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Your take: Is Mormonism a cult?
The Rev. Robert Jeffress, who supports Texas Gov. Rick Perry, stirred a hornet's nest by saying he believes Mormonism is a cult.
October 11th, 2011
12:08 PM ET

Your take: Is Mormonism a cult?

(CNN) - We ran a column Monday from Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical school in Pasadena, California, called "My Take: This evangelical says Mormonism isn’t a cult."

Mouw followed up on comments that the Rev. Robert Jeffress made at the Values Voter Summit, where he introduced and endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry.  After Perry spoke, Jeffress told reporters in the hallway and in subsequent interviews that he thought Mormonism is a cult and that evangelicals should not vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney because of his faith and a host of other reasons.

Mouw countered he did not think the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormonism, was a cult. He also said he was not ready to say it fit in with orthodox Christianity but noted there was dialogue between evangelicals and Mormons on a broad range of issues.

The piece drew out the passions of readers on all sides of the issue and racked up 11,000 Facebook likes and 2,500 comments.

Here's a nonscientific collection of your thoughts on the matter:

There were a number of comments from Mormons who appreciated the article and shared their thanks.

Tanner

As a Mormon, I appreciate your fair synopsis in defense of my religion, Mr. Mouw.

Mynamesmiketoo

Being a Mormon myself, I can testify that our religion is not a cult and Joseph Smith is not our head. Jesus Christ is the leader and he is the cornerstone of His church "built on a foundation of prophets and apostles." I also know it is through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Romney is (definitely) a Christian. We are "the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"; we are just nicknamed "Mormon" because of another testament we hold sacred and true. I ask you visit mormon.org for more info.

There were also a number of comments from Christians who said the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-day Saints fell outside the bounds of historical Christianity.

Jeff

To a Christian who believes in the historical Jesus and His church, the Mormon church is by definition a cult. It is in no manner offensive to say that to a true believer of Mormonism, for he/she understands the essentials of their belief system and how they differ. Mainstream Christianity shares in the beliefs about the essentials of our faith - who God is, the three persons within the godhead and their roles, what we are called to, and how one must be saved and live their life. None of this takes away the earthly redeemable qualities of Mormonism such as their commitment to taking care of each other, purity in worship, the role of the church in all matters, etc. But it is not the historical Christianity we know. And btw, many large and small denominations that purport to be part of mainstream Christianity have also distorted the historical belief system of the church.

ThsIsNotReal22

Mormonism may not be a cult, but it is a major heresy.

And as always there was a hearty amount of feedback from atheists and nonbelievers about how all religions were cults by definition.

Nodack

All religions are cults. Sorry.

Because this issue was raised in a political spectrum, it got a lot of people thinking about the intersections between religion and politics.

TheTraveler

Don't even care. Every election year we get the same stupid side-tracking non-issues. ...

Don

It is really a non-issue. We can have a Mormon president as long as he puts the nation first and acts responsibly. We can have a Muslim president as long as he puts the nation first and acts responsibly. We can have a Jewish president as long as he puts the nation first and acts responsibly. Christians have no exclusive lock on love for country or responsible behavior. That should be obvious. I look forward (to) the day when our list of U.S. presidents is as diverse as our citizens. When we get to that point we will have been true to the promise of America that all men were created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights and among these are the right to run for political office and be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their religious beliefs.

David M.

Speaking as a Christian, I'm not concerned about Romney being a Mormon. Nor am I concerned that the next president has to be an evangelical Christian. Jimmy Carter is a devout Christian, but I disagreed with a lot of his politics. I don't vote for someone just because they are a Christian, or not vote for someone because they are not a Christian. I'm concerned about their political positions.

The evangelical church in America thinks if we just get the "right" people in office, then all will be well. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is very clear in Scripture, calling out His people to turn from their wicked ways, call on His name, humble themselves and pray, then He will hear from Heaven and heal their land. It's clearly in the lap of the church, not the lap of the president. Speaking again as a Christian, we in the church have failed miserably, and God will hold us to account.

