Dennis & Rauni Higley
January 1, 2006
I need to write to you about something that has caused a great concern in our hearts and minds. It is not possible for us to know the hearts of people, but God has asked His own to be “fruit inspectors”. False teachers do not come announcing that they are false teachers – they claim to be teaching the truth. Jesus said, “Be aware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits…” (Matt. 7:15-16) The fruit of a teacher is his teaching, his doctrine: does it, in all points, agree with the Word of God? We know that the devil also can quote scriptures… That said, let me explain what troubles us.
We have often been asked a question, “Can a Mormon be a Christian?” And our answer has always been, “No, as long as he is still a Mormon, he is not a Christian, because the Christ of Mormonism is not Jesus Christ of Christianity.”
If someone claims to be a Christian, but does not believe what the historic Christian church has taught and believed for nearly two thousand years, then that person simply is not a member of the true Christian faith, whether they call themselves followers of Christ or not. Words must mean what standard dictionaries have defined them to mean, otherwise we cannot communicate at all.
When we hear the word “Mormon”, what comes to your mind? A person who is affiliated with the Mormon Church, who believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet and believes in the LDS scriptures that originated with him. We know that, because that is what a standard dictionary says a Mormon is.
How many of you have heard a new term “born again Mormon”? We have received letters this last week from concerned former-Mormons, now born again Christians, because last Monday night (12/26) there had been a discussion on the local TV station with a pastor and a person who calls himself a “born-again Mormon”. Their discussion had focused on how a Mormon can be born again, and still remain in or be affiliated with the Mormon Church.
Of course I understand that if one wants to remain in any capacity in the LDS ward or stake, he could not call himself “born again Christian”. If he did, he would not be allowed to stay. I did not see the reported program, but I was alerted to it by those former Mormons who had seen it, as well as some Christians who wondered about what a “born again Mormon” is.
Some of those former Mormons wrote to us all confused, wondering if the Mormon Church might be changing and becoming a Christian church, and that perhaps they shouldn’t have left it at all, but should have continued as participating LDS Church members? They said that if they could have stayed, it would have eliminated upsetting their family and friends, which happened when they left and divorced that cult. They wondered if they did all that for no good reason.
I went to the website of this “born again Mormon” (www.bornagainmormon.com) to see what he is now saying. On the surface his page seems Christian, until you get to the point in his statement of beliefs, where he (under Membership in the Church), recommends “actively supporting the LDS church in an effort to bring members to the Lord.” He also says, “we will do all that is asked of us [in the LDS church], except teach certain LDS theologies…”
WHAT? “Bring members to the [LDS] Lord“, to “another Jesus“, obviously! IF “bringing people to the Lord” and teaching is done in the LDS wards and stakes, people are coming to “another Jesus“, Jesus of Mormonism!! (If teaching, or “bringing people to the Lord” is done in the LDS Church, one cannot teach the true Jesus and bring people to Jesus of the Bible, who is Immanuel, God with us. Their Jesus is a created being and a brother of Lucifer, angels and all mankind.)
He recommends that they “do all that is asked of them [by the LDS Church], except teach certain LDS theologies…” (What those “exceptions” are, is not disclosed.) He also suggests that “disaffected members of the LDS Church“, get over their disagreements and “return to the religion that held [them] bound, sit on the front pew and take the sacrament“. Based on his life as a Mormon, he must know what “taking of the sacrament” means in the LDS Church!
I will quote from Mormon Doctrine, p. 660, what it really means: “By partaking of the sacrament, worthy saints renew the covenant previously made by them in the waters of baptism (Mosiah 18:7-10).” [When they were baptized into the LDS church.] Baptism into the LDS is not a Christian baptism. Mormon Doctrine, p. 70, explains what baptism into the LDS Church means:
1. “It [baptism] is for the remission of sins. (D&C 13; 19:31; 20:37; 33:11; 49:13; 68:27; 84:27, 64,74; 107:20)
2. It [baptism] admits the repentant person to membership of the [LDS] Church and kingdom of God on earth. (D&C 20:37; 71-74)
3. It [baptism] is the gate to the celestial kingdom of heaven, that is, it starts a person out on the straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life[meaning godhood and exaltation]…” In other words, by taking the sacrament in the LDS church a person is renewing his covenant to the LDS church! That is Mormonism – not Christianity!
