By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham's mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
In a section of the website called Billy Graham's My Answer there had been the question "What is a cult?"
Answer: "A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith."
"Some of these groups are Jehovah's Witnesess, Mormons, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spritualists, Scientologists, and others," the site continued.
No longer. On Tuesday, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association confirmed that page has recently been removed from the site.
“Our primary focus at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ken Barun, chief of staff for the association, told CNN in a statement. "We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign."
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Romney is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members of which are known as Mormons.
The information about cults can be found on cached sections of the website on Archive.org from June 5, 2010.
The theological question of where Mormons fit on the religious spectrum has drawn more attention because of Romney's candidacy. Mormons consider themselves to be strong Christians. Many traditional Christian denominations disagree, though rank-and-file members have their own views on the matter.
The removal of the post from the Graham group's website was first noted by the New Civil Rights Movement website and then later by the Asheville Citizen-Times, which reported that the information on cults was accessed as recently as Thursday afternoon.
Last week's meeting between Romney and Graham was their first.
After the 30 minute sit-down in Montreat, North Carolina, just outside Asheville, Romney campaign spokesman Rick Gorka told reporters that Billy Graham led a prayer for the Romneys, saying "I'll do all I can to help you. And you can quote me on that."
The evangelist who has been called America's pastor and has prayed with every American president since Harry Truman said in a statement following the meeting that "It was a privilege to pray with Gov. Romney — for his family and our country."
Graham met with President Barack Obama in 2010 and with Sen. John McCain when he was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in 2008.
"I will turn 94 the day after the upcoming election, and I believe America is at a crossroads," Graham's statement continued. "I hope millions of Americans will join me in praying for our nation and to vote for candidates who will support the biblical definition of marriage, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms."
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When asked about Graham's beliefs about Mormonism, Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross said in a statement that "Through an inclusive evangelistic ministry spanning more than 60 years, Mr. Graham was called to preach the transformative message of the Gospel to the whole world, regardless of one’s religious background, affiliation or none. As such, he never proselytized, targeted or labeled specific people, groups, faiths or denominations.
"Neither did Mr. Graham attempt to divide his audience before he had opportunity to preach to them. He has a genuine love for all people, and faithfully proclaimed the love of God to everyone, providing opportunity for them to respond by making a faith commitment.
"Mr. Graham’s calling is not to pass judgment, but to proclaim the biblical truth that Jesus is the only way to heaven, allowing every individual and group to fall along that plumb line," the statement went on.
"He further stressed that salvation is the work of Almighty God, and that only He knows what is in each human heart," the statement said.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, lists the LDS Church as a theological cult. The Catholic Church also does not recognize Mormon baptisms as being theologically compatible with its own.
The LDS Church has long bristled at being called a cult. Mormons note the many similarities and overlap between their teachings and that of other churches but point to their belief in other scriptures like the Book of Mormon as the reason they split with other churches.
In the 2012 campaign Romney has been generally quiet about his church, though his role as a lay church leader was prominently featured in the Republican National Convention, and his campaign has allowed members of the press pool accompanying Romney to film him attending services.
Wow what a shocker. Billy G. removing mormon cult status. The bible – word of God is right. There shall be a falling away. So my question is ......is the racial divide in America be one of the causes of the falling away?
I consider myself fortunate not to listen to tele evangelists, or pulpit preachers. So many follow them and not the word of God. So should we then discount everything that Billy G. has preached in the past?
Look for the good, it's there but it is overshadowed by religion and politics, two in the same.
Cartoon Banned by Mormon Church
Not a sympathetic rendition, but essentially accurate.
It's sad that so many evangelicals, because of their racial intolerance and misgivings, have sold out to Satan. Hiding behind Jesus but serving Lucifer. So very, very, sad.
Putting Politics before his religion, truly Sad.
This is nothing new as it is the roots of religion, politics controlling people, nothing more.
Franklin is such a greedy sleazeball. How could the Rev. Graham fall for this charade. Taking advantage of a senile old man. Rev. Graham admitted several years ago that he tried to stay out of politics but when questioned admitted that he had always voted Democrat. Hope Franklin enjoys his dad's millions.
This has nothing to do with Billy Graham. He probably can't remember what he had for lunch. This is all about Franklin Graham and where he wants to take the family firm.
Face it, Billy is not even here any longer, look at him. Romney and Billy's kid are ransacking a lifetime of devotion by this man. Even though I don't agree with Billy I am highly disturbed by these people taking advantage of him while he is so vulnerable and frail. BUT, isn't that the way of the believers?
