Mormons Are (Different) Christians, Not Cultists

The idea that Mormonism is a cult is beyond absurd, unless by cult one simply means a religion that one does not like.

In recent days, observant reporters noticed that after Billy Graham’s recent meeting with Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed “Mormons” from a list of non-Christian cults. The included groups on the list ranged from Jehovah’s Witnesses to Unitarians  (it was news to me that the liberal descendants of New England’s Puritans have formed a cult of their own).

I have a hard time believing that Graham himself is intimately involved in current decision-making, but Franklin Graham and the BGEA are throwing all of their weight behind Romney. (I’m also not convinced that they have all that much sway over evangelical voters, say, in Ohio). A Franklin Graham article accessed from the BGEA’s homepage informs readers that: 1) They can in good conscience vote for a Mormon; and 2) President Obama intends to create “a new nation without God or perhaps under many gods.”

Hogwash, of course (the second point, not the first). But I’m not incensed today because Franklin Graham wants his followers to vote Republican. I’m angry at Frank Schaeffer’s anti-Mormon screed over at Patheos’s Progressive Christian Channel:

Because Franklin is trying to help Mormon Mitt win (at any cost) he’s got to lie about Mormonism because he knows that many evangelicals — rightly — think Mormonism is anything but Christian. And he’s taken his father’s good name with him.

…Why are the Grahams lying about the most basic theological and church history facts? Is political victory really more important than clarity on what the gospel is or isn’t? I mean aren’t the Grahams supposed to be Christian evangelists?

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of everything Franklin Graham does. But what’s the lie? Graham hasn’t said that he considers Mormons to be Christians. As of last February, in the midst of another pro-Romney statement, he said “Most Christians would not recognize Mormonism … but he would be a good president if he won the nomination.”

So Franklin Graham has betrayed Christianity by making it clear that he no longer considers Mormons members of a cult? Wow. And Schaeffer disagrees. Are Unitarians cults, too, according to Schaeffer? Are all religious movements that don’t accept certain doctrines he considers central to Christianity?

The idea that Latter-day Saints are a cult is such a blatantly un-Christlike canard. Why? Because they have rituals they keep secret? So do many Native American religions, and that doesn’t make them cults. For me, a cult is a religious group organized around a charismatic figure, who demands strict obedience from his followers and often cuts them off from the outside world. Heck, many evangelical churches function more like cults (organized around the charismatic leadership of celebrity pastors) than does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More basically, to call a church a “cult” labels them a danger to society, akin to Jim Jones and David Koresh. So for evangelicals to call Mormons a cult is simply a mean-spirited declaration. There’s no imitation of Christ in such behavior.

It’s not easy to classify Mormonism. Jan Shipps has persuasively argued that Mormonism is a “new religious tradition,” separating itself from its surrounding Protestant culture akin to the way Christianity had once diverged from Judaism. Richard Land, in the last presidential election cycle, talked of Mormonism as a fourth Abrahamic religion, taking its place alongside Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

In my view, the LDS church has moved in a decidedly Christocentric direction in recent decades. Thus, for the most part, I view Mormonism as a fourth branch of Christianity, not yet accepted as within the bounds of orthodoxy by most Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox Christians. Still, while they have distinctive beliefs with which I disagree theologically, the Mormons I know consider Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior and believe that his atoning sacrifice enables them to obtain salvation. Perhaps these Mormons have been pulling the wool over my eyes for years. Maybe they eat some special Jell-O once they get inside of their temples and come out determined to hide the true nature of the LDS Church. But I don’t think so.

  • Jsmith

    “The idea that Mormonism is a cult is beyond absurd, unless by cult one simply means a religion that one does not like.”

    Of course you’re right, and I think you hit the nail on the head with the reason. In addition, cults are, by definition, fringe-groups — who in their right mind can call America’s fourth largest denomination a fringe-group?

  • scotmcknight

    John, that opening sentence is a rant and not helpful. Intelligent theologians across the spectrum have called Mormonism a cult, so it is not absurd.

    First, I’d ask you to offer a more reflective definition of cult (the one later on isn’t careful enough). Second, is Mormonism unorthodox? or heretical (in the classical sense)? Third, have the major bodies of the Church acknowledged Mormons as Christians? (Pope, the Orthodox, major Protestant bodies?)

    • johnturner

      Fair questions, all.

      First of all, though, I do think the cult charge in particular is absurd.

      There are several defintions of “cult.” The root of the word (Latin “cultus”) suggests any sort of religious worship. In that sense, Mormons (and pretty much all of us) are cultists.

      Next, I believe some sociologists have attempted to differentiate “sect” and “cult,” with the latter being an unusually small group. That Mormons defniitely are not.

      Would you like to offer up another definition? A “new religious movement” with deviant beliefs wouldn’t suffice for me. I think I’m correct that many evangelicals have applied the label “cult” to Christians in this sense, but, again, I think it’s absurd to label a bunch of non-orthodox groups cults simply out of theological disagreement. And the fact that intelligent theologians have called Mormonism a cult doesn’t make that particular move any more intelligible to me. I think it’s a really weak argument.

      Yes, Mormonism is unorthodox (or, heretical, in the classical sense). From 1830 onward, Mormons and Protestants immediately regarded each other as apostates from true Christianity.

      No, to the best of my knowledge, major bodies of Christianity haven’t acknowledged Mormons as Christians.

      There really are two separate questions: the cult question and the Christian question. My argument is that wherever one falls on the question of Mormon Christianness, the cult argument should be dismissed.

      • Josh

        You make a good point that the term “cult” has several definitions. I am a Mormon, and I agree that under some definitions, Mormonism, along with the rest of the religious world, could qualify as a cult.

        However, what the term meant during different points in history, or within particular religious groups, is irrelevant to its connotation on the current public/political stage. In the minds of most citizens, religious or otherwise, the word “cult” evokes thoughts of Charles Manson and poisoned cool-aide. It implies a danger to society. Nonchalantly throwing this word around in today’s world is irresponsible, prejudice, and tantamount to hate speech.

    • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

      Scot,

      “Intelligent theologians across the spectrum” have said and done a lot of “absurd” things.

    • Michael

      My problem with the term “cult” is two-fold: 1) It carries a undeniably negative connotative definition and 2) There is no definitive denotative definition. I have found dozens of different definitions for “cult” from different dictionaries and articles. Most of the definitions are so vague that under most of them the original Christian church would have been defined as a cult as well. Using your own arguments, was Christ and His message considered unorthodox and heretical by the majority of “Intelligent theologians across the spectrum” of His day? Of course it was. Did the major religious bodies accept His message? Not at all; at least not for a long time after his death.

      The term “cult” is so pejorative and vague that it’s usage should be discontinued. As John said, what people really mean when they use the word “cult” is “Church/religion that I don’t like.” I would add that not only do they not like that religion, but that they are for the most part ignorant of it and continually attempt to misrepresent that religions views.

  • Mykl Carlton

    2 Corinthians 11:4 (NIV) “For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”
    John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
    There is plenty of material available on what true LDS doctrine and teaching about Christ is. They are not followers of the Christ of the New Testament, They have been deceived and follow a counterfeit Christ. The LDS also interpret words differently from the rest of Christianity, so while they can tell you all sorts of things that tickle your ears, they are not of Christ.

    • SFisher

      You are wrong, we follow Christ’s teaching more closely than any other “christian” church. We have a prophet and apostles. Which was the first thing Christ did when he set up his church with himself at the head. (Peter took over when Christ was crucified). We are true followers of the Savior as our many other churches. Someday when he returns the truth will be known.

      • Jennifer

        SFisher,

        Just because you SAY you have a prophet and apostles does not make it so.

        Can you point to any prophecies by your prophets that were borne out by events?

        • JohnH

          Yes, The D&C holds a prophecy on war that prophecies of the civil war and of the world wars. There are also lots of prophecies as to the gathering of the Jews to the land of Israel and the restoration of Jerusalem and the Jewish state. Also, the Word of Wisdom has been largely verified by events. More recently were prophecies as to economic collapse due to housing by the previous prophet and prophecies as to the overthrow of dictators by the current prophet.

        • http://www.conservativemormonmom.blogspot.com E B

          Sure, we were warned against borrowing money and about a time of economic upheaval by former president and prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. That sure happened.

          I think what many people do not understand about the LDS Church is that the fundamental belief and practice of its members is to follow Jesus Christ. All else is peripheral. Christ is the core, the center of our faith. Another thing a lot of people don’t understand is that we believe a lot of the same things you believe, we just also believe in additional truths. We invite all to come and learn for themselves whether we can add to the truths you already know. We divine truths the same way you do: through study and prayer. Through faith and revelation through the Holy Ghost.

    • LMA

      The “different Jesus” thing is a canard. There is only the one Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, who was sent by His Father that men, though Him, might be saved. This is EXACTLY the Jesus in whom Mormons believe and who they preach. Consider 1 John 4:2 while you’re at it.

