Liberty University fines students for not listening to cult leader 82

Liberty University invited Mormon Glenn Beck to preach to its students at its compulsory convocation last week, handing out $10 fines to residential students who didn’t have a suitable excuse for not attending.

The Beck sermon continues a worrying trend that signals Liberty’s rapid retreat from Christian orthodoxy to an unapologetic embrace of false religions and heretics, starting with self-proclaimed messiah Rev. Moon in the 1990s, to Benny Hinn and the Mormon church today. Though it still markets itself as a Christian university, its definition as to what passes as Christian is not one shared by most of the churches that send their young people there for an education.

We’ve covered Liberty’s affiliation with the Moonie cult and Benny Hinn on this blog before, and Beck’s heretical sermon last week suggests that the toleration of false teachers like Moon and Hinn weren’t aberrations. Foisting heresy on students is becoming Liberty’s signature.

Liberty hosts convocation events throughout the year to which students are compelled to attend. Although it’s not part of the chapel program, most speakers are Christians, and most use the event to preach. Clayton King and Steven Furtick are regular convocation speakers.

Jerry Falwell and Ron Godwin (behind the white-haired man) listen to Glenn Beck preach to a captive audience of students.

Jerry Falwell and Ron Godwin (behind the white-haired man) listen to Glenn Beck preach to a captive audience of students.

Because convocation is not technically reserved for Christian speakers, it occasionally hosts cultural and political leaders. For example, this semester it invited Michael Reagan (son of Ronald), and Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the producers of the “Son of God” television series. The alarming feature of last week’s message is that Beck did not appear as a political or cultural leader; instead, he used his time to preach a message full of theological assertions that were unchallenged by the university, and which received a standing ovation from Jerry Falwell at the end of the event. Liberty’s website boasted of the event’s success, again without providing any disclaimer from or correction to Beck’s deceptive and antichristian teaching. In fact, the Liberty account of the sermon simply repeats Beck’s deceptions, apparently unaware and unconcerned that Liberty is being used as a tool to promote a false religion.

At the beginning of the convocation meeting, Jerry Falwell introduced Beck in glowing terms, welcoming him as a friend of the university and reminding students that he had also been a commencement speaker. No mention of his Mormon faith was made, so he appeared to be joining Falwell on stage as a Christian brother. During his sermon, Beck did acknowledge his Mormon identity, though asserted that he was a Christian just like Falwell and everybody else, except he was from a different denomination.

I share your faith. I am from a different denomination, and a denomination, quite honestly, that I’m sure can make many people at Liberty uncomfortable. I’m a Mormon, but I share your faith in the atonement of the savior, Jesus Christ. In my faith, we have a guy who gave his life for what he believed in. You don’t have to believe it; I’m not asking you to. I’m asking you, “What is it that you believe? Are you willing to give your life?”

Not only does Beck attach his false religion to Christianity, he holds a false prophet up as an example for Liberty students to emulate.

Glenn Beck shows off Joseph Smith's pocket watch

Glenn Beck shows off Joseph Smith’s pocket watch

As a Mormon, Beck is not some casual adherent; the church and the need to spread its message consumes his life. He opened with a tearful confession that he doesn’t spend every possible moment studying his church’s teachings. Among other historical artifacts on display during the presentation, he displayed the pocket watch that Joseph Smith surrendered immediately before his death. One would imagine such an artifact would be rare and highly valued among his co-religionists, and you’d expect to see it in a museum, not a preacher’s pocket. Beck often alluded to his own prophetic calling by God, considering it an honor to be in God’s service as a leader in his church. To be able to take his Mormon theology and preach to what he identified as “the biggest collection of Christian youth meeting in America today” is a privilege that Beck surely takes seriously. (The self-conscious references to being a national religious leader echoed Rev. Moon’s charge to Liberty’s current provost, Ron Godwin, to take the Moonie cultist message to the evangelical world.) 

Beck’s sermon and Liberty’s unwitting acceptance of it constitute an excellent case study in how false teachers infiltrate the church. False teachers never appear wearing horns and announcing that they are dangerous wolves. Instead, they look and sound like they’re preaching God’s truth, injecting their deceptions at the edges when nobody is looking, or manipulating language to lull the audience into agreeing to statements that carry secondary, false meanings. Beck was a master at it, and Liberty appears to have no idea what hit them. Here’s how Beck got to teach his false religion to thousands of students at America’s largest Christian university.

Scripture

At first blush, Beck appears to be a devotee of Scripture, and he even quoted passages from the Old and New Testaments. The giveaway was his refusal to refer to Scripture as a singular noun, always referring to Scriptures. You can hear it throughout the sermon, but let’s just look at two quotes that Liberty itself thought excellent enough to repeat in its press release (again, without any hint that they know what Beck is doing):

“The times are changing, and if we are going to rebuild our nation and keep people free, then we have to look at the source,” Beck said, holding up a Bible. “You have to know what the blueprint is. And the blueprint for freedom … is the Scriptures.”