It's just a distractor from the real question:
Does Foxconn make Romney's magic underpants?
Billy and Frank are whitewashing the Mormon church to benefit the GOP.
Vocal Atheist... Its funny how you try do disprove God so much, you must care soo much to name yourself vocal atheist? hmmm, ohh and by the way I have a Masters Degree. I am not speaking from emotion, I am speaking to you because of the way you portray yourself here. With ignorance, deceit. and I am very educated, but what is "your world" about, get educated and you will have a happy life? How many millionaires and billionaires end up killing themselves, they got all the money in the world, yet they are ignorant like you, desperate to disprove something, when first of all you said you can't prove it... You can't prove God is your, nor can you prove it, but throught faith, through actually opening the Bible, like you said you have, and actually reading carefully what it says, you might get an idea of what I am talking about.. Dont accept anything of actual proof? let me ask you something, The Big Bang, so you are saying if some human being comes and tells me the world and universe was created by a "Big Bang" where is there proof? its a theory, theories are good, there are nothing wrong with that, but what is the difference between theories and believing in God. So you are saying you believe the big bang because a whole bunch of smart people got together and came up with something? You need to be more educated and wiser, you believe what you see, and you are blind, poor fool...
I can't think of a reason to disprove God. I doubt Vocal Atheist is in a twist over that. Like anything you might contrive, if you want people to believe in your God the burden is on you.
I enjoy your passion, passion is wonderful if rightfully directed but it can be devastating to the point of annihilation and that is exactly what a belief in the supernatural does. It creates wars, injustice, abuse, intolerance, yes, it is all there in the Bible to read. Are there good points in the Bible? Yes, of course, I don't deny that but its not anything that came by a God. We created God, not the other way around.
I live a simple life, a good honest life without a God. I love people. I love animals. I love this earth and this existence. There's no God needed to do this. I enjoy every single moment and the wonder of it all, no God needed. Try it sometime, without your God, do you have the balls to?
That problem with faith – from the standpoint of believers is that, once you take something on faith then everything is possible. Everything is believable and everything is True with a capital T. Why? Because evidence is no longer required when you believe something based on faith, you can believe in anything. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, (insert the name of your religion here) are all equally valid and nothing more is needed. They are all equally viable in the mind believer who takes it 'on faith'. You have thousands of religions throughout the history of mankind and for the most part ALL of them are mutually exclusive. They can't all be right. So you have two choices: 1) All of them are wrong or 2) One of them is right. Once you take something on faith, you can just pick which belief you want, and take it on faith – and then automatically, your belief/choice is right and everything is wrong.
is it 1348 in old england or what...people still follow this foolishness????
The preaching of the cross is foolisness to them that are lost.
The preaching of the cross is foolishness.
There, fixed that for you, Dan. You're welcome.
Evangelical christianity is fake Christianity that morphs its dogma for political motives and for profit motives. It is now about selfishness and greed and wealth-worship. Hardly what Jesus taught.
End justifies the mean's, motto of hindu secular's, criminal self centered, selling hinduism atheism, filthy self center ism under the banner of hinduism, corruption of truth absolute called hindu Mithra ism, savior ism under a label Christianity,a religion.
I agree with Mike completely.
God bless dear brother.
It is so typical of religious hypocrisy to all of sudden make changes in their dogma it is to be expected. Romney and Graham are perfect examples of the transparency of their agendas, they don't hide it, they come out with it and know that the believers will go along with it. It's just so incredibly wrong yet we allow it to go on. We need to stop this madness and speak-up for what is right, we're not going to let them shove this crap down our throats any longer.
"We need to stop this madness and speak-up for what is right, we're not going to let them shove this crap down our throats any longer."
Making a bid are we to be something,,,, perhaps ruler of idiocy?
? Please, can you expound a little bit more so I can get a sense of what you are trying to say?
if anyone thinks that someone made a material change in their belief here I'd be amazed.
Franklin Graham is doing something that his father never did and always refused to do – that is, politicizing the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. I'm sure there was a nice donation to Franklin's next crusade from one of Mitt's Koch Brothers funded SuperPACs to go with it.
All arranged by Mark DeMoss – a devotee of Jerry Falwell, Franklin's PR man for 21 years, and now Mitt's evangelical reacharound guy. A 33-year old score is now settled, when Dr. Graham refused to join the Moral Majority.
We can always rely on you for the real low down, thanks for that!
