Becoming a God

If you’re looking for a religion that promotes the aspiration to become a god, you won’t have to look far.

This seemingly popular doctrine must appeal to a basic desire of sinful men. Satan played on this desire in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) when he convinced Adam and Eve to doubt God, who had said the couple would die if they ate the fruit. Instead, Satan told them, they would be like God if they transgressed the only law God gave them.

Mormonism teaches that good Mormons will become gods. This is a doctrine that the Mormon missionaries won’t bring up on their first door-to-door visit, but, from my experience, they will defend it when confronted with it. Becoming gods is a clear teaching of the LDS church, contained in their Scripture:

Referring to those who are married eternally through Mormonism, and don’t commit murder,

“Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” (Doctrines and Covenants 132:20).

Catholicism also teaches that people can become gods—in very plain language.

“For the Son of God became man so that we might become God. The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.” Catholic Catechism 460

While there are many schools of thought in Hinduism, new ageism, paganism, and Satanism, many who practice these religions also hope to become gods. Hindus can become gods through many cycles of reincarnation. The new age religion teaches that men will evolve into gods someday (in the age of Aquarius). Pagans worship nature and deities that control nature, and through learning more and more about esoteric truths, they believe they may attain godhood (also known as Gnosticism). Some Satanists believe that Satan is the true God of the universe, and will someday re-ascend to his previous place. When this happens, his loyal followers will be made gods as their reward.

Mormonism and Catholicism appear to me to be merely Christianized versions of new age, pagan and Satanic religions. They all use the prospect of becoming a god to appeal to the pride of fallen man.

The Bible teaches something much different: There is only one God (Isaiah 43:10, John 17:3). If that isn’t a big enough blow to the pride of sinful man, here’s an even bigger insult: Every human is commanded to die to him or herself, and live for the glory of the only true God. Anything else is idolatry.

9 thoughts on “Becoming a God

  1. Dan says:

    I agree that many pagan religions claim that we become “gods”, and Mormonism is guilty of this too. And ther eis debate as to what the Eastern Church means. And one of the main proponents today is actually the Word Faith movement that says that we become gods at the point of salvation. But I decided to look at your Catholic quote and I am not sure if you can take that to mean as it was taken here in context. I am Reformed, but I wonder what others think about that usage of the Catechism? The actual paragraph 460 quotes 2 Pet (seemingly correctly) then Athanasius (De Inc 54,3). But then other writings of Athanasius denouce humans becoming divine (Orat 3.19-20). Then the Catachism quotes Aquinas, and I cannot track that reference down. So I guess my comment/question is this, does the Roman Catholic Church actually teach that we become gods? or is this just an interpretation and translation problem that it seems to be. I then ask (again, I am Reformed) that if this is a straw man against the Roman church we please correct it. There are plenty of other issues with Romanism that we could discuss and post on accurately. Please leave feedback so that I may be corrected if I am in error, or to discuss more completely. God Bless!

  2. Dan,

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t know of any Catholic that believes they will become a gods. However, it seems the catechism is crystal clear, and leaves little room for interpretation. Regardless of whether any Catholic believes that today, I would say whoever wrote the catechism believed he was going to become a god.

    I look forward to hearing a reasonable explanation, and if I get one, I’ll be happy to correct the post.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  3. Dan says:

    Well, like hopefully I came across in my original post, I am not sure. I am hoping someone a little better versed in Catholic theology can help us out. But it seems to me that the issue is that of translation and interpretation since both the offending statements are actually quotes from church theologians (Athanasius and Aquinas, niether wrote in English), neither which I think taught divinization. So if the CCC is is quoting thier understanding of it, then it is correct as most Protestants will cite 2 Peter. But if they are having a more Eastern or Mormon view then your accusation stands. I have just never heard this accusation leveled against Romanism before. Like I said, I am Reformed and have a love for the truth and will criticize the RCC at many many points. I am jsut not sure if this interpretation of the CCC is accurately understood. I have been visiting DefCon for months now and really appreciate your ministry here, so I hope this does not hurt any feelings, I am just curious for clarification on of Rome teaches divinization. Thanks and God Bless!

  4. Thanks for this post Bill.

    With few exceptions the four most common marks of a cult and false religion that I’ve come to notice are:

    1). The need for man to work for, cooperate with, or add to God’s finished work in order for man to attain salvation.
    2). The downplay of the importance, significance, purity, and sufficiency of the shed blood of Jesus Christ (thus necessitating #1).
    3). The lowering of God to man’s level.
    4). The elevating of man to God’s level.

    On several issues, the deeper one studies cults and false religions the more similarities begin to emerge between them. It leads some to wonder if they all share a common originating source.

    – The Pilgrim

  5. Adrianne says:

    The definition of cult is: a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies

    Just clearing that up.

    Also, Genesis 1:26-27

    “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and famale created he them.”

    Exodus 33:11]

    “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend…”

  6. In my humble opinion I personally think Ron Rhodes hits the nail on the head when he defines a cult as follows:

    “A cult is a group that splits off from a parent religion and denies one or more of the essential doctrines of that religion.”

  7. Adrianne says:

    How convenient. You can make up a definition and it just fits perfectly with what you want it to. However, look it up in any dictionary. It differs.

  8. Does Ron Rhodes definition hit too close to home? If not, why such an abrasive tone?

    Your anger (dare I say loathing) toward us keeps seeping through in your comments. Why the nasty tone in so many of your comments, Adrianne? This reflects rather poorly on the polished image that LDS has tried to present over the last decade.

    We have not been nasty, rude, or mean to you.

    And I didn’t “make up” a definition that fits perfectly with what I want. I was quoting someone with whom I felt accurately defined cults.

    And why the double standard? You don’t seem so upset about Joseph Smith making up something that “fit perfectly with what he wanted?” That whole polygamy thing was very convenient for him, wasn’t it? Not so convenient for Emma or his other 30+ wives or their husbands though?

    – The Pilgrim

    And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment [plural marriage] she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.

    Joseph Smith
    Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 132:54
    July 12, 1843

  9. Adrianne says:

    “That whole polygamy thing” was a commandment of God. God has His own timing and reasons that we don’t understand.

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