John Mark Reynolds posted “On America, land of cults,” leading off with this provocative statement: “An American cult is what happens when radical individualism meets religion and philosophy.” I was expecting the usual treatment when he got around to the Mormons, but was pleasantly surprised to read the following later in the post.
Overuse of the term “cult” in the public square sometimes substitutes for actual arguments with thoughtful dissenting groups. As a traditional Christian I have serious theological disagreements with my friends in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), but it is wrong to label them a cult. Any quick search will show LDS are willing to defend their views using arguments accessible to non-LDS. These arguments have changed under pressure from counter-arguments from non-LDS scholars and improved. I am not persuaded, to say the least, by these arguments, but LDS willingness to produce careful and responsive scholarship is a nearly infallible sign that they are no cult.
Thank you, Mr. Reynolds.