Monday, February 21, 2011

Glenn Beck Blows It on a Personal Level

(NOTE: Since I don't know how to do superscripts with this blog system, I put my footnotes in parenthesis at the appropriate spots: (#). Okay?)

Normally speaking, I trust Glenn Beck to be an accurate and reliable person when it comes to relating history, putting the pieces together (George Soros, Open Society, et al), and the dollars and dates. He’s very good at that and he’s almost always – 99% of the time – correct. He’s nearly infallible when it comes to that.

In personal matters, he is not necessarily so.

While reading Glenn Beck & Dr. Keith Ablow’s new book, “The 7 Wonders That Will Change Your Life(1)”, on my Kindle, I came across Locations 1572-1585. This Section relates the story of Glenn going to a Mormon church for the first time. He wound up in a class with other students (some new, some not so new), and he wanted out of there. He found out that questions could be asked and he decided to ask one he thought would get him out of there; one that wouldn’t fit his personal beliefs and give him a reason to leave. So, he asked, “Where’s Gandhi?” (as in is he in heaven, hell or somewhere else?).

To paraphrase the response a student gave (and the teacher did not refute), the answer went something like this:

A dad loves his son and wants him to be a good man. The son graduated high school and his dad told him to go to college. With no colleges in the area, the son applied at colleges outside of the area and no colleges would accept him – “he wasn’t the right ‘sort’”. The explanation went that a loving father would not condemn nor disown the son for not going to college.

When Glenn asked about Jesus being the only way to the Father (to GOD), the answer was, “Yes, that is true,” replied the student, “but…” The answerer expounds upon the subject by asking if it would be fair to condemn someone who never got the chance or opportunity to accept Christ? Would it be fair to send that person to hell?

That’s the first place in the book where Glenn – and the question answerer – blows it.

There are several problems with that answer. First, how can the answer be both “Yes” and “No”? It can’t be both: Jesus is the only way and Jesus isn’t the only way. One has to choose because Jesus can’t be both.

Second, GOD sets the rules, not man. GOD said Jesus is the only way. Man cannot change the standard GOD set.

Third, If GOD is a Holy GOD then He must have certain rules that are intractable. Remember how unfair you thought it was when your parent would set a rule for you and have another rule – or just break the rule – for one of your siblings? Remember how you automatically knew that it wasn’t right? Should GOD treat people who get into heaven in such a manner: one rule for some people and another rule for others? No. He is Holy and He must keep the same rules for everyone. Otherwise, why have rules in the first place?

Fourth, is the source of the answer. This answer is based on – as far as I can figure – a purely Mormon belief and practice: the Baptism for the Dead. In this practice, baptismal services are held for those who are already dead using a stand-in for the dead person. For instance, your great-grandma died in 1942. Mormon doctrine would have her genealogy done, her kin listed and they would baptize your great-grandma and her spouse(s) into their Church and into their heaven without your consent, without the consent of great-grandma and – according to their beliefs – great-grandma would then be in their heaven worshiping their god. This is done even for people who wanted nothing to do with the Mormon Church, who do not believe in their religion, who do not wish to have their own chosen religion “negated” by strangers. This doctrine, a construct of Joseph Smith, was first publicly pronounced at the funeral of Seymour Brunson in Naouvoo in August 1840(2).

This doctrine is supposedly based on I Corinthians 15:29 where it asks “Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?(3)” Commentary suggests that a word translation is at fault. Taken in context, the word “for” should instead be “concerning”; since baptism does not save us, and if we do not rise again then any baptism is unnecessary(4).

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism”, a five volume set of books that contains “The History, Scripture, Doctrine, and Procedure of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”, quotes I Peter 4:6 as another source for the belief: “For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."(5) However that was Jesus Christ in “paradise” during the three days he was “dead” after his crucifixion and prior to his rising again. Jesus is the only person in the Bible mentioned as “preaching to” the dead. I must mention this because nowhere in the Mormon doctrine does it state that the dead shall be offered the gospel message prior to being baptized. In fact, in the Doctrines and Covenants (D&C), 128 inclusive(6), nowhere does it say that the dead should be given the choice of being baptized into the Mormon Church, but instead, they are baptized into the Church under the guise of, Matthew 16:19 and 18:18, “whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven”(7). In other words, the dead have no say in the matter, which negates Glenn’s whole point of having a free will, a “gut feeling”, the opportunity to choose for ourselves which way to go: even with God. Even though that’s what his whole book is based upon, going with your gut feeling, yet he negates it in the ninth chapter of his book, “Isn’t There Anyone to Hate?” by believing in something that takes away the dead’s right to have chosen what their "gut feeling" told them.

