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Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response
Students at Liberty University bow in prayer during commencement in 2007. Current students were angered by the choice of Mitt Romney for the 2012 graduation speaker.
April 20th, 2012
06:16 PM ET

Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response

By Laura Bernardini and Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Liberty University students and alumni are accusing the Christian school of violating its own teachings by asking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose adherents are called Mormons, to deliver its 2012 commencement address.

By Friday morning, more than 700 comments had been posted on the school's Facebook page about the Thursday announcement - a majority of them decidedly against the Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.’s invitation, citing that the school had taught them Mormonism isn’t part of the Christian faith.

“I can’t support Romney and I am happy I decided not to walk (in the commencement) this year,” wrote student Josh Bergmann. “Liberty University should have gotten a Christian to speak not someone who practices a cult. Shame on you Liberty University.”

Janet Loeffler, a 53-year-old freshman at Liberty, expressed her anger at the decision when contacted by CNN. She also sent a copy of the page of the freshman textbook “The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics” which includes the passage, “Mormon doctrine stands in stark contrast to Jewish and Christian monotheism, which teaches that there is only one true God and that every other ‘God’ is a false god.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Loeffler’s daughter, Sarah Misch, 33, of Unionville, Virginia, who is also a student at the school said, “I am glad I am not graduating this year. I would not want to end my studies at a Christian university by being sent in to the world at commencement by a Mormon. We came to Liberty because of our faith in Jesus; not for political reasons.”

Holly Stanton Morgan, another student, posted to Facebook, “I am glad that my husband and I won’t be attending his commencement. Mormonism is not Christianity. My commencement is next year. Hopefully they choose more wisely.”

Mark DeMoss, a Liberty graduate, member of the Board of Trustees and a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said on Friday, “We have had a Jewish commencement speaker, we have had a Catholic commencement speaker, and so, I think people are certainly entitled to their opinion. Social Media certainly provides an outlet for people’s opinions, but I think it is a great thing for the university.”

DeMoss also noted that the night before graduation is the annual Baccalaureate and that event will feature an evangelical Christian speaker.

Liberty University was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by the influential pastor and Moral Majority co-founder Jerry Falwell. He founded the school to be a Christian university for evangelical believers, according to Liberty’s website.

Today, Liberty brands itself as the largest evangelical university in the world, with 82,500 students enrolled either on campus or online.

Liberty University would not comment beyond the press release it sent out Thursday announcing Romney would speak. There will be 14,000 graduates for the May 12th ceremony. The University announced that it expected 34,000 guests.

Previous commencement speakers included previous Republican presidential candidates Sen. John McCain in 2006 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The relationship between Mormons and evangelicals has been tested as of late. With Romney as the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, many political commentators are asking whether the evangelical base, an important voting bloc to the GOP, will come out for Romney.

If those votes hinge on how evangelicals see Mormonism, Romney may need further outreach to the evangelical community. A recent Pew Research Center survey finds that nearly half (47%) of white evangelicals say that Mormonism is not a Christian religion. Sixty-six percent responded the Mormonism and their religion are “very or somewhat different.”

The charge of Mormonism as a cult is not a new one for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for the Church, wrote about the word in a 2011 column.

“As part of the rhetorical warfare that has come to characterize modern American political discourse, it was only a matter of time before someone once again used the term “cult” to describe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Otterson wrote. He went on to describe the word as a, “a neat, shorthand and rather lazy way of putting a whole group into a box.”

The nation’s largest evangelical denomination, the Southern Baptist Conference, lists the LDS Church as a cult. They specifically cite differences in theology surrounding salvation, baptism, belief in the Trinity, and marriage. A major sticking point between other Christian traditions and Mormons is the Book of Mormon, which Mormons believe is divinely inspired scripture and on par with the Bible. Other Christians do not recognize the Book of Mormon as scripture.

CNN reached out to a LDS church spokesman for further comment but they demurred, stating that the story was a political story.

A Romney spokesman did not respond to questions about the issue.

Not all Facebook comments were negative, though. Tom Johnson added, “Mitt Romney has been invited to give a motivational speech, not a religious sermon. His religious beliefs do not have anything to do with his ability to give a motivational speech at commencement.”

And Kathy Creech added, “I, for one, am pleased that the future President of the United States will be speaking there!”


soundoff (1,597 Responses)
  1. biologixco

    Google: The White Horse Prophecy
    Mitt Romney is an evil alien from Kolob
    Vote NO MITT ROMNEY2012!

