Would You Vote for a Mormon for President? (A Second Look)

votecountsThe essay below first appeared in September of 2007 in anticipation of the ‘08 election. This version is updated for 2011.

Would you vote for a Mormon for President? Under the right conditions, I would.

By now, the name Mitt Romney is at least vaguely familiar to most of us. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is running for President and is a Mormon. So far, his fund-raising efforts have been fruitful, and the discomfort of many Republicans with the alternatives has kept Romney in a strong position in the polls. Though his chances of being the Republican nominee are smaller now that Rick Perry has entered the race, an eventual Romney nomination is far from impossible.

Some pundits claim the Christian Right will never allow that to happen. In their view, evangelicals view Mormonism as a cult and anyone associated with Mormonism as an embodiment of evil. One pundit, who happens to be a Mormon, wrote the following:

Everyone knows that Christian evangelicals hate Mormons so badly that if they had to choose between a bribe-taking, FBI-file-stealing, relentless-lie-telling, mud-slinging former first lady, and a Mormon ex-governor who doesn’t lie, who’s still married to his first wife, and who supports the entire Christian evangelical agenda, they’d still rather die than vote for a Mormon.

Is he right? More importantly, should he be right? I for one would vote for the Mormon Romney over any liberal Democrat likely to seek office, and I’d do so with only brief hesitation. Before you brand me a nutcase or a heretic, consider the following factors behind my thinking.

Mormonism’s worldview derives from Christianity’s

Sometimes incomplete information is worse than no information at all. (What if you know the guy two seats away from you on an airplane has a gun, but you don’t know he is an Air Marshal?) But when it comes to the big ideas that form the framework of a person’s worldview, every bit of truth is powerful and important. Being partly right is far better than being entirely wrong.

So when it comes to running a country, a Mormon candidate is not even close to the worst-case scenario. Consider what most Mormons believe. They believe there is one God (at least only one that matters in this part of the universe). He is the creator and moral authority over the human race. Human beings ought to be honest, kind and just. We will answer to God at the judgment. In addition to these basics, Mormonism holds that the Bible is very important, that the traditional family is very important and that marriage is sacred.

In short, Mormonism shares with Christianity the belief in a mighty God who expects clean living from His creatures.

Gospel-believers understand that all other religions are false religions

All who believe the gospel see Mormonism as a false religion. As a Baptist and a fundamentalist, I share that view. Mormonism ultimately fails to deliver on its most fundamental promise: eternal life with God’s blessing. The Bible is clear that eternal life is available only through faith in the fully-God, fully-man Jesus Christ apart from any trust in our own works of righteousness. But the fact that Mormonism denies this truth doesn’t make it unusual. Every religion but Christianity denies it. By default, those who claim no religion deny it as well.

To some, Mormonism is particularly spooky because “it’s a cult.” But should we care one way or the other about the spookiness factor? What determines the eternal efficacy of any belief system is whether it holds to the biblical gospel of grace. Mormonism doesn’t, but that puts it on par with Council-of-Trent Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Judaism.

So if evangelicals can be comfortable with candidates who embrace the Judeo-Christian worldview, why can’t they back candidates with a Judeo-Christian-Mormon worldview? When it comes to the gospel, the only difference between Mormonism and many other false systems is that Mormonism hasn’t been around as long.

Do we really believe that a good works-based religion (“cult” if you like) that spun off Christianity and shares several of its tenets is worse than the liberalized versions of Baptist, Episcopal, or Catholic, which have a lower view of human life, a lower view of the institution of the family, a lower view of the Bible and an even murkier view of who God is?

In any case, given our highly specific understanding of what a true Christian is, it’s unlikely that we’ll have one to vote for in 2012. Just by the law of averages, most candidates for high office will not be persons with a genuine faith in the biblical gospel of grace.

Not all non-Christian belief systems are equal

Compare what Mormonism gets right to the belief systems of several other likely presidential candidates. Many candidates have a vaguely high regard for religion in general. That is, they believe that Christianity and faiths like it are helpful in driving people toward ideals like kindness, peace, fairness and love. But they do not hold that any religion is actually true in the sense of being factual in any exclusive way.

Some candidates speak often of God but believe in a God who is nonpersonal. (God is all that is good in the universe, or worse, simply all that is in the universe.) These also tend to believe that if God is a personal being, He has no moral or ethical requirements for the human race that He has gone to the trouble to reveal. These leaders are quite comfortable joining in prayers and public religious rituals but recoil in horror whenever a religion claims to posses exclusive truth about God or forgiveness. They do not believe the Bible can be a source of any kind of certainty about right and wrong in the world.

