Billy Graham's site removes reference to Mormons as a cult

Evangelicals and Mormons together:

Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham’s mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

In a section of the website called Billy Graham’s My Answer there had been the question “What is a cult?”

Answer: “A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith.”

“Some of these groups are Jehovah’s Witnesess, Mormons, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spritualists, Scientologists, and others,” the site continued.

No longer. On Tuesday, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association confirmed that page has recently been removed from the site.

“Our primary focus at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ken Barun, chief of staff for the association, told CNN in a statement. “We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign.”

via Billy Graham site removes Mormon ‘cult’ reference after Romney meeting – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

What will happen if Romney gets elected president?  Will politically-oriented evangelicals wanting to cozy up to the president welcome Mormons into their big ecumenical tent?

(Note:  Billy Graham is nearly 95 years old.  I doubt that he is supervising his website.  I’m not blaming him for this.  He did, however, seem to endorse Romney after their meeting.  I suspect his organization just scrubbed the website accordingly.)

UPDATE:  Todd points to more considerations here.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Mormons clearly fit the definition of a cult. They have secret beliefs etc. I don’t hate them, but come on, they are a cult. Contrast them with Islam. I don’t think Islam has all those secrets. Its holy and relgious books are available and they don’t have secretive rituals and temples, etc. Mormonism could perhaps just be defined as a different religion, but it seems more like a cult; a deviant sub sect with very different beliefs.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Mormons clearly fit the definition of a cult. They have secret beliefs etc. I don’t hate them, but come on, they are a cult. Contrast them with Islam. I don’t think Islam has all those secrets. Its holy and relgious books are available and they don’t have secretive rituals and temples, etc. Mormonism could perhaps just be defined as a different religion, but it seems more like a cult; a deviant sub sect with very different beliefs.

  • Dave

    In its broadest sense the word “cult” means a group of people who worship. However Walter Martin applied another meaning to Mormons: a religious group considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. That definition works well when applied to Jim Jones and his compound in Guyana. It doesn’t work so well with Mormonism whose founder is long gone.

    I think that it is far more accurate to refer to Mormonism as a Christian sect than a cult. Consider Islam – it has many different expressions: Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Druse, Alawite, and others. Each one considers themselves to be orthodox and looks at the others like splinter groups (sects) that have elements of truth but overall hold to a defective theology.

    Mormonism ought to be understood in light of Jesus’ parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13). Outwardly they give the appearance of being orthodox but we know different. They will be separated at the final judgment. Until then we stick by our creeds and confessions and call them to repentance to believe on the historic Jesus (as defined in those creeds and confessions).

  • Dave

    In its broadest sense the word “cult” means a group of people who worship. However Walter Martin applied another meaning to Mormons: a religious group considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. That definition works well when applied to Jim Jones and his compound in Guyana. It doesn’t work so well with Mormonism whose founder is long gone.

    I think that it is far more accurate to refer to Mormonism as a Christian sect than a cult. Consider Islam – it has many different expressions: Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Druse, Alawite, and others. Each one considers themselves to be orthodox and looks at the others like splinter groups (sects) that have elements of truth but overall hold to a defective theology.

    Mormonism ought to be understood in light of Jesus’ parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13). Outwardly they give the appearance of being orthodox but we know different. They will be separated at the final judgment. Until then we stick by our creeds and confessions and call them to repentance to believe on the historic Jesus (as defined in those creeds and confessions).

  • Dan Kempin

    “Billy Graham removes Mormons from his list of cults”

    Well, technically, the article says that they took down the whole list and discussion of “cults.”

  • Dan Kempin

    “Billy Graham removes Mormons from his list of cults”

    Well, technically, the article says that they took down the whole list and discussion of “cults.”

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Good catch, Dan. I changed my headline. I also added a note. I’m not blaming the 95-year-old Graham for this. I raise the point because I’m curious how acceptable Mormonism will become, even to Christians, if Romney gets elected.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Good catch, Dan. I changed my headline. I also added a note. I’m not blaming the 95-year-old Graham for this. I raise the point because I’m curious how acceptable Mormonism will become, even to Christians, if Romney gets elected.

  • Dan Kempin

    “I raise the point because I’m curious how acceptable Mormonism will become, even to Christians, if Romney gets elected.”

    I am very gravely concerned about this point.

    For the record, the thing that very definitely makes Mormonism a cult is the fact that they claim to be Christian.

  • Dan Kempin

    “I raise the point because I’m curious how acceptable Mormonism will become, even to Christians, if Romney gets elected.”

    I am very gravely concerned about this point.

    For the record, the thing that very definitely makes Mormonism a cult is the fact that they claim to be Christian.

  • Larry

    I think it was Koberle, but I forget, the three basic steps false doctrines insinuate in and at last take over (paraphrasing):

    Step 1: Plead for doctrinal tolerance/acceptance.

    2 is equal time and 3 is intolerance of the truth.

    This is step 1 and not at all shocking.

  • Larry

    I think it was Koberle, but I forget, the three basic steps false doctrines insinuate in and at last take over (paraphrasing):

    Step 1: Plead for doctrinal tolerance/acceptance.

    2 is equal time and 3 is intolerance of the truth.

    This is step 1 and not at all shocking.

  • Larry

    Actually here it is from a discussion on Dr. Vieth’s blog a bit back:

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/04/25/the-three-stages-of-error/

    “When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of the others. The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions. Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights. Truth and error are two balancing forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship. What the friends of truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which they differ is ipso facto non-essential. Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church. Truth and error are two co-ordinate powers, and the great secret of church-statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them. From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy. Truth started with tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and then only for a time. Error claims a preference for its judgments on all disputed points. It puts men into positions, not as at first in spite of their departure from the Church’s faith, but in consequence of it. Their recommendation is that they repudiate the faith, and position is given them to teach others to repudiate it, and to make them skillful in combating it.”

  • Larry

    Actually here it is from a discussion on Dr. Vieth’s blog a bit back:

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/04/25/the-three-stages-of-error/

    “When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of the others. The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions. Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights. Truth and error are two balancing forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship. What the friends of truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which they differ is ipso facto non-essential. Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church. Truth and error are two co-ordinate powers, and the great secret of church-statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them. From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy. Truth started with tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and then only for a time. Error claims a preference for its judgments on all disputed points. It puts men into positions, not as at first in spite of their departure from the Church’s faith, but in consequence of it. Their recommendation is that they repudiate the faith, and position is given them to teach others to repudiate it, and to make them skillful in combating it.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @7 But Mormons aren’t in the church. They are separate. They are in society. If we don’t want to tolerate groups in society that we wouldn’t want in our church, then we are saying that everyone in society has to meet the standards of our particular church. Our forebears authorized the Constitution to codify a system in which people of different religions could live in one society despite not belonging to the church. I assume Joseph Smith would have been thrilled if all the Christian churches of his day would have endorsed him and distributed his writings to its members like Schleiermacher was endorsed and his work preached in the seminaries of the liberal churches. Of course, clinging to their confessions, many churches instead exercise church discipline and remove those who confess a faith contrary to the church’s position. We can’t under our constitution exercise our church discipline in society.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @7 But Mormons aren’t in the church. They are separate. They are in society. If we don’t want to tolerate groups in society that we wouldn’t want in our church, then we are saying that everyone in society has to meet the standards of our particular church. Our forebears authorized the Constitution to codify a system in which people of different religions could live in one society despite not belonging to the church. I assume Joseph Smith would have been thrilled if all the Christian churches of his day would have endorsed him and distributed his writings to its members like Schleiermacher was endorsed and his work preached in the seminaries of the liberal churches. Of course, clinging to their confessions, many churches instead exercise church discipline and remove those who confess a faith contrary to the church’s position. We can’t under our constitution exercise our church discipline in society.

  • Other Gary

    Dr. Veith @ 4: “I raise the point because I’m curious how acceptable Mormonism will become, even to Christians, if Romney gets elected.”

    He doesn’t have to get elected for Mormons to gain new influence. I’ve been convinced ever since Romney had the nomination in the bag (i.e., well before the Convention), that Mormon “churches” [sic] would get a bump from simply his being nominated. That is, looking first at the general population, Romney becomes in some sense acceptable, which requires his religion be a non-issue, which is implicitly a kind of acceptance.

    Now for a certain percentage of self-identified Christians (CINOs?), I’d expect there also to be more acceptance. For these Christians, Romney and other Mormons have managed to largely shake off the image of being kooks and cultists. Some of them (again, like the general population) will have no trouble accepting the assertion that Mormons are also Christians.

    From Christians who strongly identify as orthodox/evangelical I’d expect more vocal protest. Take, for instance, Dan’s comment @5 : “For the record, the thing that very definitely makes Mormonism a cult is the fact that they claim to be Christian.” Like a lot of people, he’s reacting to what he sees as the deception of Mormons claiming to be Christians.

