I lived in Idaho for my formative years of Jr. High School and college, though college was a bit vague since I either skipped classes or slept through them. What stood out for me though was the huge presence of the Mormons in our area (near Boise). When my father was looking for a solid church it was not an easy task, essentially you could choose between the Mormons or a Nazarene church. Being Christians we obviously went with the Nazarenes.
That last sentence could be seen as jarring for some due to the tremendous job the Mormons have done in marketing themselves as a Christian church. They are not. Sadly in the current state of the Church in America this is not so clear as you can read from one man who accepts the title of an Evangelical “beg[s] to differ” on that cult thingy. The man is wrong in every way that matters but, of course, this post is not about Mouw and his horrid, dangerous words.
This is about the Piano Guys, who are somewhat of an internet sensation and are fun to watch and listen to. I like their music but I have noticed lately many people posting videos of them and at times posting them in the context of being Christians. They are not. They are Mormons.
Some will say, “So?” and it is a legitimate question. The music they do is good stuff and as a Christian can’t we enjoy their music? As is typical of me I think it is not such an easy thing to decide but I have made my personal decision and I write it out here for others to consider. Is there a qualitative difference between the Piano Guys doing Christmas music and Mannheim Steamroller, who don’t connect their music with a claim to being Christian? I think that there is even though I know others would disagree.
When I grew up in Idaho the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would always do a huge TV special of Christmas carols. We would not watch it. The reason was that they were a cult who did not even truly believe the words they were singing and in fact actively proclaimed a different gospel. I didn’t appreciate that distinction then, but I do now.
When the Piano Guys do a Christmas carol they are doing it with the belief that they are both Christian and that they believe those words, at least in some way. They will posture themselves as Christians. And unsuspecting, poorly taught Christians will hear them, click on their website and see nice things about their belief. Go ahead and click that link to Mormon.org at the bottom of their page.
BAM! John 3:16 right off the bat (assuming you are clicking near around the time I post this). You don’t get more Christian than that do you? Click on that link and the next page you can see at the top that you can read about the Christmas Story. There you will see a nice, vanilla description of the birth of Jesus with closing words being, ” As we embrace His teachings and follow the example of His perfect life, we can become more like Him, and experience true peace and joy.” Imbedded in that sentence is the basic lie of the Mormons, salvation is not in Jesus alone, it is through following His teachings and living in a proper manner. But if you are a weak Christian like so many are, then this sounds good.
What is missing? Well little things like that God the Father is only one of millions of gods who exist. That our “salvation” is not apart from our works but because if them. Jesus’ death is not one that secured anyone’s salvation or forgiveness of sin. There is a lot more but this post is not merely about the beliefs of the Mormon cult. If you want to read a bit more on their false view of salvation this page is replete with them, though you have to read with care. My “favorite” quote on that page is how the fall of Adam “wasn’t all bad because they could now feel great joy. “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi 2:25)” Thank goodness that now we can feel great joy because we are dead in our sins!
So, a little post became a long one. Here is my point. If you listen to the Piano Guys as a Christan just be aware of who they represent. Be wise as to how to speak of their music and to whom you recommend them. They are not neutral regarding your Lord, they advocate a different gospel of which Paul would say that they are “accursed.” For me, they just are not on my play list. If you lean toward my thoughts then I recommend folks like Page CXVI, Cardiphonia, or Sojourn Music to name a few.
Edited to fix some egregious errors, more to be found late I am sure.
I grew up in my formative years in Idaho, a bastion of Mormonism. I remember vividly my father trying to find a solid church when we moved there and having no luck. There were no Assemblies (meaning Plymouth Brethren) and the Baptist and E V Free churches were dead even to my seventh grade brain. There were really only two choices, become a Mormon, which wasn’t happening or attend a Nazarene church, which is what we did. Regardless, most of my friends were Mormons, I briefly dated a Mormon girl and I had a few friends in the Nazarene church leave and convert to Mormonism. There were countless conversations with them and I was always fascinated by the poster that most of them had on a wall somewhere prominent in there house of the story in pictures of Joseph Smith and Moroni.
I don’t run into Mormons much anymore. We had them stop by a few years ago and I was able to sit with them and my children and challenge their assertions and point them to Jesus. Not their Jesus, but the true Jesus. They left unconvinced but I have always thought about where they are now, did the Word of the Gospel take root? Or did Satan come and pluck it away?
Perhaps you have Mormons who you know or who are missionaries walking in your neighborhoods. Are you prepared to engage them? I found this article by Loren Franck to be very revealing as he confesses to lying frequently while he served his missionary term. I encourage you to read it so that you might better understand what may come your way if you get a knock on your door one day.
The Bible predicts a dreadful fate for liars. For instance, while banished on the island of Patmos, the Apostle John saw that “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Similarly, the beloved disciple writes, liars are doomed to an eternity outside of God’s presence (Revelation 22:15). Because Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), lying is extremely serious sin.
As a full-time Mormon missionary from 1975 to 1977, I lied for the church countless times. Like my colleagues in the South Dakota-Rapid City Mission, which served the Dakotas and adjacent areas, I spoke truthfully about my background, but touted many Mormon teachings that contradict the Bible. After my mission ended, however, I examined these doctrines more closely. The harder I tried to reconcile the contradictions, the more evident they became. So, after extensive prayer and study, I resigned my church membership in 1984. Cheated and betrayed, I lacked spiritual life for the next 17 years. But God, knowing those who are His (John 10:14; 2 Timothy 2:19), drew me to Christ (John 6:44) and saved me in 2001. My spiritual emptiness was replaced by the abundant life only the Savior can give (John 10:10). And now, like millions of Christians worldwide, I have everlasting life through my faith in Him (John 3:36; 6:47).
I can’t remember all of my missionary lies. Some were small, others grandiose, but all were false and misleading. Here are ten I’ll never forget.