You can read more from the CNN Belief Blog here and keep the conversation going.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mitt Romney • Politics

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soundoff (693 Responses)
  1. Maralite

    Is Mormonism a cult? I'd say it is, as much as Episcopalianism, Presbyterianism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Muslimism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc. are cults.

    A cult is a united group of people who have a different belief system than I do. So, "cult" means different things to different people.

    Therefore, I believe that Mormons have a different culture than do I, as do evangelicals, catholics, protestants, jews, and muslims and all other religions. Of course, there are different culture according to ancestral native countries, etc.

    Frankly, IMO, all religions are cults.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • hippypoet

      "A cult is a united group of people who have a different belief system than I do. So, "cult" means different things to different people."

      what you wish to believe and whats true are not the same, a cult by definition is any religion. so the meaning of the word may be argued but only by those who lack a di ctionary! i hope that wasn't insulting but it kinda sounds like it so sry. i didn't mean for it. i was just being forward.

      October 12, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  2. skip

    ALL religions are cults in my opinion. a person's religion or lack of has nothing to do with his/her running for public office and should not be an issue. These types of discussions detract from the real problems facing this country.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    Reality

    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded “waiting for moderation” category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, “t-it” is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like “an-al” thereby flagging words like an-alysis and “c-um” flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also “r-a-pe”, “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, “s-ex”, and “hom-ose-xual”. You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge “of-fensive”.

    • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

    Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments “t-it” and “c-um”. To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on “Edit” on the Tool Bar and then “Find” on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the “Find” slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a “Waiting for Moderation”.

    And said moderators still have not solved the chronological placement of comments once the number of comments gets above about 100. They recently have taken to dividing the comments in batches of 50 or so, for some strange reason. Maybe they did this to solve the chronology problem only to make comment reviews beyond the tedious.
    Zeb’s alphabetical listing

    o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN “awaiting moderation” filter:
    Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
    You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the “offending” letter combinations.
    ––
    ar-se…..as in Car-se, etc.
    ba-stard
    co-ck…..as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
    co-on…..as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
    cu-m……as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
    cu-nt…..as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters…!
    do-uche
    ef-fing…as in ef-fing filter
    ft-w……as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
    fu-ck……!
    ho-mo…..as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
    ho-rny….as in tho-rny, etc.
    jacka-ss…yet “ass” is allowed by itself…..
    ja-p……as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
    ji-sm
    koo-ch….as in koo-chie koo..!
    nip-ple
    pi-s……as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
    pr-ick….as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
    ra-pe…..as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
    se-x……as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
    sh-@t…..but shat is okay – don’t use the @ symbol there.
    sh-it
    sl-ut
    sn-atch
    sp-ic…..as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
    ti-t……as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
    tw-at…..as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
    va-g……as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
    who-re….as in who’re you kidding / don’t forget to put in that apostrophe!
    wt-f….also!!!!!!!

    There are more, some of them considered “racist”, so do not assume that this list is complete.
    -–
    Allowed words / not blocked at all:
    anal
    anus
    ass
    boob
    crap
    damn
    execute
    hell
    kill
    masturbation
    murder
    penis
    pubic
    raping (ra-pe is not ok)
    shat (sh-@t is not ok)
    sphincter
    testes
    testicles

    The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those

    October 12, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    If the LDS really believe that God had had se-xual intercourse with Mary, they are a real cult. How can a reasonable man habor such perverse thoughts? He must be possessed by an evil demon.

    It is pity that we waste our precious time to discuss about a damned cult, instead of trying to solve the real acute problems of our world.

    October 12, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Ben Neb

      Where did you hear that?

