09 December 2005

Note to homeschool moms (and others)

Marla Swoffer is absolutely right: Mormonism is not authentic Christianity. Mormonism has never been deemed anything other than a cult by mainstream biblical and historic Christianity. For their part (until very recently) Mormons have always denied being mainstream Christians anyway. They claim true Christianity was totally lost and the church was dead until Christ began "the Restoration" under Joseph Smith.

The fact that lots of Mormon moms are likable, politically conservative women who homeschool their kids does not alter the seriousness of Mormonism's error. Mormon doctrine corrupts the very essence of biblical truth and the gospel itself, trading the simplicity of the apostolic gospel for a different message. See Galatians 1:8-9.

Christian homeschoolers need to guard diligently against allowing their movement to become just one more vehicle for the kind of ecumenism that surrenders vital distinctives of classic Christianity while making unholy alliances in the name of impacting the culture, upholding high moral standards, opposing secularism, or whatever.

As a matter of fact, Mormonism is a false religion that is every bit as spiritually deadly as the humanistic secularism most Christian homeschooling parents are trying to avoid.

Phil's signature

49 comments:

Suziannr said...

...and take a close look at the picture.....see what Mormonism does to a homeschooling mom.....scary.

Steve said...

I don't notice any difference?!

art said...

i think using a picture of my girlfriend to depict homeschool mothers is just wrong phil. you're going to lose your link for that one.

Pastor Shane said...

But, don't Mormon homeschoolers vote Republican? We can't divide the body.. . I mean, party, can we?

BugBlaster said...

Good post. The TV ads are very moral, and most of the words are the same, but when they say the word "Christ", they do not mean the only begotten Son of the one and only God. It is a different gospel. And it is not being unloving to point that out. It is just being factual.

Kim said...

I had a very dramatic "deliverance" if you will from Mormonism when I was a teenager. I blogged about it, and one of my fellow home school blogging mothers told me I took a "great risk" in sharing what had happened to me. I had said absolutely nothing derogatory about Mormonism; I simply stated that I had made a ninth hour decision not to join them. This fellow blogger felt that I was taking a risk in losing readership. I figured that based on my content, no Mormon would find my blog interesting. This same, Christian, Presybeterian, woman said that she felt Mormons believed that "Jesus took their sins away" and that was enough for her.

Carla said...

Good words Phil. As a HS mom that already deals with a boatload of misinformation about HSing, this is certainly one area other Christian HS'ers need to pay very close attention to.

For the record however - the HS movement certainly isn't the only "vehicle for the kind of ecumenism that surrenders vital distinctives of classic Christianity while making unholy alliances in the name of impacting the culture, upholding high moral standards, opposing secularism, or whatever". In fact, we're relatively low on the totem pole for this kind of thing.

It's much more prevelant in other areas of "evangelical-land".

Jason E. Robertson said...

See what years of carrying around an unabridged dictionary can do to you.

LeeC said...

"But, don't Mormon homeschoolers vote Republican? We can't divide the body.. . I mean, party, can we?"

Bravo!
Well played sir, and a lesson unto itself in so few words.

jane said...

Phil, I feel honored that among all the worthy topics you have circulating in your head, you took me up on my request...and on a Friday too! :D

Carla, I appreciate your comment because you know a lot more than I do about HS moms (since you are one!), but what about the fact that you're in Canada? Is there as big a Mormon population there as in the rural and heartland areas in the US? If not, the homeschooling community in Canada would look a lot different than the one here. Relatives of ours (who homeschool) recently moved to Idaho (he's telecommuting to the Bay Area) in a very Mormon-occupied area --they're visiting us this weekend so maybe I'll pick their brains about this a bit.

DeathRowBodine said...

Phil,

I don't remember you being invited to my family reunion or even you being there. However, you seem to have quite a collection of pictures of my kinfolk.

What should we'uns call you? Pyromaniac Paparazzo? Paparazzo Phil?

Kim said...

Marla, there is a very large Mormon population in Alberta. The school I attended in high school had 2400 students, and easily 600 were Mormon kids. The homeschool community in Alberta is also very large.

Carla said...