    April 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Lisa

      Reminds me of a Simpsons episode a few years back.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:03 am |
      • biologixco

        Haha, yes!
        Except this time its for real and Romney could steal the election. Bush did it in 2000. Dont say it cant happen. If MItt's money could buy him Priesthood in the mormon "church", he could certainly buy the Presidency

        April 24, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  2. Joseph Smith

    One other obvious reason that Mormonism is patently false: God doesn't change his mind about things like, oh, whether it's ok to be polygamous, or whether "blacks" are cursed and he certainly doesn't require "works" like baptism, marriages, and other ridiculous actions to be saved. I'm proud to be an American but NOT proud that Mormonism was "born" here.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Adam

      You do realize that the examples you chose of God not changing His mind are pretty bad examples, don't you? Evangelicals believe that God used to be okay with polygamy and changed his mind on tat one. Also, the belief that God doesn't require "works" to be saved i a pretty recent innovation; coming only a couple hundred years before Mormonism.

      April 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Lisa

      "Patently false", as opposed to what? The folks who JUST believe in creationism and the rapture? I see no difference between the two.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  3. biologixco

    God has a special place for false prophets and their followers...

    April 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • James

      I think that if there is a God, he/she/it has a special place for everyone. Look – the universe is a big, beautiful place. Too big, and too beautiful to dwell on hatred and contempt for, well, anyone or anything. If there is a God out there, I'm sure then, that because of the way that the universe is constructed – logic, mathematics, etc – that this logical God would find it quite illogical to "favor" one fallible human beings idea of religion; or to really "punish" anyone for longer than the terms of Justice would allow. We need to stop bickering among ourselves and start working together to make the world a better place. I think, that if there is a God, that working together would be better for us all than if we are constantly fighting amongst ourselves. It is such a waste of time and energy.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
      • biologixco

        We dont want, nor accept a mormon president

        April 24, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  4. David

    I can't wait for people to grow up and realize that Mormons are Christians. We don't scrutinize other Christian religions and tell other Christians that they are not Christian... Because that is not what Jesus would do. Practice what you preach, or don't preach it.

    April 23, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • biologixco

      That's a lie.
      mormonism is blasphemous
      mormonism is no more a "religion" than scientology!

      April 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Liza

      biologixco is blasphemous. He basically threatened to kill me under stand your ground. Hope George Zimmerman finds you and you can duke it out lol. I'm so telling CNN.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mormons are not Christians. The original Mormons (and up until the last 30years or so) took pride in not identifying themselves as Christians. The FLDS still do not consider themselves Christians. Mormons began to use the appearance of moving toward mainstream Christianity to bring themselves to what we are seeing today. Less stigma and a Mormon Governor accepted as a Presidential candidate. White horse prophecy anyone ? God bless

      April 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Kelley

      America is in no way short of their fair share of heretics. The clear sign applicable to every faith is the air of omnipotence in the pews and in the pulpits using politics to peddle hatred and exploitation.

      Indeed, what would Jesus say to so many on the right nailing ALL of womankind to a cross through demented theological interpretations & legislative policy? Applicable to ALL denominations and ALL faiths that patriarchy refuse to self examine about. Some faiths more closely resemble Westboro Baptists than others and no amount of sugary demeanor &/or sycophant speeches can mask a black heart for those of us practicing Christianity as opposed to wearing it as a contrived cloak of immunity.

      April 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Dear "David"...there are so many reasons that Mormons are not Christians but the simple fact that they think God was once a man and that they will be gods seals the deal. Mormons Christians.

      April 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  5. Reality

    Bottom line: Romney is Mormon because he was born Mormon. Should we hold this against him? After all, BO also believes in "pretty/ugly wingie thingies, bodily resurrections and atonement mumbo jumbo.

    Warren Buffett, THE AGNOSTIC, for President !!!!

    Bill Gates, THE AGNOSTIC for VP !!!!

    April 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  6. Liza

    It's official: biologixco worships Satan. peace out.

    April 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • biologixco

      At least I love my fellow man.
      more than I can say about mormons

      April 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Liza wins the sh** craziest Mormon award...woohoo!

      April 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • biologixco

      And its YOUR "religion" not mine that says satan is Jesus' brother.
      Now THATS sicko, hun

      April 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • biologixco

      One too many spins in the Mormon Kolobian Brainwasher!
      Time for deprogramming!
      looney bins a callin'

      April 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Liza

      Yes you're very loving. Dreaming of other women and spreading your hatred all around. We all feel it. You're gross.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • biologixco

      Liza's got her magic mormon panties in a bunch
      Let me get a violin out and play a sad song.
      Boo hoo

      April 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  7. biologixco

    Isn't Kolob where Harry Potter came from?
    Or was that his gay friend, Dumbledoor?