“Man is free because of the Scriptures.”

The reason that Beck uses the plural form is that the 66 books of the Christian Bible are only one part of four sacred texts that comprise Mormonism’s “Scriptures.” One of those books, the Book of Mormon, was discovered and interpreted by Joseph Smith and tells the story of Jesus’ ministry to North America. Even though Beck believes the Book of Mormon is just as sacred as the Bible, he was smart enough not to use any references from it in his sermon, making it appear that his references to “Scriptures” were to the Christian Bible.

Atonement

Beck often referred to the atoning power of Jesus, which had helped change his life into what it is today. For example, early in the sermon he said,

Are you taking your life, are you taking your scriptures as seriously as you should? I will tell you that I was a man that was lost and hopeless. I’m a recovering alcoholic. I couldn’t hold my sobriety until the atoning power of Jesus Christ. [applause]

The idea of atonement comes up elsewhere in the sermon, but never the cross. For Beck and other Mormons, Jesus performed his atoning work primarily in the garden of Gethsemane when he sweat blood. In other words, the cross and the death and resurrection of Jesus weren’t necessary for his atoning work, though Mormons will include the cross as part of the atoning process that began in the garden. It wasn’t Jesus death that makes us right with God, it was his work of suffering, which, though it did happen while he was still alive on the cross, mainly happened in the garden.

Atonement is an important theological term, though Beck gets away with using it in front of a Christian audience who probably have no idea that he actually denies the Christian atonement taught in evangelical churches for millennia. As Indigo Montoya pointed out in The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Purpose

Beck asks Liberty’s students to find their God-given purpose because God “brought us all here for a reason.” He wanted students to see that they had a higher purpose, and that Liberty could help them reach it.

You didn’t come down for a job…. You need an education from Liberty University because of your only true job, the purpose you were sent here for: to magnify Him. To bring Him to others. To do what it is that you’re supposed to do. To preserve liberty, the liberty of all mankind.

Note the language of transportation – brought us, come down – rather than the language of creation. This, too, is consistent with Mormon theology that we, with God, are eternal beings who lived with God before he sent us to earth. Because our time here, according to Mormon teaching, is a test, we don’t remember our previous life with God. We pass God’s test if we figure out the reason we were sent here in the first place.

Works

What we do while on earth is of utmost importance to the Mormon god. Beck tells Liberty’s students that they need to figure out their reason for being here. He also appropriates the language of Joshua to ask the audience to “choose who you will be,” not whom you will serve. This is not a slip of the tongue. Our identity and works determine whether we pass the test of life’s struggle, and our performance determines what level of heaven we go back to.

In a sermon to other Mormons, the head president of the church explained how works matter.

I have been thinking recently about choices and their consequences. It has been said that the gate of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny….

We all know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life surely leads to the path we will follow in the next.

The Mormon articles of faith also make it clear that it is works that save us, not Christ alone.

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. [emphasis added]

This Mormon explanation of their beliefs shows the relationship between Jesus’ atoning work on the cross (not death and resurrection) and our obligation to obey and strive for good works:

We know that in the Garden of Gethsemane, the weight of our sins caused Him to feel such agony that He bled from every pore (Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-17).

Later, as He hung upon the cross, Jesus again felt the weight of our sins even as He willingly suffered painful death by one of the most cruel methods ever known. Jesus the Christ, page 462 states, “It seems, that in addition to the fearful suffering incident to crucifixion, the agony of Gethsemane had recurred, intensified beyond human power to endure. In that bitterest hour the dying Christ was alone, alone in most terrible reality.”…

Jesus Christ did what only He could do in atoning for our sins. To make His Atonement fully effective in our individual lives, we must have faith in Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized and confirmed by one having authority, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, obey God’s commandments, receive sacred ordinances, and strive to become like Him. As we do these things through His Atonement, we can return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father forever. [emphasis added]

Joseph Smith taught that we “are justified of faith and works, through grace.” This is not the gospel, so it’s not Christian. Paul clearly condemned such teaching as false and antichristian.

If someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough….

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Cor 11:4, 12-15)

“Put up with it readily enough” could describe Liberty, except that they not only put up with it, they invited and promoted it.

Appropriating Jesus’ Name

Although Beck repeatedly refers to Jesus, he does not believe in the Christian Jesus, and, therefore, the Christian God. Mormons reject the Trinity and the eternal existence of Christ. They also reject monotheism, believing that we can all become gods.

