By Rick Becker 15 June 2022
“Get used to different” – the words of “Jesus” in season 1 of The Chosen when he called Matthew as a disciple. These words (not found in the biblical narrative) have become a slogan for the series. Unfortunately, “different” is a description of the Jesus that Dallas Jenkins, the creator and director of The Chosen advocates – a “different” Jesus that we will have to get used to in a negative sense (2 Cor 11:4). This other, or different Jesus will be a popular Jesus, an ecumenical Jesus that brings various “faith traditions” together. An inclusive Jesus that accepts all religions. A Jesus that can be defined in the broadest terms possible. A Jesus that accepts different understandings of his nature. A Jesus that has come to bring peace in this world and harmony among different religions. Essential doctrines will be ignored or viewed as “differences,” and set aside as various cults, false religions, and the majority of the visible church are deceived by the spirit of the antichrist. They’ll claim that they love the same Jesus – which is a different Jesus. Someone playing a role in this universal and syncretic deception is Dallas Jenkins, and it’s no small part given the popularity of his series. Aside from the influential series, what is often overlooked is something just as influential – the words of Dallas Jenkins.
The Chosen is a popular series, it has well over 200 million views and has already been translated into 50 different languages. The goal is to reach 1 billion people. To a large degree, the show’s popularity boils down to feelings. Fans of The Chosen disregard valid criticism because the show tickles their emotions and stimulates their imagination. Where scripture is silent regarding certain events or the characters of Jesus and his disciples, Jenkins has used his imagination to fill the gaps. Fact – the show is not an authentic portrayal of Jesus or his disciples and is not faithful to the biblical text. (More on that here, here &here) Some find the mixture of facts and fiction in the series heartwarming and entertaining, but we don’t need warm and fuzzy feelings or speculation to know the Christ of the scriptures. We need the scriptures and the illumination of the Holy Spirit, not the imagination of Jenkins.
Christians who defend the series, claim that it’s “brought them closer to Jesus” or that they’ve been touched by God in some way. Supposedly, this is proof that the show is “anointed.” This subjective argument is a product of an experience-driven Christianity that is leading many into deception. Furthermore, it fails to take into account similar testimonies from Mormons. A few of the many comments by Mormons on social media in defense of the series, and in response to Jenkins’ video on the “LDS issue” –
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
Dallas Jenkins is yoked with a cult that believes and teaches a different Jesus. If Jenkins was obedient to the “authentic Jesus” he claims to portray, he would be contending for the faith and exposing the heretical teachings of Mormonism. If he truly loved his LDS friends, he would be snatching them from the fire, but without Mormon backing, The Chosen would not have been possible. Two of the executive producers are Mormons. Mormon publication The Desert News, explain the LDS connection with The Chosen:
• “The Chosen” is distributed by partner Angel Studios, a streaming video company that was co-founded by brothers Neal and Jeffrey Harmon, who are Latter-day Saints.
• Angel Studios raised millions through crowdfunding to fund the multiseason series about the life of Jesus Christ.
• Latter-day Saint leaders also authorized the filming of scenes for Season 2 of “The Chosen” at the church’s Jerusalem set near Goshen, Utah.”
“WE LOVE THE SAME JESUS”
This screenshot is from Jenkins’ 2020 interview with Mormons – the text on the screen was added by the Mormon producers of the show.
Dallas Jenkins’ infamous comment regarding Mormons and Christians – “We love the same Jesus,” received all the criticism it deserved. In reaction to his critics, Jenkins posted this response on The Chosen’s YouTube channel titled “My definitive (final) comments on the “LDS issue.” (19 May 2022)
The video is a lesson in the art of obfuscation.
Jenkins: “Is it true that I said that…the answer is no. I did not” – except he did! Watch here, statement at 10:29.
Jenkins goes on to say that he could have added clarity, context, etc.
I agree with his view that it would be wrong to say that all evangelicals are believers, that would be a blanket statement and ignore the fact that the visible church is full of false converts who claim to be Christians. But you cannot apply that same argument to Mormons.
