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August 27th, 2010
12:47 AM ET

Some evangelicals on defensive over partnering with Glenn Beck, a Mormon

A handful of prominent evangelical activists are defending their decision to attend television host Glenn Beck's conservative rally in Washington this weekend after some Christians complained that evangelicals shouldn't be partnering with Beck because of his Mormon faith.

Video: Glenn Beck rally stirs controversy

"There is no need to 'de-Christianize' each other over the matter," wrote Jim Garlow, an influential California pastor, in a five-page memo this week arguing that evangelicals can attend Beck's rally and partner with the television and radio personality in good conscience.

"Glenn Beck is being used by God - mightily," Garlow wrote in the memo, which was obtained by CNN. "The left loves to slam him and do so viscerally and often with vulgarities. Glenn is not perfect... But his expose on America's sins is stellar."

Garlow - who partnered with Mormons in California to help pass Proposition 8, the state's gay marriage ban, via ballot initiative in 2008 - is one of several high profile evangelicals on the defensive about participating in Beck's rally, called Restoring Honor.

The rally, which is to be held near the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, is to be headlined by Sarah Palin.

Christian critics of the event have taken specific aim at some evangelicals' participation in a prerally event Friday at the Kennedy Center called Glenn Beck's Divine Destiny.

Beck, who many evangelicals say is not a Christian because of his Mormon beliefs, says on his website that the Friday event "will help heal your soul."

"Guided by uplifting music, nationally-known religious figures from all faiths will unite to deliver messages reminiscent to those given during the struggles of America's earliest days," his site says of the event.

Brannon Howse, a conservative writer and founder of Worldview Weekend, which organizes Christian conferences, criticized evangelical participation in that event in a column this week.

"The Apostle Paul warns Christians against uniting with unbelievers in spiritual endeavors," Howse wrote. "While I applaud and agree with many of Glenn Beck's conservative and constitutional views, that does not give me or any other Bible-believing Christian justification to compromise Biblical truth by spiritually joining Beck."

Much of the criticism - along with confusion about the propriety of evangelicals politically linking arms with Mormons - is less formal and more rooted among in-the-pews churchgoers than evangelical elites.

"Jesus Christ's Church has universally rejected Mormonism's Anti-Trinitarian theology and its claim that mortals may become God," David Shedlock, a contributor to the evangelical blog Caffeinated Thoughts, wrote in a post this month. "Beck asks Christian leaders to 'put differences aside,' but Beck himself daily peppers his broadcasts with Mormon distinctives because he cannot keep his beliefs to himself."

Evangelical defenses of attending the Beck rally are largely aimed at ordinary evangelicals. Garlow circulated his memo in an email titled "In case some criticize you for attending the Glenn Beck Rally – since he is a Mormon."

Many Christians say that some Mormon beliefs, including that Mormon church leaders are prophets and that the Book of Mormon is sacred scripture, are incompatible with Christianity.

Mormons, though, consider themselves Christian. The Mormon church is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Many conservative evangelical activists argue that evangelicals and Mormons should set aside theological differences to partner on moral and political issues.

"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."

Other evangelical activists have gone further, arguing that Beck's faith isn't that different from that of mainstream Christians.

"I have interviewed persons who have talked specifically with Glenn about his personal salvation - persons extremely well known in Christianity - and they have affirmed (using language evangelicals understand), 'Glenn is saved,' " Garlow said in his memo, which was dated Wednesday. "He understands receiving Christ as savior."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Mormonism • Politics • Sarah Palin

soundoff (1,239 Responses)
  1. Alexiae Helfrichj

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    July 17, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  2. Stephen page

