Reason #189: More about the Eternal God
A Christian friend of mine has an ongoing cyber-discussion with a Mormon. The Mormon recently sent him a chart he’d devised that supposedly contrasted Mormonism to Christianity. I was disheartened, because the Mormon wasn’t honest. He wanted agreement, not definition. Here’s something I wrote to my Christian friend about the correspondence with the Mormon, whom we’ll call George:
I just did an interview yesterday with a Detroit radio station on the Salem network. I talked of the “unbridgeable gap” between LDS and Christian doctrine: that of the identity of God.
(Pardon me if I’m repeating something I told you before, but here goes.) I am always struck by what happened to the Israelites while Moses was on the mountain. They took their jewelry and made a golden calf — and not only worshiped the creation of their own hands and imaginations, but assigned the history of God to this statue. “These are the gods that led us out of Egypt,” they said.
God took this very personally. He did not want His mighty deeds assigned to a fiction. He did not want to be known as a cow.
Or as a former human.
The real crux of difference between Mormonism and the Bible is not practices or soteriologies. It is in the identity of God, and George is not being honest with you about LDS beliefs on this matter. Rather than go through the whole chart, I’ll just give you some insights on what he said.
First of all, did you know that in the LDS mind, the word “eternal” doesn’t refer just to the infinity that is outside time? In Moses 7:35 (Pearl of Great Price), it says that Eternal is one of God’s names, and in the LDS mind, saying that God is eternal doesn’t necessarily mean just that He existed outside of time. In fact, since all of LDS god-ology takes place in some sort of time (sequential history), the LDS god never actually existed (except, perhaps, as pure intelligence) in a non-sequential state that the Bible identifies. (“Before Abraham was, I am.”)
So, George says to you, we agree that God the Father is eternal, and he’s being accurate to what he believes but he doesn’t believe what you believe. And he knows that. And that makes me angry, to be honest.
Secondly, the Bible teaches that God the Father has always been God. LDS doctrine would affirm that He is “eternal” but — the part George skipped over — not always eternal (if that makes any sense at all), because not always God.
What would you add to the conversation?