Mitt Romney at Liberty University on ‘our faiths’

In the wake of the interesting Village Green Forum in Christianity Today’s September issue in which all three participants (Stephen Mansfield, Mollie Zieglar-Hemingway and Richard Mouw) stressed that there is nothing wrong at all with a Christian voting for a Mormon for President (though they also counseled that it’s always a matter of choosing one imperfect candidate over another imperfect candidate) they also went on to add the following reminders– Mansfield: “In the 2012 election voting for Mitt Romney– yes a Mormon former bishop– is certainly a moral option for followers of Jesus Christ. For those who want a pro-life,pro-free market, pro-business, pro-defense and ‘America first’ champion, Mitt Romney is their man. It is no sin or dishonor to vote for him, even though his Latter Day Saint religion is far from orthodox Christianity.”

Mollie Ziegler-Hemingway after reminding us that Luther once said “I’d rather be ruled by a wise Turk than by a foolish Christian” goes on to remind “Mitt Romney fully acknowledged the many distinctions between his Mormon beliefs and traditional Christianity in his May commencement address at Liberty University.” She is referring especially to this remark by Romney where he admits Mormonism and Christianity are two different faiths. Here is the direct quote—-

“People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.” [N.B. I happen to agree with what Romney says here about making common cause even in spite of theological divides and differences, differences in faith].

Richard Mouw, who of the three has had the most extended discussions and dialogues with Mormons over the last decade concludes, and he says that nothing in those discussions would prevent him from voting for Romney for President if he were convinced he was the most able candidate for the job.

I would encourage you to Google the Romney speech at Liberty and read it. It’s a good speech, as was his convention speech. I would also encourage you to read the Village Green section from CT’s September issue and see what you think. The upshot of that forum was that all three persons said that a Christian could in good conscience vote for either Romney or Obama. Think about these things.

  • Chris

    Still waiting on your snapshot of liberation theology. ;>)

  • Trip

    And your formal endorsement of Obama. ;)

  • Ben Witherington

    Well no Trip. I’m not endorsing either candidate. They are both pretty flawed candidates to be honest. The question this post raises is ‘if one grants that Mormonism is a different religion than Christianity, does this even matter in a presidential race? Should religion be a major criteria for deciding for whom you will vote? Some will say yes, and some will say no (see the quote from Luther above). BW3

  • http://youtu.be/izUkZpTft2w Quin

    Former Bishop? Once a Bishop, always a Bishop. In fact, Romney rose above that position to Stake President. This is comparable to a Cardinal in a Catholic Church. So let’s just side-step the fact that the Mormon founding belief, c/o J.W. Smith, is ALL Christian faiths are false. Let’s look at why this article feels Romney is an okay choice. Pro-life? Romney has flip-flop’d on this position over and over again. He finally decided to go w. the extreme, neocon position that all abortions should be illegal, even in cases of rape or endangering the life of the mother. Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, during Nixon’s term (Republican). The majority of Supreme Court Justices who decided that case were chosen by Republican presidents. If Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Son-of-a-Bush (27 years) did not turn over Roe v. Wade, there’s no way that Flip-Flop’n Romney is going to do it either. The law is 39 years strong, placing a choice where it ultimately resides: with the mother. Pro-free market? Our US economy has been a free market no matter who is Commander-In-Chief. Pro-business? Romney’s success at Bain Capital is this: Buying companies, realizing their net worth, shutting down the companies, firing all the employees and then raiding their pension funds. Wiping out social security and medicare will be a walk in the park for him. Pro-defense?? Uhhhh … You know he’s a Vietnam draft dodger, right?? Besides, the Republicans in the Senate have shown their true allegiance: Pro-party, not pro-defense. During a time when all of our troops are returning from 2 wars, facing battle depression and high unemployment, they blocked the Veterans Jobs Bill. As for an ‘America first’ champion?? Where’s all of Romney’s assets?? Overseas. The jobs “he says” he created?? In China. To say that he’s pro-American is a joke. But here’s the real decision, especially to Christians of all faiths: Am I a Christian politically, or am I a Christian spiritually? Racism became part of the Mormon belief from the beginning and is still in their doctrine. (Book of Mormon, Alma 3:6) They changed their view during Martin Luther King’s fight for social equality. But it’s still in their doctrine, which is why you’ll never see a dark-skinned person in their top executive leadership. Polygamy also became part of the Mormon belief from the beginning and is still in their doctrine. (Doctrine and Covenants 132:61-63) They changed their view because it was the only way for Utah to become a state. But it’s still in their doctrine, which is why there are so many sects that formed from the LDS Church to continue practicing polygamy. As Christian Americans, we are not voting for a leader of our church. We are voting for a leader who will serve all Americans. But personally, if I was voting for a leader to serve only Christian Americans, it would be the leader who has 4 years of rising above adversity and fighting for the those less fortunate in our society. It would be the leader who is cleaning up the 8-year mess that was left, c/o Bush-Cheney, yet the opposition is upset because he’s not cleaning it up in less than 4. Through constant blocking from childish senators, aka the Grand Obstructionist Party, our President has still achieved more virtues and real accomplishments than most leaders could’ve even imagined. My vote is for Barack Obama. #GuardTheChange #VOTE

  • http://aerycksmusic.wordpress.com Eric John Sawyer

    A very sober-minded evaluation of the situation. I’m not an American, yet I think you’ve put the matter squarely before the voters, some who seem to be so aggressively anti-Mormon, LDS and Mitt Romney that they fail to engage the common sense.

