WE PRINT LETTERS FROM YOU, THE READERS. LETTERS MAY BE EDITED FOR BREVITY. WE REGRET THAT THE EDITOR CANNOT ENGAGE IN PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE. Editorial Comment (Ed) is by Philip L. Powell (PP) or B. Michael Bigg (MB)
DR GEORGE O. WOOD
New brush sweeps clean... hopefully
SINCE the last report (CETF 42 —December 2007) Philip Powell (PP) and George Wood (GW) have engaged in an extensive correspondence, some of which was witnessed. GW declined an offer from Jacob Prasch to personally meet with GW in the company of James Sundquist to discuss the Rick Warren Purpose Driven practice and its detrimental impact upon AG-USA. GW also graciously declined to discuss matters of concern re past and present AG credential holders outside of the appropriate credentialing bodies that he is responsible to. When PP drew GW’s attention to a ruling by one of the AG district’s to the effect that no AG credential holder could attend a non AG Church, in the light of GW’s admission that he had attended Rick Warren’s Saddle Back Church, he explained that the original letter was confusing and that the intent was to address AG ministers who were permanently attending a non-AG church, rather than just visiting. In the meanwhile Jeffrey Whittaker one of our CWM conference camp speakers (September 9-14, 2007) has resigned his credential and withdrawn his church from AG-USA over the concerns that he expressed at the camp and in previous CETFs. Obviously neither GW nor his denomination (AG-USA) is answerable to us. But so long as matters are covered up things will continue to ferment. George Wood is a theocrat. It is sincerely hoped that he will reflect on our comments about matters of public concern and will in his capacity as general superintendent reverse trends towards PDL (Purpose Driven Life) and redress the wrongs that were done to other good and godly men during the regime of his predecessor, Thomas Trask—refer http://www.christian-witness.org/aog/aog.html Jeffrey Whittaker observed:
Unfortunately the official policy out of Springfield is to refuse to answer any “detractors”. I was told by Brother Wood, “It only helps them build their mailing lists”. Voices within the movement are simply ignored or shamed into silence, and in the name of “nobility” and “taking the high road”, no true debate is permitted.
It is only too bad that the example left to us by the apostles is not emulated by the current generation of leaders who preside over their respective denominational corporations.Sadly, this practice merely perpetuates a self-reinforcing pattern of behaviour that allows the errors to remain entrenched. Political pragmatism rules the day in the “Grey Vatican” in Springfield, Missouri.
During our recent business meeting in which our local church body successfully withdrew from the AG corporation, Supt. Wood sent an email message along through our state supt. William Leech, in which he deliberately misrepresented the truth by stating that the AG-USA is not involved in global ecumenism in any way, thereby attempting to cast aspersions upon my leadership, and create confusion in the minds of our church family.
If one would try to respond to these inaccurate remarks, one would simply receive the reply that the activities within the World Council of Churches and the Vatican through Dr Cecil Robeck of Fuller Theological Seminary, as well as the other AG credential holders who recently signed the A Common Word Between Us and You document with the Islamic community are not doing anything “OFFICIAL” in the name of the denomination. Thankfully George Wood's misrepresentations only served to strengthen the resolve of our church as they voted over 95% to withdraw from the AG denomination. I turn the movement over to both God’s judgement and mercy.
Jacob Prasch wrote:
I made the offer to meet George Wood in good faith as a sincere gesture. He refuses to even discuss Purpose Driven. His theocratic mind is made up and he does not want to be confused with the facts. Theocratic politics prevails; truth, the Word of God, etc are irrelevant to him. The Lord has a way of dealing with such people (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 1 Kings 22: 19-23, John 12;40, Isaiah 6:10); He gives them over to the deceptions they choose and they are destroyed by them. In the true spirit of the Sanhedrin, such theocrats are not merely blind, but wilfully blind. We know how the Lord deals with theocrats like that (John 9: 39). If GW wants to be blind, God will blind him. Tragic—my offer was genuine. I simply wanted him to meet James Sundquist and myself and confront the facts. The only fact however is that the facts do not matter to him.
