Christian or Cult?

Two days ago, this editor received a handsome little card from two high-school-aged boys in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Stopping their bicycles, the necktie-clad boys politely asked, "Sir, may I offer you a free video about having a more loving family?" Curious, I agreed and was handed a portrait-sized photo of a smiling clan of four. On the reverse side, the card invited me to call a toll-free number to receive "a free family video...filled with ideas to strengthen your family." In response, I thanked them and invited them to this Web page to review this analysis of their church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), or Mormons.

According to Michael J. Davis, Professor of Medical Physiology at Texas A&M University and a former Mormon, "The LDS church has recently exerted great effort to portray itself as a Christian denomination," a departure from past positioning. Part of the success of this campaign shows in its wide reputation as a family-oriented, highly moral organization. However, as Davis and many others who appeal to orthodox/biblical Christianity, this "Church of Jesus Christ" believes a different gospel about an imposter Jesus. Is Mormon doctrine, as it claims about itself, a more current revelation of "the restored gospel" than the Bible? What account can adherents give for the myriad claims of conflicting statements and teachings among its sacred documents--especially the "standard works"? Is it a cult and how does one distinguish between cults and biblical Christianity? Aren't those who ask such questions, as Mormons say, unkind and out of line?

Please peruse these resources--including testimonies of those who rejected the Mormon Church and teachings--in our Special Focus and make up your own mind.

—Byron Barlowe, Editor/Webmaster, Leadership University

Feature Articles:

Is Mormonism Christian?
Professor Michael J. Davis
In this series of articles about Mormonism, a Christian professor explains the faith from his perspective as an ex-Mormon. It compares and contrasts essential Mormon and Christian doctrines.

World Religions Index
Do all religions point to the same truth? Do all religions lead to God? Are there many paths to heaven? This site offers a comparison of major world religions and religious philosophies. This link takes you to the Mormonism section of a chart containing its major tenets.

Mormon Beliefs about the Bible and Salvation
Russ Wise
Examines Mormon doctrine about the Bible, Mormon scriptures, and salvation.

Mormon Beliefs about Prophecy, Heaven, and Celestial Marriage
Russ Wise
Demonstrates some ways in which Mormonism cannot be true because of false prophecies. Also examines their beliefs about three levels of heaven, and the concept of being married for eternity, even though scripture contradicts these doctrines.

Is Mormonism Christian?
Richard John Neuhaus
That is not the only interesting question, but it is probably the most important. Most non-Mormons have little occasion to think about Mormonism, and those who do tend toward distinctly negative thoughts. Although there is this curious thing of recent years that many conservative Christians warmly welcome Mormons as allies in various cultural tasks.

Personal Stories:

My Testimony
Randy Koonce
The story of a man who came out of a Mormon background to faith in the biblical Christ.

Saved While on a Mormon Mission
Christopher Nyman
The story of someone coming out of a Mormon background.

Related Articles:

Rich McGee
What is a cult, and how is it different from a religious group? This article seeks to answer this and discuss what the cults believe and what it is that motivates people to enter these groups.

Do All Paths Lead to the Same Destination?
Keith E. Johnson
Do all religions point to the same truth? Do all religions lead to God? Are there many paths to heaven? This site offers a comparison of major world religions and religious philosophies.
[Spanish Version]

We would love to get your feedback on this special focus. Please tell us what you think.

Go here to see our past Special Focus features.