Wednesday, December 9, 2015

on Mormonism as cult, cult-like or (better), "other"

From the CRJ on Mormonism...

Some take-aways and good, general principles from the article…

Anybody—whatever religion or denomination
can equate Christianity with morality and a works-based salvation; this is not a particularly-Mormon problem.

With anybody—but especially those with potentially different belief systems—be careful with terms and define terms as appropriate.

Survey data indicate that a significant percentage of Mormons hold to conventional views of the key doctrines of the Christian faith—independent of their church’s stated doctrines. So, one should always talk with an individual about his/her faith, rather than jumping to easy inferences about an individual based on their religious group affiliation

If you see (and advertise) your faith as the one true religion with special revelations, you shouldn’t be surprised (and I’m not sure you have room to complain) if/when others describe your group as a cult or cult-like—or your views as heretical. (See also: Church of Christ; Catholicism.)

“Cult” is a loaded and difficult-to-define term, so I’d avoid it. (Interestingly, the author says that Mormon leaders have used the term themselves, so that’s sure asking for some trouble!) In DC: Thoroughly Equipped, we describe them as a “special case”. 


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