Another problem with the teaching is that the Bible negates this teaching via Ecclesiastes 9:5-6: “For the living know that they will die: But the dead know nothing. And they have no more reward. For the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished: Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.”(8)

The doctrine of “Baptism for the Dead” is negated by Mormonism’s own teachings as well. For instance:

1) In “The Encyclopedia of Mormonism” book two, on page 741 included in the definition of the names of Christ, is the definition of one of His names, the name “Savior”: “Through agony and death suffered for others, Jesus is able to erase imperfections and bestow worthiness, on condition of repentance. Since imperfect beings cannot reside in God’s presence (D&C 1:31), Jesus saves believers from their imperfection, their sins, and their worst selves. [my italics](9)”

2) In the section on “Salvation” in book three of the set, beginning on page 1256, it states, “It is redemption from the bondage of sin and death, through the ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST. [caps in the original](10)”

3) Page 1257 of the third book delineates the steps taken to gain “Salvation” as found in the “gospel of Jesus Christ” these ordinances “must be followed to obtain a fullness of salvation. The first steps are FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM by immersion for the remission of sins, and the LAYONG ON OF HANDS by one who is in authority for the gift of the HOLY GHOST. Additional ordinances are administered in the TEMPLE. And finally, ‘he only is saved who endureth to the end’ (D&C 53:7) [caps in the original](11)”.

In the book, “Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young”, the section on Salvation starts in this book on page 49. On page 50, Brigham Young talks about free will (“agency” in Mormonism): “ ‘But,’ says the Father, ‘that will not answer at all. I give each and every individual his agency; all must use that in order to gain exaltation in my kingdom; inasmuch as they have the attributes which you see in me are in my children and they must use their agency. If you undertake to save all, you must save them in unrighteousness and corruption’ [see Abraham 3:23-28; Moses 4:1-4] (BDY, 54-54). [my italics]”(12) They must choose for themselves is what Brigham Young is saying, not those who are doing the baptizing for them choosing.

The “gut feeling” that “inner truth” that Glenn talks about throughout the book is negated by his personal religious beliefs, even though those beliefs are at the same time supported by his religious beliefs. Mormonism has people coming and going, but they don’t have their ducks in a row. They negate their own teachings, and see no conflict in it.

Another place Glenn blew it was in location 2273-2296 in which he gives an example of following your “inner truth” by illustrating it with the story of an imaginary investment banker who decides that instead of wanting to be an investment banker, he wants to follow his boyhood dream of being an architect. His wife did not like the idea and would not support him. She wants the investment banker to continue being an investment banker and to give up this dream. Glenn’s advice: “Then, my friend, you may have to leave. If you were to do so, you would have to do it responsibly with as much love for all concerned – including your wife – as humanly possible. But your love for self would have to be served.(13)”

Excuse me?! Leave your wife, your children, your life as you know it so that “your love for self” would “be served”? I think that’s called selfishness by most people, and most people don’t consider it a good thing. The only Biblical reason to leave your spouse is infidelity (adultery; extra-marital sexual relations). I see nothing in the Bible that says anything about leaving your spouse so that you can be selfish. How about the same excuse being used for a twenty-year-old blonde bombshell who makes you feel twenty-three again? Your attraction to her is an “inner truth”. Mustn’t you love your “inner truth”, honor your “gut feeling” that is your attraction to this Little Miss Muffit, also? Glenn says (location 2291-2296), “Are you surprised to hear me say that? Does that sound like violating a covenant? It isn’t."(14) Excuse me?! Did that man and woman not vow – covenant – before GOD and man to be together “until death do us part”? If that is not a covenant – the second covenant ever given (the first between GOD and Adam and Eve) – then what is a covenant? And who gives Glenn Beck the right to advise people that leaving a spouse is an acceptable thing to do if their career goals are changing? How selfish is that?

In Mark 10:2-9 Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about divorce. When Christ asked them, “What did Moses command you?” they said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” But Christ replied that it was from the “hardness of your heart” that it was permitted, but that GOD instituted marriage, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, ‘and the two shall become one flesh’: so they can no longer be two but one flesh. Therefore what GOD has joined together let not man separate."(15) Jesus – GOD’s Son – said “No” to divorce.

Glenn’s religion supposedly obeys and follows Jesus (they’ve even got His name in their name), and yet Glenn is spouting new age, temporarily feel good, claptrapisms about “inner truths” and “gut feelings” and a covenant with yourself? After all, according to Glenn, “Covenants are, by their nature, sacred agreements between two or more parties. If you promised to stay married to someone who would love you forever, then realize you are not loved at all by that person, and that there is no reasonable hope that you ever will be, and that the example of your broken relationship is a burden to your children, then you must accept this reality: There is no covenant. There is only your truth. And in the end, the truth always wins.” Beck is totally ignoring the truth that “The way, the truth and the life(16)” (John 14: 6), Jesus Christ, spoke about divorce while spouting claptrap about TRUTH!

Glenn’s assertion that marriage has to be between two people who have promised to love each other “forever”, then no marriage is based on truth. All marriages have difficult times. All marriages have things they go through. It’s those who honor their covenants, their vows made before GOD and man who stay with their spouses and who spend the rest of their lives together because they wish to honor GOD by doing so. That is what the Bible teaches about marriage, not this new age, claptrap about “inner truths”.

