Monthly Archives: June 2011

More than just a “Parental Warning” about Glenn Beck…

The first time I heard Glenn Beck back in 2008 I remember hearing a still small voice in my head saying, “Take it with a grain of salt…don’t put much weight (if any) in his ‘god’ talk…”

Next time I listened to him I was impressed with his knowledge about the government corruption, the laws, latest trends in Washington etc.  But then Beck said something about “charity” (for about the 10th time) and that still small voice inside my head started warning me again…

Once I got home, it took about 10 seconds on Google to discover he was a devout Mormon. Well OK, that made listening to him on the way home from work that much easier for me.

RULE 1: If he’s talking politics, enjoy the show.  RULE 2: The minute he mentions ANYTHING “scriptural” or “spiritual” TURN THE CHANNEL.

Why?  Because Beck’s Jesus isn’t the same Jesus that I serve.  Because Beck’s spirituality isn’t coming from the same Spirit that I have dwelling within me.

I discovered an article today from The Berean Call on Glenn Beck – I hope this blesses you like it did me.

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Glenn  Beck, the television and radio talk show host who is best known for his  conservative political views, isn’t someone whom we would normally  address in our newsletter.  Concerns are usually directed at  individuals, programs, or organizations that promote spiritual or  theological views contrary to the Word of God. Beck, of late, seems to  be making himself at home in that realm, and he’s attracting many who  call themselves Bible-believing Christians.

His  influence among evangelicals is rather odd and may say more about the  state of evangelicalism than about Beck’s engaging personality. His  popularity is proof that there is very little discernment that’s based  on testing things by the Scriptures–a consequence, in part, of the  Church Growth Movement. Marketing principles have become the rule and  are being used to fill churches. Biblical doctrines, which convict, have  been set aside in favor of psychotherapeutic sermonettes–something to  keep the folks feeling good about themselves and coming back for more.  There’s no doubt that this trend has dumbed down much of the church and  has done away with discernment to a great extent.

Anyone  who proclaims the name of Jesus–even though his understanding of who  that is may be far removed from the biblical Jesus–is nevertheless  accepted as a brother in Christ. Conservativism, political or otherwise,  is seen to be the glue of spiritual fellowship, and its characteristics  have taken on scriptural status and a basis for kinship. I’ve been told  that “Beck must be a Christian because he’s all about turning our  country back to its Christian roots.” That’s erroneous on at least two  counts.

First  of all, Glenn Beck is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-day Saints. He may refer to himself as a Christian, but he’s  certainly not a biblical Christian.  The distinction is as wide as hell is from heaven: “Whosoever  transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God” (2 John:9).  Mormon doctrine is “another gospel” that exalts “another Jesus.” Both  false beliefs came out of the deceived and deceiving mind of Joseph  Smith. Secondly, “our country” doesn’t have “Christian roots,” even  though some are claiming that our founding fathers were true Christians.  Many were not biblical Christians but Christians in name only, who  followed the faith of Deism, Masonry, and the philosophy of the  Enlightenment. Any early influence in America’s history of a biblical nature very likely came from the Pilgrims and the Puritans.

Since  I spend very little time watching television or listening to radio  programs, I wasn’t familiar with Glenn Beck, other than seeing him by  chance on Fox News. I found his Catholic background and his conversion  to Mormonism rather curious, given my own Catholic upbringing and, years  later, my writing for the film documentary The God Makers.  What I know about the overwhelming fictional nature of the Book of  Mormon had me wondering why Beck’s work as a conservative political  analyst didn’t give him the ability to discern the blatantly erroneous  teachings, practices, and historical claims of Mormonism. However, it  wasn’t until he was invited to speak at Liberty University’s  Commencement in 2010 (the largest evangelical college in the U.S.) that I  was first made aware of his growing influence among evangelical  Christians.

