Last week I preached a message about biblical unity based on Ephesians 4:1-16. In that message we saw the importance of like-minded, sound doctrine in Christian unity. The world calls us to drop our beliefs so that we all just get along, really for the sake of the human race. However, the Scriptures make clear we are not created for ourselves. We are created to glorify God.
Now, our tendency as humans, and as human Christians, is to see things in such a linear fashion that we become myopic to the dangers right under our noses. This is how we lose the Gospel for the sake of moralism. What I mean by this is we make the biblical message more therapeutic, and “how to” focused than about the Gospel and following Christ as God-exalters, and idol-killers. We will take stories of Jonah, or Joseph, and even accounts with Christ, and teach them (and learn them) as if they are methods in how to deal with life’s adverse circumstances instead of God’s redemptive story. Without paying close attention we make the stories about us, rather than about God and His reconciling work through His son, Jesus Christ.
Enter Glenn Beck. Last Saturday, there was a gathering of many national religious and political figures in Washington to promote a return to the core values of our great country and call the nation to return to God. In the political / entertainment sphere, I’ve listened to Beck before. Many times I’ve found myself agreeing with his points but having issue with the vitriol and tenor of his argument. I can appreciate that such a figure would want to use his position to express his convictions, even religious. He has the right to do so, and, in that sense, is right to do so.
However, there is a great danger in what transpired last Saturday and since. Glenn Beck is a professed and practicing Mormon. He does not worship the God of the Bible. He worships the god of the Book of Mormon, which holds the same level of revelation for the Mormon (as said on the LDS website). Mormonism is not in the vein of Christianity and is labeled a “cult” by many organizations because of the denial of the sole authority of the Scriptures and the deity of Jesus Christ.
I am not saying that those we agree with politically have to have our same religious beliefs. God provides governing authorities for our good (Romans 13) and those authorities are not always Christian. My issue is the apparent unification of many since Saturday in a call for national revival, and I feel like many Christians are compromising their doctrine because they are (mostly) conservative politically, find a familiar voice in Beck, and have a general sense that the message is about right.
If Saturday’s event was about a grass roots political event and an invocation to God was made, then Christians could and should have participated as they desired according to their conscience. But that’s not what Saturday was. Saturday was a call to revival of the country to God. But do we stand alongside those who call us to return to a different God than the one of Scripture? Do we just generally think that, “Well, it’s not that big of deal. We’re in a mess and God will work it all out. We just need to stand together.”
We do need to turn to God. Christians need to repent of idolizing the things of the world, including their politics. Christians need to feel more regret over the sins of their churches than political agendas. Scripture says that judgment begins with the house of God, and the house of God is comprised ONLY of those who have purchased by the blood of our Redeemer, the God-man, Jesus Christ. The Jesus of Mormonism could not have satisfied such a redemption.
Christians should be involved in politics. Christianity should affect how Christians govern and follow. But when Christians begin to compromise the doctrines of Scripture simply because an invigorated, charismatic political figure seeks the unity of all who claim to follow God, then I believe we have allowed the same spirit of pluralism and syncretism to infect our ranks as that of the secular humanist.
We better be careful. God called His own to be distinct and not mingle with other gods. This OT message is echoed in 1 Cor. 10 as a warning to the New Testament church. Sure, this issue was idol meats, and, therefore, idols. But do we think that God will simply wink and nod because the “different” god that we associate with is oh so close to Him? This is where separation of church and state needs to be carefully examined by those who claim the name of Christ.
On another note, how indicting is it of Christianity, with our history of historic revivals and outpourings of the Spirit of God, that a Mormon is beckoning this call? We need to repent, fall our faces, and cry out to God. But make no mistake. That’s not the USA that call goes out to. It goes out to the church of the living God as revealed in the Old and New Testaments.