The EFM Feature
pastor-robert-jeffress-RICK-PERRY-endorsement

As an evangelical, watching the controversy over Robert Jeffress and his comments has put me in a delicate position.  I cannot compromise my beliefs and pretend that I see no significant difference between orthodox Christianity and Mormonism, yet I also believe that evangelicals have been systematically misled about Mormons, I do not believe Mormonism counts as a “cult,” and I believe every Christian and every evangelical can vote for a Mormon in good conscience.  I fear that Pastor Jeffress not only did Rick Perry no service through his comments, but that he also did evangelicalism no service.  Not to mention Mormonism, or Mitt Romney, who is made out to be a cult member — and we all know how wacky and dangerous cult members are, right?  I mean, Mitt Romney and David Koresh are essentially cut from the same cloth, aren’t they?  Ugh.  Sometimes statements are so ridiculous that it’s hard to say them even with sarcasm.

I did my best to sort through these things in a blog post called “The Cult of Rick Perry.”  It begins thus:

Disheartening.  Profoundly disheartening.

That’s the word I would use to describe the kerfuffle over Robert Jeffress and his comments on Mitt Romney and Mormonism, as well as the strange, confused, often-angry conversation that has followed.  I’ve been too buried in diapers and onesies to participate, but now that I sit down to write, I feel only discouragement — as a conservative and as an evangelical Christian.

Let’s be clear.  However often we forget it, this is the first question we need to answer: How do we communicate the grace and the truth of the gospel in this situation?  How, in this environment and these circumstances, do we be a people defined by Jesus Christ and his kingdom?

Read the rest.


Comments and Discussion

Evangelicals for Mitt provides comments as a way to engage in a public and respectiful discussion about articles and issues. Any comment may be removed by the editors for violating common decency or tempting flames.

16 Responses to The “Cult” of Rick Perry

  1. Robin says:

    I woke up the other morning with the newscaster saying that Jeffress says that Hinduism, Buddhism, and Mormonism are all false religions. He would have had a harder time saying that if he had used the real name of our church. Hindus do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, Buddhists don’t believe in Jesus, but to lump the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with them seems to show how off-base he is. My Baptist friend tells me that all a person has to do is accept Jesus as ones savior and one is saved. I assure you that all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wholeheartedly accept Jesus as our savior. He is the center of our faith, our lives, our testimonies. No man commeth unto the Father but by and through Him. Jesus is our advocate with the Father.
    You want to say that because we do not derive from the Nicene Creed that we are not Christians. It seems odd to base the origins of Christianity so many centuries after the time of Christ. Are the people before the Nicene Creed then sub-Christian? We claim to be the restored Church of Christ. You really need to pray and find out if that is true. We don’t spend our Sunday School classes talking about other religions and how they don’t measure up. We simply study the scriptures. I can tell by the scripted arguments that my friend uses against me when we try to talk religion, that she has been well versed in how to counteract a Mormon. As I read the comments on this website I hear those same scripted misinformed comments and I am sad that the other Christian churches feel the need to single us out and study how ‘wrong’ we are. Do you have classes that talk about how wrong the Methodists are, or the Presbyterians, or the Catholics? For some reason, I think you focus on proving us wrong instead. You will never hear such lessons at my church anywhere in the world. We have our Sunday School curriculum and week after week it is solely on the scriptures and understanding them. Our Sunday School teachers do not deviate from the lessons or go off on tangents about how awful some other church is. The only thing I have ever heard a church leader say about other churches is that you have much that is good. We simply can add to what you have already. A very Christian attitude if I do say so myself.
    Must there be all of this divisiveness? Can’t we all just be happy that we all love and follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? I know who the author of contention is and he loves to see good fighting good. Satan does not want us to work together to stamp out immorality and wickedness that is more and more rampant in the world. He would much rather have us fighting and hating each other. Let’s not give in to him. Pastor Jeffress is doing Satan’s will, not Jesus’ will. I hope he will see the light soon and stop.