Such candidates are left with a purely pragmatic process for arriving at moral beliefs. What seems to be helpful? What seems to advance human civilization (as though “advance” could have any meaning without a moral authority to tell us which way is forward)? For the worst of the lot, the only moral calculation is “What seems to be the social trend?”

Though a Mormon’s beliefs ultimately derive from the “apostles” in Salt Lake City (limited somewhat by a synthesis of the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Bible), a Mormon believes right and wrong are revealed and did not evolve by chance through the clash of social forces.

The Mormon articles of faith uphold religious freedom and the independent authority of government

Anyone who grew up as I did is naturally apprehensive about the idea of a Mormon in the White House. Won’t he try to force everyone to become Mormon? Won’t he be under the control of the authorities in Salt Lake City? Will he try to weaken orthodox Christianity?

The Mormon articles of faith, and Mormons’ history of taking them seriously, should be reassuring. Article 11 maintains the freedom of individuals to “worship how, where, or what they may.” And Article 12 acknowledges the need to honor, obey and “be subject” to civil authority. Mormons believe Joseph Smith wrote these articles himself, and everything I’ve seen suggests Mormons take the articles as seriously as their well-known belief in the sanctity of the family.

Mormonism is also no longer monolithic. Because it’s been around for a while now and views individual revelation as an ongoing phenomenon, it has dissenters in its ranks. Unlike the followers of, say, the Watchtower Society, it’s not uncommon to hear Mormons offer mild criticism of their own church. Mormons are not brainwashed automatons, acting in lockstep with a secret puppet master in a Utah temple.

I’m not a fan of Mormonism and would prefer to have a non-Mormon president. I’d also love to live in an America that attaches much greater value to its Christian roots and in which a large majority prefers to have a Bible-believing Christian in the White House. But we don’t live in that America. So the question is, what kind of human being makes for a good president for the America we have here and now? We shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss any candidate who has a strongly Bible-influenced view of right and wrong.

As for this particular race, I’d love to see a Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio or Scott Walker jump into the race, then miraculously dominate and win the nomination. But if the ballot in 2012 is Romney vs. Obama, I think the choice is obvious.

[node:bio/aaron-blumer body]

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There are 77 Comments

jimcarwest's picture

I am surprised at the argument you make, Aaron, for voting for a Mormon. Mormons do NOT represent a Judeo-Christian worldview in spite of their hijacking the name of Jesus Christ for their movement Their view incorporates certain elements and buzz-words from both system, but in reality, Mormonism is neo-paganism. Their God is NOT the God of the Bible. He is a man who became a god just for this universe, and there are other universes with other gods. How is that Christian theology? Mormons are on a path of eternal progression toward becoming gods themselves. They baptize for the dead. How is that Christian baptism? Jesus Christ is the brother of Lucifer in Mormonism. In Mormonism, Jesus is not deity. The whole system parrots the organizational structure of the Masonic Lodge. We know that Mitt Romney believes this nonsense because he is an officer of the Church and has propagated these errors as a missionary of the Church. He holds to the Mormon's false theory relating to the early colonization of this country by lost tribes from Israel, who are the supposed ancestors of the American Indians. He believes in the angel Moroni who revealed the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith. He refused to condemn the polygamy of Smith and others. He believes that the Mormon Elders continue to provide revelation on a par with Scripture. He believes that the Bible we use has been corrupted, and that the Mormon Church was brought into existence because all other Christian Churches were in error. These are only some of the errors of Mormonism which Mitt Romney believes and propagates. It is for this reason that most evangelical Christians refuse to get behind his candidacy for President, and I am disappointed to know that you do not find Romney for President objectionable.

Robert Byers's picture

A Mormon? Possibly. Depends on his (or her) qualifications and convictions.

This particular Mormon? Not a chance in the world.

JNoël's picture

In the end, we all will (should) vote in the general election for one of two potential winners from the two dominant parties. In general, one party represents liberalism, which, fundamentally, is completely anti-God. In general, the other party represents non-liberalism. That non-liberalism will represent some quantity of traditional, conservative values, even if only a little. By default, this makes the choice for Christians obvious.

Despite what many believe, we are still a two party country. A vote for a third party is, at the very least, a throw-away vote; more significantly, often it is a vote for the lesser of the two dominant party "evils." I live in a state where our current governor was elected with a 35.9% vote. He represents a minority. Therefore, a majority of the state did not want him to be governor. That majority is now experiencing his policies in very negative ways.