    Glen becks obnoxious hateful comments and lies would be an abomination in to Jesus or any Christ minded Christian. To go on air and compare the young people killed in the Norway massacre as attending a hitler youth camp shows what kind of obnoxious fruit he bears. Beck is an evil corrupt insincere entertainer who exploits a political platform and shamefully exploits the name of Jesus to Appeal to dumbed down compromised American so called Christians. No wonder he hates obama so much. His apostate Mormon doctrine in the book of Mormon states that when god cast out the devil and his demons from heaven, their skin burned up black on the way down so we would recognize them by the color of their skin. This proves that beck and his false apostate religion is racist to the core. He make around $30 million dollars per year spouting lies and misinformation. Jesus said that his kingdom was not of this world and that the devil is ruler of this world and there goes glen beck, Rupert murdock and the koch brothers. Just worldly liars bent on shaping the political landscape at any cost.

    September 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  3. HotAirAce

    I wasn't aware of this article – will enjoy reading about Glenn "The Idiot" Beck. Must say though that the thought of "partnering" with GB, on any level or in any manner, is repulsive, to say the least.

    January 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  4. Brian

    I think all religion is completely baseless and arguing over it simply ridiculous. Religious people are so supremely arrogant that they think they KNOW there is a god who cares about them and wants THEM to spread their word. So many religious people feel that THEY only have the keys to the kingdom as it were and anything else is heresy.

    And if we're going to argue that religion equals social work than we must of course recognize the good works of Hamas, the Nation of Islam, and the numerous secular organizations. Doesn't change the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization or one is a racist, anti-semitic cult.

    January 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  5. Rebart

    I would be laughing if this bigotry weren't so disgusting. I can't imagine any Protestant having the guts to call someone else a bigot. No one persecutes others like the Protestants. From John Hus to witch burning in America, Protestants have a long history of bigotry, intolerance, and hate-mongering, and they criticize Mormons for not being "Christians"? There is nothing Christian about this Protestant hate, bigotry, and intolerance.

    Those who have seen Glenn Beck's explanation of the Atonement have seen Mormon Doctrine–this is Mormon Doctrine. Mormons believe, as Pastor Garlow has seen from Glenn's explanation of the Atonement, in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing in doctrine overrules that. Doctrine does not save, it can only explain a point of view. I believe Pastor Garlow sees that. Of course Pastor Garlow disagrees with Mormons on points of doctrine. If he didn't he would be a Mormon. That's OK because doctrine doesn't save anyone anyway, and that includes the Trinitariansim of Protestants and Catholics. Protestants have based their doctrine on a Trinity that doesn't exist. They have murdered, pillaged, tortured, and persecuted others mostly because others don't believe in their version of the Trinity, so they call them non-Christian, and hate them. It's no wonder there is such a hatred for Christians growing in this country. They have brought it on themselves because of their behavior. You are helping to destroy your own religion and this country. I pray you wake up some day soon.

    October 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  6. klarg

    If these so-called evangelicals want to follow Glenn Beck they should simply convert to Mormonisms.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  7. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Morons being seperated from their money. The American way.

    September 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  8. nopology

    Goodness, what are to do. . .Beck, Palin, Paloin, Beck! If so much effort was spent on what should seem to be more relevant issues. . But , hey, why bother, right?!?!?! No dancing with the stars this week?

