The Mormon Factor

My pastor, John MacArthur, preached a message against abortion in the AM service of Grace Church a few weeks ago.  You can watch it or download it HERE.

The message was instantly a smash hit because he spent about 10 minutes in the introduction talking about the current political climate in the US. A lot of his salvos were lobbed toward the Democrats and the out-right wicked platform they adopted at their convention that essentially affirmed, as John stated, a Romans 1 agenda.  Additionally, he made a comment or two about Christians voting for a Mormon, to which he said they could because we aren’t voting for a pastor or some church leader.  He’s a president in a secular government.

(BTW, We snipped those few Romney comments out of the official on-line version. Sorry. However, if you want to sort of hear what John said, download the first Q&A session from the Expositor’s Conference held at Steve Lawson’s church a week or so ago HERE, and fast forward to the very last questioner. The guy asks John three questions, the last one being, “What’s your thoughts about voting for a Mormon?” John supplies a stellar response).

Of course, the concept of Mitt Romney being the only “choice” a righteous-seeking Christian can make against Obama and his disastrous presidency still bothers many Christians because, as I pointed out in a previous post, they will be casting a vote for a cultist.

Over at the GTY blog, we highlighted John’s message in a post earlier this week.  Readers began leaving comments asking about the Mormon factor. I thought I would post a few of the questions/objections and expand upon my own response to them.  Being my own personal blog, I have greater liberty to do so.

Based on the fact that Mormonism is a Anti-Christ cult that leads people to hell , How am I supposed to vote for a Anti-Christ Candidate?… I know the nation is in serious problems, I am not ignorant to that. I know that the Obama platform is pure evil, But i think we have been set-up here to vote for a Anti-Christ Candidate and we are not being obedient to the word of God . …I think we actually are going to make the biggest mistake in church history and our fears and our materialistic greed is dictating our vote and not the word of God.

This is the massive biggie. Romney is an anti-Christ candidate. All we need to do is hold him down kicking and screaming, trim his scalp to reveal the 666 birthmark. However, the commenter does represent the thinking of the typical evangelical Christian.

In short, I think this comment is a bit overreaching, and a tad hysterical. Honestly, voting for a president who happens to be a Mormon is hardly “the biggest mistake in church history” because this simply isn’t church history.  Seriously, did Christians make a big mistake in 1960 when the elected the first Catholic as president? And the pope has a precedent with ruling nations and excommunicating kings and actually controlling societies in church history.

As I stated in my previous article, we have been providentially placed in a republic where we as Christians have been granted the privilege of participating in the electoral  process. If we were voting for the president of a Christian college, or seminary, or even a pastor, this commenter would have a significant point. Yet, this is hardly the case. We are voting in a secular government, not a religious one.

Consider what John Mac stated in his opening remarks in his message on abortion:

This is not about politics, although there are things we could talk about. You’re not voting for a pastor, you’re not voting for a spiritual leader, you’re voting for someone who has some sense of morality. Since the Bible says that the role of government is to punish evil doers and protect the good, you better have somebody in power who understands what is good and what is evil. And if you think homosexuality, abortion, sexual freedom, hating God are not evil, then you better go back and check your Bible again. How can people with that kind of agenda protect those who do good and punish those who do evil? That’s Romans 13’s definition of the role of government.

continuing,

If we have any sense of justice, if we have any sense of righteousness, if we want to make a little bit of a voice heard about what is right and about the role of government being to punish evil doers and protect the people who do right, then we better step up. I’m not sure what God has in the future, but I do know we can take His side and give Him honor.

… can you please then help to justify going against all these scriptures ..2 John 1 :8-11 and 2 Cor. 6 :14-16  But how do I justify going against God’d word?

If a person actually reads what those passages say, or any one in Scripture that talks about anti-Christs and the like, neither one of them are relevant to the issue of politics in America or who we vote for. They have to do with matters inside the church. So if a Mormon, or any unqualified person who is not a Christian, attempted to become a pastor in a local Church we could (and should) certainly appeal to both of these passages. In the case of secular politics in a secular government those passages don’t apply. (And, btw, without rehashing all the debate about Christianity’s influence in America, I mean “secular” in the general sense of the word).