Meanwhile Steve Svendsen has written an open letter dated January 11 2008 to the AG-USA General Superintendent requesting him for a study on the Purpose Driven doctrines and drawing his attention to a letter of Sept 20, 2007—http://www.contending.org/woodresponse20070921.htm. We quote in part:
January 11, 2008—Mr Wood,
This month Purpose Driven will openly couple itself with Robert Schuller. Schuller is a heretic. ... This is the bedrock for Self Esteem doctrine and New Age pride. In addition, Schuller’s Rethink Conference is, by design, bound up in the dominionist/transformation ambitions that are manifest in several spheres. There are also other relationships that have come to light that document Purpose Driven as a New Age facilitator. You are a man of intelligence and wide ranging experience. Take action. Order a review of the developing Purpose Driven doctrines and call in those who have studied them. You would not be denigrating Mr Warren whom you so admire by simply ordaining a study. Warren can represent himself.
Here is a restatement of Purpose Driven Doctrines that must be examined;
Teaching Dominionism. Teaching Universalism. Teaching P.E.A.C.E. instead of the great commission. Teaching Contemplative Prayer, “breath prayers”, vain repetitions, (transcendental meditation, and altered states of consciousness) is a way to a closer walk with the God of the Bible. Teaching the use of Oaths. Teaching Self Esteem rather than man’s depravity. Teaching the Inherent Goodness of unregenerate, unrepentant man. Teaching “Evangelism” that does not declare the person and work of Jesus Christ or the unregenerate state of fallen man. Teaching the “church” is made up to include worldly Christians plus “World Class Christians”. Teachings that methodically apply scriptures to the unsaved that should only be applied to the church of Jesus Christ.
It is in your prerogative to take simple but essential actions that will benefit the elect of God. Those purchased with blood. Do not abstain.
Sincerely, Steve Svendsen.
WARREN UNDER FIRE
Mega church leader, Rick Warren, is coming under increasing fire from Christian leaders for his support of a leading pornographer. Check the link, pass it on: http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55616 —John H, The First Plumb-Line Church
POLITICS and PARTISAN PROPHETS
Though it seems so long ago this is in fact the first issue of CETF since the Australian federal election in which we have been able to make any comment regarding that event. We did comment in our CWM e-newsletter. As some of our hard print readers may have missed that we repeat some of it here:
At 10.35pm on Saturday evening November 24, 2007 John Howard admitted electoral defeat handing government to prime minister elect Kevin Rudd leader of the Australian Labor Party. Thus ended a remarkably successful eleven and half years of Liberal-National Coalition [“conservative”] rule and an even more extraordinary election. It was extraordinary on account of the number of Christians and Christian organisations who actively and yet abortively sought to influence the electorate. In so doing those Christians forsook their biblical mandate to an amazing degree. They acted in a overtly partisan manner, which is dangerous unless there are clear issues of right and wrong or of good and evil. Some got carried away with imagined ideas of having heard God’s voice and supposedly spoke on behalf of God, which is another very dangerous thing to do. An assessment is called for and a re-evaluation of any future participation in the political process by the prominent quasi Christian-social/political organisations in our great country.
FIRSTLY—We must pray for Kevin Rudd and the Labor party as they lead our country. This is not optional. It is a command of scripture – Pray “For kings, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2).
SECONDLY—Christians should stop being partisan in their praying. Here’s part of an email I received just after the election:
Dear Philip: Thank you so much for this article on the election. I know of a church that was meeting on Friday nights to pray against the election of Kevin Rudd. I urge people to pray FOR Kevin Rudd —CS, Northern NSW
Sadly in the build up to the election most of the Christian prayer meetings including the national ones held in Canberra were “loaded” with personal political preferences. I and CWM would not be party to them, because biblically it is wrong to be motivated by a party spirit. Even in the wake of the election some Christian organisations have showed their own bias by tacitly asking, “What went wrong?” Well did anything go wrong? The Australian public expressed their will in a pretty conclusive manner, just as they have done in previous elections. Both Salt Shakers and Catch-the-Fire seemed to take the view that the Liberal-Coalition Party was not returned because Christians were not united in prayer and purpose. Is their bias really showing?
