State of Heresy

***Warning: This blog post contains material that may be offensive to those who think that movies are sinful. Reader’s discretion advised***

So I’m at the movie store, and though there are a ton of videos, there is really little to choose from.

I come across this one titled, “States of Grace“. Looks interesting, so I read the back cover.

Synopsis: A drive-by shooting in Venice, California, changes the lives of five people forever. States of Grace tells the story of a homeless street preacher, Louis, a gang banger, Carl, an aspiring actress, Holly, and two young missionaries, Lozano and Farrell, in what critics have hailed as one of the finest films of the year and one of the best Christian-themed films ever made.

Review: “Bravely ventures where previous Christian films haven’t dared. A provocative, penetrating look at the power of faith and redemption.”

—Wade Major, Box Office Magazine ****

Sounds interesting. Let’s try it out.

Well about 2 minutes into it, I see a Mormon missionary (you know, white shirt, black tie, backpack – you can spot them a mile away and in a large crowd). I have seen some of their films, due to curiosity, and they are all really cheesy. So I figure I will watch this one too.

Let me tell you, this was an attempt at Mormon drama, and they are all about assimilation. They try to look just like any other denomination, whether the Baptists, Lutherans, Pentecostals, etc.

It was amazing… the Mormons are really trying to go mainstream. I knew this has been a goal of theirs, but to see it was different than simply hearing about it. It made me really mad.

The worse part is, the undiscerning, which is the majority of Christianity these days, will not care about their doctrines, but be more impressed by their “work” and “love”.

The movie is called, “States of Grace” reflecting their doctrine of grace… which is actually very subtle in the film.

Essentially, according to the Mormons, God is gracious because He gives you the grace to do the works of the law. In other words grace is power or strength to become good, and lay hold of eternal life. So you better hope that you are in a “state of grace” when you die, so that you are good enough to merit eternal life.

YUCK! Beware of this Cult, who DENY the Person and Work of Jesus the Messiah and only Mediator between God and man.

Consider the Larger Catechism on the “estate of grace”:

Q. 79. May not true believers, by reason of their imperfections, and the many temptations and sins they are overtaken with, fall away from the state of grace?

A. True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of God,[342] and his decree and covenant to give them perseverance,[343] their inseparable union with Christ,[344] his continual intercession for them,[345] and the Spirit and seed of God abiding in them,[346] can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace,[347] but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.[348]

Q. 80. Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?

A. Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavour to walk in all good conscience before him,[349] may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God’s promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made,[350] and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God,[351] be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto salvation.[352]

Q. 81. Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?

A. Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith,[353] true believers may wait long before they obtain it;[354] and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions;[355] yet they are never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair.[356]

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Please cancel my subscription to this blog.

    Movie watching is way too liberal for my likes!

    (Shhh… bring the movie to GR and we will watch it!)

    Reply

  2. There’s a movie coming out about the Mountain Meadows Massacre sometime this year – http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/septemberdawn/. Looks interesting.

    I think the people who made “Napoleon Dynamite” are Mormon, but through common grace the movie is still totally cool.

    Reply

  3. Southern Baptist here and I couldn’t disagree with you more on States of Grace.

    Three things I learned from this film:

    1- Mormons no longer practice polygamy (funniest scene in the movie)

    2- Their respect for other religions (didn’t attempt to convert a lot of the other characters)

    3- You obviously missed the point of the movie – despite being taught that “only works will save you” the Mormon missionary realized that it is only through grace you are saved.

    The filmmaker Richard Dutcher (I googled him after watching the movie) actually did an interview with Christianity Today

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/interviews/richarddutcher.html

    and was no longer Mormon when he made this film. I read a few more places that this film is his plea to Mormons to accept grace, and a plea to Christians that Mormons (some that is…) are good people who believe in Christ.

    While watching, I didn’t feel there was an “agenda” or I was trying to be “assimilated.” As a matter of fact, I stayed awake for hours pondering my own life and how I have’nt totally turned my life over to Christ. A movie that does that, doesn’t deserve the label you’re giving it.

    Reply

  4. Posted by shawnanderson on Thursday: August 02, 2007 at 11:59 AM

    Hello Barry,

    Thanks for visiting. I’m glad that the Lord used this movie to help you think of your own life in relation to Christ. He did the same for me. In fact, in general I tend to examine most movies that I watch with the Scriptures, to determine was was good, or flowing from the light of nature, and what was contrary to God’s Word.

    What I found to be most interesting is that this cult is adorning modern Christian truths/principles, and is very shallow on the doctrine end of things… doctrine that actually divides Mormons from Christians.

    Removing polygamy is a good and commendable thing, however it is a symptom and not the root illness of this cult. Ultimately they reject, or deny the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.

    Sure, Christ is their foundation, but only a foundation to empower the individual… this is synthetic gospel, and not authentic.

    Christ is the God-man who came to bring those who are dead, to life. We were ransomed and redeemed from sin and death. When we stand before God, He will not look at our attempts at perfection, but at the finished Work of the Son, the 2nd Person of the Trinity, and declare His people “righteous”, on His behalf.

    And did you notice in the movie at the end that these people are all kneeling/bowing before an image of Christ? a human child? Not only is this bizarre, but it appeals to the emotion, so that we approve of a bad thing, because it is subtly wrapped in a good thing.

    Barry, the devil would have Roman Catholics, Oneness Pentecostals, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc, to be assimilated into the Church. Why? Because their Gospel subverts the fundamentals of the faith.

    Let this be a simple test – Do you believe in all that is in the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed and the 10 Commandments?

    Until there is consent – their contrary doctrine is Heresy.

    And mainstream heresy is still heresy.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Reply

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