“Years ago I read the following simple but effective illustration from Greg Koukl on how to use a napkin, a pen, and a Bible verse to show a Jehovah’s Witness that Scripture teaches (even in their own translation) that Jesus must be God. Greg, who is the president of Stand to Reason and the author of one of my favorite books on reasoning with unbelievers, kindly granted permission to reprint the explanation below. I hope you find it helpful.”
Read the entire article here.
By Richard Bennett and Robert Nicholson
In keeping with Pope Francis’s identity his upcoming visit to Israel is the perfect vehicle to move forward his objective.1 The unfolding of this religious drama is intended by the Papacy to present Pope Francis on the real world stage as a great reconciler in promoting peace in a land riven with racial conflict and ideological confusion. The May 24-26 trip to Amman, Jerusalem and Bethlehem will mark the 50th anniversary of a landmark trip there by Pope Paul VI in 1964, the first by a pope in modern times. Subsequently, Pope John Paul II visited in 2000 and Benedict XVI made a visit to the region in 2009.2 However, since Benedict XVI’s visit, considerable destabilizing changes in the region have added incentive to this latest opportunity for the Papacy.
On Monday, May 26, 2014, Francis will visit Islam’s Grand Mufti in Jerusalem. After 5:00 p.m., Francis will celebrate the Roman Catholic Mass in what is claimed to be the Cenacle, the site of the Last Supper. Francis and the Papacy officially teach that at a Mass people are to offer themselves with “the sacred victim” (Christ Jesus) and receive in the communion bread the same “sacred victim.”3 For Francis to enact publicly such a teaching is to speak against the Most High. Jesus Christ the Lord was never a victim. The idea of His being victimized is nowhere in Scripture. Rather, it was in conscious submissive obedience to the divine plan of redemption that the Lord Jesus followed His Father’s will.4 He declared, “No man taketh it [life] from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”5 In spite of Jesus’ clear words, Francis and the Papacy focus one’s mind on a tragic Christ as victim, and not on Christ as Victor; i.e. as “the Lord of lords and King of kings.”6
The Bible shows that the Lord’s Supper is a living memorial and not a sacrifice. The Lord Jesus Christ declared,“This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”7 The root meaning of the word “remembrance” entails the concept of personal interaction with the Lord.8 The Apostle Paul explained the purpose of the Lord’s ordinance with the words, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he comes.”9The purpose is clearly given; it is to show forth Christ’s death, to proclaim and publish it. Believers are to declare His death and resurrection to be their life, the cause of their comfort and hope. They show forth His death and participate in its fruits before God the Father. Consequently, for Francis to enact a service called the Mass in which people are to offer themselves with “the sacred victim” (Christ Jesus) is a blasphemy! Thus, graphic words of the prophet Daniel aptly apply in our time,“behold in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. … And he shall speak great words against the most High.”10
The Significance of Francis meetings with Islamic Leaders in Jerusalem
No modern player commands the place that Francis has in the world today. While Francis has been careful to shun certain external trappings of his office, yet the whole history of the Papacy surrounds him as a cloak. It is of this historical position that the talented and well-trained Francis is making full use. Thus, with his Jesuitical cunning, he continues to deceive the nations of the world, seeking to entice even those within Islam. This is clearly evident by his careful preparation of a seductively diplomatic approach to the Muslim turbulence of the Middle East, especially prior to his visit to Jerusalem. Pope Francis has stated,
“The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings; Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration and it is admirable to see how Muslims both young and old, men and women, make time for daily prayer and faithfully take part in religious services. Many of them also have a deep conviction that their life, in its entirety, is from God and for God. They also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy towards those most in need.”11
This statement is similar to what Francis believes and what official Catholic dogma states,
“The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. ‘The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.’”12
The idea that the faith of Abraham could be a common foundation for some kind of Roman/Islamic interfaith dialogue for mutual appreciation and cooperation is absurd. The Word of God completely demolishes the concept that there is some kind of Abrahamic connection either to, or between, Islam and Romanism. Abraham is united to the Gospel by faith and nothing else, as Scripture states, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed.”13All doubt on the issue of the content of Abraham’s faith is removed by direct testimony from the lips of Jesus, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”14The synthetic construction of alleged Abrahamic interfaith dialogue between the Papacy and Islam is a casuistic engineered deceit that is deconstructed by biblical truth. We confidently declare its origin to lie in “the rulers of the darkness of this world”15 standing behind the promulgated apostate anti-Christian dogma of the present time.