      November 3, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  5. Jesse

    LDS is completely different from Evangelical beliefs. They claim to use the Holy Bible except they've added to it. The terminogy sounds the same but it differs in doctrine completely. I would consider Roman Catholicism a denomination but still would not consider the LDS Christians. I've studied the doctrines of the LDS. the Bible is clear when it describes Jesus as God in flesh. LDS doctrine teaches Satan & Jesus were brothers and that SATAN offered to die on the cross but bc lucifer had selfish intentions, God the father chose Jesus instead. Mormons believe that "God the Father" is one of many celestial gods & that if you meet all the requirements, you can be a god too & own your own planet. They believe an angel came down from heaven & appeared to their prophet Joseph, telling him to write down new revelation that would be found on tablets of gold in ancient Egyptian. Both LDS & Islam have the same beginnings & I too consider Islam a cult. Just bc there is a little bit of truth doesn't make it all true. At least with Islam there is archaeological & historical support for some incidents that have occurred. But LDS' holy books contain specific plants, animals, places, & people that cannot be found or found to be historically erroneous. There is no evidence of their claim to an ancient civilization in the East Coast. What makes a 'cult' in Christianity is how far off a belief is from the truth & in practice. LDS teachings contradict the Bible & it's message, as does the Koran. However, I think it was stupid that the difference was used for political gain & I have no respect for that.

    October 12, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Isn't it great to be able to pass judgement on someone? Keep up the good work!

      October 12, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • HellBent

      Seems like tomAto, tomAHto to me. So Islam is somehow better because it mentions things that are historically accurate? What about all of the things in the bible and Koran that are so obviously inaccurate? It seems like your heavily cherry picking here. There are things that are absurd in all Abrahamic scriptures. There are also plenty of accurate, truthful statements in a Dan Brown novel – but you'll still find that book in the fiction section.

      October 12, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • HellBent

      Seems like tomAto, tomAHto to me. So Islam is somehow better because it mentions things that are historically accurate? What about all of the things in the bible and Koran that are so obviously inaccurate? It seems like your heavily cherry picking here. There are things that are absurd in all Abrahamic scriptures. There are also plenty of accurate, truthful statements in a Dan Brown novel – but you'll still find that book in the fiction section..

      October 12, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • hippypoet

      look Jesse, Jimtanker, Hellbent, by the definition of the word Cult, all religions fall perfectly into that slot of cult-hood. So relax, enjoy your time while you can...after all, the punch is on its way! did you bring your nike sneakers?

      October 12, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • Jesse

      Passing judgment lol wow. Ignorance occurs in judgment. I laid out FACTS. There IS a difference between the Bible & the Book of Mormon/DC/Pear of Great Price. I've gone to Utah, had dialogues with Mormons, have LDS literature, met with Missionaries on a weekly basis discussing & trying to understand their beliefs. The more I learned about LDS, the farther I saw how LDS doctrine strayed from the Biblical message, and there is more than 1 message in the Bible. And I never said the Koran is historically accurate. The Bible has been historically & archaelogically supported. Even in Islam & LDS teachings. Unless you know what you're talking about, I suggest you not reply to me.

      October 12, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • hippypoet

      wow, jesse, you have a stick up your @ss huh... is it a piece of the holy cross? is that why you feel so uppity? just remember, sit down carefully! we don't need another rectal bleed like with Joshua and Peter, they went at it too hard, got blood everywhere... now its called pass over, and they stopped using rectal blood and swapped it out for lambs, but whatever!

      October 12, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • HellBent

      "The Bible has been historically & archaelogically supported."

      Except when it hasn't. Just because it has PARTS that are historically accurate, doesn't mean that there isn't a whole lot in there that is completely inaccurate. Like a Dan Brown book. Maybe it's time to take the blinders off. Your argument is basically that its easy to refute claims made in the book of mormon because it's a relatively modern text. So you define it as a cult because you don't wish to see the obvious inaccuracies, myths, and inconsistencies in your own text. It makes for a very weak argument.

      October 12, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Rick Adkins

      I've posted in other areas that it seems radical statements by many Christians compare well the radical statements by many Muslims. Neither, it seems, follow the teachings of their respective Prophets. Have the cornerstones of our major religions crumbled? What happened to peace, love and tolerance. Has it evolved to war, hatred and fanaticism?

