Kirk Cameron is best remembered for his role as Mike Seaver in the 1980s sitcom, Growing Pains. Today he is known as a Christian evangelist with Way of the Master and even more recently, Cameron is recognized for his movie, Monumental, and his persistent urgings for Americans to return to their alleged Christian roots.
Monumental stirred a firestorm of reactions among evangelicals. Many criticized Cameron and the film for its inclusion of Mormon Glenn Beck and controversial historian David Barton. Others who are more involved in the movement to ‘save America’ praised the work in spite of what some deemed to be religious compromise.
Now, Cameron once again has sparked a controversy with his latest endorsement of Glenn Beck on his Facebook page. Cameron writes:
Glenn Beck kindly and enthusiastically helped get the word out about my new film MONUMENTAL, and now I would like to tell you about a hilarious new project from him!
NCM Fathom Events, Mercury Radio Arts and The Blaze Present Glenn Beck Unelectable 2012 in select movie theaters nationwide — live tomorrow night, September 20, 2012 with a second showing on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.
Don’t miss Glenn as he squares off in this mock presidential debate.
This announcement launched a stream of comments (151 as of this writing) both in defense and criticism of this latest partnering of Cameron with Mormon Glenn Beck. Perhaps one of the most unfortunate of these is one that reads,
Mormons are definitely Christians. You are more than welcome to check out http://mormon.org/jesus-christ – it will answer any question about what Mormons believe! Besides, I love that Kirk is cool with being friends with people that don’t believe exactly what he believes. That, to me, is truly being a Christian. Source
As has been demonstrated on CRN’s own Mormonism research page, the differences between Christianity and Mormonism are many. The religion of Mormonism teaches a false and damning gospel. Of course, one could argue that Kirk Cameron did not himself make the above statement, nor has he agreed with it. Nevertheless, this is the type of conversation that now is ensuing on the Facebook wall of evangelical Christian Kirk Cameron. How misleading it is to have individuals claiming that Mormonism is the same as Christianity, and yet, as of this writing, there has been no correction from Cameron.
This reality grieved some to the point of asking Cameron to step down from his role at Way of the Master until or unless he repents of his promotion of and association with Glenn Beck. Christine Pack of Sola Sisters would write,
Tremendous confusion is being sown among the body by Kirk’s continued alliance with Mormon Glenn Beck. Does it matter to Kirk that some people here on his FB wall are now insisting that Mormons are Christians? If he can’t take responsibility for his own FB wall, and he allows that confusion to stand, he needs to resign from Way of the Master and step down from his role as an evangelist for the Christian faith. Source
Adding to the confusion is the fact that Cameron, along with co-host and fellow evangelist Ray Comfort, actually have taught against Mormonism on their Way of the Master television show.
Indeed, it was one thing several months ago for Kirk Cameron to accept the endorsement of Glenn Beck for his movie, Monumental. It is quite another for Cameron actually to endorse Glenn Beck, which is what he seems to now be doing. At this point one must wonder if 2 Corinthians 6:14–16 begins to take relevance.
Another comment from a concerned individual reads as follows:
Kirk, please, I beg you. You are undermining the gospel by your partnership and promotion of Glenn Beck and his projects. The gospel is greater and more important than America. America will pass away. It is temporary, but God’s Word and His gospel is forever. Please. Look at all the people on this thread who have no idea. You are influencing them in a bad way. Source
This person seems to have identified the problem precisely. What was demonstrated in Cameron’s movie, and what he has consistently been preaching in recent months, is the importance of America to return to what he believes are its Christian roots. Yet, could such a focus be perceived as patriotic idolatry? Speaking at the 2012 Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. last Friday, the Christian Post notes that Cameron
said America can get out of the “mess” by returning to the “original factory settings,” which involves listening to the Founding Fathers who relied on wisdom that comes from faith in God and His Word. Source
Is this really the answer? Why not turn directly to God’s Word? Further, were America’s “original factory settings” truly Christian as Cameron alleges? In a conversation with Dr. Al Mohler, Gregg Frazer, professor and author of the book, The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders: Reason, Revelation and Revolution, discussed his research of America’s founding fathers. Speaking here about John Adams, Frazer noted:
John Adams, I argue, is sort of the quintessential theistic rationalist. That is, he wrote the most about theology of any of the key founders and studied the most. He read any and all theology that he could find around the world and he wrote the most about it and revealed his own views the most, and it’s really quite shocking what he came up with. He fundamentally denied basically all the fundamental tenants of the faith. He was raised in a Calvinist community; although, and again this is where denominational affiliations can get you in trouble, his church was listed as Congregationalist and they kept that name, but the church turned Unitarian when he was a young man, and so just the label Congregationalist can get you sort of off-track. But he denied the deity of Christ; he denied the Trinity; he denied the atonement. He actually said what I think is the most striking statement of all the things that I’ve found in all of my study, which was in his explaining his opposition to the Trinity, he actually said that if he were standing on Mount Sinai with Moses, where God gives revelation, and God Himself told him that the Trinity was true, he said he wouldn’t believe it.
He referred to the deity of Christ and the atonement as absurdities, talked about the fabrication of the Christian Trinity. He talked about the incarnation and said it has been the source of almost all the corruptions of Christianity—the belief in an eternal self-existent, omnipresent, omniscient Author of this stupendous universe suffering on a cross—says that that’s the source of most of the problems in Christianity. Speaking of the Bible, he said that philosophy is the original revelation of the Creator to His creature, and no subsequent revelation supported by prophecies or miracles can supersede it, so philosophy trumps the Bible.
If America’s “original factory settings” were not actually Christian, then Kirk Cameron’s admonition for the country to return to these is erroneous and potentially dangerous. It is not the job of the Christian to moralize his country. The Facebook comment quoted above noted a fact of far greater importance: America is temporary. It will pass away. The Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, however, will not. These are eternal.
Where, then, ought the Christian set his sights? Not on a country made of men, but on Jesus Christ (Heb. 12:2) and His eternal kingdom. Those whose focus remains fixed on America, her financial failings and her moral pitfalls find themselves engaging in patriotic idolatry. How does one “get out of that mess”? Repent, remember and return to the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is the only true hope.