Jenkins: “It would be a problem if I actually said those words definitively, if I actually made the statement Evangelicals and LDS love the same Jesus, or LDS are Christians that would be a problem. And here’s why, not because there aren’t LDS folks who are Christians, and not because there aren’t LDS and evangelicals who love the same Jesus, but because it would be wrong of me to ever say that any one group believes any one thing all together, that is just a level of arrogance that I don’t have….It would be just as dumb for me to say that all LDS are Christians, as it would be to say that all evangelicals are Christians, or that all Catholics are Christians or any other faith tradition. It would also be dumb for me to say that none are.”
In other words, Jenkins believes that some Mormons/LDS folks are Christians/believers/born again.
Jenkins: “When I’ve talked about my brothers and sisters in Christ, and when I’ve talked about those LDS folks that I know who loved the same Jesus I do, I’m referring to some of the friends that I have who identify as LDS who I’ve gotten to know very deeply over the last few years, in particular. And have had hundreds of hours of conversations with (them), and I stand by the statement that those friends of mine that I’m referring to absolutely love the same Jesus that I do,”
Jenkins does not seem to understand that it’s impossible for any Mormon (who by definition serves a false Christ) to love the same Jesus as true believers. He may as well say that some Muslims love the same Jesus as he does.
A really basic understanding of Mormonism should suffice to prove that Mormons serve a different Jesus. Instead of spending “hundreds of hours of conversations” with his Mormon friends, Jenkins should have spent a few hours scrutinizing Mormon beliefs. In his response, Jenkins claims to believe the following: “in the inerrancy of Scripture. I believe in the supremacy of God’s Word. I believe in the Holy Trinity. I believe in God the Father, the Son of God, the Holy Spirit, and believe that Jesus is the Son of God and all of the core tenets of Scripture.”
Mormons do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture or the Holy Trinity, they distort all the core tenets of scripture, and believe that Jesus was a man who became a god. How is it possible that some Christians and some Mormons love the same Jesus? How can Jenkins be so ignorant regarding Mormon beliefs, or is he? Is there something sinister at work?
For those unfamiliar with Mormon doctrine and unaware of the extent of its error, a summary follows. I’ll include quotes from LDS leaders – which I hope will have the necessary impact by showing the vast chasm between Mormonism and Christianity. I must point out that it’s not that simple to find comprehensive statements from the LDS “church” on certain doctrines. On certain issues, there are contradictions and cover-ups – a product of their belief in continual revelation which is convenient when correcting their errors, but at the same time the reason for the confusion and lack of clarity. Which Mormon apostle or prophet should we believe?
THE ORIGIN OF MORMONISM
Mormonism originated like most cults and false religions – one individual receives a visitation or revelation. The stamp of authority for their concocted beliefs consists of three words – “God told me.” Joseph Smith claimed to have received a visitation from God the Father and Jesus Christ in 1820. The revelation he received was that the church apostatized after the death of the apostles, and became an abomination founded by the devil:
“And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil. And he 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.” 1 Nephi 14:9-10 (Book of Mormon).
Based on his revelation and the belief that he was the chosen one, Smith began “restoring” the gospel by redefining God, the gospel, the church, and adding to scripture. Smith claimed that his Book Of Mormon was “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by it’s precepts, than by any other book.”
This is a blatant lie that contradicts the Bible (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
MORMONISM – A DIFFERENT GOD, A DIFFERENT GOSPEL
The ultimate goal of the Mormon is to become a god. Excerpts from the King Follet Discourse,
a message by Joseph Smith on 7 April 1844 to about twenty thousand followers in Nauvoo Illinois:
“God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible, – I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form – like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another…Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, … by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power”
The origin of God – a Heavenly Father?
Orson Pratt, an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, describes an infinite regression of gods in The Seer: “so, likewise, when we trace the genealogy of our spirits. We were begotten by our Father in Heaven; the person of our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father; and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father; and so on, from generation to generation, from one heavenly world to another still more ancient, until our minds are wearied and lost in the multiplicity of generations and successive worlds.” (September issue, 1853)
Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1970 until he died in 1972, repeated this view:
“We are informed that there are many earths or worlds which have been created, and were created by the Son for the Father. This was, of course, before he was born a Babe in Bethlehem. Evidently his Father passed through a period of mortality even as he passed through mortality, and as we all are doing. Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father, until we come to a stop where we cannot go further, because of our limited capacity to understand.” 1.