    Peace,
    Eric.

  • MF

    It seems the “wise Turk” quote attributed to Luther is not quite his. Cf. http://www.dennyburk.com/martin-luther-mitt-romney-and-the-%E2%80%9Cwise-turk%E2%80%9D/

    Nonetheless, it’s a good point, regardless of who said it first.

  • http://cramercomments.blogspot.com D C Cramer

    “For those who want a pro-life,pro-free market, pro-business, pro-defense and ‘America first’ champion, Mitt Romney is their man. It is no sin or dishonor to vote for him, even though his Latter Day Saint religion is far from orthodox Christianity.”

    I may not be a sin to vote for him, but it might be a sin for a Christian to be “pro” all those things (particularly pro-”America first”–anyone read the Good Samaritan parable lately?).

  • Trip

    Seeing as how neither candidate is an orthodox Christian, this could apply to both. The question is which of these non-Christian candidate’s values align more closely with those of an evangelical voter?

  • http://aerycksmusic.wordpress.com Eric John Sawyer

    A very powerful speech, thought the transcript was missing words here and there: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/12/text-of-mitt-romneys-commencement-address-at-liberty-university/ .
    I’ve still to read the entire article from Christianity Today’s Sept. 2012 article, but it seems like a good one too: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/september/is-it-wrong-to-vote-for-mormon-president.html
    Thanks again, for staying on the pulse of this.
    God bless,
    Eric.

  • Patrick

    Ignoring the political, I just wonder to what extent would John, who wrote the Gospel( we assume), agree that a Mormon fits into John 20:31? I have them come by and I am fairly aware of the several differences we have.

    However, would that same John agree they fit into his threshold there? I know they disagree on tons of stuff, but, I am inclined to say yes anyway.

    Unless they are lying, they do believe Jesus of Biblical fame is the Son of God. I realize they don’t see THAT like we do, but, how much does “common grace” inform an unbeliever at the point of faith about Messiah beyond Jesus is Him?

    That’s what Peter confessed and I seriously doubt Peter had a clue at that point about what exactly “The Son of The Living God” really meant theologically.

    Politically, I could care less. I’d prefer an objective, constitution loving atheist to 95% the leaders I’ve seen in my lifetime. I’m 58 and I can count on my hands the wise leaders I’ve read of or watched since 1972.

  • Chris

    Quin, do you credit Obama for his improvement of the lives of “the least of these” in that there are now more of them relying on food stamps than ever or due to the fact that the average American pay check is shrinking, or is it that the jobs being created in the Obama economy are paying less and less? While lots of essential items are getting more expensive. I’ve never understood why those people in life who have been disadvantaged in some way vote lock step with the democrats when nothing sustainable has that party ever done to improve their situation. You accuse Romney voters of voting for Romney on his perceived merits, ie that he is pro business while ignoring Obama’s failures as a president on the economy particularly for the people his “change” was hyped to help.

    I am not enamored with Romney, and I’m willing to admit that, but if the last four years, as you say, have been an asset to Obama’s reelection, perhaps we need to define what success is.

    As to Ben’s question: I don’t believe a Christian is running this time around. You could probably say that about other times in history as well, but these candidates are unique in that clearly they do not subscribe to orthodox Christianity. We must vote. That’s first and foremost, but we also must look at our call in this world. We are to be salt and light. We are to lead on social issues in our own communities. Abortion should be prevented by us because we are willing to adopt unwanted babies or support single parents who choose life. We are to give time and money to causes that serve the least of these effectively and spiritually and stop relying on government to fix spiritual problems. It’s a spiritual problem that there are so many abortions, so much poverty, etc. This requires work on our behalf, but that’s what we are called to do. Jesus is the true light. Transformation comes through Him. Let us say now that no matter who is elected that we will answer the problems in the world with Jesus as He would have. That’s not a Sunday school answer, it’s the truth. We must be light shining in darkness. It’s risky and dirty and it’s biblical.