      October 12, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Jesse

      Hippypoet- LOL! not at all man. I don't speak up unless I know what I'm talking about. The issue is LDS vs Evangelicals: is it a cult? I'm not passing judgment on Mormons. They are beautiful people. Very family oriented. And they have good intentions. But the issue here is doctrine. I even think it was absurd that an Evangelical religious leader used the issue for politics. Actually, I find it disgusting. I understand how someone with no religion can view this debate as stupid. But I know what I'm talking about & it's annoying when people try to argue with you when they don't know facts, context, history, etc. Of the issue at hand. And HELLBENT, no my argument is not that Mormonism is a cult bc it's new. In fact, if you were familiar with the Bible then you would understand what I'm saying. The central issue is doctrinal. Since LDS claims to be Christianity, then we must judge every "Christian" religion/denomination against the foundation of all Christian theology- the Bible.

      October 12, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • hippypoet

      here jesse, if you know your stuff then i won't play around, insult... i will just debate – as i know my stuff as well... so i pose to you the first question....are you a believer in any faith based from Abraham?

      October 12, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • Coptic

      Jesse-Thanks for the well written post, it was a valuable read.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  6. Bot

    • Here are the characteristics of a cult:
    • Small? The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) has 14 million members in 132 countries. In America, there are more Mormons than there are Presbyterians or Jews.
    • Excessive devotion? Mormons are devoted to the Savior, but in appropriate measure He would approve of.
    • Unethical techniques? Ask the pie-throwers to name one.
    • Control by isolation? Even if Mormons wanted to, this would be impossible with 14 million members in 28,000 congregations throughout the world.
    • Control by threats? Again, evidence? Mormon missionaries may be exuberant, but do not threaten.
    • Dependency on the group? The Mormon Church is just the opposite. Mormons want members to be self-reliant and independent so they in turn can help others.
    • Powerful group pressure? Only if that’s the way the critics prefer to define love.
    • Strange? Guilty as charged. Mormons plead guilty to all the strange things that were done by Christians in New Testament times that were lost during the great falling away in the aptly named Dark Ages, among them temple worship, vicarious baptism for the dead, definition of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as separate but united in purpose, salvation requiring both grace and obedience to commandments, prophets and apostles, unpaid clergy, and continual revelation to guide His Church.

    October 12, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  7. Kay

    Magical-thinking isn't necessairily cultish behavior, but it is very dangerous. From the idea that some alien from beyond the universe is in charge of all things and we must submit to it "or else", to the idea that Jesus can save anyone from suffering, to the claim that death is just a charade, I think these groups put us all at risk by encouraging and spreading idolatry. Of course, they don't see themselves as idolators, but they are, down to the very last one of them.

    How much tax-free money does the Mormon church take in every year and how many hungry, homeless, and ill people live in the cities where the LDS' have their self-aggrandizing temples?

    Just disgusting!

    October 12, 2011 at 4:50 am |
  8. Better off without Athiests

    My take: Athiest try to speak, all I hear is blah blah blah.
    They fill these blogs with hate, anger and rage.
    They have nothing but unkind things to say to their fellow man.
    They provide no service to mankind, they are filled with an unkind spirit, they are dull, ignorant, arrogant and rude.
    It's pointless for Athiests to speak on these blogs. You're not inspiring one person. You're too full of hate and no one wants to be like you. I feel bad for Athiests. Miserable Miserable souls.

    October 12, 2011 at 4:02 am |
    • Fiona Glenanne

      Shall we shoot them?

      October 12, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Yea, cause christians aren't hate filled at all. Lets see, crusades ,inquisition, catholic priests, abortion clinic bombings, hate for gays.......

      October 12, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Oh, I forgot HitIer. He was a catholic who wanted to kiII the jewish people. Didn't they all have "God is with us" on their belt buckles?

      October 12, 2011 at 4:23 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      "Better off without Athiests said:
      My take: Athiest try to speak, all I hear is blah blah blah.
      They fill these blogs with hate, anger and rage.
      They have nothing but unkind things to say to their fellow man.
      They provide no service to mankind, they are filled with an unkind spirit, they are dull, ignorant, arrogant and rude.
      It's pointless for Athiests to speak on these blogs. You're not inspiring one person. You're too full of hate and no one wants to be like you. I feel bad for Athiests. Miserable Miserable souls."

      Shall we twist that to what it should say?