    Some have suggested this national turn of events is actually a good thing. Optimistically, some say it affords opportunities for Christians to both expose what Mormonism’s really all about, while also confessing their orthodox Christian faith (Gospel proclamation) to set the record straight about what a Christian is.

    I’m having a hard time being optimistic. When the question before the general public is “What is Christian?,” it seems to me the next question that gets discussed SIMULTANEOUSLY is: “Who has the right to define the term?”

    In other words, Evangelicals and Catholics and Confessional Lutherans and whoever else wants to object to Mormons being called Christians, imagine since they were Christians first, they (WE) will have their/our definition respected. I think it’s just as likely we’ll get ignored, and the word “Christian” will from here on circulate with a changed meaning.

  • Other Gary

    Dr. Veith @ 4: “I raise the point because I’m curious how acceptable Mormonism will become, even to Christians, if Romney gets elected.”

    He doesn’t have to get elected for Mormons to gain new influence. I’ve been convinced ever since Romney had the nomination in the bag (i.e., well before the Convention), that Mormon “churches” [sic] would get a bump from simply his being nominated. That is, looking first at the general population, Romney becomes in some sense acceptable, which requires his religion be a non-issue, which is implicitly a kind of acceptance.

    Now for a certain percentage of self-identified Christians (CINOs?), I’d expect there also to be more acceptance. For these Christians, Romney and other Mormons have managed to largely shake off the image of being kooks and cultists. Some of them (again, like the general population) will have no trouble accepting the assertion that Mormons are also Christians.

    From Christians who strongly identify as orthodox/evangelical I’d expect more vocal protest. Take, for instance, Dan’s comment @5 : “For the record, the thing that very definitely makes Mormonism a cult is the fact that they claim to be Christian.” Like a lot of people, he’s reacting to what he sees as the deception of Mormons claiming to be Christians.

    Some have suggested this national turn of events is actually a good thing. Optimistically, some say it affords opportunities for Christians to both expose what Mormonism’s really all about, while also confessing their orthodox Christian faith (Gospel proclamation) to set the record straight about what a Christian is.

    I’m having a hard time being optimistic. When the question before the general public is “What is Christian?,” it seems to me the next question that gets discussed SIMULTANEOUSLY is: “Who has the right to define the term?”

    In other words, Evangelicals and Catholics and Confessional Lutherans and whoever else wants to object to Mormons being called Christians, imagine since they were Christians first, they (WE) will have their/our definition respected. I think it’s just as likely we’ll get ignored, and the word “Christian” will from here on circulate with a changed meaning.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @6

    Should we assume that all people asking for tolerance are seeking to take over?

    Jews ask for tolerance. Are they taking over?

    Muslims ask for tolerance. Do they want to take over?

    Agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., want to be tolerated?

    Would all of these groups try to suppress or abolish Christianity if they grew to a certain percentage?

    What is the evidence from history of the treatment of minorities?

    Is there just an instinctual fear of the other which is based on strength in numbers?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @6

    Should we assume that all people asking for tolerance are seeking to take over?

    Jews ask for tolerance. Are they taking over?

    Muslims ask for tolerance. Do they want to take over?

    Agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., want to be tolerated?

    Would all of these groups try to suppress or abolish Christianity if they grew to a certain percentage?

    What is the evidence from history of the treatment of minorities?

    Is there just an instinctual fear of the other which is based on strength in numbers?

  • Larry

    SG, that misses the point entirely and is a red herring. It’s not on the political side that is the issue, but on the church side. The church is being seduced and this is but one step. It has already pulled many into its deception based on a “common enemy” false dilemma. Not because they actually will vote for MR, that’s irrelevant, but in so doing many begin to be ashamed and throw a cloth over the truth. THAT is the problem.

    It was not for example that Dr. Graham should say, “I’ll help you in our common political goal, that’s fine. Left at that one could easily vote for a common goal. It’s when he did this it becomes not good.” The issue is not the constitution but the church. See he did not leave it at a common “conservative” (which in and of itself is dubious with MR) political goal, but began the steps of altering the truth confessed of the church.

    And that’s how it happens.

  • Larry

    SG, that misses the point entirely and is a red herring. It’s not on the political side that is the issue, but on the church side. The church is being seduced and this is but one step. It has already pulled many into its deception based on a “common enemy” false dilemma. Not because they actually will vote for MR, that’s irrelevant, but in so doing many begin to be ashamed and throw a cloth over the truth. THAT is the problem.

    It was not for example that Dr. Graham should say, “I’ll help you in our common political goal, that’s fine. Left at that one could easily vote for a common goal. It’s when he did this it becomes not good.” The issue is not the constitution but the church. See he did not leave it at a common “conservative” (which in and of itself is dubious with MR) political goal, but began the steps of altering the truth confessed of the church.

    And that’s how it happens.

  • Other Gary

    Larry @ 11: “began the steps of altering the truth confessed of the church”

    I see your point. Scrubbing the website at least has the _appearance_ of lifting anathemas. Of course in my view, it’s not a good thing in the first place that Billy Graham gained such a following, but enough people care about what he believes that any change in his position carries weight.

  • Other Gary

    Larry @ 11: “began the steps of altering the truth confessed of the church”

    I see your point. Scrubbing the website at least has the _appearance_ of lifting anathemas. Of course in my view, it’s not a good thing in the first place that Billy Graham gained such a following, but enough people care about what he believes that any change in his position carries weight.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Do you think that this hinges on the use of “cult” as a pejorative?

    I wonder because Mormonism is a pretty selective works righteous religion that kicks out the miscreants. That structural feature means that no too many church going dyed in the wool Mormon adherents are going to be the sort of people that society is going to prevail against. It is just hard to beat winners and Mormonism selects for winners and against the weak.

    I mean I get the overall point that Satan doesn’t really want to be tolerated; he wants to be worshipped. In as much as Mormonism is the work of Satan, yes, it is a threat even into eternity. So, I guess I understand seeing its followers as chaff, albeit mighty appealing chaff. Even a nice cult of nice people is still a cult.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Do you think that this hinges on the use of “cult” as a pejorative?

    I wonder because Mormonism is a pretty selective works righteous religion that kicks out the miscreants. That structural feature means that no too many church going dyed in the wool Mormon adherents are going to be the sort of people that society is going to prevail against. It is just hard to beat winners and Mormonism selects for winners and against the weak.

    I mean I get the overall point that Satan doesn’t really want to be tolerated; he wants to be worshipped. In as much as Mormonism is the work of Satan, yes, it is a threat even into eternity. So, I guess I understand seeing its followers as chaff, albeit mighty appealing chaff. Even a nice cult of nice people is still a cult.

  • Larry

    Exactly Gary, you’ve nailed it. Here the “tolerance” is not as SG is confounding and equivocating the term tolerance. Here we speak of doctrine itself, of the truth itself. Not “tolerance” for a “people group”. And by this move Dr. Graham’s most influential group has compromised and confessed against the truth.

    Why many don’t see this is that they really don’t understand how persecution works other than by the sword, but persecution works more insidiously and more dangerously by attacking the truth itself. This is the form of original sin, Satan did not pull a sword on Eve and threaten her life, he simply said, “hath God really said”.

    Paul makes this point in Gal. when he says Ishmael persecuted Isaac , how, by laughter.

  • Larry

    Exactly Gary, you’ve nailed it. Here the “tolerance” is not as SG is confounding and equivocating the term tolerance. Here we speak of doctrine itself, of the truth itself. Not “tolerance” for a “people group”. And by this move Dr. Graham’s most influential group has compromised and confessed against the truth.

    Why many don’t see this is that they really don’t understand how persecution works other than by the sword, but persecution works more insidiously and more dangerously by attacking the truth itself. This is the form of original sin, Satan did not pull a sword on Eve and threaten her life, he simply said, “hath God really said”.

    Paul makes this point in Gal. when he says Ishmael persecuted Isaac , how, by laughter.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    As Dr. Veith stated, I blame more of this on Graham’s staff than I do Graham himself.

    Disconcerting and questionable at the very least.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    As Dr. Veith stated, I blame more of this on Graham’s staff than I do Graham himself.

    Disconcerting and questionable at the very least.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Of course, while both sg & Larry has valid points, there are 2 other questions to ask: When is a movement a cult, and when does it become a religion of its own. My own analysis is that while Mormonism shares some concepts and language with Christianity, its core tenets makes it another religion. However, it is also evident that many Mormons want to be seen as Christians, but I think one could call that a sociological wish, not a theological one.

