Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Conservative Evangelicals Say The Mormon Church Is A "Cult" And Mormons Are Not Christians

"This election, regardless of outcome, unquestionably pushes the United States onto new political terrain because neither candidate represents the religious old guard. But until Americans work through our contradictory impulses regarding faith, diversity and freedom, there is no reason to believe anti-Mormonism will go away anytime soon."

From :"Why We Fear Mormons" by J. Spencer Fluhman at The New York Times ,June 3, 2012

A Vote For Romney is a Vote For "Satan"
Bill O'Reilly Defending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS,Mormonism,) against an Evangelical preacher

It seems rather disingenuous of those whether religious or secular who preach about an open tolerant society to target and attack one religious group ie Mormonism or another for their theology, rituals and practices and so forth.

In a pluralistic, multicultural, tolerant  society we must try to better understand all religious groups and accommodate their beliefs where possible.

But at the same time we must be prepared to speak out or even take legal action whenever a religious or secular group crosses from criticizing another group to insisting on their elimination ie social engineering, ethnic cleansing or Genocide

The issues over which we can have legitimate concerns comes to the fore when a particular religion are the intersecting of religion and politics and legislation and governance.
For instance when a religious group or church insists it be permitted to force its theology and values and to not just judge others for their actions which they may see as immoral or as sinful but actually to codify in legislation and legal instruments and enforcement ie divorce, marriage, abortion, reproductive rights, public education and so forth.

So if for instance The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints insists on passing laws prohibiting the use of alcohol, caffeine drinks , smoking or forcing everyone Mormon or not to obey the Church's rules on appropriate dress code or making pre-marital sex a criminal offence then we have an issue to discuss and battle over.

And once again Pastor Rick Warren shows off his ignorance and prejudices and intolerance when it comes to the Mormon Church.

Warren draws the demarcation line in Christian  theology at the distinction between the Christian belief of the Trinity as opposed to The Mormon Church's denial of the Trinity.
 But this demarcation does not take in the historical reality of Christianity in which various individual Christians and Christian sects which have over the last 2,000 years have disagreed on this very issue not to mention a whole host of other disagreements on theology and religious symbols and rituals.

Mormonism 'Denies' Christian Doctrine - Rick Warren

Published on 9 Apr 2012 by TheYoungTurks
Via The Raw Story: "Evangelical Saddleback Church founder Rick Warren says that Christians have a disagreement with Mormonism because it "denies" certain fundamental Christian beliefs. In an Easter Sunday interview on ABC, Jake Tapper noted that Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was almost certain to be the Republican presidential nominee...".* Will Christians have an issue with Mormon 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney over his faith? Cenk Uygur and Jayar Jackson discuss on The Young Turks.

*Read more from David Edwards:

Subscribe to The Young Turks:

Are Mormons Christians? Explanation of Mormon Doctrine concerning the Trinity. LDS sees God, Jesus and Holy Spirit as three different persons or entities.
Otherwise Mormons argue that they are in fact Christians since they do the will of Jesus Christ.

Dennis Prager argues that religious conservatives including Evangelicals should ignore some of the theological differences they have with The Church of jesus Christ of latter Day Saints (Mormon) and focus instead on the shared values. So if Mitt Romney ends up as the Republican Presidential candidate the conservatives and the Religious Right should support Romney because of the shared values and ideology.
He also argues that the Mormon Church should not be labelled in a perjoritative manner as a cult. As he notes the Catholic Church has had a negative view especially of early Protestantism as a Cult of Christian heretics .

Evangelicals and Romney: Should Theology Matter? by dennis prager at, Jan. 2012

...Observation No. 1: Regarding Mormonism being labeled a cult, my study of religious history has taught me that just about every religion is seen as a cult in its formative years by the religion from which it sprang, or it gets labeled a cult by the older religion in order to delegitimize it. Jews and others regarded Christianity as a cult in its early years. Sunnis regard Shiites as a cult. The Catholic Church saw the early Protestants as a cult, while Protestants regarded the Roman Church as a cult. And Christians regarded the early Mormons as a cult.

Over the course of time, as a religion establishes itself and its members act more or less like members of the older religions, the charge is usually dropped. Jews hardly regard Christianity as a cult, and few Catholics or Protestants regard the other as members of a cult. After nearly 200 years, Mormons are an integral part of American society, with impressive reputations for family life, integrity and other values. The "cult" label just doesn't seem appropriate.

Observation No. 2: I may be mistaken, but I believe that what most annoys evangelicals (and some other Christians) about Mormonism is that Mormons call themselves Christian. In order for Jews to better understand evangelicals -- and for evangelicals to better understand Jews -- I think there is a parallel here.

The vast majority of Jews understand that in a free society, people convert to other religions. Therefore, some Christians convert to Judaism and some Jews convert to Christianity. What particularly annoys Jews is not the existence of converts but the existence of "Jews for Jesus." To most Jews, this is a misleading label because people who come to believe in Christ should call themselves Christian, not Jews.

Observation No. 3: Most importantly, theology and values are not the same thing. Traditional Jews and evangelical Christians have quite different theologies, but they often have virtually identical values. (That is why this Jew is so supportive of evangelicals and why evangelical Christians syndicate my radio show.) Conservative Catholics and evangelicals differ on theology but share virtually every important value. The Founders differed on theology but rarely on values.