      You quote from John 1:1: Mormons believe the truth of that entirely. You don’t quote John 1:2. Mormons believe the truth of that entirely. In fact, Mormons believe the truth of every word written in either the Old or New Testaments about Jesus.

      If you have believed otherwise, it may be because there are folks out there with a motive to lie about our beliefs. Sometimes the motive is ecclesiastically defensive; other times, it is economic. Telling lies sells books, apparently. Earns honorariums, that kind of thing. There is a commandment about bearing false witness. It’s in the Bible, actually.

  • http://www.religionnewsblog.com/ Anton

    It depends on your definition of a cult. Generally the term is defined either sociologically or theologically. One has to do with behavior, the other with theology.

    Theologically there is not doubt that Mormonism is a cult of Christianity. It denounces or otherwise violates several of the key doctrines of the Christian faith.

    In the past the LDS Church nevertheless portrayed itself as the only correct expression of Christianity. Nowadays it simply wants to be recognized as one expression of the Christian Church, but neither position is possible since it owns doctrines (and practices based on those doctrines) place it outside the boundaries of the Christian faith.

    For more on the term cult, see http://cultdefinition.com/

    • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

      Sociologically, it seems that a lot of ex-Mormons view Mormonism as cultish. But, the same could be said for many groups within Christianity – especially, dare I say it, evangelicalism. I don’t much care for the theological use of the word cult. From my perspective, Christianity isn’t primarily about a set of “beliefs.”

      • http://www.religionnewsblog.com/ Anton

        Historically, Christianity has always been about a set of beliefs. If it weren’t, Christians would have to reject those portions of the Bible that make a distinction between orthodoxy and heresy.

        Scripture talks about false teachers and false prophets who secretly introduce destructive heresies (see 2 Peter 2:1ff).

        If Christianity is simply a wax nose, to be shaped into anything you wish, those warnings don’t make any sense.

        See this Guide to Orthodoxy and Heresy, on how the Church has dealt with these issues:
        http://www.apologeticsindex.org/d01.html

        • DougH

          “Historically,” Christian beliefs have included adoptionists, the Marionites, various flavors of Gnostics, Arians, Pelagians, and I’m sure others that I can’t think of off the top of my head that didn’t agree with the Nicene Creed, or even the Apostle’s Creed.

          • LMA

            I also think that tales of Mormon disagreement with those creeds is overdone. There is little, if any, in them with which we necessarily disagree. Most of the perceived disagreement has to do with the Trinity, but that doctrine is mostly misunderstood by those who claim to profess it. Mormons are more likely to refer to the Godhead, which is a term that has the advantage of actually being used in the Bible. Imagine that.

    • Dale Wight

      “In the past the LDS Church nevertheless portrayed itself as the only correct expression of Christianity. Nowadays it simply wants to be recognized as one expression of the Christian Church”

      This is an error. We continue to maintain that this is Christ’s restored original Church, whose restoration was needed because the true Christian Church was lost.

  • Alan Noble

    Since the BGEA page in question defined the term “cult” to refer to non-orthodox Christian religions, I think the term was appropriate, and even if we chose to not use the term, we should clearly label it as heretical. Here’s my take: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christandpopculture/2012/10/citizenship-confusion-billy-graham-and-speaking-of-a-mormon-president/

  • Craig

    For folks like Billy and Franklin Graham, this is the key question about the Mormon church: does it preach a false or deceptive gospel? If so, then–for them–calling Mormonism a cult definitely isn’t going too far.

    What then does this timely website alteration signify?

  • scotmcknight

    John,
    Thanks for your response. When you say this…

    Yes, Mormonism is unorthodox (or, heretical, in the classical sense).

    … you are locating Mormonism in a classical understanding of a cult or a sect (size isn’t always the issue because many called Mormonism a cult when it was a large, large group already).

    Why do I say this? You are locating Mormonism outside historic, theological, Christian orthodoxy.

    Having said this, to be sure, I’ve met Mormons that seem to me to believe in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Savior and they follow him and his teachings in observable ways. But if they adhere to the theological distinctives of the LDS then they are locating themselves outside theological orthodoxy.

    • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

      This is very similar to the argument Tony Jones has been making recently.

      Do you equate Christianity with Christian orthodoxy?

      I proposed this to Tony, and to Roger Olsen, and neither have come up with a reasonable response:

      This equation puts Martin Luther King, Jr. outside of Christianity.

      • LMA

        Rob, that’s a good observation. To put it another way, these folks think that “unorthodox Christian” must be a meaningless term.

        The next issue is how one defines “orthodox.” There is no pre-existing, objective definition for that term. What happens is, people with a motive do define Mormons out of orthodoxy will invent definitions of orthodoxy, tailor made for that purpose. But of course, that’s cheating.

        Besides, I’m not sure what’s so all-fired great about orthodoxy anyway. The Apostles weren’t orthodox Jews. Martin Luther wasn’t orthodox. William Tyndale wasn’t orthodox. You can add a bunch of names to that list. The principal objection of the scribes and Pharisees to our Savior was, you guessed it, rooted in His unorthodoxy.

        If you want a useful definition of orthodoxy, I’d try the one offered in 1 John 4:2.

    • johnturner

      Certainly some Christian leaders use the term in that theological sense, but that’s not how most people understand the term. Moreover, because the term connotes something so negative, dangerous, and sinister, I think it’s fundamentally un-Christian and meanspirited to apply it to religious groups that are not. [I'm not suggesting that you are meanspirited to raise the question; however, I think it is meanspirited for evangelicals to persist with such language when it's both misleading and offensive].

      • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

        I think the more Christian (or prophetic) thing to do would be for evangelicals to begin to acknowledge and expose the cult-like behavior exhibited by many of its churches. The lack of effort here makes outsiders view evangelicalism as a whole through – in the least – a cult-like lens.

      • http://www.religionnewsblog.com/ Anton

        The use of the term ‘cult’ in relationship to Mormonism is not meanspirited whatsoever, but given the term’s ambiguity one should always make clear what he or she means when using the term.

        But if you want to see meanspirited — and worse — here’s what Mormons, including Joseph Smith, have said about Christians and Christianity: http://bit.ly/R22hni

        • LMA

          There is no question but what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards itself as different and apart from more traditional churches. Sometimes in the early days, that difference was expressed in more colorful language than we would use today. None of this has anything to do with whether the “cult” label is appropriate or Christ-like. John 13:35.

          It’s silly, really, to say that using the “cult” label isn’t intended to be meanspirited. Of course it is. It is always used to disparage if not condemn. It is a way to disregard similarities and areas of agreement, and to suggest that the claimed cultists possess unhealthy states of mind.

          Recently, I attended the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As usual on such trips, I walked from the parking lot (where I had parked my rented car, having flown to Salt Lake City from another state after booking a hotel room for purposes of the visit), Bible in hand (well, on the iPad, actually), wearing business attire, with members of my intact and very well-educated family at my side. As always, there were “Christians” holding offensive signs and shouting slogans and other nonsense at us (as everyone) while passing by. The “Christians” were unkempt and disheveled in their appearance. I don’t mean to be unkind when I say that, but I’m just commenting on the contrast. It is an odd behavior, as I see it, to stand on the street with a sign, spending hours and hours in cold weather for the opportunity to shout rudely and offensively at citizens as they pass by.

          But, now, which one of us are we saying is in a cult?

        • http://www.jrganymede.com Adam G.

          Cherry picked, distorted, and sometimes blatantly false. But, its true that Mormons have not always been exemplars of Christian charity as we should have been. Peter lopping off the ear has sometimes been the model we’ve aped instead of Christ on the cross. Even the best of us have been sinners.

          I’m not sure, however, that a Christian can responsibly claim that our failure to live up to the standard Christ announced for mankind excuses other Christians in their own failures.

    • http://www.jrganymede.com Adam G.

      There is no ‘classical’ understanding of a cult. The term didn’t even get used outside scholarly circles until within a few decades.

  • Lucy Mcgee

    If one reads the early history of the Latter-day Saints, it seems clear that they exhibited cult-like behavior as most followed each new revelation by Joseph Smith almost without question. Detractors of Smith’s visions were outed as were those who attempted to proclaim themselves as having similar revelatory abilities. Smith dictated much of the activity of daily life as his power and control grew. He made himself a lieutenant-general in Nauvoo as he built his Nauvoo Legion and considered himself a King and god in this life or the next. If one reads the King Follett sermon, spoken to 20,000 faithful, some might come away with the distinct feeling that the faithful were in fact hearing the words of a cult leader who made claims which are no where found in the New Testament.

    Joseph Smith’s doctrines are all still intact. No new “revelations” have been made except regarding blacks in the priesthood. The rituals required to obtain the “keys” to the Celestial Kingdom (a Swedenborgian creation) still exist and must be accomplished to gain entrance into the realm only available to true believing Mormons.

    Some people who spend time discovering the history, or look carefully at its doctrines, might come away with the feeling that Mormons are not practicing Christians but rather adhere to the foundational elements created within the mind of the “prophet” Joseph Smith, a cult leader.

