Should Mormonism Be a Factor in Evaluating Romney?

Christianity Today is hosting a discussion on whether or not Mitt Romney’s Mormonism should be a factor in our evaluation of his candidacy for President. Judd Birdsall says “yes,”and Owen Strachan says “not so much.” Strachan argues that a candidate’s faith is not necessarily by itself a deal-breaker. He writes:

Engagement in the nation’s public life often means dealing with less-than-ideal choices, circumstances, and candidates. Christians bemoan this reality, but it is part of life in a fallen world. Pursuing our good and the good of our neighbor—publicly practicing Christ’s command in Mark 12:31—means that we must often make difficult choices and go with the best possible candidate given a biblical worldview.

On the other hand, evangelicals might support religious candidates from a range of traditions with whom they have major doctrinal disagreements. When this is the case, believers should recommit themselves to the City of Man even as they find their essential identity and their undying hope in the City of God. We want a virtuous head for our country, but we do not want what George Orwell called a “Dear Leader,” a political figure to whom we attach spiritual significance and from whom we expect messianic deliverance. The only one who deserves such adoration is not physically here yet—but when he comes, term limits won’t apply.

What of the upcoming election, which features a Mormon candidate for the presidency? However charitable and even constructive in certain ways, recent Mormon-Christian dialogues have not necessarily assuaged the doctrinal concerns of many evangelicals. The President, however, is not a pastor. As recent books like Could I Vote for a Mormon as President? argue, it is conscionable to support and vote for a Mormon.

There’s more to it than this, so read the rest here.

20 Responses to Should Mormonism Be a Factor in Evaluating Romney?

  1. LaNeisa Jackson August 14, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    Hold my nose and vote for my personal priorities rather than the candidate’s theology? Now you have made the choice hard. As one who is not convinced that immoral behavior can be legislated away, the economic decisions of leadership take a more prominent role when using this criteria. Are evangelicals pursuing the wrong focus? ie; Republican – no matter what?

    Can I just follow Jeremiah’s advice? Jeremiah 29:27-29 For therefore he sent unto us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. Can I just calm down and trust that no political power can end the world without the Lord’s permission? Can I try to just ‘live Christian’ rather than vote it? Weeeeellll, I don’t know. Power is intoxicating to me, too.

  2. Mike Lynch August 14, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    As I commented recently, would his religion matter to Christians if the Republican candidate was a member of the Church of Satan? I’m starting to wonder just how many Christians hold to biblical principles in the voting booth. This Mormon nominee is a slap in the face to one of the biggest voting blocks of the Republican party and we’re just accepting it and settling for it.

    They really do not represent us. What have they done for the cause of the unborn? And it’s only a matter of time before they completely give in to homosexual “marriage.” And now the key note speaker is someone else who does not exhibit Christian character in the way he treats others–he’s a bully.

    But I would truly like to know how many of you who are Christians would vote for a member of the Church of Satan if he was more conservative than the Democratic alternative.

    • Melissa Perry August 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

      Mike Lynch: THANK YOU! I have been feeling like I am the only one that sees this! Every Tom, Dick and Harry pastor in our small town in OK is for Romney! It’s scary and is ushering in the end times.

      • LaNeisa Jackson August 16, 2012 at 10:46 am #

        Melissa
        Be sure you are not the only one. This political stuff may mean more for us in the Church than the nation. Judgement does begin in the church after all. No…Thank you.

  3. donsands August 14, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    America is not the Church. America is a nation, like other nations. God chose Issac. But Ishmael was still blessed by God.

    Mitt needs the Lord’s truth to penetrate his heart. We need to pray for him.

    As a candidate he is better than Obama, who claims to be a Christian, and Barak says he lives by the sermon on the mount.

    Mitt says he is pro-life. This is numero uno for me.

    I shall vote for this Mormon, and pray he comes to Christ, and sees his religion for what it is, a false religion of good works with a flase prophet: Joseph Smith.

    • Melissa Perry August 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      Mitt was pro-choice before he was pro-life. What do you want? Mitt will be that. He flips, he flops. Ugh. THAT’S what you want??

      You people with your “Anyone but Obama”…it’s like your closing your eyes and holding your nose to swallow Romney’s lies. Romney is a BISHOP in the Mormon church, people!!

  4. Don Johnson August 14, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    I almost always vote anti-pessimal, which means voting AGAINST whomever I think is the WORST candidate of the ones that might win. Often, there are things about both candidates that I do not prefer, but I can tell the difference between a disaster and less than a disaster.

  5. Daryl Little August 14, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    When’s the last time a candidate could be said to be Christian? I mean, no question, all Christians believe them to be a fellow believer?

    Reagan? Maybe? Bush? Less likely, but possibly?

    Why is this an issue? Do we vote for city council, school board trustees, state government officials, sheriff etc etc etc on that basis.

    I hope not.

    When there are no believers to vote for, what then? Or is the only believers on the ticket are unqualified? What then?

    Where does Scripture ever teach us to consider someone’s faith in the voting booth? It doesn’t. So be free to vote as your conscience demands, but don’t bind someone else’s conscience when Scripture is silent.

    It is not silent on the murder of the innocent children, but it is silent on the faith of the guy on the ballot.

  6. Daryl Little August 14, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Don,

    Wise words. And so simple, really.

