Glenn Beck’s Christianity

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Glenn Beck, famous libertarian talk radio host, is an ex-Catholic who converted to Chrislam, a.k.a. Mormonism.  This term has sprouted about because there are quite a few striking similarities between Islam and Mormonism.

1.) Both Islam and Mormonism reject the Holy Trinity, thus are not Christian sects.

2.) Both Islam and Mormonism prohibit the consumption of alcohol.

3.) Like Islam, the largest Mormon denomination once permitted polygamy.

4.) Both prophets of Islam and Mormonism fought in wars that were religiously motivated.

5.) Both Islam and Mormonism came much later after the foundation of Christianity, Mormonism far later.

6.) Both prophets of Islam and Mormonism are claimed to have received the complete gospel from an angel of God.

7.) Both Islam and Mormonism reject original sin.

There are a number of other similarities.  Sure, there are plenty of differences, but the similarities are greater than between Catholicism and Islam which is almost null.  Yet, James White and others claim Catholicism and Islam have a connection; of course, they are conspiracy theorists.  All these similarities mean they have one thing in common: novelty.  Both rejected the ancient faith founded upon Scripture and Tradition to give themselves legitimacy.  Both claim the Scriptures as theirs although they wouldn’t know what constituted as Scripture had it not been for the Church Fathers and the formalization thereof in the 4th century at the Councils of Carthage, Hippo and Rome.  This was the universal (Catholic) Canon of Scriptures which we have today which Mormonism has taken as its own whilst adding a new religious texts called the Book of Mormon — along with other texts — just as Islam claimed the Quran to be the perfected written word of God.  Yet like Islam, the revelations unique to Islam do not stand the test of time.  Where and when did the Church practice polygamy or prohibition of alcohol or believe in three gods in one Godhead [1]?

Mormonism is not a Christian sect namely because they deny the Holy Trinity and so they have no valid Baptism.  To be a member of the Church you must be validly baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”; yet while Mormon ministers of baptism do use this phrase, it is not with the mind of the Church [2].  At the same time the reason goes far beyond that; Mormonism rejects all of Christian history between the 2nd and 19th centuries.

It gives them a lot of leeway to ignore subjective arguments from Sacred Tradition in favor of their personal interpretation of Sacred Scripture.  Yet, it says the ignorant and unstable distort them to their own destruction [3], and the Church is “the pillar and foundation of truth” [4], and against this Church the gates of Hell could never prevail [5].  Quite logically there could have been no great apostasy as Hell can never prevail against the Church, thus the Church must always remain visible and manifest to the world.  Mormons can only claim continuity through the Nephites in North America, yet there is no archaeological evidence of Christianity before the 11th century with Leif Erikson in North America.  Furthermore there are no written documents about Christianity’s existence in the Americas prior to the 11th century.  The Book of Mormon even uses several names alien to the Hebrew language: i.e. Omni, Moroni, Nephi and Mosiah.  There were allegedly Hebrew temples in North America when under the Old Covenant there could only be one Temple where the Ark of the Covenant was and that was Jerusalem.  In many ways Mormonism makes Islam seem credible.

Since they reject Christian history from the 2nd to 19th century, they have no way of knowing if the Scriptures they read really are authentic Scripture since they reject all those Church Fathers who stated these Scriptures were authentic and not equal to the Gnostic writings.  Thus, they cannot use Scripture to support their Mormon claims and they furthermore cannot use the Book of Mormon due to the lack of archaeological and documented evidence of its authenticity.  Some Mormons might get offended to hear Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox say they are not Christian, but if they reject the Holy Trinity in favor of a triad of gods in addition to the plurality of gods and reject most of Christian history, then how can you claim any more legitimacy than the Muslims or the Baha’i in claiming to be Christians?  After all, Islam does profess Jesus to be the Christ, the Word and a prophet [6].  Likewise the Baha’i faith professes Jesus to be one of many prophets in addition to Muhammad [7].

So, going back to Glenn Beck he shows he lacks a knowledge of history not just by believing in the Book of Mormon, but in what he says about the Council of Nicaea and other Catholic topics.  I generally do not cite Mark Shea or read his articles due to his divisive remarks about other Catholics, but he does make a great point against Glenn’s fallacious comments about Christian history [8].

[1] History of the Church 6:474, Doctrine and Covenants 121:32, Abraham 4:26, 5:2-16.20

[2] Council of Trent, Session VII, Canon 4 (Denzinger 860); Code of Canon Law 861 §2

[3] 2 Peter 3:16

[4] 1 Timothy 3:15

[5] Matthew 16:18

[6] Quran 4:171

[7] Stockman, Robert. Baha’i Studies Review 2:1.

[8] Shea, Mark. NCRegister: But I Learn So Much from Glenn Beck!. <http://www.ncregister.com/blog/mark-shea/but_i_learn_so_much_from_glenn_beck&gt;.

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