October 1, 2010

Archive Series: Can the Mormon Jesus & Evangelical Jesus Be “One and the Same?”

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

This is an archival article I am reposting to remind all of the extreme reductionist heresy of one Antonio da Rosa that flows from the Zane Hodges’s (GES) inspired Crossless gospel.

In the Chafer thread at Unashamed of Grace, Kevl of On My Walk, Antonio da Rosa’s article in which he (Antonio) claims Dr. L. S. Chafer would support the GES “Crossless” gospel. Early in the thread Kevin wrote,
There are many Jesus’ There are many gods. There are many religions. There is only one Christ Jesus who died on a cross for my sins, was buried, and rose from the dead three days later. Just one. No problem of confusion. It’s not all that hard to understand, but it sure separates the difference between professing faith and having it.
Now, I want to post a comment made by Antonio about the Lord Jesus Christ. Rose (*Rose’s Reasonings) wrote an article titled, Is Christ’s Deity Essential? In the thread that followed (6/15/2007 @ 7:08 PM) Antonio wrote,
The Mormon Jesus and the Evangelical Jesus are one and the same.”
This is among the most egregious and dangerous statements to date coming from Antonio da Rosa or any advocate of the “Crossless” gospel. The Mormon Jesus is believed to be a spirit (or half) brother of the Devil. To equate the Mormon view of Jesus with the biblical Jesus is as abominable a heresy as can possibly be uttered about Him.

When Matthew (another blogger) wrote, …the Gospels refer to only one Jesus,” he is correct because there is no other like unto Him. And there is no doubt that the Gospels do not infer or suggest that the Mormon Jesus is, “one and the same.” Yet, Antonio believes they, are one and the same.” Can anyone document where Dr. Chafer would support da Rosa’s view of the biblical Jesus being no different than the Mormon Jesus?

Wasn’t it enough that Zane Hodges and the GES trampled the Lord’s deity out of His titles, “the Christ” and “Son of God?” (See The Christ Under Siege, Part 1 & Part 2) Apparently not, for now da Rosa has assaulted our Lord and Savior’s person and character by equating Him to Mormonism’s false Christ.

When I read statements like the above from Antonio I am reminded that we can never relax and never allow for this kind of heretical mind set to gain any new ground in the hearts and minds of believers or the lost.

Those who through false teaching cause divisions are to be marked. It is biblical to personally identify false teachers and point them out so that others may avoid them. In Romans 16:17 Paul uses the word “cause” (poieo), meaning produce, construct, form, or fashion in reference to those who are the authors of division through their false teaching.
For the sake of those whom he is leading astray or who might be led astray by him if not properly warned from the Scripture, a faithful minister of Christ must warn against that man even though he pretends to, and perhaps to an extent does, preach the gospel. At best, this is a situation in which a disobedient Christian is behaving like a false teacher. . . . But when some man is the prime instigator, promoter, and advocate of an unbiblical position, we must expose that man as we denounce the sin he is promoting.” (Dr. Mark Sidwell, The Dividing Line: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation, p. 65.)
There can be no lingering doubt that Antonio da Rosa is a “prime instigator, promoter and advocate of an (increasingly) anti-biblical position” on the Gospel.

If we are going to live for and please God, we must obey His Word even on the difficult matter of separation from disobedient brethren. The Bible says,
And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us… And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother,” (2 Thessalonians 3:4-6; 14-15).
Antonio is one of the blogospheres most vocal advocates for the heretical “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel. He has refused instruction and correction. He is determined to see the Hodges’ GES view of the Gospel flourish and penetrate a wide circle of evangelical churches. The Bible mandates what every believer’s course of action must be, and that is to “withdraw” from him. We do not view him as a personal “enemy,” but a “brother” who has gone astray and we are to continue to “admonish him.”

Those of you who are “contending for the faith once delivered,” the “common salvation,” (Jude 3) don’t quit! The advocates of the “Crossless” gospel are determined to sow the seeds of their doctrinal errors far and wide. It would be tragic if even one more unsuspecting believer was swallowed up in this departure from the biblical Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


For another example of da Rosa’s Crossless gospel inspired reductionist heresy read Believing the Gospel, “May Indeed Frustrate God’s Grace?”

*Rose’s Reasonings is a blog that is highly sympathetic to the Crossless gospel and its advocates, especially Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and Antonio da Rosa.

Addendum: August 23, 2008
Antonio da Rosa recently made a visit to another discussion board. Predictably he tried to infuse the egregious errors of the GES/Hodges Crossless gospel into the threads. Fortunately, I was participating at this board and was able to expose his heretical views for all objective readers.