    • http://www.conservativemormonmom.blogspot.com E B

      Actually, the LDS Church encourages members to pray about revelations given by Church leaders and find out for themselves through the Holy Ghost. These early Saints didn’t follow Joseph Smith blindly either, they followed personal revelation.

    • Dale Wight

      “Some people who spend time discovering the history, or look carefully at its doctrines, might come away with the feeling that Mormons are not practicing Christians”

      You would have to look very, very carefully to avoid the abundant Christian evidence in LDS doctrine.

    • Dale Wight

      “Mormonism is obsessed with Christ, and everything that it teaches is meant to awaken, encourage, and expand faith in him. ”
      – Stephen H Webb (not a Mormon), professor of religion and philosophy at Wabash College

      I recommend his article from 2/2012: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/01/mormonism-obsessed-with-christ

  • http://www.religionnewsblog.com/ Anton

    @Rob: Many evangelicals do address cult-like behavior in churches. See for instance:
    http://www.apologeticsindex.org/716-churches-that-abuse-online-book

    • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

      I definitely don’t want to imply that all churches refuse to fight against this. But, there are a lot who do nothing.

  • scotmcknight

    John, I’m not so certain of how a theological evaluation — cult, heresy, sect — is “unChristian” or “mean spirited.” I see the latter term to be about intention (to be discerned in each case); the former is almost meaningless if it means “unloving” but I don’t know what it means for you here.

    • johnturner

      Perhaps it’s splitting hairs, but I think there’s a big difference between saying:
      1) I think Mormonism are a cult.
      2) I think Mormonism falls outside orthodox Christianity as I understand it.
      The former, given the connotations of the word, implies that one thinks Mormons are deluded and involved in a sinister, dangerous religious movement. That is what I find meanspirited. It’s an entirely different matter to make the second judgement, which one could make politely.

  • Alex Burgess

    I agree with John. There’s no question that the word cult has a broad range of meanings, some of them even quite technical. But cult is a pejorative for most people, so we should hesitate to use it. The word does harm, intended or not, to those whom it’s directed. Now I don’t mind, in defense of the innocent, to do some harm to those who truly abuse, brainwash and tyrannize, but I want to avoid any slander against well-meaning people who happen to have beliefs different than my own.

    On a side note, it’s interesting to hear Frank Schaeffer suddenly have such an interest in guarding orthodox Christianity. As most of you probably know, he became Eastern Orthodox many years ago, but in the last decade or so he’s angrily been deriding Christians of all sorts, including his own EO. He’s obviously not above adopting a hypothetical stance in order to get his digs in. And he’s the one who’s accusing others of putting politics over religion?

    • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

      Yeah, I was confused hearing Schaeffer say something like this…

  • Joe Carter

    Calling Mormonism a cult may not be helpful from a linguistic or sociological perspective, but it is certainly not “beyond absurd.” It was considered a cult for decades before it was considered politically incorrect to use that term. While Mormonism is not organized around a *single* charismatic figure, it is organized around 12 prophets who are able to change doctrine (such a dropping their white supremacists views) because they have received a new “vision.” No matter how big Mormonism gets, that sort of thing should be considered cult-like behavior.

    But while Mormonism a cult is merely impolitic, what most certainly is “beyond absurd” is your claim that “Mormons Are (Different) Christians.” They are nothing of the sort.

    Christianity is monotheistic while Mormonism is a form of henotheism. That single point of difference is great enough divergence that Mormonism cannot be considered a “fourth branch of Christianity.”

    I understand that desire to be charitable to Mormons. But we are doing them more harm than good by pretending that they are some sort of misguided Christians.

    • Darren

      “While Mormonism is not organized around a *single* charismatic figure, it is organized around 12 prophets who are able to change doctrine (such a dropping their white supremacists views) because they have received a new “vision.””

      I gotta call you on that one. The prohibition of the priesthood against the blacks was not a “white supremist” view, at least not per se. I do think culturally Mormons may have developed supremist views from the priesthood ban but in and of itself the ban was not white supremecy, nor ware any of the LDS teachings or doctrines. In fact the Book of Mormon calls all to be free: “white or black”. The LDS leaders was advidly against slavery (the southern converts, not so much). The Mormons taught that blacks had a soul and stands to receive salvation as much as anyone else (that did not make the LDS popular in Missouri).

      I’d invite you to look into blcklds.org. There they outline the priesthood ban historically paralleled to the civil rights of blacks in the US and they also include first-hand accounts of 1978 the revelation which lifted the ban which near all Mormons (including my parents) outwardly expressed gratefulness to God.

      http://www.blacklds.org/
      http://www.blacklds.org/history
      http://www.blacklds.org/declare2#thoughts

    • Darren

      “No matter how big Mormonism gets, that sort of thing should be considered cult-like behavior. ”

      Sop, if you lived in Moses’ time would you say, “hey, that Moses guy says he saw God and that God provides him with revelation. That means he can change the doctrines at any time. (And he killed an Egyptian guard doing his job). He’s a cult leader and therefore those that follow him are cultists”?

      I’ll await your reply. ;>)

      “Christianity is monotheistic while Mormonism is a form of henotheism. That single point of difference is great enough divergence that Mormonism cannot be considered a “fourth branch of Christianity.””

      Finally, someone who did not use the word “polytheism” to describe Mormonism. I sincerely than you for that. Yes, henotheism is a much better way to catalogue LDS worship. In this regard please allow me to specifiy a couple of things. First, the LDS absolutely worhip “one God”. Here are two Book of mormon passages: “And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.” (2 Nephi 31:21); “and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.” (Alma 11:44).

      Where LDS worship differs is in the meaning of the word “one”. The LDS reject the declaration that “one” means numerically one (“monos” in the Greek). In fact, according to my studies, the Bible NEVER uses “monos” to describe the oness of the Godhead. Nor does it use the Hebrew equivalent “yachid”. However, it does describe what I think is true monotheistic worship. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). This is in the great intercessiary prayer Jesus rendered. In it He said that the Father is the *only* (“monon”) true God and to believe in Him and and His Son. In LDS theology, the Father stands supreme as God Most High. He is greater than all and in Jesus’ own words, greater than Christ. Yet Christ is the one being who has been perfectly united with the Father and is the *only* way to the Father. Thus Jesus Christ is exalted by the Father above all. in the end, all glory is rendered to the Father for all is for His eternakl glory. I think that is true monotheistic worship.

    • LMA

      You should have said 12 apostles. The advantage of having a Church governed by prophets and apostles (Eph. 4:11-14) is that it promotes unity. And you’re right, it promotes change when directed by God. Compare, for example, the Southern Baptist church that IN JULY OF THIS YEAR told an African-American couple that “they would have to find another venue because congregants were uncomfortable with a black wedding ceremony.” (ABC News.) “Pastor Stan Weatherford said congregants felt so strongly that the Wilsons’ wedding should not be the first that he feared he would lose his job if he went forward with the ceremony as planned. ”

      But, anyway, it you think that a Church organization that complies with the teachings of the early Church, as found in the 4th Chapter of Ephesians, must be a “cult,” well, I will leave you with your very charitable opinion.

  • Joel

    Good article. You said:
    “a cult is a religious group organized around a charismatic figure, who demands strict obedience from his followers and often cuts them off from the outside world.”
    Anti-Mormons would say the charismatic figure was Joseph Smith; Mormons say it is Christ Himself.
    No church leader has ever demanded strict obedience from me; I alone demand strict obedience from myself; and I choose to obey Jesus.
    When you consider the extensive missionary program and the fact that you find church members in all walks of life and professions and cultures we are definately not cut off from the world.
    “…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps THE religion;
    if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect;
    but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer

  • VinceVetsch

    To begin with, I am not judging anyone in the Mormon Church. Judgement belongs to Jesus Christ. From what I have seen, Mormons live a pure life and are good people. But, as admitted by members of the Mormon Church, the churches beginnings are a blend of Christianity and Masonic Temple Rites (Is based in occult and a secret society) Joseph Smith was a Mason in Navuu Indiana, read the history. In this alone, I would consider the Mormon Church and any other Church involved with the Masons a cult.

    • Darren

      Were the Founding Fathers of the United States cultists?

    • Darren

      “But, as admitted by members of the Mormon Church, the churches beginnings are a blend of Christianity and Masonic Temple Rites (Is based in occult and a secret society) Joseph Smith was a Mason in Navuu Indiana, read the history. ”

      You sure you don’t mean “Nauvoo, Illinois”?

      The LDS Church does NOT “admit” that it is a blend of Masonic temple ritualists and Christianity. Yes, Joseph Smith was a Mason and he felt inspired to join the Masonry to learn of unique truths which they had. The LDS Church does not pattern itself from the Masons. Even where people have criticized the LDS Church as being similar to the Masons, the fact ofthe matter is that the LDS Church is distictly unique from the Masons.

      http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_Freemasonry

  • Phil Rutledge

    “Cult” is a word without real definition and is all but meaningless in discourse. Mormons are heretics. Good people generally, yes, but not under the umbrella of Christianity.

