Friday, March 30, 2007

Before I begin answering some of the posts on my blog, I want to be very clear about the tone of my responses. I am sincerely trying to avoid sarcasm and insults, as I hope my conversation with Greg Johnson demonstrates. Everything I’m saying here is said without anger, and only with the intention of offering a respectful reply.

As weary as I am of this topic, Kevin and I feel it is important to answer some points. He is my advisor, and I am also being counseled by a pastor in my responses to the entire Hazen situation.

I chose to answer Dr. Francis Beckwith’s negative comments first, before discussing the Hazen issue. This was done to illustrate a spirit that prevails in the defenders of Craig Hazen and in many cultural apologists. They offer warmth and kindness to Mormons—and sarcasm and condescension to fellow Christians. I applaud kindness and friendship in any evangelistic effort—as long as it does not lead to compromise.

Finally, I tried to accurately and fairly represent the context of Dr. Beckwith’s statements. He was quite kind to me a few years ago via email--it is unfortunate that my disagreement with Craig Hazen provoked a response that was not so kind.

With that said, I will begin my response to the Craig Hazen supporters:

Frank: It is evident that you exhibit all the qualities of someone who fervently believes you are saved by faith alone. For you show no charity, no kindness, and no joy.

Jill: Frank, you have not exactly been the essence of charity, kindness and joy the last few days. Are you saying that if Christians attempt to hold another Christian accountable, they are not kind or loving?

Frank: . . . where is it written that you are the gatekeeper of orthodoxy in the world of Christendom? Dr. Hazen, I believe, attends a conservative Friends church in Placentia, California. Why should he listen to the opinions of a mom-and-pop apologetics outfit that has a blog?

Jill: Let me respectfully remind you of one important thing . . . we are all of equal value in the eyes of God. When you take a shot at me as a “mom-and-pop apologetic outfit” you insult 95% of Christian ministries. Lots of us are little guys. It’s not money or degrees that matter in the eyes of God . . . . The work of a missionary serving God on the streets of New York is as valuable as your work in academia.

As to the “gatekeeper of orthodoxy” remark: Are you suggesting here that there is an academic hierarchy that permits one to be a gatekeeper of orthodoxy—and if you have no place in the hierarchy—you have no voice?

Biblically, it is the responsibility of every Christian to question Christian leaders (James 3:1). Biblically, any Christian can point to sin and seek accountability. I don’t need permission to analyze and comment on compromise in the Church. (If Martin Luther had lived by your precept, where would we be?)

Frank: Walter Martin was a good man. But unless he was an apostle, and the apostolic office is inherited, why should anyone listen to you?

Jill: Apostolic office aside . . . Dr. Craig Hazen, Biola University, listened to me and tried to silence me. Dr. Daniel Peterson, Brigham Young University, listened. Greg Johnson, Standing Together Ministries, listened. Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Baylor University, listened. You don’t agree with me, but you’re all listening . . . so what is your point?

If you’re saying I’m unimportant again, Frank, you won’t hear any argument from me. I’m just trying to be a good servant of God; I’ll let Him decide my worth.

Frank: What I did was suggest that Jill interpret the public comments of her brothers charitably. I understand that this can be difficult, for I am as guilty as anyone of not abiding by this principle on many occasions.

Jill: Yes, you mentioned my being “charitable”—in a context of condescension—so how was it a positive comment? I have to commend you, though, for being willing to admit you make mistakes. There are some in academia who will never admit to that.

Frank: But if one believes in sola scriptura, the priesthood of all believers, the autonomy of the local church, and private interpretation of Scripture then there really is no reason why anyone, let alone Craig Hazen, Richard Mouw, or Francis Beckwith should pay attention to a woman in Minneapolis with a keyboard, a monitor, a website, and a server.

Jill: I suddenly feel a great deal of sympathy for your female students.

What does the “let alone” part of this mean, Frank? Are Hazen, Mouw and Beckwith on a higher plain?

Every Christian leader is accountable to the Church.

Jesus gives us a lesson in humility. “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12

Frank: If Scripture is incapable of giving us direction here--as you seem to admit--then Jill is in precisely the same position as Craig, which means that she is no better than him and thus is not in a position to issue public pronouncements about him.

Jill: These comments to Dwayna Litz are disturbing. She would never say that Scripture is incapable of giving us direction.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 is ironclad in context: theologically, historically, and culturally.

Frank: It is, of course, possible that Jill's employment of the passages she quotes may be applicable in this case. But if it were that simple, so obvious that anyone with a Bible and the ability to read could see it without assistance or direction, there would be no for Jill to conscript the services of Matthew Henry, a Puritan with an understanding of civil society and the church that goes no deeper than the 16th century.

Jill: If you're implying that Matthew Henry’s Commentary is sixteenth century Puritan and therefore easily dismissed, many theologians and historians would disagree with you. Are you saying we should discount all pre-twentieth century writers as shallow?

As to my being no better than Craig and therefore not in a position to judge him: you disregard biblical precedent for accountability.

