Purging the Church

The Bible talks about church discipline. With a double emphasis on holding firmly to the truth and living a moral life, the New Testament says the church (the body of true believers) is to call sinners to repentance. If someone is accepted as part of the visible church but refuses to repent of sin, whether it is of a moral nature or a heretical nature, the church is to turn them out of the fellowship.

For example, 1 Corinthians 5 tells of a man in the church who is proudly unrepentant of his blatant immorality. Paul instructs, “Let him who has done this be removed from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:2). Following this pronouncement Paul includes, “Purge the evil person from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:13).

When Paul wrote to Titus, he warned about a person who “stirs up division” within the church with unsound doctrine. Paul says, “…after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned” (Titus 3:10-11).

Jesus spoke about what to do with unrepentant people in the church also. After approaching the person twice with a call to repentance, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector,” Jesus said (Matthew 18:15-20).

In 2 Corinthians Paul warns the church about people who teach heresy for truth. He calls them “false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Paul told the Corinthians, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial?  Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?…’Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord'” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

Why do I bring this up? A friend of mine once said, “Mormons want to be embraced as part of the Christian church, but they wouldn’t be happy with the reality. For if they were part of the visible church, they would be subject to discipline for believing the heretical doctrines the LDS Church teaches.”

What would the result of such church discipline look like on a corporate scale? It would look exactly like what we see today. In obedience to the mandates of Scripture, the greater Christian church would denounce Mormonism and remove it from among us. The Christian church would purge itself of LDS heresy. It would have nothing more to do with Mormonism. We would be obligated to obey the command to be separate from the LDS Church, for what fellowship has light with darkness?

If Joseph Smith and his followers were ever embraced as part of Christianity, if Joseph ever taught his followers the true nature of God as God has revealed Himself in the Bible, when Joseph began to teach that God the Father became a God by obedience to laws and ordinances, that there are multiple true Gods, and that human beings can become the same sort of God as God the Father has become if we but follow the same path of obedience, everything would have changed.

At that point Christians would have been obligated to call Joseph Smith to repentance for his false teachings. Historical evidence suggests that this very thing transpired. But Joseph refused to repent. Therefore, by necessity, compelled by the Word of God, Mormonism would have been (and has been) cut off from the tree of Christian fellowship.

Today Christians continue to call believers in Mormonism to repentance for the sin of idolatry. We plead, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD God of Israel” (Joshua 24:23). Put them away, friends, and enter into the joy of the Lord.


Comments within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15 are invited.


About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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215 Responses to Purging the Church

  1. Olsen Jim says:

    It is becoming obvious that this is a fruitless endeavor.

    My point was simple. I feel no desire to answer every possible question that really has nothing to do with my point.

    MY POINT: Nobody on this earth can judge the heart of another clearly enough to determine if he or she is going to burn in hell for eternity. To claim otherwise is arrogant and ridiculous, and is nowhere supported in the Bible.

    Again- I believe in hell. I believe real people will go there. I just do not believe you people are qualified to say which SPECIFIC individuals will go there. In other words, RickB- you have absolutely no grounds on which to tell Ralph that he is going to burn in hell.

    If you insist on claiming your righteousness is good enough to make such condemnations, feel free. Just know that you look ridiculous and self-righteous to lurkers and reasonable people.

    RickB- which of the verses you cite authorize you to tell Ralph he is going to hell?

  2. Rick B says:

    I see the Bible clearly teaching that people that are teaching a different gospel or are false teachers and prophets are going to hell.

    I see the Mormon Gospel as a false Gospel and a different Gospel. I have even seen mormons on this blog admit as much, they simply teach that it is their gospel that is correct while the gospel I believe is wrong.

    Now you say it is a fruitless endeavor, but I see it more as you cannot answer my questions so you try to “opt” out by saying such things.

    Again, if Jesus and Peter and Paul and Titus And others said things like, Those who do not even love Jesus will go to hell or teach another gospel, or that their will be false prophets that arise right from our own ranks. If Jesus and these others said it, does this make them unChrist-like or hateful and judgmental?