    April 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • I wonder

      bio, try here:

      http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/dvera/CoEvan/exFundyXian.html

      April 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
      • biologixco

        Try where?
        You didnt answer my question

        April 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  8. steve

    Don't look now but the right has been divided. Thats what religion does. It teaches you that your beliefs are the true answer and everyone else is wrong , not just wrong everyone else becomes your enemy.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Christians have torn the Republican Party apart getting rid of the sinners. Pretty soon we will have our true party Gods Ole Party. God Bless

      April 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  9. J.W

    People upset about biologixco it must be their first time on this blog, if they cant stand seeing religion attacked.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Liza

      Yes, I've actually never seen his equal. Amazing that DNA could get so warped.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • biologixco

      Im only doing God's work.
      He makes my fingers tickle these keyboards.
      If it ticks some of you off, TOO BAD
      Im only doing God's work

      April 23, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Liza

      LOL God's work?? You worship someone else than all Christianity does. His name is Satan. You see, he puts these terrific blinders on people... You got the extra large.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  10. Voice of Reason

    There was no god, there is no god and there will never be a god, period.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • biologixco

      Never any Kolob either

      April 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  11. biologixco

    Mormons take great pains to show to the world how "upstanding" and "of high moral character" they are.
    How then, can you explain Mitt Romney laughing at firing thousands of American workers?
    How could ANY upstanding "mormon Christian" laugh at the plight of their fellow man?
    Its telling.
    It tells us of the hypocrisy of the mormon way...

    April 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Liza

      You must have been fired. I would fire you a$# is a second for being online all day and not doing your job.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
      • biologixco

        I run my own company honey. I do and say as I please.

        April 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Liza

      What a choice life you must lead... never giving it your all HONEY, just patronizing people, and saying dumb%$# things all day. The pride you must feel.... Pray tell us your company, so we will know not to come near.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
      • biologixco

        I live a wonderful life, dear
        I'm glad you are so concerned about lil 'ol mee.
        And I wont have to worry about living my afterlife in a fiery lake either!

        April 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Liza

      Ah yes... how wonderful it must be. It's so obvious. And obvious you're a tool.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
      • biologixco

        Yes. A tool of God's word.

        April 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Becca

      Who are you to say anything about being upstanding?? You're a hobo.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • biologixco

        Im actually a 1% er
        Who cares about his employees and their families.
        Too bad Mitt Romney's not like that

        April 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Liza

      When people were lining up to be an instrument in His hands, he said "other line" to you. All you spread is hate, and that is the OTHER line bahaha.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
      • biologixco

        Bet your cute when your mad.
        Just cuz you're wife #3 doesn't mean you have to be mad at the world honey.

        April 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Liza

      Mitt's a 1% er who still does his job. You freeload and hate. Nice.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
      • biologixco

        I treat my employees like fellow Americans should.
        Like a Christian man should.
        But you simply would't understand that principle, would you?

        April 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Liza

      I'm dang cute, all the time. And you're one of those losers who looks when he has a wife. You'd get my middle finger LOL.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
      • biologixco

        Now now, thats not the mormon way

        April 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Liza

      Oh you treat your employees well, but not the general public. What a tool. You are so skewed, and if you're not lying about being a 1% er, karma is just around your corner. I treat my employees with dignity and respect, no matter what their religion. Something you don't understand my friend. Ah but then again, you're in the picture dictionary.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
      • biologixco

        Stop spitting on your computer monitor, its unsightly

        April 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Liza

      Now now? Are you like 80 years old lol?? I repeat, you'd get the middle finger. Freaking hypocrite.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
      • biologixco

        Take a deep breath, hun.
        Its gonna be ok

        April 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Liza, you're not supposed to talk like that if you're a Mormon.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
      • biologixco

        Typical hypocrisy

        April 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Liza

      Says who? Bite me, biologixco under the pseudo name of Joseph Smith. How are YOU supposed to act?? LOLOL you are the worlds biggest hypocrite!!! And I know a lot of people and have traveled this amazing world, so that is really saying something!!!! Go back to controlling your wife and making lies about your money. No one believes you. BIATCH.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
      • biologixco

        Dear Liza,
        Might be time to give that psychiatrist a call...