Frank: Dr. Hazen is a Christian leader too. And so is Greg Johnson. And so is Ravi Zacharias. And so is Richard Mouw. And so am I. Why should I believe you and the unnamed other leaders you did not list? Why should any of us consider them more authoritative on the subject of Mormon/Christian relations than the ones I listed above? Is there a Protestant magisterium the rest of us don't know about?

Jill: No, there is no infallible Protestant council, Frank, as you well know--so I can only attribute this comment to sarcasm.

Are you saying that only Hazen, Johnson, Zacharias, Mouw, and Beckwith are authorities on Mormon/Christian relations? Are you the only ones qualified to judge this situation?
You dismiss thousands of Christian leaders out on the front lines of apologetics and evangelism.

Many went to Craig Hazen and told him they were concerned about his prayer and his endorsement. He ignored them.

To be continued . . .

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Things have gotten so busy around here, I can’t possibly keep up with all the comments. What amazes me is that this controversy has been out in the public domain for several years now. Craig Hazen’s actions are nothing new . . . so it must be a new audience.

If so, my article accomplished all that I hoped it would. It is refreshing to see the interest. People are thinking and that’s a good thing. I don’t mind critics posting their opinions, but repetitive posting is a bit well. . . boring, so don’t be surprised if you rant repeatedly and it disappears.

One thing I've noticed is that all of the pro-Hazen posts ignore this Scripture:

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

"I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people."
"Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you."
I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the LORD Almighty." 2 Cor 6:14-18

Matthew Henry's Commentary has some interesting insight on these verses:

“It is wrong for good people to join in affinity with the wicked

and profane . . .

Much less should we join in religious communion with them; we must not join with them in their idolatrous services, nor concur with them in their false worship, nor any abominations; we must not confound together the table of the Lord and the table of devils, the house of God and the house of Rimmon. The apostle gives several good reasons against this corrupt mixture.

1. It is a very great absurdity . . . joining righteousness with unrighteousness (v. 14, 15).

2. It is a dishonour to the Christian's profession (v. 16); for Christians are by profession, and should be in reality, the temples of the living God. . . .

3. There is a great deal of danger in communicating with unbelievers and idolators, danger of being defiled and of being rejected; therefore the exhortation is (v. 17) to come out from among them, and keep at a due distance, to be separate, as one would avoid the society of those who have the leprosy or the plague, for fear of taking infection, and not to touch the unclean thing, lest we be defiled.

4. It is base ingratitude to God for all the favours he has bestowed upon believers and promised to them, v. 18.

Again, not one of Craig Hazen's supporters even tried to refute this Scripture.

I will be addressing some of the posts made by the Hazen team in the next day or so. Their charity toward Mormons is only outdone by their lack of charity toward believers. Some might say they are guilty of the same sin they lay at my door.

From Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Biola University Professor Craig Hazen defended by Brigham Young University Professor, Dr. Daniel Peterson

In an interesting twist, we now have Dr. Daniel C. Peterson, Mormon apologist extraordinaire and Professor at Brigham Young University arriving on my blog to lend his support to Dr. Craig Hazen, Christian apologist, Biola University. To clarify the identity of Dr. Peterson for all those who may say, "Dr. Who?" he is well known in the sparsely populated realm of Christian Apologetics for his ruthless verbal attacks on Christian defenders of the faith.

Until now. . . .

I don't think I even need to comment on this one.

Dr. Daniel Peterson:

"Wow. It's striking how hateful and unattractive evangelicalism can seem when articulated by the likes of Jill Rische.

Fortunately, though, many evangelicals manifest a truly Christian spirit in their lives and conversation."



Sticks and stones . . . . :) Your insults didn't bother me years ago and they don't bother me now.

Are you here to defend Craig Hazen? That would be an interesting twist; a Mormon defending a Christian apologist.

Dr. Daniel Peterson:

"Dismiss my comments as mere insult if you will.

I'm sure that I'm not the only onlooker who finds some of your comments profoundly unappealing and unattractive, even hateful.

Incidentally, I do think that Craig Hazen is a good man, despite our deep theological disagreements.

I hope and trust that the mere fact that a Latter-day Saint academic regards him as a decent fellow will not torpedo his candidacy for the leadership of Biola. I'm confident that we haven't yet reached that level of incivility and sectarianism. (This is America, after all -- not the Balkans, and not Iraq.)"

Okay, I guess I will say something. Your comments are not "mere" insults, Daniel. And I don't dismiss them . . . I think about them.

I never said Craig was not a good man, I said he participated in a Mormon/Christian worship service in a Tabernacle built for the god of Joseph Smith. He then endorsed a book written by a high profile Mormon on the nature of Jesus (destined for Christian bookstores) saying it was "a great service to all of us."

One year later, he tells a Christian radio host that "I actually believe that Mormonism is a tremendous achievement of the devil!” [1]

I simply printed the truth about the man being considered for the Presidency of Biola . . . in his own words.

