Billy Graham No Longer Thinks Mormonism Is a Cult

The evangelical leader removed Mormonism from a list of "cults" on his website after handing his endorsement to GOP candidate Mitt Romney.

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Republican nominee for President Governor Mitt Romney meets with Reverend Billy Graham, and son, Franklin Graham, at the Graham home on the top of a high ridge in Montreat, North Carolina, Thursday, October, 11, 2012.

Evangelical leader Billy Graham received a visit from Mitt Romney last week at his North Carolina home. During the visit, the 93-year-old Graham told Romney, “I will do all I can to help you,” reported the Washington Post. Soon afterward his organization, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, erased a reference to Mormonism as a cult from its website.

(MORE: Is This the Mormon Moment)

Previously, Mormons had been on the evangelical organization’s “cult” list, alongside Unitarians, Scientologists, Spiritists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and adherents of the Unification Church.

The association’s quiet embrace of Mormonism came after a gay-rights group pointed out that Mormonism remained on the list despite Graham’s support for Romney. Pretty soon the “cult” reference was gone from the website, the Religion News Service reports.

The association’s spokesperson asserted that the removal had to do with its wish to stay away from a highly contentious issue. “Our primary focus at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said the organization’s chief of staff, Ken Barun, in a statement, according to a story that appeared on the website of Christianity Today. “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.”

(MORE: How Mitt Romney’s Faith Could Help Him Win)

Conservative Christians tend to find their values congruent with Romney’s platform:  Both disapprove of same-sex marriage and abortion. But many evangelicals don’t consider Mormonism as part of Christianity, as the two hold different views on the identity of Jesus Christ. Now, however, it seems the Grahams are trying to overlook the differences. In the most recent issue of the association’s monthly magazine, Franklin Graham — who runs the association — wrote a column titled “Can an Evangelical Christian Vote for a Mormon?” To which he answered his own question with “a rousing yes,” according to the Charlotte Observer. The newspaper also pointed out that in comparison, Franklin Graham gave a much more ambiguous answer when asked if Obama was a Christian. “I don’t know,” he said.

(MORE: Where President Romney Would Go To Church)

Billy Graham has been a force in U.S. politics for decades and has advised presidents since Harry S. Truman; but in a 2011 e-mail interview with Christianity Today, he called it one of his great regrets.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now.”

The 93-year-old preacher may have changed his mind.

31 comments
beckyn
beckyn

I am absolutely floored to read here that there are people that still believe mormons are not Christians!  "Mormon" is a nickname given to members of "The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints.  Christ's name is in the name of the church.  We absolutely believe Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world.  We believe and study the King James Version of the Bible therefore we believe in the scripture John 10:16 where Christ speaks of other sheep He has which "are not of this fold"...we believe the people in the Americas (yes there were people in the Americas at the time Christ was on the earth) were some of those sheep He spoke of.  Why wouldn't He care for and love and want to teach all of God's children throughout the earth?  2 Corinthians 13:1 says "...In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established".  We believe the Lord not only communicated through prophets of old in the eastern hemisphere but also spoke to prophets of old in the western hemisphere.  Both recorded these teachings and revelations as well as the history of their people.  We believe one of these witnesses of Christs words to be the Bible, the old and new testaments.  We also believe one of these witnesses of Christ to be the The Book of Mormon another testament of Jesus Christ (that is its FULL and correct name), a record that actually began in Jerusalem and was kept and passed down by prophets of old that lived in the Americas before, during, and after Christs birth, crucifixtion, and resurrection.  It absolutely testifies of Christ and it is my belief that by studying the Bible and Book of Mormon together,  my knowledge of Christs Gospel only increases and becomes more clear.  In summary....Mormons are about as Christian as you can get. 