I am LDS AND PROUD OF IT.I also have great respect for Reverend Graham.We may disagree on some important doctrines but I hold him in high regard.I believe that Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation,that He rose from the dead,and will come again,hopefully soon.I love the Old and New Testaments,The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.They are a love story in a sense.Our Creator has moved heaven and earth to rescue me and you from sin through the Savior's atonement.That is the principle message of all the above scriptures,and without that core doctrine of sacrifice and grace,nothing else really matters.
vocal Atheist this is to you.. its funny how you can make fun of God now, that you have maybe no worries, have a job, money, power, but what about that day when you are facing death? You will wish you knew him, yet ignorant people like you have never even opened the Bible. What are you gonna do when you get sad and depressed? Let me guess buy a gadget to make you happy? Take a pill to make you happy? buy materials to make you happy? And you think religions and God is a joke, well let me tell you, you are living an illusion, all that you buy and get will be here for others to enjoy after you perish. I pray to God you repent one day, You can't prove there there is no God, but You can prove by believing and reading the scriptures, but I guess you never bothered to do that.. Ignorance kills, and the day you are face to face with death, you would of wished you knew God... Have a good day.
You judge way too quickly and with emotion, not the most prudent way to to attempt a point of view.
First off, you don't know me yet you assume that I have never opened the Bible. You just failed because your assumption is so far from correct you sound like Romney.
Secondly, you are the one that has the burden of proof of the existence of a God. Take your pick, it doesn't matter to me which one, just prove it.
Finally, I really do wish you the best with the hope that you will educate yourself, question what you believe to be true and ask the really hard questions and don't accept anything short of actual proof.
Based on Romney's conduct during the campaign, my guess is that the Mormon bible has only 9 commandments. I don't think it includes "Thou shall not lie." His conduct makes me wonder if it says it is acceptable to lie and to mislead.
You do know that "thou shalt not lie" isn't a commandment, right?
Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers. If that is not a slap to Christianity, I don't know what is. They are the penultimate Cult and Saturday door knocking is the proof, they are no better than the Moonies that used to bug people at airports.
Ok, let's you and I talk.First of all I am LDS. We teach that Jesus Christ offered to redeem man kind from sin according to the will of God.Satan opposed the plan,which revolved around our moral agency,the freedom to choose good over evil once we entered into our mortal estate.Satan also wanted all the glory for himself,and his plan would attempt to save all, providing no means to choose spiritual life or death once we entered mortality.This plan was opposed by God and Satan rebelled and was cast out of heaven along with a third of our brothers and sisters who allowed themselves to be seduced by his cunning logic and personality.
This gift of moral agency is priceless.The Savior will force no one to heaven.He came and poured out His life so that we would have a chance to repent of our sins and escape the dreadful consequences of our rebellion.The Savior presents us with His love and we are free to choose liberty through His atonement or eternal misery, but force will never be used as it is contrary to the the principles of Heaven and always has been.
Ummm... Can either one of the above believers provide a shred of evidence for the foundation of their beliefs – that any god exist or that the jesus story is not a myth? I don't believe they can and if they cannot, they are delusional, liars or both.
Mitt Romney, according to scripture, is the anti-Christ. (2 John 7-11)
Why aren't evangelicals and other Christians standing up for Jesus and the word of truth about those who have run ahead and not continued in the teachings of Christ.
Could it be they are liars just like Romney and Paul Ryan and share in their wicked work. For even now many antichrists have come. (1 John 2:18-23)
What does the Book Of Mormons say about liars and lying?
Well, Mr Graham just proved that his religion is for sale in service to politics. Shameful! And he would apparently claim to be a man of principle.
He'll be dead soon enough, taking the dirt nap just like the rest of us.
Billy is a man before he is a preacher.
Thou shalt worship no other god but me. . . . .Ooooops God must have changed his mind, but only told Mitt and Graham. . . .
Looks the ten commandments have become the "nine in time". Glory to god in the lowest!
hindu pagan Christianity is hinduism, criminality of hindu pagans to make humanity their gentile, just another label for hindu Mithraism, pagan savior ism, old hindu filthy bottle with another label.
Boy abuse and being gay is holy tradition of hinduism, pagan ism, besides, hindrance of incest to follow hinduism, racism as some thing of a holy nature, hindu pagan Christianity draw's it's root from.