THIRDLY—We should re-assess our ideas about true Christian leadership and carefully analyse those who are self-promoters such as Danny Nalliah of Catch-the-Fire. Based on his false prophecies, as detailed by CWM previously and his unrepentant honouring of the late Frank Houston who was a proven homosexual paedophile, Danny Nalliah should now be marked as a false prophet, notwithstanding the grandiose claims to his being an “apostle”. Of course false prophets are no longer stoned as in Old Testament times, however they should be disregarded and avoided. Mr Nalliah couldn’t have been more wrong. The only thing he had right was the election date—sometime in November. Clearly Danny Nalliah has had his own agenda ever since his claim to fame in the Islamic conflict with the Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal. CWM has long since been warning the Christian public to beware of what is going on. Catch-the-Fire borrowed their name from the false so-called Toronto Blessing movement. It is high time sane Christians awoke to what is going on. We need to examine the aggressive so-called Spiritual Warfare that Mr Nalliah and others engage in. It sends a wrong signal to the secular world and it is NOT biblical. Danny Nalliah’s claims of divine instruction allow Christians and Christianity to be ridiculed by humanists, secularists and the media alike—should they wish to push the issue.
(Re Danny Nalliah). There is a mistaken notion among those who call themselves prophets that they are the same as the Old Testament prophets. These self-appointed or self-acclaimed prophets are only trying to build their own image to gain glory for themselves. The New Testament prophetic ministry is different. Every ministry in the New Testament times must be modelled after Christ—grace and truth, love, holiness, selflessness etc. One should earnestly study the first principles of Christ. One needs only to listen and observe these so-called apostles and prophets to know their motives and agenda—they only draw attention to themselves and not to Christ. O the greed for power, popularity and mammon! How sad! The so-called ministers of Christ have lost their godly or Christly character that a Holy God and Father requires of His children.
—Dr Thomas, President, International Fellowship of Apostolic Faith Ministers
Dear Sir: Thank you for the publications you send me. Enclosed is my subscription costs. I am a fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian in my seventies. What caught my attention in the latest copy [CETF 37] was first the short message by C.H. Spurgeon Feeding Sheep or Entertaining Goats? Great title and words. The other was the short letter by BM —New Zealand [re any good fellowship in NZ]. Grace Baptist Church, Indus Street, Wanganui is such a church. Unfortunately the American pastor and his family have returned to the USA. I don’t have a computer or website so could you pass this information on —RAW, Wanganui
Dear CWM: Thanks for all your hard work. I pray the Lord would continue to help you to “earnestly contend for the faith”. It is greatly needed. Can you do an article on Brian McClaren and the emergent church, which is very disturbing. I have seen on BM’s website that he teaches “via purgative”1 and other such mystical things (contemplative prayer, lectio devina2 etc). I thought it would be good to expose these things. Yours in Christ, —SB, Papamoa NZ
Philip [CETF 40]: Did you read the comments people were writing in regarding the article about the church on the Sunshine Coast? It is very disturbing! They were fiercely defending these worldly methods. They don’t depend upon the Holy Spirit and personal evangelism—there has to be gimmicks. —Sherry Neese, Truth and Grace, USA
CWM RESOURCE IN NZ
I’m wondering whether it’s possible to order printed and recorded material here in New Zealand, and send a cheque to Wellington? Having to go through Australia really stops me from accessing your excellent materials. —RS, Christchurch
ED: This idea has been and is being investigated. Unfortunately due to the fact that we are a small organisation with no spare funds it is impossible for us to retain adequate stock in two outlets to make the operation viable. However airmail postage costs are quoted pro rata of the amount actually ordered, so are not much different for either country. It’s best for you if payment can be made by credit card.
