by Matt Slick
"Is Mormonism Christian?" The answer is simple. No. Mormonism is not Christian because it denies the basic and essential doctrines of the Christian faith such as the teaching that there is only one God, that God has always been God, and that forgiveness of sins is by faith alone. Instead, Mormonism teaches that god is an exalted man from another world who has a goddess wife and that people have the potential of becoming gods. That is most assuredly not Christian according to the Bible.
If you are a Mormon, please realize that CARM is not trying to attack you, your character, or the sincerity of your belief. If you are a non-Mormon looking into Mormonism or if you are a Christian who is simply researching Mormonism, then this article should be of help.
The reason Mormonism is not Christian is that it denies one or more of the essential doctrines of Christianity. Here is a basic list of what true Christianity teaches as essential doctrine according to the Bible.
- There is only one God in all existence (Exodus 20:1-4; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8; 45:5).
- Jesus is divine (John 1:1, 14; 8:24; Col. 2:9)
- Forgiveness of sins is by grace alone without works (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:28; 4:1-5)
- Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21; Luke 24:39)
- The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4)
Mormonism denies that there is only one God in all existence and also denies the forgiveness of sins alone in Christ alone. Therefore, it is outside Christianity. It is not a Christian religion.
Mormonism teaches . . .
Mormonism teaches that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones (D. & C. 130:22) and that Jesus is a creation who was begotten in heaven as one of God’s spirit children (See the book, Jesus the Christ, by James Talmage, p. 8). This is in strict contrast to the biblical teaching that he is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14), eternal (John 1:1, 2, 15), uncreated, yet born on earth (Col. 1:15), and the creator of all (John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17). Jesus cannot be both created and not created at the same time. Though Mormonism teaches that Jesus is God in flesh, it teaches that he is "a" god in flesh, one of three gods that comprise the office of the Trinity (Articles of Faith, by Talmage, pp. 35-40). These three gods are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This is in direct contradiction of the biblical doctrine that there is only one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8; 45:5). See Trinity for a correct discussion of what the Trinity is (see also, false trinity)
Because Mormonism denies the biblical truth of who God is, who Jesus is, how forgiveness of sins is attained, and what the gospel is, Mormonism is not Christian.
What else does Mormonism teach?
Mormon theology teaches that God is only one of countless gods, that he used to be a man on another planet, that he became a god by following the laws and ordinances of that god on that world, and that he brought one of his wives to this world with whom he produces spirit children who then inhabit human bodies at birth. The first spirit child to be born was Jesus. Second (though this is disputed among Mormons) was Satan, and then we all followed. But, the Bible says that there is only one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8; 45:5), that God has been God eternally (Psalm 90:2)--which means he was never a man on another planet. Since the Bible denies the existence of other gods (and goddesses--there is a mother goddess in Mormonism), the idea that Jesus is the product of a god and goddess couple is rejected. The Bible tells us that Jesus--The Jesus of Mormonism--is definitely not the same Jesus of the Bible. Therefore, faith in the Mormon Jesus is faith misplaced because the Mormon Jesus doesn't exist.
Mormonism says Jesus' Sacrifice is not enough
Mormonism teaches that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross itself (and receiving it by faith) is not sufficient to bring forgiveness of sins. It teaches that the forgiveness of sins is obtained through a cooperative effort with God; that is, we must be good and follow the laws and ordinances of the Mormon church in order to obtain forgiveness. Consider the late James Talmage, an LDS apostle who said, "The sectarian dogma of justification by faith alone has exercised an influence for evil," (Articles of Faith, p. 432), and "Hence the justice of the scriptural doctrine that salvation comes to the individual only through obedience," (Articles of Faith, p. 81). This clearly contradicts the biblical doctrine of the forgiveness of sins by grace through faith (Rom. 3:28; 5:1; 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9) and the doctrine that works are not part of becoming saved (Rom. 4:1-5) but a result of them (James 2:14-18).
To further confuse the matter, Mormonism states that salvation is twofold. It maintains that salvation is both forgiveness of sins and universal resurrection. So when a Mormon speaks of salvation by grace, he is usually referring to universal resurrection. But the Bible speaks of salvation as the forgiveness of sins--not universal resurrection. Where Mormonism states that forgiveness of sins is not by faith alone (2 Nephi 25:23; Moroni 10:32), the Bible does teach it is by faith alone (Rom. 3:28; 4:1-5). Both cannot be true.
Mormonism and the Bible
In order to justify its aberrant theology, Mormonism has undermined the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible. The 8th Article of Faith from the Mormon Church states, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." This means that when the Bible contradicts Mormonism, the Bible isn't trustworthy. This allows them to say and teach whatever they want even when it contradicts scripture.
Mormonism is not Christian because it denies that there is only one God, denies the true Gospel, adds works to salvation, denies that Jesus is the uncreated creator, distorts the biblical teaching of the atonement, undermines the authority and reliability of the Bible, says that God used to be a man who came from another planet, that we can become gods, that there is a goddess mother in heaven, etc.
CARM does not deny that Mormons are decent, helpful people and that they do many good things. But that isn't what makes someone Christian--nor does putting "Jesus Christ" in your title make you Christian if you deny who Jesus really is. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (NKJV).
Notice that Jesus condemns those who combine their faith with their works in order to be saved. If you doubt that, see also Luke 18:9-14 where Jesus teaches the same thing again.
Becoming a Christian does not mean belonging to a church, doing good things, or simply believing in a god from another planet. Being a Christian means that you have trusted in the true God for salvation, received the True Jesus--not the brother of the devil, not the god of Mormonism, not the gospel of Mormonism. Becoming a Christian means believing the gospel of Christ, who is God in flesh, 2nd person of the Trinity, who was sent by the Father, bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24), died, was buried and rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-4). You must trust Jesus. Believe what he did. Put your faith in him.
Mormonism is false and cannot save anyone.