Salvation is a combination of faith and works:
“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” 2 Nephi 25:23 (The Book of Mormon).
Joseph Fielding Smith:
“SALVATION COMES BY FAITH PLUS OBEDIENCE..The fact that certain laws must be observed and ordinances complied with is not the ruling of the Latter-day Saints, but the divine mandate of the Author of our salvation, who has said he will judge all men according to their works and opportunities…MANKIND DAMNED BY “FAITH ALONE” DOCTRINE. Notwithstanding the apparently narrow construction of the Latter-day Saints pertaining to the scriptures-and we most emphatically declare that all men must obey these laws if they would be saved,” 2
This is contrary to what the scriptures teach: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). That’s God’s plan for salvation, but Mormons reject it in favor of Joseph Smith’s plan: “In the plan of salvation, as it was made known through Joseph Smith to the world, there are no flaws. Each part fits perfectly and makes the whole complete” 3
One obvious flaw is that in some sense, Joseph Smith has superseded Christ as mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).
Joseph Fielding Smith made it very clear that to reject their prophet was damning:
“NO SALVATION WITHOUT ACCEPTING JOSEPH SMITH. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth when he said that he stood in the presence of angels sent from the Lord, and obtained keys of authority, and the commandment to organize the Church of Jesus Christ once again on the earth, then this knowledge is of the most vital importance to the entire world. No man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of god.” 4
MORMONISM – A DIFFERENT JESUS
There are many heretical doctrines in Mormonism – polytheism (some argue that Henotheism is a more accurate description), vicarious ordinances such as baptism for the dead, denial of original sin (God forgave Adam and Eve in the garden – Pearl of Great Price, Moses 6:53), denial of the Trinity, ongoing revelation, and ongoing priesthood, but one that is relevant to Jenkins’ claim that some of his LDS friends love the same Jesus, is the doctrine of Christ. Make no mistake, the Mormon Jesus is a different Jesus. The bible teaches that Jesus is fully God, the Word made flesh, the creator of everything that exists:
• “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:15-16.
• “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3.
The Jesus of Mormonism is a different Jesus! The official Mormon website (renamed Church Of Jesus Christ) does not go into detail about what they believe about Christ. Their “core belief” about Christ states the following:
“We all need help in life. We face trials, we have questions, and we make mistakes. This is why we need Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God and our loving Savior. His perfect example shows us the way to live. His teachings give us direction. But most importantly, He suffered and died for our sins so that we can be forgiven when we repent. Through Him, we can find lasting happiness and look forward to living again with God someday.”
This is of course the nature of deception – selective information, just enough to make it sound “Christian.” It takes hardly any effort to dig a little deeper and discover a few of Mormonism’s heretical teachings about Christ:
.• Jesus was a spirit child, the product of heavenly parents.
• Jesus was a pre-existent spirit like us.
• Jesus was a man who progressed to become a god through faith and good works.
• Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers – both the offspring of the heavenly father.
• Jesus is the same species as we are.
These are obvious errors, but the deceptive aspect is that Mormons use biblical terminology to give the appearance that they have the same beliefs as Christians. The perception that Mormonism is Christianity or just another denomination is exactly how deception operates: “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
When Mormons speak our language, we have to be aware that those words have different meanings.
For example, in Mormonism “firstborn” means that “Jesus was the firstborn of the spirit children of our Heavenly Father.” Christianity teaches that “the phrase “firstborn of all creation” proclaims Christ’s preeminence. As the eternal Son of God, He created the universe. He is the Ruler of creation!”
One final example of another important doctrine that gets twisted is the virgin birth. Important because: “it preserves the truth that Jesus is fully God and fully man at the same time. His physical body He received from Mary. But His eternal, holy nature was His from all eternity past (see John 6:69). Joseph the carpenter did not pass on his sinful nature to Jesus for the simple reason that Joseph was not the father. Jesus had no sin nature (Hebrews 7:26).”
