God to raise up “a man after his own heart” – and if Mr. Beck holds to even remotely Mormon views of the Father and the Son, then he is not that man – and we should wait on God and the one who truly is that man.

      And you asked the question about what we can do to help bring America back from the brink of destruction – “spiritually and in every other way?” Spiritually? Beck? I don’t think this is a wise or godly idea.

      Dave

  36. Dave and Charles.

    As a Mormon, I hate to see the confusion that this post has generated. The assertion that the Mormon belief that the Biblical teaching of Christian exaltation should be understood literally is used as evidence that the LDS Church is not only non-Christian, but pagan. This is just an absurd position to take.

    Clearly, it’s self-serving for those who reject Christ’s work wherein he is proceeding to gather his elect, those who hear his voice, as he stated he would do in Isaiah 29 and Matthew 24.

    Have you not heard that where the carcass is, there shall the eagles gather, and it is marvelous in our eyes?

    If Glenn Beck were a true Evangelical, would he refuse to invite Jews, Catholics and Mormons to join in and follow him in the fight for freedom, liberty and justice for all, on grounds of his evangelical theology?

    Please answer?

    • Doug,

      Mormon doctrines are well-documented by many researchers, including former Mormons – so the charge of misrepresentation is not difficult to refute.

      And yes, I do think it would be inappropriate for an evangelical to invite those of other faiths to join in a common cause if the foundation is explicitly “faith and God.”

      If the basis is generally humanitarian and based on common views of morality, that is a different issue – although I realize that many might think this too nuanced.

      If there are enough of us who believe the same to make a difference in a cause, then we can band together for that cause without joining those on theological grounds with whom we sharply disagree on theological grounds. If there aren’t enough of us who agree theologically to make a difference by banding together – then my lack of joining with a group that I disagree with theologically will have no practical difference and I can take the stand by myself.

  37. Dear Michael Konicki, Charles Cochran and Dave,

    Thank you Dave and all due respect to you for respectfully hosting this debate. Michael and Charles’ posts are enlightening and speak to me strongly. I identify with their philosophy because they suggest appropriate caution yet great enthusiasm. Glenn Beck is speaking to motivate Americans to know their constitution, their founding fathers and documents and to understand how that knowledge is relevant in our current situation in this country. Then, to build upon that knowledge we are clearly insisting on accountability help change the corrupt system that we have allowed to take hold. A nation whose elites ignore their constituents, insist they know better without any lay advisors and act without answerability while increasing their power is no longer acceptable. It was not tolerated to the point that the recent election is a resounding statement not made since the 30’s.

    I am a Mormon. I believe in Christ and depend on the atonement for forgiveness of my sins in my life. So called ‘researched’ literature can be quoted on and again, yet it does not reduce my testimony of Christ nor shake my faith in him. Some can say that I believe in a false God yet I counter and say I believe in the one true God of the Bible with all my might, mind and strength.

    Reliance, cooperation and interdependence of one faith on another is critical in the effort to rescue America from the brink. Glenn is educating us politically, I rely on him for that education not for his religious references. He is stirring us to political action which we have have not known how to begin. As Charles reminds, “NO ‘RELIGIOUS’ LEADER IS CURRENTLY DOING THAT! Where are they? God uses whoever is willing. Apparently no ‘Christian’ leader is either willing or able to pick up the ‘baton’ so perhaps God is using a flawed, humble, recovering alcoholic in spite of our objections.”

    I believe Michael and Charles’ well stated points make a stronger case for listening to the ideas that Glenn Beck introduces. I am able to make an informed decision whether to adopt them or not. Thank you both, deeply, for your logic and direction.

    shannon

    • Dear Shannon,

      I’m not sure why the main point of my article and the main point of my comments keep getting missed and/or lost in the overall discussion.

      Let me once again clearly state what they are not, because for some reason is these to which many are repeatedly being responding:

      1. My point is not and has never been to question the sincerity of the faith of Glenn Beck.
      2. My point is not and has never been to question the sincerity of the faith of any given Mormon.
      3. My point is not and has never been to question the validity or accuracy of what Mr. Beck says in regard to either his analysis or proposed solutions for the problems this country faces.
      4. My point is not and has never been to suggest that any given evangelical should not listen to Mr. Beck’s analysis or proposed solutions, consider them carefully and personally implement most of them in his or her life. As I have stated numerous times – I substantially agree with Mr. Beck on virtually every point.
      5. My point is not and has never been to suggest that there should be no cooperation among honest, hard-working, patriotic Americans to work to bring our country back from the brink.