    • http://www.religionnewsblog.com/ Anton

      The word “cult” has a number of definitions — something any dictionary will confirm. It merely has different meanings in different contexts.

      It’s easy to tell the difference between a cult wine and a cult leader. But when a group or movement is referred to as a ‘cult’ one has to qualify the term by explaining whether it is used in its sociological or theological sense. And some groups can be identified as both.

      For instance, the Ahmadiyya movement is — theologically — a cult of Islam, in that it rejects and/or changes major, essential teachings of the Islamic faith. But sociologically it has no cult-like characteristics.

      Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple was, theologically, a cult of Christianity in that it conflicted with the essential teachings of the Christian faith. Sociologically it had many cult characteristics as well.

      The Mormon Church is, theologically, a cult of Christianity in that its teachings reject and/or change the essential doctrines of the Christian faith (those doctrines that make Christianity Christian and not something else).

      Sociologically, many see in the Mormon Church some cult-like characteristics as well — but not to such and extend that most sociologists would identify it as a cult sociologically.

      • Phil Rutledge

        Thank you for the lesson in semantics. I am aware, of course, that the word “cult” has a number of meanings. As I said, though, in general usage it has become a nearly meaningless word, indicating not much more than “other” or “weird.” It’s too easily dismissed and buried under the “niceness” of our relativism. It has also become a not-useful word in general dialog as evidenced by this blog post (from someone who must certainly know better) stating so emphatically that it is ridiculous to call Mormonism a cult.

        The word heresy is the appropriate word. It calls the spade the spade that it is without confusion. The discomfort the word brings also highlights the weakness of Evangelicalism in declaring and defending the Gospel. If the only stand Evangelicals can make as a group is that salvation is the acceptance of Christ and having a personal relationship with him then they really have no grounds for declaring anyone heretical, let alone a cult.

        • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

          Unless you live in a bubble – which, from my experience, many if not most evangelicals do – the word heresy brings to mind the entire history of what has been done to “heretics” by various Christians, and the word cult brings to mind Jim Jones’ craziness and similar stories. Unless someone is prepared to defend their own definitions of these words against their histories, then I think the words should be almost entirely discarded.

          Except, of course, the reality that many churches actually do exhibit cult-like characteristics (according to the secular rather than theological definition of the word).

      • Dale Wight

        “a cult of Christianity in that its teachings reject and/or change the essential doctrines of the Christian faith (those doctrines that make Christianity Christian and not something else)”

        Christ restored his original church as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints specifically to correct rejections and changes of essential doctrines of the Christian faith.
        E.g., “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the [New Testament].”
        – Harper’s Bible Dictionary, Paul F. Achtemeier, ed. (1985), 1099

  • Jim

    Mormons and Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God, but only Christians believe He is God the Son.

    • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

      I’m a Christian, but I don’t “believe” that Jesus is “God the Son.”

      • http://www.ontherhoads.org Brad Rhoads

        Then you have a misunderstanding of what it means to be a Christian.

        • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

          Nope.

    • Darren

      Mormons believe Jesus is God the Son.

      • Jim

        Jesus is the literal spirit-brother of Lucifer, a creation (Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15).

        “The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood – was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

        OR

        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

        The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

        The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Col 1: 15-17

        God the Son is not a created Being. If He were, He would not be God.

        • Darren

          Jim;

          Here’s this:

          “He produced a Spirit like to Himself, who might be endowed with the perfections of God the Father. But how He willed that, I will endeavour to show in the fourth book.203 Then He made another being, in whom the disposition of the divine origin did not remain. Therefore he was infected with his own envy as with poison, and passed from good to evil; and at his own will, which had been given to him by God unfettered,204 he acquired for himself a contrary name. From which it appears that the source of all evils is envy. For he envied his predecessor,205 who through his stedfastness206 is acceptable and dear to God the Father. This being, who from good became 53evil by his own act, is called by the Greeks diabolus:207 we call him accuser, because he reports to God the faults to which he himself entices us. God, therefore, when He began the fabric of the world, set over the whole work that first and greatest Son, and used Him at the same time as a counsellor and artificer, in planning, arranging, and accomplishing, since He is complete both in knowledge,208 and judgment, and power; concerning whom I now speak more sparingly, because in another place209 both His excellence, and His name, and His nature must be related by us. Let no one inquire of what materials God made these works so great and wonderful: for He made all things out of nothing. ”

          Lactanius

          http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.iii.ii.ii.ix.html

          Here we have the words an early Christian father (quite orthodox) declaring how God the Father “produced” a spirit like unto Himself. That He also created another spirit who by his own choices fell and became evil. Here’s LDS doctrine on this point of “time”. Of the spirits (“intelligences”) created by the Father, the Lord God says to Abraham, “And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.” Of all the spirits, the Father is the greatest. Of the Son we read, “And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;”. This spirit “like unto God” was Jesus Christ and it was this spirit by which the creation will come about. (Abraham 3). Here we read that Jesus Christ is very much “God” and the “Creator”. Yet He was created (“produced”) by God the Father so the Son may very well be created and be the Creator. Here it is important to knw that the LDS reject ex nihilo r creation “out of nothing”. In LDS theology, Jesus Christ is very much an eternal being despite being believed to have being created.

          As fr Satan, I think it’s a given that LDS and Christians as a whole believe that he was created by God. That he is a fallen angel and the author of evil. Critics f the LDS like to cite that he and Jesus Christ are spirit brothers (something very rarely spoken about by LDS leaders) in order to diminish the status of Jesus Christ and/or elevate Satan in LDS theology. As yu can see, neither is hardly the case. This is abundantly true when one reads the Book of Mormon which places Jesus Christ as the one true Gd to worship and to follow and Satan as a being whose company is purely evil and misreable.

          As for Jesus being conceived and born naturally, it is important to remember that it has always been important to LDS leaders to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of the Father, not the Holy Spirit. The trinitarian formula culd (it shuldn’t but could and frankly has) cnflated the sonship of Christ our LORD. He is the Son of the *Father* and by whatever mechanics involved (nobody knows), a part of the Father was used t create the Son. And in the Bok of Mormon this is ne reasn why Jesus Christ may be called the “Father” titularly: “2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son— 3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son— 4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.” (Mosiah 15).

          http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/abr/3?lang=eng
          http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/15.2?lang=eng#1

          • LMA

            Well, and besides all of that – very good work, Darren – there is the problem that Jim has never read the sources he cites (inaccurately) but just pulls that stuff off of websites. He doesn’t know anything, but wants to pretend he does.

            I’ve been a Mormon for 15 years and have never seen a publication called “Gospel Through the Ages.” Here is what the Church actually teaches:

            The Apostle Paul wrote that God is the Father of all. This means that all intelligent beings were created by God and are His spirit children. Christ alone, however, is the only begotten Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of mankind.

            Jesus Christ represents all that is good, true, virtuous, merciful, just and godly.

            Lucifer is the adversary of everything that Christ stands for. He embodies all that is evil, false, immoral, and devoid of any trace of goodness or divine light. He is the enemy of God and of every human being who seeks to follow Christ.

            The quotation from Journal of Discourses (which, by the way, the Church does NOT regard as canonical) is accurate, but I take it that the problem is that it says that Christ was born naturally to His mother (Mary) as the “begotten” son of the Father. This is not supposed to be controversial within Christianity. John 3:16; see also, John 1:14. Some have tried to suggest that Mormons’ view of Jesus’ conception is somehow unseemly, but Mormon apostles have often affirmed Biblical teaching that Christ was born to a virgin.

          • Jim

            Lactantius was a heretic who taught the earth was flat. That he wrote beautifully does not negate that he was a poor theologian; He lacked an understanding of Christian principles and was ignorant of Scripture. Jerome said he was “..more adept at showing the incongruity of heathen polytheism than in establishing Christian teaching” and wrote: “If only Lactantius, almost a river of Ciceronian eloquence, had been able to uphold our cause with the same facility with which he overturns that of our adversaries!” He is hardly orthodox.

          • Darren

            Jim;

            While it appears that Lactantius may nt have understd scripture “as he shuld have”, he was a staunch defender of Christianity and made a signinifcant impact in that defense.

            http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08736a.htm

            Still, you bring up a good point. I should look into him more.

            Thanks.

          • Darren

            LMA;

            Nicely stated, sir.

  • Darren

    John Turner;

    “Perhaps these Mormons have been pulling the wool over my eyes for years. Maybe they eat some special Jell-O once they get inside of their temples and come out determined to hide the true nature of the LDS Church. But I don’t think so.”

    LOL. That’s funny. But despite how adamant Mormons are to eat Jell-O, they make no deception about Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is arguably the most Christ-centered book there is if judged by explicit rendition to His name and essentiality for salvation. Without Jesus Christ, salvation is impossible. That depite all we do we would still be “unprofitable servants” before God as King Benjamin taught in the Book of Mosiah.

    To Mormons, Jesus Christ is Son of God, the rock of salvation, the holy One of Israel, “the God of Israel and the God of the whole earth”, was “slain for the sins of the world”, the Lord God Omnipotent, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the God of the New Testament, was born of Mary, and is the Great Mediator between man and God.

