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Do you believe in incarnation?

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Check out this explanation of Mormonism.  What's wrong with this picture?

Too much to mention right?

There's the teaching of faith as a thing contributing towards salvation.  There's the classification of Joseph Smith as a prophet. There's the elevation of personal revelation to a position effectively superior to the Scriptures.  There's our pre-existence, for goodness sakes!

Now all of these things are troubling and profoundly mistaken.  But there's something else that towers above those heresies.  It's their view of Christ.  There He stands - a benevolent well-wisher presiding over our path towards salvation.  This impotent, essentially irrelevant, Christ has been replaced by us.  We are the ones who exist with the Father, who come to earth, pass the test and ascend back to the Father.  We are Christ, working salvation in our own person.  And who is Christ?  An encourager, an example, an empathiser.  But essentially it's all down to us.

Perhaps it's easy to spot the errors of Mormonism, but what about our own Christianity?  What is it that makes our gospel any different?  Is Jesus for us the achiever of salvation?  Is He the One who, not only blazes the trail of salvation, but also carries His people with Him back to the Father?  Does Jesus merely make us save-able, or does He save us?  Does He unite Himself to our humanity and bring us on His heart back to God, or does He wish us well from a distance?

We might feel that we have rejected the Mormon gospel because we've streamlined the path of salvation.  For us there's no belief in the prophet Joseph Smith or "the covenant in the house of the Lord" and yet we essentially believe salvation to be a path that we tread. 

Let's not be reformed Mormons.  Let's be Christians.  Let's be those who believe in incarnation - the Lord Himself has come from heaven, taken our flesh, trod the path of salvation and ascended back to the Father.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  And to have Him by faith is to have salvation.

Jesus does not preside over the path to salvation.  He is the path of salvation.  He is its beginning and end.  And we are not those who are on their way - we are in the Way.  That's true Christianity.  Everything else is a cultish heresy.

4 thoughts on “Do you believe in incarnation?

  1. Cal

    Maybe that's one of the reasons (besides the politics) some American evangelicals don't feel as odd partnering up with Mormons. Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian roots are sneaky indeed.

    Poor Pelagius, his name is forever tarnished by a handful of bad ideas.

  2. John B

    Hi Howard,

    Luther made his assertion about the gospel being outside right after his advice to "go and sin bravely".

    OTOH, Paul says in Colossians 1 that the gospel he proclaims is "the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory".

  3. Howard

    Both are true, but it is Christ's objective work alone that saves us, nothing more, nothing less (hence, Luther's line to Melancthon about sinning bravely) - it is His work which is our righteousness, and His work which allows us to know that we have died and been raised with Him, untied with Him.. that is all part of the wonderful work God has done in Christ alone.

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