      I hope this helps cut through the “fog of discussion” 🙂

      My primary point is and has always been:
      1. It is inappropriate for evangelicals to lock arms together at the level of the “Black-Robed Regiment” to make a statement along with Mr. Beck that this is “not about politics, but is all about faith and God” – when their is fundamental and irreconcilable differences between Mormonism and evangelicalism about the very nature of the God who is being explicitly invoked as being the very center of everything and rallying point. The God of the Bible as understood historically by evangelicals and as understood by Mormons are not only different – but contradictory – to the point that for each group, the other group’s God is a pagan deity.

      2. This being the case, for evangelicals to embrace Mr. Beck’s leadership which has God as the common ground, rather than simply the principles in question, is problematic because it means that they must either wrongly think the views of God are sufficiently compatible to regard them as the essentially the same – or to say that it doesn’t matter because of the end in view. It’s not a matter of the end justifying the means, because in this case the end is the means.

      The problem is not necessarily with Glenn Beck personally. If his understanding and belief is that there is exactly and only one God, eternally existent in three persons, and that those persons are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – then he should make this unambiguously clear and renounce Mormonism (in the kindest terms possible).

      And for precisely the same reason, he should not include Muslim Imams in the Black-Robed Regiment either because Allah is not the God of the Bible – and they reject and deny the deity of Christ as God’s Son.

      OR, alternatively, he should rephrase this so that it only about civic and patriotic duty, honesty and integrity, love and compassion, as the common ground (which we can agree on) and refrain from making this exclusively about “faith and God” as the central rallying point.

      As a side note, since you brought up individual salvation: For any individual Mormon (and this is not what the original post was about): If your faith is in the God and Jesus Christ of the Bible then that is what is necessary for salvation. However, if your faith is in a God who was once Adam (“as Adam was we were, as Adam is we can become”) and a Jesus who is not eternally God, but rather a created being who is the spiritual brother of Lucifer – there is no salvation to be found through faith in such a person – because this God and Jesus is different from the God and Jesus of the Bible. Only you know how this applies to you.

      Dave

  38. Dave, Doug, Michael Konicki, Shannon—
    and all who are enjoying this challenging discourse…

    Blessings to you all! Thank you for involvement and response.

    I fully understand and agree with you, Dave, concerning the real differences that exist between Mormons and Evangelicals theologically. To re-quote Dr. Garlo from one of my earlier posts, “…[W]e are not theological brothers and sisters. But we are friends and neighbors.”

    The following is meant only to inform, not offend…
    As you clearly stated in your last post Dave, the Mormon Jesus is a man who became a god – the Biblical Jesus is and always has been God, the second person of the eternally existent Trinity (God in Three Persons, not three gods). Unfortunately, some Mormons are not aware of this doctrine. But I digress.

    I liked your Hindu / Mormonism example (Hindu and Mormon theology believe in many gods) because it helped me see the center of our disagreement.

    1) You quote Mr. Beck’s phrase “faith and God,” a lot, saying that with that single phrase, he has made this whole thing a religious movement.

    2) You stated that by default, Glenn Beck is it’s spiritual leader.

    3) Therefore, you object to Evangelicals and their pastors standing arm in arm with him.

    4) You suggested that it is spiritually dangerous for individuals and the nation to partake in this movement because of Mr. Beck’s problematic Mormon association.

    Okay… If I looked at this whole thing from purely a spiritual standpoint, I would have to agree. That seems to be your view and I respect that. The importance of a Biblically sound, spiritual worldview cannot be overstated. It is the center of my beliefs.

    However, I respectfully disagree. Here is why.

    1) No matter what Glenn Beck or anyone else says; this IS a political movement, not just a spiritual one. The whole concept of “faith and God” is the basis of our political system, our freedoms.