The  rationale, I was told, for having him speak to the graduating class was  that his conservative point of view was consistent with the school’s  philosophy, and his message was needed at a time when the Obama  administration seemed to be pushing this country down a path of  socialism. The fact that he is a Mormon was not a concern because his  address would be of a political nature, not spiritual. I learned after the event that he rewrote his talk just before speaking because he felt compelled to address spiritual  issues. He said that his invitation to speak was not an endorsement of  his religion by the university. “[But although we have] differences…we  need to find those things that unite us.” His speech was infused with  religious terms that would appear to bring people together–except for  the fact that these terms have very different meanings for Mormons and  evangelicals. He frequently referred to the power of the Atonement, to  faith, to the gospel, to the Holy Spirit, to personal revelations from  God. Does it matter that a Mormon has a completely different  understanding of the Atonement and the gospel from what is taught in the  Bible?

Beck  said, “Turn to God and live.” What God might that be? The Mormon one,  who has a physical body and lives on a planet near a star called Kolob?  Or the One who is spirit and exists outside His creation?

Beck exhorted his audience to seek the truth. But which God  is true? He closed his speech by challenging these mostly evangelical  graduates to “question everything, including everything I have just told  you” and to “read the Scriptures every day….” Would these include  Latter-day Saints’ scriptures such as the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine & Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price?  What about “The Inspired Translation of the Bible,” which Joseph Smith  wrote to make sure that the Bible was “translated correctly”?

Beck’s  last words were greeted with a standing ovation from the faculty, the  graduates, and their families and friends: “I leave these things with  you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.” Were they  cheering wildly for the biblical Jesus…or for the Jesus Christ of Mormonism? The two couldn’t be more dissimilar.

For  those enamored with Glenn Beck and upset with my concerns about him,  let’s take him up on his challenge to question his words. Many of the  thoughts in his Liberty University speech can be found in his new book  titled The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life,  which he co-authored with psychiatrist Keith Ablow. In it, Beck sets  the record straight as to his understanding of Mormonism. That’s  important because I have heard all kinds of explanations–from his being  naïve about the faith fabricated by Joseph Smith to his being led to  biblical salvation through faith alone in Jesus Christ by various  evangelical leaders who have appeared on his television and radio  programs. Beck, however, dispels any and all speculation:

I  read everything there was to read on [The Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-day Saints’] websites and every word of Mormon Doctrine. I  treated Mormonism as if it were a hostile witness. For a while I went to  the anti-Mormon literature for hints, but I found most of it to be  unfair or just plain wrong. I tried every trick I could think of to find  a contradiction. The problem was that I couldn’t. Mormonism seemed to  explain the world and my place in it better than any other faith I had  looked at. It answered many spiritual questions that had gone unanswered  for me for my entire life. (Beck &Ablow, The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life, p.149)

In  his Liberty University speech, which was often very emotional, he  referred to the Old Testament book of Ezekiel and how he (Beck) felt  that the call to be a “watchman,” i.e., someone who stands guard to  alert the people to the evil that could overtake them, was something God  had put on his heart to do. It was his calling. If Beck’s book is any  indication of his “watchman” competency, he is either asleep at his post  or has gone AWOL. Isaiah sets the criterion for God’s watchman: “To the  law and to the testimony [i.e., the Scriptures]: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).  Does Beck speak according to God’s Word? Even if one assumes that he is  talking about the God of the Bible rather than the god of Mormonism, or  what the Bible declares, it is clear by comparing his views with the  teachings of the Bible that he’s got them both wrong.

He and his psychiatrist co-author declare throughout their book that God is within everyone:  “If God is everything and everywhere and inside everyone, then I  figured He had to be inside me, too….” That is a foundational premise  to most of what Beck presents. It is pantheism, a belief common to  Hindus, Eastern mystics, and popular among New Agers.

The  truth is that the God of the Bible is not part of His creation. He  created everything out of nothing. If He were inseparable from His  creation then He would be subject to the death and destruction that the  universe is undergoing. That would deny His perfection.

The Word of God says that the born-again believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and that his body is the temple of God (Ephesians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 3:17). This  is conditional, based upon faith in the biblical Jesus, and it involves  God’s taking up residence within the believer. God is not, nor does He  become, a part of humanity.