With this anti-Christian propaganda – that the faith of Abraham is the common foundation for a Roman/Islamic interfaith dialogue – Francis will fly to Amman, Jordan, on May 24th. There he will meet with King Abdullah II and Queen Rania. The Pope will leave Jordan on May 25th and fly to Bethlehem for a meeting with Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas is the one to whom the Vatican refers as “the President of the State of Palestine.” On May 26th, Francis will meet with the Grand Mufti in Jerusalem and also address other Palestinian authorities. If faced with the facts, one sees that Francis’s statement, “They [the Muslims] also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy towards those most in need,”16 is sheer propaganda!Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Muslim terrorists have fired more than 8,000 rockets into Israel. Over 3.5 million Israelis are currently living under threat of rocket attacks. Most rockets launched from Gaza into Israel are capable of reaching Israel’s biggest southern cities. Rocket fire from Gaza is a constant threat facing Israel’s civilians. In 2011 alone, 630 rockets from Gaza hit Israeli towns. It is an even higher number than in 2010, when 231 rockets hit Israel.17 We raise these points so each one may weigh carefully the context of Francis’s visit before blithely accepting his professed intent of promoting peace. This pope is striding boldly into an arena where Islam’s malignant hatred of the Jews is constantly expressed. Francis has demonstrated an astonishing temerity in publicly stroking the religious vanity of the Muslim leadership by noting their “ethical commitment,” and “mercy toward those in need”! This is not just an offence to both common sense and the dignity of public honesty; it frankly is crass flattery! Clearly the Papacy intends to trollop around this land of troubles again, taking every opportunity to pontificate on peacemaking priorities and promote the Vatican to world media as the great reconciler of alienated brethren. Francis and his scarlet clad imperial cohort will dutifully ignore any point of historical or contemporary order for the sake of gaining influence within the political and social milieu of Israel-Palestine. There is no statist institution on this earth that can match the exquisitely subtle seductive tones of Roman diplomacy when it is bent on asserting influence. Every Middle Eastern leader who succumbs to this deceptive Vatican propaganda will eventually find this out, to his temporal and eternal loss.
“A mouth speaking great things”
Pope Francis’s outreach to Islam represents another tactical re-appraisal of circumstances and opportunities for the Vatican. The profound danger for Evangelical people is that they might incautiously support a push for peace by Francis while not appreciating the Papacy’s claim to be the only true spokesman for Christ on this earth. This subtle assumption of the supreme authority of the Papacy is deeply embedded in all the Vatican’s efforts to push its agenda of interfaith ecumenicity. Bible-believing Christians must recall the truth that the Pope is not a “first among equals” as a bishop, as he may with feigned humility claim. He is not even a bishop in the biblical sense of the term. Pope Francis is the head of a totalitarian hierarchy. Francis has his own secular government inside Vatican City and more property worldwide than any other person on the planet. He has territorial dominions, cardinals, worldwide ambassadors, a legislature, jurisprudence, laws, advocates, taxes, banks, foreign treaties, ambitious plans, and policy, more than any other secular prince. Yet, he differs from other secular leaders. Francis’s spiritual commerce goes hand in hand with his civil power, claiming infallibility and international recognition.18
However, there remains unfinished business, particularly in Europe and the US, from the reigns of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Weary of Vatican hypocrisy and stonewalling, the secular media has drawn concerted attention to the consequences of the Roman clergy’s scandalous criminal behaviour throughout the world.19 Again, recently it is reported that, “The U.N. is cracking down on the Vatican. A U.N. committee said Monday [May 4] that the numerous cases of sex abuse by priests should be prosecuted and dealt with by the Vatican as cases of torture….Pope Francis has asked for victims’ forgiveness and said he takes personal responsibility for the ‘evil’ of what had transpired.”20The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the sure means by which we know the moral condition of those purporting to speak for God.He said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.”21
As the Scriptures teach, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood,”so we must gird ourselves for conflict with Satan in the right spiritual frame and only with the God-given weapons for warfare.22 It is incumbent upon the Lord’s people to recall that the principal arena of Satan’s operations is not the phenomenal, but the noumenal.23 That is to say, Satan’s most effective devices consist in the development, promulgation, and insinuation of deceits that correlate directly to the conceits which are latent in the darkened understandings of men.24 This supreme element of cunning is exposed in his wickedly effective appreciation that nothing is more powerful than a lie whose time has come.25 The urgent need for interfaith ecumenicity built on mutual respect and appreciation between apostate Christendom and false religions like Islam is a lie whose time has come. Satan is sure of it. Francis believes it. Sadly the spiritually diminished pseudo-evangelical “leaders” may end up ignorantly applauding both of them.26 Our exhortation to all our dear brethren in the Lord is, be not deceived!27 When you see the so-called Supreme Pontiff standing in the “cenacle” exercising his claimed priestly powers of turning a miniature-sized pancake into deity, to be worshipped and venerated by the “faithful,” remember that John the Apostle states emphatically, “you have heard that antichrist shall come…”28 John confirms that while there were contemporary opponents of Christ (many antichrists), these spiritual forces of wickedness would eventually coalesce in one entity. If contemporary Evangelicals accept what Francis is attempting to propagate in Jerusalem, without open public protest, it will mark yet another significant betrayal of the Gospel testimony toward the poor, deluded adherents of Romanism and leave them languishing in the claws of the devil. It is imperative to take heed of the warning in Holy Scripture that in these last days the lure of fleshly false religions and their embedded demonic delusions will be so great that, “insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”29 We have before us the harlot religious system pretending to be the bride of Christ while factually being a political and religious power under the dominion and direction of the powers of darkness.30