    They said it because Jesus Taught it, so if Jesus said it I can say it also. Please stop with the smoke and mirrors of saying this is a fruitless endeavor and simply answer the questions and again, tell me how are Mormons loving or showing us love by with holding information from us, or Judging us not worthy to hear the truth? Rick b

  3. grindael says:


    Seems to me the Mormon Church judged a whole class of people and resigned them to be slaves in heaven.

    Even a black woman was sealed to smith in Utah as his ‘eternal slave’ in the celestial kingdom.

    If this is not ‘judging people’ I don’t know what is? Shall we take a stroll down memory lane and quote what Young and that bunch said about the blacks? How did smith NOT judge all the clergy of the world by saying they were ‘all corrupt’ and an ‘abomination’ to God? That was smith’s whole reason for the restoration! In fact, they went on to say (smith & the early apostles) that all ‘Sectarians’ as they called them, were the Church of the Devil and worked for him. How is this not ‘judging’ and how does this fit in to your logic?

    Seems to me the Mormons went down this road at the outset and are STILL doing it with their ‘priesthood authority’ (no baptism but their’s authorized by God – hence no one but a mormon gets ‘saved’)

    If you would read your own Church History with an open mind, it would answer all your questions, and you would know why those who post here do not believe it or what they say today, because they still revere Young and Smith as ‘great prophets’ who stand at the gates of the Celestial Kingdom judging those who can get in.

  4. grindael says:


    I have no problem with others keeping guns. I don’t own one, never would & leave my fate to the hands of God. I have personally been robbed and stabbed and left for dead. It is a long story I won’t relate here. I did NOT though, want VENGENCE on these people, I felt sorry for them. This was after my conversion in 2006, before that time, I was a different person.

    Smith went on and on about ‘having his blood avenged’ etc. etc. And many of his followers held on to that spirit, and the avenging of those murdered was even put into the temple rituals. This is NOT christian by any stretch. Jesus told his apostles that those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

    If Smith had been peaceful, he would not have needed the Nauvoo Legion, which he sent word to – to rescue him. He did not surrender willingly to be a martyr, he went back because they would have probably torn up the city of Nauvoo. He fully expected to be divinely rescued, and his letters bear out he was not unduly worried about losing his life at Carthage. The ‘prophecies’ and references to his death were all written by mormons after the fact and have no way to be verified. Show me a document written in smith’s hand or scribed before he was killed to prove this point.

    I am not contesting smith’s right to defend himself, we all have that, but calling him a martyr is deceiving, and his attitude and the attitude of those that followed in his footsteps show his true nature, a violent man bent on revenge. This is NOT a Christian trait, & this was bourne out later in Utah with Mountain Meadows and the many many statements of Those who preached blood atonement from the pulpit in Utah.

  5. grindael says:

    One of the greatest points on what really happened historically is that the US backed off when the Mormons truly stopped polygamy. They left the Mormons alone when they complied with the law. Ask yourself, why did this not happen at Nauvoo? Because they were lying, the people of Illinois knew it, and would not tolerate it. Porter Rockwell later murdered the man who was the head of the Carthage Greys along with a Mormon Sheriff, (they said he drew on Rockwell, but that is open to debate) who was stirring up the people against the Mormons.

  6. Jim,

    “If you insist on claiming your righteousness is good enough to make such condemnations, feel free. Just know that you look ridiculous and self-righteous to lurkers and reasonable people.”

    Awe but we don’t. The “righteousness” we claim is a borrowed, or imputed, righteousness (Rom 3:32-25). This is where you are adding Mormonism, or at least projecting your Mormon world view, onto what we are saying. I cannot state for individuals who is going to hell. I do not know who will come to Christ and as such I cannot condemn anyone during his/her lifetime. However, I can state that it is foundational to my beliefs that apart from “the Son” there is nothing that saves a person from the wrath of God That is biblical, indeed, it is part of the gospel that many will reject as foolishness (I Cor 1:23).

  7. Olsen Jim says:

    RickB and others,

    Feel free to judge anybody you desire and condemn them all to hell based on your infinite view of their hearts, motives, and desires. Have fun with that.