If the person is a born again believer in Jesus of the Bible, he simply could not take the LDS sacrament and “renew his covenants” to the LDS church! If one is truly a biblical born again believer, would not the Spirit of God make it impossible for him to “renew his covenants” to the Mormon Church? I would think so. (In addition to that, another matter that must be offensive to the true Lord Jesus is that the LDS “sacrament” (communion) consist of leavened bread and water, not unleavened bread and wine or red grape juice as is used in Christian communions.
As you know, in the Bible leaven is used as a symbol of sin, thus bread made with leaven could not be symbolic of sinless body of Jesus, broken for us, and water could not be symbolic of His blood either. Thus the LDS sacrament is a communion with “another Jesus”, not with Jesus of the Bible, who, as Eternal God, came down to pay the penalty of our sins, shedding His precious blood for us.)
This writer, on his website, continues, under “Other LDS books and Scriptures”,and says that he “recognizes the Bible as the Word of God “, but that he also agrees “that other [LDS] books have ability to move a man toward Him.” Nothing in these Mormon scriptures can bring a person toward the true God! The Mormon scriptures teach Mormonism, its false gods, false Jesus and false gospel under a false spirit. (2 Cor. 11:4, 13-15)
This, in our opinion, it is a bunch of double talk! We see this as an additional step that is “blurring the lines” and helping Mormonism, eventually, being accepted into Christianity. Double-talk causes double-think. That is the way the devil has always gotten his way. His teachings are “mingled with scriptures“. While teaching his false doctrines, he throws in some truth to confuse the biblical illiterates, or those who do not care.
This website also links to LDS apologetic sites like FAIR and FARMS and others, and for a good measure he throws in some sites critical to the LDS church too. Those who are not too knowledgeable will only be confused. And if they can stay in that confused state, why would they even want leave Mormonism and “upset the applecart”? – He has written a book titled, “Born Again Mormon“, and his book is recommended by Biola’s Craig Hazen and other “Christians”. His book is also endorsed by several members of the LDS Church, who seem to like it a lot, because it is not very critical of Joseph Smith, etc.
To my surprise his book is sold at Christian Bookstores nation wide and is recommended reading on how a Mormon can also be a Christian! We have found that very disturbing. Is this deliberate deception or is it just ignorance of how the LDS Church is manipulating Christian pastors and their congregations to come to accept Mormonism as part of the current ecumenical effort to unite all religions?
We have known for a long time that the goal of the LDS Church is to be accepted as another Christian denomination, without changing any of their doctrines. Some think that because a Mormon talks the “Christian talk”, he also believes Christian doctrine, and if some Mormons may seem “closer to Christianity”, it may mean that the Mormon Church itself is changing! Not so! People must understand that Mormon doctrines will not change from the membership level ! Only their prophet and apostles dictate what doctrine is.
However, these LDS leaders do not mind that there are some in their wards and stakes, who, for the benefit of the LDS Church, talk like Christians, making it seem that they believe as Christians believe, while actually believing what Mormons believe. Isn’t that what the LDS missionaries are taught to say – that they believe what we believe, while knowing perfectly well that it is not so? All this is helping to retain questioning members in the LDS Church, and by the same method obtain new members from Christianity.
Mormons have borrowed Christian terminology for years, and most among them, as well as those outside of Mormonism, do not know the difference. But the devil does. The LDS leaders know that also! People are being tricked! Jesus warned about that. He said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matt. 24:4)
Think about this: The Mormon Church will not allow non-Mormons to take their sacrament! They would not allow “apostates”, those who have left the church, or even those who are still members, but have been disfellowshipped, to take the sacrament, nor participate, speak, pray or teach there! Remember that the sacrament is only for the “worthy members of the LDS Church“.
Would they let Dennis and I take their sacrament (not that we would anyway) or teach and speak there? No way! So why is this man, who calls himself a “born again Mormon“, recommending all this activity on his website? Is he allowed to take the sacrament and participate, or even speak in their meetings, as I understand that he has been asked to do?
