Southern Baptist Convention is a cult

Yesterday at the Values Voter Conference, Rick Perry was introduced by Pastor Robert Jeffress, who insisted we should only vote for a Christian conservative. In later remarks, he explained that while Mitt Romney is a moral person, he isn’t Christian. He stated that Mormonism does not follow historical Christianity, and so is a cult.

Let’s look at the history of Christianity, shall we?  Depending on which religion you ask, Catholicism was established somewhere between 33 AD and 400 AD.  There was no Protestant/evangelical movement for more than a thousand years.

Martin Luther tacked his protest theses up on the Church door in  1516 AD. John Calvin and the other Reformers soon followed.

The Baptist Church goes back to 1609 in the Netherlands, with John Smyth, a Separatist as its first pastor.  Centuries later, over slavery, the Southern Baptist Convention broke away from the American Baptist Church. They chose enslaving blacks, and used the Bible to justify slavery.  This occurred in 1845.

1845.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began in 1830.  We have a longer history of being a Christian religion than the Southern Baptist Convention. It has a very short history. Even compared to Catholicism, the Baptist movement has virtually no history.  It is as much a Christian cult as Mormonism is!

I think scholar Harold Bloom described the Southern Baptist Convention best when he said they are the “Know Nothing” Christians.  And, now we find they are also a cult!

45 thoughts on “Southern Baptist Convention is a cult

  1. As Latter-day Saint’s I think we’re pretty clear about how we feel about other churches with the 11th Article of Faith. I just wish everyone would give us the same latitude. I thought Perry’s response to the pastor was lame as well.

  2. Makes you wonder what kind of “values” this Voters Values Summit supports if they have all sorts of people who bash others on their schedule. Not impressed at all.

  3. Mitt Romney even showing up to this thing is like Obama showing up to an event where people from the KKK are speaking. I understand why he feels he has to be there, but I really wish he would state, “I’m not going to share a stage with bigots and bozos–these specific individuals need to be uninvited, or I’m not coming.”

    I don’t like to use the term un-American, but I think it applies here. People who believe that only people from certain religions deserve First Amendment rights are as un-American as it gets.

  4. Jeffress calling Mormonism a cult is nothing new. I attended a private Southern Baptist college which held a “cult week” every fall to assist students in their witnessing. Their values are basically the same. In transferring from BYU, the only difference in the Code of Conduct was that no dancing was allowed on the Southern Baptist campus. As far as bigotry, I’ve seen just as much from Mormons, and labeling an entire religion “bigots”, “bozos” and “un-American” hardly sets a Christian example.

  5. Mitt Romney even showing up to this thing is like Obama showing up to an event where people from the KKK are speaking. I understand why he feels he has to be there, but I really wish he would state, “I’m not going to share a stage with bigots and bozos–these specific individuals need to be uninvited, or I’m not coming.”

    He would never say that because he values becoming President over everything he believes and feel, and he needs these bigots to do it.

    These are the people you have to get in bed with, they’ll pretend to like you while you hand over money and volunteers to help them reach their goals, but they’re just using you and sneering at you behind your back (or up on stage with this guy).

  6. How very generous of you, Jjohnson, to give us an example of your mind reading properties. I’m sure we all feel a lot better knowing that you know how to divine Mitt Romney’s motives.

    Forgive me if I don’t trust in your abilities.

  7. Molly, I’m not labeling an entire religion bigots, bozos, and un-American. Please re-read my comment. As far as I know, there were only two individuals who spoke there that deserve the label “bigots and bozos” and only one that I’d call “un-American.” Anyone who says that the Bill of Rights only applies to Christians–and by the way, who doesn’t consider Mormonism to be part of Christianity–deserves the label “un-American.”

    And I agree that Mitt Romney standing up for himself by refusing to attend would not be a smart political move.

  8. Politics makes for strange bedfellows. On the left, Michael Moore, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are considerably worse than these Southern Baptist bozos, but the left has no problem hob-nobbing with them. Personally, I couldn’t do it, but I understand that winning political coalitions involve forming alliances with objectionable people. So I have no problem with Mitt Romney going to this summit. If he becomes president, he will have to deal with Values Voter-type people literally all the time, so he should get to know them. Who knows, maybe he could change some minds in the process (not among the leadership, but perhaps among some of their supporters).

