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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. dsldex

    Mino, I don't see you name in the bible?

    August 27, 2010 at 6:28 am |
  2. MoonRocks

    Mormons ARE Christians- Same God, same Jesus, same Holy Spirit. Fact. Get over it, people. Glenn Beck may be a penultimate douche bag, but if he's a Mormon, then he's a Christian. Also, remember this- The "Reverend" Fred Phelps and his merry band of faggot-haters @ Westboro Baptist Church are also CHRISTIANS. Being Christian doesn't make you a decent human being the same way that being Muslim doesn't make you a terrorist. Samey same.

    August 27, 2010 at 6:20 am |
  3. bumble

    Glen Beck is a slime ball. Nothing more nothing less. Just slime:)

    August 27, 2010 at 6:19 am |
  4. John R.

    Christians come in all kinds, from many backgrounds, from many viewpoints. Just because Glen is a Mormon does not mean he is not a Christian. Does he believe in Jesus Christ as his savior? If the answer is yes, then he is a Christian.
    I'm a Seventh-day Adventist, those of you saying he is not a Christian, probably think the same of me. I believe in Jesus Christ as my savior, therefore, I'm a Christian.

    August 27, 2010 at 6:17 am |
    • ficheye

      You are right, sir. Mormons have the holy underwear thing, and the golden tablets that conveniently disappeared after Joseph Smith read them is always fun... how did he remember all of what was on them? And of course, there is that racist stuff. And then you, not going to church on sunday. Amazing fantasy world. I have a new religion, where you send me money because I know the secret name of Jesus... I do, I tell you, and when you learn to pronounce it you can open locks and get free food from vending machines... and get back change! Praise god for that!

      August 27, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  5. mino

    last time i checked the book of mormon isnt the bible. also joseph smith isnt IN the bible

    August 27, 2010 at 6:13 am |
    • elgeevz

      No but then neither are Martin Luther and the Pope.

      August 27, 2010 at 6:56 am |
  6. Mama Bear

    He changes his religion about as often as some men change their underwear. . . .

    August 27, 2010 at 6:08 am |
  7. abqTim

    Who cares!!!! Just get Obama out of office!!!

    August 27, 2010 at 6:06 am |
  8. Salam

    I thought he was a Jew? He could be a Jew but call himself Christian to get attention.

    August 27, 2010 at 6:04 am |
  9. Josh

    @fronco
    I see Obama destroying this country not Beck. His policies have failed, His spending has crippled us, Unemployment has never been higher, We are headed for another recession. Iran is anow a nuclear power. Hmmm something wrong here. and it ain't Beck.

    August 27, 2010 at 6:03 am |
    • Salam

      the country was already destroyed before him. The country ruined because Jobs are sent overseas. Not Obama. Obama is trying to bring jobs back but getting fierce resistance.

      August 27, 2010 at 6:06 am |
    • abqTim

      Yep, I agree. He's the only president that I can remember who has criticized and called police stupid, rallied people against a whole state, bowed before leaders of other countries...he's just the least presidential of all the presidents. Beck has been around a lot longer than Obama, but Obama messed this country up more than past presidents in less than 2 years!!!

      August 27, 2010 at 6:26 am |
    • Ryan

      Josh, talk about cherry picking your info. Unemployment is high.....yep. Spending is outta control........yep. Iran is nuclear........yep. And all of this is Obamas fault? LOL! Were you alive the 8 years BEFORE Obama? With all the tax cuts and the continued spending for all these wars (52% of our taxes go to the military), THAT is how you get into debt. Tax cuts with increased spending. Iran is nuclear....do you know something the world doesnt? They are processing fuel rods but are not nuclear yet. Iran is run by wackos yes. Do you REALLY think they wanna bomb Israel? Its all a front. They are trying to scare people because they are neurotic and think they will be attacked. Its a bluff. Do you know what would happen if they nuked Israel? All that contamination would float over Iran. Not to mention being obliterated by the US. Dont be so guillable.
      Im not a huge Obama guy- I like him but think he is a weak president- but you blaming all that on him is laughable. Im not gonna blame it all on Bush either......they all suck.

      August 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
    • Ryan

      Tim come on man. Did you see when George kissed the ring of the Saudi prince? WHO CARES. He did it out of respect. Just like when Obama bowed. I didnt know that respecting leaders of other countries when you visit was such a bad thing.
      Grow up.
      He shouldnt have stepped in on the Gates thing. But newsflash- police arent always right.

