All Christians are Christians?

This may seem like a strange title, but after my comments on an article that I read this week on FoxNews, I think you will see the dilemma I am in.

However, before I continue with my comments on the article, I want to say that there are many who will take umbrage and be offended at what I will say here today. You see, we have become a nation of wishy-washy, whatever-floats-your-boat, don’t-offend-anybody, and don’t-judge-me church goers. Sadly, the transition was so gradual that most people never even noticed the shift.

There was a time that you would walk through an airport and knew exactly who the followers of Sun Myung Moon (also known as Moonies or members of the Unification Church) were and what they were trying to peddle. For those who have not looked recently, they are still around (normally older couples though) but they no longer wear their hair long in a braid. They do not have a shaved head, nor do they wear saffron-colored robes. Today, they are very much a modern organization that is still looking to attract followers to its mantra of global peace, defense of religious organizations, and extravagant marriage ceremonies around the world.

rev_moon_coronation

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The roots Mormonism shares with Rome (part 2)

While we here at DefCon stand in opposition to what the Romish church teaches, I find it rather ironic that the early leaders in the LDS church were even more venomous in their attacks on the Vatican than Rome could ever accuse Luther or Spurgeon of being. That said, Salt Lake City shares more with Rome than Brigham or Joey Junior would ever want to admit. Here is part 2 in the series laying Mormonism alongside Romanism and comparing the two.

Besides what they have written in their official declarations, Mormonism and Papism share one other thing in common–they both know how to play the “It’s not official doctrine” card. What I mean is this:  whether it’s the Catholic Pope or the Mormon Prophet/President, the authoritative voice of the respective religion (and the teaching arm thereof) will teach something over and over and over and over again, year after year after year, decade after decade after decade, century after century–but they will never publish it in any of their “Scriptures” (the Romish Catechism; the Mormon BOM/PGP/D&C).  Therefore, since it is not “officially canonized”, whenever we bring this teaching to the attention of a Catholic/Mormon, they can reach into their wallet and pull out their trusty “They may have said that, but it was never an official teaching of the church card, stick out their tongue, and say…

So, let’s look at some more of the parallels between Mormonism and Catholicism.

They both teach that salvation is a result of the combined effort of God’s grace and our own vile, human works.

–The Roman Catholic Church teaches “grace plus works/merit”:

Council of Trent, Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canons 11-12If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, excluding grace and charity which is poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit and inheres in them, or also that the grace which justifies us is only the favour of God, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA. If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.”

Council of Trent, Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 24“If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.”

Council of Trent, Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 32“If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ…does not truly merit an increase of grace, and eternal life, provided that one dies in the state of grace, the attainment of this eternal life, as well as an increase in glory, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), paragraph 2027“No one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.”

–Mormonism teaches the we are saved by grace “after all the we can do”:

Book of Mormon, 2nd Nephi 25:23-24“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.”

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The idolatry of Rome–the “Scala Sancta”

There is a staircase in Rome–the seat of religious harlotry–that, supposedly, people can ascend on their knees and gain some pitiful “indulgence” from the man who sits in a temple as God. Spurgeon wrote about it as he witnessed this atrocity:

WHILE traveling in Italy it was our good fortune to fall in with our esteemed friend, Dr. Jobson, a Wesleyan brother well known to fame as a preacher of the gospel, and known also to his numerous friends as an artist of no mean order. By his kindness we are able to present our readers with a view of the stairs on the north side of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, at Rome, which are superstitiously reputed to be the identical steps which our Savior descended when he left the judgment hall of Pilate. No mention is made of steps in the gospels, but that is of small consequence to the Church of Rome, which recognizes tradition as quite sufficient authority. There are twenty-eight marble steps of considerable breadth, and we are asked to believe that they were transported from Jerusalem to Rome by miraculous agency. We remember a cottage which was so dilapidated that, to our knowledge, the father gathered up the steps of the stairs, and sent his boy with them to the landlord, with the message, “Please, sir, father has sent you our stairs, and would be glad of a new set,” but these marble slabs are in excellent repair and of great weight, and must have required a considerable amount of angelic engineering to remove them to their present site. However, for many a long year doubters concerning the authenticity of the holy stairs have been judged to be rank infidels, and have been considered worthy of the direst pains of perdition.

[…]

Our abhorrence of Popery and everything verging upon it rose to a white heat as we saw how it can lower an intelligent nation to the level of fetish worship, and associate the name of the ever-blessed Jesus with a groveling idolatry. If our mild milk-and-water Protestants could see Popery with their own eyes, they might have less to say against [Protestant] bigotry; and if those who play at ornate worship could see whither their symbolism tends, they would start back aghast, and adhere henceforth to the severest simplicity. Perhaps Luther would never have become a Reformer had it not been for his visit to Rome and his ascent of these very stairs. In the city where he expected to find the church of God in all its holiness, he found sin rampant beyond all precedent. “It is almost incredible,” says he, “what infamous actions are committed at Rome; one would require to see it and hear it in order to believe it. It is an ordinary saying that if there is a hell, Rome is built upon it. It is an abyss from whence all sins proceed.” Nor did he speak as an exaggerating enthusiast, for Machiavelli’s witness was that the nearer you came to the capital of Christendom the less you found of the Christian spirit. “We Italians,” said the great historian, “are chiefly indebted to the church and the priests for our having become a set of profane scoundrels.”