One of the reasons we need to be so diligent in understanding our faith as Christians is because the cults love to make themselves look just like us. They will use the same language and imagery that we use, but what they mean by their words is not what Scripture says those words should mean.
It is truly sad when a man like Joel Osteen, who has such a prominent audience, cannot discern the least bit of truth from a falsehood. In the video below, he states that he believes that Mormons are Christians. This reveals how truly ignorant Osteen is when it comes to the Christian faith and the cults that claim allegiance with us.
This is why a man like Osteen is so dangerous to Christianity. He doesn’t realize that Mormons/Christian Scientist/Jehovah’s Witnesses etc. are dangerous because they say the things that make them seem orthodox, yet they are not. It is not until you understand what they believe about Jesus Christ that you begin to see that the Jesus Christ the cultus worship is not the Christ of the Bible.
For instance, the Mormons believe that Jesus is the brother of Satan. Satan went off and did evil things and Jesus went off and did his own thing, and became a god. If we are good then we too become little gods like he did and in the afterlife, we get our own worlds to rule, along with members of our family whom we get to tell what to do for all of eternity. This is not Christianity, but the religion of imagination.
What does the Scripture say about Christ? It shows Him to be the Creator of the Universe. Yes, the Father was involved in creation just as the Holy Spirit was. But listen to Paul’s words in Colossians: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
I know that Mormons take verse 15 and state the Christ was created. But that is not what the text shows. Firstborn over all creation means “the One to whom belongs the right and dignity of the Firstborn in relation to every creature.” All of creation belongs to Christ and the preeminent heir of all things. Paul is declaring to us that Jesus is the Son of God, in which all things belong to Him. In Paul’s day, the firstborn always had privileges that we do not see today. Jesus occupies the place of the firstborn in relationship to creation because the Father has given it to Him (Matthew 28:18ff).
He is not one that is created. Remember in John 8, when battling with the Pharisees, He declared that before Abraham was, “I am.” This was a self declaration of His right as the Second Person of the Trinity. As the Father is the “I Am” so too is the Son for they are one in essence. Jesus was declaring Himself to be equal to, and the same essence as the Father. There is no beginning nor end of Christ and He is the One that spoke all things into existence… including Satan. He is the Alpha and Omega. This means that He was there in the beginning just as the Father was. Not as One created to create, but existed before anything was created.
We see this truth with John 1:1, In the beginning was the Word. John is declaring to us, with the language of Genesis 1:1, that the Father and Son are the beginning and end of all things. Paul clarifies in Colossians 1.
16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Notice those words: For by Him all things were created… This is one of the times in which we can say “all things” is not merely a figure of speech representing a lot of something. But it means all things without exception. He existed before the foundations of the world and created all things. Christ even created Satan and the angels who eventually fell with Satan. This is what is meant by visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
Mormons sees Jesus as a brother with Satan, yet the Scripture declares that Christ existed before Satan and was the creator of Satan. This shows us that the Mormons worship a different Christ all together. While they may give lip service to a Jesus that is similar to the Christ of Scripture, their Jesus is one of their own making and not the One who reveals Himself to us in Scripture. To believe in another Christ does not lead to salvation, for it is to preach an anti-Christ. We are to preach the true Christ of Scripture, not one of Joseph Smith’s making. In other words, Mormons preach an anti-Christ, a replacement Christ, one that offers no true salvation, one that is merely a creature like we are and one that only points to another righteousness.
The Christ of Scripture is vastly different, for He becomes the true believers righteousness. He redeems us from our sins, and makes us righteous in the sight of God. He atones for our sin because He satisfies the wrath of an infinite and eternal God. We owe an infinite and eternal debt to God because of our sin. It takes an infinite and eternal Savior to redeem us. While in His human nature, Christ is not infinite and eternal, He is in His Divine nature. By Divine, I do not mean special and good as in the sense of eating a brownie that is divine. What I mean is that He is God in the flesh (John 1:14), and this makes Him Divine.
I know Joel Osteen is trying to be nice. This is always the problems with false prophets. The Scripture describes them in such terms that we often believe the false prophet will have fangs dripping with blood and horns sticking out of their heads. But false prophets rarely look this way. They look just like sweet little Joel Osteen, being nice, with soothing words, never controversial and always given men what their itching ears want to hear.
This is deadly. Those who listen to Osteen every week never hear the true gospel and are on a road to hell. For all his sweetness today, they will spend eternity in agony. I know the topic of hell is unpopular to bring up today, but Christ did. He made it clear to us that there truly is a hell, for He is the One who created that hell (Matthew 25:41). He is also the One who warned about false prophets and wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-23). The point is that these things are serious and this is why it is so important to point out the false teachers like Osteen and Joseph Smith. True men of God cannot remain silent. We are called to proclaim the truth, and in doing so, point out the errors and damning lies of sweet little men like Osteen. I know this will cause some to say I’m being disagreeable. But those who do would say the same about Christ and Paul and the rest of the Apostles who would not back down from Christ. No, I’m not placing myself on equal footing with Christ and the Apostles. Please do not think that. I only point this out because to sit and remain silent when such men of prominence make such claims, is to become guilty of omission.
Here is the video:
For another take on Mormonism, read Neil’s post here. You can also read my posts on the topic as well:
The Marks of a Cult, Mormonism Exposed, and Against Mormonism.
One final point concerning Mormons. The reason this topic is so front and center is because Mitt Romney is a Mormon. A lot of people are saying they will not vote for Romney because he is a Mormon. I won’t vote for him because he is a moderate. While I do believe that Romney’s Mormonism gives him a different view of Christ and the afterlife, I don’t believe it would inhibit him from being a good president. I just don’t think he is the best candidate because he IS a moderate. We need a conservative. One who happens to be a Christian would be a bonus, but it’s not essential.
Also, for those who say that it is against the Constitution to be opposed to, and not vote for, a candidate based on his religion, you are wrong. The Constitution bars Congress, etc., from looking at a candidate based on religion. However, as individuals we can oppose people all we want to based on their religion.
Again and again in recent weeks, the “no religious test” clause has been hauled out to silence those who oppose Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Jon Huntsman of Utah because of their affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints—more popularly known as the Mormon Church. “It’s unconstitutional,” some have said boldly but clumsily, “to oppose someone in the American political system on the basis of that person’s religion.”
What’s slipped out of focus here is what entity is prohibited from having such a test. It’s Congress, or some official representative of government, that is absolutely barred from making any kind of religious test for office-holding.
Individuals, meanwhile, are free to establish such preferences, and to advocate them to others. Individuals can’t restrict the appointment of a particular governmental employee, but they have full liberty to claim they’ll never vote for a Hindu, or will vote only for a Unitarian.
Non-governmental organizations may also do so. Theoretically, your regional chamber of commerce, your local newspaper, or the area’s electricians union could take a stand against Presbyterians or in favor of Baptists—and still be within the words and the intent of the Constitution.
Even political parties and political action groups are not constitutionally barred from establishing and enforcing their own “religious tests.” They would do so, of course, very much at their own risk, and especially so in today’s pluralistic society. For the Republican Party, for example, to suggest that a candidate had to profess evangelical Christianity to be ideologically acceptable might be technically constitutional, but almost certainly politically silly.
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