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For week ended October 03, 1999 Posted 10 Oct 1999

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Christian group calls Mormons cult church

Summarized by Gregor McHardy

Christian group calls Mormons cult church
Billings MT Gazette 30Sep99 N4
By Susan Olp: Gazette Staff

It seems that the power of Satan is always unleashed after a great, spiritual manifestation. It will most certainly follow the dedication of the Billings, Montana temple, for on October 23 a four-day seminar on cults (including prominently the LDS Church) will take place in a local church.

The Cult Awareness Impact Crusade presented by Watchman Fellowship Inc. says "We are out to first of all educate the community, and to equip the Church and evangelize the cults. We try to do this in a spirit of love. This is a free country, and everyone can believe what they want. But sometimes groups don't tell you the context of the information that they give to their prospective members."

However, not all local ministries are excited about the crusade. The Rev. David Dickbernd wrote a letter to the organizers of the crusade. "I want you to know that I respect your right not to be a Mormon," he wrote. "I am not a Mormon, either. I respect your right to disagree with some Mormon doctrines. I do, too....But, Sir, I do not respect your right to label them as a cult simply because they do not agree with your personal theological position. The word cult, itself, is a pejorative term and should be used very carefully." After pointing out that cults are marked by brainwashing, the deification of a living man, and other such practices, he continued "Certainly, Sir, if you are even remotely intellectually honest, you know that these characteristics of a cult are not true of the Mormons."

The Watchman Fellowship disagrees, saying that a cult is "a counterfeit or serious deviation from the doctrines of classical Christianity. In most cases the group claims to be Christian, but because of their aberrant beliefs on central doctrines of the faith (God, Jesus, and salvation), the organization is not considered by Watchman Fellowship to be part of orthodox biblical Christianity."

Dave Hein, a local spokesman for the LDS church, said he was aware of the crusade but wasn't worried that the crusade would affect the LDS church, but was more concerned about the division it might cause within the Christian community.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information