  2. ignoramus says:

    To Timothy who is well named and exhorted by Paul to beware of false doctrine…
    Good piece! It would be nice to have a dialog with someone like MikeInMemphis and Larry without teleprompters of course. Mike could do well because he doesn’t use a script. Larry uses too much from the anti camp and needs notes. Anyone who knows the material knows what is true.
    Back to the original purpose of this effort. “Mitt or Rick, who is a Christian?” The two have been on the outs for over ten years but when a dissident group of polygamists from Utah bought the el Dorado hunting camp in Texas and renamed it ‘Yearning for Zion Ranch’ Rick and the Old Boys Club of Texas went ballistic. They called the AG of Utah in asking for advice on how to make them go home. Raise the marriage age from 14 to 17 ought to do the trick was advised and the next week, that was the law of the land in Texas. It had been 14 forever, I know because I married my wife in 1955 when she turned 15 in El Paso, Texas.
    Long story short, YFZ ranch was raided, Waco style with armor et al on April 2007. Over 450 children whose names were not even written down were removed by Baptist Sunday School buses to foster homes spread between Houston and Lubbock (a VERY big area). They were held hostage for six weeks until a sheepish Third Court of Appeals heeded the mother’s pleas to “let my children go”. Rick gave permission from Paris France with a narky response, but he did not return them. They had to be picked up by their Mothers, who traveled over 1200 miles over the space of a week to collect families that had all been split up.
    Preposterous? It is true and can be verified by the Salt Lake Tribune and hundreds of blogger covering the event. Never heard of it? Blame the mainstream media.
    The question, “Should Rick be President?” “No, because he has no regard for constitutional rights, even if he says he is a Christian.” He hates anyone with the name Jesus Christ or Latter Day Saints in their name. If that is not the truth then it is up to Rick to tell us otherwise.
    Amen

  3. K.G. says:

    Robin says, “Can’t we all just be happy that we all love and follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?”

    Even tho you would think we should be able to do that, the sad answer we cannot. While you and I might believe that God would want us to work together in respect and humility, others have a different point of view. To them the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS IS of the devil. I believe they see it as their Christian duty not to debate but destroy. Anyone seen aiding and abetting Mormonism like those here who sponsor EFM are seen aiding and abetting the devil.

    If you’ve seen Robert Jeffress on TV, he seems to be entirely unaware of how foolish he probably appears to most eyes. He is indeed proud of himself to have taken the opportunity to call Mormonism a cult , which any sane person considers a perjorative. He placed these interviews on his church website. In his mind he’s doing God’s work.

  4. Hannah Rebekah says:

    I hear he has been turned in the IRS by other traditional Christians for having those comments on his website because of his tax exempt status; you can’t campaign for or against another person or you will loss that status. If only….

  5. Timothy Dalrymple says:

    Robin, I don’t want to get into a theological argument here, since that’s not our purpose. I know Mormonism fairly well, have great respect for Mormons, and I think evangelicals in general need to develop a more nuanced and charitable understanding of Mormonism. At the same time, we’ll have to agree to disagree amicably on some basic theological matters, and agree (I hope) to agree to supporting Mitt and trying to get that guy into the White House!

    • Robin says:

      I whole heartedly agree. I hope all good evangelicals out there can develop a more nuanced and charitable feeling toward Latter-day Saints. I have good feelings and appreciate anyone who loves the Lord and is trying every day to keep the commandments. We really do need to work together and Mitt is the man we need. He will make a great president. Thank you Timothy for being kind and appreciating Mitt for what he stands for. You are doing a great work here. I keep checking in to see what you and David have to say! You are awesome!

  6. Hannah Rebekah says:

    Timothy,
    No theology argument here either….and Mormons know fairly well all the nuanced and uncharitable misunderstanding that are taught about us. It’s not you who is being attacked. And let’s just say Mormons do not claim to be 4th Century Traditional – Creedalist Christians but our beliefs are more based on 1st Century Christian beliefs. Historical non-LDS Christian Ernst Benz said, “..Joseph Smith is closer to the view of man held by the ancient Church than the precursors of the Augustinian doctrine…” I also agree with you that Evangelicals need to develop a more nuanced and charitable understanding of Mormonism….and the rest of what you said. Just wanted to share the latest on the holy war brought to everyone by Perry and crew….