    The way you deal with bigotry in a republic is to point it out and to shine a light on it so that the bigots have their views examined. Once people see that such views are hateful and shameful, the bigots will get less support and become more irrelevant. I would point out that even people who don’t like Mitt Romney’s politics have pointed out that this type of behavior increases their sympathy for him.

  9. How very generous of you, Jjohnson, to give us an example of your mind reading properties. I’m sure we all feel a lot better knowing that you know how to divine Mitt Romney’s motives.

    Look at every move he’s made, including saying there have been no prophets that have talked to God since Moses, and there’s no need for mind reading to know he will change every thing he believes to get the Presidency. Don’t trust my mind-reading abilities, how about your ability to read?

    ‘I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose.’ -Mitt
    ‘I never really called myself pro-choice.’ -Mitt

    ‘I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life.’-Mitt
    ‘Any description of my being a hunter is an overstatement of capability.’ -Mitt

    ‘The all-Democrat stimulus that was passed in early 2009 will accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery…’-Mitt
    ‘The all-Democrat stimulus passed in early 2009 has been a failure.’-Mitt

    ‘I’m going to take burdens off the back of the auto industry.’-Mitt
    ‘Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.’ Mitt

    ‘I don’t line up with the NRA.’ -Mitt
    ‘I’m a member of the NRA’-Mitt

    ‘If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing it (healthcare), then that will be a model for the nation.’-Mitt
    ‘What works in one state may not be the answer for another.’-Mitt

    ‘It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.’-Mitt
    ‘I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there.’ -Mitt

    I can go on and on. Gay rights, abortion, government stimulus and healthcare, etc. etc. etc. I don’t need to be a mind-reader to know he will bow down to these people that hate him and his religion, because he’s made it very clear that he is willing to change every thing he’s ever believed to get the White House. I totally believe that if he had decided to be the Huntsman of this race, he’d be reversing many of those positions once again.

    Sure you could say he changed everything he believed to become a Governor, and now this is the “real” Mitt, but is that any better? He will bow, and pat these people on the back, and say everything they want to hear.

    Mitt Romney even showing up to this thing is like Obama showing up to an event where people from the KKK are speaking.</blockquote
    Exactly. He should do what some here have suggested and refuse to acknowledge these people without throwing their bigotry in the light. But he won't.

  10. The Bryan Fischer quote from Youtube: “One evidence that [the Founding Fathers] were not dealing … they weren’t even intending to deal with non-Christian religions is what they did with Mormonism in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Mormonism – they call themselves by the name of Christ, but it is not an orthodox Christian network of churches, it just is not. Mormonism is not an orthodox Christian faith. It just is not. They have a different Gospel, they have a completely different definition of who Christ is and so forth, I mean, the list could be multiplied endlessly. And it was very clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths…”

  11. And it was very clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths…”

    Wow. That guy is a real winner.

  12. I know it is not part of the political paradigm for some people, but it is worth pointing out that Mitt Romney did directly condemn Fischer at the event:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65486.html

    “Rather than answering Jeffress directly, Romney came to the summit on Saturday and rebuked another hardline social conservative: Bryan Fischer, a controversial official at the American Family Association who has disparaged Mormonism, as well as homosexuality, Islam and more.

    “We should remember that decency and civility are values too,” Romney said Saturday. “One of the speakers who will follow me today has crossed that line, I think. Poisonous language doesn’t advance our cause.”

  13. It seems to me like Huntsman has as much religious education as Richard Dawkins. It is inevitable that Huntsman will comment because politics is politics, but I would hope more people than less will realize he carries little weight in that category.

  14. Jjohnsen, there was nothing behind my comment on Huntsman. I was mostly trying to make a lame joke. I don’t know of any time that Huntsman has commented on Romney’s religion and vice versa. Perhaps somebody can come up with something, but I haven’t heard it.

    Huntsman’s religion is between him and people who have authority over him (his wife, bishop, stake prez, etc). I could care less, and I don’t have any authority over him, so it’s none of my business.

