Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Animated Clip on Mormon Theology

I found this on YouTube. It's quite interesting; though I don't know how much of this is accurate, how much is distortion. I'd like Mormon readers to comment.


bloggernacleburner said...

It's a famous clip from Dr. Walter Martin's 'The God Makers'.

I'd classify it as a scurrilous hit piece. It's also relatively accurate, if your of the school that considers describing Christians as 'cannibals by proxy' as an accurate description of the Eucharist.

There is more to the story and a rather complex historical context to what Martin glibly dispenses in his 'Superfriends' animation.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I knew there had to be a reason I was entertained by it. I love the Superfriends.

Brad Hart said...

Actually The God Makers was produced by Ed Decker, a former member of the Mormon Church. Walter Martin was involved but was not the main producer of the film.

As for the film (which I have seen in its entirety) both Decker and Martin make no effort in hiding their agenda to "bash" the Mormon Church by providing half-truths and outright falsehoods.

For example, the mentioning of Elohim and his many goddess wives, is a HUGE stretch that is based on a lot of what I would call "Mormon mythology." Nowhere are these accusations to be found in actual Mormon scripture or doctrine.

I also liked how the characters are presented in the cartoon. Yes, very SUPER FRIENDS like. Also, the bizarre "council in heaven" depiction is quite overdramatic and clearly biased. And the "black skin" slander is nothing more than a complete and total lie.

And God having sex with the Virgin Mary??? Again, another total lie. And Jesus having three wives? Give me a break. Another absolute lie. And Joseph Smith NEVER EVER claimed direct descent from the blood lineage of Jesus. My, my, my how the lies are beginning to add up.

I guess this is great "Mormon bashing" stuff, which is likely to be quite enjoyable for the anti-Mormons that visit this blog. However, as a devout and faithful Mormon, I completely abhor this video. I have seen it on a number of occasions and have argued against its validity. It is nothing more than a hateful and biased attack.

Oh, and the last lie in this video is the best. Joseph Smith dying for the sins of man??? Nope, we don't buy that one at all. Again, Mr. Decker (who by the way left the Mormon Church due to his being upset at not being given a "high ranking" responsibility in the church) is throwing out complete and utter falsehoods. It is my hope that anyone who seriously wishes to know the truth about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) will recognize the blatant biasness of this video. It is NOT a clear representation of the Mormon faith in any way, shape or form.

And by way of a disclaimer, I am a devout member of the Mormon Church. I graduated from the church's Seminary program, served a mission (in northern Chile) and was married in a Mormon temple. I am not making these comments as an “outsider” student of Mormon theology, but as a devout member of its congregation. I have studied in detail the doctrine of my church for several years now, which is why I am so surprised at Mr. Decker's pathetic portrayal in this film.

Dan Atkinson said...

Ok, I am not going to knock your religion no matter how ridiculous it is. It makes Scientology look good.

But I will say that Mormons, who I cannot in good conscience call Christians, run the risk of violating the very commandments God set before us in the Bible. I know that the purpose of this blog is not to argue religion, but as a Christian I feel the need to speak up.

Brad Hart said...


You are not going to knock my religion, yet you follow that statement up with the sentence, "It makes Scientology look good." Yes, VERY kind of you, Dan. You have gone out of your way in expressing your sensitivity. And very Christ-like might I add.

Look, I have no desire to engage in a religious battle here regarding the theology of the Mormon Church. The purpose of this blog is NOT to argue the validity/invalidity of a particular religion, but to discuss the RELIGIOUS HISTORY of America's founding. There are plenty of anti-Mormon blogs out there. If you feel the need to go on the attack I would invite you to visit elsewhere.

The only reason I made a comment here was to refute the video that Jon posted above, nothing more.

By the way, Dan, what qualifies one to be a Christian? I know we have argued this point ad nauseum on this blog, but I’d LOVE to hear your take.

Jonathan Rowe said...


I can tell it's a distortion of what the Mormons actually teach. I was first very entertained by the "Superfriends" quality of the video. Though, I don't have the same "sensitivity" to Mormon bashing that (understandably) you and other Mormons might.

Jonathan Rowe said...

But I will say that Mormons, who I cannot in good conscience call Christians, run the risk of violating the very commandments God set before us in the Bible.

