Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is Glenn Beck a false prophet?

I used to watch Glenn Beck because I agreed with his politics. I remember the first time I watched his show when he was on CNN. I immediately thought to myself, 'what is this guy doing on CNN? I bet he won't last long.' Sure enough, about 5 months later he was on Fox.

Although I knew he is a Mormon, I hung in there with him until I sensed he was using his platform for Mormonism. News pundits are paid to give the news and form opinions on them, and to host roundtables where other people espouse opinions. As long as Beck was doing that, I felt OK to watch him. I really enjoyed his teachings early on at the chalkboard on our political system. He did a great job of referring our thoughts and our hearts back to the founding principles of our nation. Really, the political lessons he gave on TV were magnificent. He also alerted a great many people to the truth of the Twelver Muslim beliefs, and that was valuable too.

But then I sensed he was slipping Mormonism into his show. I was NOT OK with that. He rapidly became a kind of Christian leader that biblical evangelicals gravitated to and I was not OK with that. This article is good: Some evangelicals on defensive over partnering with Glenn Beck, a Mormon:

"A handful of prominent evangelical activists are defending their decision to attend television host Glenn Beck's conservative rally in Washington this weekend after some Christians complained that evangelicals shouldn't be partnering with Beck because of his Mormon faith.Video: Glenn Beck rally stirs controversy"There is no need to 'de-Christianize' each other over the matter," wrote Jim Garlow, an influential California pastor, in a five-page memo this week arguing that evangelicals can attend Beck's rally and partner with the television and radio personality in good conscience."Glenn Beck is being used by God - mightily," Garlow wrote in the memo, which was obtained by CNN. "The left loves to slam him and do so viscerally and often with vulgarities. Glenn is not perfect... But his expose on America's sins is stellar."

I disagree with the partnering. I disagree with the statement that God is using him. If Beck is not Christian then satan is using him. Those are the only two options. God, or satan. Now, God did use Darius in a mighty way and He has used other pagans for His plan. I'm not saying God can't use a non-saved person. But Beck's rise to Christian prominence while not being a Christian makes me wary.

My go-to guy, John MacArthur answered a Mormon issue at a Q&A . He wasn't addressing Glenn Beck (because it was in 1983) but he is answering a question about what to do if a Mormon comes to your house proselytizing. Here is a partial transcript.

QUESTIONER: Hi, Jesus commanded us to go out and preach the gospel. The question I have this, was Jehovah witnesses or Mormons if they come to your door it says in 2 John not to even let them in...

JOHN: Right.

QUESTIONER: ...or to bid them God speed. Are we to do this? Are we to send them away with that or are we to witness to them? Where do we draw the line?

JOHN: Well, when 2 John says if you bid them God speed you become a partaker and their evil deeds. The assumption there is if you encourage them along the way in their work. That's...that's what it's really saying. If they come to you and preach another doctrine and another Christ and you encourage them, God speed, you know, have a good day, nice going fellow, you know, whatever, and you sort of scurry them along in the work and encourage them, then you become a partaker in their evil deeds. You're an accomplice to their evil deeds.

QUESTIONER: Then we are to confront them.

JOHN: Yeah, I think that...this is the way I would handle...this is the way I handle those people. If they come to the door. I say, "I'm very happy to talk to you if you'd like to hear what I have to say. I do not care to hear what you have to say."

QUESTIONER: Wow.

JOHN: "Because I know the truth out of the Word of God. But if you'd like to hear what I believe to be the Word of God or if you'd like give me your address I'll send you some tapes and so forth, but I really am not interested in giving you a platform to articulate heresy and lies." It doesn't do you any good. That kind of teaching eats like a gangrene. That kind of thing confuses and creates doubts, and it needs to be confronted. Boy, I remember one time when a guy in our church got into Mormonism, and there were a couple of Mormon...everybody's a Mormon Bishop of one kind of another I guess, and they were over at his house. And I was so angry at this proselytizing of this guy, that I went over there and I just confronted all of them."

"And I...I gave them a hell fire damnation message, just to three people. You know, just to...as strongly as I could. I consigned them to eternal damnation for blasphemy. And I mean, they got on their bicycles and you never saw...you don't normally lay rubber on a bicycle, but they were gone out of there. But the thing...the redeeming thing in my own mind is this, and I wasn't trying to be unkind. I was trying to startle them. And I think that when we give them a platform and we don't confront them with a horror of the lies they propound in a sense, we tacitly send them on their way with the God speed. You need to nail them, I think in love, but just in prophetic indignence about the heresy they espouse. That's what I think. And then remember this, if you do it in love, you may find...now in this case because of the seriousness of it, I really burst out, there are times when...when a cult comes along, I'll be sensitive to it, and if I see that they're somewhat vulnerable, if they're the Bishops or one of those kinds of people, I just go after them."