FACTS ABOUT COPELAND
Shalom! You question Kenneth Copeland’s ministry ... Allow me to give you FACTS. I am a missionary based in X and teaching online and physically in Y and other places. I am a biologist and theologian (“biologian” was a term coined for my ministry by Dr Paul Nelson some years ago at an International Creation Congress in Sweden.) As a creationist I requested from Kenneth Copeland’s ministry a set of videos by Dr Carl Baugh. There were TWO sets. Evidences For Creation and Understanding Creation. I explained that my income was only about $40 a week and asked WHICH they recommended that I buy. They told me that I needed BOTH. I bought both. As a christian (sic) organisation I chose to trust them. They are of the SAME MATERIAL and the SAME SCRIPT but filmed on two separate occasions. The video slipcases clearly say JESUS IS LORD (presumably because those of us who know our Bibles know that you can’t SAY that; except by the Holy Ghost; The Bible doesn’t mention PRINTING IT to confuse suckers). I have to wrestle with the question of forgiveness. I request that YOU help to make sure that other Christians are not taken in by their “christian” (sic) claptrap. One HUGE problem is that “our” Indians are poor—seriously poor. I can feed and house a pastor for 3,000 rupees a month (that’s less than $100 US ). These people dream of getting a TV so they can watch God Channel and other Christian channels. Once they get a TV they are bombarded for the first time in their lives with the “tithe TO ME and god will bless you” message. So they contact a relative (frequently a Hindu businessman) who has a credit card and they make a deal with him to send $x per month to the TV evangelist. This has to be found from somewhere SO IT IS TAKEN FROM THE SUPPORT THEY GIVE THEIR OWN PASTOR (“after all; it’s all going to the Lord’s work”). Our pastors have been taught not to ask PEOPLE for money for their ministries; but to rely on The Boss (as you and I evidently do). Many haven’t much practice so at the first hurdle they function in the flesh and some of these pastors are leaving the ministry to earn a living so they can pay their rent and feed their families. This is the REAL fruit of the TV evangelism ministries. “By their fruit you shall know them”. My own view is very simple and I believe that it is biblical. Tithing is a part of the Law. “It is finished” was the end of the Law; it was fulfilled at Calvary. A New Testament comes into force when the testator DIES (Hebrews). The Law is a curse. Therefore, to tithe brings a curse upon a congregation. Why limit yourself to 10%? The Lord Jesus gave 100% at Calvary. My views are too extreme for many people. I’m used to it. Try being a creationist who is a scientist AND a theologian. My strongest resistance comes from theologians who don’t know enough about science. When the subject of tithing comes up during teaching, as it sometimes does, I am often not invited back to churches who depend on manipulating PEOPLE instead of trusting the Lord. Universities won’t pay me to tell their students that they are being sold a load of tripe in the name of science. Faculties of theology won’t pay me to tell their students that they are being sold a load of tripe in the name of theology. Churches daren’t employ me in case I tell their congregations that they are being sold a load of tripe in the name of tithing. So there isn’t much alternative to living by faith. It isn’t so much a matter of trying to be “holy”. More a matter of practical reality. I have long been praying that the Lord would EXPOSE, EXPOSE, EXPOSE the false prophets and materialistic worldly basis of much that passes in the name of ministry. The same sort of people are attracted to leadership in denominations and churches as are attracted to power and authority in ALL human organisations. Our Lord Jesus Himself warned us about doing the things the pagans do. Thank you; good to know there are others “out there” who are bringing these horrendous travesties of so called “faith” into the light! God bless! —MS, Finnish Missionary to India
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
CWM editorial comment: Those who have their doctrine seriously wrong as do Copeland and his followers will also have their living seriously wrong. Recently a well-known Australian “Copeland-ite” called Colin Stringer received an email notice advertising our Christmas Carol services. I received a response dated December 14 as follows: “Who would want to come to anything this ding-a-ling was running!” Amazingly this same Colin Stringer on January 5, 2008 wrote to one of our research writers: “It is sad when a supposed brother in the Lord cannot discuss a difference without resorting to insulting remarks”. This statement was made in the context of Stringer being challenged about some claims in his amazing book 800 Horsemen, which clearly contains distorted notions about the first world war battles leading to the liberation of Jerusalem. CWM may publish an in depth investigation of his book. For the present suffice it to point out the seeming duplicity of Mr Stringer and his throw away line about discussing differences without resorting to insults.
Dear Colin: On Friday, December 14, 2007 5:38pm you wrote an email (see below) in which you called me a “ding-a-ling”. I took that as an insult from one person who claims to be a Christian to another who likewise claims to be a Christian.
Do you agree? ... I am keen to make 2008 a year of “reconciliation” and peace—“as much as lies within me” (Romans 12:18). I hope to hear from you by return. Sincerely yours in Christ, Philip L. Powell.
As at the end of January 31st, 2008 there has been no response. Here’s those website links:
If you would like to make a public comment on the CWM blog, go to: http://www.christian-witness.org/blog/?p=10
If you want more information just do a Google search on his name “Col Stringer” —lots of stuff will come up.
