Lately I have been debating a doctrinal issue with a so-called Christian who challenged me to support my position with human approval, such as the word of Bible scholars or Bible commentaries. After telling him I don’t rely on human interpretation for doctrine, he accused me of having a “fear” of biblical scholarship. I want it to be known that I’m neither intimidated nor impressed by endorsements for the doctrine of opponents I debate. I also don’t care if they have degrees from Bible colleges, or if their beliefs are taught by big-name preachers. I’ll make my point at the end of this by showing that Billy Graham, the most-respected “Christian” preacher of the modern era, taught doctrine that will be embraced by the Antichrist. The world is infested with deception and most churchgoers reject the truth. That’s the harsh reality.
Most of what I’m writing here was inspired by my frustration in trying to reason with the man I’ve been debating recently through back-and-forth emails. His attitude was anything but Christian, and his last email was so condescending I just may be done with him. He wrote, “Any literate person can understand the basic truth in the Bible,” implying I was illiterate. He then appeared to change his mind by implying I understood the truth but was not interested in it. He claimed that “when one reads the countless biblical texts that provide a simple reading . . . and one still abandons the plain reading, then, I would see this person as not interested in truth.” When asking him how he arrived at one particular conclusion about a Bible verse, he dodged my question by simply telling me to “read the context” starting at the beginning of the chapter to know what he was talking about. Right or wrong, no Christian should use these kinds of tactics. A Christian’s goal should be to help the person he or she is debating, and when it comes to a topic as sensitive as religion, I do my best to not make my opponent think I’m in attack mode. For that reason I made a minor change to my site that may give Mormons the impression I’ll criticize them any way I can.
The end of the 9th paragraph of my essay Christianity Among Other Religions used to end with, “The Old and New Testaments are in agreement. The Book of Mormon, however, contradicts both Testaments by saying the Messiah was born in the city of Jerusalem (Alma 7:10). [He was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).] This alone is enough to disprove the Mormon religion.” I’ve now deleted that. Alma 7:10, which I alluded to as a flaw in the Book of Mormon, says, “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.” I’ve recently read on numerous Mormon websites that the “land of Jerusalem” was distinct from the city of Jerusalem, and that the Jerusalem in Alma 7:10 was a territory that included Bethlehem. It’s doubtful, but I’ll give them the benefit of that possibility and exclude my mention of this verse in my essay on Christianity, which I didn’t write for the purpose of debunking Mormonism anyway.
Assuming Mormons are right about Alma 7:10 not referring to the city of Jerusalem, there are plenty of other contradictions their religion has with the Bible, one of them being their doctrine that Jesus isn’t God. There was a point in time that God created the physical world (Gen. 1:1), so Jesus did have a beginning as a Man. But He has always existed as God. Jesus was fully God and fully Man, something the apostle Philip didn’t understand when asking Jesus to show him the Father (John 14:8). So why ask to see an invisible Spirit? Let me remind you that long before God was born into a human body and was named Jesus, He made Himself visible in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve saw Him. They hid themselves from Him in the Garden when they heard Him walking (Gen. 3:8). How He appeared at the time is anyone’s guess, so perhaps that is why Philip requested that Jesus show him the Father. Regardless of what he hoped to see, Jesus replied, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Philip was not being told he merely saw the good nature of the Father in Jesus. The apostles already knew Jesus lived righteously, and it’s clear that when Jesus asked Philip if he knew who He was, it was to get Philip to acknowledge he was looking at his Father God in the flesh. This is one among many verses to support the doctrine that Jesus is God.
There are numerous contradictions between what Mormons believe and what the Bible says, but rather than point them all out, I just want to admonish you to study Scripture so that you will know it when hearing an unbiblical doctrine. To use the common analogy of bank employees studying real money, getting familiar with the real thing is the best way to spot a counterfeit. With unique designs and paper composed of three-quarters cotton and one-quarter linen, true American bills look and feel a certain way. And as bankers reject what doesn’t look or feel right, so should Christians. I also want to add that Mormons being a minority among “Christian” sects is an argument I’d rather not use against them, because a doctrine isn’t true based on how many people accept it. I can’t stress it enough that Christians should rely on the Bible alone for what they believe. I don’t care how many scholars or how many churches promote a doctrine. If you aren’t sure about it, read the Bible to determine whether or not it’s true. If not, don’t be duped by it.
“Popluar doctrine” is just the kind of deception the Antichrist will use against loyal Christians in the last days. True Christians will be told something along the lines of, “The whole world accepts this as true except for a small group of people that includes you. Do you really think only you are right and everyone else is wrong? You’re in a cult!” That’s how true Christians will be viewed when churches fall into apostasy at a rate never seen before. In Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, he wrote, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition; [who is the Antichrist].” (II Thes. 2:3) Already we’re seeing this falling away with the interfaith movement that criticizes all “exclusive” religions. Billy Graham himself joined the interfaith heresy and claimed in an interview on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power that Jesus is not the only way to Heaven!
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