I wouldn't worry too much about his chances at Biola being torpedoed, though . . . Frank Beckwith should be able to reassure you on that score. Who are we, after all? Just simple Christians defending the faith against compromise . . . like a few fishermen and a tax collector.

No one will listen to us . . . .

"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong...that no man should boast before God." 1 Cor 1:26-29

Your voice counts!

Contact Biola:

Stan Jantz
Board of Trustees
Chairman, Presidential Search Team

Gary MillerProvost and Senior Vice President
Phone: (562) 903-4703

Carol Taylor
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Phone: (562) 903-4713

[1] Emphasis added. Stand to Reason Radio Archives, December 19, 2004,; also posted as airing July 3, 2005, (accessed March 21, 2007).

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Response to Greg Johnson, President, Standing Together Ministries

Well, things have certainly gotten a bit lively around here in my absence. For all of you who may not know Greg Johnson, he and Richard Mouw (of Let’s Celebrate Joseph Smith’s Birthday! fame) are single-handedly responsible for organizing the disaster that took place at the Mormon Tabernacle in 2004.

I thought I would answer his comments in my regular blog, since he represents the core group defending Dr. Hazen. My response is as follows (spelling errors are verbatim):

Greg: Mrs. Rische, the reason you know me is because of an historic outreach with Ravi Zacharias at the Mormon Taberancle.

Jill: Unfortunately Greg, this is true.

Greg: The reason I know of you is because you have spoken about me to others and because some of those people have told me some of the things you have said about me.

Jill: Greg, you publicly attacked The Kingdom of the Cults in the Salt Lake City press. The comments I made about you were public comments in response to your attack. I don’t know what other “comments” you mean.

Greg: You post against a fine and godly frined of mine, Dr. Craig Hazen, makes this as good a time as any for us to finally communicate directly to each other, although a more biblical model of communication might have been in order before now, don't you think?

Jill: If you had something against me personally, you are right in saying you should have come to me personally. I had nothing personally against you or against Craig.

You made negative public statements against The Kingdom of the Cults and I responded publicly to them. As a Christian teacher, you fall under this Scripture: “Let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” James 3:1-2. You are accountable to the body of Christ for your actions. Matthew 18—read in context—refers to personal offenses.

I didn't take your criticism personally (since my father is always being criticized)--even though you refused to apologize for your comments.

Greg: Where do we begin? For some reason, I guess you feel the need to wear the mantle of your father's ministry, to take up where you feel he left off.

Jill: Yes . . . all the death threats against my father, our house being bugged, bomb threats, character attacks . . . all this would make me choose to wear his mantle.

I am doing what God called me to do. His opinion is the only one that matters.

Greg: Mrs. Rische, I knew you father, as a young man in ministry, I met him several times during my high school and college days at Westmont College. I had several personal meetings with him and even hosted him at Westmont College in 1987. It was an honor for me to attend his funeral service in 1989. Mrs. Rische, from what I have heard of you, I must share with you that you are no Walter Martin.

Jill: Belittling me is the best you can do in defense of Craig Hazen? Greg, we have you on tape slamming Walter Martin at one of your many confusing talks on Mormonism. Why you continue to claim you knew him well and he meant something to you is beyond me. You were an acquaintance of my father--that's all. He never mentioned a Greg Vettel Johnson . . . ever.

I have no wish to be Walter Martin, so your comment doesn't hurt me, Greg. I am his daughter, and that is enough.

Greg: I can recall fondly, a time with your dad at the Santa Barbara airport. I asked him how he dealt with critics but more importantly how he dealt with professing Christians who attacked him and who never tried to speak directly with him first to resolve a matter of conflict or disagreement. His words were profend then, they remain so to this day, and I will always live by them. He said to me with great focus, "Young man, it is like my old mentor, Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse, use to say to me, 'be ye so busy with the work of the Lord that you do not have time to throw stones at the barking dogs along the path.'"

Jill: You quote my father to attack me, his daughter? You claim some kind of close relationship to a man you publicly detest, in order to give yourself a false authority? Here’s what my father has to say about your tactics, Greg.

Walter Martin: “If someone insults my wife and my children, it upsets me. If they insult my country, it upsets me. And if somebody bastardizes my Savior, I’m really upset!”

You seem upset with me, Greg, but you don’t seem very upset with the Mormons.

You and Richard Mouw are fond of using Barnhouse against Walter Martin and his family, but Barnhouse characterized men like you (compromisers) as “appalling.” You can read all about it here:

The Late Walter Martin’s Daughter Takes on Her Father’s Critic:

Greg: You behavior since before the days of Ravi's address at the Mormon Tabernacle in SLC, it was not a Rich Mouw meeting by the way but a Ravi Zacharias meeting (you obviously have listened to the DVD or CD and must have noted this) has been most unimpressive.

Jill: This doesn’t make much sense to me, but I think you’re insulting me again. Not good strategy . . . please answer the charge of blasphemy.