    Next question is to do with the term “cult” itself. The wikipedia definition explains cult as a “new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre.” Well, abnormal is in the eye of the beholder – thus orthodox Christianity could be called a cult from certain perspectives. Thus one could speak of a cult from a Christian, or a humanist, or an atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Jewish etc point of view. This definition is thus highly relativistic, and not so useful.

    Using the term cult to describe “mind control” has also been quite problematic, as it is difficult to define mind control unambiguously. The same wiki article does list a useful definition though, by one Louis West:

    A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g. isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc.) designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.[43]

    If we take THAT definition, Mormonism used to be a cult, but has been becoming less so. I think therefore it is of greater use, from an orthodox pov, to define it as a separate, but similar in some aspects, religion.

    But the above definition would classify the Scientologists as a cult, for instance. But it would also classify a number of IFB “churches” as cults – the Hyles-Anderson crowd, Trieber’s crowd, the smaller weirdo’s (Stephen Anderson) etc.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Of course, while both sg & Larry has valid points, there are 2 other questions to ask: When is a movement a cult, and when does it become a religion of its own. My own analysis is that while Mormonism shares some concepts and language with Christianity, its core tenets makes it another religion. However, it is also evident that many Mormons want to be seen as Christians, but I think one could call that a sociological wish, not a theological one.

    Next question is to do with the term “cult” itself. The wikipedia definition explains cult as a “new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre.” Well, abnormal is in the eye of the beholder – thus orthodox Christianity could be called a cult from certain perspectives. Thus one could speak of a cult from a Christian, or a humanist, or an atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Jewish etc point of view. This definition is thus highly relativistic, and not so useful.

    Using the term cult to describe “mind control” has also been quite problematic, as it is difficult to define mind control unambiguously. The same wiki article does list a useful definition though, by one Louis West:

    A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g. isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc.) designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.[43]

    If we take THAT definition, Mormonism used to be a cult, but has been becoming less so. I think therefore it is of greater use, from an orthodox pov, to define it as a separate, but similar in some aspects, religion.

    But the above definition would classify the Scientologists as a cult, for instance. But it would also classify a number of IFB “churches” as cults – the Hyles-Anderson crowd, Trieber’s crowd, the smaller weirdo’s (Stephen Anderson) etc.

  • Dan Kempin

    SG, #10,

    “Muslims ask for tolerance. Do they want to take over?”

    Technically, yes. The ultimate political and worldly domination of Islam is a goal of the religion.

    It’s like saying, “Do Christians want to convert X, Y, or Z from their religion?” Well, yes, they do. At least, they are supposed to. That is the teaching of Christianity–make disciples of all nations. It may not play out in certain personal or political situations, but it is an inherent part of Christianity.

    But I digress. . .

  • Dan Kempin

    SG, #10,

    “Muslims ask for tolerance. Do they want to take over?”

    Technically, yes. The ultimate political and worldly domination of Islam is a goal of the religion.

    It’s like saying, “Do Christians want to convert X, Y, or Z from their religion?” Well, yes, they do. At least, they are supposed to. That is the teaching of Christianity–make disciples of all nations. It may not play out in certain personal or political situations, but it is an inherent part of Christianity.

    But I digress. . .

  • Dan Kempin

    This event on the Graham website can be seen from different perspectives.

    1) Personally, it is an evasion. He is attempting to avoid an awkward discussion.

    2) Theologically, it is a little unclear. Sure, it seems like a compromise to remove the previous statement, but on the other hand, I don’t think the previous statement was particularly brilliant. Since when is Billy Graham the keeper of the authoritative list of cults? I have in the past complained about him saying more than he ought. Shall I now complain because he says less than he could? I mean, where is his statement on the filioque controversy? Where does he stand on the lutheran confessions? See what I mean? I don’t think we should suddenly start acting like he is the authority on this.

    3) Politically, this was astute. I don’t necessarily say good or shrewd, but it was astute to recognize that someone was going to try to make political hay out of this. Let’s face it, if someone noticed that this little item went missing from the website, you had better believe that someone was preparing to politicize the name of Billy Graham in the final days of the election. Is it wrong for him to not want to be in the middle of that? I don’t know. Would “Billy Graham calls Mitt Romney a Cultist” headlines be beneficial politically or theologically? Maybe. You tell me.

  • Dan Kempin

    This event on the Graham website can be seen from different perspectives.

    1) Personally, it is an evasion. He is attempting to avoid an awkward discussion.

    2) Theologically, it is a little unclear. Sure, it seems like a compromise to remove the previous statement, but on the other hand, I don’t think the previous statement was particularly brilliant. Since when is Billy Graham the keeper of the authoritative list of cults? I have in the past complained about him saying more than he ought. Shall I now complain because he says less than he could? I mean, where is his statement on the filioque controversy? Where does he stand on the lutheran confessions? See what I mean? I don’t think we should suddenly start acting like he is the authority on this.

    3) Politically, this was astute. I don’t necessarily say good or shrewd, but it was astute to recognize that someone was going to try to make political hay out of this. Let’s face it, if someone noticed that this little item went missing from the website, you had better believe that someone was preparing to politicize the name of Billy Graham in the final days of the election. Is it wrong for him to not want to be in the middle of that? I don’t know. Would “Billy Graham calls Mitt Romney a Cultist” headlines be beneficial politically or theologically? Maybe. You tell me.

  • Larry

    KK makes a good observation concerning terms and why one cannot just really examine terms, but the form of doctrine. A doctrine, whatever it is, is a concept (I’m borrowing from Kilkrease on this) and a concept can be expressed in many differing ways. So that just because a word is absence or other wise used doesn’t mean a “concept” and hence doctrine (true or false) is not present. This is why the church constantly has to restate things when a counter false teaching arises, hence for example the Lutheran clarity of “very and true” because “real presence” was being used to express another doctrine or concept.

    A good example of this is Luther and the term “alone” in “faith alone”. It doesn’t appear in Romans and Rome pointed this out, but the doctrine or concept IS there and Rome was teaching a counter doctrine or concept even using Paul’s words, thus Luther used it to bring forth the (true/orthodox) doctrine/concept in opposition to that which was false and contrary to the truth.

    The term “cult” at least in the evangelical circles, particularly in SB circles (I know we had the classes through Southern) and particularly in relation to Mormonism had a particular doctrinal import with it giving an identity of Mormonism as basically devoid of anything Christian whatsoever. It was not the difference we see between say two denominations in which both would say, “we are orthodox yours is admixture, but still retains enough truth (we don’t rebaptize other denominations for example)”, but rather the difference between that which is at least partially Christian (perhaps with essential issues) and that which is not only not Christian but utterly counter to it (every denomination for example requires a mormon convert to be baptized).

    That’s the context of “cult” in most Christian circles and particularly the brand evangelicalism that tended to follow Billy Graham’s ministries. And that act, by Graham’s ministries, just confessed against the Christian faith.

    It would have been fine if M. Romney simply went to Graham and said, “We agree on a lot of moral issues and politics, I’m more capable of pulling the country out, etc…I need your help.” And Graham agreed and perhaps even promoted those issues. But now Graham or at least his ministries made a confession relating to the faith, denying it, and that is the big issue. And I’m certain the idea came from M.R. and/or his handlers, because the goal was to get more evangelicals to vote this way and solve the Mormon Vs. Christian issue for them. How did they do it? By appealing to common held moral and virtue issues? No, by silently denying the faith and affirming that which is against the faith.

    Think about what it took to make that decision and what they must be assuming of the laity, that they cannot be just honest with them and appeal to common politically held issues and “we can vote for that”. They just practiced deception. Because if you assume the laity understand that difference, political/moral like issues versus the Christian faith and false religions, then you’d have no reason to withdraw the website. If you assume the laity are ignorant on this, then you just flat out deceived them further.

  • Larry

    KK makes a good observation concerning terms and why one cannot just really examine terms, but the form of doctrine. A doctrine, whatever it is, is a concept (I’m borrowing from Kilkrease on this) and a concept can be expressed in many differing ways. So that just because a word is absence or other wise used doesn’t mean a “concept” and hence doctrine (true or false) is not present. This is why the church constantly has to restate things when a counter false teaching arises, hence for example the Lutheran clarity of “very and true” because “real presence” was being used to express another doctrine or concept.

    A good example of this is Luther and the term “alone” in “faith alone”. It doesn’t appear in Romans and Rome pointed this out, but the doctrine or concept IS there and Rome was teaching a counter doctrine or concept even using Paul’s words, thus Luther used it to bring forth the (true/orthodox) doctrine/concept in opposition to that which was false and contrary to the truth.