And I think you do the very same thing when you try to argue that the Declaration of Independence has ANYTHING to do with what's written in the OT and NT anymore than Mormon theology does.

Dan said...

How do you figure, Jon? Again, you are simply throwing out an attack without providing any substance.


What qualifies one as a Christian? Complete and total allegiance to the Bible, nothing more, nothing less.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Complete and total allegiance to the Bible, nothing more,...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Bible says absolutely NOTHING along these lines. Just asserting something and attaching "God said it" is akin to adding something to the Bible that isn't in there, just what the Mormons did.

The Bible says something that is arguably the OPPOSITE of what's written in Romans 13:

1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted,...

Jonathan Rowe said...

I can play the same game as what the FFs played re the DOI:

"God then declared that He made some of His children homosexual but most heterosexual, and therefore gay marriage should accommodated."

Book of Linus, chapter 5, verse 3.

According to the Bible rebelling against government as America's Founders did is the moral equivalent of witchcraft. See 1 Samuel 15:23.

Brad Hart said...

Complete and total allegiance, eh?!?

So, if a child curses his/her parents they must be put to death, right? (Leviticus 20:9).

If one has sex with a woman during her period we must cast them out from society, right? (Leviticus 20:18).

And of course, we must stone all women (but not men) caught in adultery, right? (John 8:5).

I could go on. As you know there are laws about masturbation, taking a certain number of steps on the Sabbath, etc. Are you sure you want to commit to a "Complete and total allegiance to the Bible," Dan? This gives you zero wiggle room.

In addition, Jon is 100% right. Where in the Bible do you find the wordage used by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence? When Jefferson writes:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

Check out Romans 13. Again, how does a "Complete and total allegiance to the Bible" allow for that? Wouldn't you have to renounce the Declaration of Independence???

Brad Hart said...

Wow, Jon. I just read what you wrote above. I promise that I wasn't copying. We must have been on the same wavelength!!!

Jonathan Rowe said...

Heh. That's right. Great minds think alike!

Dan said...

Brad and Jon:

Have either of you ever actually read the Bible? If so you might remember a guy by the name of Moses. Didn't he overthorow a government?

And Brad, you are not understanding the verses you cite. Jesus came to fulfill the law and to provide a newer HIGHER law. That makes the verses in Leviticus irrelevant to your argument.

Sorry, you lose.

Brad Hart said...

Dan writes:

"Brad and Jon:

Have either of you ever actually read the Bible? If so you might remember a guy by the name of Moses. Didn't he overthorow
[correct spelling is overthrow] a government?


Moses didn't overthrow the Egyptian government. He simply took the Jewish people and left town. And the Hebrews NEVER considered themselves as Egyptian citizens. If you recall Dan, they were slaves. Now, the American colonists DID consider themselves to be BRITISH citizens. Sorry, but there is no comparison between Moses and the American colonists.

As for my verses being "irrelevant" or taken out of context, Dan you are simply picking and choosing Bible verses a-la-carte now. It was you who stated that a "Complete and total allegiance to the Bible" was required of the true Christian. If that is so, why are you negating the relevance of the verses I have cited? Wouldn't that fly in the face of a "complete and total allegiance to the Bible?"

Oh Dan, I do miss you being a contributor to this blog!!!

Oh, and I almost forgot to answer your question. I have read the Bible...3 times from cover to cover and a bunch of times reading particular books, chapters, etc. I feel bad that I can only admit to having read the book 3 times cover to cover. My guess is Dan has read it a whole lot more. I mean, his knowledge of the book is so incredibly astounding!!!

Jonathan Rowe said...

The fact that Dan would try to glean the story of Moses & the Egyptians and then generalize it and try to make it the basis for the DOI on the one hand is amazing but ultimately not surprising.

Ultimately, it's extremely poor hermeneutics.

bloggernacleburner said...

I stand corrected, twas Ed Decker.

Godmakers II and Temple of the Godmakers are good for a laugh or a Halloween show as well.

Now... the fun of determining Mormon theology, which one wag described as 'nailing jello to a wall'

1. Celestial Polygamy. It's not a huge stretch, it's a reasonable conclusion if you limit yourself to pre-1890 speeches by members of the leadership of the Church at that time. You will find a surprising number of modern Mormons who still believe this.