    I do have many problems with Huntsman as a Republican candidate, but I also have problems with nearly every candidate, except for Gary Johnson and Ron Paul. Huntsman would be better than Santorum and Bachmann and Perry and Gingrich. Not sure yet about Cain. I would prefer Romney to Huntsman, but not by a huge margin.

  15. I know many Southern Baptist pastors who also think the Roman Catholic Church is the great whore of all the earth mentioned in Revelation. What a sad commentary on a group that profess to have a connection to “historic Christianity.”

    That they base all this on creeds, rather than the Bible just makes things worse for them. Among Protestants/evangelicals there are major disagreements on key doctrines: is baptism required? faith without works? free will or predestination?

    These are issues directly discussed in the scripture, and yet it is okay to disagree and still consider each other Christian? I just do not understand. And don’t forget, Southern Baptists used to be a cult, or a breakaway from the main Baptist group. They supported slavery for decades, and then supported Jim Crow laws. Now these pastors have adjusted their sites to new groups they can hate: such as Mormons.

    How tragic. You’d think they could study the part of the Bible that says we should love one another and not judge, or be in danger of hell fire.

  16. Romney’s campaign should be smiling and high-fiving after the Jeffress comment and the marginally increased interest Romney’s Fischer comment then got. Talk about setting up a great straw-man. Taking pot shots a obviously bigoted leaders is great TV and allows the serious religious issues some people have to be partially answered without offending many at all. Now if only Rev. Wright or some crazy polygamist would get a lot of air time attacking Romney he would really be set. One can only hope.

  17. Have you read the Getreligion coverage of this? They are pretty much defending the guy. Makes me disgusted by a blog I usually enjoy.

  18. Huntsman’s a very rare kind of politician–a non-extremist who says it how it is.

    I’d like to point out that several news outlets have interviewed Jeffress, including Fox, MSNBC, and CNN. I’ll let you figure out which one threw him softballs and which ones at least tried to do a decent job at giving him hard questions.

  19. I saw Jeffress on Hard Ball. Chris Matthews tossed him some cotton balls!

    However, on the discussion at Morning Joe, they were hard on Jeffress. So, I guess it balances overall.

    Most of the discussions I heard had Christian leaders disagreeing with Jeffress and stating Mormonism is not a cult.

  20. If you thought Chris Matthews tossed him some cotton balls, you should’ve seen Jeffress on Fox…

  21. How about both are cults, not that one needs to be all snarky about it. Luther had some pretty serious objections to the Roman church of his day. Are you so sure about any of the denominations since then?

  22. First I will start by saying I am Christian. That’s where my religious description ends. The simple fact is the bible is Gods word and the final authority. It is up to each person individually to make sure your life and beliefs nest within the bible. Those who do are Christians. In the bible “the church” referred to a body of believers in Christ. Not a denomination. We can split hairs all day about nit picky things of the bible but it is clear on the nature and being of God and salvation. Paul is constantly reminding Corinth to guard against false teaching and doctrine (also in other letters in the bible). That being said I grew up Mormon and am no longer Mormon. There are key differences between God in the bible and the god of Mormons. God is spirit, eternal and always has been God. The salvation of the bible is different than the salvation of Mormons. The bible teaches salvation by grace through faith apart from works. The Christian history has its skeletons in the Crusades and justifying slavery but before you get on your soap box remember the Mormons have Mountain Meadows, blood atonement and persecution of blacks. I challenge you to read the words of Brigham Young on blacks and the priesthood or blood atonement. They can all be found in the journal of discourses. Beyond that misnomer have taught extra biblical teachings such as eternal marriage, 3 degrees of glory and man can become a god which in and of itself defies the many times God said He alone is God and there is no other (Isaiah 40-45 illustrates this well). Finally the denial of Christ being God which is taught in the bible. John 1 and Isaiah 9 teach this. When it comes down to it there ate many many differences between biblical Christianity and Mormonism. I would challenge each Mormon to look at your original historical documents. Read the changes to the Book of Mormon. Read the Journal of Discourses. The divide between the Bible and Mormonism is greater than you realize.

    There are bigots and idiots on both sides. You can’t judge a group based in 1 or 2 but you can judge a faith based on their teachings. If I changed the Book of Mormon and added my own revealed volumes of scripture would you consider me Mormon? Do you consider the RLDS or any of the 162 splinter sects of Mormonism Mormon even though they use the Book of Mormon? Same principle applies here.