bblack522
bblack522

All this does is show the content of the heart of those involved. The Word of God says that what is in us will eventually come out. Any Christian that has studied the Word of God will know that Mormonism does not hold Christ as the Way, Truth and the Life, the only way to the Father. If Mr. Franklin has held that Mormonism was a cult for 60 plus years; it is very fishy to me that when he has to choose between a Black man that does profess Christ as Savior and a White Mormon, he chooses the Mormon. Any religion or whatever you want to call it that does not accept the Bible as the unadulterated God breath Word of God and His Son Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world by faith is destined for eternal separation from God in Hell. The 66 books of the bible is the close of the revelation God provided; the Canon is closed. The Word says not to add nor take away for what has already been written. The reality of it is that Jesus the Lamb is coming back as the Lion to execute justice against those who reject Him. Thankful to God that He predestined me before the foundation of the world to be adopted into His family. I have Godly sorrow for those who are lost and destined for eternal damnation. I don't believe that to be true about Mr. Franklin, I believe by the confession of his faith that He has been regenerated but he has sinned against God is compromising his stance on Mormonism for the sake of politics. We should pray for him and also for our President. He does not always make the correct decisions based on biblical principles, but I also believe that he is a Christian and the Word instructs us fellow believers to pray for our leaders.

aliww
aliww

As a Christian I am so saddened by Billy Graham's new perception on mormonism.  If people want to be mormons that is their business, I believe in freedom of religion.  But the idea that it has ANY RELATION to Christianity is such garbage.  Ironically BG will allow this but not support same sex couples (some who are Christians) to marry.   Its really sad.

MEW
MEW

I just heard that Barak Obama will remain our president.  I am so relieved.  With respect to this article as it pertains to gay marriage, I humbly submit that I believe that our president made this decision based on the fact that the Book of Phillipians states that we should all "work out our OWN salvation with fear and trembling."  I personally believe that marriage is ONLY for a man and a woman.  But I have also learned that there are matters that MUST be left up to the Holy Spirit.  There are so many gay couples who sincerely love each other and the Lord, with ALL of their hearts.  If asked, I would tell a gay couple exactly what the Bible states about homosexuality and marriage.  I would do this tactfully and with loving care.  After that, I would step out of the way and let the Holy Spirit handle this matter.  Their marriage is between them and God...period.  Lastly, I pray that the change to the website as mentioned in the article, will be given immediate attention.  I am a life-long admirer of this ministry and will continue to pray for them, as I must assuredly, covet their prayers for myself.  Grace, peace, mercy and wisdom to us all... in the precious, matchless name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

JanMcCabe
JanMcCabe

I rebuke you Franklin graham in the name of JESUS.

Mormonism was born in lies and deceit and still operates in it.  They are blasphemers, check their journal of discourses 1;5,in fact read all their books, the book of Mormon-,the pearls of great price  -doctrines of doctrine and covenants and writings from their founder   journal of discourses.It was born in lies and they are still under the father of lies.

You mention Jesus and yet would  YOKE your self  to someone who doesn't  believe that Jesus is the only begotton Son of God  and that He was conceived by the Holy  Spirit. The Lord tells us a believer has NOTHING in common with an unbeliever 

Talk to Romneys' brother who left the Mormon church and now he is ostasized.

Obama is a confessed christian,he may have a couple of sins wrong'but have you got them all right don't sound like it to me.There are many sins so it would not be wise to single out just a couple Have you got them all right? SIN IS SIN and blasphemy is the unforgivable sin.

read 2  Corinthians 6'14-18

I would humbly suggest all radical evangelicals not pass on their prejudis onto others or God could judge you severly   If you are going to use JESUS name then start acting like He would Mormonism was born a cult and is still a cult.I pray in the powerful name of JESUS and through the HOLY  SPIRIT that the american people don't get led  astray                   PEACE AND PRAYERS    JAN McCABE.?