AoG and COPELAND INFLUENCE
Dear Philip, I recently stumbled across the Christian Witness Ministries website (http://www.christian-witness.org/actwelcum.html) and have ordered your book Gathering the Faithful Remnant, which I look forward to reading. My wife and I have attended an independent charismatic fellowship since January. We have both grown significantly in our faith since joining this church, but not really as a result of their ministry. The church lacks any hint of discernment and is quick to latch onto any and every fad that raises its head. In the half year we’ve been there we’ve come across “Theophostic Prayer Ministry”; “The Emmaus Walk” (which I believe originated within a catholic order); a “Tenebrae service” before Easter (also with Catholic origins); and links to Toronto (pastor and family are there right now). The pastor also proudly told me that the fellowship at one time experienced a manifestation of gold dust. When I expressed reservations about the gold dust, he quoted the verses about our father not giving us a snake if we ask for a fish. I later read Toronto’s John Arnott answering his critics with this same excuse. I note that you deal with this in your sermon Who is the Vicar of Christ? I have recognised that even IF this excuse had some validity, it would be nullified by the wilful ignoring of the countless warnings of deception that can be found in almost every book of the New Testament. We cannot expect God’s protection from evils that He has Himself warned us to be aware of.
Now a little personal history… From my teens in the early 1970s, I had an on again-off again involvement with Christianity. I now recognise that I responded to a watered down “ask Jesus into your heart” gospel with a minimal emphasis on repentance. My faith was built on a faulty foundation. From the early to mid 1980s I became more committed with church involvement, spending many years with the Apostolic Church, followed by a year and a half with the AOG. My involvement was rewarded with leadership positions and regular preaching opportunities. During that time I was exposed to the Word Of Faith (WOF) teachings of the Copelands and my preaching drew heavily on their sermons. This influence did NOT come from either of the above mentioned fellowships. I was introduced to it by a few friends. Towards the end of 1986 I suddenly dropped away from the church. It was an extremely abrupt change and I can’t pinpoint any particular reason. However at this time I read Dave Hunt’s Seduction of Christianity which eroded my faith in the Copeland teachings. Around five years ago through a variety of circumstances my faith was renewed. I tried to find a suitable church but found nothing in my local area. My only “fellowship” until we arrived in Young late last year was via a Christian internet forum. It was a fiery and controversial group, but it gave me a rapid introduction to the very much changed “Christian” world and I was made aware of the concept of the apostate church. It also gave some perspective to my 20 years away from the church and the Lord. I realised that my former faith had been built upon the word of man; either the word of pastors and elders or the word of TV preachers. I had been too lazy to develop a firm relationship with the Lord for myself. My Bible reading was minimal, so I was easily influenced by what sounded good and never checked its scriptural validity for myself (I suspect this is the case with MOST professing Christians). It would be easy to regret so many years of neglect, but I realise that had I continued in my ways within the church, I would have easily fallen for any (or all) of the false movements that arose during those 20 years. My renewed faith has been a challenge. The diluted gospel I held to in the past has been replaced by a gospel that emphasises the importance of repentance. I have also found it hard to find genuine, uncompromised Christian fellowship. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to remain with the church we currently attend, but for the time being I believe I’m there for a purpose; based on Jude verses 20-23:
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Well, that’s an overlong introduction which will perhaps convey the reason for my eagerness to find groups of Christians such as your own that recognise the increasing dangers of deception as we move further into these last days. The extent of the deception within the present day church is VERY clear to me due to the massive changes I can see between my earlier church involvement and today. Things were far from ideal in the mid-eighties; but today the situation has worsened incredibly. Bless you, —TS, Young, NSW
Hi Philip: God is raising up men of integrity to challenge the false teaching of tithing which pervades His church worldwide and brings the Gospel into disrepute...Your article is very good in the way it challenges this heresy [http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/cetf2006/tithing37.html]. If the church is not faithful with worldly riches (especially in demanding money from the poor under a false and lying doctrine)...how can they be trusted with true spiritual riches—i.e. the glory of the presence of God? The teaching of tithing has stopped hundreds of millions of people from being prepared to come to churches to hear the gospel as they perceive (often correctly) that ‘all the churches are after is your money’. I spoke to the pastor at my church about how the Word of God was being misquoted frequently about tithing and gave him my notes. It seems to have touched something. We all know God does not give us permission to tamper with his Word. Regards, —CS, BRISBANE
You may have to copy-paste this URL into your browser. It will take you to a cartoon, in which the theology and eschatology of Mormonism is exposed as an attempt to re-explain Jesus. This could be FUNNY if there were not a MORMON creeping towards the presidency of the USA. This insane story and false history of the world is what Mitt Romney wants to bring along into the peak of American power. Also keep an eye on Glenn Beck (CNN) a self-confessed MORMON. Mitt Romney (the Mormon) actually has the most “delegates” (they are like “points”) towards gaining the Republican nomination for the presidency. To think that someone so disconnected from reality that he believes the pagan fairy-tale of Mormonism is aspiring to lead the world’s most powerful nation is indeed frightening. —DF, USA
Dear Philip, I was just about shocked out of my computer chair when I received this emailer yesterday from the apologetics ministry, Let Us Reason, and the article by Mike Oppenheimer, Living in a Time of Confusion, in which he quoted Joel Osteen’s statements about a Mormon presidential hopeful in the USA. Osteen is the pastor of the largest church in the USA in Houston (and a charismatic). He claims that “Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his saviour, and that’s what I believe”. Osteen admitted that he does not know much about Mormonism. I have written a post for the Christian Fellowship Forum (http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?redirCnt=2&msg=117851.1&nav=messages&webtag=ws-fellowship I’m OzSpen.) that I have included below. This is abominable stuff when the pastor of the largest church in the USA thinks that Jesus, the brother of Satan (Mormonism), is the same Saviour that he worships. This sounds like a good kind of challenge in an article for Contending Earnestly for the Faith. I trust that you and Kath will have a happy New Year.