      My take: Theists try to speak, all I hear is blah blah blah.
      They fill these blogs with hate, anger, bigotry, hypocrisy and rage.
      They have nothing but unkind things to say to their fellow man, unless of course they believe in their bronze age book of fairy tales.
      They provide no service to mankind, they are filled with an unkind delusions, they are dull, ignorant, arrogant and rude.
      It's pointless for Theists to speak on these blogs. You're not inspiring one person. You're too full of hate and no one wants to be like you. I feel bad for Theists. Miserable Miserable brainwashed individuals.

      You have inevitably never read the bible or you would know how contradictory and ignorant you sounded. You have obviously never gotten to know an Atheist or anything about Atheism or you would know that we use science, logic and reason to come to our conclusions.
      We can at least honestly say that we take responsibility for our actions and live in the here and now. We serve no god(s); we serve our fellow man. We strive for the betterment of society without the need for fiction to give us a feel good measure. Instead of praying for anything, we do what we physically can to help. We do not go in to countries during natural disasters and handle out any form of bible, we go in and lend a helping hand. We accept that our lives have a beginning and an end, nothing more or less. We understand that the world we reside in is full of good and bad, not due to some unknown deity but due to humans being human and the chemical make-up of the mind. We understand that science has been able to factually prove the age of the earth and that evolution is based on fact, not just theory any more. When we don't have an answer, we use the most logical and acceptable stance possible and admit we don't know.

      To follow the bible and be a true christian means that you accept every word of it as true...therefore, you believe that beating your child is good-something society has said is punishable by the laws of our land; you believe that a woman does not have the right to have a say over her own body-once again something that the laws of our land have said is not correct; you believe that being gay is a choice-once again something that the APA has researched and stated to be normal from birth (if not before); you believe that jesus is going to return yet there is no proof that jesus ever existed outside of the bible.

      Your ignorance is not our issue, we only seek to ensure that the generations to follow know the truth and do not accept 2000 year old crap.

      October 12, 2011 at 7:21 am |
    • herbert juarez

      Might you be the same "truth "prevails, Bible authority that posted there were no nations in the book of Revelation, then went on to list 20 or so translations and paraphrases describing two nations in Revelation?Are you that same clever authority?God bless

      October 12, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Hey Herbie-The-Hate-Bug: do you ever stfu and live in the here and now? Did Mommy take your computer privileges away? You haven't been on here spewing your grand delusions recently. To clarify, I never posted anything about the book of Revelations, nor would I. I post about things that meld with the real world and refute your delusions as need be.
      Have a good day little one!

      October 12, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • herbert juarez

      "truth"
      You are a proven idiot and liar.It is only fair that those who read your supposed wisdom know the facts about you.You wouldn't want to represent yourself as a wise sage if you really were not, would you?God bless

      October 12, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • hippypoet

      herbert juarez
      You are a proven idiot and liar as well... you said you were leaving and not coming back...yet here you are, and your posts suck at life! LOL now shoo and stop bringing us down by you being your sad little self.

      October 12, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Herbie-The-Hate-Bug: pot calling kettle black there! You get what you give in this world! You are a waste of time and energy.

      October 12, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  9. DesignerFabric

    So here's something I've been thinking about. I'm curious what you think...

    THEORY OF LOGICAL DESIGN (Another approach to "Intelligent Design")

    Premise: Logical reasoning is a demonstration of intelligence. Correct? (It is one of the key defining features of our sentient species. It is also the basis for the scientific method of discovery.)

    Question: "Is there a logical explanation to everything in the universe?" (Note: I'm not asking if mankind has found every explanation, just if we are to assume there is one.)
    A: If we are to accept the validity of the scientific method, we must answer yes. If we were to answer that there is NO logical explanation to the universe, (or in other words, if the universe is illogical by nature) then we must also discard scientific reasoning and logic as an invalid approach to knowledge. Once again, by accepting the scientific method, we by default must assume that the universe is logical by nature.

    Therefore, if we are to assume the universe is logical by nature, then we must also assume the universe demonstrates intelligence or intelligent design.

