Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are Christians Selling Their Soul for Patriotism? Jan Markell on the Beck problem

Watched a little Glenn Beck today. Yeah, I like him, he tells important truths. If only he wasn't a Mormon. If only a Christian would do what he's doing. His rally was a great thing. If only it didn't have a spiritual snare at the heart of it.

Then I got an email this morning forwarding me something from Olive Tree Views, a ministry I'm not familiar with, but they're saying much the same thing I've been saying: Have We Anointed an Unworthy Shepherd?
By Jan Markell
August 31, 2010

Could we say that the church has failed to wake up very many people so, by default, a Mormon -- Glenn Beck -- has made quite a stir and has become an official spiritual leader? He rallied hundreds of thousands last weekend with themes of faith and love of our country. Americans are desperate and fearful of what is coming upon this land so they look to a Mormon for leadership. I am glad his Saturday event was successful for just some of these reasons:

* Americans came to celebrate America after the highest leaders in our land have trashed her around the world.

* They focused on what was right in America and they also honored our military.

* Faith and patriotism were lifted up -- two items that the Left despises.

* Attendees were passionate -- traveling thousands of miles and, once arriving in D.C., walking for miles, even if handicapped.

* Conservative Americans must gather together to fortify one another. Such events strengthen one another and offer hope. Finding kindred spirits in a depressing age is essential.

* Whether the Left heard or not, the attendees sent a message that they are fed up. November is around the corner and they had better look out.

In light of the positive aspects of the honoring America weekend, could there possibly be a down side?
I'm glad she starts with the positive, because that's what drew so many of us to the event, it's what we need in America. But of course then she goes on to describe the down side so read on. It got her some hate mail but nothing to the extent it's been getting me for mentioning it elsewhere.

She refers us to her own radio program where this was discussed a couple days before the event, and I'm going to put her title in large print because it says exactly what the problem is (click on the title to go to the radio broadcast page):

That IS the problem. That IS the question. That's what we're risking by letting a Mormon lead us. Here's her description of the radio show.

Listen to this broadcast. She does a great job of describing just why we love Glenn Beck before going on to discuss the problems for Christians in the fact that he's a Mormon.
Jan's guests include Brannon Howse, Eric Barger, and Ed Decker. The issue is Glenn Beck. Over two hours, the ultimate question is: are Christians selling their soul for patriotism? Most conservatives love Glenn Beck. He exposes evil and he loves America. He hates what is happening to this nation. But Glenn has another agenda as the panel proves over two hours: The subtle promotion of Mormonism. Listen and learn what is happening, why it is happening, and who are the Christians participating. While many suggest he is a "saved Mormon," the panel says that is not possible. About a dozen sound bytes are played that are revealing. The Mormons want to "save America" because it is the "promised land." God has a covenant with America. Not so. We urge you all to pray for Glenn Beck.
This is a GREAT discussion, everyone should listen to it. One thing that may recommend it is that the speakers are a lot more cool-headed than I am so you'll just LIKE them more. But also they assume that most Christians don't know anything about Mormonism so they go into great detail about what Mormonism is, in such detail that any Christian should recognize why it's a false religion. I tend to assume that Christians must know at least a little about these things because I know them, but apparently the ministries that teach against false religions aren't as accessible to Christians as they were ten or twenty years ago, and for some reason this information isn't available in local churches either. So this broadcast is a GREAT RESOURCE.

She also reports that even on Saturday Beck called the Indians the "chosen people" -- Mormon doctrine there -- and that people applauded. I'm just noting this now because I'm listening to the radio broadcast but I want to come back and link this later.


Speedy G said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head, now. The "idol" of patriotism and the urgency of our political situation are the real lures that lower the hearer's guard and blur the religious edges lending Beck a platform on which to stand. In the absence of a political crises, Beck would have no audience.

People don't attend Becks rally's or watch his show for his religious and/or moral messages. They attend for the political ones.

Faith said...