(Phil, I apologize in advance for the length of this reply in your comment section, it's longer than my usual reply)

Marla,

the Canadian HS community really isn't any different than the US version, overall. However, you could say that it's far more liberal up here, and far more ecumenical in numerous directions, not just as it pertains to Mormons.

For example, several years ago when we first decided to homeschool, I really wanted to join a HS support group. I had no idea what I was doing (beyond the basics) and thought doing such a thing I might find a lot of wisdom and experience from veteran, Christian HS parents.

The only "Christian" HS support group in my area was one held in a RC church each month, and attended and run by "an inter-faith team". In other words, Mormons, RC's and anyone else from any sect that calls themselves Christian. There was no way I could join up with this group, let alone attend meetings in a RC church.

At that time I was participating in that group's online discussion forum. When I made the comment that I could not attend an ecumenical HS support group, but that I was looking for a Christian one... well, suffice it to say I was no longer welcome to participate there. (Imagine that, me of all people, rocking the boat?! I know, shocking).

I've since moved, but it's the same thing where I am now. I called another HS group and they were also "non-denom" and were run by and welcomed in anyone regardless of religious affiliation - yet they called themselves a Christian HS group.

So yes, Phil's warning about Christian HS'ers welcoming in the ecumenical happy-camp certainly does apply, but it's not just applicable to Mormons. Where I am it's spread a bit wider.

And with both groups I know of personally, the same excuse was given. "Oh it's not about denominations, it's about support for any Christian homeschooling family, no matter what church affiliation".

So there's my few cents of experience on this issue.

SDG

Gordan said...

As a homeschool dad, with a really hot senorita for a wife/HS mom, by the way, let me point out that Mormonism is still a phenomenon that tends to exist in geographical pockets. We lived in a 90% Mormon community in Idaho, and now live in a small town with just a handful of 'em (none of which homeschool.) I think that HS associations are generally a regional phenomenon as well. In the desert SW, we've got a lot of HSers, but no HS groups. Maybe that hurts us, but that is a manifestation of the culture here...fiercely independent for good or bad.

Johnny said...

Phil, where do you get all your pictures and clip art? I would love to get my hands on some of it and use it else where if possible.

1 L Loyd said...

I'm a homeschool dad who's seen five kids (yes, they were little goats =D) through school. You have to separate the belief in homeschooling from the belief in God. I believe that homeschooling is best from a social and educational standpoint. But you have to be careful, especially with groups who use "friendship" to entangle you in their beliefs. On the side, in Northwestern Wisconsin I met a woman who told me that all the homeschoolers she knew were liberal agnostic. =0

lionfood said...

...before my rebirth unto Christ, and I listen to Grace to You every morning so you know I'm legit - I used to think that Mormons were the one true way 'cause all the Mormon girls were hot. (in high school, that was all the fruit I needed)

forgiven said...

If Jesus is not your Lord of your Life ,then we have to look at why not. If anything take you away from the Cross and what He has done for you,better ask your self why. Do not add or take away...
The Word Is The Word and Jesus is the Word.

Libbie said...

I've found Mormons to be more difficult to get the measure of initially. Unlike JWs, they have an agenda to be accepted as just another Christian group, and they will often use the same christian terminology, even though they mean something almost unrecognizable by those words.
But they're generally operating a similar social agenda to conservative Christians, so you're right to sound a warning to Homeschool Mums.
I may have to rethink The League of Firebrand HSMoms if you're going to be this helpful...

Andrew said...

"As a matter of fact, Mormonism is a false religion that is every bit as spiritually deadly as the humanistic secularism most Christian homeschooling parents are trying to avoid."

That sums it up. I can't think of any better way to say it.

TulipGirl said...

Well said, Phil.

One of the most difficult things with our LDS friends and neighbors is that we use common words, but have completely different definitions and connotations for them.

The book "How Wide the Divide?" is an interesting example of it. In the end, the gentleman representing the Mormon point of views answers "not that wide." And the evangelical Christian responds, "Much wider than you think.

candyinsierras said...

It doesn't help that evangelical leaders accept invitations to speak at Brigham Young University (Ravi Zacharias).