Appallingly then, Beck misappropriates the language of orthodox Christian belief (mixed with a touch of Benny Hinn) to inspire students to ask God for miracles:

What is it that you truly believe? …Too many of us are worshipping the god of the Constitution. Not the Constitution, but God. God is our God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God peace, of comfort, of miracles. Expect miracles in your lifetime. Live in such a way that you can demand miracles. Expect miracles. Call down miracles. And then when they happen, pronounce them. Declare them. Never be shy, no matter how small or how big, don’t explain it away. That is the awesome power of Jesus Christ and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. [applause]

He finished the sermon by saying, “I leave you this message in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Glenn Beck was invited to a Christian university and was able to preach to thousands of its students as if he were a brother in Christ, when in fact he is a wolf and a false teacher. If Liberty’s administrators knew it, they did not warn their students of Beck’s apostasy, and in so doing flatly ignored Paul’s instructions on how to treat such teachers.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:6-8)

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,… flee these things. (1 Tim 6:3, 11)

Liberty’s appalling lack of discernment, especially when it promises parents that it will train their children in the Christian faith, would be surprising if we didn’t know its history and tolerance for false teachers like Moon and Hinn. You’d think Beck’s error would be obvious and that his name would be quickly stricken from Liberty’s convocation invitation lists. Why it wasn’t was perhaps revealed by Beck himself on his radio show:

When I die, if I have anything left I will be leaving a large sum of money to Liberty University because these guys are truly remarkable.

Well, OK then. For a growing university, the promise of a large donation covers a multitude of sins.

82 thoughts on “Liberty University fines students for not listening to cult leader

  1. William Maitland May 1, 2014 3:37 pm

    Let’s allow an explanation from Jerry on this. From what I have read thus far Mr Becks message was not reviewed by the administration prior to its presentation by Mr Beck. Shame on them!! Bet it won’t happen again!

    • James Duncan May 1, 2014 3:45 pm

      William, did Falwell say this? Can you point us to the source?

      It must be awfully annoying to the administration how often their heretic friends take them by surprise.

  2. Liberty Student May 1, 2014 4:51 pm

    As a student who WAS ACTUALLY IN ATTENDANCE AND NOT JUST READING ABOUT IT ON A MISLEADING ARTICLE, I can honestly say that none of us were offended that Mr. Beck came and spoke.
    Not once did he cram his own view point or beliefs down our throats, nor dispute our beliefs and try to prove them wrong. He simply challenged us to stand up for what we believe in and to proclaim Christ.

    This article is absolutely horrendous and arrogantly annoying because Convocation is a mandatory meeting in which students are required to attend Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in which the penalty for missing is $10, a penalty that students sign in agreement to accept when they first enroll, and so to say “Liberty University Fines Students for not listening to cult leader,” is extremely ridiculous and out of context.

    I challenge everyone to do just a LITTLE bit of research before you aimlessly and blindly believe whatever nonsense you stumble upon.

    • James Duncan May 1, 2014 5:32 pm

      L Student,

      So you do acknowledge that the headline was correct. Students really were fined if they didn’t want to listen to Beck. That is what makes this a problem. If Beck had spoken at a voluntary workshop on comparative religions, we wouldn’t be talking about this. That he was invited to a mandatory (with fines) service and preached a sermon is what makes this important.

      I don’t doubt that you and others weren’t offended, but that’s why we’re so concerned. We wouldn’t expect Beck or any false teacher to try to cram his beliefs down your throat. He would want you to willingly embrace his teachings, and he succeeded, at least judging by the warm applause he got throughout the sermon. When he told you to stand up for your beliefs, did you understand that you and he would be standing up for profoundly different beliefs? When he told you to proclaim Christ, did you understand that Beck proclaims a false Christ?

      As for research, what are we missing? We watched the video posted by Beck himself. Did something else happen that we need to know about?

    • Tyler Crawford May 1, 2014 8:17 pm

      I was extremely offended that Glen Beck was allowed to equate my belief with Mormonism and flat out lie to the entire gathering we had there. Liberty should be ashamed of letting this man speak to such an effect as to equate two polar beliefs. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about when you say that everyone thought it was completely fine. I took grievance with a good many things Beck said. Don’t speak for the entire student population. You aren’t.

  3. Not a Liberty Student, but ... May 1, 2014 8:18 pm

    Mr. Duncan,

    I think where the Liberty student has a problem with the headline isn’t that it’s false, but that it’s misleading. You clearly meant readers to infer that the fines were specially instituted for Beck’s address. Otherwise you’d have used “Liberty University Invites Cult Leader to Speak at Convo” or something else equally correct as (AND less misleading) than what you chose.

    I agree that Beck’s doctrine is wrong, but you lose a significant amount of credibility when you mislead right out of the gate.

    • James Duncan May 1, 2014 9:54 pm

      I addressed the fines issue earlier today in this post, and I stand by the headline, which is true and which succinctly frames why Beck’s sermon matters.

      Actually, this was brought to my attention on Friday afternoon by a Liberty resident assistant who was disturbed that it was his job to record the convocation absences and, in essence, become an enforcer to get people under the influence of this false teacher. Liberty’s authoritarian insistence (ponder the irony in that phrase) that all students listen to Beck’s sermon makes them especially complicit in the error that came from the pulpit that day.

  4. Zach May 1, 2014 10:32 pm

    The white haired man you refer to in the caption of one of the photos is Bo Pilgrim, of Pilgrims Pride in Texas.

