The Real Jesus?
From an article by James Walker, Director of Watchman Expositor
One of the commonly heard statements from various cults is that no one else had a right to say that they are not real Christians. Christianity is not a logo or trademark, and if a group claims to be Christian and believe in Jesus - as the Mormons do - it makes little difference what they believe about Jesus or who they teach that He is.
The illustration below shows why Christians not only have the right - but also the responsibility - to publicly explain why Mormonism is not Christian, and that while they have every right to believe in another Jesus, it doesn't mean they believe in the same Christ we do, nor does it make them Christians.
With a little adaptation the story can also be used with a Christian Scientist, New Ager, or other group member that claims to be Christian.
Am I Also A Mormon?
What would happen if a Christian friend and I were to get two ten speed bicycles and put on white shirts, dark slacks, and ties and then began going door-to-door in Salt Lake City? Let's say we made up a couple of black name badges and calling ourselves "Elder Walker" and "Elder Jones," proclaiming door-to-door that we believed in Joseph Smith.
But once in the home of the real Mormons, we say that we believe that Joseph Smith was a WOMAN, who was born in California in 1905.
Now any good Mormon should know that Joseph Smith was not a woman but a man, and he was born in 1805 not in 1905 - and it was in Vermont not California.
Well, perhaps I would just be off on a few irrelevant historical details.
But what if I went on to say that Joseph Smith also never taught the "Law of Eternal Progression?"
[Note: this is the Mormon belief that God was once a man, that we were once his spirit offspring in the pre-existence, and that if worthy we could one day become Gods ourselves. (History of the Church, Vol 6, p. 305-6).]
The Law of Eternal Regression?
What would happen if I said that Joseph Smith, that is Miss Joseph Smith, taught the Law of Eternal REGRESSION - that we used to be Gods in the pre-existence, now we have regressed to humans, and if we are worthy, we can one day be vegetables?
And even worse, what if hundreds - even millions of Mormons started believing us?
"Now wait just a minute," a Mormon might answer. That is not what Joseph Smith taught, and you're not a REAL Mormon missionary.
He is absolutely right! I would be teaching a counterfeit Mormonism and a different Joseph Smith.
Rights and Responsibilities
Not only that - if even a few Mormon families were converted by us bogus Mormons, he, his Church leaders in Salt Lake City, and every other discerning Mormon have the right to warn their own followers and the general public of the difference between our Joseph Smith and the genuine article. More than the right, they would have the responsibility to help their members avoid the trap of these "mock Mormon Missionaries."
Hopefully, they would go beyond warning their members of our error. Perhaps they would even sit down with us in love and explain, from their scriptures and history why, even though "we believe in Joseph, too," we were actually teaching an imitation Joseph Smith.
In this issue of the Expositor, we present just some of the reasons that we believe the Jesus of the Mormons is not the same Jesus that's worshipped by Christians.
It is our hope that our Mormon friends will realize that ours is not an unprovoked attack. Instead, we are exercising our God-given right and moral responsibility to inform our fellow believers about differences between the real Jesus and the ones taught by their leaders, which we see as a counterfeit.
Perhaps they will even accept our invitation to sit down and to explore the scriptures and discuss our fundamental differences.
Because cults take advantage of people’s ignorance of the Bible, the best defense against spiritual counterfeits is knowledge of the truth, and how to defend and apply it. Much more information about these, and other dangerous groups can be found in the book ‘Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions’ by John Ankerberg and John Weldon (Harvest House Publishers).
And on the web site http://culteducation.com - An Internet archive of information about cults, destructive cults, controversial groups and movements. Founder and Executive, Rick Alan Ross is one of the most readily recognized experts offering analysis about destructive cults, controversial groups and movements in the world today. Since 1982 he has been involved in hundreds of interventions in an effort to help the victims of destructive groups. Mr. Ross has been qualified and accepted as an expert witness, assisting law enforcement and testifying in numerous court cases across the United States. The archive contains thousands of documents, which includes news stories, related research, reports, court records, book excerpts, personal testimonies etc.