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published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy · Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume VI, Number 19 - August 25, 2002

"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)

Editor..................Joe R. Price

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 In this issue:


The Mormon Church and Jesus

Joe R. Price

The LDS Church adopted a new logo design (above) in December 1995.  As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune (12/20/95), Bruce L. Olsen (the managing director of LDS public affairs) explained, "The logo re-emphasizes the official name of the church and the central position of the Savior in its theology" (The Salt Lake Tribune, A-1, 12/20/95).  The news report continued to say the LDS Church leaders wanted a logo that was "less corporate-looking" with a "warm, friendly, inviting feel." (Ibid.) So, after a couple of years of redesign work and months of market testing, this design gained approval.

Admittedly, the Mormons can display the name of their church however they want.  But their intention is clear.  With it they continue their effort to be identified with mainstream Christianity.  They aim to achieve this goal by emphasizing Jesus Christ in how their official logo is printed on official buildings, documents and teaching materials.

These are marketing techniques, pure and simple.  A "less corporate-looking" logo does not change the fact that the LDS Church is a multi-million dollar (per day) tax-exempt corporation.  It is big business! Let there be no mistake: Emphasizing the name of Jesus Christ in its official logo does not mean Christ is truly the head of the LDS Church.

The purpose of this article is not to engage in so-called "Mormon bashing." Far from it.  Instead, I propose that any church claiming to be "Christ-based" will be glad to have its doctrines and practices examined in the light of the word of Jesus Christ to determine if indeed it is "Christ-based" (1 Peter 3:15).  And, when the doctrine of the LDS Church are compared to the Bible we are compelled to conclude the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not the church built by Christ (Matt. 16:18). The Mormon Church is the product of the wisdom and will of men (Col. 2:8; Gal. 1:6-9).

Since the LDS Church wishes to emphasize the "central position of the Savior in its theology", join me in examining some of their teachings concerning Jesus Christ, that bring us to this conclusion.

The LDS Church teaches that Christ was the first spirit child born to God the Father in a pre-existent state.  "Christ is the Firstborn, meaning that he was the first Spirit Child born to God the Father in pre-existence." (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, 281) When the Bible uses the term "firstborn" to refer to Christ it does not mean "the first one born." Instead, it conveys the preeminence of Christ.  For example, the nation of Israel was called God's firstborn in Exodus 4:22.  Israel was not the first nation to ever exist on the earth.  However, God gave her a place of preeminence among the nations.  Likewise, the psalmist prophesied that God would make the Christ "My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth" (Psa. 89:26-27).  This statement attributes the concept of priority or preeminence to the "firstborn".  The apostle Paul confidently applied this meaning of "firstborn" to Jesus Christ.  In Colossians 1:15-18 the Son is identified as the "firstborn over all creation" because He created and sustains all things by His power (v. 15-17). Christ is preeminent in the church, being its head (v. 18).  He is the "firstborn from the dead" since His resurrection displayed His supreme power over death (v. 18). Unquestionably, "in all things He may have the preeminence" (v. 18)! Mormonism makes a blasphemous assertion when it concludes Jesus is a "spirit child" of God.  Emphasizing the name of Christ in a logo has not prevented the LDS Church from misidentifying Him.  Despite their logo, the LDS Church is not "Christ-based."

Mormonism teaches that Christ is not eternal in His divine nature.  Hear former LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie as he explains Christ's progression to His present state of godhood: "By obedience and devotion to the truth he attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent, while yet in his pre-existent state." (Mormon Doctrine, 129) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that Christ was not always eternal God.  They believe He progressed to His current level of knowledge, power and godhood due to His obedient devotion to truth.

This idea is an extension of their "spirit child" view of Jesus.  In opposition to the LDS Church, Jesus identified Himself as the eternally existing One: "Before Abraham was, I AM" (Jno. 8:58; cf. Exo. 3:14). Christ has always been God.  He did not progress to His present state of godhood.  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.  He was in the beginning with God....And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...." (Jno. 1:1-2, 14).  Designing a logo that causes people to think a church is "Christ-based" does not alter the fact that the Christ of Mormonism is not the Christ of the Bible!

Mormonism teaches that as the "Son of God" "Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers" (Ibid., 546-547).  A truly shocking doctrine! However, the word phrase "the only begotten of the Father" means "single of its kind" (Jno. 1:14, cf. Lk. 7:12).  Thus, Jesus is unique.  No one else is like Him.  The Bible often uses the _expression "son of" to represent sameness (i.e., bearing the same characteristics of something or someone else, see Matt. 23:15; Lk. 10:6).  Likewise, Jesus is the "Son of God" because He is "one" with the Father (Jno. 10:30, 33, 36).  He is equal with God (Jno. 5:17-18). He is Immanuel ("God with us").  Jesus Christ is God in the flesh (Jno. 1:14; Col. 2:9).

The LDS Church has Jesus Christ in its name, but it is not the church of Christ! We call upon every member of the LDS Church to compare their doctrine with the Bible, see the errors and contradictions their "prophets" have perpetrated upon millions, and come out from among them!

While publicizing "the central position of the Savior in its theology" the LDS Church diminishes Jesus by denying His preeminence and His eternal nature.

You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS


Why Are You Waiting?

