A blog from Randy Bohlender popped up in my Facebook news feed the other day, and I had to check it out, since it had to do with Glenn Beck.
As many of you may know, Glenn is a self-professed Mormon. How closely he follows the teachings of the Mormon church, I have know idea.
If Glenn is a true Mormon, then we very much disagree theologically, however, during his Restoring Honor rally, everything I heard, except for one statement, lined up very closely with what I believe.
The following are my responses to Randy’s original post. I figured I’d capture them here to further foster discussion.
I saw this post on Facebook today (via Tracie Loux) and I’ve been thinking about it all day. I’ve been trying to formulate my thoughts and an answer from a slightly different perspective.
I watched a good 2.5 hours of the rally. It was incredibly moving. The speakers (plural) went out of their way to mention their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. One pastor, upon receiving the honor for Faith practically preached a Bible-based sermon in his acceptance speech.
As some of you have noted, it’s sad that Christians can’t get this sort of following and draw this sort of crowd, maybe, just maybe it’s because people see a lot of hypocrisy in the church (myself included at times) – just a thought.
So now I’ll get to some of my points.
1.) Glenn Beck calls himself a mormon. Guess what? Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama profess to be Christians. I would argue that their actions belie their professed faith. I’m not saying this is the case (none of us can see inside Glenn’s heart) but maybe he’s not “all that Mormon” for lack of a better term. Everything I heard Saturday, had I not known Glenn was a mormon, would have sounded just like something I’d expect to hear in my church on Sunday (except for the “go home to your Mosques, etc.” part.
Some of you may know David Barton, of wallbuilders.com. The following is a quote from David,
“For Christians concerned about Glenn’s faith, I would ask the following questions: What fruit do you see produced by Glenn,” David Barton, an influential evangelical activist who is joining Beck’s rally, wrote on his Facebook page recently. “Good or bad? If you judged Glenn only by the fruits he has produced, would you still hold concerns over his faith?”
“Christians concerned about Glenn’s faith should judge the tree by its fruits, not its labels,” Barton, a former Republican National Committee consultant, continued. “After all, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton openly call themselves Christians… Although these individuals have the right labels, they have the wrong fruits.”
2.) Is God not big enough to speak through someone other than a Christian?
Are we following a messenger, or a message? Glenn was calling people to return to God, people were lifting up the name of Jesus Christ. It’s up to us to figure out the only true way to God. Yes, Glenn did not explicitly preach Christ as the only way, but this was a rally, not a church service.
Remember how God spoke through Balaam’s donkey? I’d like to think that if God can use a donkey to speak to His people, just maybe he can use a Mormon (or someone by any other faith label for that matter) to call His children back to Him.
God said in the last days He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Unless I’m misinterpreting, that means everyone. Not just the born again. Again, perhaps God could use someone with the label “Christian” to lead His people back to Him. Look how He used Pharoah and the desert to waken up the Israelites.
While I do agree that we need to be discerning, I think we shouldn’t be so quick to write people off, and that we should look at the message as a whole.
Randy, thanks for your thoughtful reply.
I guess what I don’t get is there is only one Jesus, what you believe about Him doesn’t change the fact of who He is. I can believe 2+2 = 5 until I’m blue in the face, but that doesn’t make it so.
So if Glenn doesn’t have the whole picture of Jesus it doesn’t change the fact of who He is.
Again I took this more as a rallying call for the, I’ll call them “frozen chosen”. Those who already know God but are sitting on their butts not doing anything while our country literally travels on the path straight to Hell.
For these people, the call to action, the call to return to Godly values and morals, is, in my opinion, not effected by whether or not Glenn has the total picture of Jesus Christ.
For instance, if I were backslidden in my faith, and I heard Glenn’s message, it would be a call back to my first love, a call back to the truth. Whether or not Glenn totally understands that truth would be irrelevant because I would have already known that truth for myself.
Now, if he’s reaching out to people that know nothing about Jesus (which is not what I believe his target audience is), then that’s different.
Thanks for the discussion. I love a good back and forth.
I think the point that many of the commenters are missing is that Glenn’s views on Jesus (which none of us really know, unless someone hear actually knows Glenn) don’t change who Jesus is.
For example, I could think Randy is a 70 year old man with no children that lives in Las Vegas. That doesn’t change the reality of who Randy is. I could believe the moon is made out of cheese – that doesn’t mean it is.
I completely understand that we need to follow Jesus as He is presented in the Bible. I get that, really I do.
But what I’m trying to say is that if someone is offering a return to God and to Jesus Christ who was mentioned as Lord and Savior by many people, to some extent, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter if they lack the complete understanding about Jesus.
And here’s why. Glenn isn’t saying, “follow the Mormon mis-guided idea of Jesus.” If he was, I’d be the first to say, “hey, that’s not right!”
We, the listeners are left to discern and follow the truth. Would it be better if Glenn got up and preached Scripture and led people to the “same” Jesus we believe in? Of course it was. Except that that wasn’t the point of the day.
I’ll offer this. The disciples (founders of the church) sometimes didn’t have a clue who Jesus was, and yet we don’t knock their ministry. They were totally clueless, but did that negate the good that they helped Jesus accomplish during his life on Earth? I hardly think so.
Maybe we can accept the message, despite the flaws in the messenger? After all, we’re all sinners saved by grace.
Yes Glenn is wrong on that point.
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I would say we have more in common with him than not.
Perhaps the collective church should get off their duffs and envigorate people the way Glenn is able to. Until then, I say good for him for making an attempt.