      August 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
    • Ryan

      Also Tim, if you think Obama is the "least" presidential (whatever that means) of all presidents, you OBVIOUSLY dont know your US history. Andrew Johnson comes to mind. Van Buuren too. Maybe Dick Nixon? John Quincy Adams.....whatever. I could throw some more in there but you wouldnt know why anyways.
      Peace.

      August 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ Josh and Tim: Sounds like you guys had your minds made up long before Mr Obama became president.

      August 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  10. Derp

    Lerp

    August 27, 2010 at 6:01 am |
  11. Sean

    Want to know more about the differences between Mormons and Christians? check this video link: http://www.hotm.tv/shows/20060711.htm
    This might enlight your knowlegde...

    August 27, 2010 at 6:00 am |
    • dsldex

      lerp, you are too damn lazy to research it yourself. You count on other words to make an opinion!

      August 27, 2010 at 6:05 am |
  12. fronco

    A very dangerous person, he is out to destroy a country becouse of Obama being the president.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:57 am |
    • dsldex

      oh fuk fronco, go suck a donkey! that comment is one of the dumbest and less intelligent ever posted!

      August 27, 2010 at 6:04 am |
    • LaGryphon

      dsldex.....is your language acceptable in your church?

      August 27, 2010 at 6:21 am |
    • LaGryphon

      dsldex.....did you learn that language in the MTC or the Mission Field or perhaps the Temple? Just curious

      August 27, 2010 at 6:31 am |
    • dsldex

      LaGryphon, your mommy and daddy taught you to lie very well...I bet they are so proud of you!!!
      By the way I do understand you daddy did work in a jock strap factory!! It is the only way to support a big dic like you!

      August 27, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • LaGryphon

      dsldex....once again, is that all you've got? give me facts, proof, not name calling

      August 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  13. Scott Kemp

    Where do you people come from? A Christian is anyone that believes Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins so they can be saved. I have spent several years going to different churches whether it is Lutheran, Baptist, MEthodist, Mormon, and Episcopalian churches. They all believe slightly different things or they wouldn't have different names. Mormons are Christians you uneducated idiots. And actually, come to think of it, the Mormons were the most compassionate, stand-up, moral, people out of all of the aforementioned. For arguments sake, even if they weren't Christian, the real problem here is that Glenn Beck is a hateful bigot and whoever listens to him or watches him is also the same. Christianity is about Christ, but most people make it about themselves and about judging others while spending no time on trying to become more Christ like.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:55 am |
    • Carol

      ....spend more time becoming Christ-like. From your written words, seems you need to practice what you preach.

      August 27, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  14. Josh

    GO GLEN BECK!! EXPOSE THE CORRUPTION OF THIS GOVERNMENT!!

    August 27, 2010 at 5:54 am |
  15. Charly

    Mormons always will argue they are Christians too bu the reality is they are not because of the believes they have. For example: they believe there are 3 books more sacred than the Bible itseflt (Mormon book, Pearl of great price and Doctrine and Covenants), they believe the devil (satan) is brother of Jesus Christ, they believe we are all gods in heaven who came to pass through a process to be enlighted (lets call it like that) in which as having as many childrens here on earth then when all dye and depending on their level of enlighting they might become gods who are going to populate other planets, they believe Mary Magdalene was one of the earth wives of Jesus (which means he got married with not only one wife), and the last one, they also believe the prophet Joseph Smith is going to judge the world together with Jesus at the end of the times. So, if after all these statements you still believe Mormons are Christians, think again... My Bible says: The truth will set you free.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:50 am |
    • dsldex

      Charly, you have your own bible? dang, you must be the leader of an religious cult if you have your own bible! Have you ever read Genesis? It talks about lucifer being the brother of Christ, we are all gods children, so yes we are brothers and sister in God eyes. Genesis talks about the war in heaven, other religions talk about this. It might be best you stop copying and pasting and do your own research. by the way did you also know there were many books by apostles and prophets of old that were left out of the bible as they were deemed not important enough to be placed in the Bible? A decision made by a few men who wanted to have their own way in making all of us believe what they thought was important and what doctrines they wanted to teach. So if this so be the case, all religions are false and they are all cults. Yes, even your Bible! such a shame!

      August 27, 2010 at 6:01 am |
    • LaGryphon

      dsldex....surely you must realize your King James version of your bible has been altered by your leaders according to their whims?