  • http://tailormadefs@yahoo.com Mary Liz

    Dangerous times befit the call to 40 Days of Prayer for our nation by Max Lucado and Pray The Vote by the group that prays for the Leaders of our Country. We must remember that God can work through anyone……believer, non-believer, Christian, Jew, etc. I am praying for mercy in all cases, for all people who walk the good earth in our country and states abroad that they will come to the knowledge of the truth……and see fit to know what to do on voting day….We are a model whether we want to be or not.

  • Esteban Bowers

    Thank you Dr. Witherington for this post! I have lived in South America for almost 25 years. One of the options given to voters is “votar en blanco” or what might be translated as none of the above. I personally am very disturbed that the so called greatest nation on the face of the earth cannot field better candidates! My brothers and sisters would so themselves well to re-examine what are the real beliefs of Mormons concerning marriage & family.

  • http://aerycksmusic.wordpress.com Eric John Sawyer

    Ben,
    I know this is going to seem rather a controversial reaction to your only comment in this thread (so far), but when you say “They are both pretty flawed candidates to be honest,” and baring in mind that I’m not up on USA politics, would care to elaborate on what you mean by “….pretty flawed candidates….” ? Other than the general idea that we’ve learned from the Christian sacred texts that mankind is flawed, do you have any specific details in mind? Please excuse my ignorance, but I have repeatedly read comments where Obama is criticized in the Press, on Forums, Blogs and more recently where Mitt Romney has been taking some serious fire from certain extremely angry folks via the same. IOW are there big issues, or major areas where both of their political thinking is ‘pretty flawed’, or am I missing something?
    Peace,
    Eric.

  • Ben Witherington

    In regard to President Obama, I think his position on abortion in general and partial birth abortion in partial is unChristian. I would say the same about his new position on gay marriage. And as a pacifist I am glad he is getting us out of war zones, but neither candidate comes close to my views on war and peace, it’s just Obama is less militant. As for Romney I think his positions on social justice issues raised specifically in the Bible are completely untenable as are his positions on what I would call American Zionism, by which I mean American exceptionalism (America as the promised land, the true home of some of the lost tribes of Israel etc.). Obama, in my view is a liberal Protestant, but nonetheless a genuine Christian. Romney is a Mormon, which is something else again. Analyzing them both through a specifically NT filter, there are flaws… serious flaws in their views and world views. BW3

  • Chris

    Ben, on what social justice issues do you find Romney lacking tenable positions?

  • Ben Witherington

    A bunch of issues including but not limited to: 1) poverty, 2) the environment (you may ask how that is a social justice issue— ask the coal miners in Kentucky. We need clean energy not more coal); 3) race issues of various sorts— for example his stance on affirmative action; 4) immigration issues, though he keeps flip flopping on that one.

  • http://aerycksmusic.wordpress.com Eric John Sawyer

    Thank you, Ben. I realize what I was asking would certainly need more than a comment or two to unpack, but you’ve managed to summarize some of the issues I was wondering about.

  • Chris

    So is Romney for poverty or against it? How do you define biblical affirmative action? What does it look like and how is it biblical? I live in Kentucky and understand the coal issue a bit…what will the miners’ occupation be once policies are enacted that kill the coal industry? Ethanol is “clean” and ridiculously inefficient and costly (see the vastly inflated price of corn). It’s far too simple to say we need clean energy. That’s the sort of thing that’ll buy us another Solyndra.

    It’s one thing to say a candidate’s positions are not aligned with the NT; it’s more helpful to go beyond broad topics, outline how this is so and give specifics. Otherwise, you sound like just another party liner, which I don’t think you are.

    It’s telling that Obama, the darling of the less fortunate, was to be the one who could “pay my mortgage for me”, and things are worse, not better for the poor. That’s being perceived as a friend to those in poverty without the results to back it up. That doesn’t do anybody any good.

  • Ben Witherington

    Chris things are certainly not worse for the poor now compared to in 2008. That’s not true. In 2008 our whole economic system was threatened by all sort of high jinks in both the banking industry, and on Wall Street with everything from rogue traders to ponsy schemes. Inflation is always a problem for the poor, and the inability to pay your rent or your car payment was exacerbated by the whole economic mess.

