Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Romney, Mormons, and Cults

Mitt Romney at one of his presidential campaig...Image via WikipediaThey say that there are two things that you should never bring up in polite company if you want to keep things civil, religion and politics.  Today I am going to go where angles fear to tread and talk about both.  The two subjects became intertwined once again at the Value Voters Summit held in DC over the past weekend.

Pastor Robert Jeffress, a Baptist minister and supporter of Texas Governor Rick Perry, brought up the subject of Mitt Romney's Mormon Faith.  Jeffress said that Mormonism was a non-Christian cult and that Christians would be better off supporting an evangelical Christian for president than Romney.  In his view, Romney, as a Mormon would be unfit to be president.

Before I get to far into the comments of Jeffress, it would probably be best to actually define the term cult.  For this, I turn to Hank Hanegraaff, also know as The Bible Answer Man of the Christian Research Institute.  I used to listen to his radio program several years ago when I was very active in the Baptist Church.

When most people think of a cult, they think of the following definition:
a cult is a religious or semi-religious sect whose members are controlled almost entirely by a single individual or by an organization.
However, there is another way to define a cult, and this is the method that a lot of evangelicals use when describing a cult:
a cult is any group that deviates from the orthodox teachings of the historic Christian faith being derived from the Bible and confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds.
It is from this perspective that Jeffress made his assertion that Romney belongs to a cult.  During my days when I was active within evangelical circles, it was a common assertion that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were members of a cult.  I also heard some claim that the Roman Catholic Church was the biggest cult in existence.  It is one of the reasons that I no longer travel in those circles.

Personally, I do not agree with a lot of the Mormon Church.  I would never belong to it.  Here is not the time, nor the place to go into all of the reasons why.  Over the years I have had several friends who were members of the LDS.  I would say that they are a fine group of people who have high moral standards.  A few years ago, when my wife was looking for an alternative to Catholicism, she decided on the LDS.

I will also say, that as of this moment, I do not support Mitt Romney as the potential Republican nominee for President.  Right now, I have not fully made up my mind, but I am leaning towards Herman Cain.  As Romney said himself in one of the debates, there are a lot of reasons not to vote for him, as there are for the other potential candidates.  However, the fact that he is a Mormon should not even be part of the discussion.

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