    I hope that was clear enough.

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  • Brian T

    Unfortunately, this argument is really one of semantics. Who gets to define Christianity? What “traditional Christianity” means is the definition that came out of the post- biblical Nicene Creed of 325 AD, which Mormons specifically reject, I believe Paul would have also rejected this theological congress where doctrine is adopted by popular vote rather than revelation. This is the Christianity practiced by most who profess Christianity today.

    So, as a Mormon, I agree we don’t follow “traditional Christianity,” as a faith of the Restorationist movement, I think we would prefer “authentic Christianity,” a restoration of the church organization first created by Christ himself when as in Ephesians 4 he called prophets, apostles and etc.

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  • Rick Middleton

    Someone above made the point that ex-Mormons certainly have no problem labeling their former church a cult, at least from the standpoint of how controlled they felt on a daily basis, so these articles which are working so hard to bring Mormonism into a Christian orbit would be funny if they weren’t so alarming. And I think these articles are being churned out as a last-minute effort to smooth the path for evangelicals to pull the lever for Romney in November, not out of any theological interest in the LDS church; there didn’t seem to be this much evangelical interest in Mormons 2 or 5 or 10 years ago, was there?
    For anyone who’s seen “There Will Be Blood,” the film offers a scene where a Depression-era, fame-hungry preacher agrees to curse God in exchange for a large donation from a wealthy manipulator. Today, due to the influence of Franklin Graham, we have evangelicalism’s most respected soul-winning organization toning down its critique of Mormon theology out of sheer political expediency. And even more dreadful, we have Franklin publicly doubting the salvation of another man, Obama, who has written extensively of his acceptance of Christ. This is what a hyper-politicized evangelicalism looks like.

    • LMA

      I think that there is indeed reason to believe that Mormon stances on social issues, combined with Mitt Romney’s evident Christian characteristics, cause many to re-think stereotypical portrayals of Mormons, especially in an election against a nominal Baptist who favors abortion to the point of infanticide, same sex marriage, forcing religious institutions to act contrary to their values and all the rest. By the way, have you seen Obama’s losing-your-virginity ad? Anyway, I think that rethinking stereotypes and derogatory labels is a good thing, even if you don’t.

  • James Thompson

    Attending an LDS General Conference and witnessing the devotion given to the words of their, so-called, prophet bears the marks of a cult that even you describe: “For me, a cult is a religious group organized around a charismatic figure, who demands strict obedience from his followers and often cuts them off from the outside world.” Being a Christian living in Provo, UT; I see LDS faith as very cult-like in many respects. Many LDS families forbid their children to have any substantial interaction with non-LDS children. When an LDS couple is married, all those family and friends who do not hold Temple Recommends (i.e. are not LDS or are not especially devout) must wait outside and can have no part in the actual marriage ceremony, that sounds pretty insular and isolating. Further, the LDS church exerts enormous influence over its adherents, to the point of directing their political behavior (research into California’s Proposition 8 will readily reveal that fact), and that sounds pretty strict. So, even a cursory examination of LDS faith and culture would reveal them to be a cult, even by your loose standard.

    • LMA

      “Many LDS families forbid their children to have any substantial interaction with non-LDS children.” That’s a lie. If Mormon kids don’t want to hang with your kids, there could be a reason other than some kind of policy or general characteristic of Mormonism. For all we know, your kids go around telling the Mormon kids that they are in a cult. But there is no, repeat no, general behavior of Mormons that refuse to associate with non-members.

      It is true that one must meet standards of worthiness to enter temples, as distinguished from regular church buildings to which all are welcome. For this reason, many LDS couples exchange rings in more public ceremonies, with the intention that non-member family and friends not feel excluded. How that is cult-like in your view escapes me.

      The Church absolutely did take a public stand against same-sex marriage, along with the Catholic Church in California, and many, many Protestant congregations. If that makes us a cult, we are in good company.

  • Barbara Hettinger

    Actually Mormons do believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is God the Son.

  • http://www.ontherhoads.org Brad Rhoads

    > For me, a cult is a religious group organized around a charismatic figure,
    >who demands strict obedience from his followers and often cuts them off from the outside world.

    A cult is any group that contradicts biblical faith, which unfortunately LDS does.

    • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

      False.

  • http://TheBereanObserver Bob Wheeler

    While I have my concerns about Frank Schaeffer, on this particular issue I think he may be on to something. Fifty years or so ago I think that the majority of Evangelical Christians were pretty clear on what a “Christian” was — it was someone who accepted the Bible as God’s inspired word, and was “saved” (i.e., justified by faith and born again). Thus Roman Catholics were not Christians in the evangelical sense of the word. They were people who needed to be saved.
    What has changed since then is the increased involvement of Evangelicals in politics. We now argue about whether or not America was founded as a Christian nation and whether or not Catholics, and now Mormons, are “Christians.” All of this, however, is beside the point. The question is, are they saved? What will happen to them when they die? What is their eternal destiny? It is very hard to see how they could be saved if they don’t accept certain basic theological principles (the full deity of Christ, the atonement, justification by faith).
    Today the theological issues have become blurred, and we are coming to think of Evangelicalism in sociological terms. “Evangelicalism” is a subculture with a distinctive set of attitudes and beliefs. We make common cause with Catholics, Mormons, and others to support the agenda of the Republican Party, and now regard nearly anyone as a “Christian” who upholds traditional moral values and votes the right way. This, I think, is a dangerous trend.

    • LMA

      This is helpful. Anyone who wants to say that Catholics, too, are non-Christian demonstrates just how cult-like and exclusionary he chooses to be.

  • Excal

    What I would say to everyone, if only I could, is this: It’s not a matter of what you think of Mormons, but what you think of Christ! Joseph testified that he saw him and the Father, just as Stephan did, before he was stoned to death for it, while Saul stood by, thinking it was the right thing to do. Hear with your heart this gospel for it being preached as a witness to the all the world before the end comes: “And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness;
    And we saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
    And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
    For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
    That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”

  • Phillip

    I am a former Mormon (Catholic now) and I don’t think the cult label is very helpful. Arguably there was a lot of cultish behavior in the early years of Mormonism, but that has thankfully diminished over time. I think the label “Christian heresy” or “non-traditional Christian” is more appropriate (although of course from a Catholic perspective their baptisms are not valid so in that sense they are not objectively Christians). They use much of the same language as orthodox Christians do but their meanings can be very different. The most fundamental difference is on the nature of God and our relationship to God. That being said, in my opinion Mormonism has become more Christ-centered in recent years and hopefully that mainstreaming continues. Who knows, maybe we will even see a cross on top of LDS chapels some day! My wife and children remain LDS and I am thankful that at least they are members of the 21st century Mormon church and not it’s 19th century incarnation.

  • Phillip

    A note for the Mormons readers:

    Orthodox Christianity and Mormonism part ways long before Nicaea and the 4th century. Read the early Church fathers from the 1st, 2nd,and 3rd centuries. If you read the primary sources themselves (and not just apologists’ selective quotations of them) it will be patently obvious what kind of Christians they were. It was in large part due to my study of early Christianity that I left the Mormon faith for catholic Christianity. Put down Hugh Nibley or Todd Callister

  • Phillip

    Note for the Mormon readers:

    Orthodox Christianity and Mormonism part ways long before Nicaea and the 4th century. Read the early church fathers from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd centuries. If you read the primary sources themselves (and not just some apologists selective quotations) it will be obvious what kind of Christians they were. Put down the Hugh Nibley and Todd Callister and read Ignatius of Antioch and Irenaeus instead. Studying early Christianity was one of the important factors that led me out of Mormonism and into traditional Christianity. The history of Christianity is one of continuity not radical changes.

    • Brian T

      I think Mormon readers understand that. Of course it isn’t as simple as that meeting or moment. Traditional Christianity and Mormonism would part ways not long after the deaths of the apostles. With Paul dead and unable to steer the Church back on course, they were left to adopt teachings that were more palatable to Greeks ways of thinking among others. 

      However, I think it is accurate to say the current Traditional Christianity looks back to the creed as the root or the definition of what they believe. At least an early encapsulation of it.

    • LMA

      Tad Callister, you mean. “The Inevitable Apostasy and the Promised Restoration” (Deseret Book Company (March 2006)).

      What would be an example of a selective quotation?

  • Phillip

    I think there is often a lot of misunderstandings among the LDS about the council of Nicaea. The purpose of the council was not to invent the Trinity (in fact the complete articulation of the dogma of the Trinity came later) nor was it create the idea the God was immaterial, spirit, infinite, incomprehensible, etc. (that is what Christians had always believed, Arians and Catholics alike). The purpose was to assert and confirm the traditional teaching of the Church that Jesus Christ is fully divine – Jesus is God in the same sense that the Father is God. Thus the creed states that the Son is “consubstantial” with the Father, that is, having the same divine nature as the Father. God from God. Begotten, not made. The Son is not a “creature”. But at the same time orthodox Christianity has always believed that the Father and the Son are distinct persons so that there exists a loving relationship between them.