I've been saying that all along, Speedy, it is exactly the appeal of his conservative views that we all love that lured us to his religious-themed rally. But don't discount the pull of the religious theme too, once the guard is down -- most of us are yearning for a return to Christian America and the gospel themes are just as enticing.

People were moved by the gospel songs and sang along quite emotionally. Many Christians are apparently unaware that when a Mormon uses evangelical language he means something entirely different by it than an evangelical does, and when he sings a gospel song he has a completely different God and Jesus in mind.

It doesn't matter what people attended the rally FOR, though, the point is that if he's preaching God he can only be preaching his false Mormon God, and a Christian therefore can't support him, and that's what was happening in that rally.

I'm not sure how much to impute to him of conscious strategy here, but this was a masterful-bait-and switch he pulled, and since Mormonism is always trying to blur the distinctions between their false God and mainstream Christianity it seems he's just being a good Mormon.

I hadn't watched all that much of him before the rally so I learned from this broadcast I linked that his religious comments are a fairly new thing, and a few times recently, even at the rally apparently, he preached overt Mormon doctrine about the Indians being Israelites, something he hadn't done before on any of his programs.

He attracts us to his patriotic political views, but now he's pushing Mormonism and apparently too many Christians don't know how radically different his religion is so they are sitting ducks for it.

I hope you listened to the radio broadcast I linked.

Speedy G said...

You're quite likely correct in believing that the Mormon "understanding" of G_d is something different than the Christian view, but then MY OWN understanding is also something "different" from the Christian view.

And no, I didn't listen to the broadcast. Christian oriented radio broadcasts have little appeal for me. Beck's appeal to me is purely "political".

Faith said...

Although I'm talking to Christians here, as the whole point is that we are admonished by the Bible not to fellowship with heretics, still it might be very useful to you to know more about the Mormons and their ambitions, and that's why you should listen to that radio broadcast. Even if your interest is "purely 'political,'" the point is that Beck has been focusing more on spiritual things lately, and he probably has the Mormon church behind him, In fact they are probably pushing him in this direction. And the Mormon church has a political agenda of their own that may very well not be your agenda. You could learn something about this from that radio broadcast.

The nature of the Mormon God is also discussed on that broadcast.
Just for the sake of clarification, though I may have some of this slightly wrong: the Mormon God is a human being who lives on another planet, and begot Jesus physically, also begot Lucifer/Satan who is therefore Jesus' brother. "Our Heavenly Father" to the Mormons is just the god of THIS world, not the whole universe, is one of many gods, all of whom have their own planet. Mormons can grow up to be a god like "heavenly father" and have THEIR own planet too, and lots and lots of wives. Seems to have some things in common with Islam really.

Wouldn't you say that the Deist view has a lot more in common with the Christian view than this Mormon stuff? I mean, the Deist God IS universal, above all other "gods", and is Spirit, not flesh, right?

That may all sound academic to you, of course, but I do suggest that you listen to that radio show because it may not all be academic to you once you grasp the whole picture.

Speedy G said...

I'm no longer a Christian because I deny the possibility of even self-limited "corporeal-based" deities including Christ. I deny Islam and Judaism because I deny the likelihood of Divine temporal intervention into our lives as well. In my opinion, the Creator's original plan, whatever that might Be was perfect and complete from Conception/ Inception. And like Einstein, I believe that the only reason for "time" at all, is so that everything doesn't happen all at once.

I suspect that Christians have much more in common w/Mormons than they do Deists. The commonality I do share w/Christians has to do with the "nature" (or lack thereof) of G_d, and this, I believe, comes from Plato and the platonist influence on the early Christian theologians.

And so as you can likely infer from the above, it really doesn't matter to me whether the Christian or Mormon conception of G_d is the more "accurate". The same holds true for Jewish and Islamic conceptions. What does matter to me is that we should acknowledge that we were "created" and not made from some completely random accidental event. Paraphrasing G.K. Chesterton, a thing created is loved even before it is created but something that is made will only be loved "after" it already exists.

Speedy G said...

An example of human hubris run amock.