Franklin Graham “shocked” his site called Mormonism a cult

English: Franklin and Billy Graham, in Clevela...

Franklin and Billy Graham (1994)

I think I am just as shocked as Franklin Graham. So to be clear, it is OK for him to call Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spiritists, and Scientologists cult members, but Mormons? Nope. Either they are just a different flavor of orthodox Christianity, or they are somehow more deserving to be “won over to Christ” than the other cult members. Or does it depend on whom runs for the office of President of the United States? Here is how The Christian Post is reporting this latest shocker:

A month after the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed an article describing Mormonism as a “cult” from its website, ministry head Franklin Graham clarified on Wednesday that he was unaware of the article’s existence.

The evangelist told CNN that he did not write the article and that he was “shocked” to find the article on the BGEA website.

“We have 10,000 pages and I don’t write the 10,000 pages. Other people have written it. There was a discussion as to what a cult was and they (the article) had a definition of a cult and then they gave some examples and when I found out there were examples they took them off. But I was shocked that we even had that on there,” Graham said, as he described the “cult” reference as name-calling.

“If I want to win a person to Christ, how can I call that person a name? That’s what shocked me, that we were calling people names.”

The article was categorized under BGEA’s “Looking for Answers” section where the question “What is a cult?” was posed. It defined a cult as “any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith. It is very important that we recognize cults and avoid any involvement with them. Cults often teach some Christian truth mixed with error, which may be difficult to detect.”

Providing examples of “cults,” it listed Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spiritists, and Scientologists.

The article was taken down in October shortly after Billy Graham, 94, met with Mitt Romney, a Mormon, at his home in Montreat, N.C. Graham was impressed by Romney’s “strong moral convictions” and said he would do all he can to help the Republican presidential candidate. Romney lost the election to President Barack Obama last week.

The beloved evangelist drew some criticism for his seemingly increased involvement in politics this year. Along with calling on Christians to vote biblical values in the Nov. 6 election, he also supported the North Carolina amendment protecting marriage as between a man and a woman.

But Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, told CNN that his father has always been involved in politics and has known every president since Harry Truman. On why he threw his support behind a marriage amendment, the younger Graham said his father “never dreamed that in his 94 years of life that we would be discussing the definition of marriage.

“He just never dreamed that,” he said. “So there was an amendment to give clear, biblical definition to the word ‘marriage’ and my father supported that.”

Even with the election now over, Franklin Graham stated that the “cult” article will never be posted again.

While acknowledging the “huge” differences between Protestants and Mormons, he indicated that his priority is winning people to Christ and throwing around the “cult” term does not help that.

“I believe that the only way that I can get to heaven is through faith in God’s son, Jesus Christ, who took my sins, who died on the cross and who God raised to life and if we’re willing to confess our sins and repent and believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, God will forgive us and He’ll heal our hearts. This is my message. I’m an evangelist and I want to reach as many people as I can,” he stressed.

“If I’m calling them names, it doesn’t work.”

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13 Responses to Franklin Graham “shocked” his site called Mormonism a cult

  1. Darrel says:

    How terribly magnanimous of you, Franklin! How many more steps will it take for you to become a full-blown universalist just like your father? Mormanism is a cult, just like the easy-believism other gospel that you and your father have taught for decades. No wonder you and the boys from Salt Lake get along so well. Matt. 23:15.


  2. Me says:

    Franklin – what about those who may be interested in Mormonism? If you don't warn them by calling it a cult they may fall prey to it. You must boldly speak the truth! I am saddened by your sickening and compromising PC stance.


  3. Avery says:

    I'm not surprised by you Franklin. Since things did not turn out the way you anticipated, you now change your mind? It was all done as a political stunt, and we are not ignorant of your devices..


  4. Bill says:

    Since this guy is a regular on TBN i would not have expected him to know exactly what a cult is.


    • Kath Noble says:

      Fence Sitters & Weak Preaching Has Ruined America . Mormonism Is A Cult. Nothing Like Christianity. Wiyhout Jesus Its A Waste.Of Time
      & We Dont Bring People To CHRIST. We Plant Seeds , Jesus Does Or Doesnt Decide.