Any Mormon will affirm the virgin birth, which the LDS website explains as follows:
“We believe that He was born of a virgin, Mary, in Bethlehem of Judea in what has come to be known as the meridian of time, the central point in salvation history. From His mother, Mary, Jesus inherited mortality, the capacity to feel the frustrations and ills of this world, including the capacity to die. We believe that Jesus was fully human in that He was subject to sickness, to pain and to temptation.”
Note what they leave out – Jesus was fully God as well. The Bible teaches that God is spirit (John 4:24) and does not have a body of flesh and bones. The Bible teaches that the virgin birth was an act of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). But Mormonism teaches that Heavenly Father has a physical body: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.” 5
The virgin birth presents a conundrum for Mormons. While they reject the biblical narrative, contemporary Mormons will struggle to give you a clear explanation. What is clear, are the statements by LDS leadership in the past – the Father had intercourse with Mary, and that’s how Christ was conceived:
“CHRIST NOT BEGOTTEN OF HOLY GHOST. I believe firmly that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh…Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of man, and that man was God!” 6
Brigham Young, the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1847 until he died in 1877: “He (Christ) was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. … Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven.” 7
Bruce R McConkie, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ:
• “Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God,” 8
• “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” 9
DO MORMONS ADMIT THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT JESUS?
The LDS have a deceptive answer to that question: “As to whether we worship a “different Jesus,” we say again: We accept and endorse the testimony of the New Testament writers. Jesus is the promised Messiah, the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), literally the light of the world (John 8:12). Everything that testifies of His divine birth, His goodness, His transforming power and His godhood, we embrace enthusiastically.”
Let’s pause for a moment. It’s one thing to believe in a historical Jesus, it’s another to change the essential elements of Soteriology and Christology, and that is what Mormonism does through additions. The second part of the quote:
“But we also rejoice in the additional knowledge latter-day prophets have provided about our Lord and Savior. President Brigham Young thus declared that we, the Latter-day Saints, take the liberty of believing more than our Christian brethren: we not only believe … the Bible, but … the whole of the plan of salvation that Jesus has given to us. Do we differ from others who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? No, only in believing more.”
Apart from the fact that Mormons do not believe in biblical inerrancy, the source for their “additional knowledge” is the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Why they refer to believers as “Christian brethren” in the quote is unsure, because Mormon theology dictates that only Mormons can be true Christians, the rest are antichrist and part of the apostate church. Mormon’s “additional knowledge” changes every major doctrine of the bible – they do have a different Jesus, but to admit it would jeopardize their proselytizing activities:
“When questioned, Mormons insist that their gospel comes from the Bible and that they have the same God and the same Jesus as Christians. In actual fact, they have a completely different God from what the Bible presents, a different Jesus, and a different gospel. These differences are denied or glossed over by the missionaries, who are often evasive and unwilling to tell the whole truth to a prospective convert for fear of losing him. Moreover, much about Mormonism cannot be revealed to sincere seekers, because those who know what is involved have taken an oath of secrecy. This means that Mormonism’s most sacred and important doctrines and practices are discovered only after getting in too deeply to turn back.” 10
THE EXCLUSIVITY OF MORMONISM
At this point, you should be flabbergasted by Jenkins’ statement that some of his LDS friends love the “same Jesus.” Informed Mormons know that they don’t “love the same Jesus” as Christians. Informed Mormons would never affirm that salvation can be found outside of their religion.
According to Gordon Bitner Hinckley (15th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), those “outside” of the Mormon church believe in a different Christ: “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints “do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. He, together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.”
The following three quotes are from Bruce R. McConkie, LDS member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
•“And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal, uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit. As pertaining to this universe, there are three Gods: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. All other supposed deities are false gods.” 11
In other words, apostates believe that Jesus is uncreated and believe in the trinity. By this definition, Dallas Jenkins is an apostate, yet Jenkins believes some Mormons love the same Jesus as Christians. Which Jesus does Jenkins believe in, it cannot be both!