Greg: I am confident that you have not honored your father's legacy by your unkind assertions against Christian leaders such as Drs. Mouw and Hazen.

Jill: My father would have dissected the Mouw/Hazen methodology in about 5 minutes flat. He would have called them what they are: compromisers in alliance with men who preach blasphemy.

Greg: To my knowledge you have not spoken against Ravi's message at the Tabernacle, nor have I heard you offer praise for its annointing, boldness, and proclamation of truth, and this is so very sad.

Jill: Ravi is an excellent speaker. His first three points were very bold. Jesus as “absolute truth” was relative, though, since the Mormon definition of Jesus was never discussed.

Greg: You call The Evening of Friendship a Mormon/evangelical worship service? How so?

Jill: You prayed together in a Tabernacle built for the god of Joseph Smith. Who were you praying to? Would God hear prayers offered in the house of Satan? You sang worship songs led by a Christian artist, Michael Card (who needs a thorough lesson in theology). You listened to a sermon and closed in prayer. Sounds like a worship service to me.

Greg: Do non-believers ever attend your local church? Do they sit in the pews? Might they actually sing along during the praise time? If so, are your local church services acts of blasphamy? Of course they are not!

Jill: Where do I start? First you question it was a worship service—then you say there’s nothing wrong with it if it was! You think Christians worshiping in the temple of antichrist is the same as Christians worshiping with the lost in the house of God? The Christians were guests of the Mormons–there is a difference.

Mormons hold Christian beliefs to be an abomination, so you shared a stage and worshiped with people who day in and day out work to destroy the Kingdom of God. I have a big problem with that.

Greg: The Tabernacle event was completely in the hands of evangelical leaders who offered the prayers, led the singing, and who preached the Word of God in might and power, just like D.L. Moody did in 1899.

Jill: You worshiped in the Tabernacle of a false god--an idol. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?” 1 Cor 6:14 Seems pretty clear to me.

Your argument is with the apostle Paul. In the world of the Roman Empire, some people in the Church compromised with pagan religions. Paul rebuked them and it applies to Hazen/Johnson/Mouw two thousand years later.

Greg: I am confident Mrs. Rische that had I been able to extend such an invitation to Walter Martin to preach a gospel message at the Mormon Tablernacle on Temple Square that he would have done it and would have done so to the glory of Jesus Christ!

Jill: My father could not even stand outside the Mormon Tabernacle. He left Salt Lake City without ever going inside of it because he couldn’t tolerate the spiritual smell of "sulphur" emanating from it. He would have turned you down flat and done everything he could to stop such a disaster from occurring.

Greg, I wouldn’t presume to tell you what your parent would do. I find it odd that you, a virtual stranger to my father, are “confident” you know him so well.

Greg: The event at the Tabernacle was a blessing from the Lord and I believe He was honored and pleased by it.

Jill: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?”

For you are the temple of the living God.
As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them.
I will be their God, And they shall be My people."

"Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.
"I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the LORD Almighty." 2 Cor 6:14-18

Defend your position biblically, Greg. What you believe is irrelevant if Scripture contradicts it.

Greg: So, because I see the pattern here that I have seen with others who once considered me a young crusader in the anti-mormon cause, I close skeptical that you will hear my heart in these words. I shall though take your father's grand advice to me once again and stay busy in the work that the Lord has called me to do.

Jill: “Anti-mormon cause?” I believe Christians call that evangelism. You sound like a Mormon, Greg. Perhaps you should have listened to the people who cared enough about you to tell you that you are in error.

Greg: Will you continue to bark at Dr. Hazen (even after he has sought to meet personally with you and your husband to discuss the matters of your concern?) and other good folks who are serving the Lord in our heart to reach into a community of people we love with the truth of Jesus Christ? I sure hope not.

Jill: Insulting me repeatedly doesn't help your cause, Greg. Ad hominem is a low form of argument. As to Craig Hazen, we talked to him via email and we offered to talk to him on the telephone, but he refused. He insisted we drive an hour and a half to Biola to sit down and talk face to face with him, even though we had less than 10 days before we were scheduled to move across the country.

The truth of the matter is this: MANY Christian leaders went to Craig Hazen and tried—in vain—to persuade him of his error. He refused to listen to any of them. We tried talking to him, he did not listen to us.

After refusing to speak to us on the telephone, Craig sent a nasty email behind our backs full of “unkind” comments. Again, this did not personally upset me since the ministry is not a popularity contest, and I was used to insults; I had to learn to deal with them at a very young age. However, I may just post all of our correspondence with Craig, since he broke confidentiality and seems to be portraying events inaccurately.

Yes, I suppose you will keep speaking at FAIR conferences, Greg, and having lunch with Robert Millet. Here is proof of what you’ve accomplished:

"My sister is deeply into Mormonism & went to the program in the Tabernacle. Her comments were:

'It was wonderful. Now I see that we are Christians and there is no opposition. Several people from my congregation went.'

