Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Should an Evangelical Vote for a Mormon for President?

Should an Evangelical Vote for a Mormon for President?

There are dozens of examples in the Bible when ungodly people were used by God for His purposes etc. How do any of us not know if God will use Mitt’s experience in Washington – the people he interacts with to lead him to a saving faith in Christ. Rhetorical question – we do not know the mind of God. We do know that God is in control of all things – and will use all things for His good – Romney and Obama are the candidates under Gods control. God has also provided the greatest human political system in the United States – I will not abstain. I will vote my conscience and trust God and his control.

While I certainly cannot give justice to all the crucial points I believe overlap or layer on this issue. I will try to give it some justice here

First off – as a full disclosure; I am a born again Christian. I say that because I made a specific decision to follow Christ at the age of 24 after several years of soul searching but living my life as a skeptic. So without offering up a slew of Bible Scriptures; let me just say that in my experience (and supported within scripture) that there is a spiritual element – a Renewing of or a changing of the mind that happens when one accepts Christ as Lord and the God of the Bible.

Second – from the beginning of my search for truth at about the age of 20; and since my decision to follow Christ about 22 years ago; I have been learning continuously about various religions; and how different faiths and beliefs have varied World Views (a term that is often used in academia). Christianity has a particular World View as does the Muslim Faith, Buddhism, Taoism, Pantheism, etc. You would have to read some various resources to understand why mainstream Christianity does not believe that Mormons worship the True God.

Third – in the last few months I completed an online college course study of the U.S. Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Federalist Papers. The course included an in depth study of the various Founding Fathers; their personal look at faith, morals, etc. It also explored the writings of those philosophers and thinkers that were influencing and affecting the founders – who did they read and look to for their individual cultural and political philosophy?

Now – I have encountered some Evangelical Christians who believe that voting for Romney or Obama is no different in Gods eyes because neither of them is a ‘Born Again’ believer in Christ. I realize that both of them claim to be Christian; but I disagree (again for a litany of reasons that I cannot expand upon in a brief post). I believe a Christian can, and should vote for a non-believer – but only after some careful considerations.

I have three overlapping approaches to this question…
  1. When the founding fathers drafted the Declaration, the Federalist Papers, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – were they using morality and Biblical Values in the drafting? I say yes – after a full study of these documents AND the lives of the men who wrote them. That being said – were they all Christians? I say no – because some of their writings were clearly showing some to be Deist – but not believers in Jesus as Messiah. After review of all these details; it is absolutely correct to conclude that the documents were not written to strictly address political issues. More to fact – they went through incredibly pain-staking efforts to make it clear that each of the documents recognized, supported and declared that men are from a creator; that our rights come from our creator. They also included language about Natural Order and Nature / Natures God, etc. Not all of them agreed about the absolute nature of God; or that Jesus was God; but they were fully united in the morals and values that are derived from Christianity and the Bible. Additionally; if you look at the roots of the revolution (and the roots for the emancipation of slaves in America as well); the majority of those who pushed for these “revolutions” were Christians, and it was the clergy preaching from the pulpit that created the movement. They were joined by non-church goers of course; but the clergy played a pivotal and crucial catalyst. 
  2. When talking to other Bible believing Christians; I ask them – are there examples in the Bible of God using unbelievers for his purposes? The answer is again, yes – there are many examples (Hosea, Judas, Pharoah and Rahab just to name a few). Do I find any place in scripture that either directly mandates or indirectly implies that we should never elect or support a leader who is not a believer? The answer is no.
  3. Now the question becomes a bit simpler then – do my best to study and understand the background, experience and ‘perceived values’ of each candidate. This means that I do not just listen to what the candidate says, but I check to see if his/her actions and that their actual record supports what the candidate says. This does not mean that a candidate can never have a change of heart or change of position on some policy, political or community issue – just that I need to examine the consistency or lack thereof within their entire public record. So while I do not believe that Romney is a Christian (nor do I believe that Obama is a Christian); I still can and should ask which candidate is more likely to do the right (the moral) thing? Which candidate is going to respect and enforce our laws? Which candidate better aligns with the clearly stated laws and regulations to protect and promote personal liberty; private property, inalienable rights, and the clear constitutional limits placed on government, etc. From a practical point of view – which candidate understands the principles and great outcomes of Free Markets; that when markets (comprised of the people in them) are free and (market leaders) behave in a moral fashion – understanding the Government is structured to protect individuals and the free market enterprises they create? Understanding the Government is not supposed to participate in the market; but is merely supposed to pass and enforce law that protects rogue individuals and their corporations from playing unfairly in the market.
I can conclude on each point – morals, values, standards, Constitutional Law, the protection of personal liberties, respect for our laws; respect for the correct limits placed on each branch of government (executive, judicial and legislative) – the better of the two candidates is Romney – he gets my vote.

All that being said – our problem is so very much bigger than any one candidate. Our problem has been a slow and very gradual shifting away from our limited government, constitutional structure (along with a parallel gradual shifting away from Biblical morals in society). For nearly 20 plus years now – we have seen a blending together politics and corporations. The policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – where we have politicians and government bureaucracies telling the banks, and the mortgage companies “how” to run their businesses; is a very different matter than simply setting up banking and lending rules and making sure the banks behave or operate within those rules.

When we play a game of football or baseball – the umpire is not allowed to be the quarter back, the pitcher, a player, etc. I want you to imagine you are playing a team sport; and a player on the other team is also the umpire or the referee. He does something that is a clear foul or violation of the rules; but you cannot protest because he is also the authority making the calls. This is precisely what we have been doing with government and business – in the case of Fannie & Freddie; the TARP, bank bailouts. It was an egregious violation in the GM/Chrysler Bankruptcy (the Administration / the Government became both an investor in the deal as well as the government authority that declared what the deal can or cannot be). We are also seeing it with Healthcare Reform, Green Energy, etc. We are ignoring our laws, and government limits to our peril. The amazing thing is that these stupid mistakes have already been tried in other nations; Europe, Spain, China – etc. and it has never worked out well for the common man - yet we are following the same path. Now that is just plain stupid.

For moral reasons, cultural reasons, fiscal reasons, and constitutional reasons - Romney is hands down the better candidate than Obama.

There are many overlapping issues – from understanding our government structure; how the different branches work; understanding our constitution, etc. Most importantly – we have a citizenry who for the most part rely on the media to learn about government and candidates. Sadly – many (if not most) of our citizens are Historically Illiterate, Government Illiterate, Politically Illiterate and Biblically illiterate.

Here is a video that illustrate the point.

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