It is hard to identify any area of life in which Mitt Romney's values and life differ in any way from the finest evangelical's values and life. And with regard to electing a president, that is what matters.

What I am asking here is that evangelicals and other traditional and conservative Christians who have problems with Mormonism not allow those problems (however legitimate they may be from the perspective of Christian theology) to play a role in their primary voting or in their general election voting if Mitt Romney wins the nomination. The fate of America and the world hangs in the balance.

In other words, fight the left now. You can fight theology later.

Evangelicals and Romney: Politics Trumps Theology? by Thomas Kidd at, June 19, 2012

Evangelicals are overwhelmingly indicating support for Mitt Romney in public opinion polls, and writers such as Jonathan Merritt are asking whether this indicates a sea change in evangelicals’ views of Mormonism. Patheos blogger Scot McKnight briefly commented that this support for Romney reveals that for evangelicals, “politics too often matters more” than the particulars of faith.

...Whatever the academic meanings of the term “cult,” its popular use summons images of Jim Jones or the Branch Davidians. I, for one, think that Mormons hold beliefs that are incommensurate with traditional Christianity, but I would never call them a cult.

We should also remember that the question of supporting Romney is, for most evangelicals, directly connected to the values and positions of his opponent. It makes a big difference whether the choice is Romney vs. Santorum, or Romney vs. Obama. When given the latter choice, most evangelicals will conclude that you have two candidates, neither of whom appear to be born-again Christians, so you can really only choose the candidate based on politics.

So, too, in the view of most evangelicals, if people wish to believe in the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the prophecy of Joseph Smith, that is their business, but to call these and other distinctive Mormon beliefs "Christian" bothers many evangelicals. Of course, Mormons respond that a religion that calls itself The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can hardly be dismissed as non-Christian. But it is not my interest here to adjudicate this debate. I only wish to offer one reason that evangelicals might be disturbed by Mormonism calling itself Christian.

In a recent article J. Spencer Fluhman discusses the long history of anti-Mormonism . Anti-Mormonism was fueld by mainstream Christians who see Mormonism as merely a "cult" rather than a breakaway sect from Mainstream Christianity. But he argues anti-Mormonism is just another form of misunderstanding and bigotry and prejudice.

Why We Fear Mormons by J. Spencer Fluhman at The New York Times ,June 3, 2012

...For the right, Mormonism figures in even more complicated ways. The Mormon road to respectability has often led, as it did for Mr. Romney, through Harvard Business School; pro-business Republicans have found ready friends among well-placed Mormons. But many rank-and-file evangelical Protestants call Mormonism a cult — as the pastor Robert Jeffress did last fall — or a “non-Christian religion.” Indeed, evangelical hatred has been the driving force behind national anti-Mormonism.

...Anti-Mormon attacks by evangelicals have betrayed anxiety over the divisions in their movement and their slipping cultural authority as arbiters of religious authenticity. Some big-hearted evangelicals have recently reached out to Mormons with genuine understanding, but they must now fend off charges of getting too cozy with Satan’s minions. Because evangelicals are hard pressed for unity to begin with, and because they have defined themselves less and less in terms of historic Christian creeds, their objections to Mormonism might carry less and less cultural weight.

Many conservatives, in fact, seem more concerned with Mr. Obama’s political heresies than with Mr. Romney’s religious ones. It may be that Mr. Obama’s unpopularity will prove a key factor in Mormonism’s continued mainstreaming. With politics and religion so inextricably linked in our culture, a Romney presidency would entail lasting effects for Mormonism and its image. Segments of the religious right might finally make peace with, if not quite accept, Mormonism’s various heterodoxies. The left may struggle to comprehend a steadily diversifying faith that has increasingly global reach.

This election, regardless of outcome, unquestionably pushes the United States onto new political terrain because neither candidate represents the religious old guard. But until Americans work through our contradictory impulses regarding faith, diversity and freedom, there is no reason to believe anti-Mormonism will go away anytime soon.

Conservative Evangelical Fundamentalist Preacher Bill Keller says Mormonism is a cult and is therefore anti-Christian, anti-Jesus anti-God

Evangelical Preacher: A Vote for Romney Is a Vote for Satan
Uploaded by NHArchive on 5 Jul 2008
News Hounds Archived Video
The O'Reilly Factor
June 6, 2007

Bill O'Reilly interviewed Florida evangelical preacher Bill Keller who wrote this in an email: "If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan." Pastor Keller believes Mormons are part of a cult that is anti-Christian and therefore aligned with the devil.

Notice how deferential and calm O'Reilly is when discussing Keller's intense anti-Mormonism. BOR does not shout, interrupt or talk over the bible-toting preacher.

Contrast that with the abominable treatment Rev. Jeremiah Wright received because he believes in black liberation theology.

Yes, my friends, this is a classic example of the double standard that is so skillfully practiced at FOX News.

Why the difference in treatment?

Pastor Keller is from Florida and preaches to a largely white fundamentalist congregation who are a part of the Republican base.

Rev. Wright is from the South Side of Chicago and preached to a largely black congregation who are part of the Democratic base.

But, then, what can you expect from a neanderthal like O'Reilly who feels it is his job to protect white males from the onrushing horde of women and non-whites who are out to steal the white man's birthright?

Robert Jeffress Mormonism Is A Cult, But A 'Theological Cult'

Anderson Cooper - Mormonism a CULT? NOPE. He Demolishes Jeffers

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