    2) Religion (not just Christianity) is part and parcel of this nation’s DNA from a moral and virtue standpoint, therefore it’s an important factor in taking our country back.

    3) Some of the Founding Fathers were Deists. That didn’t stop the orthodox Christian Founding Fathers from uniting with them to found this great country. To say Deism is any better than Mormonism is preposterous. People of other faiths also lived in the Colonies.

    4) This country cannot recover without a return to moral and virtuous values.

    5) It may be that we need another Great Awakening/Revival to bring America back to where she needs to be.

    If you are correct, Dave, and this whole thing is only spiritual and not actually political… then we are in trouble. All of the faithful in our churches need to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. However, if there is an element of politics in it as I suspect, we still need to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

    I doubt that we will ever come to a point where we all agree completely, however, the mood, tone and kindness with which we have been able to discuss this potentially divisive issue, is refreshing.

    Thank you, Dave. Thank you, all. More later…

    — Blessings…

    Charles

    • Charles,

      I, too, appreciate the healthy dialog – which demonstrates that brothers in Christ (and anyone, I would say) – can do this without quickly descending into vitriolic personal attacks.

      I definitely agree that it is also political. However, my point in repeatedly noting the “faith and God” phrase is that it was Glenn Beck who made it a point prior to and on the day of 9/12 that it was not to be political – but “all about faith and God” – his words on 9/14 at the beginning of his show.

      I didn’t say that Americans shouldn’t participate in this movement. I said that evangelicals shouldn’t lock arms with Beck as long as he insists that it is about “faith and God.”

      If he were not making this the philosophical centerpiece, as I have also noted, I could join with him publicly – even as I do privately in principle.

      And I would dare say that a significant number of evangelicals would absolutely not do so if he were Hindu and explicitly and repeatedly said this is about faith and God.

      And given what men like Richard Land and James Dobson have said about his spirituality and bold spiritual statements, others have also made this spiritual. It is political, without question – but it is being driven by spiritual ideology.

      Given this – and the fact that I don’t think evangelicals would join with him if he were Hindu using the same spiritual framework – this means that for most, it is as much about spirituality as it is about politics.

      This also means that he is providing a large measure of spiritual leadership and direction.

      My underlying concern is that for many evangelicals, who are becoming more biblically illiterate by the day, Mormonism is being increasingly seen as theologically compatible with evangelicalism. This is also being driven by the growing tendency for evangelicals to no longer hold to the exclusivity of biblical Christianity and faith in the biblical Christ as the only way of salvation.

      I would like to reiterate that as much as God is capable of using Mr. Beck, he is just as capable of using believers who will not sell their birthright for a bowl of porridge to accomplish an even greater end for the good of this country.

      I suppose that we will probably not persuade the other, but I do think and hope that perhaps we have provided some service to those who might come across my article and these comments.

      Dave

  39. Dave you are a gentleman. Thank you.

  40. Dave wrote:

    My underlying concern is that for many evangelicals, who are becoming more biblically illiterate by the day, Mormonism is being increasingly seen as theologically compatible with evangelicalism. This is also being driven by the growing tendency for evangelicals to no longer hold to the exclusivity of biblical Christianity and faith in the biblical Christ as the only way of salvation.

    As a Mormon, I agree with Dave that seeing Evangelicalism, or traditional Christianity, as theologically compatible with Mormonism, is a mistake. They are not compatible. The theology of the Mormons is that the only salvation, which remains for the Gentiles, is for them to be identified in the same covenant, and to worship at the same altar with Israel. In short, they must come to the same standard; for there shall be one Lord, and his name one, and He shall be king over all the earth.

    The testimony of the Mormons is that God is proceeding to do the marvelous work and wonder that he promised to do, according to the words of Isaiah. A key part of this marvelous work, the wonder of it all, is the testimony of Jesus Christ, which the Lord has prepared and preserved, in a sealed book, to sweep the earth with truth, to gather out his elect, all those who will hear his voice, to gather them to Zion.

    While it is true that, as a result of this marvelous work and wonder, the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the scorner shall be consumed, it is also true that the ears of the deaf shall hear the words of the sealed book and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness, the meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel, according to the words of the prophet.

