According Richard Mouw, who incredibly is the President of Fuller Theological Seminary, mormonism is not a cult. He bases this on what he describes as “a behind-closed-doors dialogue between about a dozen evangelicals and an equal number of our Mormon counterparts.”
Apparently he finds that mormonism is not as different as some of us, like those of us who actually were mormons, seem to think. From the CNN piece (emphasis added)…
So are Mormons Christians? For me, that’s a complicated question.Huh? How exactly can someone be a genuine follower of Jesus Christ if they misrepresent and frankly slander the very Person of Jesus Christ? A genuine follower of an idolatrous, blasphemous version of Jesus? Either the mormons Richard Mouw is speaking with don’t hold to the basic tenets of mormonism (which would mean they aren’t mormons) or Richard Mouw has a flawed understanding of Jesus Christ or, worst of all, he is so undiscerning and eager for compromise that he can’t tell adherents of pagan religion from genuine followers of Jesus Christ. Given that he is speaking with Robert Millett and others like him I can't believe the first explanation is possible.
My Mormon friends and I disagree on enough subjects that I am not prepared to say that their theology falls within the scope of historic Christian teaching. But the important thing is that we continue to talk about these things, and with increasing candor and mutual openness to correction….While I am not prepared to reclassify Mormonism as possessing undeniably Christian theology, I do accept many of my Mormon friends as genuine followers of the Jesus whom I worship as the divine Savior.
What gives Richard Mouw the right to accept as followers of Jesus Christ those who subscribe to a theological system that turns Christ into a created being that is part of a polytheistic faith? Being a seminary President doesn’t give you carte blanche to utter this sort of foolishness. His frequent public utterances undermine the Gospel witness of many Christians who try to evangelize mormons. People like Bill McKeever, Sandra Tanner and Aaron Shafovaloff are working daily to reach mormons with the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Richard Mouw has provided yet again ammunition for mormon apologists to undermine these efforts. They will say “look, this guy is a seminary President and he doesn’t think mormonism is a cult!”. That can only serve to hamper the Gospel witness of those who labor in this difficult field among the millions of lost individuals entrapped by the mormon cult.
It is embarrassing that a man who heads up a seminary is this ignorant of such a crucial issue, especially since he apparently spends a lot of time speaking with leading mormons. Perhaps he should have these conversations somewhere not behind closed doors where the issues being discussed can be exposed to the entire church rather than a secretive cabal of academics. I am awfully suspicious of conclusions reached outside of the view of the “little people” in the church. I would love to see the reaction of the president of a different seminary, namely Al Mohler, regarding the state of faithful mormons as genuine followers of Christ.
Not that he cares but I am publically calling Richard Mouw to repent of his support and approval of a pagan religion and a cult that entraps millions of people. As someone who has experienced first hand the cultic culture of mormonism and been exposed to the pagan practices of the mormon “temple” I can assure Mr. Mouw that for all of his study he has missed the mark by a mile. Paul had something to say about those who gave approval to those who were sinning…
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32 ESV)I would categorize the leadership of the mormon church as slanderers and haters of God and men like Joseph Smith as inventors of evil. Mr. Mouw gives approval to men who practice these things by declaring that many of them are “genuine” followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so he treads a very dangerous line. I sincerely hope and pray that faithful Christians around Richard Mouw likewise call him to repent and if he refuses take the appropriate disciplinary steps to restore him.