Archive for the ‘Cult Apologetics’ Category

As some of you know, I have spent the past year working on my MA in Religion through Liberty Seminary.  I’m an online student, so I haven’t had to visit the campus.  But I graduate this May, and Liberty makes no distinction between online and traditional students.  Thus, my commencement is exactly the same as all of Liberty’s traditional students.

In terms of the quality of education, I have no qualms with Liberty.  In fact, I’ve greatly enjoyed my experience.  I’m three weeks away from having an MA that has equipped me to study and interpret the Bible, which is what I desired from the program.  I’m also prepared for further theological study.  Overall, I like Liberty, I’m glad I opted for this program.

With that said, Liberty has invited Gov. Mitt Romney to be its commencement speaker.  I may or may not vote for Romney.  I like some of his policies, but don’t like others, so I’m really up in the air toward Romney politically speaking.

But in terms of religion, Romney and I are worlds apart.  Mormonism takes certain Christian doctrines, redefines them, and comes up with an entirely new system.  In this non-pejorative sense, Mormonism is a cult.  Historic Christianity and Mormonism are in sharp contradiction to one another.  If you want examples, a few differences are in regard to the fundamental nature of God, Trinitarian theology, the person and work of Christ, the nature of eternity, the number of gods in existence, the possibility of becoming a god, the relationship of Jesus to Lucifer, the role of women throughout eternity, etc…

These are not just subtle differences.  Several of them are compromises on key doctrines upon which Christianity cannot compromise without ceasing to be Christianity.

This matters because Liberty is an explicitly Evangelical institution.  Liberty aims to “train champions for Christ.”  Liberty’s seminary, the school of which I am a part, has a statement of faith that students must be in “substantial agreement” with in order to enroll.  This “substantial agreement” excludes Mormon teaching that compromises historic Christianity.

When Liberty teaches in its apologetics classes that Mormonism is a cult (and it does), and the purpose of the institution is explicitly to train champions for Christ, what is one to think when they invite a Mormon to commission thousands of future pastors, teachers, church leaders, and Christian leaders in other fields?

We could think that Mormonism is an acceptable expression of Christianity, but it is not.  Liberty itself teaches that it is not.  Thus, we might suppose that Mitt Romney is a presidential candidate who needs to consolidate the GOP base, especially among Evangelicals who, quite honestly, don’t like him.  This seems to be the case.

Liberty is selling out to political clout.  They obviously don’t really care about upholding the historic Christian faith as much as they do about helping the GOP win.  The martyrs I learned about in my church history class would have never been martyred had they taken Liberty’s approach.  Just sell out to the powers that be, do whatever it takes to pander to the influential people.  Principle is obviously not as important as power.

It is outright hypocrisy for Liberty to teach that Mormonism is a cult to its seminary students, but to have these same students commissioned into future ministry by a member of said cult.  It is hypocrisy to teach about the cost of following Christ when the example Liberty sets is one of pandering for power. It is hypocrisy to hold your seminary students to a higher standard than that to which you hold yourselves.

If I invited a Mormon to address students graduating from my church youth group, I could be reprimanded by Liberty for that action.  It could be seen as violating the personal conduct standard and doctrinal statement to which I agreed.  In fact, I have some fear that I will be reprimanded for writing this.

But my professors at Liberty have taught me about not compromising the Gospel, regardless of the cost.  Liberty would do well to listen to its own theology professors in this matter.



P.S.  – I already know many students who have decided not to attend commencement because of this matter.  I myself will not be attending, I had actually conditionally made this decision prior to the announcement about Romney.  The condition was who the commencement speaker might be.  Liberty is obviously unconcerned about politicizing upon the accomplishments of its students such that it discourages their participation.