Someone stated recently that there was a reason Hitler mandated that children be in public school. There is also a reason that the government wants our children in public school. Homeschools are a beacon in the wilderness. It is no wonder that some of what is infiltrating in the Church is also coming in the door of homeschool organizations. The enemy of Christ will try to gain a foothold wherever he can. We should continue to encourage and support homeschool moms and dads the very best we can.

Joe said...

The key is: What do you do with Jesus. If He is Lord God (as the Pharasees knew He was claiming - hence their desire to have Him put to death), then you're on the right track. If He is not one-and-the-same with God, you're a cult.

Ryan DeBarr said...

Dwight L. Moody also preached at the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City.

Ravi Zacharias certainly did not endorse Mormon doctrine. He told them they were in serious, fatal, damning error. I doubt he will be invited back.

Phil Johnson said...

What? Not a single comment about the caption imbedded in the <img title=""> tag?

candyinsierras said...

Sorry, my bad. Zacharias spoke at the Mormon Temple.

CT quotes: While he acknowledged that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ in many of their views from historic Christianity, he emphasized much of what they share in reverence for a being both consider the divine Savior of mankind.

Michael Card led music, and Fuller Seminary president Richard Mouw gave an introductory sermon.

And it'll be Mouw, not Zacharias, that Utahns will remember, says The Deseret Morning News. He offered "a stunningly candid apology to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and [noted] that 'friendship has not come easily between our communities.' He dubbed the evening 'historic' and apologized that evangelicals 'have often misrepresented the faith and beliefs of the Latter-day Saints.'"

Another quote from Christian Uplugged states: Ravi’s visit only solidified Mormon opinion that they are now being accepted by prominent evangelicals as a legitimate part of the Christian community.

So there are differing opinions.

candyinsierras said...

I was looking for something when you first posted this and nothing came up at the time. i searched a bit more thoroughly. Very funny Phil. :)

candyinsierras said...

btw..how does one embed text within a picture anyways?

Kim said...

What? Not a single comment about the caption imbedded in the <"img title=""> tag?

Phil, bugblaster and I had a great laugh over it.

Carla said...

Phil, if this is what good posture does to a HS mom, may I eternally slouch.

Ryan DeBarr said...

I don't care much for Christianity Today's opinion. They seem to be pushing for increased acceptance of Roman Catholicism and Mormonism. They'll put the best possible spin on it.

Fuller, now that's a different story. I think they're past the point of no return.

Phillip M. Way said...

Right on, Phil! You know, there are HS moms here in Austin, Texas, that will not send their kids to public school because the schools are not humanistic enough! Seriously. There are many home schoolers around here that have no religious basis whatsoever for their homeschooling.

As a result, we must always be careful about who we are yoked to in fellowship and ministry (2 Cor 6:14ff).

~pastorway

Dan Edelen said...

Phil,

I'm 43. The thing that amazes me is that my entire life has been filled with Christians rightfully acknowledging that Mormonism is a cult based upon wacky theology that rivals Scientology in audacity and mendacity.

That is until now, it seems.

What is mind-bloggling to me is that anyone would take Mormonism, even a slice of it, as representing any kind of mainstream Christian sect. Holy underwear? Are you joking me? Jesus the brother of Satan? Blood of Christ insufficient to to cleanse from all sins? Hello! Let's be honest here, the reason so many LDS wives are poster girls for motherhood is that they're taught that unless they're perfect, their husbands won't call them out of the grave in the afterlife. Talk about a hard row to hoe!

Never before has more discernment been needed than now. The debacle over at Marla's place in the aftermath of those women's blog awards just goes to show that the Internet is a really lousy place to get the truth.

Q: What is the definition of "frustrated"?

A: The Archaeology department at BYU.

And that's all I have to say.

Adam Cummings said...

We had a Mormon come speak at one of Dr. Morley's classes here at TMC. All I will say is this: he was one interesting fellow, and we all enjoyed raking up the straws of all his butchered straw men after he left (the guy was a french fry short of a happy meal).

Catez said...

The debacle over at Marla's place in the aftermath of those women's blog awards just goes to show that the Internet is a really lousy place to get the truth.