    Grindael- you have done it again. Only you could think of a way to bring polygamy into this discussion.

    David- When did I ever claim that anything other than Christ can save a person? Really- are we having the same discussion?

  8. Jim,

    First, correction to my above post the reference should be Rom 3:21-25.

    Now, the answer is you did not. However, the implication then is if someone dies apart from Christ, say an Atheist, then he/she dies “unsaved”. So, if i told an Atheist, “You are heading towards hell – repent” would you have a problem with that? If so why?

  9. rvales says:

    As a born again Christian evangelical if I died today do you believe I would be in Heaven with God?

  10. Olsen Jim says:

    David and rvales,

    Both of you, I think, are getting at the same question- and the answer is that there is only one means of salvation- the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

    There are many additional questions implicit in your questions which could take up a lot of space to answer and debate. And I think you both are familiar enough with our doctrine to know the answers.

    Put plainly, every soul will have a genuine opportunity to understand and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ- if not in this life, in the spirit world. (This does not mean we get a second chance) And we are not in a position to determine the hearts of others and whether they have had a “genuine” opportunity to understand and accept the gospel. There are waaaayyy too many variables involving the way we are all raised, the teachings we are exposed to, the biases that are impressed upon us- only God knows our hearts.

    So for one person to condemn another is so incredibly ridiculous and small.

    So rvales- I don’t know your heart. I believe you love God and Jesus Christ. I am in no position to determine where you would go if you died today.

    Don’t get me wrong- I believe there are absolutes that must be accepted and ordinances that must be completed. But I would never claim to know whether your exposure to the truth in this life constitutes a “genuine opportunity” and that you wouldn’t be granted a more bias-free opportunity later. Same goes for an athiest.

  11. Jim,

    There in lies the difference. I reject the idea that heaven and hell rest on how many or how good of a “shot” someone has. Hence, why I (and possibly Rick) can tell someone to “turn or burn”. Keep in mind that in the scenario I gave to you, the atheist got as least some kind of a shot. Differences in theology lead to different methods of “fishing for men”.

    I would point you to the discussion that Aaron and Ralph had concerning hellish heavens to help you understand my position. My system is more “binary” than the Mormon one. There are no terrestrial and telestial kingdoms that “good” or even OK men can go to. I would state that the world as a whole is already headed to hell and that only a few are “saved” and that only through “the Son”. To put it in modern American vernacular – you don’t start out with an “A”.

  12. grindael says:


    Polygamy really is at the heart of why smith died, is it not? Perhaps if he would have come clean & admitted it, instead of lying, things would have turned out different for him? My point was, in Nauvoo, it led to the expulsion of the Mormons, in Utah the discontinuance of it left them with their property & lives intact. Funny how the one thing smith died for wound up being abandoned by his followers. Made his death kind of pointless.

  13. rvales says:

    And Jesus said we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds and souls and then to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31) And that is precisely what I’m doing. I’m telling you there is no second chance. You die and then you are judged (Hebrews 9:27) Those not found in Christ, imputed with his righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 4:22-25) will be judged according to their ability to keep the law and no one is justified by their (in)ability to keep the law (Galatians 2:16) So mormonism with it’s endless covenants and added works completely underestimates God’s Holiness and man’s sinfullness. And it is because of love that we contend with you on these matters so that you have a saving relationship with the Holy, righteous God (something your prophets have said is not something you should or could have).

    “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness of everyone that believeth.” Romans 10:3-4

    So it’s not judgement that drives us but a love of the Truth in Christ Jesus and a love for our neighbors as ourselves.

  14. setfree says:

    “Both of you, I think, are getting at the same question- and the answer is that there is only one means of salvation- the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”

    Quick question? Salvation meaning: ability to overcome sin, and universal resurrection?


    Salvation meaning: there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus?

  15. Rick B says:

    OJ, I notice you have not answered my questions. See your making it hard for me to believe you LDS really follow Christ since you dodge questions and therefore show no love to those you feel are lost since they do not believe your gospel. Rick b

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