KathyVerbiestBaldock
KathyVerbiestBaldock

The headline should say "Franklin Graham Sells His Father's Legacy for Power"

brown291
brown291

There is a strong difference between the teachings of Mormons and biblical Christianity, in fact (if I remember correctly) even  Jospeh Smith had made it known( on several occasions) that he did not believe the holy bible was divinely inspired or the infallible word of God therefore when a religious group, sect or organization teach and deny the fundamentals of Christianity (i.e. deity of Christ, Virgin Birth, Holy Trinity, Resurrection of Christ) there is no choice but to label the organization and it's teaching as heresy or as the apostle Paul clearly stated "another gospel".   What I am troubled by is in reference to those are proclaiming to know Christ  who don't seem to be  concern about  Dr. Graham decision.

kmendoza
kmendoza

The lesser of two evil???? are you kidding me???  First of all God is not in control.....second of all He does not cause or create the horrible things that go on in this world......One thing I can tell you for sure what Franklin Graham has done is put mormonism on the same level with Christianity....He has just told the world that all that he and his father have done regarding preaching the GOSPEL is all null and void....why should anyone come to Christ when they can accept mormonism?  This is a sad time for the Church....How irresponsible of Franklin to get involve in things he is not called to.  Franklin, you are wrong!!!! and may God have mercy on your soul.....you have now gone the way of all our big evangelist sons.....Oral Roberts son, Robert Schullers son and now Billy Graham son the destruction of a ministry their mothers and fathers worked so hard for and ALWAYS.....stayed true to the message of the GOSPEL....

tjshwag1
tjshwag1

Throughout Galatians chapter 1 we see what deems a modern day “cult” Galatians 1:7-8 says (7) “not that there is another [gospel], but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah. (8) “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!”There have been recent criticisms about a particular article regarding cults being removed from the BGEA site, which noted the names of some of these cultic groups. One of these worldviews a particular candidate for election holds. I am quite frankly appalled at the lack of reverence and seeming advancement of a political agenda. But the Lord controls ALL world leaders and sometimes we are obligated to choose the lesser of two evils and in this case I agree with the BGEA. I just believe it is important to always stand up for what we believe in no matter what. For our reward is not gained in this life but in the hereafter and we need not focus to heavily on political agendas. Could it not be in the Lords will that this nation fall to a Sodom and Gomorrah like state? Is the end not apparently near and the need for restoration imminent? “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)”

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

Yeah u believe the Book of Mormon too be and addition too the Bible, but WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?It says nothing in scriptures about an addition too the Bible !!!

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

You are so right bblack522, hold fast too the truth brother, remember what the apostles said , in the last days, their will be deceivers who preach a gospel,that sounds so close too the Bible, that it would be almost possible, for Gods elect too be deceived.

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

I too am saddened by his change on Mormonism, Thank God Franklin Graham has remained faithful too the Biblical defining of what constitutes a marriage in Gods eyes.

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

I have too agree with u about Mormonism being wrong, nowhere in the Bible does it mention any other book on equal footing with the Holy Bible!!!

kmendoza
kmendoza

@brown291 I am with you and, you are right...the church should be very concerned with Dr. Grahams' decision...it is sooooo out of character...Dr. Graham was a man who knew his calling and was faithful to it...he never ever endorsed a candidate....his calling was evangelism.....I will never believe that this is of his doing....I believe that this is the work of Franklin Graham...he does get involved in politics.....and more power to him but, he needs to do this using his own name and not the name and ministry of his ageing 94 year old father....my support to the BGEA is no more....and that to me is very sad.

gardenchick
gardenchick

Read your Bible and pray about EVERY item! You migjht change your Views! Most people that slam the LDS Church that think they know us the amount of stuff that they know that is true would fit upon the head of a pin! Most of the stuf they thnk they know is  hearsay, halftruths and outright lies!

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

But I do have too agree with u, when u say that it seems that Mr Graham has given Mormonisn some legality, and has put it on equal footing with the Christian church!!!

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

I must beg too differ with u when u says God is not in control,even God says he knows the end from the beginning, that nothing escapes his eye, that he even sees the sparrow that falls out of the nest, and that the very hairs of our head are numbered, this does.not sound like a God who is not in control,God permits things too happen too fulfill his plan whatever that maybe be.

