Gnosticism received its name from “purporting to offer knowledge of otherwise hidden truth as the indispensable key to man’s salvation.”1)Ron Rhodes, The Counterfeit Christ of the New Age Movement, Baker Book House, 1991, p. 16 The gnosis (knowledge) is based on spiritual revelation, similar to the oracles of Delphi and other aspects that the religions of the Greek philosophers were based on. This is indeed the “doctrines of devils” which Paul spoke of (1 Timothy 4:1), today more commonly received as psychic dictations. Joseph Smith Jr. was raised in a home where such things were prevalent.
For Joseph Smith, Sr. was a prophet in his own right, as his son seems to have appreciated, judging from the striking similarity between two of their alleged visions. And Lucy Mack Smith likewise was a worthy mother of the prophet, for was she not herself the daughter of Solomon Mack who displayed some knack for the occult? She herself was what we would today call “psychic,” judging from her reputation among some neighbors.2)John H. Gerstner, The Theology of the Major Sects, Baker Book House, 1960, p. 42
In fact, “several generations of the Smith family were influenced by the magic world view before the 1800s.”3)D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (revised and enlarged), Signature Books, 1998, p. 31 Though the Smith family neighbors held no esteem for their occultism, the Masonic lodge sympathized for them.
Contemporary Mormon authors have claimed that the similarities of the Mormon rituals and Masonic lodge were not due to Joseph Smith copying such ceremonies but the common source of revelations. “When some twentieth-century Mormon writers tried to explain the similarity of Masonic and Mormon ritual on the basis of a common source rather than on Smith’s plagiarism, they argued that Smith was made privy to knowledge that had been lost, not merely from the time of Solomon’s Temple but since the expulsion of mankind from the Garden of Eden.”4)R. Laurence Moore, “The Occult Connection? Mormonism, Christian Science, and Spiritualism,” in Howard Kerr and Charles L. Crow, ed., The Occult In America: New Historical Perspectives, The University of Illinois Press, 1983, p. 143 This same ploy – claiming similar revelations – is constantly utilized by those who are accused of occultic tendencies. If this argument is allowed to stand, one must recognize that similar revelations are received through many of the movements we will confront in this study, and it becomes awkward for those defending their revelations having been pronounced throughout history by different religions on various continents with no intercommunication permitting such doctrines to be reconciled parallels.
Rabi Maharaj, a former Hindu guru noted this factor of commonalities. “As a former Hindu who began to travel widely throughout the West, I was astonished to observe that not only Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry have Hindu/Buddhist roots, but that almost every one of the established and respected Western sects, such as Christian Science, Science of Mind, Religious Science, and Unity is a syncretistic blend of Hinduism and Christian heresy. Even the American-born Mormon Church… is founded upon basic Hindu concepts, such as the belief in the pre-existence of the soul, a multiplicity of gods, and the teaching that godhood is the ultimate goal for humanity.”5)Rabi R. Maharaj, Death of a Guru, Harvest House, 1984, p. 178-179 Can all this be attributed to a vast degree of plagiarism or is the Bible accurately describing the end time assault of “seducing spirits”? Ed Decker and Dave Hunt concluded:
Mormonism can best be understood in relation to the larger occult conspiracy, of which it is a part. The pieces are now beginning to fall into place. Joseph Smith’s revelations blueprinting the human path to “Godhood” were right on target with the Hindu-Buddhist occultism that is sweeping the West today as the New Age movement…. For this reason, Mormons who become disillusioned with their Church are particularly susceptible to New delusions.6)Ed Decker & Dave Hunt, The God Makers, Harvest House, 1984, p. 254
Scripture indicate that this revelation originated with the serpent in the Garden of Eden. It was the serpent’s lie “ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5), which was Lucifer’s own aspirations to “be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Brigham Young, successor of Joseph Smith, declared, “The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming gods like himself. We are created to become gods like unto our father in heaven”7)Brigham Young, Journal of Discourse, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2006, p. 223 This is the heart of Lucifer and his deception held in common with various cults and religions, especially the New Age.
Texe Marrs noted the Gnostic elements involved.
These heretical New Age teachers refer to the writings of fourteenth-century Gnostic groups, called Luciferians, who worshiped Lucifer and believed him to be the brother of God. The Gnostics taught that Lucifer was wrongly cast down from heaven and would someday be vindicated.
