Just Your Average Local Billy Graham/Evangelical/Mormon Worship Service ???

I don’t care what you believe, or don’t let alone who you vote for. Vote for an atheist, agnostic, Hindu, Evangelical or Mormon for all I care. There should be no “faith test” for political office.

That said if you care about religion isn’t lying about religion for political ends bad for religion?  But Billy (perhaps manipulated) and Franklin Graham have sold evangelicals down the river by declaring that Mormonism is not a cult and (by implication) is just another garden variety “Christian” denomination.

Franklin Graham is a Republican Party insider and operative masquerading as an evangelist. I first met Franklin when we were both 9 years old and he and his dad Billy Graham, visited my parents’ evangelical retreat center L’Abri Fellowship. My father was a religious right leader and close personal friend of Billy’s.

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.

Watch the video below and you tell me: Is there any Evangelical, Charismatic, Reformed, Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox church — anywhere in the world — that looks like this?

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?

Isn’t labeling Mitt just another Christian falsehood in advertising?

 

As Tony Jones writes:

 

“Evangelicals say that the Bible and theological orthodoxy are the most important things for a Christian to abide by. And yet, time and time again, evangelicals will forsake these tenets for political expediency.

“I’ve been quite candid on this blog: I do not think that the LDS church is a Christian church. I do not think that the Mormon faith is Christian. I think it’s a sect — or call it another religion — that drew inspiration from Christianity at its birth. (I think it’s too big and diverse to call it a cult.) But it’s not Christian.

It seems that Graham, like many other evangelical leaders, is supporting Romney. That’s totally fine. But to sweep under the rug their long-standing teaching that the LDS Church is a cult is not only disingenuous, it’s downright deceptive.”

 

So I have a question for Billy and Franklin Graham:

Watch this video and tell me, is this what you’ll be doing at the next presidential prayer breakfast?

Franklin: When people convert at a Billy Graham rally and come forward and your dad tells the new convert to find a “good Bible-believing church” and go next Sunday, is this what Billy has in mind? 

 

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.

To book Frank to speak at your college, church or group please contact Frank HERE

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • Clif

    A Christian is one who attest to the Beatutes and the the Command to Love God (proof by keeping Gods’ Commands). This author has violated all. So who is the non-Christain here?

    • Kate Barngrover

      This isn’t about Romney’s religion, or Franklin Graham’s religion. In America there is no test for religion. This is about Franklin Graham selling his soul in order to elect a man from a religion that is contrary to Christianity, and what Franklin Graham and his father Billy have been saying for the last 70 + years, in the very basic of senses.Franklin’s goal now is political expediency,rather than actually standing up for what he believes in and practiced for years, for the sole purpose of electing a man who has not ever been considered a Christian by him or his father. By doing so he slices and dices to bits the one candidate who has been a commited Christian for many years, who does not mix religion with politics, but lets his Christian walk with God shine through in his policies, something which Mitt Romney and conservative politicians do not, while vigorously claiming they are melded together to form their unique morality. Franklin Graham is not able to come to terms with separation of church and state so he washes and scrubs clean any eveidence of his hatred and disgust for Mormonism in order to make people who share his disgust and hatred of Mormonism feel it’s A OKAY now because I Franklin Graham have decided , they are just a little Christian after all. It’s suddenly ok to be for a Mormon, all because Romney’s not a black man with an Arabic Muslim name.The right wing always comes down on the side of political expediency, all for me and more for me, the world and humanity be damned.

      • Peter Marlow

        You say this of Obama: “the one candidate who has been a committed Christian for many years, who does not mix religion with politics, but lets his Christian walk with God shine through in his policies…” A true Christian does not force one man to help another by confiscating his property (thou shall not steal) so the he can get the praise of men, he only invites all to lovingly give charitably and give the glory to God.

        You can hear Obama here mocking the Bible, accusing those who are foolish enough to believe in the Sermon on the Mount of not having read it:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi-V_ilJu0w

    • Kent

      Don’t think so. Your deflection from the information doesn’t negate or dismiss it. Romney is a Mormon and Franklin is a Republican lacky willing to sell out his beliefs for political gain.

    • mike

      I would venture to suggest that if Frank worried less about the taxonomy of the various Christian denominations, and worried more about how Christian he is, he wouldn’t be wasting his time writing silly articles like this. Go help someone, Frank…you will feel alot closer to your Savior and feel better about yourself.

