Mormons get Billy Graham's evangelical seal of approval

Mormons don't consider themselves a cult. Under the pressure of politics, evangelicals have decided to agree. Photo: Associated Press

JACKSBORO, Texas, October 29, 2012 — Billy Graham has told evangelicals that they shouldn’t hesitate to vote for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has a list of faiths that they consider cults on their website. Now, after much consideration, they have removed the Mormon Church from that list.

That’s reassuring to hear, but it’s disturbing that evangelical Christians had to wait on Graham’s approval. Is it so difficult to know a Christian when you see one? Does it take a committee to pore over a group’s theology to put God’s seal of approval on it? When did God appoint the committee?

Surely there must be a reason behind their decision on Mormons. It’s hard to believe that they have repented, seen the light, and suddenly become aware after all these years that Mormons are Christians, too. What could that reason be?

Could it be politics? Indeed it could be. The organization last week ran a full-page ad in the Wall Street journal with an appeal from their leader to vote for socially conservative politicians. According to Franklin Graham in the Association’s magazine, “Decision,” “Our secularized society has shaken its fist in God’s face and rejected his very name…we must not silence our voices when government clashes with the worship of God.  I pray that all Christians and God-fearing Americans will put aside labels and vote for principles … God’s Principles…”  

This is what we Mormons have been saying for years. It’s good to know that evangelicals are finally onboard. Perhaps now we can get something done.

I still have a problem with this: Just who made Billy Graham and his Association the arbiters of who is a cult, and who is not a cult? Sociologists have their definition of a “cult” (according to them, Christianity was a cultic movement in its first centuries), but it takes a colossal amount of arrogance for one religion to label others “cults.” (Okay, we Christians all live in glass houses on that one.) It supposes that we know God’s mind on the matter, that we know that He approves of these theological positions but not those. 

Matters like this are best left up to the Creator. That would solve a lot of problems. He knows which churches (if any) are acceptable to Him. As for us, we should look at others regardless of faith with generosity and compassion, in the humility that comes of knowing that God knows their hearts and ours, and ours might be found wanting. 

To be clear, we Mormons join evangelicals associated with the BGEA in inviting other Christians, God-fearing people, and all those who seek to do good to join us to restore this great nation, to make it once again the greatest political force for good in this world. Join us in the great endeavor of doing the right things for the future of our nation, and for the well being for our children and our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

In my estimation, Mitt Romney is a capable and intelligent man who has shown himself to be a solid, God-fearing, family man. He is, always has been, and always will be proud to be called an American. We are at the cross-roads in America, and we need a man like Romney to help us on the right path. This election may very well be the most important in our life time. We must get it right; we can’t afford to be wrong!


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George Weir

George Weir is a guest writer for Communities

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