I thought the Lord left it to guide me for situations just as this?

Certainly we need to think “bibley,” so let’s sharpen our minds.

When God was preparing to send Israel into exile under the total domination of the rank, pagan nation of Babylon, He told the people through the prophet Jeremiah to,

4 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters– that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace. Jeremiah 29:4-7.

Take a look at verse seven. When the Israelites came into Babylon – as captives mind you – they were to “seek the peace of the city.” How did they accomplish that command by God? Because it is a command by God. Did they do it by compromising their convictions regarding the Torah as God’s chosen people and voting for a Nebu worshipper? Of course not. They did it by being model citizens who sought the welfare of Babylon.  And keep in mind this is Babylon, you know, cruel, mean, brutal, colonial Babylon who destroyed nations, took kings captive, and sold entire populations into slavery.

We have be sovereignly placed into a country that is far removed from Babylon. Our government actually allows the citizens to participate in the election of the national leadership. As a Christian who has been sovereignly placed in this country, I can seek the “peace of the city,” so to speak, by voting for individuals (along with propositions and laws)  who I believe best represent the principles of righteousness as laid out in Scripture. Does that mean we only vote for born-again, Bible believing Christians? That would certainly be awesome and ideal, but it isn’t reality.

Instead, we look to Scripture to give us a basic outline of what is good and right before the Lord. As I cited from John’s address on abortion above, that is seeking the election of individuals who have a sound understanding of righteousness. In our day, and with this election, there are two individuals who are polar opposites in this regards.

The issue facing believers is one of right and wrong. Our responsibility to government is to side with individuals who have the clarity of mind to determine what is right and wrong. One side has clearly come out on the side of that which is ungodly and certainly wrong. That doesn’t mean the other side is pure and righteous and perfectly reflects biblical principles.  I do know Romney’s basic beliefs, so I’m not stupid here.  It does mean, however, that at least those elected officals understand, as John cited in his opening remarks, what is good and what is evil.

When Romney prays who is he praying to?

No one. But place Romney in historical context. Pretty much all of the founding fathers, and I am thinking about Washington, Adams, Jefferson, etc. were not Christians. They were along the lines of theistic rationalists. Their view of God was like the “great architect” in the sky as the Masonic Lodge members traditionally describe God. Their prayers were just as ineffectual as Romney’s. That’s why I cringe at those paintings of GW Bush praying while the shimmering, spectral images of Washington and Lincoln lay their hands on him. Like they’re dead Jedi or something. However, when they were elected president, did they do their jobs effectively for the nation? Would Romney? Does Obama?

Does Voting for a Mormon who has Anti-Christ theology glorify God ?

Let me ask my readers this: When you go in to have back surgery, or heart surgery, or cancer treatments, will you be glorifying God if you go with a doctor who happens to be a Mormon or a Hindu? Or are you more concerned that he will do what he is trained to do and skilled to do, that is, treat you properly and keep you from dying?

Isn’t the world on a downward spiral anyhow? So if Republicans are nominated and we fend off gay marriage for 8 years, what good will that do?

No one is arguing that we look to conservative politicians as a means to rescue the spiritual condition of our country. John MacArthur is certainly not saying that.  I will even say my words are meant as a double-rebuke to the Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged  conservatives among Republicans with their “atheistic” and “elitist” views of how we should do  politics and build our society.

However, we as Christians in America have been sovereignly entrusted with the opportunity and privilege to be salt and light in our society in a political fashion. We need to take a general stand for righteousness. You do that by voting for individuals who will uphold the values that closely reflect what we know to be right as defined by Scripture. That doesn’t mean a guarantee win because “God is on our side” or the ghosts of Abe Lincoln and George Washington, but it does mean we honor God and what He has blessed us as far as our participation in our society will be.

Looking with my secular eyes I would rather Obama win because most who oppose him (not all but most) are either uncomfortable with his ethnicity, seek to gain financially with Romney or both, and this sort of tone irritates me the most.

This particular commenter made some clownish remarks about how Republicans don’t like Obama because he is black. This is brain-dead media propaganda talking.  I live in CA. The folks I know who oppose the president do not do so because of his race. It is because of his anti-American ideas along with the unrighteousness he advocates.