Dan I think you are really overstating it. Some-one set up and ran awards for the first time. The entry criteria weren't clear. Some mistakes were made. The Mormon who won gave back her award (although not asked to) when she realised the awards were for orthodox Christian bloggers.

What debacle? I haven't seen any debacle. Some discussion. A couple of angry comments from people - but they responded at a time when the intention of the awards was not clear.

I agree with the apologetic but no, Mormons didn't try to sneak in or infiltrate the awards. A mistake was made. The blogger who won responded with integrity and handed back her award. Let's give credit where credit is due.

Elena said...

Let's give credit where credit is due.

In deed. In the whole scheme of things the blogger with the most class and highest of integrity was the injured party herself - Kathryn of Daring Young Mom! Many may disagree with her theology, but who could disparage the gracious and humble way she handled herself. If you want to see how a Christian woman should act, we just saw a fine example in DYM.

Doug E. said...

amen to that.

Doug

shanny said...

Well I am one of those Mormon HS Moms! Shock horror. Yes, I have infiltrated here! ;-)

I can understand the concerns of parents not wanting their children to get any crazy ideas. That's why I homeschool.

It's just so unfortunate that so many 'Christians' are so judgmental and condescending.

dan edelen said, Mormons do not think that the "Blood of Christ insufficient to to cleanse from all sins? ". That is incorrect. We believe quite the contrary.

There is so much error in people's thinking about what we believe.

If you don't agree with what we believe (or think you know what we believe) then that's ok. If you would rather that your dc didn't mix with ours, then while that is hurtful, we can understand a parents desire to protect a child, so that can be ok too. But please, watch the un-Christlike manner with which you speak and think of others who differ in opinion to you. Christ taught love.

And in the end, aren't ya just glad that it will all be sorted out in the last day!

Puritan Belief said...

There is a verse that goes something like this.

"If I or an angel come being another gospel to what we first believed, let him be accursed"

Then you ask them. What is the full name of the book of mormon and they must answer.

The Book of morman
Another testament of Jesus Christ

Who did Joseph Smith see?
An angel

Therefore what happened to Joseph Smith. He is accursed.

What will happen to them if they do the same with the book of mormon.
They will be accursed

philness said...

Very good Puritan Belief. Shanny should realize that we are very loving to warn a person of the dangers of this (newly on the scene religion) of Joseph Smiths. If the house is on fire and in the name of love we did not attempt to warn you, you would surely burn to death. As for Christs blood not being sufficient for all sins. Look at what that one sect of mormonism in Arizona has done. They have a human incinerator for just those blood atonement victims.
Shanny, dont think that we christians dont know all the evils in mormonism. The list is very long and in the name of love I will not go there. But please take heed in this. We were all plucked from the fire(Zech. 3:2).

In Love,
Philness

shanny said...

Philness, there has been no 'warning' here. Just so called followers of Christ talking sarcastically among themselves about Mormons.

No tolerance. No love. No understanding of one another as children of the same Heavenly Father.

And as far as beng warned. If you are a Mormon and even dare to dip your foot into the social circles of 'christendom' you cannot help but hear warnings yelled at you from all corners.

So thanks for the warning. May the Lord bless you for your kind concern. But I'll keep my beliefs thanks.

And as far as all the accusations about our beliefs. It is useless to talk of them when they will fall on a hard heart and deaf ears, so I will not even bother.

My message here, is to simply remind everyone that Christ was LOVE and tolerance. Please try to show respect to others who do not see the world exactly the same way as you do.

And may you all have a joyful and peaceful Christmas.

PS, Dan said "Let's be honest here, the reason so many LDS wives are poster girls for motherhood is that they're taught that unless they're perfect, their husbands won't call them out of the grave in the afterlife." Thanks for the back handed compliment! I sure hope that I'm one of those poster girls! ;-)

shutterbugheidi said...