Meister Eckhart von Hochheim, a Catholic priest of the fourteenth century, was a leader in this heresy and was roundly condemned by a papal bull. Eckhart proposed that “Lucifer, the angel… had perfectly pure intellect and to this day knows much.”8)Texe Marrs, Dark Secrets of the New Age, Crossway Books, 1987, p. 77
Meister Eckhart is the man Eckhart Tolle, bestselling New Age author of The Power of Now and A New Earth took his name from.9)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eckhart_Tolle#cite_note-Lunen-7, accessed 6/23/11 Matthew Fox also claimed to receive communication from the disembodied spirit of Meister Eckart proclaiming:
I get more support from Eckhart than I do from most living Dominicans. I don’t believe in the communion of the saints. I know it.
When I first fell in love with Eckhart, I was reading a book by the Hindu, Coomaraswami, on art and spirituality. I started his chapter on Eckhart and found whole sentences in Eckhart that I had written without having read him. It just blew my mind.10)Mathew Fox, interview by William Rodarmar, “Original Blessing,” Yoga Journal, November/ December 1986, p. 28-31, 64-67, as cited by Texe Marrs, Dark Secrets of the New Age, Crossway Books, 1987, p. 77
Matthew Fox, an Episcopalian priest, communing with spirits of the dead “saints” is receiving the same revelations of a man who died centuries earlier and was condemned for worshipping Lucifer. And yet this Gnostic heresy is the same as the Mormon teaching of Lucifer and Jesus being spirit brothers, and both are being embraced by Christian “leaders” today. “On one occasion [Oral] Robert defended the presences of a Mormon group on the campus are ORU by comparing their doctrinal differences to the between Catholics and Baptists (which, according to Roberts, are relatively inconsequential). His devaluation of doctrine has been repeated with intensity by all of the Word-Faith televangelists.”11)Robert M. Bowman Jr. The Word-Faith Controversy: Understanding the Health and Wealth Gospel, Baker Books, 2001, p. 91 And many evangelicals can be added to this list of receiving the Mormons with open arms. “Dr. Billy Graham in his old age has become so ecumenized that he thinks the Mormon Church is a great Christian organization….”12)Noah W. Hutchings, The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church, Expanded Edition, Bible Belt Publishing, 2005, 2007, p. 117-118 Today, one of the greatest influence polishing the once tarnished image of the Mormon cult is Glenn Beck, whom has been graciously endorsed by numerous Christians.
If you liked this article, you may also be interested in Crept In Unawares: Mysticism by Heath Henning is available for purchase here.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Ron Rhodes, The Counterfeit Christ of the New Age Movement, Baker Book House, 1991, p. 16|
|2.||↑||John H. Gerstner, The Theology of the Major Sects, Baker Book House, 1960, p. 42|
|3.||↑||D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (revised and enlarged), Signature Books, 1998, p. 31|
|4.||↑||R. Laurence Moore, “The Occult Connection? Mormonism, Christian Science, and Spiritualism,” in Howard Kerr and Charles L. Crow, ed., The Occult In America: New Historical Perspectives, The University of Illinois Press, 1983, p. 143|
|5.||↑||Rabi R. Maharaj, Death of a Guru, Harvest House, 1984, p. 178-179|
|6.||↑||Ed Decker & Dave Hunt, The God Makers, Harvest House, 1984, p. 254|
|7.||↑||Brigham Young, Journal of Discourse, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2006, p. 223|
|8.||↑||Texe Marrs, Dark Secrets of the New Age, Crossway Books, 1987, p. 77|
|9.||↑||http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eckhart_Tolle#cite_note-Lunen-7, accessed 6/23/11|
|10.||↑||Mathew Fox, interview by William Rodarmar, “Original Blessing,” Yoga Journal, November/ December 1986, p. 28-31, 64-67, as cited by Texe Marrs, Dark Secrets of the New Age, Crossway Books, 1987, p. 77|
|11.||↑||Robert M. Bowman Jr. The Word-Faith Controversy: Understanding the Health and Wealth Gospel, Baker Books, 2001, p. 91|
|12.||↑||Noah W. Hutchings, The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church, Expanded Edition, Bible Belt Publishing, 2005, 2007, p. 117-118|