What's In A Name?
Ever since Mitt Romney has been a candidate for national political office (do I really have to say which one?), there's been serious noise on the blogs about whether Mormonism is a "cult".
I think it's the silliest waste of time I have seen in a long, long time. And I am fully aware that some folks I admire and respect very much, have been involved in the ongoing banter. But, to me, it's still silly.
First, Mormonism is a Religion. I know. I looked up some definitions. Here are three:
1) "A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." I'd say so.
2) "A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects." Yup.
3) "The service and worship of God or the supernatural; commitment or devotion to a religious faith or observance." OK.
4) "A cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith." Right.
The big problem I see is that interpretations of "cult" vary. Ideological, sociological, what? And, besides, who cares? "Cult" seems to be pejorative, and do we really want to be insulting in our discussions about other peoples' faiths?
Oh, wait. There seems plenty of evidence that we do. We can't just tell the truth about our stuff, we have to insult theirs, too.
I don't get it.
Is Mormonism's view of God correct? No. Not in my opinion. I ain't worshiping their God. And "their Jesus"? He's not mine. Not the One I see in the Bible. No way. So as far as I am concerned, there's no way I can refer to Mormonism as a form of "Christianity". But it's a religion. I don't need to argue about whether it's a "cult".
It's just silly.