John R. Houk
© October 13, 2011
I am a Christian. Christians are those that believe Jesus Christ was crucified, buried for three days and Resurrected to ultimately sit at the right hand of the Father. Christians believe that Jesus is God incarnate as son of the Father hence the Son of God; the same yesterday, today and forever as the eternal God without beginning or ending. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit was the vehicle that impregnated the then virgin Mary that made Jesus human (I believe fully human and fully God) to have the ability to redeem humanity from the grip of Satan attained by the betrayal of Adam in the Garden of Eden.
This is the simplicity of Christ that all Christians believe. It is on minor theological points that Christians disagree on such theology as whether or not the Holy Spirit proceeds from just the Father or both the Father and the Son. These are the minor points that Christians have warred over and persecuted each other even though there was agreement on the major points that define a Christian, Christ the Lord and Redemption.
Now there have been authentic heresies that have sprung from Christianity that not only disagreed on the minors but also on the majors. Christian Gnosticism is one example:
A one-sentence description of Gnosticism: a religion that differentiates the evil god of this world (who is identified with the god of the Old Testament) from a higher more abstract God revealed by Jesus Christ, a religion that regards this world as the creation of a series of evil archons/powers who wish to keep the human soul trapped in an evil physical body, a religion that preaches a hidden wisdom or knowledge only to a select group as necessary for salvation or escape from this world.
The term "gnostic" derives from "gnosis," which means "knowledge" in Greek. The Gnostics believed that they were privy to a secret knowledge about the divine, hence the name. (Huxley coined "agnosticism" on the basis that all knowledge must be based on reason. We cannot rationally claim to have access to knowledge that is beyond the powers of the intellect.) [Gnostics, Gnostic Gospels, & Gnosticism; Early Christian Writings – link above]
Now I have thought of Mormonism as a modern offshoot of Christianity through a Gnostic lens. Check this out from author Lance S. Owens:
The intrinsic and true American religion, pronounces Bloom in his widely reviewed book, is a kind of Gnosticism – alone a surprising enough declaration. But in evidence of this American Gnosis and as first hero of his story, Bloom gives us Joseph Smith. Of the man himself, he judges:
Other Americans have been religion makers....but none of them has the imaginative vitality of Joseph Smith's revelation, a judgment one makes on the authority of a lifetime spent in apprehending the visions of great poets and original speculators.... So self-created was he that he transcends Emerson and Whitman in my imaginative response, and takes his place with the great figures of our fiction."1
And of his religious creation,
The God of Joseph Smith is a daring revival of the God of some of the Kabbalists and Gnostics, prophetic sages who, like Smith himself, asserted that they had returned to the true religion....Mormonism is a purely American Gnosis, for which Joseph Smith was and is a far more crucial figure than Jesus could be. Smith is not just 'a' prophet, another prophet, but he is the essential prophet of these latter days, leading into the end time, whenever it comes.2
Brooke notes the "striking parallels between the Mormon concepts of coequality of matter and spirit, of the covenant of celestial marriage, and of an ultimate goal of human godhood and the philosophical traditions of alchemy and Hermeticism [SlantRight Editor: HERE is a great concise article on Hermeticism], drawn from the ancient world and fused with Christianity in the Italian Renaissance." Of course, in this light Harold Bloom's poetic reading of Joseph Smith as a "Gnostic" takes on broadened nuances: though unnoted by Bloom, Smith's religion-making imagination was allied in several ways with remnants of an hermetic tradition frequently linked to gnosticism. (Joseph Smith: America's Hermetic Prophet; Lance S. Owens; Gnosis Archives)
Below is the part of the article linking Joseph Smith to Gnosticism:
… Within humankind there is an immortal spark of intelligence, taught the Prophet, a seed of divine intellect or light which is "as immortal as, and coequal with, God Himself." God is not, however, to be understood as one and singular. Turning to Hebrew and an oddly Kabbalistic exegesis of the first three words of Genesis (an exegesis probably taken directly from the Zohar), Smith pronounced there are a multitude of Gods emanated from the First God, existing one above the other without end. He who humankind calls God was Himself once a man; and man, by advancing in intelligence, knowledge – consciousness – may be exalted with God, become as God.
