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.”
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.