Mormon talk show host Glenn Beck has added an event called “Divine Destiny” to his Washington, DC rally schedule where “nationally-known religious figures from all faiths will unite to deliver messages reminiscent to those given during the struggles of America’s earliest days.” Beck continues:
I have met with the biggest leaders of faith in the country privately and I have asked them to help me put differences aside and to reach out with one another so we can remind people to get down on their knees for our brothers’ shield in our danger’s hour.
You will fully understand on 8 28 what is about to happen to this country and who is coming, who is willing to stand. I have been telling you for awhile this will be a historic moment. I promise you that it will be. I promise you. I have promised you before and I have personally seen them already. I have told you, prepare to witness mighty and powerful miracles. I have already seen them. What you will witness on September 28th, the beginning of a restoration you and your children will never forget.
Who are these big name faith leaders Beck has been talking to? He has dropped numerous hints that a couple of guests on stage August 28th for his Restoring Honor rally will be huge shockers as they show their solidarity with Glenn’s plans and perhaps affirm his own faith tradition, Mormonism. Does Beck refuse to give their names because there remains the possibility they will still back out? One could hope.
There is speculation that two surprise guests could be Billy Graham and Pope Benedict. It is not hard to imagine Billy Graham appearing in person, if his health permits. He could also appear by satellite or through his children, Franklin Graham or Anne Graham Lotz. I don’t think the Pope will appear in person, though perhaps he too will prepare a brief video greeting for the crowd.
Participants certainly include Wallbuilders founder, David Barton; crusade and television evangelist James Robison, and Jerry Falwell, Jr., son of the Moral Majority founder of the same name.
I hope James Dobson stays home. He has appeared on Beck’s shows many times, but has never personally validated Beck’s faith. His participation, however, might be considered a betrayal by many who have supported Focus on the Family in the past.
Other evangelicals whose ecumenical attitudes might not restrain them from attending include Joel Osteen (who is no gospel preacher at all) and Rick Warren. Warren’s Purpose Driven Church-Growth Seminars, according to USA Today, are open to Mormon congregations.
On the other hand, I don’t think men like Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, will go. His comments found in this CNN interview about a civility covenant Colson signed are to the point:
I asked how the document would apply to the recent feud between Glenn Beck and Jim Wallis [over the meaning and significance of social justice, DS]
On the one hand, the conservative Colson is politically aligned with Beck. But he’s also buds with Wallis, who orchestrated the covenant.
Colson’s answered surprised me:
The document “wouldn’t apply to Glenn Beck because we’re talking about the conversation in the family of believers … Glenn Beck is a Mormon.”
What makes Beck’s task difficult is his Mormonism, which he himself recognizes: “I have been reaching out to the biggest names in faith for the last year. It has been extraordinarily difficult because of my faith and because of who I am.”
Jesus Christ’s Church has universally rejected Mormonism’s Anti-Trinitarian theology and its claim that mortals may become God. 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. Would to God that American Christian leaders couldn’t keep the gospel to themselves either!
Given that the host of this rally is a Mormon, what will all these pastors and evangelists message be?
If how they have handled similar situations thus far is any indication, the message will be muddled at best, and a total surrender of the gospel (the evangel) at worst. The entire Graham family embraced the late Pope John Paul II as a Christian brother and ecumenism has been as much a part of the elder Graham’s crusades as evangelism. According to Billy, even Franklin, for his part, has stopped calling Islam a wicked religion.
Many evangelical leaders have already shown so little backbone in sharing the gospel with Beck that their absence from the rally would be a greater surprise than their presence. Barton, who has devoted his life to the promulgation of the idea that we are a Christian Nation, signed on early as lead speaker in the area of “Faith” for Beck’s pre-rally events. When there were protests over Liberty University’s invitation for Beck to be the commencement speaker, Elmer Towns, co-founder of L.U., said Barton relayed to him “Glenn Beck prayed to receive Christ.” Never mind that Beck has never renounced any of the false teachings about God that Mormons hold.
James Robison has given Beck’s personal faith a ringing endorsement:
I wish every believer, every pastor, every church leader; every person who cares about this country could hear your 20 or 30 minutes of your personal testimony on your Tuesday program. I trust that’s posted online. Because my wife sat and wept for 20 minutes. She had to get up and go get a box of Kleenex…. And Glenn, you are one of the clearest voices on this planet for truth, and I want you to know as an evangelical Christian and church leader with one of the most watched television programs live today on the planet, you are a voice crying in the wilderness….The family of faith, the family of God of which you are a part — and we may have differences, but we understand that the bottom line is the truth of God.
If these ministers cannot see that Beck’s profession of faith is not according to Scripture, why should we expect that they will preach the true gospel when the crowds surrounding Beck reach the tens or hundreds of thousands. Whether the problem is Pluralism for rank and file participants as I stated in an earlier post, or Mormonism, which I will tackle next week, the question for this week is simple: Have the evangelists and pastors fallen for the lie expressed by Jerry Falwell, Jr. when he said “there are bigger issues now, we can argue about theology later after we save the country?” Nevertheless, the Bible tells us the opposite: Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. (Psalm 127:1)
There can be no reformation, restoration, without the preaching of the gospel of grace. You can’t have revival without the Reviver. When Jim Garlow, who helped organize the ProtectMarriage.com -Yes on Proposition 8 campaign and is pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego “had a word” for Beck’s audience this week he emphasized reformation and repentance, but there was no mention of grace, the cross or the resurrection power of God.
Jeremiah 2:11-13 Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
Dozens of other leaders may have been invited to the event to be held at the Kennedy Center for t he Performing Arts on August 27th. Who are they and what will they proclaim?
Posting a response below is your opportunity to make suggestions as to who Glenn Beck’s surprise guests might be.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.