The religion beat is generating plenty of election news lately, both locally and elsewhere.
Check out the York Daily Record religion page Thursday as my story this week touches on the many different ways local churches are responding to the presidential election.
After all, it is a big one.Nationally, I found this mounting controversy surrounding the great Billy Graham interesting. Of course, Graham has ties to York County, having preached here very early on in his career.
At issues is Graham’s recent endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the ensuing decision by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to remove language on its website calling Mormonism a “cult.”
The language was removed after the Oct. 11 meeting between the two men. Graham, nearly 94 and frail, pledged to “do all I can to help” Romney, according to a campaign aide.
The Religion News Service boiled down the issue: “Evangelicals berating Billy Graham is like Catholics dissing the pope. Through his world-crossing crusades and passionate preaching, the nearly 94-year-old evangelist has converted countless Christians and almost single-handedly ushered evangelicalism into the modern age.”
But Graham embracing Mormonism confirms conservative evangelicals’ worst fears about the 2012 election: That Romney’s rise would lift his Mormon church to cultural prominence and acceptance within mainstream Christianity.
Most evangelicals do not consider Mormons Christian because Latter-day Saints revere Joseph Smith as a prophet, consider the Book of Mormon on par with the Bible and conceive of the Christian Trinity as three separate gods. Mormons acknowledge those differences but insist they are Christians.
We’ll have to see how this one pans out. Thoughts? Is it time to drop the differences and consider Mormons as good Christians?