Billy Graham faces backlash over Mormon ‘cult’ removal

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RNS photo courtesy the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

RNS photo courtesy the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

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(RNS) When Billy Graham embraced Mormonism, he confirmed conservative evangelicals’ worst fears about the 2012 election: That Mitt Romney’s rise would lift his Mormon church to mainstream acceptance. By Daniel Burke. 

  • Beverly Kurtin

    All I can do is laugh. The teachings of the Mormons directly contradict some of the fundamental teachings of the Christian church. Not being a Christian, I could care less what they do or don’t do. But when “Christians” begin to kiss a particular candidate, they do two things: First, they become ineligible for tax exemption because in requesting their tax exempt status, they PROMISED to stay out of politics. By getting into politics they prove themselves to be LIARS AND CRIMINALS!

    Secondly, they show the world how false their beliefs are. No, I am not saying that about real Christians, I am saying that about the people who spit on what they supposedly believe. Jesus said to render unto Cesar what is his and to God what is his. God doesn’t get involved in hypocrites.

    Many churches scream FOUL when they are caught and taxed. They have a choice of obeying the law and living up to their words. Violating both brings shame on them and the religion they claim to believe in.

  • Eva Milligan

    I felt this article was trying to degrade Rev. Graham. First of all Rev. Graham did not reject the Christian faith by choosing to remove the word cult from his website. He chose to show forth love by removing a term describing Mormons as something that when I hear it, I think of evil people who worship satan. He did not change his religion or hurt the Christian faith. Personally, I will be voting for the man who’s morals are more like those in the Bible, in my opinion, that is Romney. We are all to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12) I applaude Rev. Graham for removing the term from his website. The term probably hurts them as much as it hurts a Christian to be called hypocrite, homophobe, etc. I don’t agree with the Mormon faith, but calling them a cult is not an act of love. Rev. Graham knows
    that he will come closer to being a witness of Christ to them by showing forth love than by name calling. (Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.) I think someone needs to remind these other pastors what the Fruit of the Spirit is. My Opinion on election: Romney is Mormon but has the morals and votes on things parallel to the Bible whereas Obama is? , whatever he is, and votes for gay marriage, abortion, etc. Romney may be blinded and may not know the truth in God’s Word, but Obama is more blind. I pray they learn the truth in God’s Word before it is too late.

  • Rev. Cletus Van Damme

    What should it profit a man if he should gain a Mormon President, but lose his very soul?

  • reima08

    The problem with Romney and MANY on his campaign staff is that they are unapologetic LIARS, even in the face of facts that clearly dispute their lies. And people like Mike Huckabee, a supposed Baptist Minister have even gone so far as to place an ad suggesting that Obama voters face hellfire. If the right wants to play with religion like that, although the Obama campaign probably wouldnt do this, but perhaps his SuperPac would do the following:

    Place an ad throughout the Deep South and in swing States with a picture of the Holy Bible on one side of the screen and the Book of Mormon (which bills itself as “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” on the other. The ad will state the following:

    Mitt Romney was a preacher and BISHOP in the Mormon Church. Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith, who claims an angel named Moroni (who is NOT mentioned in the Holy Bible) gave to Smith golden plates containing the foundation of the Mormon religion. Well here is what the King James Holy Bible says about that:

    The Apostle Paul in the Book of Galatians Chapter 1, verses 6-9, states the following:

    “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an ANGEL from heaven, preach ANY other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be ACCURSED. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that he have received, let him be accursed.” (Emphasis added).

  • John Hennessey

    If there is one good thing about the Romney candidacy, it is the legitimization of Mormonism. As a liberal, I’m glad to see that Romney’s religion was not dredged up as a shibboleth in an attempt to terrify voters.

    BGEA’s removal of Mormonism from it’s cult list is welcome, but, if Billy Graham is saying that he is right to remove it, he is also saying that he was wrong to put them there in the first place. Mormons deserve a deep, heartfelt apology from Billy (and others) who have so long demonized them, only to stop at the last minute. Billy’s followers also deserve an apology and explanation on how he could have misled them so far for so many decades.

  • Lafe Tolliver

    Unless Franklin Graham and his father removed all names parties from the cult list, they
    will not be accused of showing favoritism…however, for the BGEA to play possum and not know that Mormonism is a cult that is antithetical to the basic tenents of orthodox Christianity, they are playing loose with the scriptures.
    Jesus himself called people “names” so that hogwash by Franklin of not calling names is a red herring.
    Franklin has a clear disdain for President Obama. He can barely conceal it. Graham’s
    recent ad extolling Romney was a crude attempt to not be political. Billy needs to retire.
    Franklin needs to get right with God about his venomous attitude towards Obama.
    Franklin can not support Mormonism and Christianity at the same time. Two different gospels and two different Gods. Mormonism does not recognize the God of the Bible or Jesus as being the only way back to the Father…but yet Franklin is OK with that body of beliefs? Franklin needs to quit straddling the fence and talk plain and square. He is not fooling anyone and he is giving aid and cover to Mormonism. Shame on BGEA and Franklin and his dad.

  • Marilyn Saeger

    The mormons have added Joseph Smith as a prophet and addition to the Holy Bible, the inspired Word of God. This indeed is a cult.
    I respect their moral lives and humanitarianism, but disagree with their beliefs re: the addition and changes to the Bible. It has been proven to be false.
    Too sad for the Grahams and all the Christians Billy Graham inspired and led to the Lord. I wonder if the elder Graham believes Mormonism is not a cult??