  5. Beth May 1, 2014 10:50 pm

    Mr. Duncan:

    I am a de-converted non believer and I found your posting very informative. The fact that some missed the point of your posting “sheep in wolf clothing” is disheartening and from a secular POV dangerous. Besides the obvious your breakdown of Becks wordage I found to be important.

  6. Mike May 2, 2014 12:00 am

    Prior liberty graduate

    After Jerry Falwells death the school changed dramatically . It’s more prosperity gospel and how they can make a profit . There staff has the lowest teacher salaries in the country and their degrees are garbage . I removed liberty from my résumé because corprate America says like Liberty who ? Making champions for Christ ? Not a chance because the money is not being used to hire and obtain good teachers . It’s used for these extravagant and usesless structures . Liberty is a joke and more people need to write about the truth .

  7. Dan Cuevas May 2, 2014 12:15 am

    In response to “Liberty Student” it is clear that this coward student (not giving his name)
    This student demonstrate that he does not know what mormonism is.
    Mormonism is a dangerous ant-Christian sect without any historical foundation, all of their doctrines are based on doctrines of demons. It is a heretical sect if not blasphemous in nature, mormonism is as far as eternity from True historical Christianity

    • LU student May 2, 2014 8:38 pm

      I’m not sure what you majored in at Liberty, but it obviously wasn’t English/grammar…Liberty, just like any other school in the world has its faults. However, when you say that Liberty doesn’t have good professors, you are just flat out WRONG. Over the past 3 years at LU, I have been blessed with some of the greatest and most personal teachers I could have ever asked for. Sure I have also had a few bad ones, but who hasn’t? Every single professor I have ever had at Liberty prays/takes prayer requests before each class, and other teachers even have devotions before each class. I can assure you, Liberty is doing just fine right now in terms of “Training Champions for Christ.” How bout instead of pointing out the occasional non-christians that speak, you point out the fact that we have also hosted Francis Chan, Jefferson Bethke, Judah Smith, Louie Giglio, John Piper, Bob Goff, and other incredible incredible Christian leaders within the past 3 years alone.

  8. David Rhee May 2, 2014 8:05 am

    To be honest, most “Christian” colleges and universities are not really Christian in its foundation. Where do you think Christian liberalism came from?

    The basic foundation of what makes a college or university Christian would be its adherence to Christ and all of His teaching (which would be the whole Bible).. As most posted out, the issue is that Beck is to preach a sermon that depicts that his faith is the same in foundation as the Christian faith.. That is just not true..

    Add insult to injuries, students were fined $10 if they did not attend. Do you see the problem here? It is a two prong issue that the poster articulated accurately and with clear transparency.

    Luther would be rolling in his grave if he saw all this… Liberty thinks they are promoting and leading a Christian revival, in reality, it should leading many Christians to embrace a different gospel (at best, a diluted gospel that does not sustain a believer to true salvation). At the end, Liberty University did not keep their Christian ideology pure but rather change and accept the cultural and worldly wisdom to be more relevant.

  9. Mary May 2, 2014 8:14 am

    I was saddened by your article. I did not know this about Liberty. This should have been optional with discussion so that the Christians had an opportunity to defend their faith. Glenn is great on politics but Christian youth exposed to falsehood on faith is unbelievable.
    Question: you wrote that Jerry Falwell introduced Glenn Beck….isnt Jerry dead?
    Mary

    • James Duncan May 2, 2014 8:28 am

      Mary, Falwell Sr. is dead, but his son, Jerry, is the chancellor of the university. His other son, Jonathan, is pastor of his former church.

  10. Pingback: Glenn Beck @ Liberty U.: Another Perspective | Thinking Out Loud

  11. Charles Barney May 2, 2014 9:21 am

    Ted Kennedy (Catholic, liberal, Democarat) spoke to the students in 1983.

    Maybe that’s why the school is so Catholic today. Maybe that’s why it’s so politically liberal. Maybe that’s why so many Democrat’s love and laud the university.

