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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.

31 Responses to “Mormonism: an erroneous and deviant cult one day, a soul mate the next”

  1. Buffy says:

    When you make up your “deeply held beliefs” as you go along, anything goes.

  2. Marky Mark says:

    Now that Mitt Romney promised him and his church more public tax dollars if elected it is not surprising he now supports him. It is always about the money with these phony religious leaders.

  3. Destructive cult or benign religion?

    The *Cult* word gets overused,but in some cases it is appropriate.
    The definition of a destructive religious cult is like alcoholism-if booze controls you instead of the other way around you are an alcoholic.
    I was in the Watchtower society Jehovah’s Witnesses,they are not benevolent and won’t let you leave their organization in peace.The Jehovahs are not without scandals-child abuse,deceptive mind control tactics, sex scandals, money scams, general bad behavior.
    Is it a cult?
    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck….
    Danny Haszard *tell the truth don’t be afraid*
    FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

  4. barriejohn says:

    Bily Graham is a childish buffoon, not a kind of “elder statesman”. Though a great public speaker, his thoughts are extremely shallow. He has always been fascinated with the world of politics, but one would think that after getting his fingers badly burned before over unwise statements that he made he would have learned his lesson. Indeed, he did say that it had taught him to leave politics well alone.

    http://observer.com/2002/03/billy-graham-nixon-and-antisemitism/

    BTW He sat in on Nixon’s “cabinet meetings” at the time of Nixon’s election, and was reportedly being considered for the position of ambassador to maybe the UK, and Nixon did use him to relay information on his overseas “crusades”.

  5. RabbitOnAStick says:

    how is this some kind of prophetic statement?
    [god]…”and that only He knows what is in each human heart.”

    I know what’s in mine. Blood.

  6. barriejohn says:

    Nixon was Graham’s honoured guest at his crusade in Knoxville, Tenn., and couldn’t resist the temptation of asking the serial liar and blasphemer to address the “Youth Night”. This badly backfired, as there was a voluble protest against Nixon, with all protesters being photographed and having their names recorded (this was prior to Watergate). If you read the following article, you will see that little has changed in America over the years!

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/aug/26/nixon-visit-started-70s-in-spotlight/

  7. barriejohn says:

    This is what Graham thought about Kennedy, even though they were supposed to be close friends:

    http://whitehousetapes.net/transcript/nixon/001-014

  8. barriejohn says:

    Perhaps most revealing is Mr. Martin’s account of a powerful religious struggle between Billy Graham and Charles Templeton, when they were colleagues and friendly rivals in Youth for Christ International, an enthusiastic evangelical group formed in 1945. Mr. Templeton — “darkly handsome, intelligent, and intellectually curious” and “generally acknowledged to be the most versatile of the YFC evangelists” — is remembered by contemporaries as one who “could just preach fantastically.”

    His trouble was that intellectual curiosity. Losing confidence in Youth for Christ evangelism (which he described to Mr. Graham as “animal magnetism and youthful enthusiasm and natural talent”), Mr. Templeton resigned and enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1948. He asked Billy Graham to do the same but, as he remembered years later, “Billy was not interested in the scholarly side of things. He was not interested in reaching for conceptual or intellectual horizons.”

    AT Princeton, Mr. Templeton developed further doubt that the Bible, in Mr. Martin’s words, was “God’s inspired revelation, his literal Word, directly transmitted to the human agents who committed it to writing and trustworthy in every respect.” But when he stated his doubts to his old friend, Billy Graham replied:

    “Chuck, look, I haven’t a good enough mind to settle these questions. . . . I don’t have the time, the inclination, or the set of mind to pursue them. I have found that if I say, ‘The Bible says’ and ‘God says,’ I get results.”

    Mr. Templeton persisted: “Not to think is to sin against your Creator. You can’t stop thinking. That’s intellectual suicide.”

    Mr. Graham was “stung,” Mr. Martin observes, but “undoubtedly valued the immediate satisfactions of packed auditoriums and crowded aisles . . . more than the less tangible pleasures of the life of the mind.” The author believes, however, that the young evangelist was in genuine torment over Mr. Templeton’s questions.

    Finally, at a retreat center at Forest Home in California, Billy Graham took a solitary walk, sat on a rock, spread a Bible before him on a tree trunk, thought it all over and “finally made the pragmatic decision to abandon doubt and cling to commitment,” saying in prayer: “I accept this Book by faith as the Word of God.”

    Since no one else was present, Billy Graham himself must have given Mr. Martin his exact words. Today “a bronze tablet identifies the Stone of Witness where Billy Graham accepted, once and for all, the absolute authority of the Scriptures.” William Martin does not seem to wonder if Charles Templeton might have been right — that Billy Graham’s “pragmatic decision” was a form of intellectual suicide as well as the foundation of a career.

    http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/07/06/reviews/14105.html

  9. AgentCormac says:

    American evangelists are like characters from a pantomime arguing over who’s right and who’s wrong. And ‘normal’ people actually listen to these crazies like they’ve got something worthwhile to say!

  10. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: Even a seasoned politician like LBJ had Billy Graham as a “house guest” at the White House at weekends, as well as leading “Presidential Prayers”, and was “counselled” by him. What the bloody hell is wrong with these people?

  11. barriejohn says:

    This commenter calls Graham a “political jock-sniffer” – hahahahaha!!!!!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/oct/18/billy-graham-mitt-romney?newsfeed=true

  12. AgentCormac says:

    barriejohn

    Not only ‘what the bloody hell is wrong with these people?’, but also ‘what the bloody hell happened to separation of church and state?’

  13. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: Even presidents are entitled to their personal beliefs, but one would expect them to be somewhat discerning as to whom they took advice from. The only US president who is really known to have been a “born again Christian” (no one takes G W Bush seriously on that point!) was Jimmy Carter, and he was despised by most evangelicals for his “liberal” views. They then voted for Ronald Reagan!