    I presume Glenn Beck knows this, but he cannot teach it on his program, so he does what he can do – call everyone to faith in God, in whatever way that faith may define God for them. For the traditional Christian world, the faith that defines God holds to the concept of the Trinity; For the Jews, the faith that defines God is found in the Torah. For Muslims, the faith that defines God is found in the Koran. For Mormons, the faith that defines God is found in the words of the living prophets, ordained of God, who testify of Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Father, who is full of grace and truth.

    What you seem to be implying, Dave, is that Beck’s call to faith in God is a call to his faith in God, a faith which rejects the central concept of traditional Christianity, the Trinity, among other things.

    But I don’t think this is what he is doing at all. GB is not proselytizing for the Mormon faith, even though it might seem like it at times, since the Mormon concepts of God, freedom and liberty are inseparably connected with the land of America: He can’t talk about what it takes to keep America free, without referring to God, who is the author of our liberty here in America.

    America is special in the eyes of Mormons. For them, Jesus Christ is the God of the whole earth, but especially of America. He has declared that the inhabitants of this land shall serve him, the God of the land, or be swept off the land when they are fully ripened in iniquity.

    But GB does not state this. Again, because he wouldn’t be allowed to do it, but what he can do is plead with Americans to repent – regardless of their faith. God does not say that Evangelicals will be swept off the land, or Jews, or Muslims, only the wicked – those who reject Christ and work wickedness before him. As the Bible says, “The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

    • Doug,

      Obviously, I believe that the Mormon theology you have noted is demonstrably unbiblical on any number of important points and not the least because it relies on the testimony of a self-proclaimed prophet who has been discredited innumerable times as a false prophet.

      However, the point of my post and my subsequent comments is not to deal with Mormon theology at an exegetical level. I plan to do so at some point in the future, at which time I will be willing to entertain and interact with posts such as yours in detail. Until then, however, before I will approve future posts that go into this kind of detail into the Mormon “gospel” – I will ask that this content be edited out so that the comments stay more closely on-topic.

      I think it would be helpful if others would not read more into my posts than what I write – or infer things that I don’t affirm – or suggest I am implying things I don’t state explicitly.

      I have not implied that “Beck’s call to faith in God is a call to his faith in God” – nor do I think that is what he is doing. I see it exactly as you have stated it – which is precisely why it is just as problematic as if he were calling people to his faith as a Mormon – because he is calling for people to faith in *their* version of God. This is a problem for at least two reasons: 1) his view of God must be very generic to be able to accommodate so many diverse views of God as essentially compatible with one another and with his view. That is neither the biblical nor the Mormon view of God. 2) Because this is not a biblical view of God, he is calling people to faith in essentially any god – which is paganism, idolatry, heresy and blasphemy. This should be no small thing for either Mormons or evangelicals – and should therefore certainly not be a rallying point.

      Regarding repenting – to whom, which God are Americans to repent? Certainly not all to the same God – for if it were – then it would have to be to Beck’s God – which brings us full circle. It is impossible to simply repent in some sort of undefined generic way “into the air.” The biblical meaning of “repent” is “about face” – turning from one’s self and one’s ways to God and His ways – which once again begs the question, “which God?”

      So, no matter how many times we go around this barn, it keeps coming back to the very issues that I originally brought up in the article – and why evangelicals cannot rally with him as long as he insists it is about faith and God.

      However, this could be very easily resolved in one of two ways:

      1) By Mr. Beck renouncing either his Mormon view of God or his personal apparently more generic view of God, in favor of an explicitly biblical view of the one unique triune God. However, this would alienate everyone except evangelicals.

      2) By Mr. Beck completely dropping the foundational philosophical point about this being about “faith and God” – and simply change it to being “all about honor, honesty, integrity and uprightness of character.” Everyone could agree on this and rally around this philosophy without having to compromise personal theological convictions. This is obviously the most practical solution – and the most acceptable one.

      Dave

  41. Hi Dave,

    If I understand correctly then, you think that a call to America to return to honor, honesty, integrity and uprightness of character, would not qualify as acts of repentance, motivated by faith in God.

    I was under the impression that the Gods of Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism and Islam would all be pleased with such reform. I know the God of Mormonism would be. (I’m just saying. We both know there is only one God!)