Francis trip to the Middle East will be broadcast worldwide. It will be proclaimed by the secular and religious media as a grand act of reconciliation in that the Church of Rome is set forth as peacemaker in the world. Many religious people who mistakenly think they are Christians will be deceived. But to true believers in the Lord, we exhort you from the Word of God with these words, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.”31 Fellow believer, recollect the heartfelt words of Luther when he received his final excommunication from the Roman system. Luther wrote,
“Unless with all your hearts you abandon the Papacy, you cannot save your souls. The reign of the Pope is so opposed to the law of Christ and the life of the Christian, that it will be safer to roam the desert and never see the face of man, than abide under the rule of Antichrist. I warn every man to look to his soul’s welfare, lest by submitting to the Pope he deny Christ. The time is come when Christians must choose between death here and death hereafter. For my own part, I choose death here. I cannot lay such a burden upon my soul as to hold my peace in this matter: I must look to the great reckoning. I abominate the Babylonian pest. As long as I live I will proclaim the truth. If the wholesale destruction of souls throughout Christendom cannot be prevented, at least I shall labour to the utmost of my power to rescue my own countrymen from the bottomless pit of perdition.”32
For anyone to substitute living personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by trusting in the Pope and his superstitious system of sacramentally communicated grace and works righteousness is eternally fatal.33 The Roman religious cultus and doctrinal system is the epitome of a man-made religion system. It is an authoritatively self-referencing dogmatic belief system that substitutes itself in the place of a relationship with the living God through the Gospel.34 “The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”35 True Christians see God’s power and boldly proclaim His grace; every individual who is saved is “being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”36The precious blood of Christ shed once on Calvary is the appointed means that God uses to save His people from their sins.37 Thus, it is proclaimed, “but God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).”38Sin is an evil of infiniteconsequence because it is committed against an infinite HolyGod. There is no way of escaping the wrath of God against sin except by His grace. Thus the Scripture states, “how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.”39The Scripture interprets grace as power, mercifully extended. Redemption comes by this means, because it was by “the grace of God” that Christ tasted death for each true believer. The Lord Jesus Christ alone saves His people from their sins. He sends His Holy Spirit into their hearts, so that they are radically changed from what they were previously. The Holy Spirit sheds forth the love of God in the hearts of those whom He regenerates from spiritual death.40 That love is manifested by a deep desire and honest resolve to please the Lord and to serve Him: “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”41When Christ Jesus saves a soul, He also delivers that soul from the rule and power of sin.42 It is true that the Lord has not yet completed His work in believers, for the sin which still resides within them must be eradicated. However, any person that He has truly saved is delivered from the “dominion of sin.”43 We thank God for those who are saved that do not live in sin as Scripture states, “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”44 Can you say that this is true for you? In the difficult age of compromise in which we live, do you act under the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Do you make the Word of God your measure of truth and the grace of God your assurance of life? If you can honestly say yes to these questions you will understand that you are not under the condemnation of law, but your faith is in Christ Jesus and His righteousness alone! You can then proclaim joyously, in harmony with the Apostle Paul, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”45 ♦
Permission is given by the authors to copy and post this article, if it is done in its entirety without any changes.
1 See http://www.bereanbeacon.org, “Key to Pope Francis’s Identity: Master of the Jesuit Spiritual Exercises” “Pope Francis Portrays Himself as a Reformer,” “Pope Francis Shows His True Colors,” “Pope Francis Elected, Mystery of Iniquity Moves On”
3 “Consequently the eucharistic sacrifice is the source and the summit of the whole of the [Catholic] Church’s worship and of the Christian life. The faithful participate more fully in this sacrament of thanksgiving, propitiation, petition and praise, not only when they whole-heartedly offer the sacred victim, and in it themselves, to the Father with the priest, but also when they receive this same victim sacramentally.” Vatican Council IIDocument No. 9, Eucharisticum mysterium.
4 Philippians 2:8, Acts 2:23, 3:18, 15:18, Daniel 9:26, 1 Peter 1:18-21
5 John 10:17-18
6 Revelation 17:14
7 I Corinthians 11:25
8 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, #364 Anamnesis, “a remembering, recollection to call me (affectionately) to remembrance.”
9 I Corinthians 11:26
10 Daniel 7:8, 7:25
12Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para. 841
15 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”Eph 6:12
18Revelation 18:12-13 The Roman Catholic Church went apostate formally at the Council of Trent in 1548 when it denied the Gospel in favor of its Sacramental system. No Pope, including Francis, has ever denied the Council of Trent. Rather they all teach it – including Francis. The merchandise involved in Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Anointing of the Sick is the souls of men!
