Dallas Jenkins, son of “Left Behind” author Jerry Jenkins, and Director of the smash-hit TV show The Chosen has his feet put to the fire by apologist Melissa Dougherty, grilling him on his continued insistence that Mormons are believers who love the same Jesus as he does.
Jenkins has been flagged multiple times by the discerment community on account of claiming that mormons are saved that that he would “die on that hill” while making it clear that the production is a ministry, with wife Jennifer on record explaining that the phrase ‘Bible preach;’ is the heart of the show, and that their goal is to use the show “to reach one billion people with the authentic Jesus.” Claiming to be ‘obsessed with clarity’ he remarks:
‘I’m a fundamentalist. But I’m not angry about it….I am a strong evangelical Christian. I would say if you want to use the word conservative, that’s true. In terms of my my spiritual approach, my theology, I was a, I mean, I was a Bible major in college, I went to Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, which is pretty hardcore, conservative Bible college…”
Pressed about his continued statements that he and his LDS friends love the same Jesus:
..”Yeah, we love the same Jesus. Yeah…I believe that about at least the friends that I’ve gotten to know, those who I have gotten to know well. And what I mean by that is we don’t share the same religion. I mean, I’m not- I don’t consider myself religious. I don’t like that word. I have a relationship with Christ, not a religion. And so I believe we have a different ‘quote unquote’ religion.
…I have asked every conceivable question of my LDS friends about Jesus based on everything that I’ve heard read, things that you’ve said things that, I mean, I have, I’ve done a deep dive into all into all of this. And I would say that, number one, there are things that I have read or heard from ex-LDS, or from articles or videos or whatever, that simply don’t reflect the beliefs of at least the LDS folks that I know or at least most of them.
She asks him what the Mormon gospel is, and he defers the question. He claims he has a high degree of exposure and study on Mormonism, but is either unable to or unwilling to answer a foundation question of their belief.
Well, I’m going to, I’m going here, here’s why I’m going to defer that question and maybe hope to maybe get a little bit more specific, because I’m not trying to shirk the question, its.. I am going to say, I don’t know. I don’t know enough to, to intelligently say, to answer a question like, What is their gospel?
So I’m not going to claim that I know enough to know. I know quite a bit, I think, because I’ve done a lot of study. And I’ve spoken to a lot of LDS folks over the last three years, including some of the highest ranking members of the church. And I’ve asked a lot of questions. But I’m still not comfortable in a public forum saying ‘this is their gospel.’ Because that’s such a huge question. So I’m not going to, for both their sake, and for mine, and for yours, and for the shows, claim that I know enough to say ‘this is their gospel’
That is pathetic.
She points out that all the Mormon missionaries are out there trying to convert people because they clearly believe they either don’t have the gospel, or have one different than theirs. She gives him commonly agreed to, basic Mormon beliefs, explaining in simple terms the LDS gospel of ‘progression’, how they believe everyone can become a god of their own world, and that God the Father was once a man who became God, based on his work and merit, and asks him if he’s famlar with that, and his answer is a trainwreck, trying to turn it back on her and make excuses.
“Well, here’s where I’m gonna continue to be obsessed with clarity, which is I don’t, I’m not comfortable speaking out more. So, because I all I know, is it because here’s, here’s a question that I think is relevant to do you believe that the LDS missionary who comes to your door and shares certain things? Do you believe that every single LDS person believes the exact same thing?”
She presses him that these things are Mormonism 101, similar to Christians saying that Jesus was born of a virgin and that he died and rose again. She asks if the notion of celestial marriages, becoming a god of their own planet, works-based salvation, the existence of millions of gods, new information to him:
No, this isn’t new information. And when I say I’m not comfortable speaking for them, it’s just solely because- it’s not because I haven’t heard any of this stuff or haven’t talked in depth about this stuff- I would say that on the list of things you just mentioned, I would say probably 40% of them are things that when I’ve asked specifically about that particular belief, they’ve said, ‘no, no, it’s not that, it’s this’ or ‘that’s nuanced, And here’s why’ or whatever it is. So, because it’s that specific, that’s why I’m like ‘I’m not LDS I’m not going to speak for LDS…”
…I’ll just, again, I’m going to be very, very careful about which specific (part?) of LDS faith that that that are being discussed. There’s multiple reasons for that one, I’m not going to speak for the LDS church, I’m not going to speak for my friends..”
Jenkins is completely and thoroughly comprised. If you say you understand the gospel, but then defend Mormons as saved Christians who love Jesus, you don’t understand the gospel, and we ought not to presume that he is a believer.
You can see the whole conversation below:
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