        April 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Liza

      It's true, I laughed so hard that spit got on my screen. I wiped it off 🙂

      April 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
      • biologixco

        Better sanitize it too. You might have a communicable disease

        April 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Liza

      Good thing it's my computer jacka@#.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
      • biologixco

        You sound so angry

        April 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
      • biologixco

        May God help you purge that hate from your heart

        April 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  12. Dwight Rogers

    Reverand Jeffress said. "And I still maintain there are vast differences in theology between Mormons and Christians"

    This seems to be a common view among many Christians and actually they are right to say that there are some major differences, although there are more similarities than differences. . However, there are also vast differences between current Christianity and Early Christianity.

    If Christianity means “historic orthodox mainstream Christianity” of today then I would agree that Mormonism is not historic Christianity; at least not in every doctrine. Although Mormons have much in common with other Christians Mormons also believe differently than historic Christians in some key areas. But the real questions to ask are 1) What is original Christianity? 2) Is mainstream Christianity of today the same as original Christianity? It turns out that Joseph Smith was right. Mormonism is a restoration of Original Christianity. Many Christians of today are following non-Christian traditions developed in later centuries and are just calling it Christianity – no offense intended – that’s just history.

    Mormons believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. Our first Article of Faith states: We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. However “Trinity’ is a word that is not found in the Bible. Nor are the definitions and wording formulations in the extra-Biblical creeds found in the Bible. In 325 AD a council of about 300 (out of 1800 serving) bishops gathered in Nicea at the request of the pagan Emperor Constantine and formulated a creed that tried to reconcile the Biblical statements that there three persons called “God” and yet there was “one” God. They then forced all Christians to accept their solution as “gospel”, with varying results. Theological debates and other councils continued to tweak the concept for centuries which produced additional creeds.

    Mormons are not supposed to be Christian because we have some doctrinal differences with other Christian groups of today. The foundation for the beliefs of these other groups is the creeds of the 4th. 5th, and 6th centuries and so on.

    It is claimed that Mormons are wrong because they believe in extra-Biblical revelation and scripture. Yet much of Christianity believes in extra-Biblical creeds and councils formulated centuries after the time of Christ and the Apostles. Most of the wording formulations in these creeds cannot be found in the Bible. This is often the excuse used to exclude members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) from being Christian. It is well known to historians that Christian doctrine changed over time and across different Christian groups.

    The Bible is then viewed through the lens of these creeds causing certain interpretations to be favored and other biblical teachings to be minimized or ignored. Interestingly, if you look at the doctrines of the early church fathers before the creeds, they are very Mormon-like. In a number of doctrinal areas the early Christians were good Mormons and would be rejected as non-Christian by many Christians of today.

    In many areas of belief (probably the majority of areas) Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe the same as most other Christians. It is true that in some limited areas – some very critical ones – the beliefs of Mormons differ from other Christians. Likewise there are some major areas of difference between Catholics and Protestants and likewise between one Protestant group and the next. Every denomination could make the claim that the other groups are not Christian because those other beliefs differ from their own.

    Joseph Smith taught “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121).

    The central belief of Mormons is that Christ came into the world as the Son of God. He healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and restored life to the dead. He commissioned twelve Apostles to whom he gave authority. He suffered in Gethsemane, died on the cross, and was resurrected and will come again. He, and only He, provides the means for us to be washed clean in his blood from our sins, which sins we can never correct on our own or through our own works. If that is not Christian I don’t know what is. Christ never taught the need to believe in anything like the creeds. Those came later.

    Mormon belief is very much like the teachings of the earlier Christians – before the creeds – and also matches the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. The further back in time you go the more Mormon-like Christian doctrine becomes. Mormons are often portrayed as non-Christian when we don’t believe in the later extra-Biblical creedal formulations.

    The early Christians did not have the extra-Biblical creeds of later centuries. Were they then not Christian? The ontological debates and the wording formations of later centuries are not found in the words of Jesus or the words of the Apostles or in the words of the pre-creedal Christians . There is not a word about a one substance god in the Bible or in the early beliefs. If believing in the creeds is necessary to be Christian then that makes the earlier Christians not Christian – it even makes Christ not Christian.