    October 12, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • DesignerFabric

      A more simplified version:

      Logic is a form of intelligence. If the universe is logical, then it is also intelligent (or derived from intelligence)

      October 12, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • DesignerFabric

      Or finally a third way to describe it:

      By accept the scientific method, you are acknowledging that through LOGIC we can understand the universe. (That the universe is approachable through logic.) In other words, that through the scientific method, you believe that the universe is intelligible (can be intelligently understood.) By acknowledging that the universe is intelligible, you are also saying that it therefore demonstrates intelligence in its nature....

      October 12, 2011 at 3:05 am |
    • Nice Try. Give Him A Cookie.

      Your argument is obviously fallacious. Math is logical, but it is not intelligent. The design of a bridge can be logical, but that in no way means the bridge is inteligent. You are jumbling up definitions, and drawing a false conclusion.

      Creationism in any package cannot stand even the slightest scientific scrutiny and hold up. There is just no evidence. None. Not a shred.

      October 12, 2011 at 3:40 am |
    • DesignerFabric

      You actually didn't "disprove" anything a mathematical equation or an engineered bridge are still of intelligent design... I"m not saying the universe is intelligent of itself, but demonstrates intelligent design... Sorry, your refutation is invalid... (actually your two arguments just supported it further... because they demonstrate that things of a logical nature, are intelligently conceived.)

      October 12, 2011 at 3:53 am |
    • Jimtanker

      DF,

      Here is your flaw. Logic is not a form of intelligence. Logic is an emergent property of an intelligent mind, not in itself a form of intelligence.

      October 12, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • DesignerFabric

      @Jim Well if that's the case... if Logic, is only a component of an intelligent mind, (and I agree) then what is intelligence as a whole? Furthermore, we could say that logic is only an evolved, cognitive, "pattern-seeking," approach. By projecting mankind's "logical thinking" into the universe, we are saying that the Universe is approachable through that logic. That ultimately man's evolved cognitive ability of logic, can actually make sense of the Universe. Which is an assumption that the Universe is intelligible. IF the Universe is intelligible, it therefore demonstrates a quality of intelligent design about it. Either you have to accept that the Universe demonstrates intelligent design, or you have to acknowledge that logic isn't compatible with the universe.

      So, to specify what I said. Logic may not be intelligence, HOWEVER, logic still demonstrates intelligence. (Which is still true, even if logic is only a component of intelligence) Therefore, the Theory still stands...

      October 12, 2011 at 4:19 am |
    • Jimtanker

      You're just full of MSU today aren't you? How can you get from “the Universe is intelligible” to “demonstrates a quality of intelligent design”? No it doesn’t. There is NO “quality of ID”. The universe is NOT friendly to humans in any way shape or form. We can barely live, sometimes on a very thin sliver of this Earth. How does that demonstrate ID?

      October 12, 2011 at 4:38 am |
    • HellBent

      "Logic is a form of intelligence"

      This actually made sense in your head? Just because it sounds pretty to you, doesn't make it true. 1+1=2 is an equation. There's nothing "intelligent" about it. You either don't understand the concept of logic, don't understand the concept of intelligence, are a troll, or all of the above.

      October 12, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • MarkinFL

      The absolute absurdity of his assertions are incredible. Is it really any wonder that people who think this way also believe in gods? It must take no effort on their part to incorporate such beliefs into an otherwise logical universe. Sympathetic magic probably seems logical to such people. Medieval superst.ition is alive and well.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • DB

      @DesignerFabric-You are absolutely right! Universe supports intelligent design.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Samsword

      LOL I love how people just throw insults.... Actually none of you have destroyed, or even come close to destroying his argument.... You think that by calling him stupid, suddenly you're position is stronger. None of your refutations holds any weight whatsoever. LOL y'all just got schooled.

      Furthermore, he's not saying that Intelligent Design IS the only possible explanation, simply that Intelligent Design is a plausible explanation. (IE the Universe is logical in it's order, Logic is a component of intelligence, therefore the universe demonstrates at least one aspect (evidence) of intelligent design.) His logic is sound, none of yours is... The universe is intelligible, but clearly none of your refutations are! LOL

      October 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Johnny Waffles

      He does not have an argument, Sam. The fact that something is logical in no way implies that it is either intelligent, nor intelligently created. His "theory" means that, to his thinking, a universe without intelligent design/creation MUST be perfectly chaotic and without any order or structure that would be logical – sorry, but if it exists, it must have structure and order at various levels. He is getting confused by the world "logical." What he is actually doing is creating a non-sequitur based on shifting word definitions.