      August 27, 2010 at 6:09 am |
    • dsldex

      LaGryphon, take a look at other Religions bibles, They are all different. Have you seen those of the Jehovah witness, the Catholics, the Jews, Muslim, Buddha? please address the issue on the comments instead of dodging the meaning of the comment.

      Since you were lds once before, take this next passage from the BOM Stories song
      Anti-Mormon stories that my preacher tells to me. All about Joseph Smith and his polygamy.
      Born again, we can sin, righteously!

      August 27, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  16. Andy

    I keep seeing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints referred to as a cult. Cults do not have 13 million members worldwide. When Joseph Smith was asked by reporters to summarize the beliefs of the LDS church he returned to them 13 articles of faith. The first of these states "We believe in God the Eternal Father and in His son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost". That statement more than anything defines "Mormons" as Christian. The eleventh article of faith states"We claim the privilege of worshiping almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience. We afford all men the same privilege. Let them worship how,where, or what they may". What Glenn Beck chooses to do should reflect on Glenn Beck not on the LDS church, anymore than what Adolf Hitler did should reflect on the Catholic church (Hitler was Catholic). You will rarely if ever see or hear a member of the LDS church denounce or denigrate another religious denomination regardless of what it may be. We ask the same in return.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:49 am |
  17. Josh

    @Kristy and Schulz.... We kinda know how the early mormon pioneers felt. The accusations, the lies, Even Jesus Christ was riddiculed while he was here. I bet they would have told Jesus to "google cult" if they had computers back then. @Lagryphon I would say your eyes have been blinded by man. Do you not think that Kristy and Schulz have studied and researched? Are you the only one that has found the secret? Let me guess you googled Cult, Mormonism popped up written by someone who does understand it or has to lie to make themselves feel better. They rely on "science" to prove that the book of Mormon is a myth. Again the same science that said the earth was flat, or that Pluto is a planet, or the Elementary theory. Aristotle's dynamic motion.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:47 am |
    • LaGryphon

      Well, Josh....no offense to you but I lived that religion. Have you been through the temple before 1990? Yes or NO? Does your church believe blacks are cursed as the descendants of Cain? Yes or No? Do you believe you are the ONE AND ONLY TRUE CHURCH and have you stated this in your testimony on fast & testimony meetings? Yes or No? If so that's a slap in the face to all other religions. Do you believe Joseph Smith will sit at the judgement bar on judgement day with Jesus Christ & God? Yes or No? Do you believe in Kolob & that you will have your own planet as a God with many wives procreating? Yes or No?

      August 27, 2010 at 6:06 am |
    • Ryan

      Josh, its a shame anybody would be terrorized because of what they believe in. Mormons took a lot of sh## in america. Thats too bad, and Im happy they found an area where they could live peacefully.
      But there are bad in everything. I live in Illinois....you know what happened to the Mormons here. But they deserved it. They were kidnapping women from the area and forcing them into there church. That is fact.
      Peace be with you. I think mormonism and religion in general are based on mans want to control people. You seem like a smart and nice guy.
      Word

      August 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  18. Chris

    yeah, I'm sure Mormon's would like to think of themselves as Christians. Personally, I see them as Christian as Islam. Both were post Christ, both used the teachings of Christ, both added to it making up their own stuff.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:39 am |
    • Josh

      @Chris..

      LOL Islam has been around since the old testament. Comes from Abraham . Mormonism is the restoration of the Gosple you ever heard of the apostacy? My bet is no. I love it when people talk about something they have no Idea what its about.

      August 27, 2010 at 5:50 am |
  19. Doug

    The Mormon church is a cult.. They need investigated big time.. !!!

    August 27, 2010 at 5:38 am |
    • saganhill

      ALL religions are cults. I say take away all reliogious tax exemtions.

      August 27, 2010 at 10:03 am |
      • johnnyhouse

        You mean put Jesse Jackson,Rev Wright Al Sharpton out of business. Do you really want to find out what hell on earth would be?

        August 27, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  20. Charles

    LDS, Mormons, are NOT Christian, according to the World Council of Churches.
    But Beck himself is a bigot and a lunatic and hurtful to the cause of Christ.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:35 am |
    • dsldex

      would council of churches are just men thinking! How much faith should we put into man's wisdom?

      August 27, 2010 at 5:53 am |
    • Ryan

      Dude, the books you read and say are the word of God are written by men! You put a lot of faith into what man thinks.....unless you have personally spoken to God.
      I dont understand any of this.

      August 27, 2010 at 1:27 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.