Will the Robert Jeffress saga continue?

The First Baptist Dallas website prominently displays a Mormon icon. If you click on it you can read “stark differences” between Evangelical Christianity and Mormonism. So why is this local church so uptight about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? And why has their head pastor recently been courted by several major networks and radio stations? 

It was interesting as I read more about Robert Jeffress the head pastor. His biography page states that “Dr. Jeffress’ bold, biblical, and practical approach to ministry has made him one of the country’s most respected evangelical leaders.”

One strong biblical connection was obvious about his comment last week concerning Mormonism being a cult. He confirmed what the Savior said would happen to those who follow Him: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Luke 6:22—23). I am not sure pastor Jeffress fully understands how his words fulfilled the Savior’s words last Friday night.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shouldn’t be too worried about Jeffress’ reproach. Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy (Biblically rooted office) for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently wrote about being Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus Christ. “The Savior and those who have taken upon them His name have always drawn and will always draw criticism. The truth never exists unopposed. It will always have many times more than its share of antagonists, desperately striving to disprove, debunk, discredit, and destroy. That is so because it is truth; if it were not, it would be of no consequence and the world would pay it no mind, much less waste any effort to oppose it. It would be permitted to roll along into oblivion, unnoticed and forgotten.”

Perhaps Robert Jeffress’ biography page is going to have to be edited by the end of the week. He is getting an ear full right now. Several non-Mormons, which include evangelicals, are not blind to his un-Christ like rhetoric last week. But a visit to the biography page will reveal it isn’t much about the Savior, which has made me reflect upon my own motives and intentions. Consider this warning from an ancient prophet: “[The Lord] commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion” (2 Nephi 26:29)

This is a warning to all of us in the realm of religion who seek to teach, write, and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The press has very little interest in the scriptures and the words of eternal life. But they do love controversy in presidential politics. And they love when it comes from those who should know better. That’s why pastors, bishops, teachers, apostles, etc… should be wary of summits, conferences, and campaigns associated with presidential politics. It took Billy Graham several years and poor decisions to learn this (read The Preacher and the Presidents).

If Robert Jeffress is really about the Kingdom of God then I think he will learn his lesson. But if it is priestcraft—the saga will continue.

 

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9 Responses to Will the Robert Jeffress saga continue?

  1. Mikeasell says:

    Aside from the reasons given by the mentioned pastor, here are other reasons, and signs, as to why Mormonism is viewed as a cult by outsiders (taken from cult interventionist Rick Ross):

    Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

    No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

    No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

    Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

    There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

    Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

    There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

    Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.

    The group/leader is always right.

    The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

    I know how the LDS people are taught to think, but from an objective point of view, these can all be applied to the LDS faith.

    You cant assume that because you are criticized, that by default, Christ’s saying apply to you as a victim of the gospel. The reality is that Romney’s run will force LDS member to answer questions outside their rehearsed catchphrases and meticulously edited manuals. They will be forced to answer historical and biblical questions outside the LDS missionary discussions and that will create controversy and uneasiness. Covering yourself with the we are victims blanket statements will only make you look more like a cult.

    • B says:

      Uhm, Mikeasell, there are no blankets here, just the testimony of how Jesus Christ has saved my life many times from the perious “every wind of doctrine” thats out there, including yours. In kind, a testimony was not bought or relied upon and certanitly not in blind faith, but asking questions, praying, fasting and ultimately asking the source. I really expect this kind of attention as Mitt continues to do so well. As for your analysis, I feel its mistaken the very fact we are accountible is a mainstream of our religion and is taken care in in the church courts not paraded on tv.

  2. E L Frederick says:

    1) Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

    If the membership by and large disagreed and refused to sustain a General Authority, do you not believe he would be removed?

    2) No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

    You’ve never met the characters from FAIRLDS or FARMS if you don’t think you can question or critically question.

    3) No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

    This one may apply as I have no idea and do not pay attention to such things.

    4) Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

    Define unreasonable? I don’t think that Mormons as a whole are unreasonable or expecting impending doom or persecution.

    5) There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

    Such is the case with ALL Churches.

    6) Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

    Such is the case with ALL Churches.

    7) There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

    Such is the case with ALL Churches.

    8) Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.

    I disagree with this one. If people choose not to believe they can be “good enough” they have missed a whole part of the Gospel plan. The Lord does not expect us to be guild ridden people. We are to rejoice in the fact that we are all saved by Grace, while still doing all we can. We can never amount to being perfect, nor does the Lord or the Church expect it.

    To Quote President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

    “First, forget not to be patient with yourself.

    I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.

    Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.

    And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.”

    9) The group/leader is always right.

    I disagree that the leaders are always right. I’ve know several leaders in the Church who were wrong, accepted council and either changed; or were removed from their calling by a higher authority.

    All Church leaders accept and ask for council. It’s the way the Church is setup. Each Presidency has two councilors plus a secretary; as well as any number of people who are working with the Presidencies who can render assistance or council as needed.

    Doctrine and Covenants 121:41
    41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

    10) The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

    Not true at all. Each person is entitled to personal revelation. Each head of household is entitled to revelation for the Family. Each Bishop is entitled to Revelation for his Ward. The Prophet is authorized for the Church and for the World.

    That is hardly what you described.

  3. Doug Gibson says:

    You’re not going to change the minds of those who enjoy hating, whether they be Pastor Jeffress or your garden variety obsessive anti-Mormon. “I know how the LDS people are taught to think” is an apt statement for someone who has no idea what he or she is talking about. What presumption.

  4. Steve says:

    Aren’t these some stereotypes also?

  5. Andrew Karl says:

    A religion is just a cult with more members.

    • Erick says:

      Yeah, and “a stranger is just a friend that you haven’t met”.

      These labels and semantics are meaningless, just like the lists we draw up about them. Rick Ross is hardly a “cult interventionist”, as his criteria was drawn up critiquing religion and making loose comparisons to the fringe religious groups which were then encapsulated all under the broad and incindiary label “cult”. It literally has no real meaning. Even if we accepted for a moment the premise that Mormonism is a cult – what new insights do we now have about Mormonism on account of that label? Does your definition come from the evangelicals, the anti-religionists, the conspiracy theorists?

  6. Larry L Clark says:

    I Like This Comment by:LaRae Clinger of ID 7:56PM October 08, 2011
    [report comment]
    “Evangelicals” and “Born Agains” need to stop claiming to have a monopoly on the worship of Jesus Christ. They are lying to themselves about being Christians when they speak and act like the very Pharisees that crucified our Lord and Saviour. Like the Pharisees of old, many “Evangelicals” and “Born Agains” believe they belong to a self-righteous and exclusive club, which gives them the right to label others as “gentile”, “heathen”, and “Samaritan.” Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “The Mormons” do not want to be like Charismatic Christians, Evangelical Christians, or Born Again Christians because they would much rather be known for actually living Christ’s teachings, like the “Good Samaritan” who was not even a Jew or a “Christian.”
    On Election Day, it is every “Evangelical” or “Born Again Christian’s” privilege to be as unpatriotic and un-American as Pastor Jeffress. They can choose to stay home and refuse to do their civic duty by not voting. Just remember, however, all it takes for Obama to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

  7. Shawn L says:

    I’m not sure why Mormons, or the media, are surprised by this cult language. Didn’t Joseph Smith reject historic Christianity as apostate, and condemn the various denominations he was familiar with in New England for teaching false doctrine? Theological disagreement does not amount to hate. If it did, then we’re all guilty.

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