Early Christians Believed in Becoming Gods

by | Sep 16, 2023

Jesus Christ

Response #1 to “Mormons Are Not Christians”

Have you ever been confronted over our belief that ‘We can all become gods’?

No Christian will ever be able to give you a hard time over this topic again.

What a surprise for me to recently learn that when Christians mock us for that belief – they don’t just mock us; they mock themselves. They’re putting down the Early Apostolic Fathers and the very roots of Christianity clear to the 11th century. Somewhere along the way, their religious sect lost sight of the plain and precious truths they once held in abundance. Powerful, joyful truths full of hope and light.

Even Bishops of the later Nicene Creed agree with those “heresies.” It’s a sizeable irony that they unwittingly mock the sacred knowledge of the Fathers whom they claim to champion and whom they invoke to justify their disdain for others.

Message to Mocking Christians

I hope you will review whatever led you to this point. It’s essential to review and understand the sacred principles known by the Apostolic Fathers of the 2nd century. They are your roots. I hope what I share can find its way to your heart and open up avenues of understanding. I’ll post a few quotes here from prominent Fathers of Ancient Christianity. You’ll quickly get the idea:

“The teaching about the Deification of a Christian can be found as early as in the works of Irenaeus (c. 130–202 AD and very prominent), who was bishop of the church of Lyons in France. Irenaeus states that “[T]he Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ … did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.” Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215 AD) wrote: “[T]he Word of God became man, that thou mayest learn from man how man may become God.” Also, Clement: “[H]is is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, “Men are gods, and gods are men.” Justin Martyr (c. 100–165 AD) “…it is demonstrated that all men are deemed worthy of becoming “gods,” and of having the power to become sons of the Highest.”

Lorenzo Snow Is the Same

You take issue with Lorenzo Snow’s statement: “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.” But it’s pure truth. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria (c. 296–373 AD), “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” Basil of Caesarea, a bishop who supported the Nicene Creed: “Becoming a god is the highest goal of all.” There are quite a few more from various locations and dates. It might have been a mistake to send me through the Roman, Apostolic, and Nicene creeds and 1st & 2nd century Christianity. Oh my goodness, I had no idea how much insightful perspective I would gain on timeless truths once practiced BY THE WHOLE OF CHRISTIANITY UNTIL 1054 AD. I hope my Latter-day Saint friends are reading this! Lorenzo Snow was in a LOT of good company.

St. Symeon, the New Theologian at the end of the tenth century, writes, ‘He who is God by nature converses with those whom he has made gods by grace, as a friend converses with his friends, face to face.’ They knew. The idea of man ascending to godhood only falls to the wayside after the great split of 1054 A.D. Then the teaching evolves to a shadow of its former self within the Roman Catholic Church, which your sect then splits off of (and probably several more splits).

Orthodox Church

Little did I realize a large slice of Christianity still adheres to these same ancient truths. The Orthodox Church split off in 1054 (partly because of a change to the Trinity doctrine in the late 7th century – ahem, ahem, cough, cough.) Today, they have 220 million baptized members. And they believe the following: “Deification is…the goal of every Christian. It is possible for man to become like God, to become deified, to become god by grace. This doctrine is based on many passages of both OT and NT (e.g., Ps. 82 (81).6; II Peter 1.4), and it is essentially the teaching both of St. Paul, though he tends to use the language of filial adoption (cf. Rom. 8.9–17; Gal. 4.5–7), and the Fourth Gospel (cf. 17.21–23).” So, you condemn the first ten centuries of your original Christian roots. Further, you mock the 220 million members of the Orthodox Church, and I’m sure there are others.

Bible References

Reading the Bible, we find several references to this powerful and divine truth. The idea of eternal progression comes partly from the apostle Paul, “17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

And also in part from the Apostle John in Revelation 3:20-21: 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Takeaway

Christ is the Word, who was made man. And his benevolence and grace intend to lift us to so much more than we are. My whole soul is filled with love and fire for our Lord. We worship the ground He walks on. I witness these truths established from the time Jesus walked the earth. They were lost to many by the 11th century but not to us. The Restored Church has to embrace these indispensable truths, or it is not Christ’s church. I follow Jesus Christ in word and deed.

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2 Comments

  1. William P Dick

    Thanks for the information, not sure if Jesuits would agree with you. However, you are right and we in the Roman Empire were deprived of the doctrine for thousands of years as RC popes broke off from original thoughts because of papal doctrines.

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Thank you for your input! Historical information is so good for us.

      Reply

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