Near the beginning of his ministry in 1833, Smith declared "the glory of God is intelligence", eternal and uncreated. Those who wish to find in him a Gnostic have pointed out that Smith used the word "intelligence" interchangeably with "knowledge" in his prophetic writings during this period. Indeed, they suggest, his words might be read poetically to proclaim God's glory is Gnosis – a Gnosis that saves woman and man by leading them together to a single uncreated and intrinsically divine Self.
I have led up to this point on Mormonism because in my estimation the religion is a cult that aims to be grouped with Christianity yet is apart from the major tenets that defines Christianity.
It may be offensive to Mormons that I point out that their faith is not a Christian faith and hence I stand against it. As a Christian it is my right to stand against the LDS just as it is the right of followers of Mormon cultism to have the right to propagate their religion. That last sentence is a very salient because it has to do with Religious Freedom and Free Speech in America. The only problem I have with Mormonism is its aim to evangelize Christians as if they are deceived. It is up to the Christian to buy into the deception or register “no sale”. A follower of Mormonism absolutely has the right to follow and proclaim their faith to America and humanity as far as I am concerned.
There is the gigantic Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS), the much lesser Reformed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) and a handful of splinter Mormon groups that are determined to follow the Mormonism of the LDS founder and the LDS next in command. The first two Mormon groups especially are supportive of the U.S. Constitution at least as far as the First Amendment goes. They are supportive of American Liberty, Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Now I will rail against Mormonism as an anti-Christ theological movement; however the followers of Mormonism that are devout plug into Christian values of right and wrong as well as to what is sin and that which is not sin. I will not vote for a Mormon for a political Office because of my Christian beliefs UNLESS the only alternative is a greater evil. The example of a greater evil is intolerant Islam that would propagate by the sword if it had the strength to do so. Another example of a greater evil is a godless atheist (usually with Marxist underpinnings) that has a vision to eliminate Christianity as well as all religious faiths which would include the limitation or the elimination of First Amendment rights in order to transform America into a Left Wing utopia. Incidentally a Left Wing utopia will always be the goal presented to the people but will never arrive because a godless human nature can never give up the notion of absolute power to bring about an actuation of utopia. Hence, the utopia goal will always be presented but the perpetual use of authoritarianism will be maintained in the name of transformation to get to the elusive utopian goal.
Now that I have established will look at a Conservative Mormon candidate for anything, let’s look at Mitt Romney.
I am never going to vote for Mitt Romney in any primary I am able to vote in. Why? If you have read this far the answer is obvious – Romney is a Mormon. On the other hand of Romney is unwisely selected by the rest of the Republican Party to face President Obamunist, I will vote for Romney.
I will vote for Romney even if his Conservative credentials are not exactly stellar. President Obama has placed such a burden of guilt to the entire world by globetrotting with an apology for American past actions for all the evils that have beset the world that he projected that America is evil rather than the fact that America is more responsible for spreading Liberty globally than any other nation. Were international toes stepped on as we proceeded or continue to proceed with American largesse? Sure, toes were stepped on. If American National Interests are not preserved, the America that has given tons of money both as a government and as individual donors would disappear. Americans do not want to disappear. If the nations that spew hatred toward America would examine their past (ESPECIALLY EUROPEANS), a greater appreciation of America’s largesse should be appreciated. Without the American military umbrella and post WWII reconstruction on the American taxpayer dime, most of Europe and Germany in particular, would not have attained a Western standard of prosperity that it now has. Sure Europe is suffering a bit in the economic realm; however that is more because they invested their economy in developing a democratic socialism (money freed from spending military defense from the likes of the USSR and present day Russia) than in building free market sustainability.
