The Mormon Faith & Black Folks
Question #20

Q. Mormons believe they can become gods. Wasn’t this the sin of Lucifer? Doesn’t the Bible teach there is only One God?

A. The sin of Lucifer was not merely wishing to become like the Most High, but to exalt himself to become like the Most High. The sin of Lucifer was pride!

There is only one God! In the Hebrew He is called Ha-Elohim; which means “ThEE God”. The definite article “the” (pronounced “thEE” in English) means “the pre-eminent , the highest, the unique one. In Greek, the word for “God” is Ho Theos, but the word for gods is theon (no definite article). But the Bible also speaks of “gods” that the Most High God is “God” over. These cannot refer to idols; because this would make God “the Most High Idol” and “the Idol of idols”. The gods of the Heathens are nothing but the works of men’s hands. They do not exist. But the gods in the Lord God of gods are real beings.

But there is only One God or there are many gods. You can’t have both!

Yes, you can! The Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek; not in English or any other language. The word for God in Hebrew is Ha-Elohim. The word for gods is Elohim. Asking, “Is there One God or many gods?” is like asking, “Is there one Michael Jordan or many Michael Jordans?” In one sense, there is only one Michael Jordan; the famous basketball player. In another sense, there are many Michael Jordans. There are thousands of Michael Jordans in the United States, but only one of them is “ the” (thEE) Michael Jordan. He is the One Michael Jordan.  In the same way, there is only one ThEE God (HA-Elohim/Ho-Theos), but there are many gods(Elohim/Theon). The God is the Father of Heaven and earth. He is the Most High God, and the God of gods and Lord of lords. There is only One Almighty One, but there are many mighty ones. The Apostle Paul distinguishes between the One God and the gods in these verses:

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was a priest of the Most High God.

And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth:

And blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into they hand.” (Genesis 14:18-20)

“And Abram said to the king of Salem, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the Most High God, the possessor of heaven and earth.” (Genesis 14:22)

“He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High.” (Numbers 24:16)

If the LORD is the “Most High God” then there must be “gods” less high! And these must be true gods, or the LORD would be the “Most High Idol” or “Most High False God”.

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods?” (Exodus 15:11)

“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods.” (Exodus 15:11)

“For the LORD your God is God of gods.” (Exodus 18:11)

“For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God.” (Deuteronomy 10:17)

“For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted above all gods.” (Psalms 97:9)

“O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 136:2)

“I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise to thee.” (Psalms 138:1)

“...the God of gods.” (Daniel 11:36)

“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many and lords many), But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:5)

God is the “God of gods”. These must be true gods, or He would be the “Idol of idols” or “False god of false gods”. John Calvin and other uninspired Christian theologians of Western Christianity tried to explain-away these verses by saying the “gods” were human rulers or judges; not heavenly beings who have the title of “gods”. But when once reads the writings of the Early Church Fathers (ancient Christian writers of the first 4 centuries) one is told repeatedly by them (and a few of them knew the Apostles) that the “gods” in the verses “God of gods” refers NOT to sinful human beings but to holy men and women who have been exalted above the angels in Heaven and receive the titles of “gods”. All of the churches and theologians of Eastern Christianity (Greek, Russian, Syrian, Assyrian, Coptic, Abbysinian Orthodox, etc.) have always taught and still maintain that Christians who strive for “perfection” in mortal life will become “gods” in the eternities, and God will remain the “God of gods”.

If the doctrine that men (and women) may become “gods” is heretical; then all the Christian writers outside of the Bible for the first 4 centuries were heretics, and the hundreds of millions of “Orthodox Christians” in Russia, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, India, Egypt, and the U.S. (where many migrated) must be called “non-Christian cultists destined for Hell” along with Latter-day Saints!

The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

“Paul says, ‘There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.’ They who obtain that glorious resurrection from the dead, are exalted afar above principalities, powers, thrones, dominions and angels, and are expressly declared to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, all having eternal power. These Scriptures are a mixture of very strange doctrines to the Christian world, who are blindly led by the blind. I will refer to another scripture. ‘Now,’ says God, when He visited Moses in the bush (Moses was a stammering sort of boy like me) God said, ‘Thou shalt be a God unto Aaron, and he shall by thy spokesman.’ I believe those Gods that God reveals as Gods to be the sons of God, and all cry, “Abba, Father!” Sons of God who exalt themselves to be Gods, even before the foundation of the world, are the only Gods I have reverence for.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.375)

*Mormonism=Original Christianity Restored

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims to be the Divine Restoration of Original Christianity. To Catholics and Protestants this was a idle claim; since its doctrines are often different from both. Catholicism claims to the continuation of the Church Jesus founded. Protestantism (especially Evangelical Christianity) claims to be the pure and undefiled teachings of Jesus and the original Apostles.

Yet, both Catholicism and Evangelicalism often contain teachings and practices which are opposed to Mormonism. This is why Mormon apologists love to quote from the Early Church Fathers; a term used for the ancient Christian writers. Between the writings of the ancient Apostles and the Catholic Church Councils of the 4th and 5th centuries, a number of ancient Christians wrote books, epistles, tracts, and histories. They were known as the “Early Church Fathers”. A few of them knew the Apostles themselves, or at one of them. Others were born too late to have known the Apostles. These men include Papias, Polycarp, Ignatius, Clement of Rome, Clement of Alexandria, Origin, Lactantius, Irenaeus, and many others.

If one goes by their writings, Mormonism is much closer to original Christianity than is Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, or the Eastern Orthodox churches. All of the Early Church Fathers (ancient Christian writers) taught that men could become gods.

The great Greek Orthodox theologian Maximus the Confessor wrote:

“A man who becomes obedient to God in all things hears God saying: ‘I said: You are gods’ [John 10:34]; he then is God and is called ‘God’ not by nature or by relation but by decree and grace.” (Byzantine Theology, p.164)

Bible scholars refer to the early Christian belief that men and women could become ‘gods’ as deification or by the Greek term theosis. This doctrine still exists in the Eastern Orthodox churches; with a total of about 200 million Orthodox Christians.

The doctrine of theosis, or men becoming gods, is not unknown in Evangelical Christianity. The most popular Evangelical Christian writer of all time, C.S. Lewis, believed that men and woman could become “gods” and “goddesses”. He wrote:

“The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were ‘gods’ and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating joy and wisdom and love as we cannot not imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (thought, of course, on a much smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.” (Mere Christianity, p.174)

The writings of C.S. Lewis can be found in almost all Evangelical Christian bookstores; not far from anti-Mormon books which denounce the Mormon belief that men and women becoming gods and goddesses as ‘pagan’ and ‘satanic’ and ‘Luciferian’ and ‘anti-Christian’. C.S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity is one of the most popular books among Evangelical Christians in the world.

Please feel free to e-mail Darrick Evenson

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