• “To his earthly kingdom in the dispensation of the fulness of times the Lord has given the formal name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (D. & C. 115:3-4.) This Church is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (D. & C. 1:30), the only organization authorized by the Almighty to preach his gospel and administer the ordinances of salvation, the only Church which has power to save and exalt men in the hereafter. Membership in this divine institution is a pearl of great price.” 12
• “Without continuous revelation, the ministering of angels, the working of miracles, the prevalence of gifts of the spirit, there would be no salvation. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” 13
Brigham Young (the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1847 – 1877) :
“For unbelievers we will quote from the Scriptures—”Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Again—”Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God.” I will now give my scripture—”Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God to reveal the holy Gospel to the children of men, and lay the foundation for gathering Israel, and building up the kingdom of God on the earth, that spirit is of God; and every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist, no matter whether it is found in a pulpit or on a throne, nor how much divinity it may profess, nor what it professes with regard to revealed religion and the account that is given of the Savior and his Father in the Bible. They may say that they acknowledge Him until doomsday, and he will never own them, nor bestow the Holy Spirit upon them, and they will never have visions of eternity opened to them, unless they acknowledge that Joseph Smith is sent of God. Such people I call unbelievers. They tell about believing in Jesus Christ, but they might as well talk about birds understanding the Hebrew language. This statement is no more positive than true.” 14
The final quote in this section comes from their scriptures, Doctrine and Covenants:
“And after having received the record of the Nephites, yea, even my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., might have power to translate through the mercy of God, by the power of God, the Book of Mormon. And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually” 15
It’s clear that from the Mormon perspective, there can be no compromise.
There’s no space to go into further detail, but I assure you this is merely scratching the surface of a cult steeped in the occult, influenced by Free Masonry, and founded by a fraud. Many Mormons don’t know the sordid history of Mormonism, and few reach the level where they are privy to specific rituals and information. I have not even touched on the bizarre and occultic practices that take place in Mormon Temples and venture into the depths of evil – occultic rituals and symbols, secret handshakes, signs, oaths, etc. What’s stopping Jenkins from going to a Mormon temple and partaking in these practices if we serve the same Jesus, and if Mormonism is just another denomination or “faith tradition”?
In 2018, Mormon President Russell M. Nelson announced the following “The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Members have been instructed not to use the word Mormon, except when referring to the Book of Mormon or “when used as an adjective in such historical expressions as “Mormon Trail.”
This new shift contradicts something “the Lord” must have impressed on Mormon leadership in 2010 when they ran the “I’m a Mormon” campaign:
“The Church’s national media campaign called “I’m a Mormon” (launched in 2010) included television spots, billboards, and ads on buses and on the Internet. The ads give a glimpse into the lives of Latter-day Saints from all over the world and refer people to themormon.org website.”
Why this shift? Dropping the term Mormon is simply a strategy that’s designed to erase negative perceptions and associations. I don’t believe it’s a case of rebranding Mormonism but rather a case of re-emphasizing what they have always claimed – they are the true church and true Christians.
The following two quotes are by Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie:
• “Since the Latter-day Saints believe the Book of Mormon – a volume which contains the fulness of the gospel, the same gospel which is in the Bible – they do not recoil from the designation of their views as Mormonism. Rather they take every honorable opportunity to herald these views to the world, for they are the pure, unadulterated Christianity of old. Mormonism is Christianity; Christianity is Mormonism; they are one and the same, and they are not to be distinguished from each other in the minutest detail.” 16
• “There are, of course, many devout people in all churches who believe in Christ and seek to do his will, insofar as their knowledge of him permits them so to do. But until they receive the truth and light revealed in latter-days and until they gain the personal revelation which follows enjoyment of the gift of the Holy Ghost, their belief and understanding cannot be perfected. Thus, in the full sense, the faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are the only true believers in the world today,” 17
LDS website: “Latter-day Saints are Christians on the basis of our doctrine, our defined relationship to Christ, our patterns of worship and our way of life”
Mormons won’t come knocking at your door in the name of Joseph Smith, they’ll come in the name of Jesus Christ.”For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-14.