21 Matthew 7:15-16
22 1 Thessalonians 5:8 cf. Ephesians 6:12 -19
23 Ephesians 4:17-19
24 2 Chronicles 18:20-22, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10, Rev 12:9
25 John 8:38 cf. Acts 13:10
26 Daniel 11:35
27Matthew 24:24, II Peter 2:2-3, II Timothy 2:19
28 I John 2:18 (The Greek text says that the antichrist shall come.)
29 Matthew 24:24 cf. Daniel 11:35
30 Revelation 17:1-8
31 2 Peter 3:17
32Martin Luther, December 11, 1520, Sermon at Wittenberg. Wylie. History of Protestantism, Book 6, Ch 2, p 296
33 Galatians 1:8-9, cf. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
34 Mark 7:6-9, cf. 1 Timothy 3:1-6 and Titus 1:14
35 Romans 1:16
36 Romans 3:24
37 Hebrews 10:10-15 and I Peter 1:18-20
38 Ephesians 2:4-5
40 John 3:5-8, Titus 3:5-7, Ezekiel 36:26-27, cf. Romans 5:5 and 8:15, Galatians 4:6
41 1 John 2:3-6
42 2 Corinthians 4:6, Colossians 1:12-14, 1 Peter 2:9
43 1 John 1:5-10, Romans 7:14-25
44 Romans 6:2-7
45 Romans 8:1, 14
What Roman Catholics refer to as “the Dogma of Papal Infallibility” is one of the most stunning of all of RCC doctrine. According to this dogma, the Pope-when he speaks on matters concerning the church-is protected from the possibility of error. Note that it is not that what he says is always true, but something more radical is claimed: there is not even the possibility of him speaking something untrue.
When this dogma was first codified (the first Vatican Council in 1870) they obviously defined it in more constrained terms than it had been practiced through history. Now, it only applies to matters concerning “faith and morals,” and when the Pope binds “the whole Church” to the declaration. While it was codified by the First Vatican Council, it in effect has been practiced throughout much of Roman Catholic Church history.
In fact much of RCC doctrine rests on nothing other than this authority. For one clear example, in 1950 Pope Pious XII declared that Mary did not die a physical death, but was “assumed” (assunta) up to heaven. This is a teaching with no biblical evidence (although Pope John Paul II did allege that it was the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise in John 14:3), and even less credible historical evidence. Actually, no one in the first 300 years of church history had even claimed such a thing had happened.
Because it is such an important part of what separates the RCC from Protestants, an obvious question to ask is, “are there times when the Popes have contradicted each other?” If so, that would be a glaring piece of evidence that the RCC’s claims to authority and doctrine are indeed fallible.
First, let me explain why this is important to me. Discussing theology with a Catholic can be frustrating, and usually goes in one of two ways. Either they claim to believe everything I believe, but they just also claim to have an unbroken tradition of history behind them. Or they respond to my biblical objections to RCC doctrine by saying Protestants are wrong because their interpretations contradict the interpretations of the RCC, which we know to be infallible.
In 1497, Pope Alexander had a crisis of his own making that was threatening to undermine his ability to govern the Catholic Church. A romantic rivalry between two of his sons (he had at least six children) had become a source of intrigue around Rome. In fact, this scandal was so lurid, it was appalling even to those accustomed to flagrant immorality from the papacy.
The two sons in question were Cesare and Juan, and they were both in love with their sister, Lucrezia. The plot thickened, as the Pope refused to let either of his sons marry his daughter, as he was sleeping with her himself. As the famous biographer and historian William Manchester wrote, “Even for those times, this was scandalous.”
When one of the sons, Juan, turned up murdered, suspicion was split between the father and brother. When Lucrezia turned up pregnant, that same divided suspicion remained. Rome had long been accustomed to assassinations, orgies, and public rioting from the Pope’s family. But this scandal involved all three simultaneously, and even the public was beginning to demand change. Alexander decided he needed to marry his daughter off to a powerful Duke, consolidating the Pope’s power, and ending the scandal.
There were numerous problems with this plan. First, Lucrezia was already married (technically speaking…it was a political alliance thing). No problem, that marriage could be annulled by the Pope. But in order for that to happen, the Pope and a Vatican council had to certify that she was a virgin. This would be impossible to do with a straight face, seeing as how she was known to be the Pope’s lover, was six months pregnant, and visibly showing. So the Vatican council acted without the straight face, and when they declared her a virgin, witnesses said that laughter echoed throughout the Vatican. One poet, Jacopo Sannazaro, wrote a poem commemorating the declaration. Translated from the Latin, it reads:
Here lies Lucrezia, who was really a tart,
The daughter, wife, and daughter in-law of Alexander.
In Latin it rhymed. But regardless, the third obstacle was insurmountable, and the marriage was halted when the groom was murdered by Cesare.
This lead to the uncomfortable development that the Pope’s daughter gave birth to a son, Giovanni, and there was no way of knowing if the father was the Pope’s son or the Pope himself. By the time the child was 3 years old, his mother was 21. It became necessary politically for the Pope to marry her off, and the Pope chose the Duke of Ferrara. The new problem was that Canonical Law forbade the Pope from recognizing his own illegitimate children (only if they were fathered while he was Pope, which in this case was obvious; in fact the public labeled Giovanni “the Roman Child”). That difficulty here was notably compounded by they fact that the mother of his son was also his daughter. But…if the Pope recognized Cesare (his other son and her other lover) as Giovanni’s father, then the Duke of Ferrara would likely not marry Lucrezia for fear of losing his title as Duke.
