Dallas Jenkins, son of “Left Behind” author Jerry Jenkins, and Director of the smash-hit TV show The Chosen continued to double down on controversial comments he made last year about Mormons (Latter Day Saints, ie LDS) and Jesus loving the same Jesus, appearing on Ruslan KD’s channel and against insisting that some of his Mormon friends indeed have and love the same Jesus as he does, while engaging in a bit of revisionist history over what he actually did say.
For a brief overview of the Mormon views on Jesus and other things, they believe that Jesus was once a regular sinful man who became exalted and turned into a God after doing many good deeds. ‘God the Father’ himself was also once a man on another planet, but because he likewise was such a good Mormon, he was granted the right to become a God over this earth. They believe that they too can become capital ‘G’ Gods of their own planet one day, and in fact, hold that there are millions of Gods. For them, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all and individual separate Gods, and they all have human bodies of flesh- they are not Spirits.
Mormons categorically deny the idea of salvation by grace alone and believe Jesus and Lucifer are ‘spirit brothers.’ They believe the scriptures we have are all corrupted and that’s why they have the new revelation of Joseph Smith.
Jenkins tells Ruslan (who really should do better prep when he has controversial figures on. We offer our archives as a great resource so he doesn’t keep on getting lied to by his guests)
And one of the things that I have said in the past that caused the most controversy was I was referring to a few LDS folks that I’m partnered with, that I know, and I said, “we love the same Jesus”. And a lot of people have taken that out of context and quoted me as saying, ‘Dallas Jenkins says that all Mormons are Christians’ or ‘[All Mormons] believe the same Jesus’. I’ve made it clear… I don’t speak for any group of people. I was speaking for a few friends that I have, a couple of my partners, I stand by the statement, and I don’t speak for an entire LDS or Catholic Church, just like I wouldn’t speak for the entire evangelical church.”
He goes on to say that there are two reasons why he doesn’t discuss publicly what Mormons believe or comment on the truth and accuracy of the Mormon gospel, suggesting that in the same way that evangelical Christians believe some of the wrong things within their faith, so do Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses, as if a different view on infant baptism or women preaching is comparable to the notion that God the father once being a sinful human who became a God and then had sex billions of times with his celestial wife in order to populate the earth with spirit babies.
“…I believe that my job as the creator of The Chosen, in this context, publicly, is to point people to the authentic Jesus, point people to Scripture and to the real thing as much as humanly possible. And so that if you spot a quote, unquote, counterfeit gospel, or counterfeit Jesus, that you will know it immediately.
And that brings me to my second point, which is that I don’t believe that LDS or Catholic or Greek Orthodox or Jehovah’s Witness, have a monopoly on people as part of their faith traditions, who believe in the wrong thing. I believe in the evangelical faith, I believe… in my own churches I have sat next to people who believe some of the wrong things.
I have, and probably currently do have a few things that I’m getting wrong. And so my job in my in with the show, and also, I think, even in my personal relationships, is as much as possible to to evangelise to everybody. So…there’s no win for me in taking time to go through each of the different faith traditions, and try to point out all the different things that I disagree with….’ll let the Holy Spirit and I’ll let the discipleship of the local church do the job of nuancing all of those kind of large scale or even small scale disagreements.”
Here’s the thing. Even if he wasn’t explicitly referring to the LDS community, which he was, unless his Mormon friends repudiate basically everything they believe about Jesus, then he is still wrong that his Mormon friends and partners believe in the same Jesus. Even if we were to grant his contention he’s not talking about ‘all Mormons,’ it doesn’t make it any better that he still believe that these specific Mormons love the same Jesus.
But the comments he is referring to that got him in such hot water are from a May 29, 2020 upload on the Mormon Show Saints Unscripted, where he originally said:
One of the most interesting things about this whole project has been my relationship with different denominational or faith traditions that I didn’t have before. I’ve learned so much more about the LDS community than I thought I knew.