Antonio’s extremism was drawn out with his statement that the “Mormon Jesus and Evangelical Jesus are one and the same.” I dealt with this and I invited Rachel to address him because he used her name in his comments. This was one of Antonio’s remarks about his view of the Mormon Jesus,
The Mormons and the Evangelicals refer to the same New Testament Jesus. Yes, they have widely divergent conceptions of the Historical New Testament Jesus. All of this talk about ‘ontology’ is a red herring.”
Following is Rachel’s reply to that remark by da Rosa.
Did everyone catch that? Antonio dismisses discussion of Jesus’ very NATURE (ontology) with a hand-wave and considers it a “red herring”! How can Jesus’ nature be irrelevant to discussions of saving faith? Antonio’s remark is beyond unbiblical, and is in fact anti-biblical.

His example about identifying Lou falls way short, as all of his analogies have. A person’s occupation or hometown is not part of that person’s nature. Antonio is not ontologically different than Lou, even if he lives in a different state and has a different occupation. It’s true that someone could still receive a copy of the book no matter what they thought Lou did for a living. But that’s not comparing apples to apples.

Let’s say someone sends an email to Lou Martuneac the bookshelf, asking the bookshelf for a book. When asked to clarify, the person says, “you know, Lou, that bookshelf who has a blog at (correct blog address) and lives in (correct city).” Clearly the person is referring to the same “historical” Lou that the rest of us are, but the fact is that Lou is NOT a bookshelf, and no bookshelf can send someone a book. The person may be thinking of the correct Lou, but the person’s “misconceptions” about Lou are of an ontological nature, therefore he really does not have the correct Lou and will never get a book.

“Crossless” advocates, such as Antonio, like to say that what matters is who Jesus is, not who you believe Jesus is. They say that Jesus is God whether someone believes him to be or not. Of course this is true, but the issue is that God has conditioned eternal life upon what we believe about Jesus.

Antonio said, When one trusts into the Jesus Christ of Nazareth from the New Testament (the KJV or otherwise) for eternal life he becomes regenerate.”

Notice that Antonio finds Jesus’ hometown more important to be believed for eternal life than the very nature of Jesus, his deity! This is preposterous. I guess in Antonio’s theology, believing that Jesus hailed from Galilee is a more serious error than believing that Jesus is a created being.

Finally, notice that Antonio claims yet again that we’ve taken his comment out of context, yet spends his entire post defending the very thing we say his comment means. The problem is that Antonio believes it possible for a person (such as a Mormon) to be born again even while being ignorant of or actively denying the deity of Jesus. Antonio’s statement that Lou referenced earlier summarizes such a view. If Antonio disagrees with this view, let him say so now. Otherwise, the claims of “taking out of context” are simply false.

As I make it a general policy to not interact with Antonio, this will be my last comment here. If anyone doubts the veracity of what I’ve said, they should simply follow the link to Lou’s blog where we discussed this with Antonio (when he masqueraded as the Sock Puppet: fg me in that particular thread) and the links from there- Antonio’s own words bear these things out.



  1. Lou-

    Perhaps it might help Antonio a bit if we show him the difference between the real Jesus and the Mormon Jesus in how the Mormon Jesus says one must be saved. Here is the "gospel" straight from the mouth of the Mormon "Jesus" as quoted by Mormon apologist Stephen E. Robinson in How Wide the Divide? p. 18:

    Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you- that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me....And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world....And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel. (3 Nephi 27:13-14, 16, 19-21) (Bold mine)



  2. Here is how Mormon apologist Stephen E. Robinson explains his understanding of what the Mormon Jesus' gospel means (p.16):

    ...anyone may be saved who responds appropriately to the good news of Christ.

    We believe that we respond appropriately and we accept his gospel by having faith in and being faithful to Christ as Son of God and Savior, that is, by accepting him as Lord and Savior and making him Lord of and in our lives. We cannot merit salvation of ourselves (Alma 22:14), nor is it possible to "earn" the grace by which we are saved (Mosiah 2:21-25), but the obedience of faith (Rom 1:5; 16:26), a godly walk and conversation is a necessary component of faith in Christ. Jesus will save us from our sins (Rev 1:5) but not with our sins (1 Cor 6:9-10). Beyond having faith in Christ we must also repent of sin, consent to baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and receive the regenerating and sanctifying gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (cf. Acts 2:38; 8:14-18).

    This parallels the "gospel" of the Mormon "Jesus," demonstrating that the Mormon way of salvation as given by the Mormon Jesus and understood by leading Mormon apologists is, shall we say, not free grace.

    If ardent FGer (redefined) Antonio is unpersuaded that the nature of the Mormon Jesus is different than the Biblical Jesus, I wonder if he could be persuaded by the gospel of the Mormon Jesus?


  3. A Repudiation of the LDS Claim: Mormons are Christians Too (Part 1-Nature of God)
    In answer to "Mormons Aren't Christians? Really?"

    By Bruce Bauer, M.A., D.B.S.

    Yes really! Read the following quotations from LDS church (Mormon) sources and see how they stack up against the Bible (the Christian's source of truth):

    1. Nature of God:
    A. Not eternal (LDS). "We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, LDS publication, p. 345.

    Biblical response: Psalm 90:2 "Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." Psalm 93:2 "Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity." 1 Timothy 1:17 "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." John 4:24 "God is a spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth."