  14. barriejohn says:

    Graham and Carter did agree on at least one issue, although they never seemed to be close:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/12/jimmy-carter-womens-rights-equality

    Graham has never appeared really right wing, and it was a surprise to many when they found out that he had been a Republican supporter all along, and not a Democrat, despite being so close to the Johnsons!

  15. Trevor Blake says:

    A biblical definition of marriage: polygamy, sex slaves, child rape, no legal divorce for women, the death penalty for adultery, forced marriage between widows and brother-in-laws, shall I go on? And never forget Jesus knowing and approving every ‘jot and tittle’ of these biblical definitions of marriage.

  16. Daz says:

    Basically, then, Grahame now agrees that Romney’s made up shit is as valid as his own made up shit. Blimey, but I think I just agreed with Billy Grahame on summat!

    Course, what’s really happened is that Graham would rather see anyone who’s anti-secularism in the White House. I suspect, if he tried hard enough, he could manage to endorse even a Muslim, provided there was a good chance that the Muslim would tear a few more holes in the first amendment in favour of all religion.

  17. Lazy Susan says:

    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.

    That’ll be Obama, then. I don’t see Romney doing any of these things. (You have to realise that Billy Graham means something different than you and I when he talks of things like “religious freedoms” etc. He means “the freedom to use tax dollars to impose his religion on everyone.”)

    Billy Graham joining Romney may be a good thing. I am frankly fearful of the prospect of Romney winning this election, and it looks like a close-run thing. So the more wackos that join his side the better. Even though Graham will drag along a few followers in his train, many other republicans are bound to look twice at exactly who Romney has for friends, and whether this is the republican party they want to support. And this is true for every nut job that Romney pulls on board.

    But it’s going to be close.

  18. Angela_K says:

    @Graham Martin-Royle Thanks for the link, I’ve just watched it. If America votes in a President that actually believes that utter tosh, then the World is finished.

  19. Broga says:

    There are serious reasons to fear Romney as President. If this nutter, influenced by other nutters, has his finger on the nuclear button who knows what the fool will do? He knows he is going to be a prince or whatever in his fantasy heaven. Even short of Armageddon we can forget about restraints on protecting the environment or curbing population. The forests will continue to be destroyed, the seas polluted and the land rendered sterile as he pursues oil. And so many are taken in by this, so many don’t cry out against religion, so many refuse to be convinced.

    Are the American people really such fools as to elect this fool? I fear they are.

  20. barriejohn says:

    Lazy Susan: Billy Graham is held in extremely high regard in the USA – with something like the respect that was afforded to the Queen Mother in the UK. He certainly isn’t viewed as a “wacko”, and if he endorses a candidate that will have an immense effect on how people vote.

  21. Angela_K says:

    OT but talking of religious loons: If your blood pressure can stand it watch Channel 4′s Forethought TV featuring that well know bigot and B&B owner Hazelmary Bull. Only two minutes long.
    http://www.4thought.tv/themes/should-britain-remain-a-christian-nation/hazelmary-bull

  22. Matt Westwood says:

    At risk of someone invoking Godwin’s Law, I reckon that if Romney gets in it will be like 1930′s Germany all over again. We’ll have a world war by the end of the decade. My suspicion is the only safe places will be in underground bunkers and remote rural locations in the Southern hemisphere (e.g. south Chile / Argentina and possibly Australia and New Zealand). Hmm. Perhaps I’ve been listening to too much Killing Joke.

  23. tony e says:

    Matt Westwood,

    I have to disagree with your statement, nobody can listen to too much KJ. Next to NMA they make life a lot more fun.

    http://youtu.be/K1jvrvdQMt8

    Enjoy

  24. barriejohn says:

    Graham also took out a full page newspaper ad saying the same things:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/21/news/la-billy-graham-takes-ohio-newspaper-ad-backing-romney-20121021

    That’s sure to have a big imapact on the way that people vote.

  25. Marky Mark says:

    Christian Chuck Colson was a Nixon aid and hatchet man who once thought it all right to plat bombs at anti-war protests. He went to prison for his involvement in Watergate. He later started Prison Fellowship Ministries with much government funding, who give special treatment to prisoners who convert to Christianity while incarcerated. Including help with early release.
    These same right wing people push for longer sentencing for non-violent crimes…it is as if they wish to imprison our population to convert them to Christianity, with government funding!

  26. Lazy Susan says:

    BarrieJohn – re Billy Graham in the USA. What you say depresses me. And now we’ve had the third and final TV debate not going terribly well for Obama. We are all doomed.

  27. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    @Angela_K: What a depressing little video, she has been to court, lost the case and still doesn’t accept that it was not christian persecution but simply applying the law.

    As for Mr Graham, unfortunately far too many people in the US do respect him and will take notice of what he says.

  28. Marky Mark says:

    Lazy Susan said:
    (And now we’ve had the third and final TV debate not going terribly well for Obama. We are all doomed.)

    Both party’s are devoted to big money and the 1%…all this debate crap is to make you think you have a choice…the only real choice you have is Paper or Plastic?

    I’m tired of choosing the lesser of the two evils and vote third party whenever I have that choice.

    I agree that anyone is better than Rob-me

  29. Marky Mark says:

    I rest my case here:
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/201210178542935716.html

    We need a single standard for championing those arrested for free speech “violations”. How can we cry out for Pussy Riot’s freedom in Moscow – and ignore the injustice unfolding in Seattle? Why are we so quick to loathe Putin’s demand to control freedom of speech, but we turn a blind eye to President Obama’s same act of repression?

  30. Lazy Susan says:

    Most of the time I vote to keep the crazies out, not to put a particular one in.