Maybe because Beck was once divorced he feels comfortable espousing divorce to others in order to prevent “your spiritual destruction”(17). Maybe it’s something else. But any “religious person” supporting divorce is not a good thing. Your spiritual life does not depend on your spouse supporting or denying your change of career. Your spiritual life depends on what you do with your relationship with Christ. Going through a tough time in your marriage? Spend more time with your Bible and with GOD. Your spouse isn’t the one who decides what your spiritual position with GOD is. It’s your effort, your dedication, your time with GOD that determines whether “your spiritual destruction” is eminent; not your spouse’s approval or disapproval of your career change. If your spouse says, “No. Let’s not do this,” it’s up to you to make the best of things and to honor your commitment to your spouse because that is what GOD says for you to do. He never says that divorce is okay if your spouse disagrees with you. Has your spouse committed adultery? If so, divorce is okay. If not, then stick with it and work it out and your spiritual life will be blessed if you put the effort into your spiritual life and into your marriage that needs to be put toward both.

In location 2652-57, Beck says that, “When your instincts run counter to common wisdom, then doing God’s work requires patience and compassion and courage and one other essential quality that really deserves a book of its own: endurance.(18)” If ignoring the truth of the Bible that Jesus Christ, by whom “No man cometh unto the Father except through [Him]”, or getting a divorce in order to follow your “inner truth” even though Jesus Christ spoke against it, is “doing God’s work”, then Beck must be following a different GOD than the Bible speaks of, and than I follow.

As I said earlier, when it comes to putting the puzzle pieces together regarding politics and the influences of others on political issues, of political ties, of history and learning from it or repeating it, of watching the events around the world and watching the ties that are made prior to things falling apart, Beck has it all over others. Beck is right most of the time there. Would I follow his teachings there? You bet. Would I follow Beck’s teachings on GOD or my personal life? No way.

(NOTE: There was another thing I saw in the book that I wanted to comment on, but I cannot remember it right now. I’ll post that later, I suppose.)

1) “The 7 Wonders That Will Change Your Life” Glenn Beck and Dr. Keith Ablow, Threshold Editions – Mercury Radio Arts, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., © 2011 Mercury Radio Arts, Inc., Kindle Version. ISBN 978-1-4516-2564-6 (ebook)
2) “The Encyclopedia of Mormonism” Book 1, Edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, pp. 95-97, Macmillan Publishing Company, © 1992 Macmillan Publishing Company, ISBN 0-02-904040-X
3) “The Holy Bible” English Standard Version, Good News Publishers, ©2003 Crossway Bibles, English Standard Version © 2001 Crossway Bibles, Crossway Bibles a division of Good News Publishers, ISBN 1-58134-436-8
4) “The Believer’s Study Bible” Edited by W.A. Criswell, Ph.D., pg. 1644, Thomas Nelson Publishers, © 1991 Criswell Center for Biblical Studies, The Holy Bible New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc. (No ISBN, No Library of Congress Catalog Number), 606BG
5) Ibid, page 1770
6) “Book of Mormon: Doctrine and Covenants: Pearl of Great Price” Translated by Joseph Smith, Jun., Doctrine and Covenants pp. 231-236, Published 1941 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, © 1920 Heber J. Grant, Trustee-In-Trust, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, No Library of Congress Catalog Number, No ISBN
7) “The Believer’s Study Bible” Edited by W.A. Criswell, Ph.D., Thomas Nelson Publishers, © 1991 Criswell Center for Biblical Studies, The Holy Bible New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc. (No ISBN, No Library of Congress Catalog Number), 606BG
8) Ibid, pg. 902
9) “The Encyclopedia of Mormonism” Book 2, Edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, pg. 741, Macmillan Publishing Company, © 1992 Macmillan Publishing Company, ISBN 0-02-904040-X
10) “The Encyclopedia of Mormonism” Book 3, Edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, “Salvation, pg.1256, Macmillan Publishing Company, © 1992 Macmillan Publishing Company, ISBN 0-02-904040-X
11) Ibid, pp. 1257,
12) “The Teachings of the Presidents: Brigham Young” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, © 1997 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (No ISBN No Library of Congress Catalog Number)
13) “The 7 Wonders That Will Change Your Life” Glenn Beck and Dr. Keith Ablow, Threshold Editions – Mercury Radio Arts, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., © 2011 Mercury Radio Arts, Inc., Kindle Version. ISBN 978-1-4516-2564-6 (ebook)
14) Ibid, location 2291-2296
15) “The Believer’s Study Bible” Edited by W.A. Criswell, Ph.D., pg. 1413, Thomas Nelson Publishers, © 1991 Criswell Center for Biblical Studies, The Holy Bible New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc. (No ISBN, No Library of Congress Catalog Number), 606BG
16) Ibid, pg. 1521
17) “The 7 Wonders That Will Change Your Life” Glenn Beck and Dr. Keith Ablow, location 2296-2302, Threshold Editions – Mercury Radio Arts, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., © 2011 Mercury Radio Arts, Inc., Kindle Version. ISBN 978-1-4516-2564-6 (ebook)
18) Ibid, location 2652-57

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