Recently Joel Osteen did an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. During the interview Blitzer asked Osteen whether he viewed Mitt Romney, a possible Republican candidate for president, as a Christian. Osteen’s answer is a sad example of the lack of biblical discernment that is practiced in our post-modern Christian community. Osteen said, “When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God, that he’s the Christ, raised from the dead, that he’s his Savior, that’s good enough for me.” The pastor also went on to say that he wants to be “inclusive” and welcoming to those who claim they accept Christ. Osteen also stated in the interview that despite some differences, he sees Mormons “as brothers in Christ.”
Let’s look at these statements with a little biblical discernment. Mormon doctrine teaches that Jesus and Satan were spirit brothers and sons of God before the spirit of Jesus was given a body by Mary in Bethlehem. The Mormon “Book of Moses” presents Satan and Jesus as contending for the privilege of taking a body of flesh in order to become the redeemer, with Jesus winning the contest. [See Joseph Smith, Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses 4:1-4.] Mormonism also teaches that Jesus was the physical son of God the Father and Mary, and that there is nothing in His life more than what is attainable by anyone else.
The Word of God teaches something radically different. We learn that Jesus is God eternally, not just a spirit brother who won the contest to become our redeemer. Mormons hold that Jesus is little more than an angelic being who won a sort of WWF contest with Satan so that he could get a body and be the redeemer. Had Satan won this “redeemer match” . . . he would have been our savior! What a horrible perversion of biblical truth! Jesus Christ is THE creator (John chapter 1) and He created Lucifer—who subsequently fell and was cast out of heaven when he desired to be God. The Word of God also teaches that Jesus was NOT just the physical son of God the Father and Mary. He was physically a man—yet was God of very God as well. Unfortunately pastor Osteen has not grasped this radical difference. Therefore he has validated Gov. Romney as a Christian without adequately questioning just which Jesus he received. The maze of Mormonism is solved by having them define the Christian-sounding words they use—for they often have radically different meanings than those used by classic Christianity. Truly this is where we learn that the devil is in the details (especially when it comes to who else was in the devil’s family!) But, as pastor Osteen said, he is far more interested in inclusion. But inclusion without examination will lead to a fatal dilution of true biblical doctrine. But that is what happens when we do not practice biblical discernment. We tend to value inclusiveness rather than truth. Yet from what I read in the Bible about the final judgment—God is not exactly inclusive. He doesn’t just want us to “get along,” He commands us to “get right.” That is not possible with a Jesus who is the spirit brother of Satan. That requires a Jesus who is the God-man. It requires that Jesus be God of very God, sinless, spotless, and able to die as a payment for our sins. That, though, requires more discernment than pastor Osteen is willing to obtain. This requires asking questions - hard questions - discerning questions - questions that separate - questions that promote truth. It requires discriminating between the Jesus of Scripture and the Jesus of Mormonism. It is my hope that one day Gov. Romney meets a pastor who is far more concerned with his eternal destiny than in getting kudos from the folks at CNN for his inclusiveness.
Most of these articles are taken from the Calvary Courier, a weekly newsletter that is sent to the folks who attend Calvary Chapel Jonesboro. Due to the response to these articles, we've decided to print some of them which proved to be very helpful to God's people at the fellowship.
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