  23. Jon,

    To quote the Journal of Discourses, talks that were given over a century ago, is like insisting we listen to quotes from Southern Baptist ministers from 1850, insisting that they are doing God’s will be enslaving blacks. Do you really want to go there?
    If you go to the Church’s official news/media area, under Approaching Mormon Doctrine, you will see the Church’s official stance on things. Not everything said by Mormon prophets and apostles are doctrine. Only what is found in the scriptures and official declarations that are still used are accepted. And then, not all of it is core doctrine.
    As for changes, I suggest you read some of the books written by Professor Bart Ehrmann, a New Testament scholar. He shows that among the pre-printing press copies of the New Testament that are available, there are more differences than there are words in the New Testament! True, most are minor, but there are enough major differences to show that your claims of an ineffable Bible are silly at best. It is an inspired book, not a perfect one. The problems you see in the changes in the BoM can be used on the Bible, as well.
    Mormons believe that Jesus is God. We believe in the Godhead. We believe much of what is found in the Nicene Creed, although not all. And the things we do not agree upon are things that many early Christians also believed similarly to LDS teachings today. Origen and Eusebius of Caesarea both believed God the Father and Jesus Christ were separate beings – both Gods, with Jesus being subordinate to the Father.

    Your Protestant roots are showing, when you believe there was no organized early Church. Try listening to Bible scholars more and a little less to indoctrinated Protestant pastors. You may actually learn something about the Bible.

    As for Isaiah saying there has not been a God before Yahweh and will not be one after him, you are reading it from a modern Protestant view, and not from the original intent of Isaiah.
    Early Hebrews believed in a pantheon of divine beings in heaven: El and his 70 sons. El divided up the known world to his 70 sons, with Yahweh being given Israel. The Canaanites began with the Sea God of Chaos, Yam. Later, he was overthrown and replaced by Baal. Yahweh was telling Israel that unlike the gods in Canaan, he didn’t replace any gods, nor would he ever be replaced by another.

    I suggest that all Christians would do well not to judge other denominations, especially from a perspective of the Bible that is not historically correct. Don’t forget, the Protestant religions really do not have a history when compared with Catholicism or Eastern Orthodox. The SBC began 15 years after Mormonism officially began, so it virtually is a new religion. Catholic history is no more Protestant history as it is Mormon history. We both accept teachings from early Christian Fathers. Many of the early beliefs we both agree with, some we disagree, but it is because we follow different early teachings.
    Mormons are not a cult, and we are Christian. We are no more a cult than the Protestants, and we are just as Christian if you take the definition from the Bible and not from the creeds.

  24. “As far as bigotry, I’ve seen just as much from Mormons…”

    This has certainly not been my experience. There is a noticable difference in the last 5 or so decades between Mormons and Evangelicals when it comes to bigotry towards other religions.

    “…and labeling an entire religion “bigots”, “bozos” and “un-American” hardly sets a Christian example.”

    You’re right, of course. We should stick to the facts on this. It’s pretty well known via tons of studies that about 1/3 of Evangelicals are out right bigots and the other 2/3rds are not. However, that 2/3rds are guilty of not standing up to the 1/3 due to maybe a bit too much sympathy to that point of view.

  25. In Joseph Smith History. All other churches are an abomination:

    19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all awrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those bprofessors were all ccorrupt; that: “they ddraw near to me with their lips, but their ehearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the fcommandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the gpower thereof.”

  26. You read that wrong. The Churches are wrong, but it is the creeds which are an abomination.

    What creeds? How about Limited Atonement? Pre-destination instead of free will? Saved once, saved forever? Cheap grace?

    I could go on about very bad creeds that do not save people, but lead them to an outward veneer of godliness, but not really teaching Christians how to truly be saints.

    Many traditional Christians would agree with me on the problems related to such creeds. They are an abomination, because they keep people from repenting every day, from growing in faith, from developing charity, from believing that God sent his only begotten Son to save the world, and not just a select few.

    And because the churches in Joseph’s area believed such creeds, they were all wrong.

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