What Do Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh-day Adventists Have in Common?
No, that’s not a setup for a joke. It’s a real question and it has an answer. In fact, there are a good many similarities between the three groups mentioned in the title of this post. I only want to discuss one of them.
If you are a Mormon, you believe that you are a Christian. I’ve had Mormons say things like, “We’re Christians too.” In fact, over the decades, Mormons have tried very hard to appear to be evangelical Christians. They certainly present themselves as normal, upright, conservative pro-family members of society. In fact, in California, the major funding for the Proposition 8 (marriage is between one man and one woman) was provided by Mormons.
Here’s the problem though. Joseph Smith was allegedly told by the angel Moroni that all churches from the last apostle to Smith’s present day were corrupt and that he should associate with none of them. In spite of this, Smith joined himself to one church and tried to become a member of a denomination.
In spite of this, Joseph Smith eventually “obeyed” Moroni and started his own “denomination,” which as we know became known as Mormonism, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Please note the term “church” in the full name. Smith essentially set himself apart from all other denominations by including the term “church” in the official name.
But all that aside, there is something that is common to the three groups mentioned in the title. All of them, without exception claim to be the true church. They all like to portray themselves as true Christians, but the problem comes in when a person wants to leave said group.
Where can a Mormon go to worship outside of Mormonism? If, after all, Mormons are in truth, Christians, then one would think that they would be able to join themselves to any mainline, orthodox denomination and continue to be Christian, isn’t this so? Yet, it is not so as far as the leadership of Mormonism is concerned.
If a Mormon takes leave of the Mormon church and decides to become affiliated with or even members of a denomination that is outside of Mormonism, that individual – as far as Mormonism is concerned – has lost their salvation. The same thing holds true with Jehovah’s Witnesses. To disassociate one’s self from Jehovah’s Witnesses to start attending and even becoming a member of one of the mainline, orthodox Christian churches, that Jehovah’s Witness has lost their salvation.
What about Seventh-day Adventists? Well, let’s think about it. Seventh-day Adventists believe among other things that worship MUST be done on the seventh-day, or Saturday. Seventh-day Adventists, like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, will tell you that they are Christian…too. If so, you would think then that they would be able to stop attending a Seventh-day Adventist church (for whatever reason) and start attending a mainline, orthodox church and still continue to have salvation.
In the case of the SDA, this would be impossible, or at least next to impossible. First of all, most denominations meet to worship on Sunday, something that SDAs believe is Scripturally incorrect. Even if they could locate a denomination that worships on Saturday as they do, they would still be leaving the auspices of Seventh-day Adventism.
Folks, if you are a member of one of the groups in the title of this post, ask yourself in the quietness of your own heart, can you actually stop attending that group, leave it for a mainline, orthodox denomination and STILL believe that you are saved?
Over my life, I have been a member of numerous denominations. The main reason for this has to do with the numerous moves from one physical location to the other that we did as a family. I have attended Evangelical Free churches, Independent Baptist churches, Independent Fundamental Churches, Presbyterian churches, and others. In no case, did I ever feel as though I lost or was in danger of losing my salvation simply because when it comes to the main doctrines of the faith, they were all in agreement.
This can unequivocally NOT be said of Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Seventh-day Adventism. These groups each believe unique doctrines, which by their very nature preclude their association or involvement with other groups. By that, I do NOT mean that they cannot simply associate with people from other groups. I mean that they cannot LEAVE their group to become PART of a mainline, orthodox denomination. It is that simple.
The only thing that Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh-day Adventists can do is move from one of their own buildings to another building, but they must remain within the structure of their group. To leave the group means to ultimately leave salvation.
This is certainly one of the ways in which these groups have a hold over their membership. The picture is painted of the terrible fate that awaits any member if they – for any reason including excommunication – leave the group. They will be in danger of falling away, losing salvation. Who wants that?
However, I can attend an Evangelical Free Church, or a Baptist Church, or an IFCA church, or Presbyterian, and continue to be saved because it is not my denominational affiliation that provides my salvation. It is not through association with any denominational church that I have salvation at all. It is through my association with Jesus Christ that I have salvation.
This is the biggest problem with groups like Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh-day Adventism. For these groups, salvation is found solely within the group. Leaving the group means leaving salvation. Salvation is at the core of these groups. A person joins one of these groups and allegedly finds salvation. Walking away from any of these groups means walking away from salvation.
For those who are in these groups, I ask you to honestly assess your situation. Are you saved because you are part of that group, or because of your association with Jesus through the propitiation He offers us? What happens if you leave your group? Does just the thought of it cause alarm inside you? Do you begin to feel as though you will become anathema to God? If so, you may believe your salvation is in Jesus, but you also believe that you came to Jesus only through your group, and not to Jesus directly.
We will be bringing more things to light about Seventh-day Adventism and while some of you may wrongly believe that you are being attacked, the ONLY reason I am discussing any of these things is to attempt to point out the idiosyncrasies found within groups like yours. These idiosyncrasies may in fact, be keeping you from authentic salvation and that is absolutely worth considering.
Ignore the party line of your group for a moment and ask some really hard questions. Ask yourself what would happen if you left your group and joined yourself to a Baptist church, or Presbyterian, or something else?
After all, how many times have you – as a SDA – told people your beliefs are essentially their beliefs? How many times have you tried to pass yourself off as a mainline, orthodox individual? If so, then leaving the SDA and attaching yourself to a mainline, orthodox church will not affect your salvation, will it? If you believe it WILL, then obviously something is wrong. Obviously, you have been living a lie and when all is said and done, you do not really believe that other groups can be or are saved, do you?
If you cannot walk away from your group without losing your salvation, then it is very likely that you belong to a cult and walking away from your group means walking away from salvation, doesn’t it? While you can try to rationalize this any way you can to make yourself feel more comfortable about your group, I would recommend that you honestly search your heart for these answers, not your head.
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