A Statement from Truth in Action Ministries, Oct. 14, 2011
"While having the deepest respect for the moral and ethical standards of the Mormon people and their church, we must sadly reject their teachings as false and not Christian."
–D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.
Texas pastor Robert Jeffress generated headlines last week when he told reporters that Mormonism is a cult—a belief system at odds with historic Christianity.
Since then he has been accused of bigotry, called a “poster boy for hatred,” and a “moron.”
Despite those harsh charges, Jeffress, who backs Texas governor Rick Perry for the GOP presidential nomination, has made it clear that his view of Mormonism is theologically grounded and not an expression of bigotry. He made it clear that he would be willing to vote for Romney in the general election if he wins the Republican nomination and said he thinks that Romney is a “fine family person.”
Dr. Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, does, however, stand by his statement that Mormonism is a theological cult—and we stand with him.
But what is a cult? Dr. Charles Braden, coauthor with John C. Schaffer of the book These Also Believe, said this:
By the term cult, I mean nothing derogatory to any group so classified. A cult, as I define it, is any religious group which differs significantly in one or more respects as to belief or practice from those religious groups which are regarded as the normative expressions of religion in our total culture.
By that definition, the one employed by Dr. Jeffress and most evangelicals, Mormonism is a cult. Mormon teaching is in sharp disagreement with the standards of biblical Christian faith embraced by Christians for 2,000 years.
The faith founded by Joseph Smith got its start in the early 19th century, 1800 years after Christ, and differs dramatically from historic Christianity in its concept of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, salvation, and what constitutes God’s revelation to man.
The late Dr. D. James Kennedy, founder of what is now Truth in Action Ministries (formerly Coral Ridge Ministries), has said that Mormon beliefs
are in open contradiction of the clear teachings of the Bible and must, therefore, be rejected by all those who accept the Bible as the true Word of God. While having the deepest respect for the moral and ethical standards of the Mormon people and their church, we must sadly reject their teachings as false and not Christian.
Christian apologist Dr. Walter Martin, author of the authoritative reference work The Kingdom of the Cults, has written that Mormonism has “an elaborate system of doctrine which is fundamentally opposed to historic Christianity.”
Unlike God, who is revealed in the Bible to be eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, the Mormon God is merely an advanced man. Joseph Smith taught that God “was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth….” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Deseret Book Co, June 1977, p. 345).
Dr. Martin writes in the introduction to his Cults Reference Bible that Mormons believe God to be a “man of flesh and bone who lives on a planet called Kolob and sexually procreates spirit children with his harem of wives.”
Dr. Kennedy states in the booklet, The Wolves Among Us, that the Mormon view of God
is at once polytheistic and materialistic. It claims that there are many Gods and that Elohim is only the most advanced of this group. It also teaches that God the Father has a physical body and was once a man as we are today.
Christians have held since the first century that God is triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Mormon view, which holds that God was once a man and that all men have the potential to become Gods, denies the Trinity and makes the Incarnation “almost meaningless,” according to Dr. Kennedy.
The Bible teaches that Jesus is “God with us,” the eternal God in human flesh. The Mormon system, as Dr. Martin explains, teaches that Jesus is a created being, the first spirit child of God and his senior wife. Mormon doctrine holds that the younger brother of Jesus was Lucifer who challenged Jesus in his role as savior. Father God rejected Lucifer’s plan and later had sexual intercourse with Mary to bring Jesus into the world as a flesh-and-blood man.
Even this brief overview of Mormon belief about God and Jesus indicates how far removed it is from historic Christianity. While we respect and love Mormon individuals, many of whom have distinguished themselves in entertainment, business, and politics, it is a self-evident fact that Mormon doctrine is not biblical. Mormonism is not Christianity. The religion founded by Joseph Smith is, in fact, a cult.
MINISTRY RESOURCES ON MORMONISM
Unmasking Mormonism -- Truth That Transforms Radio program
The Wolves Among Us, booklet by D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.