Given the exclusivity of their beliefs which are antithetical to Christianity, one would think that their leadership should condemn the “unity” developing between Christians and Mormons as a result of the series.
But the silence from those in the upper echelons of Mormon leadership regarding this “unity,” and Jenkin’s statement that “we love the same Jesus” is deafening. It’s impossible for them to acknowledge that they love the same Jesus as true believers in Christ. To do so, would be to reject their own beliefs, the Book of Mormon, and denounce Joseph Smith as a false prophet. But informed Mormons are craftier than Jenkins, and unlike Jenkins they’re sure and unwavering in their doctrine. Perhaps they are unaware of these kinds of responses, but I doubt it. I would venture to say that they’re tolerating this kind of talk from uninformed Mormons because the gains outweigh the losses.
In addition, LDS leadership will find consolation in the fact that it’s difficult to escape from their cult. Mormons have borne witness in their spirit that Joseph Smith is a true prophet, they’re on the path of exaltation to become a god and know the risk of social stigmatization if they leave. Mormonism has something to gain, and a willfully ignorant Jenkins (at the very least) is a pawn in the process.
DALLAS JENKIN’S CONTRIBUTION TO MORMON PROSELYTIZING
The Chosen is like a dragnet, and it’s clear that Mormons are going to risk a partnership with Jenkins to take their share of the spoils. Like any film on the life of Christ, The Chosen has become an evangelistic tool – even for false religions or cults that have some form of belief in the historical Jesus.
But in the case of The Chosen, Mormons have a massive advantage – courtesy of Dallas Jenkins. Mormon missionaries now have a strong argument to support the idea that they love the same Jesus as Christians. An argument that will help erase the stigma that they’re part of a cult that is diametrically opposed to Christianity. That argument is a result of five words – we love the same Jesus.
Mormon missionaries can use Dallas Jenkins as an example of a well-known evangelical, the producer of a hit series about Jesus, who believes that some Mormons love the same Jesus as believers. Mormons are as equally excited for the series to have a massive reach. Darrel Eves, a Mormon and the executive producer says: “One main goal we have is not only to produce the show, but to get it out to a billion people,”
If just one of those one billion who watch The Chosen believe the words of Dallas Jenkins we love the same Jesus and turn to a false Jesus, it’s one too many.
Jenkins is blurring the line by stating that a Mormon can be a Christian. Jenkin’s “authentic Jesus” is syncretic, inclusive, and undefined – a different Jesus. At least 2.6 billion people in the world fall under the banner of “Christianity.” God only knows the percentage of true believers under that name, but it’s nowhere near that number. The point is that there’s a pool of 2,6 billion people familiar with the Bible and Jesus Christ. Surprisingly, it’s that pool, specifically the Protestant segment where Mormons find success: “Mormon missionaries claim to be bringing true Christianity to the world. The vast majority of converts to Mormonism are proselytized from Protestant denominations.” 18
Given the state of the visible church, and the results of a nationwide survey indicating that most American Christians do not believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist, “Christians” are ripe for the pickings. True believers don’t send missionaries to fellow believers, but Mormons don’t consider believers to be true Christians, and that’s why “Christians” outside of the LDS are considered potential converts:
“In 1995 Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks stated that the differences between “other Christian churches” and the LDS Church “explain why we send missionaries to other Christians” ( Ensign, May 1995, 84).” (emphasis mine) 19
Excerpt from the article Ten Lies I Told as a Mormon Missionary by a former Mormon missionary: “For decades, the Mormon Church has tried to blend with mainstream Christianity. Accordingly, during my mission a quarter-century ago, I worked hard to convince prospects that Mormons believe in the biblical Jesus. But Paul warned of deceivers who would lure Christians away from “the simplicity that is in Christ.” These false teachers preached “another Jesus” and “another gospel.”
