Mormonism: an erroneous and deviant cult one day, a soul mate the next

A PAGE on Billy Graham’s website which labeled Mormonism as a “cult” vanished after the 93-year-old evangelist and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently had a cosy little meeting and struck an alliance.

According to this report, Graham, who is considered “one of the most renowned evangelical leaders of the 21st century”, has endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney for the office of President.

Cookie cronies: Mitt and Billy

Graham met with Romney at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, during which “the two shared cookies and soft drinks together”.  Awww, sweet. The meeting lasted approximately 30 minutes, and concluded with Graham praying with Romney.

Graham told Romney:

I’ll do all I can to help you. And you can quote me on that.

Graham issued a statement following the meeting.

It was a privilege to pray with Governor Romney ­­– for his family and our country, I will turn 94 the day after the upcoming election, and I believe America is at a crossroads. I hope millions of Americans will join me in praying for our nation and to vote for candidates who will support the biblical definition of marriage, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms.

Soon after, Graham’s website that classified Mormonism as a cult was removed but in general searches, it is accessible via Internet archives.

The page, entitled, “What is a Cult?” reads:

A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the Biblical message of the Christian faith. It is very important that we recognize cults and avoid any involvement with them. Cults often teach some Christian truth mixed with error, which may be difficult to detect.

It then lists among three bullet points on how to identify a cult:

They do not adhere solely to the sixty-six books of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. They add their ‘special revelations’ to the Bible and view them as equally authoritative. Some of these groups are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spiritists, Scientologists, and others.

Following reports of the removal, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) spokesman A Larry Ross released a statement explaining the move.

Mr Graham’s calling is not to pass judgment, but to proclaim the Biblical truth that Jesus is the only way to heaven, allowing every individual and group to fall along that plumb line He further stressed that salvation is the work of Almighty God, and that only He knows what is in each human heart.

Ken Barun, chief of staff for BGEA, added:

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.

Among those profoundly unhappy with the “Milly” alliance is Pastor William Einwechter, of Immanuel Free Reformed Church of Stevens, Pennsylvania, who said:

The problem Christians have in politics today is that they have no specific Biblical anchor to direct their involvement in politics and voting. They have jettisoned Scripture and obedience to God for political expediency. 

The recent endorsement of Mitt Romney for President by Billy Graham and his son Franklin continues the parade of evangelical Christian leaders casting their support for a man who cannot be considered a Christian by any Biblical definition of that term. For a bowl of political pottage evangelicals seem willing to sell their birthright as preachers and defenders of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Doug Phillips, President of Vision Forum Ministries in San Antonio, Texas, agrees.

I have deep respect for Dr Graham and profound appreciation for the many ways in which he has been used of the Lord to change the world. Yet, it’s my opinion that the decision to remove Mormonism as a cult from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association’s website  … is profoundly regrettable. In my view, it is improper to change our theological positions to accommodate political contingencies.