Scripture Reading:  Acts 22:4-16

1.  Acts 22:16 - Vital question is asked.
2.   Many answers are given.  2 Cor. 5:10
3.  Christ answers every hesitation & urges every lost soul to come to Him – 1 Pet. 3:15; Matt. 11:28-30.

 · Why are you waitinG TO BE BAPTIZED?

 1.  Because you do not believe – cf. Acts 19:1-5.
  a.  If you haven’t heard / need to hear gospel truth – Rom. 10:17; 1:16-17.
  b.  Need to be taught – Acts 8:29-35.

2.  Because you are unwilling to believe & obey – Jno. 5:39-44.
  a.  Wrong motives exist – cf. Jno. 14:15; 7:16-17; 6:44-45.

3.  Because you think you don’t need to, thinking you are already saved – Acts 18:24-26
  a.  Carefully examination scriptures & yourself - Acts 17:11-12; Acts 26:9; 1 Ths. 5:21.
  b.  What have you believed about Jesus?  How were you “saved”?  Did you repent of your sins in order to be saved?  Why were you baptized? (Acts 2:38)  How? (Col. 2:12) When? (Mk. 16:16)

4.  Because it is not easy to be a Christian – Acts 24:25; Rom. 12:1-2; Lk. 12:20; Jas. 4:13-15; Matt. 11:28 (Rom. 6:23); Lk. 15:17; 2 Cor. 6:2.

5.  Because there are hypocrites in the church.
  a.  Not approved! - Eph. 5:1-14; 1 Cor. 5:1-2, 13; Acts 20:29-31.
  b.  “So and so mistreated me!” - Ezek. 18:4, 20

6.  Because you don’t know everything yet. - Acts 2:42; 2 Pet. 3:18

7.  Because you think you will fail. - 1 Jno. 1:8-9; Acts 8:22; Heb. 10:26 (Rom. 6:11-12; 1 Jno. 3:6-7); Eph. 2:8-9 (Rom. 8:31-39); 2 Tim. 4:6-8.

You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS


Bible Question Box

Scripture Reading:  Luke 2:41-50

     Lk. 2:46-47, 49 – The Father’s business is to hear & learn God’s word. Questions are proper (Acts 17:11).

 # 1:  Is there anything sinful in getting a tattoo?  What about ear/body piercing and cosmetic surgery?

 -Principles to help guide us (Prov. 16:2; 19:21):

  a.  We must not be worldly in thought & deed (includes how we choose to adorn & present ourselves to others) - Prov. 23:7; Rom. 12:2 (1 Jno. 2:15-16; Jas. 4:4).  Prov. 7:10; Isa. 3:16-26; 1 Pet. 3:3-6.
We must not be associated with worldly / pagan/atheistic symbolism & conduct – 1 Cor. 15:33; Matt. 4:10; Rom. 2:21; Lev. 19:28.
  c.  Christian is concerned about influence (even when conduct is not wrong) –
Matt. 5:13.
  d.  Cross-gender conduct is sinful - 1 Cor. 11:3, 14-15 (cf. LOM – Deut. 22:5).
  e.  Modesty must be maintained – 1 Pet. 2:9-10.
  f.  Must have a correct view of body – 1 Cor. 6:13-20
  g.  Avoid extremes – cf. Eccl. 7:16-18.
  h.  Must distinguish between personal “taste” & sin (violation of scripture) – Rom. 14:1-5; S of S. 4:9-11.

 #2:  Some modern textual critics believe Mark 16:9-20 is not a part of the Book of Mark.  Is this true?
  a.  If yes, why is it not omitted from the text?
  b.  If no, what evidence do they offer to support their conclusion?
  c.  If not sure, should we continue to use this effective passage to strengthen our faith and defend against “faith only” doctrines?

A.  Arguments to Reject Genuineness of Mk. 16:9-20.
B.  Reasons to Accept Mark 16:9-20 as Genuine.
C.  Why is it Missing from Some Mss.?
D.  Yes, We Can & Should Use Mark 16:9-20 – Its Truthfulness Is Secure.

    -All its content is verified in other NT passages.

(Current events in the light of Scripture)


Quadruplets born to Bellingham Couple

Joe R. Price

 Korie Hulford gave birth last Wednesday to two sets of identical twin girls.  She and husband Scott have been greatly blessed.  The odds of having quads is about one in 729,000 births.  The odds of the four babies being two sets of identical twins is around one in 25 million!  Now, they are being told the children may actually be identical quadruplets.  No fertility drugs were used.

 We take from this amazing event the preciousness of life.  As the lives of about a million babies are annually extinguished in America we rejoice in the new life which has sprung forth.  Abortion is the murder of innocent life, and no amount of rationalization, morals clarification, emotional appeals and legal decisions will change that fact.  New life in the mother’s womb is observed and known by God, and the deliberate termination of such life by men is not approved by God (Psa. 139:13-16; Lk. 1:41, 44; Gen. 9:6; Exo. 20:13; 21:22-23).  Abortion is not an act of love (Rom. 13:8-10).

 We also take from this extraordinary event the blessings children bring to a family.  Challenges, frustrations and obligations coupled with love, hope, joy, and peace – all are blessings brought by the birth of children.  Parents have the opportunity to grow in faith, in wisdom, and in love.  To be more than you were before – better, stronger, wiser.  Being a parent brings with it hard work and great gifts:  “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psa. 127:3).  Do not have children until you are ready for the responsibility (and the joy) it brings.

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA

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