Monday, August 30, 2010

Glenn Beck's Messiah Complex?

Remember Gomer Pyle? That big silly country hick from Mayberry who joined the Marines? One of his favorite expressions was - say it with me - "Sur-PRAHZ, sur-PRAHZ, sur-PRAHZ!"

Well, if good ol' Gomer had been watching right-wing TV personality Glenn Beck in Washington, DC this weekend, he'd have been as sur-PRAHZed as a lot of people were.

In place of the average liberal-bashing, right-wing pontificating, and pre-presidential-election posturing, Beck instead launched into a stunning flag-waving church revival. Who'd have thunk it: he fancies himself as some sort of Christian evangelist! While he insists his rally Saturday was some sort of mishmash of war hero, virtue-loving, non-political star-spangled Dr. Martin Luther King tribute, Beck sure sounded like a preacher in search of a pulpit.

And he found his congregation: an adoring crowd of "more than one thousand people," as Beck himself cleverly observed, who traveled from across the country and took his every word as gospel.

Which presents a conundrum to the non-church-going conservatives who have appreciated Rush Limbaugh's avoidance of Christian imagery and allegory. What do you do with a guy who gets up onstage and claims that returning to God will solve America's woes? About the closest Limbaugh gets to God is when he's going through his wedding chapel's revolving doors.

But more importantly, what do evangelical Christians do if they've become devoted fans of Beck and his patriotic swagger? Because, in case you haven't heard, Beck ain't what he claims to be. He's a Mormon.

Let's Get This Straight: Mormons Aren't Christians

Now, I know Mormons like to call themselves "Christians." They believe in historical people named God and Jesus, and they utilize many of the same Biblical buzzwords Christians use to describe salvation, atonement, and eternal life. But without faith in Who these Beings are and what they've done for their people, you aren't a "Christian" in the Gospel sense of the word.

A long-time friend of my family's who is a pastor's wife was gushing about the Beck rally Saturday on Facebook, and she marveled at how he was "doing church" there on the National Mall. When I cautioned that Beck is a Mormon, she replied that people could be both Mormon and saved (which is the Christian word for those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior). Another FB friend of hers chastised me for harboring even a speck of disagreement over Beck's rally.

I don't mind acrimony on FB, because I know that it is an imperfect medium for having a genuine dialog about topics like religion. Yet I was grieved for our family friend who proved her cluelessness when it comes to the Mormon faith.

Can it be emphasized too strongly that Mormons are not Bible-believing Christians? Can I share just two crucial proofs for why Mormons do not worship the God of evangelical Christianity? I'll prove my point by simply taking two elements from the Mormons' own Articles of Faith:

  • Mormons do not believe in the Trinity. Without a triune Deity, any religion mocks Christianity. If you think it's OK for Christians to not subscribe to trinitarian theology, then quite simply, you're not saved, either. Hey - that's not my opinion; check out 2 Corinthians 13:14 and John 1:1.
  • Mormons do not receive their salvation through the grace of God. They can get saved by both believing in Christ and following the "laws and ordinances in the Gospel." If you believe the grace of God isn't sufficient for salvation, then you're not saved, either. Again, that's not my opinion, it's in the Bible: Ephesians 2:8.
God's existence as Father, Son, and Spirit comprises Who He is, and contributes to His intrinsic character as our Savior by grace. If your god isn't the gracious trinitarian God, then you're not a Christian. This isn't my opinion; this is fact.

Many more examples of fallacies in the Mormon religion exist to prove they are not Christians, even though they like to think they are. If you don't believe me, check out Watchman Fellowship for yourself.

Is Glenn Beck a New Prophet?

Do you dismiss Beck as just the latest fad in a long line of harmless right-wing talking heads? Do you regard Beck as being antagonized by people like me, pessimistic finger-pointers with our own axes to grind? Or do you consider Beck to be a genuinely spiritual, revolutionary thinker with no other agenda than the welfare of the United States?

However you view Beck, my friends, consider the messianic attributions posters to Beck's blog have been heaping upon him (with all of the original typo's included):

  • "Glen Beck you are a prophet of GOD."

  • "I am thanking God for you to bring our country back to Faith in God."
  • "Thanks again for being the voice of one crying in the wilderness to make straight the way of the Lord."

  • "Thank God for planting the seed in you to speak and get the true message out about what is happening and restoring many's faith in God."
  • "Our prayer is that God will use this to bring revival to the church in America. Thank you Glenn for obeying the voice of God"

  • "What this man has accomplished in such a short time is wiith Gods presence in his soul guiding him to bring us from the brink of an evil empire."

  • "thank you for being obedient to the calling of the Spirit.......all the Lord needed was for someone to listen"

  • "I'm almost 60 years old and was waiting all my life to hear words of truth. Finally I found it - listening to you"
Hmmm... Sounds almost like the way liberals were gushing over Barak Obama back during the 2008 election, doesn't it? At the time, conservatives called Obama's fervent supporters lunatics.

Glenn Beck Is No Messiah

Of course, just as President Obama was not the savior of the United States then, neither is Glenn Beck today.

Now, don't get me wrong: as I've said in other posts, Beck has accurately pointed out many problems in the United States, and his being a Mormon doesn't mean he has bad politics. What is becoming apparently dangerous about Beck, however, is his religious rallying cries under the guise of Biblical Christianity. True followers of Christ need to be discerning about His Gospel and wary of people who manipulate it for their own purposes.

Or the lack of saving faith you claim to see in liberals may (surprise!) be your own.

PS - Don't consider me expert enough to have this opinion about Glenn Beck? How about this guy?

1 comment:

  1. Glen Beck certainly is a prophet. Just like Howard Beale in "Network," he's mad as hell, and God's not gonna take it anymore.



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