    Oh wait…

  12. Allen Perkins May 2, 2014 9:53 am

    As others have mentioned, your title is misleading since it slightly exaggerates the situation; however, you are correct that convocation is mandatory and fines follow non-attendance. I would first like to mention that Beck has spoken in convocation one other time in the past couple years, and at that time he did speak on an entirely political topic. Near the beginning of his “sermon” the other day, Beck announced that he had decided late the night before to change what he was talking about. The atmosphere in the entire room instantly changed. To me it looke dlike some of the administration squirmed in their seats–I know many students did. In an LU student’s first two semesters at Liberty, there are two required courses which must be taken: GNED (General Education) 101 and 102, now more accurately labeled BWVW (Biblical Worldview) 101 and 102. In those classes we receive a (fairly basic but) solid and well-structured background in apologetics, logic and debate, biblical worldview on current events, and a substantial amount of teaching on how to recognize and avoid false teachings and heresy. Along with that teaching is a basic breakdown of the beliefs of many different religions around the world and the same for the cults of Mormanism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I truly appreciate your finding instances when Beck slid his Mormon subtleties in the message. It’s great to see these things broken down for those who missed them, but rest assured, most Liberty students were very well-aware that Beck was preaching a different Jesus. We ignored that part and got what we could out of his message (I’m often impressed and awed by the dedication of Mormons. I wish more Christians were as kind, sincere, and dedicated as they are.) I am disappointed that a carefully-worded email containing some of the same distinctions you made has not been sent to the student body. I was expecting a response of some kind, but apparently administration has optimistic expectations for how many students pay attention in class. There were plenty of students who had no clue Beck was a Mormon, but I strongly believe that had he given the same “sermon” without mentioning his adherence to Mormonism, Liberty would have released an official message denouncing what Beck taught. Since he did reveal to us his Mormon stance, we knew what perspective he was coming from and were able to spot many of his fallacies.
    I appreciate your concern for the LU student body, but I do not think Beck told administration he was going to be preaching. Since he was broadcasting live to his radio show just prior to convocation (from what I’ve heard–I don’t listen to his show), I think everyone assumed, until he announced his decision to change topics, that he was simply addressing the political climate again. Should Liberty have reacted differently? Absolutely. Did Liberty invite a Mormon to preach “as a fellow Christian”? By no means! Should Liberty ever invite Beck to speak at convocation again? No, at least not for some time since he cannot be trusted to stay to his assigned topic. Finally, should Liberty administration their close relationship with Beck? I do not think so at all. From what Beck revealed when he opened up to us, I think he’s at a turning point in his life. Right now, instead of denouncing him because of his beliefs, we need to pray for him as he reexamines his beliefs and digs deeper into the Bible. Perhaps, with the prayers of the LU family and other Christians around the world, this could be the point in Beck’s life when he realizes the inconsistencies of Mormon beliefs and rejects the other books of Mormon in favor of the Bible alone and the One True God.
    Thank-you for reading my comment, and thank-you for writing out some of the inconsistencies behind what Beck said and what he meant. I truly do appreciate having another Christian (and a professor at that) explain things I may have missed when listening to Beck with the understanding that he follows cult beliefs. Please continue to keep your eyes and ears open for things like this. The university has had convocation speakers “backfire” before, and it’s good to call administration out on things like this so they are more careful in the future.

  13. Another Liberty Student May 2, 2014 9:54 am

    This is complete bullcrap.

    1) All students get fined for missing convocation no matter who it is. You claim to represent Christ, start with honesty instead of misrepresenting the facts.

    2) If you think we’re becoming a secret cult, check our doctrinal statement or ask any professor on campus what we believe.

    3) What do you want us do? Feed the students a steady diet of John Piper and AWANA verses from a milk tube? We are trying to change the world here…the real world.

    4) We believe in sending students into every field because we have this crazy idea that maybe Christians can influence the world. To do that you need to actually understand perspectives you don’t agree with. So, we invite the top of the field. That includes Glenn Beck and even…gasp…inviting Barack Obama. If the students walk out of convo liberal progressive mormons after a 20 minute talk then we have a bigger problem on our hands.

    • David Rhee May 6, 2014 2:49 pm

      From your post, I find that you are missing the point..

      1) You are correct that students get fined for missing convocation no what matter.. To break it down, convocation in a “Christian” university should know better how this could confuse not only those are infants in Christ and non-believers to seeing Mormonism as “Christians” (especially the “real world” you call it). It would be like having Dick Cheney be in a convocation in him defending the policies and war on Iraq based on the WMDs (that we all know does not exist) and forced to listen it as true and reality. The content matter (especially in how atmosphere, setting, and presentation)and that is the part you are not seeing. Let me ask you a simple question, would you accept Satan to speak in one of Liberty’s convocation? Of course not! So why did you accept Glenn Beck who we know have a different Gospel nor believe in the true Jesus to speak?

      2) Checking out Liberty’s doctrinal statement would open up and bring more concerns and issues because Glenn Beck’s faith not only contradict the foundations of Christian faith (of which Liberty profess to believe and follow) and believe his faith is the same as the Christian faith (which we know is not true). Secondly, just because you or some professor believe in the right doctrine of Christ does not equate all of Liberty administration does. That is why the church and Christians are to discern one another (based upon the Bible). This is a point the article is making.

      3) First off, we can’t change the world on our own.. You seem to have this dominion ideology which the Bible does not speak.. You can’t change anyone to believe in Christ nor have the power to on your own… You can’t even change yourself to believe in Him either. It is God who changes the heart of man and brought people to Christ… To be honest, I get a steady of diet of Luther, Calvin, Augustus, Wesley, and many Christian theologians. So to go outside the Bible and Christian faith to understand theology would be rather foolish don’t you think? And listening to many Biblically sound universities (and seminaries), I seem to get from that they can’t get enough of the Christian theologians and the Bible.. So I don’t get your disconnect there.