And then there was a follow-up question asking what to do if a Mormon wants to join your bible study:

JOHN: ...you need to be sensitive if he wants to join your Bible study and you sense there's a hungry heart. You know, the truth can...the truth can overpower the lie. But if he is firmly entrenched and sees as a way to gain territory, then you've got a deal with that. That's a gangrene. That's a leaven."

I see Beck as a person who wants to gain territory, not partner with biblical Christians so as to learn the truth. Therefore the 2 John 1:10-11 verse comes in: "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work."

We cannot follow Beck, partner with him, or I believe, even attend his functions, because if a person does not follow Jesus Christ (the Jesus of the bible), then the truth is not in them and they are an antichrist:

"but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." (1 John 4:3)

"Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist." (2 John 1:7)

Beck sounds almost right. But Charles Spurgeon said that discernment is not just about seeing the difference between right and wrong, but about what is right and what is almost right. Satan is subtle, crafty, and has schemes. Those are words from the bible used to describe him. So satan will wrap the truth in a lie and the lie in some truth.

Though Mormons sound almost right, they do not acknowledge the Jesus of the bible because they believe He is flesh, and that satan is his brother, and therefore that He is a created being. They do not believe Jesus' work on the cross was enough to cleanse us from our sins but that good works are required as part of salvation also. Mormons believe Jesus came in the flesh but that he was born of ONLY flesh and that God is flesh also. More here on what Mormons believe. More here on "Is Glenn Beck a Christian?" I believe Beck is a false prophet. I feel this because the bible verses above let us know this. Pray for Beck and others like him who are laboring under a false Gospel. Love him as a neighbor. But avoid Glenn Beck as a leader in the faith.

16 comments:

  1. I have to disagree with John MacArthur about whether to let false teachers into your home. 2 John 10 was about the meeting of the assembled saints, not about private homes (although they met in homes)

    My understanding is that you are not to invite people into your congregation or home with the intent of letting them teach false doctrine. For example, when I have opened my door to them, I never once let it appear that Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons would have the opportunity to present their doctrine. I brought them into my home for the sole purpose of them learning my doctrine; it was made clear to them that I would not accept their false teaching, and I emphasized that I could disprove their prophets and teaching. I also emphasized the teaching of the Trinity.

    As for providing hospitality, I don't believe inviting them to sit down is giving hospitality (what if we sat on the porch and not in the "house"?), especially in light of the context of the Scripture, wherein the idea was providing the itinerant heretic sustenance and a place to stay. I certainly didn't send them off with any greeting.

    At any rate, I really don't think the context of this passage applies to bringing false teachers into your home for the purpose of evangelism, especially since they are not permitted to teach their false doctrine. My wife pointed out an example wherein this passage could cause a problem if this was to mean not allowing any false teacher into your house or providing hospitality; her father is a staunch secular humanist/evolutionist and advocate of higher criticism/form criticism interpretations of the Scriptures. He was brought into our home, and even stayed a few nights, all the while teaching his theology and explaining how ignorant we were to believe the Bible as the Word of God. Here is a clear case of inviting a heretic into our home and even allowing him to present his doctrine. We of course preached the gospel message and made much use of apologetics in our discussions with him, all to no avail. Were we to turn her own father away at the door due to disagreement on theology? Of course not. That is an example of why I don't think the passage applies to these situations.

    Therefore, I believe the intent of the passage is that you are not to invite people into your congregation or home with the intent of letting them teach false doctrine, or allowing them to share in the Remembrance celebration. You are not to provide them food and shelter, which would aid them in propagating their message.

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  2. Oh, I forgot to mention that Beck is usually right on politically and as long as he stays there I can listen to him. But when he starts talking religion I have to turn him off. As for his rallies, as long as they aren't mentioning God, then there is nothing wrong with Christians going along with him any more than any other pagan. But when he starts talking religion, it's time to pack up.

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  3. Amen! I'm as conservative as can be in my politics, but I've been concerned about Beck for quite some time and the influence he has within the true Christian community. The Church lacks discernment in these issues. From Purpose Drive Life to The Shack to Glen Beck. Thanks for this post.

