CRI Christian Research Institute
To whom it may concern:
The following is an open letter regarding the Saints Alive in Jesus and Utah Lighthouse Ministry's ongoing dialogue concerning issues stemming from the publication of the booklet, Mormonism's Temple of Doom. Herein is our position pertaining to some of the views advanced in the booklet.
First, it should be noted that the Christian Research Institute highly values the efforts and contributions that both of the above ministries have made in sharing the Gospel with those trapped in Mormonism and in helping to educate Christians about what Mormonism teaches, and how Christians can most effectively share the Good News with Mormons. Moreover, we do not wish to either explicitly or implicitly impugn the character, motives, sincerity, or integrity of any one individual or the collective ministries that are primarily involved in this disagreement. We firmly believe that the above organizations are dedicated to sharing the Gospel with those who are lost, particularly Mormons. Thus, we shall not make pronouncements upon anyone's motives, but only upon the validity of the major claim in question. In short, our only concern is with the overall accuracy of the claims put forth in the formerly mentioned booklet.
Second, we believe that this whole issue has been clouded by a lack of clarity and precision in writings and lectures on this topic. This has resulted in needless misunderstandings, corresponding frustrations, and "less than charitable" comments by persons involved in this issue towards those of a different opinion. This is a sad state of affair for the Church at any time, but especially with the Mormon Church watching us. The Scripture clearly demands that we steadfastly avoid sowing such discord among our brethren (Prov. 6:19).
We acknowledge Mr. Schnoeblen's previous involvement in numerous forms of the occult, and appreciate his desire and effort to share his insights with the body of Christ. Furthermore, we agree with Mr. Schnoebelen (and Utah Lighthouse Ministry for that matter), that there are similarities and parallels among Mormonism and some forms of modern Witchcraft and Satanism.
However, as Utah Lighthouse Ministry and others have correctly pointed out, what similarities there are stem not from Mormonism borrowing directly from Witchcraft or Satanism, but the commonality that all three have in being heavily influenced by Free Masonry through people who were quite conversant with it, such as Aleister Crowley, Jerald Gardner, Joseph Smith etc.
We understand how and why Mr. Schnoebelen arrived at his conclusion, especially if one grants the key premises to his arguments. We however cannot endorse his premises, nor the overall conclusion as represented in Mormonism's Temple of Doom. Unfortunately he appears to believe some of the theories put forth by many of those involved with Witchcraft and other types of occultism relating to their alleged longevity. But, these myths have been thoroughly refuted and denied by competent scholars and even many occultist themselves (see e.g., the relevant sections in Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, Beacon Press, 1986 edition). Our own independent studies and research substantially supports the connection among Mormonism, Witchcraft, and Satanism through the doorway of Masonry. Thus, overall we cannot approve the booklet and all of its conclusions. We do agree however, that the root evil of Masonry as with all cultic and occultic groups is Anti-Christian and we therefore believe that the spiritual power behind Mormon theology and the Mormon Temple ritual is itself ultimately Satanic.
In conclusion, we pray that all those who have been directly involved in this disagreement will endeavor to keep the bond of christian unity by the Spirit of God (Eph. 4:3). Finally, let us keep in mind that irrespective of any truth or falsity of the claims espoused in Mormonism's Temple of Doom, the preponderate weight of Scripture itself is sufficient in and of itself to deem Mormonism a non-christian cult.
Dr. Walter R. Martin
Go to Salt Lake City Messenger #69
Go to Salt Lake City Messenger #76
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