    One other interesting aspect of this topic: Some Christians claim that we must get our beliefs and doctrines from the Bible only. It is claimed that God finished his work and no longer has prophets or gives revelation. They say the Mormons are wrong to have prophets and extra scripture. Consider this: If the Bible is sufficient and no post-Biblical revelation is allowed, then the post-Biblical creeds are not necessary and are not authorized by God. If God authorized the creeds then why aren’t they in the Bible? How could they be from God if the Bible is complete, if God has finished his work, and if there is no more revelation? They are extra-Biblical and no one should be held to them as a requirement to be Christian. It is so ironic that Mormons are criticized for having extra-Biblical revelation by people who themselves believe in extra-Biblical creeds. Once one puts on the glasses of the creeds then everything in the Bible is filtered to match the creeds.

    Mormons believe in original Christianity restored to the earth through revelation to new prophets. Nowhere does the Bible say that God has finished his work, that the cannon of scripture is closed. It seems ironic to us that we Mormons are accused of adding to the Bible by people who have done just that – added creeds and metaphysical definitions to the Bible. We advocate for believing original Christianity.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • biologixco

      blah blah blah.
      It can be summed up in a quick and tidy sentence:
      The book of mormon is blasphemy

      April 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Beth

      There are No True Scotsmen..

      April 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Jerry

      Dwight Rogers
      The differences in theology between Mormons and Christians are like the differences in vampires between Twilight and Dracula. Arguing about them is silly unless you really do believe in vampires.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  13. Armand Winter

    Romney is pandering to people that think Tinky Winkie is a role model for gay people because he is purple.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  14. biologixco sucks

    @biologixco: there are horrific wars in the world, because people like you exist.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Actually, Mitt Romney sucks

      April 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • biologixco

      Mormon goon squad is on the War Path!

      April 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Becca

      Does biologixco mean nuclear waste?

      April 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • biologixco sucks

      Ah the truth makes you say something other than funny diapers.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Becca

      Here's another truth: biologixco is a d$#@#bag lol

      April 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Liza

      SO true

      April 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • biologixco

      I dont feel the mormon love!

      April 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Liza

      Pretty sure you don't know how to express it or feel it LOL

      April 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  15. Ted R. Weiland

    Good for them!

    "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh...." (1 Timothy 3:16)

    "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your [personal, church, school, State, Senate, White] house [or House of Representatives], neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed [essentially the same as voting for] is partaker of his evil deeds." (2 John 1:7-11)

    "Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus share responsibility for the sins of others...." (1 Timothy 5:22)

    April 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  16. what is a Mormon

    These Liberty students have been taught that Mormonism is not a part of Christianity. It is true there are some fundamental differences like the Trinity. However, all Christians believe Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved and Mormons are no different. All Christians believe the Bible to be the word of God, including Mormons. It is time to set aside differences and recognize that Jesus Christ is the common ground that unites all Christians.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      The "Jesus" your "angel Moroni" speaks of is NOT the Jesus Christ of the Bible! ! ! Think my words are "judging"? Read the epistles of Paul, Peter and others. What do they say of those who teach "another Christ!? What does Christ Himself says? you take your book of mormon and exalt if above the Word of God, denying Jesus Christ of the Bible and the Spirit of truth who testifies of Him. You can not separate Jesus Christ from the Spirit of Truth, who is the Holy Spirit Of God. Anyone who does, is denying the true Christ Jesus.And denying Him is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit of God!
      If our saying the truth is "judging", so be it.... we are in good company! The Word of God, the Holy Spirit of God and the whole company of saints and angels are our witnesses!

      April 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Dwight Rogers

      Prism 1234, What is a Mormon is right.

      Galatians 1:6-9
      6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
      7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
      8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
      9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

      See also 2 Corinthians 11:4

      The idea embodied in this scripture is why Mormons don’t accept the exra-Biblical creeds and some of the mainstream orthodoxy of today. Mormons are not supposed to be Christian because we have some doctrinal differences with other Christian groups of today. The foundation for the beliefs of these other groups are the creeds of the 4th. 5th, and 6th centuries and so on, including the Westminster confession of faith. Christ and the Apostles didn’t have those creeds. These are all extra-Biblical and no one should be held to them as a requirement for being Christian.

      Reverand Jeffress said. "And I still maintain there are vast differences in theology between Mormons and Christians"

      This seems to be a common view among many Christians and actually they are right to say that there are some major differences, although there are more similarities than differences. . However, there are also vast differences between current Christianity and Early Christianity.

      If Christianity means “historic orthodox mainstream Christianity” of today then I would agree that Mormonism is not historic Christianity; at least not in every doctrine. Although Mormons have much in common with other Christians Mormons also believe differently than historic Christians in some key areas. But the real questions to ask are 1) What is original Christianity? 2) Is mainstream Christianity of today the same as original Christianity? It turns out that Joseph Smith was right. Mormonism is a restoration of Original Christianity. Many Christians of today are following non-Christian traditions developed in later centuries and are just calling it Christianity – no offense intended – that’s just history.