Vote conscience in the primary. That is where you can truly choose the person who best represents your values. But don't throw away your general election voice by trying to make a statement in voting for a sure loser (third party candidate) or by voting against someone who happens to espouse a seemingly more insidious religion than the Catholic, Agnostic, or Atheist.

And then trust that God's sovereignty will continue to keep the world on the course He ultimately has planned for the ages.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

JobK's picture

Not voting is an option. I would happily exercise it. Before one makes the claim "you HAVE to vote for SOMEBODY" ... imagine a race where the Republican was Stalin, the Democrat was Hitler, the third party candidate was Mao Tse-Tung, and Idi Amin and Pol Pot were organizing write-in campaigns. And the down ballot candidates were Nimrod, Antiochus Epiphanes, Herod the Great ... you get the picture.

Martin Luther said better to be ruled by a wise Turk (Muslim) than a foolish Christian. But in a democracy (or our constitutional republic with democratic representation, as the originalists would say) where we get to choose our leaders, if presented with that choice - or any of a number of other bad ones - the best thing to do is to stay at home and allow the masses to follow their whim and folly.

Keeping in mind that it is God who chooses our leaders per Daniel 2:21 and other texts (including those that state that God set a particular pharaoh over Egypt at the time of the Exodus for the purpose of hardening his heart against letting Israel go so that God would judge Egypt for its crimes) makes this stance a practical application of Biblical principles. And in light of Proverbs 26:11, democracies will result in the masses choosing leaders according to the nature of unregenerate mob rule. So, God uses the passions of an electorate that really is no different from the pagans (or the faithless Israelis) oft depicted in the Old Testament - as human nature never changes, despite how the concept of "human progress" has become a religion in and of itself in this age - to install leaders of His choice to do His will, whatever that will may be for a particular leader and nation at any given time. Dictators, monarchs, democracies it does not matter ... Daniel 2:21 still applies. I suppose that it is not surprising, then, that Daniel 2:21 (and similar verses) is not a favorite among leaders of the religious right or left, and even more so when one of their ideological opponents gets elected.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

DavidO's picture

If the Christian Right can overlook drug use, adultery, and draft . . . circumnavigation, I'm sure a little Mormonism isn't going to choke anyone (except JobK who sneaked in while I was typing).

Jim's picture

Not telling anyone else how to vote! I will vote for the best choice offered on the ticket.

If it is Obama (the presumed Democratic candidate) and a mormon Republican candidate, I will vote for the mormon.

(Actually I really don't care much about the candidate's religion! I am having my car repaired today (fuel sending unit) and I don't know what the religion is of the guy repairing it. Same thing with the plumber, the electrician, etc. I want the best choice for the job that needs to be done)

JNoël's picture

[quote]Not voting is an option. I would happily exercise it. Before one makes the claim "you HAVE to vote for SOMEBODY" ... imagine a race where the Republican was Stalin, the Democrat was Hitler, the third party candidate was Mao Tse-Tung, and Idi Amin and Pol Pot were organizing write-in campaigns. And the down ballot candidates were Nimrod, Antiochus Epiphanes, Herod the Great ... you get the picture.

I agree with you. But we're far from there. I don't think anyone considers a Mormon to be in the same category as your list of oppressors. Rather, that Mormon, with his generally Judeo-Christian traditional ethic would be better than a post-modernist liberal.

Christian voting fascinates me. Why should we vote? Just how patriotic should we be? Since God is sovereign, why do we involve ourselves in the course of governments? Those and many other questions will be debated until Christ's Millennial Kingdom. For now, I'll vote in the primary for the best candidate, and I'll vote in the general election for the best possible winner.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Ron Bean's picture

What concerns me is Romney's acceptance of the bizarre doctrines of Mormonism.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

GScottJones's picture

Several good points have been made in this stream, the way I synthesize them is this: In a primary I will vote for a man who demonstrates the best combination of morals, workable policies, winability, and good judgment. In the general election the use of the same criterion makes the choice more clear. A Mormon candidate may score well in a few categories, but probably not well in winability, and, in my opinion, he has demonstrated terrible judgment by believing the "bizare" doctrines and the ludicrous historical assertions of his cult.