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

I believe that also , because in the Bible it does say in the last days, their will be a falling away from the truth, and how do we know , if this might be the very last days the Bible talked about .

gardenchick
gardenchick

ASd members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we DO believe that Jesus Christ is the devine Son of or Heavenly Father, just like YOU do. That should be all that you need to know to determine if a Church is Christian or not.

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

It is because we have read our Bible,that we can with certainty say that Mormon doctrines are not in line with Biblical doctrines, I suggest u put down the Book of Mormon and pick us a Bible and study without prejudice toward your Mormon church teaching,The test is, do the Mormon teachings line up with the Bible, no it doesn't, so it is a false gospel. When any church's teachings usurp the Bibles authority it's time to ,walk away from it. Only a true cultist will stay in a false church, after Bibical truth has been revealed too him or her, thru GODS WORD ONLY!!!!!!

Telliacnaxor
Telliacnaxor

@gardenchick  After reading about Mormonism, I remain solid to the truth that this religion is based on Joseph Smith and HIS teachings and NOT the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  That information right there where it would fit on the head of a pin or on the tip of a mustard seed is enough for me to know that Mormonism is in fact a CULT.

kmendoza
kmendoza

@gardenchick I am not slamming the LDS Church....What if one of your leaders came out one day and told you that a belief of the LDS church was not true anymore..I have followed the life of BG for many years....went to his crusades as a child when they were held in a tent...The very thing that I admired and respected about BG is that he never got involved with politics.....never endorsed any president his calling was that of an envangelist....He is now 94 years old and all of a sudden he is endorsing Romney???? Not the BG I know.  This so off message ..... so it is not about the LDS church....it is about Billy Graham doing something which is so out of character.....I know that this was done by his son Franklin Graham....and he is WRONG to get his fathers' ministry involved in politics.....I wouldn't care who he is endorsing......IT IS WRONG!

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

Satan and his angels also believe that Jesus is the son of God are they believers?

JanMcCabe
JanMcCabe

@gardenchick You obviously do not know your church from the beginning.check ALL your books and go into your archives. then check it out to the God breathed bible into the minds of man.   GOD NEVER CHANGES AND HE NEVER LIES. He tells us not to add to His word or take away from it.  I know who i believe and who i follow. 

kmendoza
kmendoza

@gardenchick Gardenchick, I have no right do determine whether you are christian or not....I am saying that when a person such as Billy Graham who has name recognition and is well respected throws his endorsement with Romney and than says mormonism is no longer a cult is extremly suspicious.....it is not right that anyone with so much name recognition should do what he has done......only because voting is a matter of choice and not religion.....he has just told people who may not pay attention to what is going on in politics to vote for Romney and you know as well as I there is alot of power in name recognition. 

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

Anyone that truly studies Gods word and compares, the Book of Mormon with the Bible and thinks they are equal in authority, are not only wrong but preaching heresy, and I don't use that word lightly.

SusanCarolPilgrene
SusanCarolPilgrene

I have too disagree with u about u have no right too determine wether one is a Christian or not the scriptures give you that authority, and I quote (Romans 16:17-18, Now I beeseech you brethren , mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary too the doctrine which ye have learned and AVOID THEMMMMM!!!For they that are such serve not our LORD JESUS CHRIST, but their own belly; and by GOOD WORDS and FAIR SPEECHES DECEIVE THE HEARTS OF MANY.If the apostle is telling you too avoid someone it's making a judgement about that person behavior, and that why u are too avoid them. Not only that ,one of the apostles said there is a such thing as righteous judgement, too many Christians get hung up on that word , and it's helps the unsaved change the direction of the discussion 1st Corinthians 2:15 (But he that is spiritual JUDGETH ALL THINGS,YET HE HIMSELF IS JUDGED OF NO MAN.So u see there are times, when we are too judge the actions of ppl.