      And of course, he has not supplied any actual proof.

      Intelligent design is not a plausible explanation. It would only be plausible if there were supporting evidence, of which there is not even the tiniest shred.

      DF's brainstorm is illogical. Which must mean that he is not intellgent or not intelligently created.

      October 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  10. mrkusn

    The pastor was not speaking the idea of 'cult' as being just a sect. He was labeling it as a group that is harmful; a negative connotation. I don't find LDS as a cult in the manner in which Jeffress uses it – such as the Raelians or Manson's group or Jimmy Jones horrific experiment down south. However, LDS is not is the same vein strictly "Christian" according to what one one call Christian according to the Apostle's Creed.

    On another note, I think it is reprehensible for the pastor to endorse a specific candidate and party and use his position of influence in this manner. This is the main problem with the evangelical movement of which I am a part. We have syncretized our faith to that of conservatism – a set of doctrines that have contrary ideas to the tenets of faith. This is to our shame. We have become just another voting bloc; because of this the real message of shalom and of reconcilation with God is lost to "lower taxes, small government, and personal responsibility (code for we care about ourselves and too bad if you are down and out...)" while ignoring the deeper matters of faith: hope, love, justice, and mercy. The justice that upholds the dignity of all peoples as unique creations of God. Where are the prophets like Amos who are going to shout to the Church to wake up and forgo the idols of conservatism (and any other -ism)?

    October 12, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Then by your definition it is a cult. All of christianity is dangerous, just as all religions are.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  11. gupsphoo

    Mormonism is a cult just like any other religion, including Christianity.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • kimsland

      Agreed +1

      October 12, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  12. Reality

    Apparently, many of you failed to read the following. Said blog will be shut down for lack of content and relevance in the 21st century:

    NEWS ALERT !!!

    Putting an end to religions and therefore this blog. The moderators will now have to find new jobs as will clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion and priests .

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    A quick Google, Bing or Yahoo search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    October 12, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • mrkusn

      You provide so much evidence to your claims here that all religions are false. (i.e. everyone else is wrong and you are right!)

      October 12, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • kimsland

      Yes that's correct mrkusn
      What's your point exactly?
      I take it you agree with reality too.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Jimtanker

      OK ........., I hit report abuse on you. What next?

      October 12, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  13. turtlemom

    By definition, all organized religions are cults. People just aren't fond of the negative connotations of the word: "cult", as it has been used in the media.

    The more important question is: "Can a politician separate his religious belief from his ability to lead the country in a way that is fair and equal to all citizens?" And is there really a way to ever know this?

    If an atheist were president, religious people would worry about their rights, etc.... There really is no answer that would make everyone happy.

    BTW... 15% of the US population claims no religion and this number has doubled in the last ten years.

    October 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • GoToCollegeGetDrunkEatChickenFingers

      I pray to Mary and the Saints that the number of Atheists doubles every year.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  14. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the history of the Mormon Church and what spirit it serves we invite you to read the article Mormon Church ~ Cult and Spiritual Harlot listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Also, to give people a better understanding of the issues that divide this world we have recently added the article ‘CNN Belief Blog ~ Sign of the Times’ to our listing of articles.

    It is unfortunate but nevertheless the truth that man(kind) in his natural state is unable to understand the Word of God, in fact he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned: meaning to be able to discern between darkness and light (1 Cor. 2:14,15, Acts 26:18). On our website we explain what mankind must do to be reunited with God. The Bible is true and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

    October 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • GoToCollegeGetDrunkEatChickenFingers

      Then what is the point in following a book that is intentionally written to undermine the inferior intelligence of man so that we cannot grasp it? That seems a bit absurd. Is the lord on high, high? Is he purposely making the attempt to prevent us from gaining entry into the pearly gates betwixt his furry almighty legs?