  5. Gorman says:

    The BG Association ministry is evangelism and not apologetics. Franklin Graham was correct in stating that you don't evangelize people by calling them a derogatory name no matter how accurate it may be. You witness to them by demonstrating the love of God for them by your actions and words. As an evangelistic ministry, I don't think they should call anybody a cult or any other name that might diminish their chances of presenting the gospel to them. Even John Ankerberg, who is an apologist, when he had members of a cult on his show always treated them with love and respect and refrained from calling them names. It appears that John Ankerberg not only wanted to inform his audience about the cult member's un-biblical beliefs, but also to win them to the Lord.
    About the "easy-believism remark. Is there a "hard-believism"? I think the Bible teaches "easy believism". It tells us that whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. That is easy to me. When the Philippian jailer asked what must he do to be saved, he was simply told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Again, seems pretty easy. Is there another way or a "hard" way to be saved? When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost to the thousands who were gathered at Jerusalem, they asked what must we do. Peter, didn't tell them, Now men this is not going to be easy, because I've got a lot of things you need to do first like attend classes or sit through a few counselling sessions. No, he simply told them to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result of that simple exhortation, 3000 were saved that day.
    In the BG Crusades, Billy Graham, preaches a message and gives an opportunity for people to receive Jesus as their Savior and leaves the rest up to the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit's ministry to deal with them and do a work in their heart, not Billy Grahams. One of the best Christians I've ever known was an elderly woman who heard Billie Graham on TV and was saved. She is now in heaven with the Lord.
    Billie Graham is a man, and as a man, he is not infallible and has made a few mistakes in my opinion, but not as serious or as as many as I have made personally. He is a man of God that has been a shining example of how evangelical Christian ministers should conduct themselves and has not brought reproach on the church like a lot of TV evangelist The church, in my opinion, is still suffering from the fallout from the sex and money scandals these other so called evangelist were involved in.
    Finally, as everyone knows Billie Graham has been a friend of every President for decades and has not, to my knowledge, actively campaigned for anyone. But like all of us, he probably has his opinion on who best to lead the country. I think that the Graham's, or any Christian, would prefer Romney and the Republican's platform, which is against abortion and gay marriage, to Obama and the Democrat's platform supporting abortion and gay marriage. So for the Graham's to remove from their website something that might influence someone not to vote for Romney and do no harm to the cause of Christ is understandable.


    • Joel Pelissier says:

      There are many false doctrines in the world .They have been put there by the devil ,to lead people astray.Real conversion can only happen through the work of the Holy Spirit.
      Our obligation is to share the word of God as it is, without having to sugar coat it.
      It appears that Franklin Graham is in need of genuine conversion.


    • stephenpaulfreese says:

      I think the world of the Graham family. Yet, I see words of "love" coming from other brothers in the faith, once delivered who spoke in such "unloving" ways such as "realizing the fact that a law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and dprofane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
      , and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching," or "Many of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to the place where John was baptizing people. When John saw them, he said, “You are snakes! Who warned you to run away from God’s coming punishment? 8 Do the things that show you really have changed your hearts and lives." or Jesus Christ telling the religious leaders this…"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?"…People need to hear the truth because the face eternal judgement, and it is to be revealed through a gentle loving spirit, of course with wisdom and discernment. But, they need to hear the gospel, not one that is watered down simply for some to accept or for others to like us.


  6. Bill says:

    Just like Billy gave into Catholics Franklin now gives in to Mormons.


  7. jay howard says:

    Graham is correct you never use the word "cult" as you are sharing the Gospel with a person who is in a cult. After 35 years of sharing the Gospel with all manner of cult victims I would say that is a given. However, the word cult is a word that can not be done away with because it has a significance and it does actually mean something in the proper context.

    Unfortunately, the LDS church does fall within parameters of the meaning of the word both theologically and sociologically. Whether Franklyn Graham is ignorant of the meaning of the word is unclear. I believe someone has already pointed out that the BGEA is an evangelistic organization and not a cult/apologetic ministry.

    When Billy headed up the organization he relied on people like Walter Martin to help him understand the cult scene. I do not know who they consult with now


  8. David says:

    If a cult is defined by those who band together and teach a common heresy, then one of the biggest cults today is TBN.


  9. Shelvin Lal says:

    We are called to preach Christ Jesus is Lord out of love for all brothers and at the same time be mindful of false teachers and false prophets.

    The Bible teaches that we are saved though Christ ultimate sacrifice. If there are those who divert away from this teaching and allow anything else to be added then they distort the truth of the gospel. According to the Bible we are not to entertain such teachings.


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