Why Protestants Agree With Mormons
(They Just Don't Realize It)
December 7, 2007
"Then there are those Mormon doctrines that really get under Protestant's skin and drive them berserk. Ironically, they believe in some of these same beliefs. For example..."
At first glance it appears Protestant theology and Latter-day Saint theology has nothing in common. However, there are several beliefs shared by both the LDS Church and Protestant denominations. Latter-Day Saints and Protestants believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That He created the Earth and was the God of the Old Testament. Jesus was born of a virgin and lived a perfect and sinless life during His mortal ministry. Both believe that Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice and suffered horribly to atone for our sins. He died on the cross and was resurrected the third day, freeing us all from the bonds of death. Mormons and Protestants also both believe in morality and the sanctity of marriage and family.
There are some LDS beliefs that some Protestants politely disagree with like salvation through both grace and works. Then there are those Mormon doctrines that really get under Protestant's skin and drive them berserk. Ironically, they believe in some of these same beliefs but didn't know it because they hadn't looked at them from a different perspective. Here are some examples.
Protestants and Latter-Day Saints believe the Bible is scripture inspired by God. Most Protestant Sects believe the Bible is inerrant and take issue with the LDS Church belief that the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. They really get hung up on the "as far as it is translated correctly" part.
Why do Protestants actually agree?
Personally, I don't know a single Protestant who reads an Ignatius or Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition Bible. Why? Because Protestants claim the Catholic versions are inaccurate. Reformers wasted no time in producing new interpretations of the Bible from old Greek and Hebrew texts because they didn't trust previous versions. There are also debates among Protestant denominations as to which of the 50+ English translations, such as the KJV, NIV, NKJV, NLT, CEV, et al. of the Bible is best, or in other words "which is translated correctly". According to ebible.org, a Protestant site, the "New World Translation is notoriously inaccurate".
Mormons catch grief from Protestants for having beliefs that aren't explicitly taught in the Bible, like the LDS belief in eternal marriage, salvation for the dead and the three degrees of glory. Protestants hold that the Bible is the only authority on gospel doctrine. Sola Scriptura
Why Protestants agree with having extra-biblical doctrines?
There are core beliefs prevalent in traditional Protestantism that are extra-biblical. The most obvious are the Creeds. The Nicene Creed, the Athanasius Creed and the Apostle's Creed are authoritative statements of faith that define the Nature of God within traditional Christianity -- and they are extra-biblical. Drafted hundreds of years after the death of Jesus Christ, the Creeds are theological compromises made by councils of scholars, theologians, philosophers and politicians who debated and defined the Holy Trinity. The creeds are not scriptural but are considered canonical by Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians.
Another extra-biblical Protestant belief is The Rapture. The rapture doctrine was first introduced in the late 1800's by John Nelson Darby, an Anglican Minster. Drawing on futurist's views, Darby was the first to posit the belief that Christ would return in secret, rapture His followers, and leave the rest behind for the final tribulation. Although relatively new, the rapture belief has become so popular in mainstream Protestant culture it spawned a series of best-selling books.
Adam and Eve's Other Kids
Mormons believe that Adam and Eve had children before Cain, Abel and the others mentioned in Genesis. I had a funny conversation with a nice Protestant lady who was appalled that Mormons would even think this.
Why do Protestants actually agree?
Hello!!! Where did we all come from if the first two people on Earth only had sons? They had to have a few daughters in there too, don't ya think? And who did Cain marry and begat Enoch if there weren't already some daughters from Adam and Eve?
The Great Apostasy
The LDS Church believes that the priesthood and parts of the true gospel established by Jesus Christ during His mortal ministry were lost in the centuries following the deaths of the Apostles. There were still faithful believers during this time that kept Christianity alive. However, some truths were lost, ordinances were changed, leaders became corrupt and The Church fell away as Paul prophesied it would in Thessalonians 2. This period is referred to as the great apostasy. The Greek word for "falling away" is Apostasia — Apostasy.
Why do Protestants believe in the Apostasy?
