It is a week before our elections, and as a Christian, I’d like to address an issue that many conservative Christians face in voting in this particular cycle. That issue is whether we as Christians can in good conscience vote for someone who is a Mormon. I know that this is a serious “hot-button” issue for us. Therefore to the best of my abilities I want to try to speak to it.
If I were helping to choose a pastor or staff member for a church, there is no way in the world that I would ever choose a person who embraces Mormonism for that post. To be honest, neither of the main stream candidates would meet the Biblical requirements to be an equipper in a church. Governor Romney embraces the error of Mormon theology, and President Obama embraces the error of Liberation theology. The fact though, is that I am not choosing a man to lead me spiritually. I am making a choice as to who will give political leadership to our nation for the next four years.
I find it unfortunate that those of us who are conservative, Bible-believing Christians do not have a choice of a candidate whose life manifests the fruit of someone who has come to faith in Jesus Christ. But if I were honest, I would have to admit it has been a very long time since either candidate of either party would measure up to such a test. So, let’s be honest and admit that we’ve not had an evangelical, Bible-believing president (or a presidential candidate from a either party) for several decades. That may offend some people – but I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb to assert such a thing. So if we are truthful with each other, we will have to admit that we’ve been making a choice to elect men who are not evangelical Christians for quite a while. It is only because this is the first time we’ve had to choose someone who doesn’t even assent to being a Christian, in the classic sense, that we are struggling with these issues now. I’ll go ahead and say it so that we don’t have to tip-toe around the issue. I believe Mormonism to be a cult according to their beliefs about Biblical authority, the person of Christ, and the issue of the nature of salvation. Therefore Governor Romney, the Republican candidate for President, is a cult member if he believes basic Mormon theology. Does that mean that we cannot vote for him for this office?
I wish I could give a straight up or down statement to that question. The reason I cannot is because of what I believe to be serious issues of righteousness that have to be answered by “both” candidates. What I refer to is two primary issues that MUST be answered by Governor Romney and President Obama. These issues are abortion and how we view homosexuality in our governing laws. Let me address both issues according to what both candidates have said.
President Obama supports abortion on demand for the entire 9 months of pregnancy. He has supported the view that there should be absolutely no restrictions on receiving this procedure. While serving the government in Illinois he also refused three times to support the “Born Alive” amendment which allowed medical staff to care for a baby born alive after a failed abortion. Thus if a live baby was born after a failed abortion, his choice was to let it die. This is no longer abortion – it is infanticide. The President’s signature legislation, nicknamed “Obamacare” supports government funding of abortion – and has even demanded that religious organizations cover this option in their healthcare insurance.
Governor Romney’s position is what I call, kinda pro-life. I say this because he has not always had a pro-life public stance on this issue. While running for governor in 2002 Romney said he supported abortion rights. He said the following, "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose,"
Romney said during a debate against his Democratic opponent Shannon O'Brien. "I am not going to change our pro-choice laws in Massachusetts in any way. I am not going to make any changes which would make it more difficult for a woman to make that choice herself."
During his term as governor Romney, vetoed a bill in 2005 that would expand access to emergency contraception. In an op-ed explaining his veto he wrote that he was "pro-life." "While I do not favor abortion, I will not change the state's abortion laws," Romney wrote.
Six years later, amid is second presidential bid, Romney clarified his current anti-abortion stance, writing in a National Journal op-ed that he supports overturning Roe v. Wade and defunding Planned Parenthood. "If I have the opportunity to serve as our nation's next president, I commit to doing everything in my power to cultivate, promote, and support a culture of life in America," Romney wrote.
With this as the backdrop for our choice, we know the following things. President Obama is and has always been pro-abortion or pro-choice, however you choose to phrase that view. Governor Romney, although pro-abortion/pro-choice in 2002, has changed his view to be pro-life after 2005. The troubling aspect to Romney’s position is that he has never acted in a way that would restrict abortion or change abortion laws while he was in a position of power to do so. But, when comparing the two, we are left with only one candidate who at least will entertain a pro-life stance. That is Governor Romney.
What I believe to be the second major issue concerning “biblical righteousness” is homosexuality. What concerns me is that the current trend in the United States is for both candidates to court the homosexual vote by their statements. Both support having homosexuals openly serve in the United States military. Romney has back-tracked on this somewhat during the campaign, but has not stood firm enough for one to think he will act on the issue. President Obama stands solidly in favor not only of homosexuals serving openly in the military – but has also repeatedly supported redefining marriage to include homosexual couples. Governor Romney has consistently opposed redefining marriage in this way.
With these views as the backdrop once again for our choice, we know that President Obama will support homosexual marriage. Governor Romney has consistently opposed homosexual marriage.
So, in answer to the question, “Can a Christian vote for a Mormon for President.” My answer is, “Yes.” One can do so if the opposing candidate’s views on important views are wrong – and the Mormon candidate’s views are better. In that case it is my view that the Christian should support whoever has a better stand on issues.
Let me engage in a gut-level honesty with you at this point. Ever since I first voted for Ronald Reagan in the 80’s I’ve not enjoyed voting as a believer. Those first two presidential elections were ones in which I boldly cast my vote for a candidate whose views were very much in agreement with my Christian beliefs. Since that time, beginning in 1988, I’ve had to hold my nose as I voted. I’ve wished for years that there was a choice of “None of the Above” which would send both parties back to the drawing board to give us a better candidate. Politics is too often about compromise – and I cannot compromise on either abortion or homosexual marriage. They are both wrong. God has grace for those who repent – just as He gave me grace for my sins. But the truth is I cannot embrace either position in a candidate. Over the years I’ve watched both parties try as hard as they can to vehemently embrace the middle. That has made voting even more complicated – and difficult. Yet, in desiring to be a good and godly citizen I’ve had to choose the candidate who is closer to what I believe to be godly views on these matters. It is my hope that God’s views of righteousness, as given by His unchanging Word, will help you as well to make an informed choice in a few days. I do not envy you in this task – but I pray that God will guide you.
NOTE: I will do a follow-up article later this week entitled, “Where Are You Looking for Salvation?”
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