October 9th, 2011
07:42 PM ET

My Take: This evangelical says Mormonism isn’t a cult

Editor’s note: Richard J. Mouw is President of Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical school in Pasadena, California.

By Richard J. Mouw, Special to CNN

Some prominent evangelical pastors have been telling their constituents not to support Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidential nomination. Because Romney is Mormon, they say, to cast a vote for him is to promote the cause of a cult.

I beg to differ.

For the past dozen years, I’ve been co-chairing, with Professor Robert Millet of Brigham Young University – the respected Mormon school - a behind-closed-doors dialogue between about a dozen evangelicals and an equal number of our Mormon counterparts.

We have talked for many hours about key theological issues: the authority of the Bible, the person and work of Christ, the Trinity, “continuing revelations” and the career of Joseph Smith, the 19th century founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), better known as the Mormon Church.

We evangelicals and our Mormon counterparts disagree about some important theological questions. But we have also found that on some matters we are not as far apart as we thought we were.

I know cults. I have studied them and taught about them for a long time. It’s worth noting that people have wondered whether I belong to a cult, with a reporter once asking me: “Evangelicalism, is that like Scientology and Hare Krishna?”

Religious cults are very much us-versus-them. Their adherents are taught to think that they are the only ones who benefit from divine approval. They don’t like to engage in serious, respectful give-and-take dialogue with people with whom they disagree.

Nor do they promote the kind of scholarship that works alongside others in pursuing the truth. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, haven’t established a university. They don’t sponsor a law school or offer graduate-level courses in world religions. The same goes for Christian Science. If you want to call those groups cults I will not argue with you.

But Brigham Young University is a world-class educational institution, with professors who’ve earned doctorates from some of the best universities in the world. Several of the top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have PhDs from Ivy League schools.

These folks talk admiringly of the evangelical Billy Graham and the Catholic Mother Teresa, and they enjoy reading the evangelical C.S. Lewis and Father Henri Nouwen, a Catholic. That is not the kind of thing you run into in anti-Christian cults.

So are Mormons Christians? For me, that’s a complicated question.

My Mormon friends and I disagree on enough subjects that I am not prepared to say that their theology falls within the scope of historic Christian teaching. But the important thing is that we continue to talk about these things, and with increasing candor and mutual openness to correction.

No one has shown any impulse to walk away from the table of dialogue. We do all of this with the blessing of many leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, some of whom have become good friends.

While I am not prepared to reclassify Mormonism as possessing undeniably Christian theology, I do accept many of my Mormon friends as genuine followers of the Jesus whom I worship as the divine Savior.

I find Mormons to be more Christ-centered than they have been in the past. I recently showed a video to my evangelical Fuller Seminary students of Mormon Elder Jeffrey Holland, one of the Twelve Apostles who help lead the LDS church. The video captures Holland speaking to thousands of Mormons about Christ’s death on the cross.

Several of my students remarked that if they had not known that he was a Mormon leader they would have guessed that he was an evangelical preacher.

The current criticisms of Mitt Romney’s religious affiliation recall for many of us the challenges John Kennedy faced when he was campaigning for the presidency in 1960.

Some well-known Protestant preachers (including Norman Vincent Peale) warned against putting a Catholic in the White House. Kennedy’s famous speech to Houston pastors clarifying his religious beliefs as they related to his political leadership helped his cause quite a bit.

But the real changes in popular attitudes toward Catholicism happened more slowly, as Catholic Church leaders and scholars engaged in a new kind of dialogue with each other and representatives of other faith groups, most dramatically at the Second Vatican Council during the early years of the 1960s.

Cults do not engage in those kinds of self-examining conversations. If they do, they do not remain cults.

Those of us who have made the effort to engage Mormons in friendly and sustained give-and-take conversations have come to see them as good citizens whose life of faith often exhibits qualities that are worthy of the Christian label, even as we continue to engage in friendly arguments with them about crucial theological issues.

Mitt Romney deserves what every politician running for office deserves: a careful examination of his views on policy and his philosophy of government. But he does not deserve to be labeled a cultist.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Richard J. Mouw.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Cults • Mitt Romney • Politics • Rick Perry

soundoff (2,721 Responses)
  1. vel

    as always, I do love how theists, and especially Christians are sure that their and only their religion, or sect, is the only "right" one. How many of you would be willing to set up altars like Elijah did to show this is the case? I've see excuse after excuse on why you wouldn't, like one is not to "test" your god, but as you can see, Elijah did and you can find mulitiple other examples in the bible where God is okay with him being tested: Gideon, Thomas, God saying directly in Micah, etc. I'd be happy to host a test between the LDS and oh any Christian who wants to claim the OneTrueChristian mantle. Of course, when your god does nothing, I'd be happy to light a fire with my Zippo that relies on science.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  2. Cartman from Southpark

    Dumb Dumb dumb dumb dummmmmb...

    October 10, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  3. ThsIsNotReal22

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

    October 10, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • george

      Only if you can believe the dogma of any of the other Christian cults.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  4. William Demuth

    All Christians are cult members.

    Nuff said.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  5. Pionatto

    do not believe/trust any christian denomination that refuses to open their door to the public, secret worship smells bad, very bad.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Linda

      actually their general services are very much open to the public.. activities in the temple however, are strictly for church members.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • theresa

      really? Have you not noticed the placards outside all LDS churches which clearly states, "visitors welcome"?

      October 10, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  6. Hindu American

    I feel sorry for you fellows. Americans act as if they patented secularism. You can't even accept a 'lower caste' Christian, let alone accept the silent 20-25% (or more) of non Chirstian Americans. Pitiful.
    Look at the two Indian American political leaders in US, Mr. Piyush (Bobby) Jindal and Mrs. Nicky (Nimrata) Haley. Both **had to** convert to Christianity to gain acceptance. No, I do not believe they did a comparative study of the Eastern and Western religions before they decided to convert.
    What right do we as Americans have to lecture Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists on secularism? We are first class bigots ourselves.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • W.G.

      to hindu American – You have to understand what Christians believe . That there are not many roads to Heaven .
      In the Bible John 14:6 Jesus said "I am the way and the Truth and the Life , no one comes to the father but through
      Me ". We are not bigots by no means , we are concerned with our fellow Humans and we ( real Christians) have a
      duty to bring salvation to the world . When you understand that belief , you must understand why we are so DRIVEN
      to accomplish that mission .

      October 10, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      jesus, if such a character wasn't a complete fabrication, was a charlatan.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • W.G.

      To evil twin – it´s been proven outside of the Bible that Jesus Christ was a real person . You have the
      Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus that say Jesus was real . Google them .
      Maybe you´ll realize that your playing a dangerous game , I´m a Reborn Christian , I have faith that my path
      is true . But if I were wrong what have I lost ?? But if your wrong .....uh.oh ...

      October 10, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  7. W.G.

    After reading this one has to consider if Mr. Mouw is even a Christian . In other words is he a fan or a follower ?
    The bible says in 2nd. Timothy 4:3-4 For a time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine . Instead ,
    to suit their own desires they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears
    want to hear . They will turn away their ears from the truth and turn aside to myths . This is also what mormons did .
    They believe that satan was Jesus´s brother ( how perverse is that ?) We as Christians do not have anything in common
    with mormons as they do not believe in the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and that he was not God .

    October 10, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • ShellyTx

      Exactly, WG. I was going to post but you said it all. The God and Jesus of the Mormon religion is NOT the same God and Jesus of the Bible. Period.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • RevMRH

      W.G. love your scriptures. Thanks for saying the truth. They do believe Jesus and Lucifer are brothers. They also believe in 3 gods. Not one God in 3 persons. I think people are trying to mainstream Mormonism as we get closer to the election so that they will feel comfortable voting Mormon. One Christian pastor said that he would rather vote for Romney, who is not a Christian, than to vote for Obama, who is a Christian.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      jesus was a hoax

      October 10, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Reader

      Mormons do think that Jesus Christ was the brother to Lucifer... but we believe that we are ALL children of God... so, I don't get why that's so weird.

      We do believe that Jesus is divine. We believe in God, the eternal Father, and in his son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  8. CAPRO_info

    Cults and cultism depends on who is defining the word or practice. Hence, a sociologist will define the word "cult" differently than a psychologist or theologian.

    From a purely theology point of view, Mormonism is a cult of Christianity. The reason for this is because while it retains a skeleton of terminology that it uses to make it look like Christianity, those terms and beliefs are completely devoid of Christian content. Mormons, therefore, may speak of God, Jesus, sin and salvation, but those terms and concepts have been so radically redefined as to mean something totally different than what the Bible or orthodox Christian theology has taught for the past two thousand plus years.