    B. One god of many gods; faithful Mormons can progress to deity (LDS). "In the beginning the head of the gods called a council of the gods, and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 349. "Here, then, is eternal life---to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one;" Teachings, p. 346-347. (A common phrase among Mormons is: "As we are, God once was; as God is, we shall become.")

    Biblical response: Isaiah 43:10 "Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me." Isaiah 44:6 "This is what the Lord says---Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty; I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God." Isaiah 44:8 "You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." Nehemiah 9:6 "You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you."

  4. A Repudiation of the LDS Claim: Mormons are Christians Too (Part 2)

    2. Salvation: LDS gospel: "Fulness of the gospel" means all the ordinances and principles that pertain to exaltation [faithful Mormons progressing to deity] in the celestial kingdom. Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 160; cf. Doctrine and Covenants, 27:5; 135:3. Salvation by works---3rd Article of Faith, LDS Church: "through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:23 "By grace are you saved through faith after all we can do [a misqotation of the biblical Ephesians 2:8-9, turning the good news of the Christian gospel into bad news---a false gospel of works].

    Biblical response: Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith---and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God---not by works, so that no one can boast." Romans 3:20 "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin." Romans 3:23-24 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Titus 3:4-5 "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit" [what Christians call "becoming born again"].

    These are some basic differences between LDS beliefs and those of evangelical Christians. There are many other differences but space won't permit their delineation.

  5. Bruce:

    Thanks for those contributions to this thread.


  6. Jan:

    Antonio's allegiance to the reductionist heresy of Zane Hodges will never allow him to accept that the Mormon's Jesus and Jesus of the Bible are NOT one and the same for the lost man.

    Antonio like virtually every follower of Hodges's reductionist Crossless gospel believe the lost can be born again apart from knowing who Jesus is (in the sense of His deity) and what He did to provide salvation. They believe that if you call on the name "Jesus" no matter who you think he is, including the Mormon's half-brother of the Devil that is acceptable with God for salvation.

    The Crossless/Deityless gospel is the most egregious reductionist heresy ever introduced to the NT church by one of its own, namely Zane Hodges. The GES and the deceived like Antonio are among a very small cell of extremists that believe this error.

    I really encourage everyone to read the addendum to this article from Rachel.


  7. Antonio's allegiance to the reductionist heresy of Zane Hodges will never allow him to accept that the Mormon's Jesus and Jesus of the Bible are NOT one and the same for the lost man.

    They believe that if you call on the name "Jesus" no matter who you think he is, including the Mormon's half-brother of the Devil that is acceptable with God for salvation.


    This is why Antonio can NOT regard the Mormon Jesus and the real Jesus as one and the same and still claim to hold to his reduced free grace gospel.

    The Mormon Jesus, out of his own mouth does NOT grant salvation to those who merely call on his name, believing he'll give them eternal life as Antonio's Jesus does. The Mormon Jesus requires that one ALSO repent of their sins, AND make him the lord of their life, AND be baptized, AND live all their whole life in obedience to the Mormon Jesus' gospel, AND even receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands before one can be said to really be saved.

    It should come as a surprise to no one that the Mormon Jesus preaches a gospel of works. Every false Christ preaches a gospel of works. The Mormon Christ is a false Christ with a false gospel of works.

    The ONLY thing Antonio's Jesus and the Mormon Jesus have in common is that their gospels are false. But they are incompatibly false! The Mormon Jesus requires a life time of works. Antonio's requires only a name and a promise.

    Antonio's statement is an astonishing display of ignorance. He should know that every cultic "Christ" there is requires works for salvation. Every single one. He has refuted himself, proved himself wrong, and hammered the final nail in his own theological coffin better than any of us could have done.

    Antonio has check mated himself not only on the nature of Christ, but on the gospel itself with the declaration that the Mormon Jesus and the real Jesus are one and the same.

    We rightly argue that the nature of the Mormon Christ and the real Christ are not the same. But Antonio doesn't care about that. To him, the name "Jesus" is sufficient irrespective of who Jesus is understood to be. But his attempts to make these two Jesus' the same results in him violating his own theology in the place where it matters to him the most and where he spends all his energy trying to defend- the gospel.

    In aligning the works based Mormon Jesus with his own promise only Jesus Antonio has kicked over his own sand castle.

    He cannot have it both ways.

    Actually, if he wants to be Biblical, he cannot have it EITHER way.


  8. Jan:

    Good commentary above, I like this close.

    "He [Antonio] cannot have it both ways. Actually, if he wants to be Biblical, he cannot have it EITHER way."


  9. Hey, I know I'm a little late to this party but, wow, Jan really nailed it!

    Jan, you have a keen way with analysis and words and putting them together in a right-to-the-point manner. I am thankful for you.

  10. Yes, she does, Stephen. I sent her an e-mail about your comment above. She is out of town until Monday, I believe.

    BTW, she wrote a new article on LS for my blog. I will post it this or next week.


  11. Thanks Stephen!

    I am thankful for you too!