"I commented to her that I thought her churches were called "wards" and she said, 'They call them congregations now....'"*

*Emphasis added, (accessed March 24, 2007).

Memorable Greg Johnson Quote:

“We are trying to show the upcoming generation that we don't have to be confrontational on truth," Johnson said, "There is a lot of room for us to build on our compromise of scriptures."

Please don't say I misquoted you, Greg. The reporter stated she had it on tape.
See (accessed March 23, 2007) emphasis added.

Jill Martin Rische
Walter Martin Ministries

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Biola University: Blasphemy 101?

Dr. Craig Hazen, Director of the M.A. Program in Christian Apologetics at Biola University is currently a candidate for the Presidency of Biola. If he is appointed, the new President of Biola University will be a man who promotes blasphemy. Biola leadership is apparently aware of this and supports him, since they have done nothing to stop him.

In November, 2004, Dr. Hazen was one of several Christian leaders who participated in a Mormon/Christian worship service held at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. The standing room only crowd listened as Dr. Richard Mouw (President, Fuller Theological Seminary) apologized to Mormons everywhere for Christians bearing “false witness” against them. He then suggested everyone celebrate Joseph Smith’s birthday.

Dr. Hazen closed this meeting with a public prayer:

“I really don’t want this to end; in fact, I’d like to make this an annual event. In fact, don’t y’all have a bigger place across the street? Would you all kindly stand with me as we close in prayer? Let us pray.

Our Heavenly Father, our Great King, our Sovereign Creator and Merciful Judge, Solomon asked for wisdom and you gave in abundance. Your servant James taught us that God will give wisdom generously to all who ask him for this precious gift. The Mormon Scriptures tell us that Joseph Smith Jr. likewise sought wisdom at a crucial time in his life. No one in this room should ever fear asking you, oh Gracious Father, for wisdom. So, in a common voice, we ask you to give us divine wisdom, wisdom from above, and the truth about you, about your Son, about your Holy Word, and about the path to salvation. You have promised to answer such heartfelt prayers, and I ask that you would not let a single person leave this great hall tonight without the light of truth being kindled in his or her soul. In the name of the Blessed One, in the name of the Risen One, in the name of the Lamb of God Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Go in the peace of Christ.”

Robert Millet (Mormon Leader) hugs Craig Hazen and says, “That was beautiful my friend. Magnificent.”

In addition to this prayer, which embodies faulty logic at best and blasphemy at worst, Craig Hazen also endorsed a Mormon book written by this same Robert Millet, an influential Mormon. The endorsement is as follows:

Robert L. Millet has done us all a great service with this book. He communicates contemporary Latter-day Saints thinking on Christology with remarkable clarity and charity. His years of open, bold, and authentic dialogue with traditional Protestants of all stripes have certainly given him a special vantage point. This work sets the stage for a whole new level of robust dialogue between the LDS and evangelical Christian communities.” – Craig J. Hazen

This book on the Mormon perversion of Jesus is published by Eerdmans and is now being sold in Christian bookstores, endorsed by Craig Hazen, who recently said, “I actually believe that Mormonism is a tremendous achievement of the devil!”

In one of his many lectures on Mormonism, Dr. Walter Martin reminds the Church that the Mormon Heavenly Father had physical sex with Mary to produce Jesus:

“This is not biblical theology . . . . It’s filth—and it bastardizes Jesus of Nazareth! And if that doesn’t do something to Christians, I despair for the future of the Church.

If someone insults my wife and my children, it upsets me. If they insult my country, it upsets me. And if somebody bastardizes my Savior, I’m really upset! Particularly when they have the colossal gall to look me in the face and tell me that’s what GOD says. That is NOT what God says. That is what Lucifer says!”

In his own defense, Dr. Hazen argues he has spent his life telling people that Mormonism is a false religion. His defense makes his position even worse in that he, of all people, should know better. Dr. Hazen told thousands of listeners he would like to worship with Mormons in their Tabernacle every year. Would Elijah join the priests of Baal and worship in their temple? Would Jesus worship His Father at the altar of Antichrist?

The hypocrisy here is this: by worshiping with Mormons and endorsing a book containing Mormon blasphemy, Dr. Hazen endangers the very people he insists he’s protecting: vulnerable young Christians confused on doctrinal truth, and people searching for answers. It is appalling that Dr. Hazen, obstinate in his alliance with Mormons, remains in the position to influence thousands of young Christians at Biola University.

The biblical position on any alliance with Mormons is clear:

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

"I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people."
"Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you."
I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the LORD Almighty." 2 Cor 6:14-18

Mormonism is blasphemy, and the true Church of Jesus Christ must defend against it—not promote it under the guises of academia and evangelism. This is what we have come to in the world of Christian Education: Blasphemy 101.