In the past Mormons have been excommunicated for even going to another church more or less on a regular basis, or saying that they do not believe in Mormon doctrine any longer. There are some that have not been excommunicated, and that only if there is a benefit for the LDS Church by allowing them to stay.
One recent example of that is Grant H. Palmer who wrote a book, “Insider’s View of Mormon Origins”, exposing all the basic claims and doctrines of Mormonism as not truth. He was disfellowshipped, but not excommunicated. He is obviously allowed to remain a member because he still says that he sees the LDS Church as a good and beneficial organization, even though he wrote that it is based on lies and deception.
Many BYU professors have been able to expose some of the claims of the Mormon Church as questionable, but as long as they do not go too far and if they will still “bear their testimonies” of how great it is to be a member of the “true church”, they too have been able to stay. That is an obvious part of the LDS Church’s ecumenical efforts and it demonstrates their “new tolerance”!
However, being a Mormon is a doctrinal statement. One saying that he is a “born-again Mormon”, is still claiming that he is a Mormon. If one came from Hinduism, would he say that he is “born again Hindu” or if one’s religion was Satanism, would he call himself “born again Satanist”. I would think not! If one comes to the faith of true Jesus of the Bible and is born from above, that person is a born again Christian. The Word of God clears that:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
In his website he compares Mormons to the Jews and why a Jew is still a Jew even after coming to faith in Jesus. Not an accurate comparison. Saying “I am a Jew” is acknowledging their race as well as their Judaism, which, by the way, is foundational to Christianity. “Mormon” is not a declaration of a race. It describes religious beliefs, belief in “another Jesus and another gospel”!
He uses another inaccurate comparison, “being a woman”, that, he reasons, does not change after a woman is born again, and asks why he cannot say that he is a“born again Mormon“?
To be a Mormon, any kind of Mormon, is to identify what Mormons believe. To be a Christian is to identify and believe what Christians believe. They cannot be mixed because Mormonism teaches a different God, Jesus and salvation. If one is born again, as the Bible teaches, then that person is a Christian – no longer a Mormon!
One cannot be “born again” as the Bible teaches, and still keep their identity with a cult or a religion that does not believe in the same God as the God of the Bible. Mormonism is forever separated from Christianity and from the new birth in Christ Jesus of the Bible.
I am amazed at the blindness and lack of discernment that has been shown by those Christians who endorse this teaching. This all is making ministering to Mormons very difficult. Why would a Mormon want to leave Mormonism if they think they can have it both ways? Of course the truth is that they cannot have it both ways.
After we come to know the Lord, and His Spirit dwells in us, His instruction to us, without exception, is, “Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers…And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” (2 Cor. 6:14-17)
As we have understood, the Mormon Church is loosing members, hundreds of them every day. This could be one of their ways to try to keep them in, even those who see the errors, and convince them that it is OK to stay and believe in both…
Is this, in some sense, part of the “bridge building” with Mormons that has been promoted now for several years? It seems to have brought the enemy across and blurred the lines so that they are not recognizable any more. We are very concerned about this new development and confusion that it has brought to those who do not fully understand what lurks behind this.
We are instructed to witness to Mormons, but not to cultivate friendships withthose who are unrepentant and willing false teachers. (2 John 10-11) The Bible is very clear about our separateness from false teachers and false apostles. (1 Tim. 4:1) We are to “…rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in faith” (Titus 1:13), we are to “earnestly contend for our faith that was once delivered”. (Jude 3)
Truth and love are to be united in us as we reach them for Christ.
Please pray with us that Christians will become more alert and that they will have discernment. It only comes through studying the Word of God that was given to us so that we will know doctrine, and that we can instruct and correct those who have gone astray. (Read 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)
We wish again to thank you all for your prayers for the ministry, and for our health and well-being. God has been with us and has taken care of us by speaking to you and through you to us. We could not do this work without your help and God’s continuous presence. We are so blessed regardless of these earthly trials that are part of everyone’s life.
May God be with you and give you a good new year – until we meet again – “here, there or in the air”.
Rauni & Dennis Higley
[Edited, Reformatted & Reprinted by Permission from H.I.S. Ministries]