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  4. Hi Glenn,
    Thanks for your comment and thoughts on the verse. I went ahead and I re-read the verse in 5 different translations, I re-read the entire chapter in five translations and read 5 commentaries on the verse and the chapter. I find that the common interpretation is consistent with MacArthur's, therefore I respectfully and gently disagree with yours.... Here is what Matthew Henry states about it:

    Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary
    Here, I. Upon due warning given concerning seducers, the apostle gives direction concerning the treatment of such. They are not to be entertained as the ministers of Christ. The Lord Christ will distinguish them from such, and so would he have his disciples. The direction is negative. 1. "Support them not: If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine (concerning Christ as the Son of God, the Messiah and anointed of God for our redemption and salvation), receive him not into your house." "Do not welcome them into your family." Doubtless such may be relieved in their pressing necessities, but not encouraged for ill service. Deniers of the faith are destroyers of souls; and it is supposed that even ladies themselves should have good understanding in the affairs of religion. 2. "Bless not their enterprises: Neither bid him God speed. Attend not their service with your prayers and good wishes." Bad work should not be consecrated or recommended to the divine benediction. God will be no patron of falsehood, seduction, and sin. We ought to bid God speed to evangelical ministration; but the propagation of fatal error, if we cannot prevent, we must not dare to countenance. Then,

    II. Here is the reason of such direction, forbidding the support and patronage of the deceiver: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. Favour and affection partake of the sin. We may be sharers in the iniquities of others. How judicious and how cautious should the Christian be! There are many ways of sharing the guilt of other people's transgressions; it may be done by culpable silence, indolence, unconcernedness, private contribution, public countenance and assistance, inward approbation, open apology and defence. The Lord pardon our guilt of other persons' sins!

    I believe the verse is speaking of teachers of the faith and higher ups, not the laymen, because otherwise we would have to separate ourselves in a cloister or as the Cask of Amontillado to avoid such as these, and that is not warranted nor possible.
    As Barnes notes says, "If there come any unto you - Any professed teacher of religion. There can be no doubt that she to whom this Epistle was written was accustomed to entertain such teachers.

    And bring not this doctrine - This doctrine which Christ taught, or the true doctrine respecting him and his religion.

    Receive him not into your house - This cannot mean that no acts of kindness, in any circumstances, were to be shown to such persons; but that there was to be nothing done which could be fairly construed as encouraging or countenancing them as "religious teachers." The true rule would seem to be, in regard to such persons, that, so far as we have contact with them as neighbors, or strangers, we are to be honest, true, kind, and just, but we are to do nothing that will countenance them as religious teachers, We are not to aid their instruction, Proverbs 19:27; we are not to receive them into our houses, or to entertain them as religious teachers; we are not to commend them to others, or to give them any reason to use our names or influence in propagating error."

    As for Beck being a pundit and whether to listen or watch him, my stance is that as long as he does not cross the line, I'll watch him. The line for me is when he brings his faith into the platform and uses the platform to push it. In my opinion he crossed the line, using his television show to subtly but surely advance the ground for Mormonism, and therefore I won't listen to him at all anymore.

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  5. "As for Beck being a pundit and whether to listen or watch him, my stance is that as long as he does not cross the line, I'll watch him."

    I've heard him address numerous times unity of world religions as a way to peace. I understand that you are ok as long as he does not focus on faith but like you said, when he does focus on faith it's false. His politics and faith come from the same mind, I don't get how you can draw the line and act like both can be separated. Now there are so many christians that are confusing him as a real christian and they swallow everything he says. Right now, it's easy for some to discern what he says but why let him into our homes, our minds and let our guards down at all when we know what he truly stands for? Are we now that desperate for someone to affirm our political/moral views?

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  6. I said in full: "As for Beck being a pundit and whether to listen or watch him, my stance is that as long as he does not cross the line, I'll watch him. The line for me is when he brings his faith into the platform and uses the platform to push it. In my opinion he crossed the line, using his television show to subtly but surely advance the ground for Mormonism, and therefore I won't listen to him at all anymore." I do NOT watch him any more. He crossed the line for me a while ago. He is false and I do not watch him any longer. I stopped when he used his platform for false doctrine. Avoid Glenn Beck. I do not watch him. Period. Hope that clears it up.

    As you said so well, ' Now there are so many christians that are confusing him as a real christian and they swallow everything he says. '

    I am sad that many evangelical leaders "partner" with him publicly. Your question is a good one. How desperate are we for people in places of public influence to speak the truth of Jesus? Will we accept a watered down, or even a false doctrine, just to patch together a facade of unity? Apparently...