  • kalim

    What is death?

    I want to share this sentences From Risalei Nur collection by Said Nursi

    Death is not destruction, or nothingness, or annihilation; it is not cessation, or extinction; it is not eternal separation, or non-existence, or a chance event; it is not authorless obliteration. Rather, it is being discharged by the Author Who is All-Wise and All-Compassionate; it is a change of abode. It is being despatched to eternal bliss, to your true home. It is the door of union to the Intermediate Realm, which is where you will meet with ninety-nine per cent of your friends.”

  • Peter Marlow

    So what is Christianity? Perhaps it can be summed up best in this one scripture: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) I believe in this same Jesus Christ, that He is the only begotten Son of the Father, that He was given to us by His Father as a sacrifice for our sins because the Father loves us, and that only by believing in Him do we have eternal life. So, why this need to try to define me, a Mormon, as anything other than a Christian? I know God loves me. He allows me to continually experience – to feel deep within my soul – the greatness of His love and a very real and joyful forgiveness of my sins through Jesus Christ.

    How can traditional Christianity be considered more Christian or biblical than Mormonism? In their Nicene Creed – created over 300 years after Christ, not a part of the Bible, but worshipped with equal fervor as the Bible such that those who do not accept it are hated as non-Christian heretics – in this creed, the true nature of the relationship between the Father and the Son is undone. In it, the Father is the Son and the Son is the Father. They are a “Trinity” of “one substance” – words not found in the Bible.

    This is where traditional Christianity (or what we should call, “Nicenianism”) fails. Instead of believing the true teaching of the Bible (and Book of Mormon) that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” they wrongly believe that He gave Himself as His Son. Therefore, they cannot understand the true nature of God’s love for His Son and for each of us, also His children. Their inability to believe in the Son as the Son may actually disqualify them from everlasting life.

    What are the fruits of this failure of Nicenianism, this allegiance to an orthodoxy of their invention and the narrow biblical interpretations they insist are true even as they deny God’s power to reveal truth today? The most pernicious fruit is their bigoted intolerance of those who believe differently, the desire to silence them, even by murder. Of course, Nicenianism became the prevailing religion! For well over a thousand years, anyone who dared oppose it was killed. It started in Europe with the burnings at the stake by the Catholics, then the Protestants. Such murders were common in this country, too, even through the early part of the 20th century, with Mormons and others still being killed for nothing more than their beliefs.

    That bigoted mentality is still evident today in their anger at the LDS Church, their desire to tear down Mormonism on the basis of nothing more than their flawed interpretations of the Bible and their flawed understanding of the teachings of the LDS Church (which they could easily rectify by consulting mormon.org instead of their wildly misleading sources of misinformation).

    The fruit of true Christianity is love and trust in God, peaceably allowing all to experience the freedom He gives each of us to believe according to the dictates of our own conscience, and to love all as a brother or sister, regardless of what they choose to believe. The true Christian accepts that he is imperfect, and that his understanding and interpretation of the Bible is also imperfect. Therefore, he esteems as his brothers in Christ all those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, even if they interpret the Bible differently. He doesn’t want to kill anyone.

    If God had wanted the Bible to be narrowly interpreted, He would have written it in a way that would have made more than one interpretation impossible. He clearly wants each of us to also rely upon His Spirit for understanding. This is not something you can lazily ask someone else to do for you. If you love God, plead with Him for His guidance as you study the Bible. Let each be responsible to God for their own interpretations, whether they choose to humbly follow the direction of the Holy Ghost in applying the teachings of the Bible, or whether they seek to twist its words to justify themselves in their sins. By their fruits you will know them.

    I testify in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that I know by the unmistakable power of the Holy Ghost, as sure as I know of my own existence, that Jesus Christ is the Lord, our Savior and Redeemer, that the Bible and the Book of Mormon are both true, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the work of the Lord, His restoration of His original Christian church, restored by Him through a man He had called as a prophet, Joseph Smith, and led by Jesus Christ today through living prophets and apostles through whom He reveals His beautiful truths. Imagine that! How can any true Christian not want to be a part of this great work being done today by our resurrected Lord!

    Don’t believe because of my words. Likewise, don’t turn away because of the words, traditions, opinions, philosophies, creeds or flawed interpretations of another. Seek the word directly from God. If you humble yourself before Him, trust Him and present to Him a loving desire to follow Him and do His will, He will reveal His truth to you by His Spirit. And it will be wonderful and beautiful beyond what you can imagine!

