In the previous two entries we saw that Mormons believe that they are Christians because they believe in Jesus and that they can work their way into heaven via genealogical work and by getting married to another Mormon in the Mormon Temple by a Mormon priesthood holder.
Both notions were put forth by Mormon apologist Dr. Dan Brown, and were thoroughly exposed to be totally false.
A third reason that Dr. Brown proffered in his argument that Mormons are Christians centers on the Mormon rejection of original sin and the belief that no human is as bad off as the Bible says he is.
So, let’s call this Reason #3: False View of Sin and Human Potential
Dr. Brown argues thus:
3. We are Christians because “we believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgressions” (Articles of Faith No. 2). We fully realize that we are responsible and accountable for our actions, and that we will eventually stand before God to be judged according to our works. Although we know that we can do nothing to save ourselves without his grace, we believe as Paul said that “Faith without works is dead.”
First of all, just because someone believes that men will be punished for their own sins does not necessitate that they are Christians. There is nothing in the Bible about what one must believe prior to one becoming a Christian. In fact, it is only because of what God does to regenerate the soul of a person, which causes him to believe in Jesus in the first place. It is something that escapes all Mormon’s attention when it comes to the subject of salvation.
Second, Christians are not punished for their own sins, since those sins were atoned for at the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). Whatever sins a Christian might commit after becoming a Christian in no way effect his salvific stance with God (Jn. 6:37-39). They may detract from whatever rewards that might have been received from God, but they do nothing to cause a person to become spiritually unborn all over again.
Third, to say that no one is punished for Adam’s transgressions is a meaningless statement, given no person can commit the same exact sin that Adam committed which caused him to fall in the beginning What Brown and the Mormons want everyone to assume, though, is that there is no connection between what Adam did and the reason why all humans have sinned since.
But, as the apostle Paul pointed out, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). In effect, what Paul is saying debunks the Mormon notion that no one is born with a sin nature. That despite the neo-Pelagian theology that Mormonism is founded upon, every man, woman, and child ever born sins because of their relationship to Adam. All commit sin because of the sin nature passed on through Adam.
Fourth, Brown shows the hopelessness of Mormonism when he tells the reader that one day he, and others, will stand before God to give an accounting of their lives based on their works. In other words, Mormons believe that God has co-opted a deal with the Mormon, and so long as the Mormon does his part, then God will do His, and come the day of reckoning, the Mormon will get his pass into the Celestial abode where he can become a god just like God.
What absolute diabolic nonsense. Although all will stand before God one day, only those who remain in a state of spiritual degeneracy will give an accounting of their works; not to see if they will enters the portals of heaven, but to mitigate or intensify their stay in hell! It is what the Great White Throne Judgment is all about in the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Salvation of the righteous has absolutely nothing to do with their own person efforts and everything to do with the mercy and grace of God.
Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Otherwise, if salvation had something to do with personal effort on the part of the sinner, he would have something to brag about (Rom. 4:2; Eph. 2:8-9) and Christ would have died in vain (Gal. 2:21). In other words, salvation is about God and what He does, and not about the sinner and what he thinks he can do.
Fifth, Brown then throws in some religious buzzwords to try and make Mormonism sound as if it is in compliance with biblical Christianity, and then falsely attributes the words of James to Paul!
James wrote, after defining what real faith looks like, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). It was not Paul.
Ironically, Mormons constantly try to drive a wedge between Paul and James, assuming that when they spoke about the requirements for salvation, they were talking about two, conflicting concepts. Nothing, though, could be further from the truth.
Both taught that faith was the key that set the sinner free, and that if anyone attempted to attain a righteous stand before God via the Law, they would either be cursed (Gal. 3:10) or they could not fail in one aspect of the Law, lest the sinner “become guilty of all” (James 2:10).
Mormons abuse verses like James 2:26 to try and prove that a cooperative contract between God and the sinner has been set in order, and that unless the sinner works his fingers to the bone, then he cannot claim his divine prize one day.
What Mormonism does in that respect is repeat the same old lie that the serpent (i.e. the devil) told Eve back in the Garden. “If you’ll just call into question God’s word, your eyes will be opened, and then you’ll be just like him—you’ll be gods!” (see Gen. 3:1-5).
Mormons, by the way, actually believe that Satan was telling the truth in that particular episode.
So, Reason #3 that Mormons cannot be Christians is that they have a totally skewed view of sin coupled with a warped understanding of what it took for God to win the victory over it.
When Adam fell, he did not fall upwards, but downwards. He fell so far and so hard that his immediate response was to run from God, not to Him (Gen. 3:8). He stood naked before God, incapable of doing anything but pass the buck, so to speak, to his wife, Eve. It has been the same ever since.
Sinners are cowards and buck-passers when it comes to the things of God. They are not upstanding, remorseful, and repentant individuals seeking to do God’s will in God’s way.
Man is totally incapable of doing anything to atone for his own sin, much less co-opt and agreement with God, that if he will only fulfill a certain set of legalisms, then everything will be just wonderful.
Mormonism, though, wants to paint a completely different picture. It sees humans as potentially rising to the status of godhood. So it does not understand sin to be all that serious. Oh, it was bad; it just wasn’t bad enough to prevent any human from exalting himself to the level of God.
Therefore, between sharing a perverted view of sin and an overly-optimistic view of mankind excludes Mormonism from ever being capable of leading anyone to become a Christian in the biblical sense.