Additionally, there is nothing wrong with wanting to seek financial gain with a Romney win. It isn’t greedy. Wealth is a good thing if used wisely, and I want America and Americans wealthy so we can influence the world in a positive way by withstanding wickedness and helping the weak. The current government has demonstrated a great irresponsibility with squandering money on foolish things.  Magic bean green energy “science” and other such nonsensical stuff.  I trust normal folks who have more of their money to spend it wisely and charitably than the government slobs who get shuffled around from office to office because their government unions protect them from being fired.

Now, before I close, let me remind people that voting for a “third-party candidate,” or “writing in Ron Paul,” or “with holding your vote” ONLY HELPS OBAMA. In fact, my pal Dan Phillips has written a must read essay blog article that will straighten out what sloppy thinking Christians have in this area.  Go read it now: This Election Choice

And don’t forget the Michael Brown podcast with Doug Groothius who argues for why Christians should vote Romney.

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10 thoughts on “The Mormon Factor

  1. Fred,

    I ain’t votin’ for Romney, NOT because he is a Mormon, but because I don’t agree with his politics!

    A sad election year, indeed, when the Christian community is encouraged to vote against it’s conscience on the grounds that, “Hey! Who’s the lesser of two evils, here?”

    We’d BOTH agree that God is sovereign over the hearts and affairs of men, and that each man ultimately answers to God for his OWN actions, and not the actions of others. (Though the consequences for being a rabble rouser might be greater for those who are actually successful as raising it, as opposed to the one who’s left crying alone in the wilderness. It’s one thing to act like the leader of a riotous mob. Most would agree that it’s another thing to actually be one. The latter man bears more responsibility for his activity.) That being the case, do you think God will hold me culpable for NOT voting for Romney, and rather voting consistent with my conscience?

    I would agree with you that there IS a morally right and morally wrong way to vote this November. Further, I would agree that the morally WRONG way to vote would be to ACTUALLY cast a vote FOR the any candidate that represents the platform of the Democratic Party. However, do you truly believe that God will hold me (and/or others) responsible for Obama’s win, because I vote against Romney?

    You’ll forgive me. (I know you will.) But I would beg to differ here, and would rather encourage believers to vote for the man who BEST represents the moral ideals of Scripture (as hard as that may be to determine) BOTH with regard to domestic AND foreign policies.

    It may be that Obama eats Romney’s lunch because a whole lot of people like me cannot bring themselves to vote FOR Romney. If our refusal to vote for the man that the GOP quite underhandedly put forward as its candidate turns out as that which “helps Obama”, then we have helped him in a passive sense only. Given the choice of shooting either my mother or my sister that I might save one or the other, I would choose neither. “Oh, but what if your tormentor threatens to kill the both of them AND you if you simply refuse to choose?” That is blood on his hands. Not mine. My conscience is clear.

    I believe that you’re asking me to make a choice between my mother or my sister. I actually think there’s another choice. When you’re handed the gun, shoot the tormentor!

    Go RON PAUL!

    Horatio

  2. I ain’t votin’ for Romney, NOT because he is a Mormon, but because I don’t agree with his politics!

    Okay. Then by default you vote for Obama whether you like it or not. I explained this in my previous article linked in this article, and Dan Phillips explains in his article I linked at the bottom. It should behoove you as a Christian in America to read it.

    However, do you truly believe that God will hold me (and/or others) responsible for Obama’s win, because I vote against Romney?

    He will hold you responsible for not acting upon your responsibility as a citizen in the nation where HE has sovereignly placed you. I also explained that in my previous article.

    My conscience is clear.

    As my friend, Dan writes,

    “Conscience” is not a Biblical code word for “reason to do something foolish with God’s approval.” That is, God holds us accountable for making intelligent decisions that take all the facts into consideration (Prov. 11:14; 13:10; 15:22; 16:1, 3, 9; 19:20-21; 24:6). It is foolish and wicked to refuse to do so.

    If you have a conscience that is OK with being foolish and wicked, you need to educate your conscience. Not slavishly obey it instead of the word of God.