    • Kent

      Dear Peter. Fine, it’s what you believe. The issue is not about your Mormon beliefs. It’s about Franklin abandoning the teachings of historical Christianity and his own father’s preaching for the last 70 years all for political purposes. Franklin wants Obama to lose at any cost even if Franklin has to sell his soul. And he did.

      • hoffbegone

        Dear Kent, maybe the issue is about the Graham’s realizing their wrongs and growing in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe it is about the rest of us that refuse to grow and open our hearts and understanding.

      • topica

        Historical Christianity? You must be speaking of Catholics. Evangelicals are an apostate group from historical Christianity.

  • JT

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is definitely not “just another Christian church.” There are many things about Mormonism that make it a very unique faith. The problem is, most evangelicals get those differences wrong. There is an ugly game of telephone being played in which misperceptions (most of them originating with individuals whose intentions are anything but charitable) have been spread throughout the ranks of many Christian churches thanks to pastors who believe the adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and purchase materials and bring in speakers from counter-cult ministries with the shadiest of tactics and agendas. The “World Religions” section in many “Christian” bookstores is replete with this rubbish, and it is downright shameful.

    A few thoughts:

    (1) The “cult” moniker has morphed into nothing more than a pejorative label. It amounts to little more than name-calling and should be dropped. Why such a list is on a Christian website in the first place is beyond me, but one thing is for sure: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no business being on it.

    (2) Most efforts to exclude Mormonism from Christianity involve stacking the deck in their favor. It usually amounts to noting the unique beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which the attemptor will often get wrong) and making the opposite of those beliefs the criteria for what defines a Christian. One could (and many have) done the same for Catholics. Catholics could easliy do the same for Protestants of any variety.

    (3) What goes on in Latter-day Saint temples is beautiful. Participants make special promises to God to commit themselves to him and his gospel. In short, they commit themselves to become better people. It is something rich in symbolism and held sacred by those who attend. Most participants understand that less-than-honorable folks have posted these ceremonies online; however, they will still not talk much about it because it is sacred _to them_. I am saddened that you would knowingly cast someone else’s pearls on the ground to be trampled on.

    (4) I want to applaud ministers like Richard Mouw and Gerald McDermott who, while recognizing that there are important theological differences between Evangelicals and Mormons, have reached out to take part in dialogue with Mormon scholars to better understand what they actually believe and get beyond the typical charicatures. Their honesty and character is an example to us all.

  • Alma Allred

    Frank, I think your premise is mistaken. The fact that the Grahams have scrubbed references on their site to Mormonism as a cult isn’t evidence that they have changed their opinion about it being a cult. They’ve merely concluded that electing a Mormon is better than the alternative and their website might conflict with that goal if it badmouths Romney’s religion. Maybe they’ve concluded that if Michael the archangel deferred to bring a railing accusation against Satan, (Jude 1:9) they could show a similar restraint dealing with Mormons?

  • Joel

    “Isn’t labeling Mitt just another Christian falsehood in advertising?”

    I don’t think they are calling Mitt “just another Christian”, nor would Mitt or any member of the Mormon church want to be called “just another Christian”. Mormons consider themselves christian (notice the little c) because they worship Jesus Christ but do not consider themselves part of the Traditional Christian Protestant movement, nor do they want anyone to think they are. All Graham’s people want is to unite together people with like minded morals and principles to win out over the liberal left.

    • topica

      I think your capitalization is backwards. Big “C” should reference our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Little “c” should represent traditional christian protestant movement.

  • Daniel

    I totally agree with Alma above. Taking the cult reference out from the website doesn’t tantamount to the level to use harsh language such as “selling evangelicals and even his own soul.” I could easy see after that personal meeting the Graham’s were even requested to do so, so as NOT to make religion as issue in the election. Here I agree with Frank’s opening statements.

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  • Simon

    Wow! The Mormon Temple ceremony is Free Masonry meets the movies meets Gnosticism meets pre-flight safety demonstration!

    There is absolutely no depiction of the Passion and resurrection. This is certainly not a Christian ceremony.

  • http://mymusingcorner.wordpress.com Lana

    Agree. But I did hear one sermon last summer that God was going to judge us by giving us a mormon president. Some evangelicals are just funny.


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