    The main problems in the whole debate over whether or not Mormonism is a cult are (1) very few of those doing the discussing know what the Bible has to say about false teachers and doctrine (and that would include those claiming to be Christians), (2) the Mormon Church has a mega-PR machine which effectively manages to divert attention away from the main issues, namely doctrinal, which otherwise would expose it for the cult that it is, (3) the media would rather sensationalize than rationalize.

    Therefore, all things considered, when Dr. Robert Jeffress labeled Mormonism as a cult, he was using the term in a theological sense, and would be correct: Mormonism is a cult. Until that is understood, then all the hand-wringing, denials, and distancing will continue. Moreover, Dr. Jeffress will be vilified, when the real culprit in the matter is the naivete and ignorance of those who do not know what cultism is, what the Bible says, nor what Mormonism teaches. And for that everyone will be for the worse, should a Mitt Romney end up as President of the U.S.



    October 10, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • RevMRH

      Can we be friends? You are profound? I had no idea that so many people ready to defend the faith and expose Mormonism for what it is. I thought people would start falling for the fake and throw out traditional Christian views for the madness that is being spewed. Lord, I thank you that there are millions that have not bowed to baal, but hold dear Your word and defend it. Rise up even more Lord God, that we may stand against false teaching. In Jesus Name

      October 10, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  9. grist

    Hard to imagine in 2011 with all we knoe about the universe, that people are arguing in public in a serious way whose mythological beliefs are real! It is all just a mass delusion. We need to wake up and face reality. People in the government had better start making rational decisions rather than basing their decisions on scribblings of men written before we understood much about chemistry, physics, biology, astronomy . . .

    October 10, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • W.G.

      to grist – What we know about the universe and about chemistry and astronomy and Biology ?? Well , if you want to
      start there ... There´s no proof that there are other planets with people on them . As the atheist say .. please show me
      proof . What we know about our galaxy is that it alone is unique . That the center of the galaxy bowed and that
      it is in this galaxy is found life . That this planet called earth is precisely designed for life . Any bigger , any smaller ,
      any farther , any closer to the sun and there would be no way a living planet cold survive . plus where we are located in the galaxy at the end of the swirl we are in the precise location to receive the essential stardust nutrients to have a living
      planet some astronomers tried to calculate the odds of all these coincides to come together in one planet and it was something incalculable . Yes Grist , there is a God .

      October 10, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • R.Williams

      Actually, W.G., we do know quite a bit.

      First of all, nobody expects other planets to have 'people' on them, if by people you mean Humans. There's no reason to assume there would be. What we do know, however, is that other planets may be able to support life, and this is based on observations made here on Earth. Venus is too hot for most life forms, but we know of bacterium that can exist in those temperatures, since we have some here that live in volcanoes and volcanic vents. We know of creatures here that can live in highly sulfuric and high pressure areas, which may be similar to the cloud layers of Jupiter. We know there are microbes that do not require oxygen, we have numerous life forms that require carbon dioxide to exist and give off oxygen.

      A bigger or smaller planet does not preclude life, unless you mean 'us' as being the definition. This planet has been much hotter and cooler than now, yet life still happens. As for being closer or farther from the Sun, the Earth changes distance every year, a change in orbit of around 5 million kilometers, yet we're still here.

      As for our galaxy being unique, we don't know that it is. There are billions of galaxies out there, and spiral galaxies are not uncommon, and some of the 'essential stardust' comes to us from outside our galaxy, from supernovae and other celestial events. The idea of all the coincidences coming together being astronomically high only occurs if you are aiming for the idea of other humans, not life in general. The habitable zone of a star is different depending on the type of star, said habitable zone is actually not that small, and we already know life can exist where we used to think it was impossible. And we already know of exoplanets that exist in the habitable zones of other stars.

      The fact that we haven't been on Venus or Jupiter or planets orbiting other stars doesn't mean there can not be life there, that there is no proof. It only means we haven't been there to check.

      October 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  10. thegadfly

    Christianity is a cult. Islam is a cult. They're all cults. Think for yourself.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • W.G.

      to gad fly- All you atheist are so dead set to prove Christianity wrong but you can´t your willing to bet your
      immortal souls on a chance that your right and we who believe in a Living God are wrong . Yet if I´m wrong
      I´ve lost nothing but if your wrong you´ve lost everything forever . Something to think about ?