    September 4, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  9. Ridley

    Americans need to wake up the fact that Beck is simply another opinion pushing charlatan who is a product of mormon cult theology and he mixes this with his personal make up as a dry alcoholic. On his radio show and Fox Network program he consistent demonstrates all the unstable behaviors of a dry alcoholic which include grandiosity, judgmentalism, intolerance, impulsivity, ADD and indecisiveness. Alongside that reality, Glenn Beck does not possess a single ounce of journalistic integrity, has no college degree, has no qualifications and he is definitely not a true conservative. But then, what can anyone expect from someone who can't find anything filthier than their own personal reflection. Since people like Beck cannot survive on the basis of any personal merits, they survive by putting others down with lies and half truths in order to feel good about themselves. The truth about Beck is that he a dry mormon alcoholic who never got the counseling required for alcoholics. To further complicate things and confuse people, Beck flippantly throws around Christian terms like "God", "Jesus","Holy Spirit" as well as voices of other so called "Spirit Powers" on his radio talk show. Beck is a mormon in active standing with the mormon church and is not a Christian. Mormonism teaches many gods, that the god of the earth was once a man who attained godhood status, there is no trinity, the cross of Christ means nothing and that Jesus Christ and Satan were brothers. Because Beck does not possess a single ounce of journalistic integrity, he is the perfect abortion poster child for Fox Network. The people who love what Beck says are no different than the impressionable sheep who loved every speech made by Adolph Hitler in his early years when he brought Germany into an era of economic prosperity These same sheep also blindly followed Hitler into one of the darkest chapters of world history. Beck and the Fox Network both cater to the same lowest common denominator of demagoguery. Beck would not know the first thing about God as he is a mormon. Someone should ask him which of the many mormon gods he kept talking about during his argument with himself on Saturday on the square in DC. Like a typical dry alcoholic, Beck even lied on national television when he spoke about holding a document signed by George Washington. That event never took Place. Unfortunately, people who love being led around by the nose do not realize that he is talking about a different god than that of Christianity, Judaism or Islam and that he has been a product of mormonism cultism from the day he started doing a radio talk show as an opinion pusher. You don't have to have a degree in psychology to see that he exhibits all the signs of a dry alcoholic. The only reason this unstable impressionable idiot fell into mormonism was because the woman he wanted to have sex with would not do so unless they got first got married and from that point, they joined the mormon cult. Glenn Beck is as big a charlatan as Josephs Smith or the 5th grade graduate (Charles T Russell) who started the Jehovah's Witness cult. This is Glenn Beck in a very accurate & concise nutshell. Considering the fact that Becks personal views are extreme Marxist Libertarian, his form of patriotism is false and he is a person who has no real substance or depth. It will not surprise many of use when Beck’s next big thing is to come out of the closet and announce his homosexuality to the nation.

    September 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  10. ConcernePatriot1

    Glenn Beck lies when he claims to be a Christian. He is part of the Satanic Mormon cult, leading millions of souls to Hell with their false theology. When Beck talks about "God", he's not talking about the God of the Bible, but rather the imaginary "God" dreamed up by his cult's founder, that murdering pedophile Joseph Smith. According to Beck's Mormon cult, he believes that he too will one day be a "God" and have his own planet.

    Glenn Beck has become very popular espousing his Mormon cult's end time prophecy. His calls for a conservative revolution are merely subterfuge, a cover for his desire to overthrow the United States' government and install a Mormon Theocracy.

    Why would any true follower of Jesus Christ, who believes the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant word of God, representing absolute truth and the final authority in all matters follow a man who lies about what he truly believes simply because he espouses a conservative political ideology? Glenn Beck should quit lying to people that he is a Christian. Be honest: a Mormon is no more a Christian than a Muslim is.

    The anti-Christ will be a man who will deceive the nation with his persuasive language, and have a massive Christ-like appeal. The prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything. Is it GLENN BECK?

    September 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  11. Elmer Romero

    FYI – Why Mormonism and bible-based Christianity aren't the same thing:

    If you are a Mormon, your goal is to become God (as God is now) or God's wife (divinely copulating and eternally pregnant popping out new little spirits to populate your own version of the "current" God's creation).

    Satan's promise to Adam & Eve (from the non-Mormon Bible): Eat this fruit and you will become like God...( you know the rest)

    Just so ya know...

    September 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Do not lie about being a Christian if you defend Mormon Glenn Beck when he proclaims he is a Christian. This means you are either ignorant of the differences or you are not really a genuine Christian. These two religions are as different as day and night! Stop being ignoramuses and do some research people!

    September 2, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    The name of that Rally with Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and other Religious leaders sharing a Platform as if they all agree and were speaking of the same God was all fake! Mormons and Christians do not agree on the essentials or the same Theology as to who Jesus is and what he came to do!

