Wednesday, September 05, 2007


My wife and I recently suffered through The Work and the Glory, a pro-Mormon story about Joseph Smith and his influence on the Steeds, a family of farmers who moved to the area where Smith was living in the early-to-mid-1800's.

It's not that the movie was that bad; on the contrary, if it had been about wrestling with truth and coming out on the correct side, I think I would have applauded. But the faith required to believe this story about Smith and the golden tablets, etc., is simply irrational. That's the amazing thing about genuine Biblical Christianity. It just makes sense. Does it take faith to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. Sure! But it's not a blind or irrational faith. Christianity is the only truth for the man of logic and reason.

Watching Nathan Steed in this film was painful. He really wanted to know the truth. He wrestled with everything he heard. But he never understood the gospel. He had a Bible, but no one explained to him rightly what it said.

There is only one God, the God who created all things for His glory, the God who sustains all things by the power of His word. And His word, out of love and grace, became flesh and dwelled among us. We understand the doctrine of the Trinity from Scripture, as One God (one being or essence) and three Persons within the Godhead, all of the same being or essence, yet eternally distinct in Person and role. Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Triune God, is equally this one and only God. We know Him by His title, the Son of Man. And He bought us with His blood. His death was a penal substitutionary death on behalf of those who worship Him as the only God, our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. After His resurrection from death, He sent His Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Triune God, co-equal with the God the Father and God the Son, to graciously regenerate the elect. In other words, the Holy Spirit comes to breathe life into the sheep of God who are dead in their trespasses and sins. Once He does this, He makes His home in the person who willingly believes that Jesus has done the work to reconcile us to God.

The Father elects and send the Son, the Son serves as a ransom for many, and the Spirit brings life and sactifies the believer through faith. One God does it all; thus to God alone be the glory.

Galatians 1:8 says, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned." The Mormon gospel is a different gospel than the one Paul preached to us, than the one Jesus preached to us, than the one John preached to us, than the one Peter preached to us, than the one Moses preached to us. Let him be eternally condemned.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Truth and...(6)


When confronted with the unchanging, objective, and absolute truth, a person has options. Contingencies may arise upon considering those options. For one, Joseph Smith, at age 14 was faced with the truth. It happened in a divisive church meeting over various doctrinal differences. Perhaps one of those doctrines displayed that day was the truth. Perhaps not. But Smith faced the choice of joining one of the churches that sprung from that meeting. He developed a contingency plan.

He claims that God the Father and His Son appeared to him as he prayed in the forest. He claimed that angels told him about a sacred text written on golden tablets. And he claimed to acquire these tablets and translate them into the Book of Mormon. His story has deceived many, but we ought to see his church as one that rose to influence as a result of ungodly and hypocritical Christians.

Muhammed faced a nearly identical situation. Faced with the truth, Muhammed rejected it and developed a contingency. Like Smith1200 years after him, Muhammed claimed that an angel appeared to him and gave him a new sacred text - the Koran. Muhammed was illiterate, so while he could not write it down, he passed it down orally until it was recorded.

It's not surprising that contingencies develop in the presence of such significant truth as the Bible claims. People don't want to face the consequences of what really happened, because it means that certain things will happen in the future. So contingencies develop to assuage the fear of the consequences of the truth. It's like saying, "If we don't like the truth, let's make new truths, so that the consequences that would have been under the truth change into the consequences we want." The trouble with that is this: THE TRUTH NEVER CHANGES.

We can tweak or change it all we want, but it doesn't change. The truth is marching on, whether we're in agreement or not. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me." That's the truth. Will you concur and follow Christ? Or will you develop a contingency?