    The term “cult” at least in the evangelical circles, particularly in SB circles (I know we had the classes through Southern) and particularly in relation to Mormonism had a particular doctrinal import with it giving an identity of Mormonism as basically devoid of anything Christian whatsoever. It was not the difference we see between say two denominations in which both would say, “we are orthodox yours is admixture, but still retains enough truth (we don’t rebaptize other denominations for example)”, but rather the difference between that which is at least partially Christian (perhaps with essential issues) and that which is not only not Christian but utterly counter to it (every denomination for example requires a mormon convert to be baptized).

    That’s the context of “cult” in most Christian circles and particularly the brand evangelicalism that tended to follow Billy Graham’s ministries. And that act, by Graham’s ministries, just confessed against the Christian faith.

    It would have been fine if M. Romney simply went to Graham and said, “We agree on a lot of moral issues and politics, I’m more capable of pulling the country out, etc…I need your help.” And Graham agreed and perhaps even promoted those issues. But now Graham or at least his ministries made a confession relating to the faith, denying it, and that is the big issue. And I’m certain the idea came from M.R. and/or his handlers, because the goal was to get more evangelicals to vote this way and solve the Mormon Vs. Christian issue for them. How did they do it? By appealing to common held moral and virtue issues? No, by silently denying the faith and affirming that which is against the faith.

    Think about what it took to make that decision and what they must be assuming of the laity, that they cannot be just honest with them and appeal to common politically held issues and “we can vote for that”. They just practiced deception. Because if you assume the laity understand that difference, political/moral like issues versus the Christian faith and false religions, then you’d have no reason to withdraw the website. If you assume the laity are ignorant on this, then you just flat out deceived them further.

  • Anon

    Does anyone really think Billy Graham is behind this? I don’t.

    I’d say all the evidence points to Billy’s son, Franklin. Billy Graham, if I recollect, never endorsed a Presidential candidate his entire life. He purposely stayed neutral. He’s being manipulated.

    This is obviously a ploy on Franklin’s part to get Christians to vote for Romney.

    The scrubbing of Mormonism from the BGEA web site is just the pretext.

  • Anon

    Does anyone really think Billy Graham is behind this? I don’t.

    I’d say all the evidence points to Billy’s son, Franklin. Billy Graham, if I recollect, never endorsed a Presidential candidate his entire life. He purposely stayed neutral. He’s being manipulated.

    This is obviously a ploy on Franklin’s part to get Christians to vote for Romney.

    The scrubbing of Mormonism from the BGEA web site is just the pretext.

  • Joe

    I don’t think it matters whether it was the heterodox Saint Billy or his kid that did the scrubbing, the question is whether the endorsement and scrubbing will do damage to the Church.

  • Joe

    I don’t think it matters whether it was the heterodox Saint Billy or his kid that did the scrubbing, the question is whether the endorsement and scrubbing will do damage to the Church.

  • Stephen

    Ummm, I don’t think anyone mentioned this yet, but did anyone else notice that Billy Graham PRAYED with MR. If that isn’t an endorsement of Mormonism as legitimately Christian (rather than “seems like”) and borderline apostacy, well . . .

    I direct you now to Commandment Numero Uno.

  • Stephen

    Ummm, I don’t think anyone mentioned this yet, but did anyone else notice that Billy Graham PRAYED with MR. If that isn’t an endorsement of Mormonism as legitimately Christian (rather than “seems like”) and borderline apostacy, well . . .

    I direct you now to Commandment Numero Uno.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    I don’t think the term “cult” is helpful. After what happened to the Branch Davidians, it seems that the label can be used to make outsiders feel the group is weird and therefore unworthy of any rights. That said, the term also makes it seem as if we should consider most people who claim to be Christians normal and acceptable, and a few strange and unacceptable. I think differently of faith and false doctrine. False doctrine can be deadly even in small doses. Yet some survive even heavy amounts of it. The term “cult” does seem to be an almost political word. It is about how we regard a group as a social unit. As a social group, I hope Mormons have their rights respected. Now onto doctrine. I hope their false doctrines are recognized as such. But with Romney, I’m more worried about his political doctrines than his religious ones. Or more worried that he’s doctrinally indifferent in the political arena.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    I don’t think the term “cult” is helpful. After what happened to the Branch Davidians, it seems that the label can be used to make outsiders feel the group is weird and therefore unworthy of any rights. That said, the term also makes it seem as if we should consider most people who claim to be Christians normal and acceptable, and a few strange and unacceptable. I think differently of faith and false doctrine. False doctrine can be deadly even in small doses. Yet some survive even heavy amounts of it. The term “cult” does seem to be an almost political word. It is about how we regard a group as a social unit. As a social group, I hope Mormons have their rights respected. Now onto doctrine. I hope their false doctrines are recognized as such. But with Romney, I’m more worried about his political doctrines than his religious ones. Or more worried that he’s doctrinally indifferent in the political arena.

  • rlewer

    Mormonism is a non- Christian false religion. The word “cult” is not useful.

    Very few, if any, candidates for president have been doctrinally pure Christians. We are electing a president, not a pope.

  • rlewer

    Mormonism is a non- Christian false religion. The word “cult” is not useful.

    Very few, if any, candidates for president have been doctrinally pure Christians. We are electing a president, not a pope.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yeah, I really don’t get the battle over the word “cult”. If anything, it seems to belittle the very real problem of heresy/heterodoxy among sects that are less controversially Christian. Why not just label any false doctrine as such and leave it at that?

    And whether Graham himself approved this change or is even aware of it, or it’s his son doing it, or whatever, isn’t terribly important, either. If anything, it’s the scrubbing of the site isn’t a potential cause of problems, it’s merely an effect of the already-existent problem.

    And, while it’s a rather pointed remark, here I will defer to the comment by Tony Jones (with whom I am otherwise unfamiliar), linked by Veith above:

    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.

    Of course, not a few Lutherans are guilty of the same thing — to the degree that those Lutherans are even distinguishable from Evangelicals, anyhow.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yeah, I really don’t get the battle over the word “cult”. If anything, it seems to belittle the very real problem of heresy/heterodoxy among sects that are less controversially Christian. Why not just label any false doctrine as such and leave it at that?

    And whether Graham himself approved this change or is even aware of it, or it’s his son doing it, or whatever, isn’t terribly important, either. If anything, it’s the scrubbing of the site isn’t a potential cause of problems, it’s merely an effect of the already-existent problem.

    And, while it’s a rather pointed remark, here I will defer to the comment by Tony Jones (with whom I am otherwise unfamiliar), linked by Veith above:

    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.

    Of course, not a few Lutherans are guilty of the same thing — to the degree that those Lutherans are even distinguishable from Evangelicals, anyhow.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And now for some inside Lutheran baseball.

    Stephen said (@22):

    …did anyone else notice that Billy Graham PRAYED with MR. If that isn’t an endorsement of Mormonism as legitimately Christian (rather than “seems like”) and borderline apostacy, well…

    Oh, don’t worry. It’s not like they engaged in pulpit fellowship!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And now for some inside Lutheran baseball.

    Stephen said (@22):

    …did anyone else notice that Billy Graham PRAYED with MR. If that isn’t an endorsement of Mormonism as legitimately Christian (rather than “seems like”) and borderline apostacy, well…

    Oh, don’t worry. It’s not like they engaged in pulpit fellowship!

  • Grace

    The article below was very troubling to me as I read it days ago. Billy Graham has many medical problems. He has Parkinson’s disease and other issues. However I am very disappointed in his son Franklin Graham. I’ve met both the elder and younger Graham, it’s a sad time for myself and many other Christians.

    Mitt Romney meets with Rev. Billy Graham
    Oct 11, 6:11 PM (ET)
    By KASIE HUNT

    MONTREAT, N.C. (AP) -Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney met Thursday with Rev. Billy Graham, and the aging evangelist pledged to do “all I can” to help the GOP nominee win the presidency.

    Romney went to see Graham and his son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, at the elderly evangelist’s mountaintop home in the mountains of western North Carolina.

    “Prayer is the most helpful thing you can do for me,” Romney told the 93-year-old Graham.

    The meeting came just days after Romney told a newspaper he would not pursue abortion-related legislation as president. Romney later insisted that he would be a “pro-life president.”

    The Republican candidate said Thursday that Franklin Graham, also an evangelical leader, had been helping his presidential bid.

    “What you’re planning, what your son has shown me, is going to be very, very helpful. And I appreciate that. It’s going to be terrific,” Romney said near the end of their 30-minute meeting.”

    Another excerpt:

    “Some evangelicals have also been skeptical because Romney once supported abortion rights, a critical issue with the Christian right. This week, Romney told The Des Moines Register editorial board that there wasn’t any abortion-related legislation he planned to pursue as president. A spokeswoman quickly clarified his remark, and on Wednesday, Romney told reporters that he is running as a “pro-life candidate and I’ll be a pro-life president.”