HINDU KALI – GODDESS OF VIOLENCE/TERRORISM
A recent report by United Press trust of India (UPI) stated that during the past three years more than 2,500 young boys and girls were sacrificed to goddess Kali in India. Another of AFP's recent reports say: hundreds of young boys and virgin girls are sacrificed every month for the deity Kali. In one case Rama Sewak hacked his eight year old son to death in broad daylight in Delhi because goddess Kali had told him he would come back to life and bring him good fortune. Bloodthirsty Kali is worshipped openly the length and breadth of India. Kali's statue stands naked astride the inanimate body of the Hindu deity Shiva, tongue stuck out with blood dripping from fang-like teeth. She holds a noose, a skull-topped staff, a blood-encrusted sword and a severed head. She is also known as Durga, Devi, Shaktima, Uma and Parvathi in other manifestations. The priest of Delhi, Kali Bari, says that a child sacrificed to Kali ensures a man the birth of a son. Human sacrifices are also made to these gods or goddesses, either to appease them or to ask favours of them.
Disgusting. Where are the human right people??????
With such "Dark Age" culture still in existence in India how can the world be healthy and the neighbors prosperous. India poses a grave danger to the world and its deities and leaders set a bad example. Mahatma Gandhi, a pedophile, needs to be exposed and tried posthumously for his child molestation crimes just like the Penn State crowd Sandusky et al. Gandhi's statutes need to be knocked down everywhere they have been put in USA. The hindu deities need to be shattered and trashed. Disgusting figurines of ugly and scary looking characters with demonic personalities. How can hindu children grow up mentally stable looking at such atrocious representations of evil in its most heinous form.
to learn truth about hinduism, denial of truth absolute and a crime against humanity, please visit limitisthetruth.com
Are you a wacko nutjob? : D
I know what this post is, stream of consciousness. Am I right, eh, eh? :)
Lets see– christian.com is Gods web site for single christians and they say God wants you do take your turn at finding a mate using his web site. That old fart Graham is on the Nixon tapes telling how he hates Jews and blame them for the problems of the world. If God wants one of the Conservatives to get elected then why all this massive money poured into the campaign. You talk of being a solider whose occupation is killing–are you going to kill for Christ. Christ killed no one, battled on the money changers in the temple, the rich of the time, restored one of the Romans solider's ear, submitted to the Roman Government to the point of death. Jesus didn't fight Satan he resisted tempation. He placed God above power and wealth. Mitt has not given up his wealth and wants power–thats not Christian its Mormonism. He belongs to a religion that fought and won in the SC not to pledge allegence to the flag. He was loyal to the Mormon Church and went to Paris instead of military service–religion more important than the country. Not one of his family has ever served the country only the Mormon Chruch.
There is no valid evidence of the existence of Jesus, all religions are a bunch of bunk.
@TheVocalAtheist – actually there is historical proof at the existence of Jesus. The Jewish historian Josephus writes about Him (albeit in a negative light) but does provide for us historical proof that He did exist. He also talks about the rise of Christianity and mentions several of the characters in the Bible in their correct role.
I think what you were trying to say is that you can't find any proof of the Divinity of Jesus. That's a whole different question.
Josephus wrote about what the Christians claimed about their hero.
(and even some of that was a later insertion of text by Eusebius in the 4th century)
Is Graham still relevant?
No , was he ever?
The guy poops money.
3,500 posts here and counting says yes.
I'm not an adherent of Dr. Graham and revivalism, but I respect the fact that he chose not to join Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority in 1979 because he didn't want to politicize his ministry like so many others in the American Taliban have done. Apparenly Franklin has none of his father's scruples in this regard.
Hence the shock expressed by so many here.
UNDER G-D'S EYE'S IT WILL NEVER BE APPROVED..IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT BILLY SAID'S, G-D'S WORD IS WHAT COUNT'S, NOT HIS....HOW EASY IT IS TO STAB G-D IN THE BACK...COOKIES, THAT'S ALL IT TOOK....WOW
I didn't know God had a back, who would of thought?
It is rare to see someone use a word like "saids", and even rarer still to see it used with an apostrophe. Well done!
How do you or billy bob even pretend to know what god likes or not. Your both jokes
cookies, really? No, rest assured, Franklin Graham didn't sell out his fathers lifelong reputation for staying above politics for cookies.
No one of Mittens' Koch brothers funded SuperPACs probably made a very nice donation to Franklin's next crusade, all arranged by Franklin's PR man of 21 years. A former Moral Majority guy named Mark DeMoss who is Mitten's evangelical ambassador and once once part of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority.
Perhaps you will remember that Dr. Graham refused to join the Moral Majority because he thought it was morally wrong to politicize his ministry. (Not so Franklin.)