      4) See Liberty goes it all wrong about influence. Christians are not here to will our beliefs onto others (which you call influence). If so, then we should be living in a theocracy.. But we are not. If you really want to influence others, is to do your vocation to the fullest in glorifying God. I don’t need to be CEO to change the world.. I ask Christ to change me to do my best as a husband, employee, and church member. That I try to live a life that is pleasing to God.. Isn’t that way Christ has shown by coming to sick and the lost.. The 12 disciples were not of great influence. How did they “influence” the world? By proclaiming Christ and Him crucified (as Paul speak).

      Lastly, understand other people’s perspective to understand the culture of the world is one thing. BUT it is another to bring someone in the setting that Liberty did and make that to be understanding another person’s perspective. If so, you could do it not in a convocation environment. Again, this part I find to be a bad point of argument because I could see the culture and many perspectives (including Mormonism) by reading the newspaper and the Church of LDS’s website… Also, Glenn Beck is top of the field for what?

  14. Rosie May 2, 2014 10:37 am

    You hit the nail on the head “then we have a bigger problem on our hands”.
    And you are too blind already to see it. You just sold your soul to the devil. You just proclaimed that you will take the wide road and not the narrow.

  15. Liberty Student May 2, 2014 1:27 pm

    as a liberty university student who was at this convocation (and every other one this year) this article is extremely misleading. Mr. Beck did not try to convert us to Mormonism, nor did he focus on our differences. He focused on the things we agreed on and went from there. And to the man who said he was going to throw away his degree from Liberty lol give it to me. since you are “embarrassed to hold degrees from there” (Liberty)

  16. Bill Krumpter May 2, 2014 4:09 pm

    Wattalottabaloney!! The most excellent reason for inviting Glen Beck to address students at Liberty is to hear what he has to say, then open a series of pro-con debates among the students.

    When they graduate, Liberty’s students will step out of a theocratic institution into the real world of multiple opposing opinions and beliefs. How can anyone expect them to deal with those issues without learning how to listen to, evaluate, and debate them intelligently (as opposed to proffering an “it’s true because my professors said it was.”).

    • James Duncan May 2, 2014 5:49 pm

      Bill, that’s a nice idea, but Liberty didn’t include Beck in a pro-con debate. He was the final word of the year.

      As for debates, what’s wrong with this one? You call it baloney, but what, to you, is a debate supposed to look like? Are we not listening to, evaluating and debating his sermon intelligently?

      What you’re reading here is exactly what you want. No?

  17. Liberty Alum May 2, 2014 11:38 pm

    *eye roll* Yeah, Falwell should be ashamed. Why would he befriend a human being when he could be throwing stones at such a heretic? Why would he allow a friend to come to a campus of perhaps 3,000 true evangelical Christians on a campus of 13,000 (and that’s a very conservative guess of the number of true Christians on campus)? Worst of all, why would LU accept $50K to further their message of the truth from a heretic?

    If Beck invites Mormon friends to enroll their Children at LU, I hope LU denies their enrollment and bars them from attending the required Bible, Theology, and World View Classes based on an evangelical, Biblical foundation.

    I just don’t understand why any real “Christian” university would hang out with any sinners, heretics, cult leaders, tax collectors, or prostitutes. LU should be ashamed, learn the truth, pick up stones, and only associate with such people from a distance, just close enough so their stones will get a firm landing on their enemies’ heads.

    And BTW, I can’t believe LU would invite conflicting view points or doctrine on it’s campus anyway. Why would any “Christian” school want its students to be critical thinkers, especially when it comes to opposing view points and false doctrines?

    What these students need is shelter and a spoon fed faith to mindlessly adhere to so when they graduate they can continue to live in their bubble of like-minded Christians and only know about Christian media, Christian radio, Christian day-care, Christian schooling, and church community activities ONLY! We wouldn’t want them going out into the world and making disciples or anything, lest they be poisoned by heretics like Mormons and Glenn Beck!

    • Also a liberty alum May 3, 2014 10:50 pm

      It’s one thing to challenge the student body spiritually, it’s another to give someone a pedastil that believes in something waaaaaay different than you, but sounds juuuust a little off. Liberty used to find ways to grow us besides bringing in people like Glenn Beck to speak at convo. Again, not that he was allowed to speak on campus, only that he gave a spiritual sermon, and praised for it. The pulpet is a sacred place that pastors preach from; that Jerry used to speak from. Some things need to remain sacred.

    • Another Liberty Alum May 5, 2014 3:30 pm

      Of course we want the students to be critical thinkers. We want smart Christians who will not just accept everything they hear. However, when an advocate of a different religion comes to Liberty and stands on the main stage to perhaps educate or challenge Biblical truth, the university should at least make an annoucement or a clarification to make sure students really did not accept the teaching. The unfortunate thing is that there are students who have never studied Mormonism who might see the religion as okay, and similar to Christianity. Something needs to be done.

      • James Duncan May 5, 2014 4:03 pm

        Right. This was not exercise in critical thinking. The chancellor of the university doesn’t think (or at least say, but same thing) that Mormonism is a cult, and only concedes that “some” LU faculty might think so.