    The Rally should have been named Restoring dishonor of Christ. Everyone that knows anything about Authentic Christianity understands that the Mormons and Christians doctrine and Theology is diametrically in opposition. According to the tenets of the Christian faith Jesus was not married and died to offer payment of the sins for all who believe this by faith. Mormon Founder Joseph Smith had a completely different Jesus and declared the Christian bible a fraud after his vision of an angel named Moroni (not joking) told him Christians had the wrong bible and wrong God. This qualifies as heresy because Beck believes this he is a false prophet. He has a hell of alot of nerve questioning Obama's Christianity and the Christian leaders who are allowing him to get away with it.
    In every Christian bookstore in the section labeled false and other religions you will find Mormons listed with Islam and Jehovah W.

    September 2, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  14. Steve

    We have a clear and present evil in the form of the Obama administration. Can we stay united long enough to defeat this current "Hitler"? After that we can squabble amongst ourselves.

    September 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  15. Nick

    Answers to questions are above..go back about 50 posts

    September 2, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  16. Lee

    Why are posts not posting in right places?

    September 2, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  17. Rose

    I have posted answers to the last 2 questions here, and they are posting back over 50 prior posts?? Whats up with that? So, CNN wants us to keep backtracking prior posts to get responses to the most current pots on the board? I think alot is missed this way!

    September 2, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  18. Rose

    @Kris in AL

    Jesus went down into Hades and gave those who died prior to his sacrifice, the chance to repent and accept him.

    As for which is correct? I believe it is the one who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, has repented of sin and accepted his Salvation, followed by Baptism, and accepts the trinity. (For those that question the Trinity, who was God talking to when he said in Genesis, Let US?) We know God came to earth in the form of a man, Jesus Christ. The Father and Holy Spirit, being the other 2 of the Godhead. He who reads the bible (I use KJV) and trys to follow the commands given us. Practice love and do good things to the best of our ability.
    To me, that is the TRUE church, made up of all people, Gods church was universal, and Catholics try to lay claim to the fact it is them, which I disagree. Peter was not the first pope, Peter was a married man.

    September 2, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  19. CherryAnn

    I just recently found out Mr. Beck was Mormon. I am absolutely disgusted at evangelical Christians even contemplating working with this man. His religion is NOT Christian in any aspect. I know. I have researched Mormons for years. We are told in the Bible to avoid even the appearance of evil, and not to link outselves with those not of our faith. The Mormons are not of our faith. They are a cult (sorry to offend those of you who are, but you need to face facts–compare your beliefs with orthodox Christianity and you come far short). One question for Mr. Beck that I dare him to answer publicly–what do you believe about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? Are they one God or many? His answer, if he is honest, I think will lay to rest all Mormon claims to be Christian. I will pray for all of you who are yet in your sins and living a lie that you may come to know the only true God in all his holiness.

    September 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  20. Boyd

    I have read far too many comments saying Mormons cannot be Christians because they believe another book besides the Bible to be God's word, or that they claim that a prophet is on the earth today that is comparable to Moses or Noah. Those of you who claim this must have no CLUE what the Bible is or what it pertains. The Bible is not one big book written by God and dropped on the head of Peter or something. It is many, many books written by different men claiming revelation from God, that was later put together by Kings and Politicians attempting to Unify Chrisitianity. God NEVER said that his word had ended or that more books were not allowed to be written. Why is it so hard to accept that God could provide revelation in OUR DAY through more scripture or Prophets? Its almost comical to hear people say that Mormons are not Christian because they believe that what happened in the Bible times is somehow impossible to occur anymore. Give me a break.

    September 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • Kate

      @Boyd

      There's no way Christians could ever accept the premise of a living, evolving (no pun intended) Bible – because then they'd lose one of their arguments against Islam.

      Just sayin'

      September 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.