Selling out to politics... apostasy. :-(
Mormonism is NOT a cult. It is a very sensible, caring way of taking care of your neighbors by providing 10 percent of one's earnings to one's neighbors without any kind of "reward," other than the satisfaction of having done the right thing. HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE DONE THAT?????? On the other hand, OBAMANISM IS AS CULT - CONFISCATING THE EARNINGS (WITHOUT APPROVAL) OF HARD-WORKING AMERICANS TO THOSE MOSTLY TOO LAZY TO WORK, WHO SIT AROUND WATCHING "THE VIEW" ALL DAY! And I am supposed to pay for Obama's perverted view?? NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow, that may be the dumbest thing I've heard all day.
You really should do some reading up on Mormonism. If you knew what you were talking about you wouldn't be caught dead calling it "sensible".
You will pay or we will audit you and your cult.
Sorry to break it to you there RS but all religions are cults, they just make-up their own set of rules and regulations, ask for money from the idiots that buy into their craziness. You're a fool if you fall for any of it.
Does your mormonism or christianity include judging others? Must be a new version
Ouch.. that hurt my brain a little when I read that.
you can't be this dumb!
Allow me to start this by saying I was baptized in the LDS (Mormon) church in 1996 after two years of study with various elders who visited my home. For the next 9 years I sharpened my life to reflect my religious choice. I gave up smoking, gave up coffee, and stepped out of a relationship that would not lead to marriage. I gave the church 10% of every dime that crossed my palm, before it was taxed by the USA. After 9 years of attending every Sunday, volunteering for what ever was needed during other nights of the week, and giving my all to the callings which Bishops appointed me to, then I was invited to attend TEMPLE. The activities that surrounded my Endowment in the Chicago Temple were disturbing. VERY cult-like. After my Endowment ceremony I went through the process one goes through to arrive in the Celestial Room. That was even more disturbing that the Endowment ceremony and not only was it cult-like, I would say it was surely a cult activity. Members of the LDS are sworn to secrecy as to what exactly goes on in the TEMPLE, they are told to not even discuss it among each other and the excuse they use is that it is too sacred to talk about. If Romney said, "I was born into the LDS church but I am not an active member." I would not only respect that, I would understand how that can happen. The fact that he totally identifies with this LDS cult, and he is an active member not only in church but in monthly TEMPLE activities, there is no way I want that nut in the White House. If you knew what I know, you would not vote for Romney.
If you are the real deal I would like to thank you for sharing and please keep doing it!
The leaders of this world need Jesus. No human can change this world. Only Jesus can change this world if we just accept Him as our Savior and let Him rule our lives. The following poem is something everyone should stand.
Army of My God
The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer! The Holy Bible is my code of conduct! Faith, prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare! I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity and tested by fire!
I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity! I will either retire in this army at the rapture or die in this Army; but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or pushed out.
I am faithful, reliable, capable and dependable! If my God needs me, I am there! If He needs me in Sunday school, to teach children, work with youth, help adults or just sit and learn, He can use me, because I am there!
I am a soldier! I am not a baby! I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up, or pepped up!
I am a soldier! I am not a wimp! I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name, and building His kingdom! No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy or give me handouts! I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to!
I am committed! I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around! I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside! I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit! When Jesus called me into this army, I had nothing! If I end up with nothing, I will still break even! I will win!
My God will supply all my needs! I am more than a conqueror! I will always triumph! I can do all things through Christ! Devils cannot defeat me! People cannot disillusion me! Weather cannot weary me! Sickness cannot stop me! Battles cannot beat me! Money cannot buy me! Governments cannot silence me, and hell cannot handle me!
I am a soldier! Even death cannot destroy me! For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield, He will promote me to a captain and then bring me back to rule this world with Him!
I am a soldier, in the army, and I'm marching, claiming victory! I will not give up! I will not turn around!
I am a soldier, marching heaven bound!
Here I stand! Will you stand with me?
Blah blah blah blah blah...
Veronica, really, keep this to yourself, there's no need to share this.
Ya, the one never existed, but hinduism, fabrication of hindu Magi's, pagan tricksters to hind, fool humanity.
Veronica, you have a severe delusion that leads us to believe you are dumb as a box of rocks. Crack a non-fiction book open for once.
Veronica, Graham was either wrong about Mormonism or he's a sellout, which is it?
You got the "committed " part right
It doesn't really matter WHAT you sell yourself for; it still means you're a wh*re.
Go swim in a loving Tsunami.
And Moses said unto them “Have ye saved all the women alive?... Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him, but all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves” Num 31:1-2, 9-11, 14-18
Psalm 137:9 – Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
Jesus' central message was that you make a personal connection with him, not a herd. Jesus threatened the herd. The herd murdered him.
Jesus' central message was believe in me or when you die you will burn for all eternity. The old Testament seems like a day at the amusement park compared to the new Testament.
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.