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"You also lose because you've created a sour taste for BGEA in the mouths of countless evangelicals who will view your taking down the page as a compromise on the biblical gospel."

Yes. It is only because we have a Mormon that evangelicals feel they "must" support that Mormonism is now, somehow, more acceptable than before.


Peter, I don't have a lot of time but I'd like to throw something out here.

What if BGEA was worried that the opponents of Romney were using the word cult in a way that BGEA doesn't intend? Was it Hagee in 2008 who had his use of the word cult against the Cathoic church used against McCain? I think there may be a whole big can of worms here. The word cult means different things in different settings. I think the majority of people when they hear cult are thinking of something like Scientolgy where people who dissent disappear, you can never leave, billion year contracts etc. Yet as Christians we are concerned with orthodoxy and Mormonism obviously strays far far away. so it seems to me BGEA couldn't really win - critics of Romney would use the BGEA's cult to spin and make Romney look like a David Koresh cultist type and that's not what BGEA intends in their use of the word cult.

so I'm not as up on this as others. I just wonder if we need to very careful now in how and who we are calling a cult because different people are hearing different things. to me it seems like the casual tossing around of the word heretic. FWIW :)

peter lumpkins

Thanks Mary. I think your concern is correct in noting the variety of ways employed in the way "cult" is perceived. And, if I were gut level honest, I'd fully concede I don't like the term "cult" either as a one-size-fits-all broad-brush branding on sub-Christian sectarian groups. Personally, I think there's merit in reserving "cult" for groups--religious or otherwise--which fiercely employ psychological manipulation to recruit supporters and handle authority. In this sense, David Koresh and the almost forgotten "moonies" would definitely qualify as "cults" while it remains much more difficult to see how "Mormons" would qualify if that particular model which focused specifically on aggressive psychological manipulation were emphasized. Indeed if psychological manipulation is and has been a demonstrable aspect of Mormonism per se I have failed to perceive it throughout the years.

Lest I be misunderstood, while I personally see merit in reserving the term "cult" for say, "moonies" but not "Mormons" it remains clear that both "moonies" and "Mormons" embrace doctrinal standards which beyond doubt places them both outside the clear boundaries of historic Christian orthodoxy. Another way to say it is, both "moonies" and "Mormons" hold doctrinal views broadly judged to be Heresy as you rightly pointed out. But with the addition of the aggressive psychological manipulation tactics easily demonstrated by the practices of the Unification church, "moonies" well earns the branding "cult."

Unfortunately for BGEA, the model I just described is not an option for them--at least not as a way to escape what appears to be just criticism in dropping the partial list of "cults" with "Mormons" listed. The way they clearly intended up until now to employ the term "cult" as applied to JWs, Scientology, moonies, and Mormons concerned their sectarian views alone. If they wanted to propose the proverbial kinder, gentler model, they surely showed up at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong response.

With that, I am...


Peter, "wrong place, wrong time" I think is the key.

Neither candidate in my opinion is within the realms of orthodoxy. Everything I've heard the President say in regards to his "christianity" leads me to believe that he is no more accepting Christ the One and Only than is Mitt Romney. Both men call themselves "christians" but that doesn't mean we're all believing in the same Savior.

So again I think there are these broader themes - no one has dared to push back against the idea that Barack Obama does not speak like an orthodox Christian - his views seems to be the more generic "if I'm good, show concern for the poor, think Jesus had some good things to say" liberal views of Christianity.

So I don't know enough about the BGEA but the fact that we've spent these last several years not pointing out that Obama's open inclusivist I just have be a good person ideas on Christianity are not orthodox either is also a serious problem I think for Christians who are now outraged about BGEA's removal of Mormonism from cult status. I don't know if I'm articulating this well, but if what BGEA has done is wrong now hasn't it been wrong to not point out that Obama isn't exactly believing the same gospel?

In regard to this particular incident to me it seems like BGEA could be more saying we don't want to give anyone a weapon to use against Romney. I think people are wrong to interpret this as we will back off what we believe to help Romney. Does that make sense? It's not about helping Romney by hiding something but it is helping in not allowing critics a weapon. BGEA could have explained "look cult doesn't mean what you think it means" but that explanation would have been ignored. Of course the fact that the page was removed is now being used as a weapon too so I don't know.

At the end of the day all I can say is GO CARDS!


I swear the Baptist lines are getting more blurred by the day. If we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything!

Mary, I think you mean GO "CARDIAC" CARDS! It will be a nail-biter tonight. But, it ain't over 'til the fat squirrel sings! (Card fans will understand that)


I PROPHETICALLY SPEAK that, "The National League Baseball playoffs will get a bigger viewing audience than the Presidential debates."

stan schmunk

But Peter, the Grahams are at least being consistent. They're endorsing Romney so they have to take that page down. This is Dr. Billy's pattern over the decades, as much as I love him. (My favorite uncle worked with him in his very early London campaign. He was YFC, too.) Graham endorsed the pope, saying that he certainly was in Heaven and was a greater evangelist than Graham. Evangelicals are following his pattern. We grudgingly accept the notion that Mormonism may or not be a cult but even if it is we're going to vote for one of it's highest representatives to lead us. It's called 'falling away' and we will rue the day.

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