      October 10, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      If you erroneously believe in God, you lose nothing (assuming that death is the absolute end), whereas if you correctly believe in God, you gain everything (eternal bliss). But if you correctly disbelieve in God, you gain nothing (death ends all), whereas if you erroneously disbelieve in God, you lose everything (eternal damnation).

      That's what your basing your faith on? Pathetic.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  11. Mitch

    Do the Mormons follow a man or Jesus? Shall we follow Romney? Mormons still believe in polygamy, just not here on earth because the law won't allow it. They still believe that one man will have several wives in heaven, Scriptural? I think not!!

    October 10, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • JustAMormon

      You are greatly misinformed. In fact just this last conference one of our Apostles distinctly said we are NOT in anyway associated with polygamy anymore. We haven't been for a long time . Sorry.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Mitch

      for just a mormon
      follow up on your own doctrine. You don't believe it here on earth, but you do in heaven. ever heard of three different degrees of heaven? What's required to get to the first degree? How many women vs men? Will men be provided for? will women be provided for? What about these secret names? how will they be used in the cults plan?

      October 10, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • theresa

      While I do not promote or understand or the concept of polygamy, I find it hugely humorous that Christians who will thump bibles at the fact that "polygamy is not scriptural", and because mormons practiced it at one time (100+) years ago, they are somehow a non-religion or a cult. Who was Abraham? How does he fit into Christianity, and how do you justify his prominence in your scripture with all of the wives he had? How about Jacob being married to Rachel AND Leah? Examples could go on and on..... You can have a beef with polygamy, but to say it isn't scriptural? You need to dust off your Old Testament.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • RevMRH

      Theresa,– How many wives did Abraham have - you make it sound like he had many - he did not. Second, just because something is in the bible doesn't make it God approved. The word of God is for our learning - We learn from the lives of those before us, the good, the bad, the ugly. Any man in the bible with multiple wives had absolute chaos in his life. We got to Genesis 1 to see God's plan - He made them male and female. Oh, and when you said that polygamy was practiced by Mormons over a 100 years ago - try again - Mitt Romney's father was a polygamist.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • theresa

      RevMRH, it was his GREAT GRANDFATHER who was polygamist. Not his dad. Abraham had more than 2 wives, AND he had concubines. Funny how many times it is mentioned in the Bible that He is the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob? These 3 aren't random bible characters. They are mentioned as if they are people to venerate....not to just random people to learn about the good/bad/ugly from. Once again, not defending polygamy- it is a practice I abhor, but what I abhor more are people who are ignorant and judgmental.

      October 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  12. who cares

    Read between the lines and the innuendoes from the christian right. They'll make an initial statement such as "mormonism is a cult". Then, after the backlash hits, they'll retreat from that statement and say, "oh, I didn't mean they are a real cult, let me be clear on this, but I don't think they reflect the morals and ideals of the christian faith".

    Do you catch my drift here? They'll say it, but then say they didn't mean it. To me, that's lying.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • CAPRO_info

      Sorry, but Dr. Jeffress has not backed off from labeling Mormonism is a cult, nor should he. Mormonism is a cult, it's doctrines and practices bear out that fact, and only the ignorant and naive would argue to the contrary.



      October 10, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • W.G.

      to who cares- A real Christian cares about mormons and their end time destination . We don´t want them or anybody
      to go to hell . A real Christian will try to "witness" to a mormon out of concern for them and Jehovas witnesses , we don´t
      believe they are Christians either also the same can be said for 7th. day adventist . Eternity in hell is a long time to
      sit there .

      October 10, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Mitch

      let see. Who follows the Bible, Jesus instructions, God's instructions? Who follows Joseph Smith? Who believes Adam and Eve had to sin for God's purpose to be worked out(mormons). Do you see anyone today trying to follow what the Bible says rather than man? Do not put you trust in nobles, they will let you down every time, they have since the beginning of time

      Say No to Romney and yes to Jesus.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • RevMRH

      Who cares - YOU ARE RIGHT! I agree that Mormonism is a cult, and I believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I noticed that also, that some in the public eye have altered their media spin and it is all for VOTES (and not to be deemed a hostile nut)

      October 10, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Scott - 1

      Oh no, it’s not lying. Lying is what secularists do. This is interpretation. Theists interpret their holy book to mean whatever they want it to mean or need it to mean at the moment (all theists not just Christians) and they interpret what they have just said to mean what every they need it to mean to get their foot out of their mouth. Either that or they say you have taken the statement out of context

      October 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  13. becca

    ask what happens to people that decide to leave the mormon church. talk to them. talk to their families.

    if the church of jesus christ of latter day saints isn't a cult why does it tear families apart????