    To urge people to make this change without reference to God, who is offended by dishonor, dishonesty, lies and deceit, and not to attribute the troubles, which America finds itself in, as a manifestation of his judgments upon us, seems to me to be more of an atheistic position, than a theistic one.

    Interestingly enough, if, as the atheist believes, every man prospers according to the management of the creature, I don’t see why he would be all that motivated to concern himself with the morality of the nation, just its mores, which might find abortion, fornication, homosexuality, profanity, sabbath breaking, etc. as acceptable behavior.

    How can we not see that, theological differences not withstanding, it’s the iniquity of Americans and their government that is the problem we face. I believe that we should be able to cry repentance to one another, regardless of our theological positions.

    If I had my druthers, a Mormon like GB would proclaim the gospel of Christ, but if he did, there would be no GB Show. As it is, we are all discussing repentance. That’s a good thing. We might not be able to reach individual salvation on that basis, but I believe Nineveh class repentance would gain the nation reprieve from the judgments of God that are now coming upon it.

    • Doug,

      I think we may be starting to beat this thing to death.

      Beyond that, I think you missed my point. Of course, a genuine return to honesty and integrity can only be effected by a work of God – that results in a turn to him. But since everyone of faith understands this, this dimension can be left at the private level and kept out of the public forum – as it relates to politics.

      Again, if you don’t do this – then you have to present God as being equally accepting of all notions of who he is and what he is like – which is no God at all – at least not the God of the Bible. So, again, you’re back to the problem of encouraging people to turn to a god that is different from the God of the Bible. How can someone who believes in him do that?

      Actually, I have GB very clearly present the gospel of Jesus Christ in a very biblical way – using explicitly evangelical language. There are many things he says that sound far more evangelical than Mormon. I could speculate on how or why this might be – but I will resist doing so because it would come dangerously close to judging.

      I also don’t have any problem whatsoever with anyone being challenged to repentance by anyone else – no matter who they are. And I have stated time and again, that the problem is not with GB. I have no problem with him, what he does or what he believes. I’m glad for the work he has done and the things he has said concerning the founding of the country and his desire to have people return to following the constitution.

      My only point has always been and continues to be that whatever an evangelical believer’s response to him and his message might be, it should necessarily be short of becoming part of his black-robed regiment – and looking to him as one of the spiritual leaders of the next great spiritual awakening in America.

      It is one thing if he is a catalyst and an inspiration – that could be good. It is another thing altogether if he is a spiritual leader – which he cannot be for evangelicals.

      Dave

  42. I agree, Dave. All that can be said has probably been said by now. For what it’s worth, though, Mormons don’t consider GB to be their spiritual leader either (for one thing, a lot of them wish he would clean up his language.)

    But the Book of Mormon prophet Moroni warned that the murderous combinations that have destroyed ancient civilizations in the past are now among us, and that when we see it, God commands us not to suffer them to get above us, or woe unto this nation because of it.

    So, as GB is helping people wake up and see the reality of the communist/fascist/bankster combinations that seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and countries and bring to pass the destruction of all people, more power to him. I, for one, pray for him.

    That is a good thing, of course, and I would be happy if he could just wake up the Mormons to this danger, let alone the Evangelicals.

    But if an Evangelical like Huckabee can step up and call the Evangelicals to awake to a sense of their awful situation, and to exercise faith and trust in God to help us resist this evil, I’m all for him too.

    I would accept his leadership in that, without any qualms arising because of his different theological beliefs. I would not be afraid that, by so doing, he was going to erase the theological distinctions in the minds of Mormons that must be made, when it comes to preaching the restored gospel.

    So, peace brother. Let’s rejoice in our knowledge of Christ and his saving power, and go to with our might, defending our homes, our wives and our children that we might preserve them from the hands of our enemies; and also that we might preserve our rights and our privileges, yea, and also our liberty, that we might worship God according to our desires.

  43. Interesting forum – though the bottom line is clear and does not split hairs. If GB would just stick with informing America about the relevant social and political issues and not profess to have the “answer”, all good Americans could rally around the truth and come to their own spiritual conclusions. As a pastor I too am troubled by his foray into spiritual matters.


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