    If your conscience is OK with refusing to do all you morally and legally can to prevent a second Obama term, you need to educate your conscience. Not slavishly obey it instead of wisely applying the word of God.

    “Conscience” is not a divine excuse for refusing to think and act wisely. Abused this way, it’s the non-Charismatic’s “God-told-me” card, and it should be rejected and abandoned.

    Go RON PAUL!

    Ron Paul reads better in the original German. The man is an isolationist and basically has the same attitude toward Israel (and Jews) as Obama. His foreign policy would be a disaster. If you are comfortable with that, God help you.

  3. Ron Paul reads better in the original German. The man is an isolationist and basically has the same attitude toward Israel (and Jews) as Obama. His foreign policy would be a disaster. If you are comfortable with that, God help you.

    Case in point of why Dispensationalists are whacky.

  4. Ah yes. Another Obama supporter.
    Dispensationalists are whacky says the theonomist. But at least I am mature and have a realistic view of politics instead of this ridiculous infantile Ron Paul perspective.

  5. “… at least I am mature and have a realistic view of politics instead of this ridiculous infantile Ron Paul perspective.”

    And besides that, you’re chock full of tact!

    “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” – Pr. 27,2

  6. While I’m neither a theonomist nor a dispensationalist I feel I must come the aid of my friend Fred here. I supported Ron Paul originally because of his views regarding taxes and business. However, as I read more on his foreign policies I soon came to realization that his views could not be mine when it came to Israel and his definitely isolationist policies. Isolationism doesn’t help this country and neither does a vote for Ron Paul.

  7. I preferred Ron Paul both because of his proper view of limited government AND because his isolationist views involved detaching from the Middle East realm, which would be a net positive for our nation compared to having a president who actively meddles in those affairs in such a manner that we reap judgment from God, just as we have under both Bush 43 and under Obama.

    The immature view here is the one lightly who equates Ron Paul with Naziism and doesn’t understand the consequences of our meddling with Israel and the Middle East. You need to recognize that it is God who upholds the nation of Israel, not the US. If our choice is between an administration that continues to poke the apple of God’s eye as it has under Bush and Obama, or one that ceases to meddle in those affairs, then I would wholeheartedly supported the non-interventionist and you should have too.

    Fact is, Obama openly opposes Israel and seeks to send massive economic and military aid to her neighbors even beyond what we already send, even as they attack and terrorize our embassies and people. That may improve slightly under Romney, returning closer to the Bush mantra of “roadmap for peace” versus the outright antagonism displayed by the Obama administration towards Israel, but eschatologically-speaking either is equally bad. If we want to distance ourselves from the judgment our nation has undergone during the last 12 years that has resulted from our treatment of Israel, it would mean one of two things: Swinging all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum to openly and strongly support Israel and only Israel (which is not only unlikely and unpopular, it is unrealistic), or to remove ourselves from meddling in the Middle East, which is something Ron Paul would work toward and has popular support.

    So if you really believe our nation’s policy towards Israel matters, let’s stop the caricatures of Ron Paul and more closely examine the effects from our Middle East policy over the past 12 years before we actively vote for someone who will continue the trend under the mistaken assumption it will be somehow better than what we’ve experienced under Bush and Obama.

  8. Hey Fred, could you replace the above with this one instead (it’s toned down better):

    Expect a politician to:

    (1) Participate in all the same attacks on morality as the other candidate, even though he will hide it, lie about it, and when caught, will claim his hands were tied;
    (2) Preach the Gospel of Greed;
    (3) Preach America’s fundamental sin, that each of us is master of his destiny;
    (4) Incite God’s wrath.

    A Mormon president will bring in many new converts.

    The Bible’s books of History and the Prophets are always helpful in understanding government.

  9. Does Ron Paul intend to build a giant spaceship and call for his followers to join him on his trip to a planet that is far, far away from the Middle East? If not, then how does he intend to disengage the US from the Middle East in a way that will not affect the US? We live on the same planet. Sticking your head in the sand will not change that reality.

  10. Pingback: Fred’s CA Voter Guide 2012 | hipandthigh

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