    Read the rest; http://apnews.myway.com/article/20121011/DA1RK88G3.html

  • Grace

    The article below was very troubling to me as I read it days ago. Billy Graham has many medical problems. He has Parkinson’s disease and other issues. However I am very disappointed in his son Franklin Graham. I’ve met both the elder and younger Graham, it’s a sad time for myself and many other Christians.

    Mitt Romney meets with Rev. Billy Graham
    Oct 11, 6:11 PM (ET)
    By KASIE HUNT

    MONTREAT, N.C. (AP) -Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney met Thursday with Rev. Billy Graham, and the aging evangelist pledged to do “all I can” to help the GOP nominee win the presidency.

    Romney went to see Graham and his son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, at the elderly evangelist’s mountaintop home in the mountains of western North Carolina.

    “Prayer is the most helpful thing you can do for me,” Romney told the 93-year-old Graham.

    The meeting came just days after Romney told a newspaper he would not pursue abortion-related legislation as president. Romney later insisted that he would be a “pro-life president.”

    The Republican candidate said Thursday that Franklin Graham, also an evangelical leader, had been helping his presidential bid.

    “What you’re planning, what your son has shown me, is going to be very, very helpful. And I appreciate that. It’s going to be terrific,” Romney said near the end of their 30-minute meeting.”

    Another excerpt:

    “Some evangelicals have also been skeptical because Romney once supported abortion rights, a critical issue with the Christian right. This week, Romney told The Des Moines Register editorial board that there wasn’t any abortion-related legislation he planned to pursue as president. A spokeswoman quickly clarified his remark, and on Wednesday, Romney told reporters that he is running as a “pro-life candidate and I’ll be a pro-life president.”

    Read the rest; http://apnews.myway.com/article/20121011/DA1RK88G3.html

  • helen

    … @ 6 &7

    I believe the quote is from Charles Porterfield Krauth, and another era in which Christianity was under attack inside the church.

  • helen

    … @ 6 &7

    I believe the quote is from Charles Porterfield Krauth, and another era in which Christianity was under attack inside the church.

  • Grace

    Mormonism is a cult!

  • Grace

    Mormonism is a cult!

  • dust

    tODD…right on! just occurred to me, perhaps what our politicians say they want to see happen in china will happen to the mormons?

    that is, in the beginning of our increased trade, etc. with china they were pretty much still pure communist, or so the rhetoric says, but as a result of trading with us and allowing our businesses (all american ones like nike and apple and google, etc) to operate there, they will become more like us, yeah. more democratic and capitalist, etc. well, that’s the theory, right?

    so maybe something similar will happen when the mormon church is seen no longer as pure cult (which don’t really like and am thinking it’s an old word used in older times, when folks spoke a bit more harshly and Christianity was more conservative and really dominant) and everyone is more tolerant of them?

    as that happens, they will become more like mainstream christianity (don’t know if that’s a good idea really, ha!), less secretive and move away from what are perceived to be cult like practices and behavior?

    hope so :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    tODD…right on! just occurred to me, perhaps what our politicians say they want to see happen in china will happen to the mormons?

    that is, in the beginning of our increased trade, etc. with china they were pretty much still pure communist, or so the rhetoric says, but as a result of trading with us and allowing our businesses (all american ones like nike and apple and google, etc) to operate there, they will become more like us, yeah. more democratic and capitalist, etc. well, that’s the theory, right?

    so maybe something similar will happen when the mormon church is seen no longer as pure cult (which don’t really like and am thinking it’s an old word used in older times, when folks spoke a bit more harshly and Christianity was more conservative and really dominant) and everyone is more tolerant of them?

    as that happens, they will become more like mainstream christianity (don’t know if that’s a good idea really, ha!), less secretive and move away from what are perceived to be cult like practices and behavior?

    hope so :)

    cheers!

  • helen

    Billy Graham’s web site is revised, so as not to offend Mormons, taking down a lot of other stuff that just might offend someone in the process. But individuals will not suffer repercussions for expressing “conservative” political and moral views!?

    You mean, like an organization deciding not to pay tribute to Planned Parenthood?
    Or Ford deciding to spend less on advertising in GLBT magazines?
    Right, just like that.

  • helen

    Billy Graham’s web site is revised, so as not to offend Mormons, taking down a lot of other stuff that just might offend someone in the process. But individuals will not suffer repercussions for expressing “conservative” political and moral views!?

    You mean, like an organization deciding not to pay tribute to Planned Parenthood?
    Or Ford deciding to spend less on advertising in GLBT magazines?
    Right, just like that.

  • http://www.gslcnm.com Pastor Philip Spomer

    This is exactly the kind of thing that I feared the Romney candidacy would bring about. The U.S. population is especially vulnerable to the co-opting of Christianity especially by politically conservative Christians who are much more concerned about ‘values’ than theology.
    I’m planning to get a bumper sticker:
    “Polytheism is not a Family Value”

  • http://www.gslcnm.com Pastor Philip Spomer

    This is exactly the kind of thing that I feared the Romney candidacy would bring about. The U.S. population is especially vulnerable to the co-opting of Christianity especially by politically conservative Christians who are much more concerned about ‘values’ than theology.
    I’m planning to get a bumper sticker:
    “Polytheism is not a Family Value”

  • Stephen
  • Stephen
  • Larry

    Bingo Todd at 25 and Pastor Spomer at 32.

  • Larry

    Bingo Todd at 25 and Pastor Spomer at 32.

  • Joe

    tODD — @ 26. Okay, ha ha. That was pretty good. Bit for the record it is still a violation of fellowship (LCMS – style) and therefore an act of syncretism to pray with (as opposed to for) non-Christians (even if we don’t do a great job of enforcing it).

  • Joe

    tODD — @ 26. Okay, ha ha. That was pretty good. Bit for the record it is still a violation of fellowship (LCMS – style) and therefore an act of syncretism to pray with (as opposed to for) non-Christians (even if we don’t do a great job of enforcing it).

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well to be honest, by Billy Grahams definition of Cult, his ministry is a cult….
    I suppose that is always the question though, at what point do you determine this group is a cult, for what reasons? At variance with the Biblical message is a little vague.
    Historically, Christian churches have determined that denial of the triune God was the threshold. Of course hindus aren’t “a cult.” they are a religion, which used to be what cult meant. It has become a pejorative term over the years. Mostly because we used it to describe Mormons and the like.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well to be honest, by Billy Grahams definition of Cult, his ministry is a cult….
    I suppose that is always the question though, at what point do you determine this group is a cult, for what reasons? At variance with the Biblical message is a little vague.
    Historically, Christian churches have determined that denial of the triune God was the threshold. Of course hindus aren’t “a cult.” they are a religion, which used to be what cult meant. It has become a pejorative term over the years. Mostly because we used it to describe Mormons and the like.

  • Stephen

    If I were to put the best construction on it, I’d have to say that this is evidence that evangelicals have no sound doctrine to begin with and that this religious endorsement (that’s what it is – not simply political) is born out of ignorance. But maybe Mormons will one day seek more legitimacy and drop the goofiness like the Worldwide Church of God did after Herbert Armstrong died. They are now considered mainstream Evangelicals and even publish materials that lots of Evangelicals/Baptists/etc. use (I believe it is called Grace Publishing).

    Wait, who am I kidding? That won’t happen. More likely it will go the other way, with evangelicals becoming Mormons or some version of Mormon Lite, with some kind of quasi-American exceptionalism that they borrow from Mormons fused into their already weak (and often false) doctrine. That is, after all, the goal of Mormonism – to become the one, true, uniquely American religion by usurping historic/biblical Christianity. That’s why they have their own scriptures – another gospel, about which St. Paul warned. Billy and Franklin seem to have no qualms about that.

  • Stephen

    If I were to put the best construction on it, I’d have to say that this is evidence that evangelicals have no sound doctrine to begin with and that this religious endorsement (that’s what it is – not simply political) is born out of ignorance. But maybe Mormons will one day seek more legitimacy and drop the goofiness like the Worldwide Church of God did after Herbert Armstrong died. They are now considered mainstream Evangelicals and even publish materials that lots of Evangelicals/Baptists/etc. use (I believe it is called Grace Publishing).

    Wait, who am I kidding? That won’t happen. More likely it will go the other way, with evangelicals becoming Mormons or some version of Mormon Lite, with some kind of quasi-American exceptionalism that they borrow from Mormons fused into their already weak (and often false) doctrine. That is, after all, the goal of Mormonism – to become the one, true, uniquely American religion by usurping historic/biblical Christianity. That’s why they have their own scriptures – another gospel, about which St. Paul warned. Billy and Franklin seem to have no qualms about that.