Your voice counts! Contact Biola:

Stan Jantz
Board of Trustees

Chairman, Presidential Search Team

Gary Miller
Provost and Senior Vice President
Phone: (562) 903-4703

Carol Taylor
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Phone: (562) 903-4713

[1] Emphasis added. Evening of Friendship DVD, Standing Together Ministries, 2004.
[2] Emphasis added. Stand to Reason Radio Archives, December 19, 2004,; also posted as airing July 3, 2005, (accessed March 21, 2007).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Up for a heart pounding discussion on Mormonism? Check out

Crosstalk with Ingrid Schlueter on VCY America went great today. We were discussing Mormonism when some glitch booted me off the air. I've never had that happen before, so it was interesting--especially when I couldn't reach them and they couldn't reach me for at least five minutes. I felt badly for Ingrid, with her guest suddenly MIA.

The interesting part about this was that during my boot time, Ingrid took calls and John Morehead got on the air to talk about his missiological paradigm (translated: COMPROMISE). For those of you not in the know, this is the latest division to be sown in the Church by none other than the people who spent their lives defending her.

Definition of Cultural Apologetics . . . whenever possible, sacrifice biblical truth and be culturally sensitive to the enemies of Jesus Christ.

Example - A Mormon tells you his young Mormon wife died in childbirth, and asks if he will he see her again if he accepts the Jesus you're preaching.

What do you say?

A biblical apologist would express genuine sorrow at this man's terrible loss, and then tell him the truth--there is a difference between Joseph Smith's Jesus and the Jesus of the Bible. This difference impacts eternity.

The cultural apologist expresses genuine sorrow and then avoids the truth in order to be culturally sensitive to this Mormon's feelings about Joseph Smith--his religious leader. He uses the only time he will ever have to speak to this man on this earth to reassure him that he might see his wife again someday.

Don't believe me? It's all on DVD.

I was sad to talk to John under these circumstances. I consider him a friend and a brother in the Lord, but I stand by my on air assessment of his position: he and others like him (Craig Hazen and Greg Johnson) have compromised the cause of Christ for a paradigm inspired by the Spirit of this Age.

I will be addressing this philosophy of Cultural Apologetics later this week when I talk about another Christian University heading south into the cultural abyss (yes, it's Biola). Craig Hazen of "Gee let's worship at the Mormon Tabernacle every year" fame is now up for the Presidency of Biola.

Heaven help us.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Details, details . . .

Brannon Howse was kind enough to invite me to talk about my 20 Amazing Facts of Mormonism so . . .

Checkout this link for a thought provoking discussion:

On the Air . . .
For anyone interested, I will be back on VCY America this Monday, March 19 to discuss 10 Amazing Facts of Mormonism with Ingrid Schlueter (an amazing host). :)

Re: Evangelical Feminism

In the interest of fairness, I will be re-evaluating Rebecca Merrill Groothuis's comments on Genesis 1:27, although I'm not optimistic (and I would like to be). RMG is telling her supporters that I misquoted her on air (along with Dwayna Litz)--so I will review and comment in the next few days. At first glance, the "context" sent by RMG shows a lack of understanding/knowledge of Hebrew, along with a troubling tendency to generalize in the realm of the specific.

On a lighter note . . .

The Kingdom of the Occult is almost at the halfway mark. Yay! It is exhausting and stressful and I love every minute of it.

Thank you for your prayers and please--please--keep praying.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

10 More Amazing Facts of Mormonism

The old saying “A little learning is a dangerous thing” certainly applies to Mormonism and its long history of mysterious teachings. The Mormon Church does not always discuss many of its core beliefs, so even Mormons do not know what their Church accepts as truth. This lack of knowledge is fatal, for choosing the wrong Jesus means an eternity without Him.

The purpose of these facts of Mormonism is not to attack people but to examine Mormon doctrine, and defend Christianity from the original attack of Joseph Smith.* Christians must know the basic teachings of Mormonism in order to answer them, and Mormons are certainly entitled to the truth.

10 More Amazing Facts of Mormonism

1. Jesus is a polygamist and the father of many children.

2. The God of the Protestants and Catholics is “a monster.”

3. Joseph Smith did a greater work than Jesus Christ.

4. All beliefs that deny Joseph Smith as a prophet of God are

“of Antichrist.”

5. Jesus was not conceived by the Holy Spirit.

6. The blood of Jesus cannot save—there is no salvation

without Joseph Smith.

7. Joseph Smith holds “the keys of the kingdom of God.”

8. Christianity is inspired by the devil.

9. Dead people—including Protestants, Catholics, Jews or Muslims

can still become Mormons.

10. Satan planned to be the Savior of the world.


[1] Journal of Discourses 11:328, Brigham Young – “Here is one of the ‘relics of barbarism!’ [polygamy] Yes, one of the relics of Adam, of Enoch, of Noah, of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses, David, Solomon, the Prophets, of Jesus, and his Apostles.”; Journal of Discourses 2:82, Orson Hyde -“Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee, and he told them what to do. Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show this, and prove that it was not the Savior of the world, then I will acknowledge I am in error. We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified.”; Journal of Discourses 4:259, Orson Hyde; Journal of Discourses 1:346, Jedediah M. Grant - “The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. We might almost think they were “Mormons.” The Jesus of the Mormons participated (and still does) in “authorized” polygamy.