    Catholic League’s Donohue Attacks Anti-Catholic Robert Jeffress
    http://lezgetreal.com/2011/10/catholic-leagues-donohue-attacks-anti-catholic-robert-jeffress/

    JEFFRESS SAYS SATAN RULES CATHOLICISM
    http://70.40.202.97/jeffress-says-satan-rules-catholicism/

    Excerpt:
    Catholic League president Bill Donohue offered these remarks today:
    Where did they find this guy? When theological differences are demonized by the faithful of any religion—never mind by a clergyman—it makes a mockery of their own religion. Rev. Jeffress is a poster boy for hatred, not Christianity.

    Rick Perry Apologizes To Catholics But Not Mormons Over Jeffress
    http://lezgetreal.com/2011/10/rick-perry-apologizes-to-catholics-but-not-mormons-over-jeffress/comment-page-1/

    Perry Camp’s Anti-Mormon Message
    http://powerwall.msnbc.msn.com/politics/perry-camps-anti-mormon-message-1704517.story

  7. ignoramus says:

    Yes, it smells, but I tell you I see an elephant in the room. Rick Perry has been at war with Mormons in Texas for many years. Like Las Vegas, what happens in Texas stays in Texas. People on the outside have no idea what the Old Boys Club is. They are oil and alums of Texas A&M. Some go to Harvard and then to DC. Perry can fool some of the people some of the time but people who can see him are invisible.It smells like elephant to me. ignoramus dot us will give you some clues.

  8. Joe says:

    I really enjoyed the article, and must say that I feel Timothy is truly showing his Christianity, his discipleship.

    I think most Christians understand where we agree, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and the Bible is His word.

    As an imperfect member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I hope that all understand that we, LDS, worhsip Him as God, the Son. Most Christians have disagreements over certain issues. As Timothy pointed out, for some reason, LDS Christianity is often intentionally misinterpreted. We do have some primary differences with some Christians, true, but we are still Christian:

    Here is my take on what is so “different” about what LDS/Mormons believe:

    1Jesus still speaks and He spoke more words than what we have in the Bible (the Bible is clear that He did so).
    2. The ancient Christian Doctrine of Deification, taught by Jesus (John 10, his followers are called ‘gods”) and reportedly “every” Church Father (here is a quote from the scholarly LDS website ‘FAIR lds” it’s from an article titled The Christian Doctrine of Deification by Edward T. Jones

    Some excerpts Irenaeus: “We are not made gods from the first, but first men, then gods’ Polycarp, himself a disciple of the apostle St. John… “this (deification of humanity) they regard as a point beyond dispute, as one of those fundamentals which no one who calls himself a Christian dreams of denying.”

    3 Jesus visited other sheep, some of them were living in the Americas, and were descended from Joseph and the”Asiatic’ Asenat (and there is a lot of evidence for that, and it truly proves His Divine Nature)
    4The ancient Christian doctrine that The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate persons, but one God, (see book of Mormon introduction).
    5 The ancient Christian doctrine that God the Father has a body, just as His Son does, that God was once man, was born of Mary, lived on an earth, died, and is now Glorified, still having the body that He had when appeared to his Apostles.
    6 That all are saved from death by the Grace of God, both just and unjust. That all may obtain Salvation through grace by faith in Christ. True faith requires more than simply calling Him “Lord Lord” but we must be doers also. He will reward “every” man and woman according to their works. All who are kind (Christian or not) will be rewarded for that kindness etc.

    LDS also practice the ancient Temple rites which early Christians participated in. I didn’t include this as a difference though because many Christians still practice similar rites. In fact, the longest surviving Christian Church, the Armenian Apostolic still practices these, and are thought of as Christian.
    .

