The fact that Presidential contender Governor Mitt Romney is a Mormon has been in the news cycle of late, particularly on two fronts…
- Joel Osteen has come out and declared Romney a Christian (and further proclaimed President Obama is because, well, he says he is).
- Liberty University, known worldwide as an evangelical school born out of Thomas Road Baptist Church by Dr. Jerry Falwell, has asked Governor Romney to speak at its commencement.
All I will say about the above two occurrences is that I disagree with both Osteen and Liberty. At the end of this post, I’ll link to a couple of articles that speak to these issues in detail. In this post, I will explore whether or not Romney’s religion will effect my vote as an evangelical born-again Christian one way or another.
For starters, does the President of the United States have to be a Christian? Clearly not. Though this nation was founded as a Christian nation, it is not necessarily a nation of Christians. As such, non-Christians may not elect a Christian President. And though many Presidents have claimed to be Christians, it is impossible to say for certain that their decisions were driven by Christian principles, even when their Christianity wasn’t just a campaign slogan. Only the men themselves and their Creator know how they made decisions.
We as believers are called to be IN the world, not OF the world. We are new creations, and this world is not our home. But for the time we are here, we are called to glorify God and be salt and light. And we know that, ultimately, God is in control. No vote of the people of this country will remove God from His eternal throne.
So how do we choose between “OK” and “just bad?”
That question answers itself.
And this is where my opinion kicks in. Bear with me…
When one candidate claims to follow Christ but seeks to enact policies that combat the will of God, that candidate will not get my vote. If Christians bear fruit as John 15 states, then fruit should be evident and visible.
When another candidate is open (though mistaken) about their beliefs, and seeks to enact policies that are in and of themselves moral and responsible (for the most part) and in keeping with deference to life and liberty, that candidate would be more likely to receive my vote. I trust God with the details of this candidate’s future choices and their impact on this republic.
Neither scenario elects a Christian. But the choice is easier to make when broken down in this manner.
Would I prefer a blood-bought follower of Christ in the Oval Office? Of course! Will that happen this November? No.
So do we as believers throw up our hands, declare the whole thing useless, and remove our vote from the tally? PLEASE may it not be so.
Agree or disagree?
- My Thoughts on Mitt Romney Speaking at Liberty University’s Spring 2012 Graduation by Jared Moore
- The FAQs: Are Mormons Christian? by The Gospel Coalition