I am so glad that Christ warned of Pharasees and hypocrits, as that it what I see when I look at your blogs and posts about the Mormons. I find it interesting that a group of Christians who seem to be so "self-righteous" would be so judgmental and hateful of another group of Christians who are only trying to do the same thing as you: love and care for their families and children, and do what's best for them. Aren't Mormons law-abiding, good citizens most of the time? If so, then why are people so upset about what they believe? They aren't hurting anyone by their beliefs...please just think about what Christ REALLY taught: LOVE for all people...not just select groups who think that they are doing the right thing...

And as for the comments about "holy underwear" and "human incinerators" I wish that someone would give evidence to back up their statements and accustations...

Shanny, thanks for standing up for what's right and good in this world. And I too, hope that I am a Mormon-mother-wife poster girl... : )

SkiTheStars said...

I'm agnostic because watching all this stupid bickering among Christians and others about who God loves the best strikes me as being silly.

He obviously wants it to be a surprise, and we should all live honorable lives, as that is the one and onlky way to charm God's soul. You say God doesn't have a soul ? Marla does have a father.....why wouldn't God have a soul ? Too many mirrors for you ???? Oh well.....

riggsgirl said...

Sorry, this will also be a long post; but a tale worth relating, I hope!

First of all, I think you are dead right about your comments on Mormonism.I live in a Western State that is rife with Mormons in politics and businesses, and having crossed paths with many of them, it simple baffles me to see the vacancy in the eyes of the women. It looks to me as if they are hypnotized or on some strange drug! While I firmly believe that these folks have the same rights as I do to believe what they chose to believe, I in no way want them in my life or in my family matters. All I can tell fellow Christians is to take advantage of the LDS offer on TV, acquire a Book of Mormon (for free), and read it for yourself, to see how the Bible has been usurped and changed by their so-called prophets to their advantage.

Furthermore, I was "priviledged" to visit their new temple some years ago, when it was first opened to the public...and OMGIH, what a stressful tour it was! The scent of some strange sickly-sweet inscense permeated the air of the entire building, the women who guided us where all glassy-eyed and automaton-like, and the majority of the walls had been painted the pink hue that psychologists have determined causes the human mind to relax and be open to suggestion.We exchanged worried glances when we were lead to the "locker rooms", where they change into some form of "habits" or another. Worst of all, to make a long story shorter, when we finally reached the "holy of holies", as it were; the altar and the baptismal site...we were appalled at the sight below us on a little bridge that lead to the altar itself...life-size statues(graven images?!?!) of cows or perhaps oxen.. either way, the first thing that occured to me was Worship of BAAL, get me outta here now!

Thankfully, this was near the end of this educational yet spiritually harrowing experience. Before we left the parking lot, I turned to my husband and said, "Shake the dust from your shoes, now!" and he replied, "You're right...this is an ungodly place!" and we both removed our shoes and beat them against the car before we left.
I can attest after being alive for quite a few years that this was the one experience I would never want to repeat. It felt as if we had been invited to view a temple of Satanic worship, and been naive enough to enter therein. Both of us stated that our skin "crawled" as if we had ants upon us after leaving this so-called temple.Neither of us have forgotten it, after all this time, and we have certainly related the bizarre experience to our child.

Oddly enough, my husband's view of the females' behavior was that they were "undressing him with their eyes", as if they had not had normal relations for some time. Being female, all I sensed was an overwhelming presence of evil, a true sense of physical, emotional, and decidedly spiritual discomfort.

Secondly, albeit a Christian, I do not homeschool my child for that reason, although given how horrible the school system these days is, it is a very valid one. I home school him because the state does not follow their own laws and does not provide what he needs, because he is a genius. What they do provide is more than adequate funding for children who are physically or emotionaly disabled which falls under the same statutes as my son does.Whilst I have no problem with the funding for children who are more than likely not going to be great boons to society, I do have a problem with the state totally ignoring their own edicts, and allowing my county to allocate 0% on a yearly basis to young people who are above average in intellect.

Thirdly, and no offence meant, but I don't particularly like your "unadulaterated male" comments. God is a Gentleman, and you can see that in the Bible verses that constrain men from being, well... how should I put this? Stupid! The Lord states that if you can't make your wife happy, your prayers will not be answered. He also says in Proverbs 31 that your job is to sit in the gates and praise her for all the wonderful work that she does. Furthermore, lest we forget, He created everything, including man, before He created Eve...seems He stopped when He was finally satisfied he got it right!