If that is confusing, here it is simply: The Pope was in a Catch-22. Either the Giovanni was his, or his son’s. One option was permissible legally, the other was possible politically. So what would he do?
Here is his solution, in the words of William Manchester:
The Pope, deciding to legitimatize his daughter’s child, issued two extraordinary bulls September 1, 1501. The first, which was made public, identified the three-year-old boy as the offspring of Cesare and an unmarried woman… The second, a secret bull, acknowledged Giovanni to be the son of the pope and the same woman.
In other words, Giovanni had two fathers. And, don’t loose sight of the fact that he was born only three months after the Vatican and Pope had declared his mother a virgin. That is a truly immaculate conception!
I was alerted to this story by reading E. R. Chamberlin’s book The Bad Popes. Believe me when I say that this affair is not even in the top five as far as radically immoral acts committed by the Popes of that time. In fact, some of the stories were so graphic and stunning that I paused to ask myself why I was even reading them. The answer is two-fold. First, it is a powerful reminder that Luther’s Reformation was not in a vacuum. Theology has consequences, and bad theology destroys lives. In this case, bad theology had the potential to destroy a continent, which it did. The dark ages were so backwards and perverse, in large part because of the rampant immorality of the Popes.
Secondly, it is a reminder that the strongest argument that Catholic Apologists use today-that the Catholic Church has an unbroken chain of tradition stretching back to the Apostles-is pure fabrication. Not only is it fabrication in the historic sense (because the papacy did not being in any recognizable way until the 400’s), but it is fabrication in the ethical sense. Many Popes, Luther said, “have so often contradicted themselves,” and he did not simply mean on the finer points of theology. When Alexander declared his daughter (whom he had been sleeping with) to be a virgin, only to see her give birth 3 months later, Luther was 16 years old. When Alexander issued official Church Bulls declaring that his son had two fathers, Luther was 19 years-old. He entered the monastery four years later.
It would be another twelve years before he posted his thesis on the church door. From that point forward, it is simply no longer feasible to maintain that Catholics and Protestants essentially believe the same things. There are substantive differences, one of which is the concept of papal authority, and another of which is the claim that the Roman Catholic Church has a glorious and unbroken continuity of being Christ’s seat on Earth.
They may have a tradition, but is neither glorious nor unbroken.
Distributed by http://www.worldviewweekend.com
I created these videos and posted them on DefCon back in September of 2010. Since then, we’ve received many new readers to the blog that may have missed them. So I’ve decided to dust them off and re-post them here so that our new readers can see what happens when a 19th century Mormon meets a 21st century Mormon.
The Missouri Prophecies
Back in 2008, I made a cult flyer/gospel tract combo available to the readers of this blog to download for free. Since then, this flyer/tract combo has undergone refinement and is now in its fifth printing.
This flyer/tract combo was drafted as a way to inform the public about the truths of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, and to provide them with the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It was originally designed to hang on doorknobs in the area where I live and was in response to the constant canvasing of neighborhoods by these two cults. But since its inception, this flyer/tract combo has also found its way into the hands of numerous people throughout America and has even found its way to the shores of Africa (with another box full currently en route to Liberia as I write this).
The cult flyer is a single tri-fold (printed on the front and back). The tract comes three to a page (printed on the front and back). Each tract fits nicely inside the cult flyer as an insert.
Please feel free to download, print, and make as many copies of each of these items as you wish to distribute as you see fit. You can even put your church name, website, or other personal information on them to help in your evangelistic contacts if you so desire.
I recently finished Jon Krakauer’s book, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. I found the book to be very revealing of early Mormon history (much of the stuff modern day Mormons prefer you didn’t know about). Namely this book tackled Mormonism’s twin doctrines of polygamy and Blood Atonement (and detailing the hellish results those unbiblical doctrines wrought on Mormons and non-Mormons alike).
Although this work was a scathing revelation of Mormonism’s twisted and violent history, I could not help but detect the author’s occasional sympathetic bent toward Joseph Smith and the Mormon organization as a whole.
Sympathy or poor research in some instances (I am not certain which), but one example of less-than accurate reporting is when Krakauer said that when Joseph Smith fired his gun at the angry mob (the gun that was smuggled into the Carthage jail), he wounded “at least one.”
However, Mormonism’s own History of the Church cites that Jospeh Smith actually “snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”
I must say that there’s a chasm of difference between “wounding at least one” and “two or three were wounded . . . two of whom . . . died.”
Another instance in the book where the author would have done well to have done better research is when he writes that Calvinists teach that God is “bent on making humans atone for Adam’s original sin.”