    • Susan says:

      Thank you for sharing the particular article that you found. I found it interesting to see how those who are not Mormon think about Jesus Christ. They are doctrinally limited and so it would be difficult for them see that Jesus Christ is much more than they can know from the Bible alone. The Bible is true if interpreted correctly, but without more knowlege the “Christian” world will never be able to interpret the Bible correctly. I realize that the “Christian sects of this day do not believe there is any other scripture other than the Bible. Thus, the ” hristian “faiths are limited in the knowledge they may receive. “Christian” churces today no longer have direct revelation from God and so they are bound to make some error in their interpretations. God does hear and answer everyones heart felt and sincere prayers, but he is not leading those Church as the head of their churches, for according to “Christians” there is no such thing as revelation today. The Bible is a sealed book of canon. Christian churches are governed by have the interpretations of men mingled with scriptures. Not very reliable. That is why the reformation took place in the first place. Men thought that the Catholic church was not intrepeting the Bible correctly. Men will always fall short when they are left to their own understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Sadducces and the Pharasies had a similiar fate.

      The Church of Jesus Christ is the church of Jeus Christ. Organized by him and governed by him through modern day revelation and Priesthood authority. Men are called of God to lead his church. They do elect themselves nor do they attend man established Seminaries to become the shepherds of the sheep.

      God told Moses “Behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. There is no immortality of eternal life without the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is essential for every person who ever lived if they are to receive immortality and eternal life. Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint knows this. The gentleman that enjoyed taking bits and pieces of statements from members of the LDS faith , only showed you a few pices of a puzzle without finding all the pieces show the complete picture. With only a few pieces, a person can truly show what they hope to show, but that does not make their conclusion true. If I showed you a picture of a boy shoving another boy from behind….you might think conjur up one picture in your mind. If I expand the picture to show that an on coming car is approaching the boy who stand in the middle of the street, you may be grateful for the the boy who is rescuing someone from a dangerous situation.

      I do not fault others for using the knowledge that they have to interpret what they see from their limited perspective, but given the further light and knowlege, you may very well embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ as he has restored it to the earth in these Latter-days. Food for thought.

      • I think one big difference in theology is that LDS (Mormons) believe that
        Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are separate beings–not the one in substance
        or whatever of the Nicene Creed. I have just finished reading the New Testament.
        Does this sound like they are one in substance or separate–
        1) Jesus always refers
        to “My Father”–does he know the difference between a father and a son?
        2) I go unto my Father (John 14:12);
        3) …for my Father is greater
        than I (John 14:28)
        4) In the garden of Gethsemane he “fell on his face, and prayed, O my Father,
        if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” referring to the crucifixion–IS HE
        PRAYING TO HIMSELF?
        5) On the cross “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what
        they do.”–IS HE PRAYING TO HIMSELF?
        6) Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:
        but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your
        Father; and to my God, and your God.–SAYS HIS FATHER IS IN HEAVEN WHILE
        HE IS SHOWING HIMSELF ON EARTH
        Yeah, I know–it’s a mystery. Like water, steam, and ice.

        To Mormons, we have a Heavenly Father and we are his children. He loves us and
        wants us to become like him, much like you want your children to become like
        you if you are successful. We are here on earth to gain experience and learn to
        choose between good and evil, to learn trial and error. Because we will make
        mistakes, our Father sent Jesus Christ to pay for our sins if we repent (like getting
        bailed out of jail if someone pays the bail). Hopefully, we will realize
        Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with
        Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
        This makes more sense to me than water, steam, and ice.

  9. Susan says:

    I am not a typest….as you can see from the post above…I hope this is better and easier to read.