      Mormons believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. Our first Article of Faith states: We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. However “Trinity’ is a word that is not found in the Bible. Nor are the definitions and wording formulations in the extra-Biblical creeds found in the Bible. In 325 AD a council of about 300 (out of 1800 serving) bishops gathered in Nicea at the request of the pagan Emperor Constantine and formulated a creed that tried to reconcile the Biblical statements that there three persons called “God” and yet there was “one” God. They then forced all Christians to accept their solution as “gospel”, with varying results. Theological debates and other councils continued to tweak the concept for centuries which produced additional creeds.

      Mormons are not supposed to be Christian because we have some doctrinal differences with other Christian groups of today. The foundation for the beliefs of these other groups is the creeds of the 4th. 5th, and 6th centuries and so on.

      It is claimed that Mormons are wrong because they believe in extra-Biblical revelation and scripture. Yet much of Christianity believes in extra-Biblical creeds and councils formulated centuries after the time of Christ and the Apostles. Most of the wording formulations in these creeds cannot be found in the Bible. This is often the excuse used to exclude members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) from being Christian. It is well known to historians that Christian doctrine changed over time and across different Christian groups.

      The Bible is then viewed through the lens of these creeds causing certain interpretations to be favored and other biblical teachings to be minimized or ignored. Interestingly, if you look at the doctrines of the early church fathers before the creeds, they are very Mormon-like. In a number of doctrinal areas the early Christians were good Mormons and would be rejected as non-Christian by many Christians of today.

      In many areas of belief (probably the majority of areas) Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe the same as most other Christians. It is true that in some limited areas – some very critical ones – the beliefs of Mormons differ from other Christians. Likewise there are some major areas of difference between Catholics and Protestants and likewise between one Protestant group and the next. Every denomination could make the claim that the other groups are not Christian because those other beliefs differ from their own.

      Joseph Smith taught “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121).

      The central belief of Mormons is that Christ came into the world as the Son of God. He healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and restored life to the dead. He commissioned twelve Apostles to whom he gave authority. He suffered in Gethsemane, died on the cross, and was resurrected and will come again. He, and only He, provides the means for us to be washed clean in his blood from our sins, which sins we can never correct on our own or through our own works. If that is not Christian I don’t know what is. Christ never taught the need to believe in anything like the creeds. Those came later.

      Mormon belief is very much like the teachings of the earlier Christians – before the creeds – and also matches the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. The further back in time you go the more Mormon-like Christian doctrine becomes. Mormons are often portrayed as non-Christian when we don’t believe in the later extra-Biblical creedal formulations.

      The early Christians did not have the extra-Biblical creeds of later centuries. Were they then not Christian? The ontological debates and the wording formations of later centuries are not found in the words of Jesus or the words of the Apostles or in the words of the pre-creedal Christians . There is not a word about a one substance god in the Bible or in the early beliefs. If believing in the creeds is necessary to be Christian then that makes the earlier Christians not Christian – it even makes Christ not Christian.

      One other interesting aspect of this topic: Some Christians claim that we must get our beliefs and doctrines from the Bible only. It is claimed that God finished his work and no longer has prophets or gives revelation. They say the Mormons are wrong to have prophets and extra scripture. Consider this: If the Bible is sufficient and no post-Biblical revelation is allowed, then the post-Biblical creeds are not necessary and are not authorized by God. If God authorized the creeds then why aren’t they in the Bible? How could they be from God if the Bible is complete, if God has finished his work, and if there is no more revelation? They are extra-Biblical and no one should be held to them as a requirement to be Christian. It is so ironic that Mormons are criticized for having extra-Biblical revelation by people who themselves believe in extra-Biblical creeds. Once one puts on the glasses of the creeds then everything in the Bible is filtered to match the creeds.

