The following article is an analysis by Kevin Lewis, Professor of Theology and Law at Biola University concerning the dilemna facing orthdox Christians related to Mitt Romney and Mormonism. The goal of this article is to spur Christians to think about and have conversations about this very real issue. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


The Crux of Romney’s Evangelical Problem: Part I
By Kevin Lewis

With the primaries just around the corner, some pro-Romney advocates have begun to put the full-court press on those conservative Evangelicals still opposed to voting for Romney. They have asserted that Evangelicals who fail to see the wisdom of voting for Romney are, among other things, committed to self-defeat, bigotry, religious litmus tests, or an unrealistic standard of “perfection” for a candidate. And, they conclude, this sort of foolishness can only lead to a Republican defeat in 2012 and an unthinkable Obama second term.

So what’s wrong with Romney? We are told he is ethical, a competent executive, a good family man, and is exceedingly telegenic. So with the stakes so high in this election, how could any Evangelical fail to see the wisdom of voting for Romney, the Mormon?

The answer is simple. First, Evangelicals who understand the true nature of Mormonism do not want a president whose religion is hostile to theirs. And, second, there may be eternal consequences for placing a Mormon — any Mormon — in the office of the President of the United States.

Evangelicals do not want a President who is theologically anti-Christian. It may come as a shock to some who are new to the debate, but Mormonism is actually an anti-Christian religion.

The Mormon religion has been hostile to orthodox Christianity since its inception in 1820. The founder of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, claimed that “all the churches” were wrong, “all their creeds were an abomination,” and “all the professors” (of the orthodox Christian faith — Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant) were corrupt. This “First Vision” is the foundation for the Mormon claim to be the only true restored church. Mormon leaders have never renounced this teaching of Joseph Smith. In fact, they have consistently taught this view throughout their history and up to the present day. Accordingly, the Mormon Church has always actively proselytized orthodox Christians due to their belief that orthodox Christians are in a false church. Their preferred nomenclature is “Church of the Devil” (I Nephi 14:10, Book of Mormon). Thus the Mormon Church has been Anti-Catholic, Anti-Eastern Orthodox, and Anti-Protestant from its beginning.

The undivided declaration from all traditional Christian orthodoxy familiar with the teachings of the Mormon Church is clear: Mormonism is a false form of Christianity—a theological “cult” (read: “group of heretics”). The Mormon Church teaches polytheism, specifically, that the god of this planet is nothing more than one of many true gods that exist. The Mormon god is a limited, evolved, exalted man with a body of flesh and bones. Ultimately, salvation (or Exaltation) in Mormonism is deification or, in other words, becoming a god. All Mormon males who have the restored Melchizedek Priesthood are eligible to work their way to godhood.

The differences between biblical, monotheistic Christianity and Mormonism are not trivial. Whoever believes the official Mormon gospel and worships the god of Mormonism is not saved. The Mormon system of “ethical polytheism” presents a different Jesus and another Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 11:3-5). As such, traditional Evangelicals believe Mormons are not true Christians and they need to convert to orthodox Christianity if they are to be saved.

So why are Evangelicals opposed to Romney, the Mormon? It is because Romney appears to be a faithful Mormon, who believes all the official doctrines of the Mormon Church — until we hear otherwise — and, as such, is theologically opposed to any true form of Christianity, Evangelical or otherwise.

The result of this theological tension is that many Christians are extremely uncomfortable placing a person in the White House whose religion is openly hostile to their own — even if he shares many of their ethical standards. These same Evangelicals would also never accept a Muslim in the White House — even if the Muslim shared their conservative values — because Islam is also theologically hostile to Christianity.

This is not a new objection. Many Protestants did not want to live in Catholic ruled countries and the Pilgrims (Protestants) did not want to live in a “Christian” England — even though both groups had common ethical systems. Christians generally prefer, and should prefer, a leader who is theologically friendly to their cause.

John Jay, Founding Father, one of the authors of the Federalist Papers, and the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with this notion. He declared that “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Conservative Christians who love the Bible and the wisdom of the Founding Fathers would do well to return to these sources of wisdom if we want to remain a great nation.

One Comment

  1. abidingthroughgrace:I think we are basically in aemegrent on many points, but have some miscommunication on others. When I referred to Acts 5, I wasn’t intending to stretch that to apply to voting in general, nor to fit some anti-government stand. I am not anti-voter, nor anti-government, nor am I suggesting one resist governmental authorities or break the law. Absolutely not. I understand Peter was resisting the law of men because such law conflicted with God’s law. My tie in with Acts 5 is that there will come times when our submission to God must supersede our submission to men. Those who say we MUST vote because that is my civic duty , are not considering other factors, such as conscience which seeks to be conformed to the righteousness of God. In other words, if my conscience tells me my only 2 choices are both evil (say one is anti-christian in doctrine and the other is anti-christian in practice), but I’m told I must choose one of them anyway in the name of civic duty, then I have yielded to the way of men in defiance of God’s righteousness. I don’t see how God will hold me innocent of such betrayal to Him in such an event (in light of the command to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness). Human governments and authority is a good thing for law and order in society, else we would have anarchy and chaos, rule by the strong at the expense of the weak. Thus we abide by our local, state and federal laws. They are intended for everyone’s benefit. And we pay our taxes, we do jury duty, we abide by speed laws, we go through all legal proceedings, etc. Thus I am in complete aemegrent with Rom. 13:1-7. But certainly you would have to agree there are exceptions. When it was an ordinance to stop doing business with Jews, then when it was law to turn in the Jew to the Nazi government, should Christians have abided by such law? When it is law in America to teach evolution in school, should the Christian teacher teach evolution (which is a denial of God’s truth)? Do you see my point here? Of course voting was not an issue in N.T. times. What is at issue is our responsibility as followers of Christ to the unsaved world, to which we have been commissioned to preach the Gospel. I have no problem with voting on issues: school levis, bridge repairs, zonings, etc. I don’t even have a problem with voting on certain people to do certain jobs. But when it comes to placing someone in authority over the culture, my vote helps determine who gets that position. Thus I bear a very real responsibility in the matter. Well, you didn’t really place him there, God did . Well, sure He did. He’s also the One who placed both candidates there. But am I then not held accountable for my vote? For an extreme example, but to illustrate my point, lets say Hitler ran against Stalin. Now, if it’s my civic duty to vote for one or the other, and if it is my biblical duty to submit to every ordinance of man, then I MUST vote for one or the other. God indeed determines which of the two gets in, but that doesn’t make me an innocent bystander. I threw in my vote for one evil man or the other to rule (tyranically) over the lives of millions who suffered under such rule , and thus I bear a certain responsibility there. There’s no way of getting around that. Do you see no inherent conflict with preaching Christ, while bearing the fruit of supporting, condoning, even bringing into prominence evil, or evil people? I don’t see how we can use the reasoning well, it wasn’t my fault , any more than Nazi soldiers can say it wasn’t my fault, I was just following orders . And I don’t see how we can preach standing for holiness and righteousness on the one hand, condemning ungodly rulers elsewhere, then vote for an ungodly ruler for our own country, under the pretext that he isn’t as bad as the other guy. Once we go down that lesser evil is better than worse evil road of compromise, we have opened the door to all manner of lesser evil and as a result have lost the principle of purity and holiness. To sum up, I’ll reiterate, I am not against voting in general. But I cannot reconcile preaching truth and righteousness on one hand, while in the other hand helping to place in power over the culture (and in reality, that’s exactly what voting for a ruler does), a man and his administration which is, or signs into law, what is contrary to that same truth and righteousness.

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