    Thank you for sharing the particular article that you found. I found it interesting to see how those who are not Mormon think about Jesus Christ. They are doctrinally limited and so it would be difficult for them see that Jesus Christ is much more than they can know from the Bible alone. The Bible is true if interpreted correctly, but without more knowlege the “Christian” world will never be able to interpret the Bible correctly. I realize that the “Christian” sects of this day do not believe there is any other scripture other than the Bible. Thus, the “Christian” faiths are limited in the knowledge they may receive. “Christian” churches today claim to no longer having direct revelation from God and so they are bound to make some error in their interpretations. God does hear and answer everyones heart felt and sincere prayers, but he is not leading any of their churches, for according to “Christians” there is no such thing as revelation today. The Bible is a sealed book of canon. Christian churches are governed by the interpretations of men mingled with scriptures. Not very reliable. That is why the Reformation took place in the first place. Men thought that the Catholic church was not intrepeting the Bible correctly. Men will always fall short when they are left to their own understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Sadducces and the Pharasies had a similiar fate. They could not see that the Law of Moses pointed them to Jesus Christ.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church of Jesus Christ. Organized by him and governed by him through modern day revelation and Priesthood authority. Men are called of God to lead his church. They do not elect themselves nor do they attend man-established Seminaries to become the shepherds of the sheep.

    God told Moses “Behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” There is no immortality or eternal life without the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is essential for every person who ever lived if they are to receive immortality and eternal life. Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint knows this. The gentleman that enjoyed taking bits and pieces of statements from members of the LDS faith , only showed you a few pieces of a puzzle without finding all the pieces to show the complete picture. With only a few pieces, a person can truly show what they hope to show, but that does not make their conclusion true. If I showed you a picture of a boy shoving another boy from behind….you might make a judgement up in your mind of what was taking place. If I expanded the picture to show that an on coming car is approaching the boy who stands in the middle of the street, you may be grateful for the the boy who is rescuing someone from a dangerous situation.

    I do not fault others for using the knowledge that they have to interpret what they see from their limited perspective, but given further light and knowlege, theymay very well embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ as he has restored it to the earth in these Latter-days. Food for thought.

  10. Steve Bigelow says:

    Perry “tells us all we need to know about himself when he stated that” it tells us all we need to know about Mitt Romney” to reject him outright because at the age of 50 to 60 unlike himself, Romney is still willing to listen and consider his constituents point of view rather than just push his personal agenda against the majority. Perry shows himself as a close minded fundamentalist who knows the absolute sacred truth that only he and the other “true Christians” (still a minority) seem to be so sure of.

    Sounds familiar, because we just made that mistake in the last Election. How did that work out for America?! We don’t need a radical fundamentalist any more that we need another radical socialist who knows better than the rest of us.

    Romney holds the same views as most conservative who are personally against Abortion and hold conservative views on other moral issues of our time. But he is not a radical who can hardly wait to force his personal point of view on the majority. But he is a leader that will bring our country back economically, back to our Constitutional roots and back together without forcing his personal moral beliefs on a Nation that is not ready for another paralyzing fight between the radical right and radical Left. It seems that Perry is saying that he learned everything worth knowing in his younger days at his fundamentalist church and is therefore far past the need to consider others points of view before forcing the legislation of his personal truth concerning morality, on all Americans. He can even take over the responsibility of judging who is truly Christian and who is truly part of the Devils Cult without any need for God or anybody else’s opinion. When you lead with blinders on because you know better than the majority of Americans exactly what God wants and what is best for us, you should be rejected by the majority of Americans who believe and support our constitutional rights such as freedom of religion.

  11. KatieS says:

    There are no perfect churches and there are no perfect people, including political candidates. Mitt Romney is the best I’ve seen in years, and it is difficult to watch what people in his own party are doing to him because he is Mormon or “not conservative enough.” Baloney.

    The damage that has been done to the republican brand by the infighting is serious. We are likely to have zero chance in 2012 of defeating Obama as a result. There is no one…no one…who can touch Mitt Romney’s leadership. He is close to Ronald Reagan in my book. We so very much need his business leadership and positive energy.

    I love Christ more than the institutions called churches. I’ll let Him sort out who is right and who is wrong. In the meantime, I strongly support Mitt Romney and plan to send a large contribution to his campaign. I hope you Pharisees don’t give Obama another 4 years, but it appears that will happen because conservatives can’t come together.

  12. Herbert Alden says:

    It is interesting that an Evangelical should not consider Mormonism a cult because there are many real Christian religions that consider Evangelicalism to be a cult. In fact, some of those religions think of Evangelicalism as not just a cult but a dangerous one.

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