[2] History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 473-479, Joseph Smith’s Sermon on the Plurality of Gods – “Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God! I say that is a strange God anyhow—three in one, and one in three! It is a curious organization . . . . All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism. It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God—he would be a giant or a monster.”

Jesus contradicts Joseph Smith in John 10:30 when He says, “I and My Father are one."

[3] History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409 - Prophet Joseph Smith’s Sermon, Sunday, May 26, 1844 - “Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” See document at Christian site (accessed March 8, 2007).

[4] Journal of Discourses 8:176, Brigham Young; Journal of Discourses 9:312, Brigham Young.

[5] Journal of Discourses 1:50,51, Brigham Young – “The question has been, and is often, asked, who it was that begat the Son of the Virgin Mary . . . .When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost . . . . Now, remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.”

[6] Journal of Discourses 4:54, Brigham Young - “It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit.” There is no salvation without belief in Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. Journal of Discourses 7:289-91, Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:88, Heber C. Kimball.

[7] Journal of Discourses 7:289-91, Brigham Young; Journal of Discourses 6:154-155, Orson Hyde.

[8] Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10-11 - “And he [the angel of God] said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.”; Journal of Discourses 6:176, Brigham Young - “Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth.”
[9] Doctrine and Covenants 127, Joseph Smith; Journal of Discourses, 18:241, Brigham Young. Mormons research their genealogy in order to baptize dead relatives into the Mormon Church by proxy (meaning they stand in for them in the baptismal tank). The dead can choose to accept or reject the baptism. Mormons can also do this for celebrities, friends and enemies, which is why some Jewish leaders are angry with the Mormon Church for baptizing victims of the Holocaust. See Mormons meet with Jews over baptizing Holocaust victims, CNN, (accessed March 8, 2007). “Baptism for the dead in Mormon temples gives those who would have embraced Christ and His Church the opportunity to do so after death. It is a wonderful gift granted by a merciful God.” See pro-Mormon site (accessed March 7, 2007).

[10] Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4:1 - And I, the
Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.”,4945,11-1-13-6,00.html

Jesus and Satan brought their plans for the salvation of the world before the council of the Gods, and they rejected Satan’s plan. Journal of Discourses, 6:5, 8, Joseph Smith - “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it . . . . The contention in heaven was Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved; and the Devil said he could save them all, and laid his plans before the grand council, who gave their vote in favour of Jesus Christ. So the Devil rose up in rebellion against God, and was cast down, with all who put up their heads for him.”

Additional Notes:
Some Mormons argue that the Journal of Discourses is not Mormon Scripture, but early Mormon leaders refute modern Mormons:

Journal of Discourses 13:264, Brigham Young; Journal of Discourses 13:95, George Q. Cannon; Journal of Discourses 1:V.

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."-- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 1709

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Walter Martin on the argument that Christianity has failed down through the ages . . .

I am so tired of critics pointing to all the so-called “failures” of Christianity through the ages. The truth is that atheism and agnosticism are responsible for more deaths than all the religious wars down through history!

In Germany, two men known as Karl Marx and Frederick Ingles produced a philosophy called Dialectical Materialism, known today as Communism. In the fifty-odd years it has been in existence, that philosophy has destroyed—in real human lives—more than a hundred million people. They did that in fifty years! Ten million Baptists alone died in Russia under Stalin, just because of that philosophy.

Many philosophers say that Christianity is illogical and irrational. There used to be a saying in Germany when Friedrich Nietzsche was alive: "God is dead." They wrote it all over the walls because Nietzsche was trying to prove that Christianity, Judaism, and the Bible were mythology.

When Nietzsche died, they changed the sign to: "Nietzsche is dead. God." And that’s exactly what happened—he departed the premises and God still remains. The philosophists succeed only in confusion and in refuting each other. They have been doing nothing but causing problems for almost two thousand years. Christianity is not illogical or irrational—the philosophers are.

You don’t have to work yourself to death trying to refute philosophers—they refute each other!

In the end, they all come back to the same thing: They don’t know. They’re all agnostics. That’s why Paul tells you in Colossians to beware. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

The arrogant philosopher Nietzsche so influenced Adolph Hitler that he brought about the persecution of the Jews on the grounds they were an inferior race. Hitler believed the Germans were the Arian supermen of Nietzsche’s philosophy.

Six million Jews were eradicated on the basis of this line of reasoning. Communism and Nazism have managed, in the last fifty-odd years, to wipe out twenty times more people than Christianity is accused of in the last nineteen hundred years!

Atheism is the great, beneficent helper of mankind? Let history be the judge!

Friday, March 09, 2007

For a fascinating discussion on Evangelical Feminism (featuring yours truly and the ever amazing Dwayna Litz) checkout the VCY America radio show Crosstalk (hosted by Ingrid Schlueter):

(Fans of Dr. Doug Groothuis - Denver Seminary, his wife Rebecca Groothuis, Christians for Biblical Equality - CBE, and Dr. Craig Hazen - Biola University, might find it especially enlightening.)

