JERRY FALWELL, JR: LIBERTY UNIVERSITY "NO OFFICIAL POSITION" ON CULT OF MORMONISM

Yesterday in Liberty University, Mitt Romney, And Mormonism here at Apprising Ministries I reminded you of a mini-flap when it was announced that Mitt Romney, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) was to address Liberty University (LU) graduates at the 2012 Commencement ceremony.

If you didn’t know, Romney did so this past Saturday, May 12. As far as the contention is concerned, CNN reporters Dan Merica and Laura Bernardini told us in their April 23rd story Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students, it erupted on LU’s Facebook page.

The announcement was eventually taken down. Merica and Bernardini filled us in on the other side of the story courtesy of “Janet Loeffler, a 53-year old freshman at Liberty who takes classes online.” According to Loeffler, “a frequent poster to the Facebook page,” it:

was the statement about online students familiarity with Liberty’s traditions that she says deeply offended her. “It is just a complete lie. You cannot get through your first semester at Liberty Online without taking their Theology 101 and Apologetics 101,” Loeffler said.

Loeffler provided CNN with a copy of the page in the freshman textbook “The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics” which includes a number of passages on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called Mormons. “Mormon doctrine stands in stark contrast to Jewish and Christian monotheism,” reads the passage, “which teaches that there is only one true God and that every other ‘God’ is a false god.”

Liberty’s handling of the situation “has very much altered my thinking of Liberty,” Loeffler said. “I haven’t registered for my fall classes yet because of it. I am offended that they would talk to us like that, telling us that we just don’t understand.”

Many of the anti-Liberty comments, including Loeffler’s charged that Mormonism goes against the teachings of the school and claimed that the religion is a cult. (source)

Well, the LU students are correct; Mormonism was classified as a non-Christian cult many, many years ago. However, responding in an interview yesterday morning on CNN with Kyra Phillips, apparently this is still open for discussion at LU according to Jerry Falwell, Jr., president and chancellor of Liberty University.

Near the end of the interview below you’ll hear Phillips remind Falwell, Jr. that he’d mentioned “some of the students that were protesting this commencement speech” Romney would deliver. Then she tells Falwell, Jr. that:

I was reading through the Facebook petitions and even one student cited your own theology course there at Liberty that labels Mormonism a cult. What’s your response to that and the fact there were a number of students that came forward and said this shouldn’t be happening and this is not what Liberty preaches when it comes to Mormon religion? (source)

LU president and chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr’s reply is rather curious being that Liberty University is reputed to be “the world’s largest” evangelical Christian university “in the world,” which he happened to manage to work in a couple of times in these seven+ minutes:

Liberty has no official position on Mormonism. Our statement does not define Mormonism as a cult. There are hundreds of professors here and I’m sure you could find someone like the professor who authored that course that you just mentioned. I’m sure there are some that believe it is a cult. That’s not part of our doctrinal position and not our official position. (source)

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End notes:

[1] You can see the CNN interview in its entirety here.

See also:

MORMONISM DECLARED WAR ON CHRISTIANITY

THE “JESUS” OF MORMONISM ALA GLENN BECK

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS VS. THE GOSPEL