Mike Licona at the Baptist Press features the first in a three-part column on Mormonism and the question “Is it Christian?”
In today’s piece, he mentions three key beliefs of Mormons that differ from Christians:
— God was once a human as we are now, and progressed to become God. He is one of many gods.
— Man has the ability to progress and become a god.
— Jesus was the first spirit child of God the Father. Subsequent spirit children are angels and humans. Jesus is the son of God and a member of the Godhead, though these are not understood in the sense of biblical Christianity, since in Mormonism they are three individual Gods.
Watch the Baptist Press for the next two installments.
In the meantime, Licona points readers to 4truth.net, an apologetics site for information on and about Christianity, for more information about Mormonism (the site also deals with cults which have some similarities to Christianity).
One of the critical differences between Christianity and Mormonism is outlined like this at the 4truth.net site:
Salvation is release from the guilt and power of sin through God’s gift of grace. It is provided through Christ’s atonement and received by personal faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. (see Rom. 3:20; 10:9- 10; Eph. 2:8-10)
Jesus’ atonement provided immortality for all people. Exaltation (godhood) is available only to Mormons through obedience to LDS teachings: faith, baptism, endowments, celestial marriage, and tithing. “Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God-Wherefore, all things are theirs” (D&C, 76:58-59).
These are some of the blessings given to exalted people:
1. They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C, 76).
2. They will become gods.
3. They will have their righteous family members with them and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have the same relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father. They will be an eternal family.
4. They will receive a fullness of joy.
5. They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have – all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (See GP, p. 302).
Baptism for the dead provides post-mortem salvation for non-Mormons, and is “by immersion performed by a living person for one who is dead. This ordinance is performed in temples” (GP, p. 375). (See also GP, chapters 18-23.)