      Mormons believe in original Christianity restored to the earth through revelation to new prophets. Nowhere does the Bible say that God has finished his work, that the cannon of scripture is closed. It seems ironic to us that we Mormons are accused of adding to the Bible by people who have done just that – added creeds and metaphysical definitions to the Bible. We advocate for believing original Christianity

      April 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Susan

      Prism 1234 thinks that only HIS kind of Chrstian is a REAL Christian. TYpical

      April 23, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, maybe, but then Prissy is a complete moron, so.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  17. Daniel

    This is an obvious Democrat trick. If there was such an outcry for Mormons to not speak at Liberty commencement, you would think that they would have heard volumes when Glenn Beck (a MORMON) was the keynote speaker there in 2010.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • biologixco

      Glenn Beck wasnt the High Priest of the cult.
      Mitt Romney IS
      You got it all mixed up bub

      April 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  18. PRISM 1234

    When mormons calls themselves christians it's not the same meaning as Biblical Christianity ac'cording to the Word of God. Mormonism is an Eastern pagan religion clothed in the form of Christianity.
    Mormon god is not the same God Biblical Christians worship and honor. Angel Moroni is satans' messenger, who is more than willing to come and introduce himself to unsuspecting visitors in hotel rooms, telling them to read "The Book" left on the night-stands in every room.... When one of those travelers discerning his visitors ident'ity commanded him that in the Name of Jesus Christ he must reveal his true identi'ty, he said that he was a messenger of satan. With that he departed the same way as he came.
    And just think how many are deceived into following him!

    April 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Yea, it's a completely different fairy tale. Way different.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      So it is a fairy tale? You must wish it to be so very badly.....

      An ostrich with its head in the sand also imagines that nothing else exists!

      A rude awakening is awaiting you too, jimbo!

      April 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "So it is a fairy tale? You must wish it to be so very badly"

      It's already been proven that it's not an historical document so it's fictional, and yes a fairy tale for religious fanatics and their cult.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Wish on, buster!

      April 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Wish on, buster!"

      I think you're the one wishing since it's already been proven the bible isn't historical. LOL!

      April 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      No, I'm not wishing. I know! I'd be a fool to run from truth I'll have to face one day anyhow. But your rather believe fallible man and his own ever – searching -but- never finding- truth fairy tales!
      You're doing satan great service, he's being doubly rewarded: having you in his grip now, and holding you for later! And he just loves when you laugh aloud, mocking those who who tell you the truth he especially loves when you say even he doesn't exist. You'll get doubly rewarded for that one! And that's no joke!
      But go ahead, just go your way,....you'll find out soon enough!
      May God have mercy on you and spare you from where you are heading!

      April 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      “No, I'm not wishing. I know!”

      No you don’t you didn’t even know it’s been proven not to be an historical book.

      “You're doing satan great service, he's being doubly rewarded: having you in his grip now, and holding you for later!”

      Satan doesn’t exist and if it did it would only prove what a spiteful hateful god you worship.

      “And he just loves when you laugh aloud, mocking those who who tell you the truth he especially loves when you say even he doesn't exist.”

      So you personally know this satan and can speak for it, now that’s really delusional. Since you have such a personal relationship with it, then you know where you’re headed. LOL!

      “May God have mercy on you and spare you from where you are heading!”

      More proof of what a monster your god is.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Dwight Rogers

      What traveler had this experience? When? Cite where this information comes from.

      Reverand Jeffress said. "And I still maintain there are vast differences in theology between Mormons and Christians"

      This seems to be a common view among many Christians and actually they are right to say that there are some major differences, although there are more similarities than differences. . However, there are also vast differences between current Christianity and Early Christianity.

      If Christianity means “historic orthodox mainstream Christianity” of today then I would agree that Mormonism is not historic Christianity; at least not in every doctrine. Although Mormons have much in common with other Christians Mormons also believe differently than historic Christians in some key areas. But the real questions to ask are 1) What is original Christianity? 2) Is mainstream Christianity of today the same as original Christianity? It turns out that Joseph Smith was right. Mormonism is a restoration of Original Christianity. Many Christians of today are following non-Christian traditions developed in later centuries and are just calling it Christianity – no offense intended – that’s just history.

      Mormons believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. Our first Article of Faith states: We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. However “Trinity’ is a word that is not found in the Bible. Nor are the definitions and wording formulations in the extra-Biblical creeds found in the Bible. In 325 AD a council of about 300 (out of 1800 serving) bishops gathered in Nicea at the request of the pagan Emperor Constantine and formulated a creed that tried to reconcile the Biblical statements that there three persons called “God” and yet there was “one” God. They then forced all Christians to accept their solution as “gospel”, with varying results. Theological debates and other councils continued to tweak the concept for centuries which produced additional creeds.

      Mormons are not supposed to be Christian because we have some doctrinal differences with other Christian groups of today. The foundation for the beliefs of these other groups is the creeds of the 4th. 5th, and 6th centuries and so on.

