Well, here we are again, addressing the issue of Dr. Albert Mohler’s foray into Mormonism. Oh, to be sure and to make it clear, the message given was not in any way caving into any form of recognition of Mormonism (but then neither were Balaam’s messages, they too were spot on). The message itself is not the issue, just as Balaam’s messages were not the issue. To use another blogger’s grandiose title, we have Dr. Albert Mohler, a great “defender of the faith” standing with a crowd of the enemy of that faith (again, much like Balaam standing with the Moabites, enemies of God’s people the Israelites).
What is to be gained by this interchange? Mohler would have us to believe it is to garner support, common cause of moral values, to have future cell mates. Is Mohler so ignorant of Mormonism to think that they would not, for the sake of expediency change their position on certain moral issues when they clash with society? Look at Mormon history. From its founding polygamy was the norm, was their teaching, was necessary for the propagation of future worlds, but then came Utah’s statehood desires. Obviously, polygamy had to go in order to gain acceptance, so the powers that be rescinded polygamous beliefs and monogamy was the order of the day. That was in the decades leading up to the Utah’s 1896 statehood. Fast forward to the 1960’s, now we have the civil rights issue of the segregation of blacks. In Mormon teaching, blacks were not capable of becoming Mormons. They were a despised race, but then came those societal pressures again, and voila, the powers that be came through in a pinch and blacks were accepted. Is there any reason why we should believe the outcome would be different for the societal issues of our day such as homosexual marriage? Utah is already being confronted with the acceptance of homosexuality, do we really think that the Mormon elders will resist to the point of being jailed? But I digress a bit.
I wish to draw our attention to these couple of statements; “You are a university that stands, as all great universities stand, for the importance of ideas and the honor of seeking after the truth. I come to honor the importance of ideas and the centrality of the search for truth with you.” And then in closing, “I pray that God will use this lecture to his glory—and I pray God’s blessings upon you until we meet again.” (emphasis mine)
Really, Dr. Mohler, BYU is a university “seeking after the truth”? Is there any professor at BYU that is teaching Christian doctrine concerning Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Is there any professor laying bare the fallacies of Mormon doctrine? If not, then there is no way that it could be said that they are “seeking after the truth.” This is a Mormon institution of higher learning preparing the next generation of Mormons to propagate Mormon doctrine, not to propagate or seek after the truth.
The closing phrase of Mohler’s speech rings rather worthy of John’s condemnation, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (II John 10, 11)
I call our attention to this quote,
The proper response to such false teachers is a major concern of John’s second epistle. John is directly concerned with one particular way of denying the gospel, refusing to confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. John says that many people (presumably, people who view themselves as Christians) do not make this confession. Such persons, says John, are deceivers and antichrists (2 John 7). They do not have God (2 John 9).
John’s teaching cannot be limited to only Christological errors, however. The problem with denying that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is that it eviscerates the gospel. This is a different way of denying the gospel that the one that Paul encountered among the Galatians, but the response of the two apostles is decidedly akin. The similarity of their reactions suggests that their attitude ought to be directed toward all those who profess Christ while denying the gospel.
John cautions his readers to beware lest they lose their full reward (2 John 8). At first glance, this caution is puzzling. How would such a loss be incurred? John hints at the answer to this question in his instruction about proper responses to those who teach apostasy. John tells his reader not to receive these teachers into their houses nor even to give them a civil greeting (2 John 10). (emphasis mine)
Most likely these prohibitions are intended to apply to ministry relationships rather than social interaction. Nevertheless, they probably seemed as severe to John’s original readers as they do today. Then or now, what John required is a violation of basic civility. He demanded that no recognition or encouragement at all be given to someone who was teaching a false gospel, not even the encouragement of a civil greeting. (emphasis mine)
John had his reasons. Even the most insignificant encouragement to someone who is proclaiming a false gospel brings one into fellowship with the evil that follows (2 John 11). Apparently Christians can gain a share in the evil that apostates do. The apostate and the one who encourages the apostate have a common stake in the results of the false gospel. That is probably why John warned his readers about losing their reward. God would hardly reward someone for helping to spread apostasy.
We might debate some of the implications of this passage, and in a full discussion some qualifications would be appropriate. Still, I think that one thing is reasonably clear: Christians who make a habit of encouraging apostate teachers are hardly models of Christian discernment. We should treat them as people who have a share in the evil of apostasy. (Four Views on The Spectrum of Evangelicalism, pp. 39, 40)
The author of this passage has continued to give Mohler a pass on his indiscretions and I don’t expect him to change even with Mohler’s second foray with Mormonism. He will in all likelihood find some “loophole” to try to wiggle through (like, Well, Mormons aren’t truly apostates therefore the passage in II John doesn’t apply with Mohler and Mormonism. Never mind Mormonism’s attempts at Christianizing their doctrine and their damning of millions of adherents to an eternity in hell by their Godless beliefs).
I have made allusions to Balaam along the way and I find Mohler’s foray into Mormonism in a bit of a parallel. Oh, the invitations are different, to be sure, but will the outcome be any different? Balaam’s messages were spot on, “thus saith the LORD.” Mohler’s messages have been spot on in his proclaiming exclusivity to the faith found in the Scriptures. But does anyone hold up Balaam as a paragon, an example to follow, one to imitate? No, the Scriptures are clear in their renouncing Balaam. Should we not be doing the same with Mohler? Or will there continue to be those within Fundamentalism who will make excuses for Dr. Albert Mohler because he’s been such a “defender of the faith”?