If God were part of everyone and within everyone throughout all eternity (Beck &Ablow, Seven Wonders, p. 85),  then He would be part of the evil makeup of every human. Of course,  Beck and Ablow fervently deny that mankind is evil: “People are  inherently good. Our souls are magnificent and capable of extraordinary  performance” (p.165). That  may make some “feel good about themselves,” but it’s contrary to  numerous Scriptures that address the nature of man. The prophet Jeremiah  tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately  wicked: who can know it?” (17:9), and Jesus said in Mark 10:18, “There is none good but one, that is, God.”

That  truth of the Bible poses a huge problem for psychiatrists and clinical  psychologists, especially a Freudian psychotherapist like Keith Ablow.  How so? He’s in the business of facilitating a person’s relief from the  troublesome problems of living by helping him find his “true self, the  really lovable and loving person you are at your core…” (Beck &Ablow, p. 185). The  key to recovering the “real you,” Ablow and Beck explain, involves a  process of “digging up the painful parts of your life story…” (p. 107).

Nearly  all psychotherapies assert that mankind’s problems are caused by  painful issues external to the person, such as emotional traumas,  parental abuses, environmental conditions, a bad hair day, etc. Ablow  tells us to “Accept that today’s negative emotional and behavioral  patterns are almost certainly connected to painful memories and  unresolved conflicts in the past” (p. 131).

However, if it were acknowledged that the root of the problem is the innate evil within  humanity (as the Bible declares, yet psychology denies), Ablow and his  colleagues would be out of business. Just as a leopard can’t change its  spots, neither can the mental health practitioners do anything to change  a person’s sin nature. Only God can do that. Yet the charade in pursuit  of the “higher self,” “human potential,” “self-discovery,” and “the  God-given reservoir of personal power inside you,” (p. 50) continues to delude and deceive the masses.

Beck’s  description of his “life story,” especially how he was led into  Mormonism, is a reflection of what the pseudo-Christian cult is all  about: it majors on the subjective and the experiential  (e.g., a personal “burning in the bosom” experience from God). He  believes that God guided him into the faith of Joseph Smith through a  series of inexplicable events in his life. He says that God-ordained  “coincidences,” which he calls “bread crumbs,” are available to help  everyone “find their paths to embracing the truth” (p. 152).  He and Ablow continually exalt the subjective and experiential through  their promotion of “gut feelings,” “intuition,” “the third ear,” and  “the inner voice of truth inside us–the voice of God” (p. 265). They write, “Practice listening to your gut….In order to do this, you need to listen for inner voices inside you” (p. 274).

When  discernment depends upon gut feelings and inner voices, it’s a recipe  for spiritual disaster: “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed  into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers  also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).  The Bible tells us to put no trust in subjective experiences but rather  to trust in God’s written Word: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye  my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall  make you free” (John 8:31-32).  Jesus’ prayer to His Father certifies how He wants believers in Him to  know Him and the truth of His teachings: “Sanctify them through thy  truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).

Mormonism  is rife with occult beliefs and practices, whether they be rituals  taken from Masonic ceremonies to supposed communication with the  deceased through baptism for the dead. This makes the Latter-day Saints  extremely susceptible to demonic deception. Yet Glenn Beck seems to have  added more false doctrine to an already bizarre belief system. He lauds  the first-century heresy of gnosticism and gnostic books such as “The  Gospel of Thomas”; he endorses communication through silent meditation  (“Connect with the miracle of spirit, of God, that has lived inside you  from long before you were born. You will be rewarded…” (p. 85);  and he and Ablow espouse the Eastern mystical teaching of spiritual  energy as an “immeasurable force that you can tap into to dramatically  improve your existence….It is nothing less than your connection to  God” (p. 113).