    Hope that helps.

    • Darren

      That is helpful in placing the purpose of the Nicene Creed into perspective. The Creed is 100% compatible with LDS theology except for “same substance”. Gd being “immaterial” is nt what Christians always believe but a product of Plato’s imaginary world where everything is “perfect”. “Material” was considered imperfect and the substance which makes up our imperfect world snd since God is perfect He cannot be made of the same substance as that of our world.

  • Duane

    Questioning the distinction of Mormonism as a cult may be a timely discussion. I can not though seem able to coordinate with a discussion identifying it as a fourth and equal branch of Christianity. It has proved itself as a religion that has staying power and will probably continue to gain followers. But it should be more identified with the world religions as a stand alone, such as Islam, Hinduism, Bhuddism, etc. Mormonism has probably grown beyond cult status but its claim as another Christian sect doesn’t stand up to inspection. If Jesus is not the Son of God, then he is a liar or crazy. He can’t be a good and moral teacher or prophet if he claims to be the Messiah and isn’t. The same holds true for the Mormons. They can’t claim to follow Jesus when their theology doesn’t stand up to Biblical truths. And their claim that the prophet is there to correct the mistakes of Jesus and the apostles leads them to the world religion status not a sect of Christianity.

    • Darren

      “They can’t claim to follow Jesus when their theology doesn’t stand up to Biblical truths. And their claim that the prophet is there to correct the mistakes of Jesus and the apostles leads them to the world religion status not a sect of Christianity.”

      There are no “biblical truths” Mormons do not follow. And the notion that the LDS prophets are here to correct Jesus and His Apostles is way off the mark. The LDS prophets do not correct the teachings of Jesus or His Apostles but correct the incorrect interpretations of those teachings. In fact the LDS Apostles continue to apostolic authority given ot the original 12.

  • Thomas Mitchell

    I am not going to vote in this year’s presidential election. I will vote in the other races on the ballot, but cannot in good conscience cast a ballot for any of the candidates for President. Why? Both major party candidates, Romney and Obama, meet the Biblical definition of false teacher and we are instructed not to give our support to such men. I have concluded that they are not simply flawed men like those among whom we have had to choose in the past, but manifest a spirit of evil that should not have the support of a Christ follower. In Georgia, the only other choice we have is Libertarian Gary Johnson – pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage, and holding many of the other questionable views that Libertarians often have. For what I think should be obvious reasons, that is an unacceptable choice as well.
    Romney is not only Mormon, but was a high ranking leader in that group – a teacher. Mormon doctrine rejects the doctrine of the Trinity, but does so by teaching that Father, Son and Holy Ghost are not of the same substance, and that Jesus was a created being that has become a god. This teaching contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture found in John 1 and as a result meets the definition of false teacher found in 1 John 4:1-3, a definition explained throughout 1 John. 2 John 10-11 teaches that if we even give such men a greeting we participate in their deeds. I feel that voting for such a man, giving him my imprimatur, would make me a participant in his false teaching. I understand that some can distinguish 2 John by noting that he is running to be President, not coming to us as a teacher. Is that a distinction that really makes a difference under these circumstances? I do not believe so. Secondarily, I do not trust his “evolution” on abortion and gay marriage/civil unions. On October 17 he met with and obtained the endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans suggesting his “biblical” views on homosexuality are undergoing further “evolution.”
    Obama speaks about Christian faith. He lectures and instructs those that listen, but then articulates beliefs that are not Biblical. Further, he articulates those unbiblical beliefs as arising out of his Christian faith, contrary to Jude 4. His “evolution” on homosexual marriage is the most egregious example of this conduct. He idolizes human institutions, especially government. Moreover, his stance on the legalized killing of children is simply reprehensible. Finally, and this has become more obvious in the last year, Obama is clearly more interested in supporting Islamic concerns than Christian ones. I am not saying he is Muslim. I am not contending that an American president should be a Christian theocrat. An American president should not, however, claim a Christian faith and then pander to Muslims, especially to the detriment of Christians as well as national security (which is one of his primary responsibilities). I will say he provides no evidence that he walks in the light, and the evidence suggests that he walks in darkness. He holds himself out as a teacher, and thus also runs afoul of 1 John 4:1-3.
    Luther reportedly said he would rather be lead by a wise Turk than a dumb Christian. Fortunately we do not yet have to make such a choice. We, however, have two professing Christians that meet the Biblical definition of false teacher. Obama proclaims faith, but then professes unbiblical, abominable positions as resulting from that faith. Romney was a bishop and stake president in a cult, and his ascendency cannot but result in more souls being led astray. I cannot in good conscience vote for either.

    (Note: I have posted essentially this same post in response to other articles on this site.)

    • Darren

      “Mormon doctrine rejects the doctrine of the Trinity”

      Yes, we do.

      “that Jesus was a created being that has become a god”

      We believe that Jesus was always one with the Father in that Christ always placed the will of the Father to His own will. “Not by my will but thine be done”. We also believe that Jesus glorified the Father and credited the Father the greatest of glory. In turn the father has exalted Jesus who was His Only Begotten in the flesh about all. We believe that Jesus Christ is the YHWH of the Old Testament and thus the only true God to worship for He and He alone is the way to the Father. LDS theology restores the filial relationship of the universe in that there has always been a Father who rules the universe through His firstborn Son and Only Begotten in the flesh. This will continue throughout all the eternities. In my view traditional Christianity has eroded if not completely erased distinction between the Father and the Son in both the pre-mortal and post mortal eras of Jesus’ existence. The Father is distinct from the Son and the Son distinct from the Father. Yet they are united together so perfectly as to be one God. ” 2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son— 3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son— 4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.” (Mosiah 15).

      “This teaching contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture found in John 1 and as a result meets the definition of false teacher found in 1 John 4:1-3″

      LDs theology fails no such test. If you read, for example, in the Greek, John 1 (1-2) there are two beings/persons spoken about. One is the Word which is obviously Jesus Christ but the other is not just “God” but “the God”.

      http://interlinearbible.org/john/1.htm

      (“ton” is greek for “the”)

      LDS theology restores this simple truth: that there are two beings – a Father and a Son – which created all things in heaven and on earth.

      As for your rejecting Romney because he is a false teacher, I say so be it. I’ve never cared to debate or pursuade anyone this election cycle to come around and vabandon their views that since he’s a mormon, they will not vote for him. If that’s what you think is best, than good luck with that. However, keep in mind that Mitt Romney is perhaps the most humble of candidates you’ll ever encounter in a presidential election cycle. He has many stories of rendering christ-like services to others throughout his life yet he’s been very silent on them. No doubt they would have huelped him politically yet he speaks very little of them publically

      Your skepticism of Romney on abortion is justified but personally I think he’ll govern solidly on the pro-life side of things.

      “On October 17 he met with and obtained the endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans suggesting his “biblical” views on homosexuality are undergoing further “evolution.””

      I haven’t the faintest idea as to what you’re talking about.

      I think you’re more or less correct on Obama though I’d add that his views are more aligned with black liberation theology which uses scripture in the context of forcing people to recompense for past racial sins. I strongly oppose Obama but not because I find his teachings unbiblical but because they are very harmful to society and, yes, immoral.

    • http://TheBereanObserver Bob Wheeler

      What about Virgil Goode, the Constitution candidate for President?

    • LMA

      “(Note: I have posted essentially this same post in response to other articles on this site.)”

      Yes, I was about to mention that very thing. In response, I assured you that Mormons believe every word written about Christ in the Bible. See 1 John 4:2. Hope that helps you. Voting for Obama is a mistake, and deciding not to vote for Romney is a version of the same mistake.

  • C.J.W.

    “In my view, the LDS church has moved in a decidedly Christocentric direction in recent decades. Thus, for the most part, I view Mormonism as a fourth branch of Christianity, not yet accepted as within the bounds of orthodoxy by most Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox Christians. Still, while they have distinctive beliefs with which I disagree theologically, the Mormons I know consider Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior and believe that his atoning sacrifice enables them to obtain salvation.”

    This is nothing but an empathetic SPIN statement. Mormonism is NOT Christian, period. There are not if, ands, or buts about this. Mormonism will move in a more orthodox direction, when Scripture rather than the book of Mormon is THE authoritative source for them. In other words, they must formally declare the book of Mormon to be false and completely reject its teaching. And I would love for you to attempt to prove the first sentence I quoted with some actual source material.

    • johnturner

      C.J.W.,

      I don’t have the source material at my fingertips (sorry). However, several things point to a more christocentric Mormonism over the past several decades, including a greater emphasis on the Book of Mormon. Also, I see a greater LDS emphasis on the atoning work of Christ in particular in recent decades. I know that doesn’t satisfy your request, but perhaps others can chime in on this point.

    • Darren

      The LDS have *always* been Christ-centered theologically. In fact, both theologically and in their works, you’d hardly find a more Christ-centered people in the world. The LDS believe that *all things* center around Christ, His atononig sacrifice and that all other things are apendages to that.