  • Jon

    I wouldn’t call Mormonism even a “sect” as some here suggested. For, “sect” implies that it split off from an orthodox branch but just differs in some heterodoxical way.

    And, there are more Mormons in the US than Lutherans probably, if size matters in the “cult” definition. So “cult” is not descriptive either.

    No, instead, Mormonism is just entirely an “other religion.” It may use many of the same words as the Christian religion, but not in the same meaning at all.

    I would just put Mormonism in the non-Christian bucket along with every other ladder-up religion out there–Islam, Buddhism, you name it.

  • Jon

    I wouldn’t call Mormonism even a “sect” as some here suggested. For, “sect” implies that it split off from an orthodox branch but just differs in some heterodoxical way.

    And, there are more Mormons in the US than Lutherans probably, if size matters in the “cult” definition. So “cult” is not descriptive either.

    No, instead, Mormonism is just entirely an “other religion.” It may use many of the same words as the Christian religion, but not in the same meaning at all.

    I would just put Mormonism in the non-Christian bucket along with every other ladder-up religion out there–Islam, Buddhism, you name it.

  • Jen Lehmann

    In our small town in Montana, which has a large Mormon population, the Mormon bishop is the president of the ministerial association. The majority of the other pastors in town don’t understand why my husband won’t participate in the prayers and why our congregation won’t participate in the joint worship services. The Thanksgiving service this year will be held in the Mormon church. Romney getting elected and evangelical Christianity deciding to be politically correct about the LDS will have huge repurcussions here.

  • Jen Lehmann

    In our small town in Montana, which has a large Mormon population, the Mormon bishop is the president of the ministerial association. The majority of the other pastors in town don’t understand why my husband won’t participate in the prayers and why our congregation won’t participate in the joint worship services. The Thanksgiving service this year will be held in the Mormon church. Romney getting elected and evangelical Christianity deciding to be politically correct about the LDS will have huge repurcussions here.

  • Grace

    Jon @ 38

    Interesting – you comment: “I would just put Mormonism in the non-Christian bucket along with every other ladder-up religion out there–Islam, Buddhism, you name it.

    “The first account we have of the visitation of divine beings in this dispensation, is the account that is given to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith himself, concerning the visit of the Father and the Son. There had been men, doubtless many men in the various ages of the world, who had light and who had a degree of the Spirit of God. I believe myself that Mahomed, whom the Christians deride and call a false prophet and stigmatize with a great many epithets—I believe that he was a man raised up by the Almighty, and inspired to a certain extent by Him to effect the reforms which he did in his land, and in the nations surrounding.

    Discourse by President Geo. Q. Cannon, delivered in the Meetinghouse, Provo, Sunday Morning, September 2nd, 1883.
    Reported by John Irvine.
    Journal of Discourses Volume 24, page 371

  • Grace

    Jon @ 38

    Interesting – you comment: “I would just put Mormonism in the non-Christian bucket along with every other ladder-up religion out there–Islam, Buddhism, you name it.

    “The first account we have of the visitation of divine beings in this dispensation, is the account that is given to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith himself, concerning the visit of the Father and the Son. There had been men, doubtless many men in the various ages of the world, who had light and who had a degree of the Spirit of God. I believe myself that Mahomed, whom the Christians deride and call a false prophet and stigmatize with a great many epithets—I believe that he was a man raised up by the Almighty, and inspired to a certain extent by Him to effect the reforms which he did in his land, and in the nations surrounding.

    Discourse by President Geo. Q. Cannon, delivered in the Meetinghouse, Provo, Sunday Morning, September 2nd, 1883.
    Reported by John Irvine.
    Journal of Discourses Volume 24, page 371

  • Grace

    Jen Lehmann @ 39

    Many people don’t know the difference, in fact they won’t even study, so that they might understand how un-Biblical Mormonism is.

    Your situation is very sad. The Bible tells us very clearly:

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    2 Timothy 2:15

  • Grace

    Jen Lehmann @ 39

    Many people don’t know the difference, in fact they won’t even study, so that they might understand how un-Biblical Mormonism is.

    Your situation is very sad. The Bible tells us very clearly:

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    2 Timothy 2:15

  • SKPeterson

    There is a full page advert in the WSJ today from Billy Graham (or perhaps just the BGEA) which doesn’t explicitly endorse any candidate. It says

    I believe it is vitally important that we cast our balltos for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.

    Based on Graham’s own criteria, he’s saying “Don’t vote for either of these rather unbiblical fellows.” Although, I suppose this goes beyond the Presidential election and has as much to do with Congress. What’s that line? “Put not your trust in princes…”

  • SKPeterson

    There is a full page advert in the WSJ today from Billy Graham (or perhaps just the BGEA) which doesn’t explicitly endorse any candidate. It says

    I believe it is vitally important that we cast our balltos for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.

    Based on Graham’s own criteria, he’s saying “Don’t vote for either of these rather unbiblical fellows.” Although, I suppose this goes beyond the Presidential election and has as much to do with Congress. What’s that line? “Put not your trust in princes…”

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @42

    Are you sure you got this information, as you stated above, from the Wall Street Journal. If so, would you give the LINK?

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @42

    Are you sure you got this information, as you stated above, from the Wall Street Journal. If so, would you give the LINK?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@42), you mean this? Looks like there are two different versions of the message.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@42), you mean this? Looks like there are two different versions of the message.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd @ 44 – That’s it. I didn’t quote the first line – the message is the same.

    I do find it odd that they put an ad in the WSJ in the aftermath of the meeting with Romney. I wonder if this was also put into other news outlets?

  • SKPeterson

    Todd @ 44 – That’s it. I didn’t quote the first line – the message is the same.

    I do find it odd that they put an ad in the WSJ in the aftermath of the meeting with Romney. I wonder if this was also put into other news outlets?

  • SKPeterson

    Todd – Never mind. I see what you mean by the “Crossroads” message v. the “Legacy” one. Makes me think even more that the probability that these are actually Bill Graham’s words is fairly low. Not that he doesn’t endorse the sentiments, but it has all the appeal of a carefully crafted marketing campaign, not the heartfelt sentiments of an aged pastor.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd – Never mind. I see what you mean by the “Crossroads” message v. the “Legacy” one. Makes me think even more that the probability that these are actually Bill Graham’s words is fairly low. Not that he doesn’t endorse the sentiments, but it has all the appeal of a carefully crafted marketing campaign, not the heartfelt sentiments of an aged pastor.

  • WebMonk

    Grace, do you realize you just asked SK to post a link to an advertisement on a PHYSICAL paper? Not an online ad, but a “full page” ad in a physical paper. It’s sort of hard to post a link to something like that.

  • WebMonk

    Grace, do you realize you just asked SK to post a link to an advertisement on a PHYSICAL paper? Not an online ad, but a “full page” ad in a physical paper. It’s sort of hard to post a link to something like that.

  • Grace

    I have known for a long time that Mark DeMoss was Graham’s advisor and spokesman. I am surprised that DeMoss is now a Romney advisor, or maybe I’m not, but sad!

    Billy Graham group no longer calls Mormonism a cult
    by Rachel Weiner on October 18, 2012

    “While Billy Graham has never formally endorsed a candidate, the ties between the family and Romney have grown tighter, starting with Franklin’s call before the S.C. presidential primary for conservative Christians to not hold Romney’s religion against him. “We are not electing a pastor-in-chief,” he said at the time.

    Mark DeMoss, Franklin Graham’s longtime spokesman, is now a Romney adviser. DeMoss told the Associated Press last week that Franklin Graham “is doing everything he can to encourage churches to encourage their people to get out and vote.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/10/18/billy-graham-group-no-longer-calls-mormonism-a-cult/

  • Grace

    I have known for a long time that Mark DeMoss was Graham’s advisor and spokesman. I am surprised that DeMoss is now a Romney advisor, or maybe I’m not, but sad!

    Billy Graham group no longer calls Mormonism a cult
    by Rachel Weiner on October 18, 2012

    “While Billy Graham has never formally endorsed a candidate, the ties between the family and Romney have grown tighter, starting with Franklin’s call before the S.C. presidential primary for conservative Christians to not hold Romney’s religion against him. “We are not electing a pastor-in-chief,” he said at the time.

    Mark DeMoss, Franklin Graham’s longtime spokesman, is now a Romney adviser. DeMoss told the Associated Press last week that Franklin Graham “is doing everything he can to encourage churches to encourage their people to get out and vote.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/10/18/billy-graham-group-no-longer-calls-mormonism-a-cult/

  • Grace

    WebMonk @47

    No I hadn’t thought of it that way. Yes it is hard to post a link to a full page advertisement, LOL.

  • Grace

    WebMonk @47

    No I hadn’t thought of it that way. Yes it is hard to post a link to a full page advertisement, LOL.

