(OPINION) Recently there has been a ton of controversy surrounding the hit Christian series” The Chosen” which has garnished staggering numbers of views around the World and has even broke records at movie theaters.
I will not be covering the latest situation regarding the ‘Pride Flag” on set as I will cover this in another blog. However, one of the most discussed controversies regarding the behind the scene production of this series is the embracing of Mormonism or the Latter Day Saint Church and their affiliation with this series.
Dallas Jenkins has come out multiple times and defended Mormons and made a statement recently that I knew I could not sit on the sidelines and remain quiet about. Jenkins was questioned regarding his statement in the past that Christians and LDS love and worship the same, Jesus. Jenkins did a follow-up and stated the following:
“Is it true that I said that? The answer is no, I did not,” Jenkins said, adding that some of his past comments on this topic need more nuance and could have been misinterpreted.
“I think we can agree that words matter, nuance matters, and I probably could have given more context and clarity,” he said. “I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of interviews and written thousands of things about my faith and about the faith of others, and I try very hard to be nuanced”.
“I try very hard to be cautious and wise and clarify every word that I use, but I don’t always succeed. I think it’s fair to say that this is one where I don’t take back what I said, but I could have given it a little bit more clarity.”
“I think it’s also true that it would be a problem if I actually said those words definitively,” Jenkins added. “That would be a problem, and here’s why: Not because there aren’t LDS folks who aren’t Christians and not because there aren’t LDS and Evangelicals who love the same Jesus, but because it would be wrong of me to ever say that any one group believes any one thing altogether. That is just a level of arrogance that I don’t have.”
“It would be just as dumb for me to say that all LDS are Christians as it would be to say that all Evangelicals are Christians or that all Catholics are Christians or any other faith tradition,” he continued. “It would also be dumb of me to say that none are! That’s also a level of arrogance that I don’t possess.”
“When I’ve talked about my brothers and sisters in Christ, and when I talked about those LDS folks that I know who loved the same Jesus I do, I’m referring to some of the friends that I have who identify as LDS who I’ve gotten to know very deeply over the last few years, in particular. And I’ve had hundreds of hours of conversations with [them], and I stand by the statement that those friends of mine that I’m referring to absolutely love the same Jesus that I do,” he said.
“You may still go, ‘Well, that can’t be true,’ and that’s your right to think that,” Jenkins added. “But it’s not fair to say, ‘Oh, then you are now speaking about everybody.’ I know plenty of Evangelicals who I would say don’t know the same Jesus that I do and don’t love the same Jesus that I do.”
Jenkins further stressed that he alone is responsible for the content in “The Chosen” and is inspired by the Bible. “I’ve said many times the content of the show has zero influence or input from any form of faith tradition or church. None,” he added.
So we see here that Jenkins still believes that some of his LDS friends whom he knows personally, love the “same Jesus” as Christians. This is a huge problem when closely examining the beliefs of LDS.
Mormonism has 16 million followers worldwide, the majority of whom live in the US; the faith also boasts significant wealth and a number of high-profile members, including Mitt Romney and Donny and Marie Osmond.
I am not going to exhaust you with every fundamental belief of Mormons but I do want to cover what I believe is the majors of this false religion. Let’s begin with how it was even founded.
The Church of Latter Day Saints or “Mormonism” was founded less than two hundred years ago by a man named Joseph Smith who claimed to have received a personal visit from God the Father and Jesus Christ in a wooded area in Manchester, New York, called the Sacred Grove who told him that all churches and their creeds were an abomination. Smith then set out to “restore true Christianity” and claimed his church to be the “only true church on earth”
On September 21, 1823, while allegedly praying in his room, Smith received an “angelic visitation” by an angel, named Moroni, who told him that he had been chosen by God for a great work. He told Smith about a book written upon gold plates that had been buried alongside the Urim and the Thummin of the Old Testament.
Smith claimed he immediately found this book, and, using the Urim and Thummin, translated it, and published it in 1830 as The Book of Mormon. “Another Testament of Jesus Christ”. This was the same year that he formally organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
If anyone knows the Bible, you should be able to see major red flags here right away! First of all, Do we really believe that God the Father and Jesus Christ both made a personal visit to a man to tell him that all other Churches were corrupt and an abomination and that he was the true prophet that would “restore the Church”?
Secondly, Smith states even more blasphemous nonsense when he claims that an “Angel from Heaven” named Moroni visited him to show him where some golden plates were buried to help him establish what would be later called “Another Testament of Jesus Christ”.
This is exactly why the Apostle Paul warned about this in his letters to the early Church. “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed”. – Galatians 1:6-9
Now let’s talk about what these people believe. Mormon leaders have taught that Jesus’ incarnation was the result of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary. Mormons believe Jesus is a god, but that any human can also become a god. Mormonism teaches that salvation can be earned by a combination of faith and good works.
According to Mormonism, it is believed that God the Father was once a mortal man who became a god, possessing an immortal and physical body. However, this contradicts what is mentioned in the Bible, which states that God has always been a spirit and has never been a man. Moreover, the Bible emphasizes that a spirit does not have a physical form. In addition, God is considered eternal and unchanging in his being and perfections, so he did not progress towards becoming a god, but has always been one.
Mormons also have a belief that Jesus Christ was the first spirit child of the heavenly Father and a heavenly Mother. They also believe that Lucifer was the brother of Jesus and that Jesus gradually became a deity in the spirit world before being physically conceived in Mary’s womb as the literal “only begotten” Son of God the Father in the flesh.
Another Mormon belief is that Adam’s transgression was a noble act, which made it possible for humans to become mortal, leading to the path of exaltation to godhood. Mormons think that Christ’s atonement secures immortality for almost all individuals, regardless of their belief or repentance.
Furthermore, Mormons believe in general salvation to immortal life in one of the heavenly kingdoms, which is how they understand salvation by grace. Belief in Christ is essential only for access to the highest, celestial kingdom, which requires faith, participation in Mormon temple rituals, and obedience to its “laws of the gospel.” Additionally, Mormons place their book above the Word of God and consider it as absolute authority.
Lastly, Mormons do not believe in the traditional Trinity but instead consider it to consist of three distinct gods. According to Mormonism, there are potentially many thousands of gods besides these.
These are just some major doctrinal beliefs of this false religion that Jenkins seems to believe that his close friends who embrace are loving the same Jesus as Christians but this is simply not true. I am not saying that these people are bad people or evil whatsoever, but they are greatly deceived by this false gospel that is being equated by many with Christianity.
Paul also warned about this as well in his writings when he stated: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it” – 2 Corinthians 11:3-5
Lastly, Christ warned himself about anyone adding to the Bible. “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book”
Jenkins has been heard referring to Mormons as “our brothers and sisters” and this simply is not the truth. These people are not our brothers and sisters in Christ and we do not worship the same Jesus.” While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him.
Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” – Matthew 12:46-50
If someone comes to your door of this religion the Bible is clear in its instructions on how to handle this. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds”. 2 John 1:9-11