…And what’s funny about the LDS folks as you guys seem to be, even though you’re the most controversial, you seem to be the least confrontational. It’s just like, ‘hey, we all love Jesus. I just want to let you know, we love the show’. And when people start going, ‘Hey, you’re a Mormon, you’re going to hell’. You just like, ‘hey, whatever.” It’s like it just kind of seems to roll off your back. Maybe it’s because you’re used to being on the outside sometimes.
…So even if I had significant disagreements with the LDS community, which I’ve learned, I have fewer than I thought I did. But even with that, I was okay, I was comfortable with that, because as long as they’re treating the show properly, that’s all that matters. So I can honestly say it’s been one of the top three most fascinating and beautiful things about this project has been my growing brother and sisterhood with people of the LDS community that I never would have known otherwise.
I’m learning so much about your faith tradition, and realizing, gosh, for all the stuff that maybe we don’t see eye to eye on, that all happened, that’s all based on stuff that happened after Jesus was here.
The stories of Jesus, we do agree on and we love the same Jesus. That’s not something that you often hear. Sometimes it’s like, ‘oh, they believe in a different Jesus that we do.’
Host: “that’s a controversial statement. ”
Yeah. No, it’s the same. I mean, I’ll sink or swim on that statement, and it’s controversial, and I don’t mind getting criticized at all for the show, and I don’t mind being called a blasphemer. I don’t like it when my (LDS) friends are.
And I made it very clear that if I go down, I’m going down swinging, protecting my friends, and my brothers and sisters. And so I don’t deny we have a lot of theological differences, but we love the same Jesus.”
Clearly, he’s not talking about just a few people. Lastly, here is a transcript from a previous post we did, where he routinely fails to make the delineation that he was only speaking of his specific friends and partners, but rather all Mormons.
Morgan Jones 1
“I have been told that you are a fierce defender of the Latter-day Saint belief in Jesus Christ, and that is something that honestly, on behalf of all of us, I just want to say thank you for that. But why is it that you are a defender of our belief in Jesus Christ?
Dallas Jenkins ;
Great, so you’re starting off right out of the gate with that one. Well, it’s a tough question. I am happy to answer that and I just say that because I recently have gotten a little bit in trouble in certain circles because I was on another LDS podcast, and I said that LDS and evangelicals love the same Jesus. I got some heat from people who suddenly didn’t want to watch the show anymore because of that. Apparently it’s a controversial statement, which I guess I would have known that a few years ago, but now that I’ve been working with my LDS brothers and sisters over the last couple of years and gotten to know them so well, I’ve learned quite a bit.
I come from a strong evangelical background, and I want to say this, and I’ve said this in a few conversations with LDS people, that there are reasons why I’m an evangelical and not LDS. I do have things theologically that I disagree with or things that even just in kind of practice that aren’t quite my speed in the LDS faith. However, one thing that is unabashedly true and unarguably true is that in getting to know some of my LDS friends here on this, especially through “The Chosen,” you’re passionate about Jesus Christ, and it’s Jesus of Nazareth. When I hear people say, “it’s a different Jesus”—and I’ve heard that, by the way, from both… I don’t know what term, I know you guys don’t use the term Mormon anymore, but it’s too long for me to try to say…
So even if you are listening to this right now as an evangelical and are horrified to hear me say some of these things, consider that even if you disagree, even if you think that, “No, it’s two different Jesus’s, and they worship two different Saviors, and what you’re saying is wrong.” Fine, believe what you will. I’m not gonna have these arguments with you…I don’t like it when my friends get attacked. So that’s why I tend to be pretty defensive of my friends, even if not always defensive of the theology on which we sometimes disagree...I don’t really care because I can’t be cancelled unless I cancel myself. So I’m totally fine with it. But I’m happy to say, “Yeah, we disagree on some things, but I’m going to die on the hill of, we love the same Jesus, and we want the same Jesus known to the world.”
Editor’s Note. See more of Jenkin’s shenanigans here
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