Question: I found an organization on a website whose members call themselves "Born-Again Mormons." They claim to be true Christians who reject most of the doctrines of Mormonism, and their Statement of Beliefs looks pretty good. But one of their main philosophies is that they must remain in the Mormon Church in order to evangelize the lost within that body. Is this possible? What do you know about them?
Response: Some saved Catholics also say they want to remain in their Church to evangelize. It doesn't make sense. One's very presence at Mass or during the sacraments of the Mormon Church implies full agreement therewith. And how could one partake without endorsing the false doctrines underlying the sacraments? Impossible! A Catholic partaking of Mass is eating a "Christ" who is still suffering, is being immolated and offered for sin, did not pay the full price of our redemption on the Cross, and has been turned into billions of wafers to be ingested repeatedly into the stomachs of members to propitiate their sins.
Likewise, the Mormon partaking of the sacraments is agreeing with church teaching behind them and with the prayers and hymns; that Christ is a created being and half-brother of Lucifer (actually there is an unlimited number of "Christs" and "Lucifers" out there somewhere on an infinite number of other "earths") who could not and did not pay the full penalty for sin through His death; that one must work for one's salvation, which is exaltation to godhood, etc. Yet the head of this movement says he partakes of the Mormon sacraments while opposing the doctrines upon which they are founded. Furthermore, the sacraments are forbidden by official church doctrine to any non-member or even to a member not in good standing, but he has found a local church that winks at official rules.
Contradictions abound! The leader of the group was, at his request, excommunicated several years ago, but now is trying to get back in to "evangelize" from within, so he once rejected what he now wants us to accept. Obviously, to stay in the Mormon Church (or the Catholic Church, et al.) gives the appearance of approval. In fact, "Born-again Mormons" do approve of the church and its activities but not of its doctrines, and they imagine they can change the latter from within: "We believe that the doctrinal LDS Church is in error but that the physical organization remains beneficial. We are not out to destroy the physical church but seek to confront and help remove any doctrines which demand anything more than faith in Jesus Christ for salvation."
Yet the church is founded upon and embodies its doctrines. Belonging to the church requires approval of its doctrines. One cannot oppose the foundation while supporting what is built upon it. Nor can one attend and participate without seeming to approve the doctrines upon which church services and activities are based. The website says, "We seek to overthrow any and all non-biblical LDS doctrine and replace it with Christian Truths from a position of activity inside the Church." This is self-contradictory and self-defeating.
Furthermore, like the Watchtower (Jehovah's Witnesses) the Mormon Church is a cult. Anyone who openly questions its false Christ, false salvation, and other false doctrines (much less opposes them) would be excommunicated just as one would be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church for openly opposing its false gospel. A true Christian could only remain inside the Mormon Church dishonestly and in dishonor of his Lord.
The website, bornagainmormon.com, argues that just as "Jack-Mormon" is an accepted term to Mormons, so "Born-again Mormon may be applied in a similar way." No, the two terms are not similar at all: "Jack Mormon" is a Mormon who doesn't practice; "born-again Mormon" is one who isn't a Mormon but pretends to be. The website goes on to explain: "we use the term Mormon the way a Jew uses the word Jew, a woman uses the term Woman, or a South African uses the title of South African." But the analogy fails. One is born a Jew, woman, South African-a fact that has nothing to do with one's beliefs. Though some Mormons say they were born Mormons, to be a Mormon is a matter of one's beliefs, not birth.
These people seem to be sincere Christians, but they are very confused and are confusing Mormons and non-Mormons alike. Recently on TV the leader said: "I am not going to...try to discern whether you are talking about the real Jesus or the false Jesus. When you say you are talking about Jesus I believe that opens the door to the true Jesus Christ." This could not be more irrational and unbiblical!
Paul said that believing in "another Jesus [and] another gospel" opens the door not to truth but to devilish error (2 Cor:11:2-4)! The same leader also said that he would "not use Bible verses or talk about doctrine...[but] just talk about Jesus." So the Word of God is avoided because the truth might offend! But one cannot "talk about Jesus" except as defined by sound doctrine. Furthermore, Peter declares that we are "born again...by the Word of God...which by the gospel is preached" (1 Pt 1:23-25). This group claims to oppose the false doctrines of the Mormon Church-but how can Mormonism be effectively opposed without communicating that fact and presenting the truth from the Bible?! Confusion, confusion!
Here we have one more example of apparently well-meaning Christians hoping to get people saved with an inoffensive gospel that can't save. We have given many examples, from Joel Osteen's Sunday sermons to Rick Warren's series of articles in The Ladies' Home Journal. This delusion seems to be spreading, from President Bush's politically correct whitewash that calls Islam a religion of peace, to the religiously correct omission within today's church of anything offensive to unbelievers. We need to oppose this error and stand for the truth!