I pray for you now to have the understanding that God meant you to have, that while you are a man, the hunter-gatherer, and the stronger physically of the species,that you will learn that the females in your life are the givers of life, the keepers of the human race, and the voices of reason...and that we are here to be your "help-meets" (meet, as in worthy of you,not mates!), not slaves to do your bidding.Amen.

Fourthly, to the agmostic person who posted lastly...please don't confuse comments made with lack of love for our fellow man, even though we might not agree with them. It is not bickering; it is simple trying to get the reality of the words of the Bible out there with the truths that they convey. It is not that we do not love our fellow man; it is that we hope with our posts to enlighten those who do not understand that they are missing the great gift that our Lord sacrificed Himself for.

Thank you for allowing me my say. God bless you all.

jcpemberton said...

pastor shane, I live in an area that is very liberal, and there are lots of homeschool people in the area who believe the public schools are not liberal enough! So, I'm grateful to have found a non-denominational Christian group so that my children can see that people don't have to be of our faith to be God-fearing people, to be honest citizens, to have family values, to uphold marriage between a man and a woman and who hold that ideal for the upbringing of children.

We (that's a collective "we" including all people of faith) have enough opposition as it is. We don't need to be bickering about tenets of faith -- let the doctrines stand on their own and let the Spirit be the witness.

As a Mormon and I'm pretty used to being misunderstood. But, what baffles me more is being, not just misunderstood, but maligned by a few (certainly not all) people in the Christian community, including many of the comments here. (in fairness, most of them are 2 years old by now).

Imagine my dismay when a friend of mine warned me that other parents in our homeschooling association might judge me for being Mormon because they don't think I'm Christian. I hope they don't think that my children don't qualify for the grace offered by Christ when they accept him as their Savior.

I've been attending my church all my life and have never seen anybody give a sermon in my church that maligned someone else, denigrated their beliefs or undermined someone else's faith. We (that's a collective we again) don't need the tactics of animosity and contention.

Michael said...

Sad to see such ignorance about the truth of our church being taught by a man of faith. Our entire church is centered around Christ, to call us non-Christian is to not understand anything about us, but most bigots don't want to learn.

Oh, not all Mormon's are Repubs, I and my family are devout Mormon's, but also strong Democrats. Also, our church teaches us to vote our concious, and does not come out in support of or against any political party of candidate, and use of our facilities for political purposes is STRICTLY forbidden.

I am not a home schooler, I am a strong believer in the public schools, I found your site by accident. I felt a need to speak up when I saw your ignorant and totally disgusting tirade against my faith. I hope that you will get down on your knees, and ask God if he approves of your hatred towards his fellow beings.

Obbop said...

Travel through rural Utah and observe the obvious inbreeding within the small outlaying towns.

But, it's okay!!!!

Bound for eternity, the Mormons, after they die, will procreate, creating a horde of spiritual "babies" so that a multitude of planets can be populated!!!!

Don't need polygamy on Earth, despite the earliest cult creators proclaiming polygamy was an essential part of their cult.

To meet current needs, to attain statehood for Utah, the cult of "Moroni" found it quite easy to follow man-made non-Mormon law while ignoring their "God's" rules.

Poor Mormons...brainwashed from birth.

Just another cult, as ALL religions are!!!!

Other than "faith" there is NO replicable proof that any God actually exists.

Weak-minded humans.

Just because you believe something does not make it real, factual.

Obbop said...

The book "Pearl of Great Price" is an integral aspect of Mormonism yet the Mormon cult never brings it up with the gentiles.

Lots of mention about the Book of Mormon on TV ads and via Mormon missionaries yet have you ever heard about the Pearl?

Is that cult trying to hide something?

jcp said...

What an amazing contradiction. You suggest faith requires a weak mind, but the opposite is true. Atheism is the greatest excuse for ultimate selfishness; letting you put yourself before God or any other person or principle or cause.

Atheism requires the weakest of minds and excuses the weakest of behaviors.

Sad to see this thread start in ignorance about homeschooling, about Mormonism and now about Atheism.