Joel Osteen the pastor of the largest church in America [Lakewood Church in Houston] has recently endorsed the largest cult in history with his comments on this matter. In an interview on Fox News Sunday (Chris Wallace) just before Christmas:
CHRIS WALLACE: And what about Mitt Romney? And I’ve got to ask you the question, because it is a question whether it should be or not in this campaign, is a Mormon a true Christian?
OSTEEN: Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his saviour, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are. And so, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me, and I don’t think he would—anything would stop me from voting for him if that’s what I felt like.
CHRIS WALLACE: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?
OSTEEN: I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know. I certainly can’t say that I agree with everything that I’ve heard about it, but from what I’ve heard from Mitt, when he says that Christ is his saviour, to me that’s a common bond. (source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,318054,00.html, Sunday, December 23, 2007)
Maybe in Osteen’s mind he is preaching the gospel too, but the fact is we go to the Bible to see what the gospel is and is not, and what a person is required to believe to be a Christian. Osteen is so ill-informed it is shocking, admitting he knows next to nothing about this cult that claims to be a restoration of the church. If we take his opinion as true—(which many will)—every cult could be part of the church. And left up to pastors like himself that is exactly where we are headed. This is something I and others have been warning of for years. This is shameful that a pastor over this many people has no Bible knowledge or even street smarts on this subject. Of course him trying to be spiritually correct in the public did not help his position but it does show he is not a shepherd that protects sheep.
Romney on the other hand has assured the people that he will not let his (Mormon) faith influence his decisions. Which to me says that his faith is not really part of his life. I can’t imagine any Christian stating this. [You can read the full interview with Joel Osteen by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, 23 December 2007 at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,318054,00.html
Who is this Jesus of Mormon teaching? This Mormon article, Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Saviour (http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,11-1-13-6,00.html, states:
We needed a Saviour to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, “Whom shall I send?” (Abraham 3:27). Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27).
Jesus was willing to come to the earth, give his life for us, and take upon himself our sins.
He, like our Heavenly Father, wanted us to choose whether we would obey Heavenly Father’s commandments. He knew we must be free to choose in order to prove ourselves
worthy of exaltation. Jesus said, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2).Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honour” (Moses 4:1). Satan wanted to force us all to do his will. Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose. He would take away the freedom of choice that our Father had given us. Satan wanted to have all the honour for our salvation ... After hearing both sons speak, Heavenly Father said, “I will send the first” (Abraham 3:27). [Emphasis added]
So, the Jesus Christ, whom John Osteen wants to identify with the Mormon political candidate, Mitt Romney, who stated that he “believes in Christ as his saviour” and Osteen adds,”and that’s what I believe”, is the brother of Satan. The Mormon Jesus is a totally different Jesus to the Jesus of the Bible. The One whom I worship is the eternal Son of God and had nothing whatsoever to do with the family of Satan.
The NT Jesus is this One who is described as the Word in John 1:1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Philippians 2:6).
He was equal with God.
The Jesus who offers salvation through his death on the cross is God and not the brother of Satan.
Sincerely, —Spencer Gear, QLD
Please watch for Ed Barclay’s concluding article, Children of a Clayton's God: An insight into Mormonism—Part 6 God willing in CETF #44 (June 2008).