2. The 'black skin' slander that Hart mentions is actually right on the explanations that were popular throughout the Mormon Church up through 1978. I have a lovely little pink volume called 'Mormonism and the Negro' that details this in much more palatable terms (for the time). The church was more vocal and racist during Brigham Youngs time but became increasingly more circumspect as the 20th century progressed.

3. God having sex with Mary. Brigham Young said it. That doesn't make it Mormon doctrine.

4. Jesus having three wives. One of the Pratts listed them off as being Mary, Martha and Mary Magdeline. Again... dosn't make it Mormon doctrine

5. This big whopper is the best. Decker only changes one word in the account he's quoting from... but what a word. Decker turns what is essentially an overwrought obituary claming that Joseph Smith had done more for man than anyone EXCEPT Jesus Christ and removes that 'Except'.

So... In a sense, none of this is Mormon doctrine except through a very distorted lens, but it does have some basis in statements made by very early leaders of the Mormon Church. Usually Brigham Young and Orson Pratt are used extensively and both had unique takes on Mormon theology and doctrine.

Deckers's take on this could be compared to... if I, a modern Mormon, judged his denomination on the basis of the writings of the radical fringe of his demonimations church leaders before the Civil War in comparison to progressive Protestant theologians at the present time. Nobody, except perhaps the Quakers and the Unitarians, would come out very rosy from that little straw man fight.

Oh and it's truly a hoot to see the Bible Onlyer's come out of the woodwork.

Anyway, like I said, you have to look at the historical context. Decker's straw man Mormonism looks pretty funny, but the real doctrines in their appropriate context are far more intriguing. Almost everything Decker does say has some relationship to an actual statement made my a Mormon church leader, you just can't depend on his biases to remain constant. He was also not above making things up out of thin air. Godmakers II is what happened when he did that.

Tom Van Dyke said...


This blog was not designed to debate the truth of this theology vs. that.

Lindsey? Can I get a witness? Are you still here or are you some sort of Deus abscondus? Fired this mother up and then took a powder and will check back in a million years to see what happened. Mebbe Aristotle and Thomas Paine were right after all.

Me, I think America is all about the freedom to believe in stupid shit. Elvis is alive, humans get abducted by aliens and get probes stuck up their butts, God was a burning bush, you can get Christ in a cracker, Joseph Smith found some Golden Plates, the earth is only 5000 years old. Whatever.

Me, I prefer all of the above to Life's a bitch and then you die. How depressing. Makes me want to shoot myself, or better yet, shoot you and take all your stuff. I like the other way better.

This thread got a little ugly. If theology is combat, it should be man to man, hand to hand, not carpet bombing where the rest of us get splattered with the shrapnel, flames and debris. That's not the American way or the purpose of this blog as I understand it.

Lindsey Shuman said...


Yes, I do need apologize for my absence in the comments sections. To be perfectly honest I am actually a bit shy when it comes to my writing. Maybe it's a personal insecurity or whatever. I don't know. Either way I will try to be a little more assertive.

As for Tom's stated purpose of this blog, he is completely right. American Creation was not designed to debate the "truth of this theology v. that" as Tom aptly puts it. Now, I will disagree with my fellow contributor when he refers to me as the blog "Mom." This is not my blog, it's everyone's blog. I don't have the personality to be a micro-manager or to be overly critical of people's blog postings. It's just not in my nature to be that way.

Now, I do believe that it was Joseph Smith who said, "We teach them [fellow Mormons] righteous principles and then let them govern themselves." I might have butchered the quotation here. If so I apologize to the Mormon contributors and readers. Feel free to correct me. The reason I quote Smith in this thread is because:

1. The posting is about Mormonism
2. It seems like good advise

I think we all know what is good and bad material for this blog, and in no way am I saying that Mormonism is a bad topic. In fact, one of my favorite posts from this blog has to do with Mormonism. I actually nominated Mr. Hart for the post on History News Network.

Maybe we simply need to reassert ourselves at trying to refrain from "Bible bashing???"

Dave2 said...

Let me know when Mormonism starts running gulags -- then we can compare it to Scientology.