If Krakauer did his homework he would have known that that is not the historic Calvinist position (and never has been). Calvinism teaches that God’s Son (and Him alone) is the only One able to atone for mankind’s sin that was inherited through Adam and for the sins man commits daily. It is actually the belief of Mormonism (and Roman Catholics, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh Day Adventists, and Muslims, etc.) that man can atone for or add to Christ’s atoning work on the cross; and this in direct opposition to Galatians 5:4.
In all, although the author was incorrect on a few points, I found the book to be a fascinating look into both the mainstream LDS organization (the one’s who broke away from the original teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young) and the varios fundamental LDS organizations (the one’s who still follow the original teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young) with the Lafferty brothers’ murder of Erica Lafferty and her baby, Erica, on July 24, 1984, as the back drop of the book.
The book, although containing a critical overtone toward all religion, horrifyingly exposes the results of following Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s teachings faithfully, showing that Mormonism (much like Islam) is a violent religion full of lies, deception, adultery, sexual immorality, and forever marked by the bloodshed of innocent men, women, and children.
“The events leading to the death of Mormon founder Joseph Smith are much like the events surrounding his life—full of contradiction. To hear Mormons tell the story, Smith did no wrong; for others, he did no right. Like most stories, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.”
Continue reading here.
This was a well done piece on Mormonism by the BBC.
Although the impetus for the documentary was presidential candidate Mitt Romney, this video uses his potential presidency as a springboard to delve into Mormonism’s seedy underbelly (unfortunately they never mention such morsels as Mormonism’s racism and blasphemous doctrines like Blood Atonement, paying for your own sins in Hell, and their god having physical relations with Mary to conceive Jesus . . . just to name a few).
Well, so says a new petition “made at the Our Lady of All Nations Prayerday in Amsteredam [sic]” this past Sunday. It was a “world wide open petition to Pope Benedict for a new coming of the Holy Spirit.”
Apprising Ministries points you to this rather peculiar situation where, in the superstition of apostate Roman Catholicism, apparently Pope Benedict and the Virgin Mary are a bit at odds and holding up the Holy Spirit.
In the video below Dr. Mark Miravalle fills us in further concerning a petition about Mary, “the Mother of all Nations.” He reminds us that she allegedly appeared via apparitions in Amsterdam “from 1945 to 1959.”
He speculates that she chose to so grace Amsterdam because “it is the most universal city in the world” represented by “over 120 different nationalities.” He explains that the apparitions had a “universal message.”
Miravalle then tells us these apparitions, which he does believe to be the Virgin Mary, gave:
a prayer for all people to pray and ultimately seeking the proclamation of a dogma; a solid proclamation that she is, indeed, the spiritual mother of all peoples–under it’s three essential aspects of co-redemptrix, mediatrix of all graces, and advocate.
Below you’ll see that Miraville goes on to tell us about a very special announcement also made a week ago today concerning “the launch of a world wide open petition to Pope Benedict for a new coming of the Holy Spirit.”
Miraville tells us how important he thinks this petition is because, as he sees it, the future of the world may depend upon our receiving “the Holy Spirit anew, and it’s through Mary.” In fact, says Miraville:
Our Lady has told us, it’s only with the proclamation of this dogma, will peace enter the world. So these are her words.
Hmm, I would think that Jesus—the Prince of Peace—might take a different view. It almost sounds like a type of spiritual extortion: “Make me the fourth member of the Godhead or I’ll withhold the Holy Spirit and world peace.”
Miravalle hopes that through”intercession of Mary” Roman Catholics will continue to petition Pope Benedict, their “beloved Holy Father,” to officially proclaim this Marian dogma. He continues:
And let’s remember, it’s our Lady herself who asks for petitions; where she say on May 31, 1954, “Work and ask for this dogma; you should petition the Holy Father for this dogma”…
This is important for the good of the Church. So join in this online, world-wide, petition for a new Pentecost, through the intercession of our Lady, to the proclamation of Mary as the spiritual mother of all peoples.
“Mary” seems a bit perturbed and a tad bossy to me. One wonders why she herself just doesn’t ask God to make that proclamation. O wait; it’s not that Holy Father. She means we have to petition the pope, the other holy father.
Let’s see if we have this straight; we ask the under god to officially proclaim Mary Co-Redemptrix and Co-Mediatrix for God the Holy Father and then she’ll intercede for a second Pentecost to send God the Holy Spirit?
Well, following is the petition itself:
Aside from addressing this to “his holiness,” I don’t fault the first two paragraphs. As a former Roman Catholic, and now Christian pastor, I’m concerned about those things as well. I agree, we definately need God’s help.
However, we don’t need a second coming of the Holy Spirit; He is already here. Acts 2 describes when God the Holy Spirit came to fulfill Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer of John 17 to bring the Body of Christ into union with God.
We read in this petition that, “Mary prayed for the Holy Spirit to come at Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit came.” No, she was among the other believers in Jesus Christ who were praying. Jesus had earlier told them:
“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
Mary has said that she will intercede for a New Pentecost if you, Holy Father, would publicly proclaim her role as the Spiritual Mother of humanity. This proclamation will lead to a new descent of the Holy Spirit and an era of world peace (see Fatima, Amsterdam, Akita Apparitions, etc).