Lest  someone object to one or another of the religious or psychological  concepts Beck and Ablow are serving up, the two fall back on ecumenical  pragmatism: “How can you begin to do this? Some people go to  psychotherapists. Others go to pastoral counselors. Others begin to  meditate. Still others start with twelve-step programs like Alcoholics  Anonymous or Al-Anon. Whatever works for you is what you should do, but  we’ve developed a four-step plan to help you get under way.”

Perhaps  the reason I quote the following verse more than any other in my recent  articles is because I see the church and its shepherds looking more and  more to the ways of man rather than to the Word of God: “There is a way  which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of  death” (Proverbs 14:12).  Glenn Beck has no answers for those who are truly God’s people.  Nevertheless, I pray that he will come to the knowledge of the truth.

I  also pray for greater discernment among those who claim to follow the  biblical Jesus and the Word of God. Jesus declared to His disciples  (which all true believers in Him are) that they were to “Take heed that  no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4). He was referring specifically to the  last days, the time just prior to His return. It would be characterized  by massive spiritual deception. For more than three decades Dave Hunt  and I have been addressing the various elements the adversary of God has  used to deceive the world and the church. Of late, our TBC  articles have pointed out how the unifying beliefs that are common to  diverse religious groups (and anti-religious groups!) are rallying them  together with amazing speed. Their mission is fixed upon the earth as  they unwittingly work toward building the kingdom of the Antichrist and  his apostate religion.               TBC

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Bottom line is this: Glenn Beck says that he’s a Christian.  No possible way.    Mormons are not Christians because they do NOT serve and devote themselves to God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit.  Like this article said, they are serving the “anti-god/Antichrist” and are helping (though they don’t realize it) to set up an apostate/false religion.

I believe the Holy Spirit has finally given me the conviction to just “turn the channel off and talk to Me on your way home from work…”

Warning for the End Time (the one we’re in)

Rev. 2:6 Yet you do have this: you hate the practices of the Nicolatians.

The problems with false teachings, false doctrines, and the spirit of Nicolaitan ministers and teachers, was foretold to become very serious and extreme in the “end of days.” The apostle Paul warned, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in the LATTER TIMES some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Tim.4:1-2).

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul issued the same warning, only more explicit He wrote, “But know this, that in the LAST DAYS perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a FORM of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth.” (II Tim.3:1-8).

The Nicolaitan condition is like a spiritual cancer, that spreads and poisons cells and creates tumors and metastasizes (i.e. spreads into every possible place) until it spreads its lethal cargo throughout the whole body. If it is not purged, it leads ultimately to death. Therefore, God tells His true ministers, and servants, to be on their guard.

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with al longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (II Tim.4:2-4). I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking we’ve kinda reached this point in time…agree?

Each one of us is responsible for our own salvation. We dare not trust any man to do our work, study, prayer, or research for us – we must work out our own salvation, “with fear and trembling” (Phil.2:12-13). Paul also declared, “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Eph.4:14).

Salvation is serious business!  It is the most important thing that you will do in your entire life.  The spirit of Nicolaus/Nimrod and religious deception is alive and well, and thriving in this end-time generation.   You can easily find these ‘religious leaders’ stocking the shelves of Christian book stores (and that’s a whole ‘nother topic right there).  …or turn on TBN or pick up ‘Christianity Today’.  They’re a-dime-a-dozen and they’re all over the place.  Just look around – they’re all over the place.

There’s a lot of New Age, deceptive teachings floating around under the guise of Christianity.  The body of Christ has fallen asleep at the wheel and is therefore letting these teachings move right in to its churches and bible studies.  The whole time Jesus is pleading, “My beloved, come out from her!  Quit listening to these phony teachers who call themselves Mine. STUDY to show YOURself approved!” 

I truly believe we are seeing the beginning of the end – that we are in the End Time.  Our nation’s president has just withdrawn America’s support of Israel despite her people’s protest.  Israel will, according to scripture, end up standing completely alone.  But these are all precursors of His return.  I am each day praying, “Lord, prepare the heart of the person I will talk with today about you.  Let them come to know you.