RPittman's picture

JNoël wrote:
In the end, we all will (should) vote in the general election for one of two potential winners from the two dominant parties. In general, one party represents liberalism, which, fundamentally, is completely anti-God. In general, the other party represents non-liberalism. That non-liberalism will represent some quantity of traditional, conservative values, even if only a little. By default, this makes the choice for Christians obvious.

Despite what many believe, we are still a two party country. A vote for a third party is, at the very least, a throw-away vote; more significantly, often it is a vote for the lesser of the two dominant party "evils." I live in a state where our current governor was elected with a 35.9% vote. He represents a minority. Therefore, a majority of the state did not want him to be governor. That majority is now experiencing his policies in very negative ways.

Vote conscience in the primary. That is where you can truly choose the person who best represents your values. But don't throw away your general election voice by trying to make a statement in voting for a sure loser (third party candidate) or by voting against someone who happens to espouse a seemingly more insidious religion than the Catholic, Agnostic, or Atheist.

And then trust that God's sovereignty will continue to keep the world on the course He ultimately has planned for the ages.

This is political shortsightedness and naivety. One should always vote his conscience. I would contend that voting for "the lesser of two evils" is a violation of conscience and principles. This argument is out of political pragmatism, not Christian principle. I remember Jesse Helms voting against things on principle when the vote was 99 to 1. By voting principle, the longer view is better served.

Political scientists, today, recognize that George Corly Wallace was one of the most influential political figures in the last half of the twentieth century, even more influential than most Presidents. His third party candidacy pulled both political parties to the right and forced them to modified their direction. Also, his candidacy set up a climate for the election of Ronald Reagan.

Jim's picture

Ron Bean wrote:
What concerns me is Romney's acceptance of the bizarre doctrines of Mormonism.

What concerns me is Obama's acceptance of the bizarre doctrines of Black liberation theology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah_Wright_controversy

Quote:
In a sermon delivered shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Wright made comments about an interview of former U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck he saw on Fox News. Wright said:

"I heard Ambassador Peck on an interview yesterday. Did anybody else see him or hear him? He was on Fox News. This is a white man, and he was upsetting the Fox News commentators to no end. He pointed out — did you see him, John? — a white man, he pointed out, ambassador, that what Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Muhammad was in fact true — America's chickens are coming home to roost."

Wright spoke of the United States taking land from the Indian tribes by what he labeled as terror, bombing Grenada, Panama, Libya, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and argued that the United States supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and South Africa. He said that his parishioners' response should be to examine their relationship with God, not go "from the hatred of armed enemies to the hatred of unarmed innocents." His comment (quoting Malcolm X) that "America's chickens are coming home to roost" was widely interpreted as meaning that America had brought the September 11, 2001 attacks upon itself.

ABC News broadcast clips from the sermon in which Wright said:

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye... and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

Later, Wright continued :

"Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that y'all, not a black militant. Not a reverend who preaches about racism. An ambassador whose eyes are wide open and who is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised. The ambassador said the people that we have wounded don't have the military capability we have. But they do have individuals who are willing to die and take thousands with them. And we need to come to grips with that."

Ron Bean's picture

Jim, I hope you aren't assuming that my lack of enthusiasm for Romney means that I'm an Obama supporter.

Obama may or may not accept Wright's ravings, but Romney, as a "good" Mormon, must accept his church's teachings.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

I would never vote for a Mormon - to be the pastor of my church.

However, as Jim said, the religious choice of a political candidate is ancillary to the job. Not that is has no bearing, just that it is not a primary consideration.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Since I have no idea if someone really believes and conforms to the tenants of their religion, when it comes to political candidates, I pay more attention to their view of the role of gov't and understanding of economics and their track record than if they are Mormon, Catholic, or Venusian.

JNoël's picture

[quote=RPittman ]This is political shortsightedness and naivety.......This argument is out of political pragmatism, not Christian principle.

If voting for the lesser of two evils violates your conscience, then, of course, you must not do that or you would violate God's clear commands in Romans 14. I would be violating my conscience if, by voting for a third party or other unelectable candidate, I would, in fact, be increasing the vote count for the post-modernist liberal. What you call my political pragmatism is actually my conscience telling me it is unwise to vote in such a way as to be supporting the least desirable candidate.

[quote=RPittman ]I remember Jesse Helms......George Corly Wallace was one of the most influential political figures in the last half of the twentieth century......

These were men already of position such that a vote for principle had very public and significant ramifications. They do not represent the majority of American Christians, and, as such, are unfair comparisons.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

We are all pragmatic to a degree. You can't shop in your local Kroger anymore without supporting, by proxy, some company with an immoral agenda. Back in the day, my dad would not shop or buy gas where they sold alcohol or cigarettes- it would have violated his conscience. Try doing that now- I think if he were alive today, his conscience would have had to make some adjustments. Or we'd've moved to Borneo. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-confused001.gif[/img ]

It doesn't violate my conscience to vote for whoever I think is the best man for the job. I don't care if he thinks he was abducted by aliens if he'll campaign on the FairTax. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-happy112.gif[/img ]

RPittman's picture

JNoël ]<br /> [quote=RPittman wrote:
I remember Jesse Helms......George Corly Wallace was one of the most influential political figures in the last half of the twentieth century......

These were men already of position such that a vote for principle had very public and significant ramifications. They do not represent the majority of American Christians, and, as such, are unfair comparisons.

What? I don't understand your leap in the dark here. What are you saying?

RPittman's picture

Susan R wrote:
We are all pragmatic to a degree. You can't shop in your local Kroger anymore without supporting, by proxy, some company with an immoral agenda. Back in the day, my dad would not shop or buy gas where they sold alcohol or cigarettes- it would have violated his conscience. Try doing that now- I think if he were alive today, his conscience would have had to make some adjustments. Or we'd've moved to Borneo. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-confused001.gif[/img ]

It doesn't violate my conscience to vote for whoever I think is the best man for the job. I don't care if he thinks he was abducted by aliens if he'll campaign on the FairTax. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-happy112.gif[/img ]

Stand on principle and do right . . . trust the results into God's hands.

JNoël's picture

I'm just saying that these are the only portions of your post that are relevant towards arguing as to whether or not a Christian should vote, as you say, pragmatically or strictly by principle:

[quote=RPittman ]This is political shortsightedness and naivety. One should always vote his conscience. I would contend that voting for "the lesser of two evils" is a violation of conscience and principles. This argument is out of political pragmatism, not Christian principle. By voting principle, the longer view is better served.

Bringing famous principle-voting men into the arena does not speak to the question of how the general public might approach the decision.

My argument is that what might be conscience for one man isn't necessarily conscience for all. My conscience tells me my "pragmatic" approach is better than the alternative. Yours tells you otherwise, and I would be out of place to argue with that.

I don't believe my approach is myopic/shortsighted or naïve. On the contrary, I could contend just as easily that voting strictly principle is naïve idealism.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

JNoel,

We stand individually responsible for our decisions, and we are NEVER accountable for the decisions of others. If you vote for a person you believe is not the best candidate, you have erred. If you vote for the best candidate, who happens to be third party, and others vote for the worst possible candidate, you are still only responsible for your own vote. You bear no responsibility for how others vote or for trying to make sure you out-do the worst by compromising your own position.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim's picture

Ron Bean wrote:
Jim, I hope you aren't assuming that my lack of enthusiasm for Romney means that I'm an Obama supporter.

Obama may or may not accept Wright's ravings, but Romney, as a "good" Mormon, must accept his church's teachings.

Hey Ron, Not assuming this!

-------
In the pre-primary and primary phases, on has a lot of opportunity to support any candidate - especially financially.

But when the primaries are done it's gonna come down to two. Obviously the presidency is just more than one man ... it's the whole executive branch.

James K's picture

What difference does it make if he is mormon or catholic or any other bizarre spin of authentic Christianity? It doesn't. Lost person is lost. Do you really vote for president to be your spiritual guide? How sad if you do.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

JNoël's picture

Chip, I couldn't agree more. The best candidate I can vote for is the one who is electable and who falls the most in line with my views. I think the underlying difference seen in this thread lies not with the question of whether or not a person should vote on principle, but, rather, the question of whether or not a person should vote on electability. If electability is as important as position, then we have a true two party race. If electability is irrelevant, then we have a possible two-hundred million candidate race (or however many voting-age citizens there are).

The problem is not with who is being elected, the problem is the voters. No president is going to change the country. Change must come from the population turning its eyes back to God. Then, and only then, we will see candidates who are not only in line with Christian principles, but also "electable," i.e. the masses will vote for them. We aren't there right now. Not even close. We probably couldn't even get a Reformed pastor, Conservative Evangelical pastor, and a Separatist pastor to agree on the best candidate.