  7. Steve Martin August 14, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    “Should Mormonism Be a Factor in Evaluating Romney?”

    For pastor, yes.

    For President, no.

  8. Reg Schofield August 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    As a Canadian its always interesting to hear these arguments about religion when it comes to voting because in my country this has played no part for a long time . Even on the issue of abortion and homosexuality . all the major parties are virtually the same . So I have been voting like Don Johnson for years now . Sometimes it been conservative or liberal .But looking at your chooses I would not be very happy to say the least .

  9. Don Johnson August 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    On the specific question “Should Mormonism Be a Factor in Evaluating Romney?” my answer is everything I know about the candidates should be a factor in my evaluation of which is the worst candidate for the office, POTUS in this case.

    Also, sometimes one can believe that there is simply no difference between candiates and therefor to not vote at all can be a rational choice, as there are costs involved in voting.

    • Derek Taylor August 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      Good point that everything we know is important. It is usually the case that the things a candidate least wants known are also the most revealing. In the same way, it is also revealing to see what their surrogates intend to cover up or throw smoke screens on.

  10. Derek Taylor August 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Sometimes we also place too much stock in a candidate’s stated beliefs. Experience has taught me that the people who support a candidate tell you a lot more about their ACTUAL beliefs than their public statements do.

    Who is donating to the candidate?
    Who is really animated about their candidacy?
    Why are they animated?
    What is the worldview that motivates them to favor the candidate?

    These questions are much more meaningful to me than what the candidate does or does not say.

  11. Donald Aye August 15, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    So, Mormons’ practice posthumous baptism by proxy. Many of the founding fathers are now Mormons as well a few others, Ann Frank, Elvis Presley… we are being assimilated!

  12. JamesStanton August 15, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    RomneyCare which Mitt passed as Governor of Massachusetts provided funding for abortions. ObamaCare provides no funding for abortions although you could argue as many do that certain contraceptives covered under the recent mandate are abortifacients.

    Mitt is ostensibly pro-life.. except for his actual record. There’s also a little thing about the role one of his companies played with profiting from the disposal of aborted babies.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/07/romney-invested-in-a-fetus-disposal-company.html

  13. Montana Levine August 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    So Willard Mitt Romney tells us that he is a success, its easy when you start with Dad’s money and dad’s contacts (kinda like Trump) and did not do it on your own, but ok, success.

    Willard Mitt Romney tells us that Bain was his first success, a company without a product (unlike Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison among others who created jobs by the success of their products). What’s even funnier Bain owns “Clear Channel” who has under contract both “Rush Limbaugh” and “Glen Beck”, how do you think they will do after the election. Bain preyed on weak companies and even if these companies went into bankruptcy Bain made money (Willard still gets a check from Bain) not to mention the jobs that were outsourced or their dealings with RED CHINA, but ok maybe Willard did not know that Bain was in to that, sure, why not, right?

    Willard Mitt Romney then tells us that his second success is 2002 Winter Olympics. All 2002 Winter Olympics financials have been destroyed, but ok lets take his word, success.

    This is Willard Mitt Romney calling card that what our country needs now is someone like him a supposed successful business man.

    So given all of Willard Mitt Romney, supposed success, don’t you expect to see an extraordinary success in his position as governor of Massachusetts, his one and only public sector job? If you look at the majority of his statements as to why he should be governor of Massachusetts, they almost mirror his current ones, mainly “I am a successful business man”. But when we look at Massachusetts, it was an ordinary mediocrity, to the point that he could only survive one term, that how good this guy was, but ok according to him he was a success.

    Now he wants the top public sector job, hmmm, no not on my watch!

    • Wade Choate August 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      So did Bain outsource and close EVERY one of the companies they bought? Did they decimate all of them? No, they did not. They saved many companies, and brought them back to black. They had to close what did not work, and save the ones that did.

      That is just business. Period.

      Do you really think 4 more years of what we have NOW is better?

      • Montan Levine August 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

        My point on Bain is even on those companies “They had to close” and took them into bankruptcy Bain made money. My point on his so called “Business Success” and how that will translate into “Public Sector” success is he already has been tested and he could not even survive a second term in his first “Public Sector” job as governor of Massachusetts.

        And yes I know 4 more years with our current commander and chief President will be better that Milton and his “knuckle dragging culture warrior” VP choice.

  14. Wade Choate August 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Oh how easily we forget. 4 years ago we rejected this “Mormon” just because he was a Mormon, so the establishment gave us McCain. This was arguably worse that the Dole debacle, anyone remember that?

    After we spit out McCain, something far worse was shoved down our throats. I for one am tired of the taste because I did not ask for. I know the dripping honey in the mouths of those who did ask for it has turned to wormwood, and some love the flavor of the latter and never think the former will turn.

    With all this disappointment I have come to realize the comfort of Daniel 2:20-22:

    Daniel answered and said:
    “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
    For wisdom and might are His.
    And He changes the times and the seasons;
    He removes kings and raises up kings;
    He gives wisdom to the wise
    And knowledge to those who have understanding.
    He reveals deep and secret things;
    He knows what is in the darkness,
    And light dwells with Him.

    God raises up kings and puts them down. I trust in God first and foremost. I will vote to put the incumbent out of office. I am not necessarily enthusiastic about Romney, I would actually prefer Ron Paul, but again I have no control of such things. Therefore, I rest in the sovereign comfort of God.

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes