I am told that, years ago above the Falls of Niagra, a boat was upset, and two men were being carried down by the current. Persons on the shore managed to float a rope out to the men, who both seized the rope. One of them held fast to it and was safely drawn to the bank. But the other, seeing a great log come floating by, unwisely let go of the rope and clung to the great piece of timber, for it was the bigger thing of the two and apparently better to cling to. Alas, the timber with the man on it went right over the vast abyss, because there was no union between the wood and the shore. The size of the log was no benefit to him who grasped it. It needed a connection with the shore to produce safety. So, when a man trusts his works, his prayers, alms giving, sacraments, or anything of the sort, he will not be saved, because there is no connection between him and God through Christ Jesus. But faith, though it may seem to be a slender cord, is in the hand of the great God on the shore.
– Charles Spurgeon
1834 – 1892
Your sermon of the week is a fine message by Thabiti Anyabwile entitled Fine Sounding Arguments. The subtitle of this message is How Wrongly ‘Engaging the Culture’ Adjusts the Gospel.
Anyabwile deals with the propensity of so many Christians to “engage the culture” in ways that are not biblical, and he examines not only what “engaging the culture” should be, but he shows how current culture-engaging methods may actually be counter-productive to the message of the cross.
A very well formulated and delivered sermon; it will make you rethink what you’ve been conditioned to believe about our role as believers in relation to how we are to engage the culture.
Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Matthew 24:11
Reflections from Nauvoo by Pastor Jay
I have always found two things in life to be true: God plants good people in every race or religion, and I’ve never met a Mormon I didn’t like. I found both of these convictions confirmed in my experience with the Red Carpet trip, with First Pres and LDS Wheaton Ward, to Nauvoo last May 22nd-23rd.
A joint group of over 80 participants from each community boarded a bus and headed South/West to the historic town of Mormon Nauvoo. We were given the hospitality of the LDS and Church of Christ churches as we learned more about one of the fastest growing religions in the world and the largest religion born on post-pilgrim American soil. People are more than intellectual dogmas and beliefs … these beliefs are lived and embodied in our families and communities; it is imperative that we enter into each other’s sacred spaces and places, into each other’s tragedies and joys, if we truly seek to know each other as we seek to be known: that is as children of God.
Nauvoo is a symbol for the intersection of both of these occurrences in a community’s life; joy and tragedy. I was especially moved by being invited to preach at the place (70’s Hall) and pulpit that Joseph Smith occupied so long ago. The fact that a community who experienced so much pain and estrangement from mine, both historically and theologically, would extend such grace to me was an experience of reconciliation and love that I will never forget and will continue to grow into.
As Joseph Smith left the common road of his day, he was plagued by a question that is as relevant now as it was 150 years ago: “What church is the right one?” From this trip a powerful reply could be formulated: the one that loves the other as themselves.
Also check out the pictures of this church’s “interfaith fellowship trip” on the church’s website here, which includes: posing in front of an LDS temple, a photo of the statue of Moroni, and an interfaith worship service described as follows:
. . . everyone attended an interfaith worshop [sic] service together on Sunday morning, May 23, 2010, with both Dr. Jay Moses from First Presbyterian . . . and LDS Bishop Reed Nuttal . . . preaching.
This event was even featured in a recent Mormon Times article (found here).
The problem isn’t so much that Jay Moses wants to compromise with the cult of Mormonism (he’s entitled to shipwreck his own soul if he wants to). The problem is that he’s leading his congregation (including children) down that broad path with him. I wonder, was there anyone–even one–in that church that stood up and protested?
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30
This level of error, compromise, and downright apostasy is nothing new in the church; even the disciples in the first century dealt with those who crept in unnoticed with the goal of harming the sheep (see all the epistles).
What is ironic, however, is that the LDS organization is willing to compromise with Christians (even if the Christians are in name only). The current Mormon hierarchy has been relentless in their insatiable quest to appear more like Christians. And what makes this so intriguing is that Mormonism’s founders were rabidly anti-Christian. See some of the lovely things that founding Mormon leaders taught and believed about Christians and Christianity here.
Truth is, if Mormonism’s founders knew what has become of Mormonism, they’d be rolling in their graves.
It’s apparent why modern day Mormonism is trying to assimilate in its endeavor to appear Christian, but it’s not so clear why a man, charged with the shepherding of his flock in a little Presbyterian church, would deliberately lead those in his congregation into the arms of a cult rife with damnable doctrines of demons.
It’s also very sad that so many in his church followed him in this seduction when anyone with even a shred of discernment knows Mormonism worships a different god than the God who has reveled Himself in Scripture. Even Mormonism’s late prophet Gordon B. Hinckley conceded that Mormons and Christians don’t believe in the same Jesus when he said in June of 1998 in LDS Church News:
In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ “No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.”
This axiom renders the very idea of Christians (monotheists) and Mormons (polytheists) worshiping together as impossible.
Bernard P. Brockbank said in the Mormon publication The Ensign in May 0f 1977 (page 26):
It is true that many Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshiped by the Mormons or The Church of Latter-day Saints.
Even a cursory perusal of Mormon doctrine corroborates the fact that the Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus of Mormonism are starkly different, and since the Jesus of Scripture said that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one gets to the Father except through Him (John 14:6), then those trusting in the Mormon “Jesus” have placed their hope and faith in a counterfeit Christ, and counterfeit Christ’s cannot save.
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! Galatians 1:6-9
HT: Mormon Outreach via facebook
And still, man, in the wickedness of his heart, is so depraved that he has the audacity to shake his fist at the sky and proclaim God doesn’t exist . . . or he goes to church and lives his life like God doesn’t exist.
Sin! That “abominable thing,” which the Lord hates (Jeremiah 44:4), is regarded so lightly by those who commit it. Sin! It caused our first parents to be banished from Eden and is responsible for all the woe in the world. Sin! It produces strife and bloodshed and has turned this “land of the living” into a mammoth cemetery. Sin! A hideous monster we so much dislike hearing about and which we are so ready to excuse. Sin! Satan employs all his subtle arts to render it attractive and sets it forth in the most appealing colors.
– A.W. Pink
1886 – 1952
Another DefCon exclusive:
What happens when a 19th century Mormon meets a 21st century Mormon? Find out in the first installment of the new series: “Old Mormon vs New Mormon.”
And when we get into Jackson county to walk in the courts of that house, we can say we built this temple; for as the Lord lives we will build up Jackson county in this generation.
Times & Seasons
Volume 6 Page 956
April 06, 1845
To be in readiness to move into Jackson county in two years from the eleventh of September next, which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion.
History of the Church
Volume 2 Page 145
August 16, 1834
The day is near when a Temple shall be reared in the Center Stake of Zion, and the Lord has said his glory shall rest on that House in this generation, that is in the generation in which the revelation was given, which is upwards of thirty years ago.
George Q. Cannon
Journal of Discourses
Volume 10 Page 344
October 23, 1864