      It is claimed that Mormons are wrong because they believe in extra-Biblical revelation and scripture. Yet much of Christianity believes in extra-Biblical creeds and councils formulated centuries after the time of Christ and the Apostles. Most of the wording formulations in these creeds cannot be found in the Bible. This is often the excuse used to exclude members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) from being Christian. It is well known to historians that Christian doctrine changed over time and across different Christian groups.

      The Bible is then viewed through the lens of these creeds causing certain interpretations to be favored and other biblical teachings to be minimized or ignored. Interestingly, if you look at the doctrines of the early church fathers before the creeds, they are very Mormon-like. In a number of doctrinal areas the early Christians were good Mormons and would be rejected as non-Christian by many Christians of today.

      In many areas of belief (probably the majority of areas) Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe the same as most other Christians. It is true that in some limited areas – some very critical ones – the beliefs of Mormons differ from other Christians. Likewise there are some major areas of difference between Catholics and Protestants and likewise between one Protestant group and the next. Every denomination could make the claim that the other groups are not Christian because those other beliefs differ from their own.

      Joseph Smith taught “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121).

      The central belief of Mormons is that Christ came into the world as the Son of God. He healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and restored life to the dead. He commissioned twelve Apostles to whom he gave authority. He suffered in Gethsemane, died on the cross, and was resurrected and will come again. He, and only He, provides the means for us to be washed clean in his blood from our sins, which sins we can never correct on our own or through our own works. If that is not Christian I don’t know what is. Christ never taught the need to believe in anything like the creeds. Those came later.

      Mormon belief is very much like the teachings of the earlier Christians – before the creeds – and also matches the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. The further back in time you go the more Mormon-like Christian doctrine becomes. Mormons are often portrayed as non-Christian when we don’t believe in the later extra-Biblical creedal formulations.

      The early Christians did not have the extra-Biblical creeds of later centuries. Were they then not Christian? The ontological debates and the wording formations of later centuries are not found in the words of Jesus or the words of the Apostles or in the words of the pre-creedal Christians . There is not a word about a one substance god in the Bible or in the early beliefs. If believing in the creeds is necessary to be Christian then that makes the earlier Christians not Christian – it even makes Christ not Christian.

      One other interesting aspect of this topic: Some Christians claim that we must get our beliefs and doctrines from the Bible only. It is claimed that God finished his work and no longer has prophets or gives revelation. They say the Mormons are wrong to have prophets and extra scripture. Consider this: If the Bible is sufficient and no post-Biblical revelation is allowed, then the post-Biblical creeds are not necessary and are not authorized by God. If God authorized the creeds then why aren’t they in the Bible? How could they be from God if the Bible is complete, if God has finished his work, and if there is no more revelation? They are extra-Biblical and no one should be held to them as a requirement to be Christian. It is so ironic that Mormons are criticized for having extra-Biblical revelation by people who themselves believe in extra-Biblical creeds. Once one puts on the glasses of the creeds then everything in the Bible is filtered to match the creeds.

      Mormons believe in original Christianity restored to the earth through revelation to new prophets. Nowhere does the Bible say that God has finished his work, that the cannon of scripture is closed. It seems ironic to us that we Mormons are accused of adding to the Bible by people who have done just that – added creeds and metaphysical definitions to the Bible. We advocate for believing original Christianity.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      We can tell so much about a person by how they say that their imaginary god behaves (and other fantasy characters). PRISM1234 is a dark, depressed, vengeful person.

      I guess that we can be glad that he is not our next-door neighbor, co-worker or parent, though!

      April 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Well we can merely hope that he isn't.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Lisa

      @Prism 1234
      Didn't I read you here in the Belief Blog saying the same thing about Catholics and mainstream protestants? Should we assume that you don't consider the Orthodox Christians to be "real" ones either? I'm betting you have the complete set.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  19. Armand Winter

    The LDS made all that money on some BS story that the Native Americans are Jews. The don't have any problem exploiting some of the poorest people in this country. Sounds a lot like Mitt Romney doesn't it?

    It really doesn't matter anyway, Mitt will go and give his normal Obama bashing speech with no real solutions about the problems we are now facing. It's like preaching to the choir because they're both subsidiaries of the KKK.

    I want to hear about Tinky Winkie being a role model for gay people because he's purple. Remember that little gift Falwell left us?

    April 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  20. jimtanker

    Yea, this guy doesn't believe in the same fairy tales that I beleive in so he is wrong.

    What a bunch of 'tards.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:16 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.