  • Larry

    The focus is too much on the “cult” term, its conceptual doctrine that is the problem. I mean do you think it would “sound” better to the Mormon ear or MR if Graham had removed the term “cult” and said anyone of the following accurate and true terms:

    1. False religion
    2. Antichrist
    3. Religion of Satan

    Etc…

    Yea that’s what they were shooting for…not at all. The foot’s in the door now. From a Lutheran point of view looking outwardly, yes its easy and correct to say “yep just another heterodoxy making the final push off of the cliff”.

    But of those within evangelical community that at least held that their confession is orthodox, this is shocking because of the influence and reach of Graham.

    Put another way, it would almost be like Romney meeting with a Lutheran synod and the synod the next day yanking its statements regarding Mormonism with nothing but crickets and frogs following the yank.

    No, Graham should repent immediately and owes, even if it is heterodoxy (because heterodoxy internal to itself must consider itself orthodoxy otherwise it would be an open admission of “yea we false teachings mingled”), an explanation. It’s not as if Joe Blow down at the local watering hole suddenly decided Mormonism was not a cult and announced it.

    Irony of irony, its the conservative republican party that will prove to be the greater enemy of the church and its unfolding, not as slowly as I thought it would, before our very eyes.

    All those years of the left doing this and that to the churches moral issues, when all it really took was a little pinch on the ole wallet and suddenly walla Mormonism’s no longer false. The old idol money doesn’t talk, it screams.

    The left HAS to be saying to themselves, “Damn, that was fast.”

  • Larry

    The focus is too much on the “cult” term, its conceptual doctrine that is the problem. I mean do you think it would “sound” better to the Mormon ear or MR if Graham had removed the term “cult” and said anyone of the following accurate and true terms:

    1. False religion
    2. Antichrist
    3. Religion of Satan

    Etc…

    Yea that’s what they were shooting for…not at all. The foot’s in the door now. From a Lutheran point of view looking outwardly, yes its easy and correct to say “yep just another heterodoxy making the final push off of the cliff”.

    But of those within evangelical community that at least held that their confession is orthodox, this is shocking because of the influence and reach of Graham.

    Put another way, it would almost be like Romney meeting with a Lutheran synod and the synod the next day yanking its statements regarding Mormonism with nothing but crickets and frogs following the yank.

    No, Graham should repent immediately and owes, even if it is heterodoxy (because heterodoxy internal to itself must consider itself orthodoxy otherwise it would be an open admission of “yea we false teachings mingled”), an explanation. It’s not as if Joe Blow down at the local watering hole suddenly decided Mormonism was not a cult and announced it.

    Irony of irony, its the conservative republican party that will prove to be the greater enemy of the church and its unfolding, not as slowly as I thought it would, before our very eyes.

    All those years of the left doing this and that to the churches moral issues, when all it really took was a little pinch on the ole wallet and suddenly walla Mormonism’s no longer false. The old idol money doesn’t talk, it screams.

    The left HAS to be saying to themselves, “Damn, that was fast.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@46), given the nature of both Billy Graham (age and all that comes with it) and the BGEA (a corporation producing corporate messages), it is of course impossible to know which messages are truly Mr. Graham’s, unless we see footage of him mouthing the very words himself.

    That said, every appearance is given to implying that, yes, this message is explicitly approved by Mr. Graham: not only a picture of the man, but his signature and the location “Montreat, NC” (Mr. Graham’s location, not the BGEA’s) accompany the text.

    Sure, perhaps Mr. Graham was or is not in full control of his faculties when he “approved” it. But now you’re well down Assumption Alley. Seems to me the most reasonable conclusion is that Billy Graham approves this message.

    Regardless, even if it’s just his son Franklin or some other cadre of Evangelicals, I think the point remains the same: Something is rotten in the state of religio-political collusion.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@46), given the nature of both Billy Graham (age and all that comes with it) and the BGEA (a corporation producing corporate messages), it is of course impossible to know which messages are truly Mr. Graham’s, unless we see footage of him mouthing the very words himself.

    That said, every appearance is given to implying that, yes, this message is explicitly approved by Mr. Graham: not only a picture of the man, but his signature and the location “Montreat, NC” (Mr. Graham’s location, not the BGEA’s) accompany the text.

    Sure, perhaps Mr. Graham was or is not in full control of his faculties when he “approved” it. But now you’re well down Assumption Alley. Seems to me the most reasonable conclusion is that Billy Graham approves this message.

    Regardless, even if it’s just his son Franklin or some other cadre of Evangelicals, I think the point remains the same: Something is rotten in the state of religio-political collusion.

  • Grace

    Larry @50

    We rarely agree, however, your post is stellar.

    I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am with Franklin Graham. The effects of his comments, joining himself with Romney as a Mormon is shocking.

    1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

    2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

    4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

    5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

    6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
    Psalm 1

  • Grace

    Larry @50

    We rarely agree, however, your post is stellar.

    I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am with Franklin Graham. The effects of his comments, joining himself with Romney as a Mormon is shocking.

    1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

    2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

    4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

    5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

    6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
    Psalm 1

  • Larry

    Grace,

    Well now while we do have rather spirited debates, we’ve not always disagreed on everything.

    I’ve always said you take the Word of God seriously and its not malleable, and I deeply respect that, always have and always will. Even when we’ve had spirited exchanges:-)

  • Larry

    Grace,

    Well now while we do have rather spirited debates, we’ve not always disagreed on everything.

    I’ve always said you take the Word of God seriously and its not malleable, and I deeply respect that, always have and always will. Even when we’ve had spirited exchanges:-)

  • Micah Burke

    “Christianity is doctrinally closer to Islam than to Mormonism.” Dr. James R. White

    Not arguing that either is good, only that Mormonism is truly polytheistic, not monotheistic.

  • Micah Burke

    “Christianity is doctrinally closer to Islam than to Mormonism.” Dr. James R. White

    Not arguing that either is good, only that Mormonism is truly polytheistic, not monotheistic.

  • Grace

    Thank you Larry @43

    We’ve had our moments, but one thing I know, you love the LORD, and you are sincere, that means a great deal. God knows our hearts, the secret places, where we have difficulty (me) in expressing ourselves.

    Blessings

  • Grace

    Thank you Larry @43

    We’ve had our moments, but one thing I know, you love the LORD, and you are sincere, that means a great deal. God knows our hearts, the secret places, where we have difficulty (me) in expressing ourselves.

    Blessings

  • Helen K.

    I have supported the Billy Graham Assn. for years and received the first issue of Decision magazine so I go back a long way with them. As I think I mentioned in another thread, I saw Franklin Graham on the Piers Morgan show this past week being asked by Piers if he thought Mormans were christians. Franklin never gave a yes or no answer and I do understand why. As I commented then, it wouldn’t have been as surprising coming from say, J. Osteen or someone like him. Franklin is a straight shooter as far as I know but I think he and Billy are in an odd position wanting to endorse a candidate with mostly conservative values, but who happens to be a Morman. Can you imagine if Franklin had answered “yes” to Morgan at that question. The press would have had a field day and in fact, already have. I still believe in my heart of hearts, that neither Billy or Franklin believe that Mormanism is true, orthodox Christianity as we believe the creeds and Scripture teach. You know the old saying.. Between a rock and a hard place. Won’t stop me from voting for Romney, however nor supporting Billy Graham’s message. I will be praying for them. God is sovereign.

  • Helen K.

    I have supported the Billy Graham Assn. for years and received the first issue of Decision magazine so I go back a long way with them. As I think I mentioned in another thread, I saw Franklin Graham on the Piers Morgan show this past week being asked by Piers if he thought Mormans were christians. Franklin never gave a yes or no answer and I do understand why. As I commented then, it wouldn’t have been as surprising coming from say, J. Osteen or someone like him. Franklin is a straight shooter as far as I know but I think he and Billy are in an odd position wanting to endorse a candidate with mostly conservative values, but who happens to be a Morman. Can you imagine if Franklin had answered “yes” to Morgan at that question. The press would have had a field day and in fact, already have. I still believe in my heart of hearts, that neither Billy or Franklin believe that Mormanism is true, orthodox Christianity as we believe the creeds and Scripture teach. You know the old saying.. Between a rock and a hard place. Won’t stop me from voting for Romney, however nor supporting Billy Graham’s message. I will be praying for them. God is sovereign.

  • Grace

    Helen K @56

    “. As I think I mentioned in another thread, I saw Franklin Graham on the Piers Morgan show this past week being asked by Piers if he thought Mormans were christians. Franklin never gave a yes or no answer and I do understand why. As I commented then, it wouldn’t have been as surprising coming from say, J. Osteen or someone like him.”