Seriously; Mary will only intercede if she gets her demand to be named “Spiritual Mother of humanity?” Does this mean Almighty God is held hostage to his creation Mary’s demands and hamstrung if His “Vicar” doesn’t comply?
In closing this, for now, notice the petition then says:
we believe in the powerful intercession of Mary as Advocate to bring the light of Holy Spirit into the world today.
Really; Mary as advocate. Have you noticed Who’s been missing in all of this nonsense? Jesus. It is written:
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self,…having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:5)
While some professing Christians are busy blurring the lines between Christianity and Mormonism (see here and here for example), at least the secular media isn’t being hoodwinked by Mormonism’s slick PR campaign.
Case in point: The following video that aired on MSNBC. I do not know who Lawrence O’Donnell is, but hats off to him for his courage to peel back the facade of Mormonism on national television.
And in the event that the inevitable Mormon apologist comes along and attempts to obfuscate Mormonism’s long history of racism with that was just Brigham Young’s opinion, or the LDS church never taught that, or this was an isolated remark taken out of context, or the myriad of other lies used to hide Mormonism’s history, I simply direct your attention to this post where many more racist quotes from Mormon leaders can be read.
Richard J. Mouw wrote an astounding article for CNN in which he used the subject of presidential candidate Mitt Romney in an attempt to legitimize Mormonism.
Mouw, the president of Fuller Theological Seminary who claims to “know cults” and has “studied them and taught about them for a long time,” for some reason seems utterly incapable of spotting one right in front of him.
God gave us a means by which to identify a false prophet, false teacher, or cult. Through the pen of Paul He told us in Galatians 1:6-9 to watch out for anyone (even an angel from Heaven) that preaches “another gospel.” If anyone (which includes religious organizations) preaches “another gospel,” they are anathema! Mr. Mouw, however, is actively directing us away from Scripture and toward human reasoning by advancing his own means of how to identify those that are accursed. From Mouw’s article:
“[A cult’s] adherents are taught to think that they are the only ones who benefit from divine approval. They don’t like to engage in serious, respectful give-and-take dialogue with people with whom they disagree. Nor do they promote the kind of scholarship that works alongside others in pursuing the truth. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, haven’t established a university. They don’t sponsor a law school or offer graduate-level courses in world religions. The same goes for Christian Science. If you want to call those groups cults I will not argue with you. But Brigham Young University is a world-class educational institution, with professors who’ve earned doctorates from some of the best universities in the world. Several of the top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have PhDs from Ivy League schools.”
You read that right (I actually had to read it twice). The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Science are cults because they have not established a university, sponsored a law school, or offered graduate-level courses in world religions, but Mormonism is not a cult because they founded Brigham Young University and several of their top leaders have earned degrees from Ivy League schools.
Is the Watchtower organization taking notes?
So, according to Mr. Mouw, is there anything else that differentiates a cult from biblical Christianity besides whether or not they’ve established colleges? How about the person and work of Christ?
“Cults do not engage in . . . self-examining conversations. If they do, they do not remain cults.”
Well, what about the presence of a works righteousness theology being the hallmark of a cult? Surely that is something Mr. Mouw would recognize as error, right?
“These [Mormon] folks talk admiringly of the evangelical Billy Graham and the Catholic Mother Teresa, and they enjoy reading the evangelical C.S. Lewis and Father Henri Nouwen, a Catholic. That is not the kind of thing you run into in anti-Christian cults.”
So, an apostate organization only needs to pay lip service to Graham, Lewis, Teresa, and Nouwen to no longer bear the status of a cult?
Mormons have been very successful at disguising their true beliefs by adopting Christian terminology with radically different definitions (it has obviously worked to pull the wool over Mouw’s eyes), but now they’re taking the deception a step further. By appealing to two prominent Protestant icons (both with arguably suspect theology) and two Romanist icons, they have now been able to convince Mouw that they are no longer a cult and that their false gospel is somehow no longer a threat to a man’s soul. (Whatever happened to discernment?)
Toward the end of this video Joel Osteen says that he’s heard that Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney “believes in Jesus as his savior just like I do.”
This is inevitable result of having absolutely no doctrinal foundation other than “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”
When you place so little value on understanding doctrine (the very thing that defines who Jesus is) and instead spend so much time trying to live your best life now and becoming a better you, the line between truth and error become so blurred that black and white becomes gray, and countless souls perish because of it.
Two brief videos on Joseph Smith’s varied first vision accounts by LDSvideo.org.
Too true . . . too funny. A classic.
Those who have studied Mormonism’s history have seen that much of the Book of Mormon was written largely in part thanks to other sources that were available to Joseph Smith at the time he lived.
The two most notable examples are Joseph Smith’s plagiarism of the King James Bible, and Joseph Smith’s not-so-unique tales of native American Indians being ancestors of Israelites. The former was the standard translation of the Bible used in America at that time, and the latter was a popular notion advanced in numerous books during Joseph Smith’s time.