    October 10, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  14. Brad

    Mr. Mouw, I believe you are perverting religious dialog to support a political viewpoint. Mormans are a cult because they believe in 4 different religious texts vs. the Bible, believe God was not always divine, supplant the teachings of Christ with the teachings of Joseph Smith, that they can redeem the souls of dead relatives, and can become their own god of their own little universe with their own little people.

    Yeah, Christians and Mormans do have fundamental disagreements – because they are a cult.

    That said, they are good, moral people. I'll leave it to God to decide if they make it to heaven.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  15. Code

    It is not a cult, they are not that good.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  16. Chuck

    Learn English, the oxford dictionary of english say a cult is
    Cult, noun
    a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    Sounds like all religions are cults by definitions.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • JustAMormon

      Actually that's true. That's why "cult" is such a charged word. "Cult" as a word has only become derogatory in the last half of the century. Previously Cult just meant Sect.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  17. Rip Momney

    So.... Mormons denounce the Bible if it conflicts with the book of mormon(which it does) but they are not a cult? They say that the book of mormon is modern day revelation and that the Bible is wrong....translated wrong....cult? or Christian....

    Jesus said" My Kingdom is no part of this world".... are Mormons a big part of this world? Sure seems like it to me!!

    October 10, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • JustAMormon

      The Bible actually DOESN'T contradict the Book of Mormon. They support each other's doctrine very nicely.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Willie 12345

      Which version of the Bible are you referring to ? There are many. Is one correct and the others in error ? What about those scriptures that didn't make it into the Bible ? Is the Catholic version of the Bible really a Bible ?

      October 10, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Mitch

      Actually, you are right. The book of mormon says in nephi the first book of the book of mormon that the book is not inspired of God when it says that he writes this of his own knowledge. The book of mormon in no way supports the Bible!!! Only a Cult has modern day revelation that contradicts God's word.

      How can you be no part of the world but run for President????? When the Jews tried to make Jesus a King he REFUSED!!!!

      October 10, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • JustAMormon

      @Willie That's a great point. In our articles of Faith this is how we describe it: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly." We believe that the text, while largely in tact, most probably has suffered textual errors here and there. So Joseph Smith, asked God to clarify doctrines as he went through the Bible. Interestingly, when Joseph got to the Apocrypha, God revealed to him essentially that it was a good set of books, but too marked by the hands of men. And that anyone with the spirit would be able to glean truths from it, but that it just shouldn't be used as canon.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Mitch

      I forgot to mention the 14% demanded by the mormons of their followers. they come to your door and demand it. At least I haven't heard much about mormons abusing the kids. If they want to do that, they become FLDS. Is that a cult? I wonder how God feels. It must sicken him to look at this world today. I doubt that God accepts all this non-sense.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • Mitch

      for just a mormon

      what are the articles of faith? are they in the Bible? So the book of mormon is translated better than the Bible?

      Sounds like a cult to me. Book of Mormon/pearl of great price/doctrine of the covenants/ articles of faith? But, the Bible is translated incorrectly. Really. Sounds like Satan has blinded your mind.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  18. Tom from Georgia

    Were that more people were kind and engaging as Dr. Mouw, a genuine Christian as evidenced that he follows the teachings of Christ. Raised as an Evangelical Baptist, I find Dr. Mouw's article very balanced and honest. Reading through most of the negative comments posted about this article, it's clear to see that most are not so kind as Dr. Mouw. I'm a Mormon for almost 40 years and have discovered that people who insist on "dancing on the differences" are not very kind or Christ like or even friendly. I find more friendliness among my level headed agnostics and atheist friends than I do from self proclaiming Christians who spew hate for those cultist Mormons as evidenced by their language. One might define a Christian as one who follows the teachings of Christ, clearly defined in Matthew 5, "Love the Lord Thy God with all of thy heart... and love thy neighbor as Thyself". Interestingly enough among my friends, many of those who qualify more as Christians are Jewish and Hindu.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • Medved