If it ain't broken why fix it, right? If there was not an apostasy, why have a Reformation? Why organize new churches if the old church is fine? Martin Luther tried to reform the Catholic Church because he believed it had become corrupt. Other Reformers also sought to re-establish the "true gospel". Aren't all Protestant sects basically founded on the premise that the other guy is wrong so we need to set it right? Lutherans and Episcopalians exist because Catholicism wouldn't make changes. John Knox, a Calvinist, formed Presbyterianism because of disagreements with Lutherans. John Wesley formed the Methodists because he thought that everyone else was wrong, and so forth. Today, Protestants church shop believing one church's teachings are more in line with the Bible than others. Protestantism exists because of the apostasy.
The LDS Church teaches that, following faith in Christ and repentance, baptism by immersion for a remission of sins is a necessary ordinance for salvation.
Why do Protestants agree?
Actually, it depends on the particular Protestant denomination. Some believe baptism is required; others view it as a type and shadow or nice gesture of faith. There are also disputes among Protestants over the style of baptism. Some Protestant sects agree with the LDS Church that full immersion is the proper method, others are are sprinklers and some are partial dunkers.
Satan is Jesus' Brother
Protestants have such a knee-jerk reaction to this. It really REALLY aggravates them because they take it out of context and also assume that spirit brotherhood makes Jesus and satan coequals — it doesn't!
The LDS Church teaches that before the Earth was created, we all lived as spirits with God, our Heavenly Father. Since He is the Father of our spirits we are all brothers and sisters. God The Father directed His Eldest Son, Jesus Christ, to create and organize Earth. God then gathered all His spirit children together and presented us with His Plan of Salvation, wherein we would leave our pre-mortal home and be born on Earth. We'd receive mortal bodies, learn through our experiences, be tested for our faithfulness and be redeemed by The Savior. We'd physically die, be resurrected into immortal bodies, receive our final judgment and inherit our eternal destination.
God knew we would fall short, so the Plan of Redemption and the need for a Savior was also explained. Our eldest brother and God's First-Born Son, Jesus, volunteered to be born as God's Only Begotten in the flesh and be our Savior and Redeemer. He would allow us to choose for ourselves and He would return all the glory to Heavenly Father. Another of God's spirits, Lucifer, also volunteered but wanted to change God's plan for his own. He would have removed free will and force all to comply. He also wanted all the glory for himself. Obviously, God didn't take his offer so Lucifer rebelled and 1/3 of all of Heavenly Father's spirits chose to rebel with him, while the other 2/3 chose to follow God and Jesus. Lucifer and his 1/3 were cast out. He became Satan and now tries to foil God's plan by leading the rest of us away.
Why do Protestants actually agree that Jesus and satan were spirit brothers?
While Protestants disagree over the specifics of this LDS theology, they do believe in some key points – That Lucifer was created by God and that he didn't start out bad but later became evil and was cast out of God's presence. Since Lucifer was created by God that makes God his Father. Protestants believe that Jesus is the Son of God; ergo, Lucifer and Jesus (and the rest of us) are brothers since they, and we, share the same Heavenly Father.
God has a physical body
The LDS Church teaches that God the Father has a glorified and perfected physical body of flesh and bone, and that we are literally created in His likeness and image. The Church also teaches that since Jesus Christ was Resurrected, He also has a body of flesh and bone.
Why do Protestants agree?
Protestants believe in the Nicene concept of The Trinity, which means that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the same - three beings of one substance. Protestants also believe in the physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ. So if Jesus really was resurrected then that means God has a physical body since Jesus has one since He is God and They are of "one substance".
God is a Man
The LDS Church teaches that not only does God the Father have a body, but that He is also a man. This belief really freaks Protestants and they like to use the mantra "God was never a man" against the LDS members.
Why do Protestants actually agree?
Once again their Trinitarian belief draws them into a roundabout agreement with the LDS Church. They believe that Jesus was with God and is God. Well? Jesus was born on Earth and received a physical body, right? Which means, according to their Trinitarian belief, God was born and was a man! You've gotta love the irony that some Evangelicals will argue with LDS members till they're blue in the face that God was never a man, then go to church and read tracts titled "Why God Became Man". Go figure. Also, He's called our FATHER in Heaven, not our Entity in Heaven. I could be off, but the word father usually denotes Male.