Mormons don’t “blend in” to have fellowship, they blend in to make converts, the former Mormon explains: “A standard door-to-door proselyting pitch began with, “We represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Interrupting, many people said they had their own religion. “Oh, we’re not trying to convert you,” I responded. “We’re sharing a message for all faiths.” But Mormon missionaries have one overriding goal, and that’s to bring converts into the church. Clearly, this was the purpose of my mission. I didn’t trade the Southern California sunshine for the Dakota snow merely to build interfaith relations. My calling was to teach the church-approved missionary lessons and then baptize the people I taught.”
DALLAS JENKINS OCCUPIES THE MIDDLE GROUND
There is no middle ground when it comes to loving a false Jesus, or the real Jesus. If Jenkins believes that some of his LDS friends love the same Jesus, then he needs to point out the similarities between the Mormon Jesus and the Jesus of the Bible. Furthermore, acceptance of the Mormon Jesus cannot be separated from recognition of their false prophet:
“CHURCH STANDS OR FALLS WITH JOSEPH SMITH. Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground.” 20
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “False prophets and false teachers are those who declare that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a duplicitous deceiver; they challenge the First Vision as an authentic experience. They declare that the Book of Mormon and other canonical works are not ancient records of scripture. They also attempt to redefine the nature of the Godhead, and they deny that God has given and continues to give revelation today to His ordained and sustained prophets.”
Unless Jenkins’ LDS friends reject the words of their second president, Brigham Young: “every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist,” – Jenkins is “of Antichrist” in their view.
Jenkins believes The Chosen is breaking down “religious walls,” and relishing in the fact that his Christmas Special episode has created a semblance of unity: “people of different faith backgrounds LDS, Catholic, evangelical – all agreeing, all uniting around the fact that they love Jesus and want to see the Jesus of the Gospels known.”
In true fashion, Jenkins has a dig at his critics: “I know people don’t like to put their theological differences aside and some people want to take this opportunity to kind of drive home how different we are, but that doesn’t seem to be landing.”
Dallas, in this context doctrine is supposed to divide, there is no middle ground! The truth will never land on the majority, truth will never be palatable to those who are deceived.
“Theological differences” caused Paul to write: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9.
“Theological differences” caused Jude to write: “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:3-4.
Joseph Smith created a false Jesus, and Dallas Jenkins is endorsing a different Jesus. Both men have been used as agents of deception. The damage has been done, but it’s not too late for Jenkins to repent. He would have to make a clear and definitive statement about the gospel. He would have to point out the blatant heresies of Mormonism and call it what it is – a cult. He would have to retract his comment that some Mormons love the same Jesus. He would have to say that Joseph Smith is one of the “biggest frauds this world has ever seen.”
What’s stopping him? One can only speculate – he may not want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. That egg is not just The Chosen, it’s the devotionals and Bible study guides Jenkins and his wife have produced. Will he choose fame over the fear of God? Will he choose the dollar over doctrine? Will he use his platform to preach the gospel or pander to the heretics he’s in partnership with? Does he not see his error because he loves a different Jesus?
Time will tell, in the meantime, Jenkins has created “obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught” and needs to be marked and avoided along with anything he has produced.
Utah Lighthouse Ministry
Mormonism Research Ministry
The Word Like Fire
Dear Fellow Sheep
A Critique of The Chosen Season 1&2
The Chosen Exposen – full documentary
1. Joseph Fielding Smith. Doctrines of Salvation
5. The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Section 130.22.
6. Joseph Fielding Smith. Doctrines of Salvation, Volumes 1-3.
7. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:50–51
8. Bruce R. McConkie. Mormon Doctrine
10. Ed Decker. The God Makers: A Shocking Expose of What the Mormon Church Really Believes (Kindle Locations 206-212). Kindle Edition.
11. Bruce R. McConkie. Mormon Doctrine (Kindle Locations 6822-6823).
14. Brigham Young, Volume 08, Journal of Discourses.
15. Doctrine and Covenants 1:29-30
16. Bruce R. McConkie. Mormon Doctrine
18. Ed Decker. The God Makers: A Shocking Expose of What the Mormon Church Really Believes.
19. The Kingdom of the Cults, Revised & Updated.
20. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, 188.15.