Frankly I am looking at Herman Cain or Michele Bachman as choices for the GOP nomination before I vote before Romney. As much as I loathe Libertarian slanted Ron Paul, I would even vote for him before I would vote for Romney. Nonetheless, if Romney wins the nomination I will vote for him to make sure President BHO does not win.
The inspiration for these thoughts on a Romney candidacy comes from a WND Article by Joe Kovacs entitled “Mormon bishop's daughter spills Romney's 'secrets' ...” The article delves into a Mormon Conspiracy Theory that there is a Mormon agenda to get Mitt Romney elected for some purpose to benefit Mormons in America. Is that true? You will have to read that and decide for yourself.
Mormon bishop's daughter spills Romney's 'secrets' ...
'Would you trust the judgment of a man if he truly believes he's gonna be a god?'
By Joe Kovacs
Posted: October 12, 2011 8:10 pm Eastern
© 2011 WND
The daughter of a Mormon bishop who has abandoned her family's faith claims in a new book the election of Mitt Romney to the presidency would put the U.S. in danger due to what she calls the Republican's "outrageous," "horrific" and "mind-controlling" beliefs.
"While he attempts to portray Mormonism as just another Christian religion, Mitt Romney counts on his skills to shift our attention away from what he truly believes," says Tricia Erickson, author of "Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? The Mormon Church Versus the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America."
"If the American people knew what he truly believed, they would surely not place him in the highest office in the land."
Yet others, such as professor Bushman, a Mormon and previous missionary himself who has taught at Harvard, Columbia and Brown Universities, are defending the faith. He calls Erickson "disillusioned" and someone who "instead of walking away felt an obligation to discredit [her] former faith."
Find out what's really in the Bible and what's not, and learn your spectacular destiny that's rarely ever discussed in church in this autographed No. 1 best-seller!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the official name for Mormonism, has rocketed into the national consciousness this month since Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Rick Perry supporter who pastors the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, said Romney was "not a Christian" and that Mormonism is a "cult."
"Part of a pastor's job is to warn his people and others about false religions, "Jeffress said Sunday, standing by his controversial remarks. "Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Mormonism are all false religions."
In her book, Erickson paints an unflattering picture of the Mormon faith, which counts not only the former Massachusetts governor as a member, but also fellow GOP presidential contender Jon Huntsman, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., radio talk-show host Glenn Beck, singer Gladys Knight, actresses Amy Adams and Katherine Heigl, "Napoleon Dynamite" actor Jon Heder, entertainers Donny and Marie Osmond, and sports stars including the NFL's Steve Young, Danny White and Merlin Olsen.
Erickson says Romney believes:
· He will become a "god" in the afterlife and be given his own planet
· Satan is Jesus' literal brother
· Jesus was not born of a virgin birth
He will be given his own afterlife kingdom where he will have sexual relations with his wife, Ann, to populate his kingdom with spirit children as God the Father Himself has a wife on His own planet.
"Mormonism teaches we pre-existed on God the Father's planet as spirit children before we were planted in our mother's wombs," Erickson told WND. "And the reason why we're here according to Mormonism, is so that we can work out our own progression to godhood and our own planets themselves."
The author, who herself was married in a Mormon temple at age 19 but now considers herself a non-denominational Christian, says there's a secret agenda Mormon officials don't like to talk about publicly.
"A complete takeover of the government," she said. "They have more people in the CIA, the FBI. They have an employment office for Mormons in D.C. to be able to infiltrate them into the government."
"They've been trying since the beginning to get someone in the presidency, because they believe they have to establish their authority so when Jesus comes to Earth, the Mormon Church will take control of the government and the Mormons will be the government of God on Earth," she continued.
Erickson says her main concern is that the leader of the free world have the ability to discern fact from fiction.