      October 12, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • claybigsby

      "It is unfortunate but nevertheless the truth that man(kind) in his natural state is unable to understand the Word of God, in fact he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned:"

      If man in its natural state is unable to understand the world of god, how can he be expected to write the word of god?

      October 12, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • AvdBerg

      claybigsbe

      The people that wrote the Bible were 'spiritual' people inspired by the Spirit of God. God had transformed them and molded them. Please review the header of the website.

      October 12, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  15. Richard Kaiser

    Good night all! Be here in the morrow time! 🙂

    October 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  16. hippypoet

    YOUR FALSE god is FULL OF PRIDE AND THEREFORE NOT WORTH WHORSHIPPING AS HE BREAKS HIS OWN LAWS...

    October 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  17. vlaughlin

    I am curious, what would happen to this country if–gasp–a Pagan became president? We are a minority that is all too often ignored and overlooked.

    October 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  18. Frank Bund

    Yes, it is a cult.

    Oh, and lesson learned people; If you're going to pretend to be educated whilst trolling, do not be surprised if you end up on the receiving end. I don't know about you, but I'm awfully tired of seeing people like "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son" insulting people constantly. That is the true troll. Calling people names from the comfort of your water bed, sausage-fingering your keyboard with insults and jabs is not positive. It only proves that you are tragically crippled by your own insecurities and shortcomings. Act high and mighty as you will, but those of us with an inkling of intelligence can see right through your glass wall. No one who is as happily married as you claim to be would spend hours every night posting insults to anonymous people the way that you do. This is merely an observation. And it is regrettably the truth.

    October 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • HellBent

      Hows that throwing stones in glass houses thing going for you?

      October 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Frank Bund

      I'm not married, nor have I claimed to be happy, nor have I claimed a superior level of education. No glass house here. Anything else you care to add?

      October 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • HellBent

      If you truly can't see the obvious hypocrisy in your post, then I doubt there's anything that I can add that would open your eyes. But here's a hint – insulting people because they insult others is like the pot calling the kettle black.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Frank Bund

      I don't see the hypocrisy in doing so when the individual deserves it. You have your opinion, I have mine. Enjoy!

      October 12, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  19. hippypoet

    YOUR FALSE god is FULL OF PRIDE AND THEREFORE NOT WORTH WHORSHIPPING AS HE BREAKS HIS OWN LAWS... want proof... ok

    i get a sense of pride in your god everytime i think about him... lets see, does he test abraham's faith in order to make sure he believes...yes, does your god nearly everytime he talks (laughible) claim to be the one true god...thats pride. did he create man then give him things and then take them away because we used them wrong...thats pride... did your god destory a few cities because they were doing what they wanted....thats a show of pride.....didn't your god create man in his image...whoa thats full of pride. .does your god say he has a chosen people..yup, thats pride too...did you god tell moses to take off his shoes in his presence...must have put new floors in recently, again pride...did god once say things then create a so called son so we would all remember...yup pride again..and finally, didn't your god comment murder when he allowed death in the garden, indircectly sure, but its his fault or else able would still be around..lol, i know, its pride again...so i am guessing if your god exists, i will see him or HER in hell! thank god your god makes so many mistakes or else i would have totally believed him/her to be a true god, maybe not the true god, but a god atleast. But god is supposed to be a perfect being...yours is full of pride, and fault...sounds very human to me, thats because it was all men who created the story... hence all the pride!

    October 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Answer

      @hippypoet

      You do know that these evangelists will just post a bible quote on to your proof and call it a day don't you? They won't ever accept logic from us.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yes, but if i don't try, 1 i don't get to have fun, and 2 i then show a sign of giving up...which i never give up, i try harder to find more info to keep the convo going and more full of proof.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  20. hippypoet

    the ALMIGHTY SUN DOES NOT JUDGE UNLIKE THE FALSE christian god WHO JUDGES ALL UNEQUALLY!

    October 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Answer

      Agreed.

      It will last for quite a long time too – our sun. Religion on the other hand will not. That is the greatest piece of knowledge of all.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.