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  7. Forgive me for that mistake Elizabeth and thanks for your kind reply! Thanks so much for making this post. Hopefully it will wake some people up.

    I recently saw him on TBN and I know that will even further confuse some but on the other hand I've seen personally that it has opened people's eyes to the path TBN is going down (it's mostly been people that just know that Beck is mormon and don't follow his politics much).

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  8. Elizabeth, you are doing good. I want to encourage you in your article and also in your Biblical response to one of the posters in the comments. I want to encourage you to remain in the Word and to pray often for the Holy Spirit's guidance--because, since you're doing such a good job, being such a faithful servant right now, you're going to be a target for Satan's henchmen and you will have to deal with a lot more subtle persuasions and doubts and attacks on you, the Bible and God than the typical non-preacher-prophet person. So stay strong in the Lord! It's when you are on top of 'your' game that you need to be most wary, that Satan isn't trying to derail you. So many blessings, and may you have a great week and be continually inspired by the Spirit to speak the Truth. :)

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  9. Thank you EriK! You're so right about satan and being unsuspecting of attacks. I'll renew my vigilance, thanks to your reminder. Thanks also for the encouragement. It is very much appreciated.

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  10. So many Non-LDS Christians are convinced that LDS doctrine is false that they forget that the Bible passages they quote do not apply to those who believe that Jesus came in the flesh.

    For example, I wonder if Glenn Chatfield ever considered that, based on his logic, the early saints would not have let him in to teach the concept of the Trinity, which doctrine would have been strange and unbiblical to them.

    However, since he does confess that Jesus came in the flesh, they would have let him in to question why he didn't believe that Christians were to be exalted by faith in Christ, when that was clearly a Christian doctrine (Matthew 23:12; Luke 1:52; James 1:9; 1 Peter 5:6; 2 Corinthians 11:7)

    No doubt he would have protested, saying that the exaltation of the saints spoken of in the Bible does not extend to partaking of the divine nature of God, even though it's clear that the saints were to be cleansed of all sin and were to become immortal beings, sitting with Jesus in his throne, with power over the nations, ruling them with a rod of iron.

    He no doubt would have continued asserting that to believe that these sinless, immortal rulers, who had partaken of the divine nature of God, could not be gods themselves, because the nations over which they had been given power, even as Christ had been given power, must be the denizens of hell, since everyone else is saved and therefore sitting with them in the throne with Jesus.

    Besides that, he would exclaim, accepting that these divine, sinless, immortal beings, who were former saints, but now rulers (gods) would make Christians polytheists like the heathen.

    But my bet is that his Christian hosts would have pitied him, and firmly, though gently, sought to teach him correct doctrine.

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  11. Excal,

    I'm sorry to say that your comment does not make sense. The primary point I wish to make is that LDS doctrine IS false, transparently so, and the entire Holy Bible applies to everyone, believers or not, confessors of Jesus in the flesh or not.

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  12. I'm sorry Elizabeth. I was just trying to make the point that the doctrine of the Trinity came way after the gospels were written. It was a doctrine that would have been strange indeed to the early saints.

    Today, the doctrine of the latter saints is strange to Creedal Christians, because they have been taught to reject it, even though it's in their Bibles.

    The common accusations are that LDS doctrine teaches that Lucifer is the brother of Jesus, but what it really teaches is that Lucifer is the Son of the Morning, who became the devil, when he rebelled against the Father of us all; It teaches that our Heavenly Father, who sent Jesus of Nazareth to die for us all, did so in order that, through his merits, we might partake of eternal life AND exaltation together with them.

    This is Biblical doctrine, but the doctors managed to insert the non-biblical doctrine of the Trinity, after the Church was several hundred years old, making the original true doctrine appear to be false doctrine.

    Thus, they teach that LDS doctrine is polytheistic, because, with the concept of the Trinity, it is difficult to teach that the existence of many gods (Hebrew for "rulers") in the eternities, is taught in the Bible, without being accused of worshiping many gods (polytheism.)

    It should be clear that, while the LDS Christians teach that the saints shall be exalted, as the Bible teaches, they only worship the Father of us all, in the name of his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, born of Mary, the virgin prophesied of in Isaiah.

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  13. Excal, the doctrine of the Trinity is first introduce to us in Genesis 1 (verse 2 & 26).