By voting pragmatically in the general election, the liklihood of slowing down the loss of our freedoms to proclaim Truth increases. Romney is far more likely to stand for religious freedom than the liberal left. Then I can stay busy taking advantage of that continued freedom to continue that change from the bottom up.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

RPittman's picture

James K wrote:
What difference does it make if he is mormon or catholic or any other bizarre spin of authentic Christianity? It doesn't. Lost person is lost. Do you really vote for president to be your spiritual guide? How sad if you do.
Worldview is very trendy among most evangelical/fundamental Christians nowadays. If this is important, and I don't give it the credence of most, then it follows that the President is a major trend-setter and molder of the nation's worldview. I suppose one could say that Mormon or Roman Catholic holds a Christian worldview but I don't anymore than I can call their faith Christian. One of the objectives to Obama, other than specific policies, is that he holds a Muslim and Globalist worldview. So, I don't see how a Christian can consistently support a Mormon, who has a Mormon worldview, for such an influential position that affects the general cultural worldview of the nation. That is if you believe in worldview . . . . Wink

RPittman's picture

Susan R wrote:
Bro. Pittman, but if we'd've moved to Borneo when I was a kid, you'd have been robbed of the pleasure of conversing with me online. Are you sure that is a result you could have lived with? http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-sad016.gif[/img ]
Probably not now after the fact but I'm not a Jesuit pragmatist who believes the ends justifies the means . . . so, if principle had prevailed, I would simply have had to live in squalor ignorance without your illuminating light not realizing my own wretched ignorance and deprivation . . . . . . . . Biggrin

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Had class this AM. Looking at this thread, it occurs to me that we might have an interesting discussion in Rhetoric class on my thesis that, other things being equal, voting for a Mormon is a good choice if the alternative is a liberal agnostic or something similar.

Some responses to various points along the way...
1. JimCarWest commented on Mormonism vs. Christian worldview
Response: The Judeo-Christian worldview is not about Jesus Christ, which is why we're able to include "Judeo" in it. But to clarify, I'm not in favor of any Mormon doctrines beyond the ones I mentioned that we do, in fact, have in common. The things you mentioned are indeed contrary to Scripture and my beliefs.

2. JobK related the sovereignty of God to voting.
Response: God uses means. It's true He chooses rulers, but He also chooses everyone who thrives or suffers or dies from moment to moment, everyday. This doesn't stop us from believing it's right to cross the street to aid an injured person. In short, in Scripture, God's control never negates our responsibility. We have the opportunity to shape the kinds of rulers we will have--which affects the well being of many people.

3. Also JobK on how democracies always elect the worst possible candidates
Our national history doesn't really bear this out. In His grace, God has often seen to it that the nexus of peoples' individual interests, moral and ethical convictions, and available candidates has often resulted in better rulers than we deserve. In part, this is because the most powerful influences in democratic decision making are the ones where there is much overlap among the constituents.

4. Ron Bean on bizarre Mormon doctrines.
They are only bizarre because we do not believe them. (Certainly atheists see our virgin birth and Trinity ideas as bizarre... not to mention hypostatic union). What's important about the Mormon beliefs is not that they strike as bizarre but that they are false. That I freely grant (and with enthusiasm).
But as I pointed out in the piece, all religions that do not present the pure gospel are ultimately false. This does not prevent them from having important truths within them.

5. Several (mostly RPittman) on the wrong of voting for the lesser of two evils (stand on principle leave results to God.)
This is begging the question, which is "What's right in elections?" Why is it wrong to vote for the best man?
Secondly, I have long argued (and I think I've not yet heard a counter) that since we will never get to vote for Jesus Christ, we are always voting for the lesser of two evils. We are always voting for a sinner. Consequently, a vote for the "least evil" is the same as a vote for the "most good." (If you think about it, any vote for a deacon or pastor is also a vote for someone who is, hopefully, less evil than many others).

Jim's picture

RPittman wrote:
I'm not a Jesuit pragmatist who believes the ends justifies the means

Take this test: You car is not running properly but you do not know why. You suspect it is the alternator (see http://www.buzzle.com/articles/bad-alternator-symptoms.html Bad Alternator Symptoms ). In your church is a fine, godly man who tinkers with cars. He shares your worldview and your faith. But frankly he is a rank amateur. He kind of gets the concepts but does not have the training, the tools, or the experience to investigate and remediate your car's issues. Additionally has has no credit at the NAPA parts store.

Down the street is an http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_Service_Excellence ]ASE repair shop. They have a good reputation in the community but the owner is a Mormon.

You expect the repairs may cost as much as $ 500.

What do you do?

[ ] Choose the Christian
[ ] Choose the Mormon

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim,

[ ] Choose the cheaper

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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