        The students’ applause indicated that many of them were lapping this stuff up.

        As an exercise in critical thinking, this was a massive fail.

  18. greg May 3, 2014 10:52 am

    “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.” (2 John 9-11 NASV)

    The lack of discernment in the church today is sickening. We must get back to the study of God’s word so we can recognize these false teachers.

  19. Liberty U Student May 3, 2014 12:09 pm

    To put this in proper context, there is ALWAYS a fine for not attending convo…the fine was not exclusive to Mr. Beck’s lecture.

    Further, in each and every one of my classes, we begin with prayer, weave Biblical foundations and truths throughout teachings and assignments and are ALWAYS taught that all things we hear, read, and consider MUST be viewed through the lens of Scripture. This would certainly apply to any religious persuasions held and presented by Mr. Beck. Liberty students are afforded a well-rounded education. This includes understanding the viewpoints of others. However, this does not represent an espousal of such viewpoints. Clearly, Mr. Beck made the point right out of the gate that his religious leanings are in contrast to those of the University.

    Take a deep breath. Liberty does indeed remain a Christian institution, rooted in the Bible and upholding Scriptural truths. Students can handle hearing someone with opposing religious beliefs.

    If you want to worry about something, delve into the subject of legalism.

    • Don Sullivan May 5, 2014 12:08 pm

      I don’t think it’s an issue of legalism. It is absurd to decide that because members of the faith community decide to rightly follow scriptural admonition not to allow someone who preaches a different gospel to use our platforms from which to speak (or did they cut 2 John 10 out of the bibles at LU?), they therefore espouse legalism. What is legalism to you, exactly? Legalism should more rightly be defined as placing one’s faith in one’s laws rather than in the One who wrote the Law, should it not? So then, that being in mind, none of us are placing our faith in our law. We are following the writ of scripture, which we are kind of supposed to do as Christians. It is a continuous warning throughout scripture to not tolerate false teachers in our midst. Giving Glenn Beck a speaking platform at a seminary is no different than having a Gnostic come into your church and preach. While you as a student may be properly taught to discern truth, not everyone in the body has been given the same luxury. Too often, people will attach legitimacy to someone simply BECAUSE they have been attached to a credible body. So, in short, people will begin to be more receptive to the idea of Mormonism because Glenn Beck has now been given legitimacy by a Christian Seminary, and in his own words, he views Mormonism as a different denomination. Now, you tell me how that could not possibly be confusing to John Q. Biblically Illiterate MegaChurch Christian because Mormonism has now been branded as “just another denomination in a sea of denominations.”

      So I would recommend rather than worrying about those of us following the words of 2 John 10 as being legalistic I would recommend more time be spent critically thinking through issues. Not trying to be harsh, but if you are going to be, it seems only fitting to return the favor.

  20. Apostasy Watcher May 3, 2014 4:13 pm

    Jesus wasn’t a conservative nor a liberal, a Democrat nor a Republican, so who was He then? God in the flesh for which mere man has a difficult time understanding for we desire to put labels on the Son of God, Son of Man which I call blasphemy.

    If Liberty University desires to invite a Mormon in to speak, and whether they charge a penalty fee for convocation or not, well then, that speaks volumes…..that wonderful liberty and freedom we have in Christ Jesus is gone and the authoritarian religious leaders love it so. Did Jesus charge the masses of people a penny for missing His teachings?

    This whole Liberty issue is absurd screaming of apostasy.

  21. Idaho doc May 3, 2014 10:19 pm

    Interesting debate! I am a Christian in Mormon land (Idaho Falls) and I will tell you, that was one dangerous sermon Beck preached! He presented erroneous facts, syncretized the LDS faith to Christianity, and generally presented a banal picture. His requests to the students were poisoned with Mormon doctrine he misrepresented his faith, and all in all, probably hatched more than a few converts rom the audience that day. I fully believe in exposing students to the crucible of life, but as it is a school, there should be a place for discussion of the controversial points he raised. Sadly, the attractiveness of dominionism and thus partnering with other “conservatives” is winning over the Gospel these days. Frankly, Obama would have been a better choice! The contrast would be clear. Beck is sneaky enough to make his tearful piety look attractive and orthodox. That is why I think I will send my son elsewhere. I would rather have a pagan school, where dark is dark and light is light, that a school where the wolves wear Christian platitudes! If you have a chance, as Mr. Beck whether we can really call a man a martyr who emptied his 6 shooter and killed two men after the attack. Or the martyr’s cry, “will no one help the mother’s son?!” (A Masonic call for help from the Masons likely in the mob lynching him). Or, will he tell you which of the 6 origin stories he adheres to (See LDS Church archive that are ONLINE!) or, can he run through the woods carrying the golden tablets? (They should have weighed at least 200 pounds!). Of course, no one will ever ask, because that would be too controversial and unloving. So is Hell! Shalom!

  22. Valeria May 4, 2014 10:11 am

    Jerry Falwell, JUNIOR. Leaving off Jr. might cause some readers to think this is an old story.