    God, the Spirit and the Messiah who saves was familiar to David, who begged God not to remove His spirit from Him (Psalm 51:11), and Isaiah who prophesied the Messiah as son (Is 9:6-7) and Savior.

    Psalm 2:7 reveals the begotten savior. Psalm 45:7 shows God speaking to His Son.

    In all these and other biblical examples we see that there is an interrelationship of a divine executive committee commanding, creating, and working together. The Trinity was known about by Old Testament prophets and the faithful. It was not a new notion in the Gospels,(read Hebrews 1, where the 2 Sam 7:14 verse that says "I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:" In marginal reference the equivalent expressions are applied to David. In 1 Chronicles 17:13; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10; 1 Chronicles 28:6, it is expressly appropriated to Solomon. But in Hebrews 1:5, this text is applied to Christ.)

    So though the Trinity's full form and execution of His relationship with man has come to be clarified in the Gospels, the doctrine has been in the bible since "The beginning".

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  14. Elizabeth,

    You are right; The doctrine of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost has been in the Bible since the beginning.

    The unbelieving Jews rejected the idea of God becoming man, and the unbelieving Gentiles reject the idea of man becoming God. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Then again, the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

    How else shall shame of Jacob cease and his face no longer wax pale? When he sees his children, the work of the Lord's hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify his name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the God of Israel.

    They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

    Who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who shall be his counsellor? Or who can say he owes them anything? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

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  15. I am a Mormon and I just wanted to clarify a couple things if I may. The actual name of the church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints".

    The reason that Mormons "sound almost right" to you is because our beliefs are very similar. Yes there are significany theological differences, but in terms of values and principles we are nearly if not completely identical. It is our doctrine that has differences. Mormons are not evil. Look at our "fruits". Most people who are serious in their religion are good people honestly seeking to please God. We do not need to resolve our doctrinal differences to unite behind correct values and principles.

    In my discussion below I don't intend to argue about who is right or wrong, just to explain:

    To clarify a little when you say that mormons "do not acknowledge the Jesus of the bible because they believe He is flesh, and that satan is his brother", I think the reader might benefit from a little more information. I assume that by "He is flesh" you mean that we believe he has a body. This is true, we believe in a literal resurrection. When Jesus was resurrected, we believe that His spirit reunited with his body, in a perfected form, and that he still has that body today. Hence the empty tomb, ect.

    The part about Satan being Jesus's brother is sort of true I guess. We believe that all of us existed as spirit children of God before the Earth was created, including Jesus and Satan. Satan became Satan when he rebelled against God. Jesus was chosen to be the Savior of the World and came into this life as the literal Son of God. So under our doctrine all of us are spiritually brothers and sisters including Jesus and Satan.

    We do believe in the Bible and that the Atonement of Jesus was enough to cleanse us from our sins, but that He makes that forgiveness conditional upon our repenting and changing our ways. We must believe, but we must also express that faith by striving to keep the commandments. We believe in the same Jesus and the same Bible, we just interpret it differently.

    At the worst you should consider us misguided brothers and sisters, but definately not evil. We don't consider you to be evil. I will stand next to all of you to defend correct values and principles any day.

    You can find out just about anything you want to know about mormons at www.mormon.org and www.lds.org.

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  16. Hello Mormon Anonymous,

    I say this with all possible respect, and love in your disbelief, but Mormons (LDS) adherents are woefully outside the covering of Jesus and unless repenting, will discover this on His Day.

    No you as individuals are not evil and I apologize if that came thru, but LDS is evil because anything not of Jesus is evil. 1 John 2:22-23 ~ "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist--he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also." LDS denies Jesus is deity but is created.

    I often hear, "Well, they (we) do good so they (we) can't be bad!" but John Stott said,

    John Stott warns, “We are not to be dazzled, as many people are, by the person, gifts or office of teachers in the church. They may come to us with great dignity, authority and scholarship. They may be bishops or archbishops, university professors or even the pope himself. But if they bring a gospel other than the gospel preached by the apostles and recorded in the New Testament, they are to be rejected. We judge them by the gospel; we do not judge the gospel by them. As Dr. Alan Cole expresses it, ‘The outward person of the messenger does not validate his message rather, the nature of the message validates the messenger.’”

    Information about Mormon beliefs from Christian Apologetics Research Ministry
    http://carm.org/mormonism

    A comparison betewween Christian DOctrine and Mormon doctrine:
    http://carm.org/comparison-between-christian-doctrine-and-mormon-doctrine

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