CHRISTIAN, MORMON, JEHOVAH'S WITNESS: IS IT ALL THE SAME? [Excerpts]
Christianity is built primarily on two foundations: Jesus is God and the inerrancy of the Bible. We are encouraged to be at peace with all men, even with those who have different beliefs. But the Bible also encourages us to boldly and confidently present a scriptural basis for truth and compare differences. I'm not trying to pick a fight. I want to see people experience a passionate relationship with Jesus. Although many applaud boldness, if the truth be told, life would be much easier if I took another vocation and avoided controversy. But I cannot.
Roman Catholicism promotes submission to the teachings of the Pope, bishops, and sacred traditions that often supersede Scripture. I have many Mormon friends, but there are some clear differences. Mormons refer to the Bible, but look primarily to the Book of Mormon. The challenge with believing both the Bible and the Book of Mormon is that Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith cannot both be right — they contradict each other at every turn. Mormon doctrine teaches that the inspired words of their living prophets become scripture; thus, superseding the Bible. After many years of saying, "I want to bear my testimony that I know this church is true ... I know our prophet is a true prophet of God," it becomes ingrained but rarely challenged.
Jehovah's Witnesses, through The New World Translation, claim that their version of the Bible is scholarly and more accurate. However, the translators were not biblical scholars or theologians. David Reed, an ex-Witness, says that the New World Translation came into being in 1961 for the sole purpose of eliminating the deity of Christ.
Christianity is built on the written word of God alone. The Bible is our infallible rule of faith, being sufficient to give us the sure knowledge of the Gospel: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy:3:16). We cannot add or subtract.
Mormons believe that God was once as we are, and is now an exalted man, and that men can become gods. The prophet Joseph Smith refers to this as "the great secret" (Times and Seasons 5:613; Aug. 1844). They also assert that God's marriage partner is our mother in heaven; we are their spirit children; good works are necessary for salvation. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration of truth, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670).
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that salvation comes through works and not faith alone. Jesus Christ was a perfect man; a created being like us. According to John:1:1, in their Bible, Christ is "a god," but not "the God." They do not believe everything that Jesus claimed about Himself. The New World Translation and the Watchtower tracts systematically set out to eliminate evidence for the deity of Christ.
Any time we minimize Christ's finished work on the cross, we are on very dangerous ground. Historical Christianity believes that Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (cf. John:14:6). He is not a "god"; He is God....God the Father was never like us and we will never be like Him. This dangerous view exalts man. If a person claims that a "messenger of light" appeared to them with new truth, we should point them to Paul's words, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed" (Galatians:1:8).
Christ is the only Head of the Church. We do not need an additional mediator; Jesus is our mediator and Priest (Hebrews:4:15). We do not need to belong to any Church, or Society, to be saved. Salvation comes through Christ alone: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians:2:8).
(Idleman, "Christian, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness: Is It All the Same?," ChristianPost Online, 12/31/16)