      “There are not if, ands, or buts about this. Mormonism will move in a more orthodox direction, when Scripture rather than the book of Mormon is THE authoritative source for them. In other words, they must formally declare the book of Mormon to be false and completely reject its teaching. ”

      Never going to happen.

      • C.J.W.

        Still waiting for any source(s) to support to support this conclusion. I’m glad you agree with me that LDS will never call the Book of Mormon heresy. Consequently, they will never reside within the Orthodoxy Christian tradition.

        • Darren

          “Consequently, they will never reside within the Orthodoxy Christian tradition.”

          They never claimed to want to. But they are Christian. What sources are you looking for exactly? That they are becoming more Christ-centered? If that’s what you’re looking for than all you have to do is to look at their official doctrines that have always been there. In fact, read the Book of Mormon for yourself and see for yourself how Christ-centered its doctrines are.

          http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm?lang=eng

        • Darren
  • Jack

    I think that your anger toward Frank Shaeffer might be a bit unjustified. I realize that sometimes Frank’s tone can be somewhat “caustic” however, I believe that his critical attitude toward Franklin Graham and the whole “Mormon scrubbing” incident is not aimed at the teachings of Mormonism as much as it is aimed at the hypocracy of “higher up” evangelicals giving their political “blessing” to a candidate that is a member of what the Evangelical church (as I have understood it over the last 40 years or so) considers a “non Christian cult” Personally……I have no idea if Mormons are “Christian” or not…and that, to me, is not even the issue. The issue is: Why NOW is Franklin Graham extending the “right hand of fellowship” to a member of a church that he, his father, and many others evangelicals have in the past considered cultic? IF the “right hand of fellowship” is extended AND accepted as a result of prayerful debate, study, prayer, and all the other things that can bring about unity…..THAT is one thing….a GOOD thing. Unfortunately….in THIS case, the “right hand of fellowship” is extended for only ONE REASON……..Republican Presidential Politics. In my mind…that is a toxic base on which to have unity. In THAT regard, I can understand Frank Shaeffer’s cynicism and ire……..

    • johnturner

      That’s a fair point, Jack. I can understand Frank’s ire at Franklin Graham for making this move now.

      At the same time, I thought his post was needlessly offensive to Mormons.

  • Kephas

    Mormons do not believe that Jesus is one in being with the Father, also known as homoousios. That is a heresy. Anyways, Moromonism is just another flavor of Protestantism. Protestantism has over 25,000 different sects in america. Mormonism and Protestantism are not historic Christianity. They are man made inventions. Followers of both Protestantism and Mormonism go to hell, because they are not of the one true Church that Jesus Christ created in Matthew 16.

    • Darren

      “Mormons do not believe that Jesus is one in being with the Father, also known as homoousios. That is a heresy.”

      That is hersey as far as *traditional* Christianity is concerned, not biblical Christianity. “Homoousia” is never used or mentioned in the bible. If fact if you brought up that term with the original 12 apostles, they’s probably scratch their heads and wonder what you are talking about.

      “Followers of both Protestantism and Mormonism go to hell, because they are not of the one true Church that Jesus Christ created in Matthew 16.”

      Well, considering the greatly free and prosperous nation (the United States of America) was created primarily by Protestants and how deidcated the Mormons are in preserving that great nation, and considering how well organized Mormons are, you can expect Hell to be a free and nicely organized place by the time you get there. ;>)

  • scott ballard

    I think the point that BOTH sides seem to miss is:
    Does Jesus Christ think Mormons are Christian?
    That is the only opinion that matters. And as I trust no man to speak for Christ on my behalf, I’ll wait and see what He says.

  • Michael

    John,
    Thank you for such an honest and well-balanced article. While the LDS people would like to be correctly labeled as Christians, we have no qualms about being called a different kind of Christian. I hope that this article and others like it will help those who say that we are members of a “cult” how hypocritical and un-Christ like their actions are. It is fine to have differences in theology, name calling is unchristian.

  • Josh

    I am a Mormon. I did not grow up in Utah. I grew up in Minnesota. Most of my friends were Lutheran. I have great respect for other religions, both Christian and non-Christian, and throughly enjoy associating with and learning from them.

    As much as I would love to get along with everyone, whether or not they accept me into their club has no effect on what I believe. I believe in Jesus Christ. If you don’t think so… oh well. If you want to label a cultist… that’s unfortunate. But honestly, I care more about what God thinks.

  • Kephas

    Dear Mormon and Evangelical,
    Jesus in John 10:30 says “The Father and I are one” and verse 38 Jesus says “….so that you may realize that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” So by the bible I have proven you wrong. Gee, the word trinity doesnt appear in the bible, so I guess you dont believe in that term either. In fact the first to use the phrase trinity was Theophilus of Antioch in 170 AD. Nor does the phrase “faith alone” appear anywhere in the new testament (an invention of Martin Luther in 1517 ), but I suppose that you believe in that unbiblical tenet aswell- In fact, show me in the New Testament where the word Mormon, Protestant, Faith Alone are! Oh, thats right, they do not appear anywhere in the New Testament. So look who is the unbiblical one now-

    • Nayajja

      “Jesus in John 10:30 says “The Father and I are one” and verse 38 Jesus says “….so that you may realize that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” So by the bible I have proven you wrong.”

      No, brother, you haven’t. If you want to know what Jesus meant by “one,” read a little further, in his prayer to his Father, hours before his betrayal:

      ” Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…..” John 17:20-21. Christ prayed that all who believe on him through his Apostles word could be one with him and the Father, just as he is one with the Father.

      • Kephas

        Yes, you have exactly proven my point about homoousios by theses verses. by 10:30 it shows that the Father and the Son are united in the loving embrace of the Spirit. We cannot, therefore, divide the essential unity of the Trinity when we distinguish between the three Divine Persons, see John 1:1, and John 5:8. In fact John 5:8 says “This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.” and agiain in John 14:8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied. ” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? the words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.” and John 16:27 Christ says: “…for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
        Now In John 17:11 Jesus prays for unity, not for over 25,000 different denominations all claiming different truths. Use a little common sense. Our Savior said in this quote: “And now I am no more in the world but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” And in 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul says: if I am delayed you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” Logic, common sense, and critical thinking skills tell me that you can only have one truth in one Church, not 25,000 different denominations all claiming different truths.

        God Bless You brother-

        • Darren

          In the very John 10 Jesus pleas to the Father that we as true followers of him may be one *as* He and the Father are one. Obviously this does not mean that we will all become one being as God. This in dictates unity as distinct beings. This is the henotheism which binds the Father and the Son. they are distinct beings yet one in purpose and indeed function as One Eternal God (as the Book of Mormon declares of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost). In John 10 Jesus also applies Psalms, ” Thou art gods, children of the most High God”. When about to be stoned He asked His accusers why they stone Him and they responded that Jesus made Himself to be God. Jesus’ response here is that they too are gods. so in a moment of equating Himself to the Most High Father, He declared the sinful Jews as “gods”.

          The nature of our existence is much more deep and profound than traditional Christianity teaches. Yet. Let’s be clear that the Son and the Father are a d always will be greater than all. We will always be subject to them.

          • Kephas

            Jesus is talking about his relationship to the Father in this verse. In verse 33 the Jews answered him, “We stone you for no good work but for blasphemy; because you, being a man make yourself a God.” now connect that to verse in John 5:18 which says “…this was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but also call God his Father, making himself equal with God.” John 10:30 is just one verse that talks about Jesus and the Father as one, I have supplied many other examples in this discussion of which Jesus saying that the Father is in him and he in the Father (ex. John 14:10, 12:45). I do not know what more that you expect that Christ must have said to prove his oneness with the Father. Or I could also say: “Where in the Bible does it say that they are not one in being”? Please show me a verse to prove that point. Oh, that’s right it doesn’t- As such, where in the Bible does it mention, for example, the words: Trintiy, Rapture, sola fide and sola scriptura and other tenants of protestantism. It doesnt!!! Those sound man made to me. Hmm, I bet the apostles would be scratching their heads at the sound of those terms-

            By doing this sola scriptura debate, you say I am wrong while I say you are wrong. And we are using the same bible. This exactly points to why ‘each and every man’s personal interpretation of scripture’ is rather a dangerous thing. To play devils advocate, I could say: do you doubt the Spirit moved me to my interpretation, just as you believe the Spirit moved you to your interpretation? For example what do you believe when Jesus said in John 14:28 “….because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.” Now just because this verse says that and you claim to be a strict biblical individual, then I guess you must think this. Well, I am willing to bet Mormons and Protestants in general think that Jesus is equal with the Father. Of which all of Christendom believes. What about procession of the Holy Spirit? John 15:26 says that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. It is silent pertaining to Christ here. So out of this silence of scripture do you believe that the Holy Spirit only proceeds from the Father? This is the exact text that the Byzantines use to assert that Spirit does not proceed from Christ as well. But I bet since you being a westerner probably believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

            See my point, taking certain verses out of context is a dangerous thing.