  23. Eric May 5, 2014 11:17 am

    I have a feeling that if the convocation speaker had been a solid, conservative, bible believing Presbyterian or Lutheran that mentioned how infant baptism is biblical, there would be an official statement from LU reaffirming their Baptist beliefs and condemning infant baptism. But when a Mormon speaks, there is no official statement from the school. Could it have something to do with Beck donating $50k to the school?

    • Ivan Komotios May 5, 2014 2:08 pm

      Elisha in 2 Kings 5 wouldn’t accept Naaman’s gifts and Naaman and Glenn Beck both reject God’s Grace and think Works will buy God’s favor

      Justice=getting what you deserve
      Mercy=not getting what you deserve
      Grace=Getting what U-Can never deserve

  24. Don Sullivan May 5, 2014 11:34 am

    Wow, didn’t read as thoroughly as I surely should have. The headline alone was scary enough. So, we fine and discipline students who do not attend a lecture given by someone propagating a different gospel in the middle of a Christian theological seminary? Hmm… I’m pretty sure that is unscriptural.

  25. wally christopherson May 5, 2014 6:13 pm

    I am beyond STUNNED that Liberty Univ would even ALLOW this cultist” to speak at Liberty. My concern is that he says about 99% “Christian speak” and 1% “Satanspeak”-and people are gullible enough to buy into the “SATANSPEAK”. SHAME ON YOU!!!
    wally christopherson

  26. Rebecca May 6, 2014 11:32 am

    Let’s not underestimate Glenn Beck’s intentions. He is fully aware of both his mormon beliefs and the fact that Mormonism has been rejected by mainstream Christianity. There is definitely an agenda here. Beck may certainly believe Mormonism and Christianity share the same beliefs but it appears that his goal is to link them together. My thoughts are that if the administration knew of Glenn Beck’s position and did not qualify or provide a disclaimer then they were part of the promotion. Yes, Christian young people need to learn to think for themselves and use their sound reasoning and logic to interpret the world from a biblical perspective. But isn’t a huge part of why we promote Christian higher education to further deepen and cement our relationship to Christ through His word. I agree with the post-er who said it would be better to have a liberal democrat like Obama speak at a convo. Do you think secular universitities would tolerate a conservative right-wing anti-abortion, non-gay-marriage proponent Christian? I think not. So, why should we tolerate such an in-your-face anti-gospel speaker? We have been considering sending our daughter to LU…..I think we should consider re-considering.

  27. Billy Price May 8, 2014 10:03 am

    To Libertystudent,
    Of course you and other students weren’t offended who were there, because you don’t know the scripture and you don’t bother to know Glenn Beck the man and the religion he defends! Ignorance is no excuse, it simply means YOU IGNORE THE TRUTH. These Mormons are PATHOLOGICAL liars, they can’t even be true to their own “Prophet’s” first “revelation”! Joseph Smith declared that the “Heavenly Father” and his son, “Jesus Christ” appeared to him and when Joseph asked what church he should join, Catholic or Protestant, “Heavenly Father” answered , “neither, for both are wrong”! My question to Glenn Beck is this, when did that revelation from your “truthful” Prophet change? The answer is, it HASN’T. So if they really believe people shouldn’t join orthodox Christianity, why is he behaving this way? It is the Mormon obsession, LEGITIMACY! They have always been labeled a cult, and they can’t handle it! So the Mormon elite send out their representatives to attempt to coerce real Christians to become comfortable with Mormonism! Mormons will not repent of their multitude of false doctrines, so they construct an elaborate ruse to fool and deceive the very elect if possible.

  28. Billy Price May 8, 2014 10:37 am

    So, to wrap it up, we didn’t start this controversy between orthodox, historic, Christianity and Mormonism; that distinction goes to Joseph Smith. I realize that Mormons don’t like living by the lies of Joseph Smith today, though they won’t admit it, but you can’t have one with out the other! You want to be counted among all the other Christian denominations? No problem! It’s real simple! Just acknowledge Joseph Smith was not telling the truth with his supposed first encounter with “Heavenly Father” and “his son, Jesus Christ”, and we can begin a discussion of all the other things you believe based on Joseph Smith! That’s the price of entry, Mormons, you can’t believe the “Prophet” about “not joining” and the “wrongness” of the Catholics and Protestants, and then pursue acceptance and equivalence with Catholics and Protestants! You’ve been found out Glenn Beck!

  29. Kelly May 9, 2014 10:56 pm

    honestly don’t get why this is news. Heard the message and he clearly said he is of a faith that would make a lot of LU people uncomfortable. He said he wasn’t trying to get anyone to believe in his faith. I like to think LU students are capable of critically hearing a speaker and deciding for themselves what is truth. Instead of being negative, I think people would be more productive by learning from all the good principles communicated in his message and filtering anything else. Professors I had at LU taught me to think critically when hearing anyone speak so I don’t see why this was such a big deal. It’s not like no one knew the guy was Mormon going into it.

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