"It may be crucial to our survival," she said. "If his beliefs are distorted, which they unequivocally are, why would it not be be (sic) critical to our existence to protect our country from being placed in the hands of such a person?"
When asked for specific rituals she considers bizarre, Erickson claims Romney and other Mormons take part in clandestine marriage ceremonies involving "outrageous" customs. Explaining her own Mormon wedding, she says she was forced to completely disrobe against her will.
"It was horrific," she told WND. "There I was standing naked. They brought this bowl of water, and started washing my body down and whispering prayers over my body. They stopped over the right and left breast, the navel and knees and prayed specific prayers."
To help ensure the general public did not learn details of the rituals, she says believers took a symbolic knife to feign their own murder if members spilled the beans of what really goes on behind closed doors.
"They actually had us slashing our guts open and our guts falling to the ground if we told people of the secret dogma of the ceremonies," Erickson said.
"Mitt is not a casual Mormon," she told online interviewer Thom Hartmann, noting Romney has reached the upper echelons of the faith. "There is no way that he will be able to not listen to the [Mormon] prophet. His eternal salvation depends on it. He has to put the church first over country."
When pressed about what some may consider the strange beliefs of other faiths, Erickson said of Romney, "I kind of believe, you know, that he should be completely sane and he should have discernment and good judgment. I mean if the man truly believes he's gonna become a god, would you trust the judgment of somebody like that?"
The Boston Globe reported in 2006 that Romney's political team quietly consulted with leaders of the Mormon Church to map out plans for a nationwide network of Mormon supporters to help Romney capture the presidency in 2008.
Officials with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told WND they're well aware of Erickson's book, but were reluctant to respond to Erickson's assertions. Spokeswoman Jessica Moody says she encourages everyone to read the church's core beliefs as well as articles of faith posted online.
Regarding the plan, the LDS church states, "The mortal existence is seen in the context of a great sweep of history, from a pre-Earth life where the spirits of all mankind lived with Heavenly Father to a future life in His presence where continued growth, learning and improving will take place."
At the Values Voters Summit in the nation's capital over the weekend, Romney defended his beliefs, saying, "Almost all Americans live for a purpose greater than ourselves. Our heritage of religious faith and tolerance has importantly shaped who we have become as a people. We must continue to welcome faith into the public square and allow it to flourish. Our government should respect religious values, not silence them. We will always pledge our allegiance to a nation that is under God."
Bushman, meanwhile, says people need to remember that many faiths have doctrines and customs that other people find hard to fathom.
"To my way of thinking the idiosyncrasies of Mormon belief and practice are not the issue; Catholic belief in transubstantiation and Protestant belief in the resurrection [of Jesus] can be made to look silly, too," he told in reaction to Erickson.
"The question is Mitt Romney's independence. Will he pursue the public good as he rationally understands it, or will he bow to the judgment of Church leaders? Does his religion force him to be a puppet? Here we can turn to history for an answer. Temple-attending, believing Mormons have held national office for over a century now. Is there a single instance where they have succumbed to church direction against their own consciences. I do not know of one myself."
Earlier this week, WND posted a non-scientific, interactive poll in which readers were asked to sound off on Mormonism as a factor in the presidential race.
With more than 1,200 participants, the top response with 25 percent of the votes was, "Because it denies divinity of Jesus and salvation by faith alone, it is a cult, and a Mormon candidate should never be elected president."
In second place with 19 percent was, "If anyone doesn't appear to be a true Christian, it's the current occupant of the White House."
Mormonism and Conservative Politics
John R. Houk
© October 13, 2011
Mormon bishop's daughter spills Romney's 'secrets' ...
Joe Kovacs is an award-winning journalist, executive news editor for WND and author of the No. 1 best-selling book "Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You've Never Been Told."
Copyright 1997-2011 All Rights Reserved. WorldNetDaily.com Inc.
Copyright 1997-2011 All Rights Reserved. WorldNetDaily.com Inc.