    Franklin should have stood for what he believed, YES or NO – there is no reason for a wishy/washy answer, or NO ANSWER AT ALL.

    “Franklin is a straight shooter as far as I know but I think he and Billy are in an odd position wanting to endorse a candidate with mostly conservative values, but who happens to be a Morman.Can you imagine if Franklin had answered “yes” to Morgan at that question. The press would have had a field day and in fact, already have. I still believe in my heart of hearts, that neither Billy or Franklin believe that Mormanism is true, orthodox Christianity as we believe the creeds and Scripture teach. You know the old saying.. Between a rock and a hard place. Won’t stop me from voting for Romney, however nor supporting Billy Graham’s message. I will be praying for them. God is sovereign.”

    “Conservative value” is not the only issue here Helen, there is more at stake. Those who are un-Churched (I don’t like the term) and those who have never been given the Gospel are at risk – do you believe that God will hold us accountable for side-stepping an answer because it makes our back side itch, or makes us sweat, for fear of what might be said? – how many people have wondered what the truth really is?

    We will no longer support the Graham ministries. If Franklin Graham cannot stand on two feet and face facts, answer to what he believes, why support what he’s doing? Franklin desires the SAFE ROAD – where does that lead?

    As for voting; I will not vote for Romney or Obama, neither one of these men deserve to be president. God will settle this issue, it’s not for me to cast a vote for one evil over another. This is a SHAM, one that shames.

    God help this country, as it slides down a path greased for the occasion, by abortion, same sex marriage, and a host of other sins, man finds unable to live without.

  • Grace

    Helen K @56

    “. As I think I mentioned in another thread, I saw Franklin Graham on the Piers Morgan show this past week being asked by Piers if he thought Mormans were christians. Franklin never gave a yes or no answer and I do understand why. As I commented then, it wouldn’t have been as surprising coming from say, J. Osteen or someone like him.”

    Franklin should have stood for what he believed, YES or NO – there is no reason for a wishy/washy answer, or NO ANSWER AT ALL.

    “Franklin is a straight shooter as far as I know but I think he and Billy are in an odd position wanting to endorse a candidate with mostly conservative values, but who happens to be a Morman.Can you imagine if Franklin had answered “yes” to Morgan at that question. The press would have had a field day and in fact, already have. I still believe in my heart of hearts, that neither Billy or Franklin believe that Mormanism is true, orthodox Christianity as we believe the creeds and Scripture teach. You know the old saying.. Between a rock and a hard place. Won’t stop me from voting for Romney, however nor supporting Billy Graham’s message. I will be praying for them. God is sovereign.”

    “Conservative value” is not the only issue here Helen, there is more at stake. Those who are un-Churched (I don’t like the term) and those who have never been given the Gospel are at risk – do you believe that God will hold us accountable for side-stepping an answer because it makes our back side itch, or makes us sweat, for fear of what might be said? – how many people have wondered what the truth really is?

    We will no longer support the Graham ministries. If Franklin Graham cannot stand on two feet and face facts, answer to what he believes, why support what he’s doing? Franklin desires the SAFE ROAD – where does that lead?

    As for voting; I will not vote for Romney or Obama, neither one of these men deserve to be president. God will settle this issue, it’s not for me to cast a vote for one evil over another. This is a SHAM, one that shames.

    God help this country, as it slides down a path greased for the occasion, by abortion, same sex marriage, and a host of other sins, man finds unable to live without.

  • larry

    That’s because James White is quite ignorant of what is meant by doctrine and is only looking at external monikers. Doctrine as Luther would point out is a “tapestry of which if but a single thread is altered the whole is ruined”. Christianity is not any closer to Islam as opposed to Mormonism on that basis anymore than 2+4=7 is closer to the truth than 2+4=8 is.

    One must understand that in the realm of all man’s various fallen religions that ultimately all seek a monothesis, “I am my own God” and a polytheism, every single man seeks this. That’s the point of works righteousness and becoming ‘one’s own god’, i.e. establishing a righteousness unto the self, either way.

    Secondly, ultimately even externally appearing formal polytheisms are, upon careful examination, monotheisms. The best example of this is Roman pantheon of gods. Ultimately they all answered to the fates, the fates are the monotheism, just like predestination ultimately becomes “god” in double predestinarian/limited atonement theology.

    One has to identify the actual tone that is sounding in reality as to who “god” is in a given doctrine, and not just where they stick the label “god”. Again, doctrine is conceptual. Here Luther’s definition of what is a god (true or false) to a person…that which one trusts in and calls upon in all trial and tribulation. Here we see where fallen man without a “pro me” alien to him, must necessarily go far afield as to who God is, even when he is biblically close as to the lingo. This is where even Christians can fall into the same trap the Pharisees did and ultimately make the “Law” god and thus seek to find their righteousness in that false God, the Law, now. But the Law is ultimately a creature of the Creator itself, in fact that is part and parcel with why it met its end in Christ attacking the God-man, it left all its bounds in Christ. I.e. the creature law met the creator God in Christ as both man and God who became sin Himself, and thus at resurrection and by its Worded reality, the law was condemned. But see men still seek their righteousness and assurance all too often in the Law. I.e. they trust in it and call upon it in every trial and tribulation and thus, in irony, call upon the creature Law, created good by God the creator as their “god”. I.e. Even though words “my god is the law” are not used, the concept, the doctrine, is there.

  • larry

    That’s because James White is quite ignorant of what is meant by doctrine and is only looking at external monikers. Doctrine as Luther would point out is a “tapestry of which if but a single thread is altered the whole is ruined”. Christianity is not any closer to Islam as opposed to Mormonism on that basis anymore than 2+4=7 is closer to the truth than 2+4=8 is.

    One must understand that in the realm of all man’s various fallen religions that ultimately all seek a monothesis, “I am my own God” and a polytheism, every single man seeks this. That’s the point of works righteousness and becoming ‘one’s own god’, i.e. establishing a righteousness unto the self, either way.

    Secondly, ultimately even externally appearing formal polytheisms are, upon careful examination, monotheisms. The best example of this is Roman pantheon of gods. Ultimately they all answered to the fates, the fates are the monotheism, just like predestination ultimately becomes “god” in double predestinarian/limited atonement theology.

    One has to identify the actual tone that is sounding in reality as to who “god” is in a given doctrine, and not just where they stick the label “god”. Again, doctrine is conceptual. Here Luther’s definition of what is a god (true or false) to a person…that which one trusts in and calls upon in all trial and tribulation. Here we see where fallen man without a “pro me” alien to him, must necessarily go far afield as to who God is, even when he is biblically close as to the lingo. This is where even Christians can fall into the same trap the Pharisees did and ultimately make the “Law” god and thus seek to find their righteousness in that false God, the Law, now. But the Law is ultimately a creature of the Creator itself, in fact that is part and parcel with why it met its end in Christ attacking the God-man, it left all its bounds in Christ. I.e. the creature law met the creator God in Christ as both man and God who became sin Himself, and thus at resurrection and by its Worded reality, the law was condemned. But see men still seek their righteousness and assurance all too often in the Law. I.e. they trust in it and call upon it in every trial and tribulation and thus, in irony, call upon the creature Law, created good by God the creator as their “god”. I.e. Even though words “my god is the law” are not used, the concept, the doctrine, is there.

  • Gorman

    I appreciate you not lying about what Franklin Graham said. Tony Jones posted an article on his website which was an outright lie. He said Franklin Graham said Mormonism was not a cult. These kind of lies about men of God who have won thousands to the Lord is despicable. The truth is, as you said, that Franklin Graham removed an article or page from their website naming well known cults, not just Mormonism. Franklin Graham rightly said that “If I want to win a person to Christ, how can I call that person a name? That’s what shocked me, that we were calling people names.” BGEA is an evangelistic ministry not a cult/apologetics ministry like John Ankerberg’s ministry, and as such should not involve themselves with something that would hinder the preaching of the gospel to everyone. Thanks again for telling the truth about the Grahams and not spreading lies and trying to smear them like Tony Jones has.

  • Gorman

    I appreciate you not lying about what Franklin Graham said. Tony Jones posted an article on his website which was an outright lie. He said Franklin Graham said Mormonism was not a cult. These kind of lies about men of God who have won thousands to the Lord is despicable. The truth is, as you said, that Franklin Graham removed an article or page from their website naming well known cults, not just Mormonism. Franklin Graham rightly said that “If I want to win a person to Christ, how can I call that person a name? That’s what shocked me, that we were calling people names.” BGEA is an evangelistic ministry not a cult/apologetics ministry like John Ankerberg’s ministry, and as such should not involve themselves with something that would hinder the preaching of the gospel to everyone. Thanks again for telling the truth about the Grahams and not spreading lies and trying to smear them like Tony Jones has.


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