      I have had Mormon friends for years, and I don't "spew hate" towards them (and neither did I do so in my post). That being said, I am not ignorant of the teachings of the Book of Mormon as well as other LDS dogma, such as D&C. So, I can certainly treat you kindly and with respect, but I will NOT call you a Christain, because Mormons are NOT Christians. You do not adhere to the teachings of Christ, and by that, I mean ALL the teachings, not slective ones. My reply here is not venemous, it is simply intellectually honest.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • Brad

      I agree with Medved. I love my Morman friends, but intellectually disagree with their teachings. For us Christians, if you place ANYTHING before/above/in addition to the Bible then you are putting another god before God. In other words, it violates one of the ten commandments.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • acts 431

      Unfortunately, the term "Christian" has been watered down to mean anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ existed and is a noteworthy historical figure.The true definition of "Christian" is "an imitator and/or follower of Christ". It actually means "like Christ" or specifically a "little Christ". How does one know that he/she is imitating or following Christ? Answer: having a single-minded aim and focus on doing what the Bible says.

      Regarding the Mormon faith, if your scriptures and church dogma contradict the Bible, it is impossible to be a Christian. You can call yourself Christians all day long. You can join commitees, sit around conference tables, have polite dialogue and find "many things in common" with Chritianity. You can have candidates and TV personalities try to convince the world that they are really "good Christian folks like the rest". However, by definition, Mormons are no more Christian than the man in the moon!

      People - even so-called "evangelical leaders" - may be fooled. But, God isn't. I am pretty sure He knows the difference between real Christians and fakes. Furthermore, the Bible predicts all this lukewarmness and blurring the lines.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • srennais

      I'm afraid that NOBODY adheres to all the teachings of Christ. If they did they would be perfect. Therefore, according to your logic, nobody is a Christian. So why not let everybody who is TRYING to follow Christ be accepted as a Christian instead.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Tom from Georgia

      To all of my respondents: I rest my case. Listen to yourselves. The very act of telling me I'm not a Christian because I don't conform to the definition as you define the term is raw bigotry.... Your very act of attempting to define the authenticity of my faith according to your definition is modern day bigotry no different than when our great grand parents attempted to defend slavery as Biblical with the Bible. Fortunately, I learned a long time ago not to be intimidated by the narrow mindedness of modern day self proclaimed Christians who have authorized themselves to define Christianity from their perspective. For the record, my personal definition of Christianity is only defined in the heart between and individual and the Lord... Fortunately, the Savior knows my dedication to Him and my imperfect continuing efforts to follow Him by keeping His commandments. "If you love me, keep my commandments" were His words and I trust in them completely. As to who is authorized to declare what those are, we'll have to agree to disagree. I declare that I do indeed have a living relationship with Jesus the Christ; I totally trust that His grace will enable me to complete my journey back to Him. I'm comforted by the promptings of the Holy Ghost who speaks to my heart when I pray to our Heavenly Father. According to everyone with your persuasion and desire to define Christianity, I fail the test....but fortunately, you're not the judge or the authority for defining that. You're not even authorized to define or interpret the teachings of the Bible...for me. I'll trust in my personal relationship with Him for my personal definition of what is a Christian....a follower of Christ. That works for me.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  19. george

    With all Evangelicalism, it's"we're the only ones who are right." Even among the various Evangelical sects, each one believes that they are the "true religion." They are, therefore, all cults. The most humerous thing of all is the pile of nonsense they have built up over the years as the dogma of their cults. And they have the nerve to ridicule others for their beliefs?

    October 10, 2011 at 8:28 am |
  20. tupperhouse

    Evangelical Christians that believe the bible is the word of God and support creationism actually believe in incest. Realisticly if there was Adam and Eve then incest had to follow.

    October 10, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • Mirosal

      and don't forget Noah's family also. According to "legend" .. oops I mean the bible ... that's all that was left as well, just Noah and his family. So they were first cousins, brothers sisters and parents.. quite the gene pool wasn't it?

      October 10, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • kard

      Incest is not mentioned in the 10 commandments. Times were different then. Fewer people, few options for procreating.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • tupperhouse

      Not in the 10 commandments, so incest is OK?

      October 10, 2011 at 10:46 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.