Friday, April 26, 2013

P6 Christianity vs Mormonism - Doctrine of Sin

Romans 5:12-13 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

The intent of this particular blog series has been to carry out, in an informative yet evangelistic manner, a comparison between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity. Today's blog will conclude this series on comparing Christianity to Mormonism.  The one question we have aimed to ask in every post has been: "is Mormonism another Christian denomination or is it a non-Christian system of belief? Thus far the findings have shown Mormonism to be totally incompatible with Christianity in the following five areas:

1. Doctrine of God
2. Doctrine of Jesus Christ
3. Doctrine of the Word of God
4. Doctrine of Salvation
5. Doctrine of Man

We have appealed mostly to an article entitled: "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with your Mormon Friends" , found in the March 2012 issue of "SBC Life" (an online magazine accessible through the website: Additonally, these blogs have utilized primary source materials from the Mormon website and the Southern Baptist Website My aim in this entire series has been to balance honesty and fairness with a heart to share the Gospel with those involved in Mormonism. There are many more areas we could cover, and may very well do so in future blogs.  However for today we will compare what both have to say about the doctrine of sin.

What Biblical Christianity defines sin to be
When you read Psalm 51, you get a summary of the three most common ways the Bible explains the concept of sin: "sin", "iniquity" and "transgression" (tresspass). 1 The article "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with your Mormon Friends" has this to say about the Biblical view of sin: "Human beings are sinners by nature and by choice. All have sinned against God, rejecting His nature, and pursing life opposed to His essential character and revealed law. Romans 3:1-23; 7:14-25; Ephesians 2:1-5; 1 John 1:8-10

The SBC doctrinal statement has this to say about sin: "By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God."2

What Mormonism defines sin to be
When we compare the above statements to what we see Mormonism teaching on sin, the article "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with your Mormon Friends" explains:

"People sin by disobedience to God's laws. Adam's fall, a part of Heavenly Father's plan, caused a loss of immortality, which was necessary for mankind to advance. According to LDS scripture, Eve declared "Were it not for our transgression we never should have . . . known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient" (Pearl of Great Price [PGP], Moses 5:11). Each person is responsible for his or her own sin."

From what we can gather, Mormonism teaches that people are sinners because they sin.  The Bible on the other hand teaches that people sin because they are sinners.  This is a major difference, since sin is not viewed as having to do with the fallen nature of man insomuch as it is man behaving badly.  As we saw the other day, Mormonism's view of salvation is the following:

"The Mormon plan of salvation is built on the premise that all people have eternal life, but only the most faithful Mormons enter the celestial kingdom. Jesus' atonement provided immortality for all people. Exaltation (godhood) is available only to Mormons through obedience to LDS teachings: faith in the god of Mormonism, baptism in the LDS church, endowments, celestial marriage, and tithing. 3

Therefore the problem of Mormonism's view of sin is that it does not take into consideration the desperate state of the fall.  The problem is that sin has not merely affected mankind's behavior, but also his mind, emotions and will.  If all that sin requires is an organized system of man-made religion to modify negative behavior, then the cross is truly an unnecessary add-on, and thus Christ died for nothing.  As the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:17  "For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."


1. The word "sin" itself refers to someone falling short of a target - thus mankind at his best still falls short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Secondly, the word "transgression" or "tresspass" means to slip off of the beaten path or to cross the line with God. Then finally, "iniquity" refers to a repeated, longstanding, willfull sin pattern. Like a spiritual corpse, man is dead in his trespasses and sin. (Romans 3:10-23) Man is not merely a sick patient in need of some medicine, nor an ignorant creature in need of enlightenment, but rather a spiritual corpse in need of a spiritual resurrection. (John 5:24-25)

2. The scriptures used by Article III in the BFM 2000 are as follows:
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.

3. March 2012 SBC Today article: "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with your Mormon Friends"

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