Monday, March 05, 2007

In my research on Mormonism, I ran across some personal stories that touch the heart:

Discussion Board
Subject: Severe depression since finding out the "Truth"

Date: Dec 31, 2006
Author: anon

"I am new to this board although my husband has been a part of it for quite some time. I am really struggling with feelings of severe depression since I have found out that everything that I have believed my whole life is a "lie"... a total and complete lie. I'm wondering if this is a normal response??

To give a little background, I was raised in an LDS family but not exactly what you would call "Nazi LDS". My parents were both converts and were pretty liberal compared to most mormons that I know. I fully embraced the church, got married in the temple, everything I was supposed to do. My husband started researching the validity of the church and was very disappointed with what he found. I pretty much thought that Satan had gotten a hold of him and continued to take our kids to church, etc. etc. Eventually, one night I realized that I had been duped. I was devastated!!

About seven years ago right after the birth of my first child, my mom passed away. We were super close. I don't think I ever grieved her death because I was so sure that if I lived righteously I would see her again. What a blow to figure out that the "together forever" we are taught our whole lives is just a selling point that the church uses to convert people.Am I the only one that suffers from severe depression since finding out? No wonder we're the Prozac capitol.

. . . . I have been seeing a therapist which helps on some aspects. She is an atheist (which I did not know before I saw her), which is OK by me except I still want to cling to the hope that I will see my mom again. Maybe that sounds silly, I don't know, but I still want to have hope."*

My heart goes out to this woman and so many others who sincerely believed with all their hearts . . . and were sincerely deceived.

My recent article on the facts of Mormonism caused quite a stir, and I'm happy if it means that people like this sweet woman will come to see the elaborate lie crafted by Joseph Smith and the Mormon church.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Current Bible Answer Man Lawsuit Thrown Out of Court

For those who might be interested in the fact that Hanegraaff sued his brother in Christ, Bill Alnor, the following update from Bill explains the gist of it. I am delighted that the court felt the case was not even worth their time:

Dear Colleagues,

I am happy to announced that a three-judge panel just threw out

Christian Research Institute President Hank Hanegraaff's defamation
lawsuit against me.

This had to do with Hanegraaff's infamous EMERGENCY "The Post Office
Lost Our Mail and another company threw it out" fundraising plea of
January 2005 in which Hanegraaff alleged that the Post Office was
responsible for up to $200,000 in lost contributions.

In addition, in losing the case, which cannot be brought up again, CRI
and Hanegraaff are liable to pay for my legal fees (which presumably
may come from contributors' contributions), which included a spirited
defense by a national law firm and the ACLU. I personally did not expend any personal funds in my defense, nor will I see any profits from the repayment of our legal fees by CRI.

In the upcoming days I am going to put many of the court documents on
line, which seem to shows a pattern of false statements submitted to
try to buttress the outrageous law suit. Most important, *the documents we presented to the court did reveal that the United State Postal criminal investigators were "looking into Hanegraaff's unusual appeal," which is the very thing CRI/Hanegraaff denied.

In a USPS document submitted to the court that recounted a later postal
investigation of the case, only on *one day* was just *one tray* of CRI's mail accidentally delivered to a nearby company with a similar routing number, and that tray was *immediately returned to CRI.* There was never any three month diversion of CRI's mail to the OnTarget company, and no evidence was presented that any of it was thrown away.

There was apparently a drop off in CRI's contributions, but we have alleged the drop off was probably due to Hanegraaff's "Last Disciple"series of books that led to his products being removed from various bookstores from his traditional base.

There is also another matter that Christian leaders should be talking about,

especially in the wake of the dismissal of the Local Church
case, the law suit against me should have never been filed and

*I did not countersue.* Instead I filed a SLAPP motion that sought to throw the case out. (As a professor of media law, SLAPP means Stragegic Lawsuits against Participating Parties, which are often used by deep pocketed companies meant to silence their critics, which is against the law in many states, including California.)

CRI's case was clearly meant to silence me and bully me from reporting
the truth of this shameful fundraising attempt. I Corinthians 6 specifically
discussed matters like this. Paul says to not sue believers -- ever.

In a Christianity Today story, CRI's justification for the law suit
was something to the effect that my story exposing the alleged fraud
in the online Christian Sentinel amounted to behavior by me that was
not Christian. Therefore they could sue.

Never mind the fact that I sought CRI's response before publishing anything (they ignored me). Never mind my Christian books, hundreds of Christian articles, and numerous speaking engagements that have won many to Christ, and never mind my role as a former pastor and a man who has been deeply involved in Christian causes and evangelism for many years. And never mind that I had been on The Bible Answer Man broadcast on various occasions, have written for the CRI Journal and was the former news editor of The CRI Journal.

For my original story go to:

I will say much more on this case later, but this is an update.


William M. Alnor, Ph.D.