Even Mormons (including LDS general authority member and apologist B.H. Roberts) have had to concede the uncanny similarities between the Book of Mormon and other works of men available to Joseph Smith at the time.
In fact, there’s been much discussion about writings by Solomon Spaulding and Ethan Smith which are eerily similar to that of the Book of Mormon and predate the Book of Mormon.
But the Indians-are-Hebrews stories aren’t the only tales that were circulating during Joseph Smith’s time
There is another Mormon teaching that was espoused by early Mormon leaders that–like the Indian/Hebrew theory–was also not original to Mormonism. I’m speaking of the Mormon teaching that the moon was inhabited by men.
Oliver B. Huntington, who was a close associate of Joseph Smith and remained a faithful Mormon his whole life, said:
Astronomers and philosophers have, from time almost immemorial until very recently, asserted that the moon was uninhabited, that it had no atmosphere, etc. But recent discoveries, through the means of powerful telescopes, have given scientists a doubt or two upon the old theory. Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a prophet. As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do, that they live generally to near the age of a 1000 years. He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style. In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and–to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes. Young Woman’s Journal, Volume 3, pages 263-264, 1892
Huntington also said the following of Joseph Smith’s teaching regarding moon people:
The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the earth, being about 6 feet in height. They dress very much like the quaker style and are quite general in style, or fashion of dress. They live to be very old; coming generally, near a thousand years.” This is the description of them as given by Joseph the Seer, and he could “see” whatever he asked the father in the name of Jesus to see. The Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, Volume 3, Page 166
William A. Linn had this to say about Martin Harris, one of the three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon:
Daniel Hendrix relates that as he and [Martin] Harris were riding to the village one evening, and he remarked on the beauty of the moon, Harris replied that if his companion could only see it as he had, he might well call it beautiful, explaining that he had actually visited the moon, and added that it “was only the faithful who were permitted to visit celestial regions.” William A. Linn, The Story of the Mormons, Page 35, 1902
Of, course, not to be outdone by all the grandiose claims, Mormon Prophet Brigham Young went even farther by alleging that there are solar inhabitants as well:
We are called ignorant; so we are: but what of it? Are not all ignorant? I rather think so. Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed “the man in the moon,” and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized. Journal of Discourses, Volume 13, Page 271, 1870
Well, all of the above quotes from Mormonism arose after 1835, the year when a tale of lunar habitation by humans was being spun by a paper called the New York Sun. A tale that later became known as The Great Moon Hoax.
In August of 1835 (just two years before Oliver B. Huntington said Joseph Smith began talking about inhabitants of the moon) the New York Sun (a paper from Joseph Smith’s own home state) reported that British astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered people living on the moon (as well as unicorns and hut-dwelling, fire-wielding bi-ped beavers).
Of course, thanks to advancements in astronomy, we now know for certain that men do not live on the moon (or the sun) and modern Mormons have since back-peddled from these teachings (painting over them with a veneer that these were only their leaders’ “opinion”). But even though they recognized the foolishness of these teachings, they still believe in extra-terrestrial habitation on other planets . . . just not on our moon or sun.
Mormon prophet Brigham Young said:
Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species. Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, Page 285, 1859
Joseph Fielding Smith, tenth prophet/president of the Mormon organization, said:
We are not the only people that the Lord has created. We have brothers and sisters on other earths. They look like us because they, too, are the children of God and were created in his image, for they are also his offspring. Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, Page 62
Recognizing the prophets’ errors of claiming the moon and sun are inhabited is honest and the right thing to do, but why still cling to the idea that other planets are inhabited?
I’m still waiting for LDS apologists to finally concede that the Book of Mormon was just Joseph Smith’s “opinion” as well since advancements in archeology have not revealed one city, town, sword, shield, coin or other artifact or location in Book of Mormon history; advancements in DNA science have proven that American Indians are not descendants of ancient Hebrews as the Book of Mormon claims; that there is not one ancient manuscript to support the authenticity of the Book of Mormon; that the “Reformed Egyptian” language Joseph Smith supposedly translated the Book of Mormon from has never existed; and that the Book of Mormon (called “the most correct of any book on earth”), has undergone 3,913 documented changes, corrections, and alterations since it’s original 1830 publication.
But I suppose, even in the face of all that evidence, the odds of Mormons admitting that the Book of Mormon was a fabrication is as slim as finding Quakers living on the moon.
Christian apologist Walter Martin takes on Mormon apologist Van Hale in a debate entitled Is Mormonism Christian? It is another fine job by Walter Martin in defending the faith from those who would seek to pervert it.
Years after this debate, Van Hale publicly announced (in 2005) that he cannot accept the Book of Mormon as real history about real people (see here). I’m not sure if his debate with Dr. Martin helped bring him to that point, but it is an interesting piece of history.
You can download all three parts of this debate here:
Check out another great debate between Walter Martin and anti-theist Madalyn Murray O’Hair here.