  • JJ

    They never ‘removed mormons from a list of cults’ – they removed the whole “list” from their website. Where are the stories about Billy Graham accepting wiccans?

  • Kephas

    Dear Mormon and Evangelical,

    In fact, if you think Mormonism and Evangelicalism is traditional biblical Christianity, Please show me where in the New Testament it gives us its own self attesting Canon? No-where in the New Testament does it tell us which books belong in its canon. Granted, 2 Peter 3:16 calls Paul’s writings “the other scriptures”, but what about the other 14 books? Where does it say that they are inspired and should be counted? The primary basis for determining which books to include in the canon was the Church’s Authority (the Bishops (episkopos in greek)) and her tradition. The canon was finally determined in the late 300′s. It was these bishops who decided which books were inspired and which were not. The Holy Spirit authored the Bible, but he used men to write it. Likewise, he used men, the Church, to collect and close the canon.

    For example, what about the book of Hebrews, whose authorship is unsure and disputed to this day. It does not say that an apostle wrote it. But the Church believed it to be inspired. Using John Calvin’s principle of an internal (inner) witness (each person has their own belief that they have the Holy Spirit guiding them) as the deciding factor, then each person would have the authority to determine his own canon of scripture (because after all, each person believes their internal witness is the correct one). The result of this would be chaos. This is the means used by the Mormons to verify the inspiration of the Book of Mormon. They claim to know the Book of Mormon is true and inspired by God, because, when they read it, they get a “burning in the bosom”, which is an internal witness that they believe is used to verify the inspiration of the Book of Mormon. The subjective “inner witness” that so many Protestant groups claim to possess makes the individual equal to the Scriptures , because they become the personal judge of Scripture. To be honest, those who recognize no binding ecclesiastical authority able to close the canon, must respect any canon.

    Likewise, if the the Church has no teaching authority by which to interpret these inspired writings then everyone’s individual and contradictory interpretation or opinion is equally valid (since it claims to be from the Holy Spirit), and this completely nullifies and denies any existence of unity or sanity in the Body of Christ; and makes a mockery of absolute truth and unity. By necessity, moreover, each must deny that the other has the Spirit. “If you had the Holy Spirit leading you unto all truth, you would certainly agree with me, since the Holy Spirit led me to this contradictory interpretation.” Thus we are thus brought back to the question, “What does this Bible verse mean to you?”

    Even Luther thought he could redefine the canon of Scripture. Luther began to rearrange the New Testament, placing the “suspected” books in the back, namely, James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation. He raised the Gospel of John above the other three Gospels. Luther called the Epistle of James an ‘epistle of straw’. “I do not hold it, he said, ‘to be his writing, and I cannot place it among the capital books’”. Luther also denied Hebrews any apostolic authority. When challenged on any of his views of Scripture, Luther said. “Thus I will have it, thus I order it, my will is reason enough…”

    Jesus said in the Gospel of John Chapter 10: “there will be one flock, one shepherd”, and in chapter 17 Jesus said: “so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you” and “I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one…” Jesus didn’t say there will be one shepherd, and a 25,000 sect flock of different denominations all claiming different truths. And in 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul says: “But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” You can only have one absolute truth, not 25,000. Now I ask you look at 1 Timothy 3:15 and Titus 1:7 it says that bishops (episkopos in greek) are God’s stewards. Stewards of what? they are stewards of the household of God on earth… which is the Church.

    • Darren

      “The result of this would be chaos. This is the means used by the Mormons to verify the inspiration of the Book of Mormon. They claim to know the Book of Mormon is true and inspired by God, because, when they read it, they get a “burning in the bosom”, which is an internal witness that they believe is used to verify the inspiration of the Book of Mormon. ”

      True enough regarding Mormons and the Book of Mormon. But, as yu can see by the LDS Church, chaos is not the result.

  • Hindenburg

    Why would anything Frankie Schaeffer says be taken as representative of Christians? ‘Splain me.

  • Prof Override

    I grew up Episcopalian, spent time in a charismatitic church and now attend a Dallas big box (front rows dweller). Fundamentalist evangelicalism is far more of a cult than Mormonism. By their fruits – Mormon families are some of the most right on, living on point folks I’ve met. Evangelicals – not so much so – the whole “us vs them” talk radio vibe, amounts to out and out biggotry – hiding under the cloak of pharisaical motivated decrees and declarations (fatwa like). Excommunicate…

    • Darren

      I agree with much of what you said.

  • Mykl Carlton

    So, if Jesus is the YHWH of the OT, why don’t Mormons pray to Him as instructed many times in the OT?
    Why do some Christians insist on pointing out how false LDS teaching is? Because we are told to earnestly contend for the faith delivered to us. Jude 3. Also because we believe that such teaching don’t lead to salvation.
    The test of a prophet isn’t if what he says comes true. We’re not told to pray about it and see how we feel. It’s if what he says DOESN’T happen – Deut 18:20-22, Like a certain Temple yet to be built in Independence, Missouri (D&C 84).

    • Darren

      Mykl;

      Could you give me an example or two of the Old Testament calling upon man to pray to YHWH? The LDS believe in praying t the father in the name ofthe Son primarily because the Son said we should pray to the Father in the name of the Son. In prayer the LDS believe also to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and to inspire the orator and all those involved in the prayer.

      “Why do some Christians insist on pointing out how false LDS teaching is? Because we are told to earnestly contend for the faith delivered to us. Jude 3. Also because we believe that such teaching don’t lead to salvation.”

      Good luck with that.

      “The test of a prophet isn’t if what he says comes true. We’re not told to pray about it and see how we feel. It’s if what he says DOESN’T happen – Deut 18:20-22, Like a certain Temple yet to be built in Independence, Missouri (D&C 84).”

      The way I see it, the way you apply Deuteronomy would exclude a few biblical prophets as well so you may want to reconsider Deuteronomy 18′s application. Ninevah was not destroyed in forty days, Tyre was not conquered and plundered, and after being prophesided that king Zedekiah would “die in peace” he had his children slaughtered in front of him and his eyes “put out”. Furtheremore, there’s no indication of a funerery process given for him after his death as prophesied.

      http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_prophets.shtml#wrong

      The way I see it, God may absolutely change the consditions of any given prophecy, and He has. “Testing” to see if a prophet is a true prophet of God or not is by the Holy Spirit.

  • wally

    Mormonism is polytheistic, so not Christian. It has a thin veneer of Christianity on top but is basically a pagan self-realization cult where you strive to become a god.

    • Darren

      Striving to become a god is hardly unchristian either biblically or historically. It only differed from modern-day Christian orthodoxy. The LDS believe that we humans, no matter how righteous will always be subject to the Father and the Son. These two beings are and will forever be greater than all.

      As for the polytheism (I did say “two beings, didn’t I?) don’t sweat it. The LDS believe that the Father and the Son are one God. the LDS simply differ as to what “one” means. And, yes, their view does rub against the grain of today’s traditional Christianity.

  • Kephas

    In this election we have a clear choice. Four more years of immorality (Barry is as pro abortion and pro gay as they come), Four more years of trillion dollar deficits, Four more years of high unemployment, Four more years of degradation of the US military, Four more years of lies and cover-ups, Four more years of doing nothing to stop the rise of radical islam, Four more years of weak economic growth, Four more years of historic usage of food stamps and welfare all paid for on the backs of the working middle class of this country, and Four more years of blaming everyone but himself for his failures.

    It is true that Mitt Romney changed his stance on abortion, but lets all remember so did Ronald Reagan. Remember, its a good thing for someone to become pro-life. And that is what Mitt has done. Mitt Romney is everything Barry Obama isnt. Romney will fix this economic disaster that Barry has made. Even though I am not Mormon, I will be voting for Mitt. Shame on anyone that dares to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and does not vote against Barak Obama in this election.

    In this election we have a clear choice and that choice is to support Mitt Romney-

  • DoctorD

    A religion is a cult with a university.

    • Darren

      LOL! That’s funny.

  • http://www.conservativemormonmom.blogspot.com E B

    Mormonism is Christocentric and always has been, though recently the message we give to friends of other faiths focuses more on this commonality than in times past. The fundamental belief and practice in the LDS Church is to follow Jesus Christ.

    I’ve read dozens of personal accounts of Romney that all agree that he is kind, helpful, honest, hardworking, humble, thrifty, and funny. That’s the man we saw at the debates: the media has him pegged wrong, for obvious reasons- they’re biased! Read both sides for balanced coverage. How can you make an informed opinion on any topic if you consider only one point of view? You can’t. Thanks for listening.

    http://www.conservativemormonmom.blogspot.com

  • Calin

    I find it interesting that you will hardly ever hear or read about Mormons putting down other religions but many other religions attack Mormons. That is un-Christ like. It doesn’t matter what anyone defines the church as. If Mormons believe they are Christian then they are. There is nothing anyone can do to take that away from them. Most Mormons I know just laugh when someone calls their church a cult. Maybe everyone should worry about their own beliefs and leave the latter day saints alone. They’ve suffered enough persecution as it is.


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