Since its inception, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) has attempted to legitimize itself by linking itself to Christianity. But is there really any connection between Mormonism and Christianity? Ed Decker and Dave Hunt say no. They argue, in fact, that Mormonism has much more to do with pagan, self-deification beliefs than with the truths revealed in Christianity.
The God Makers was first published in 1984, and this revised edition appeared in 1997. Since its first edition, it has attracted a lot of attention, from both inside and outside Mormonism. And while many leaders in the Mormon church are vehemently upset about the claims made in the book, none have yet been able to disprove any of the book's claims.
What kind of claims do Decker and Hunt make? The most important is the revelation that Mormonism is founded on the belief that humans can become gods. God, according to official Mormon doctrine, was once a human who went on to become a god. And even though this heretical concept was discussed and disputed by Christians in their early history, Mormonism still claims its connection to Christianity. Official Mormon teaching states that the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, received a revelation from angels saying that the Christian church was now apostate, after the true Christian message was distorted in the first century of the church. Smith's revelations are thought to be a restoration of true Christian beliefs, so Mormonism confidently claims to be the true Christian church.
These two claims, that we can become gods and that a new revelation to the church was necessary, are easy to dispute biblically. Yet because Smith and his followers have couched their pagan philosophy in Christian terms, they continue to maintain their legitimacy. And the Mormons have put on a very respectable face, showing themselves as supporters of family and moral decency. But Decker and Hunt remind us that behind the public image arepotentially dangerous and destructive doctrines. And they expose some of the inconsistencies in Mormon thought and doctrine. Thus, their book continues to have a phenomenal impact, particular with those dissatisfied with the Mormon church.
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