    By clean energy I am certainly not referring to ethanol. We could generate in Kentucky on those mountain tops we keep blowing up enough energy from wind to take care of several of those poor counties in the eastern part of the state just as they do in northwest Indiana just north of Lafayette. Solar energy is now very cost efficient. Go visit the Holy Land sometime. All the poor have solar hot water heaters and solar panels on their roofs. No hot water or even electrical bills! I could go on. Natural gas is a viable clean alternative to coal or fuel oil. And while we are at it, there is no such thing as clean coal. Not a single plant in America produces clean coal. That’s about as much of an oxymoron as Microsoft works! Coal miners could certainly be retrained to erect wind collectors or to make and install solar panels. Absolutely they could. Kentucky is a beautiful state that the coal industry is busy ruining it. We have a horrible power plant just on the other side of the Kentucky river beyond Wilmore belching garbage into the air day after day. Have you ever visited Ashland Kentucky? You should check the hospitals there where the rate of black lung disease and cancer is far higher in the coal regions than elsewhere in the state, never mind the dangers in the mines themselves. And those poor people do not make a good living wage. I have seen how they live. They are being ripped off by the coal overlords. The point is that the drill baby drill and the dig baby dig strategy of Romney and his kin is unbelievably short-sighted, and frankly bad for the environment. Fossil fuels will indeed be gone, and probably in my lifetime. We need to develop these alternate sources of energy NOW. Don’t even get me started about Romney and Medicare in regard to those who are now under 55. There will be many who cannot buy private health insurance in the generation just younger than mine. But Romney won’t even tell us what he will do in regard to those under 55 when it comes to Medicare. I could go on, but this is enough. Of course I’m also upset with Obama about the Canadian pipeline issue, and the oil shale issue, but that’s a story for another day. BW3

  • John

    Ben,

    This is a tough one, first of all I could never vote for someone who is not pro-life, so Obama is not even a choice. This is my struggle with Romney, from the CT article

    “There will be a price to voting for Romney, of course. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will enjoy heightened visibility and influence with a Romney candidacy and much more with a Romney presidency.”

    That’s a high price, knowing that Christian churches, for the most part, aren’t too concerned with doctrine anymore, it’s a hard decision.

  • Claire

    How do you define “orthodox Christianity”? I’m not referring to Romney, but to Obama. Orthodox Mormonism seems to be easier to define, but Christianity not so much. Across all denominations “orthodoxy” changes, just ask a practicing Roman Catholic and a practicing Eastern Orthodox. To claim that Obama is not an “orthodox Christian” as several people have claimed means that he has defied some general principle of orthodoxy. I’ll agree that he does not fall under the category of “evangelical Christian,” but that does not make him unorthodox. To be fair, you also cite Luther- who at the time was considered heretical.

    Quin- I agree that I have hesitations to say that you can be Christian and be “pro-” all of those things. I have a very difficult time imaging Jesus being pro-business and free market economy, or being anti- programs which help the widow, the orphan, the alien, etc.

    As far as the economy is concerned, in 4 years you simply can’t improve an inherited, terrible economy. Economies are cyclical and with the growing interdependence on international trade it would be almost impossible to substantially improve the US economy without completely removing it from the world economy or starting from scratch. Neither of which is a particularly smart move.

    But I think the critical issue is realizing how little power the President has and how much more effort should be spent on electing a congress that is willing to work with one another. From where I sit all of those “pro-” values ascribed to Romney are the same values maintained by sitting Tea Party members who adamantly refuse to come to any kind of consensus. If Romney can call on evangelical Christians to attempt to find common points of theology in order to garner votes, surely we can find candidates willing to accept that some issues should cross political lines and work from within the overlap.

  • Patrick

    I wouldn’t worry about Mormons getting “authenticated”, Obama’s church wasn’t exactly the type I would want to promote and there’s no reason to think most Americans have gravitated more towards that ” church atmosphere” since his election.

    It’s likely LDS will come into more ridicule if he were elected with the spotlight and all their views. Especially in today’s disrespectful culture.

    We didn’t become more Christian under Carter or less so under Jefferson, I doubt these 2 pols will affect many of us to choose our faith.

    Both guys have intractable, terrible problems from a Christian view.

    As a Christian, I would vomit voting for either one IF Christ was not their ultimate boss. That’s comforting to me. Jesus is the real ruler, all these others just don’t get that yet, they will.

  • Ben Witherington

    Claire all Christians, whether Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant affirm the Apostles creed, and normally the Nicene and Chalcedonian creeds as well. They differ in their confessions, but not in their creeds. They also all affirm that the Bible is God’s Word and is indeed the infallible rule of faith and practice. BW3

  • Stephen

    My concern with the strong push to eliminate the coal industry is that we’re going to kill off a major source of energy and don’t have anything available in “clean energy” that comes close to supplying our needs.

    As for medicare, I don’t know that either candidate has the answer on this but the current system is obviously unsustainable.

  • Claire

    Ben- I would agree that as a denomination the Apostles creed is the norm (although I am loathe to confess a creed as a Baptist). Where can you (or anyone else) affirm that Obama is less orthodox than other Christians. I’d also argue that there are wide ranging assumptions about what “God’s Word” qualifies and could therefore not be used as a standard for confirming or denying orthodoxy.

  • Ben Witherington

    Well Claire I will disagree with you. Even in a mainline denomination like my UMC you have a very orthodox statement in the Book of Discipline about the inspiration and authority of the Bible. The fact that some individuals give that lip service is frankly irrelevant. The issues is are the Apostles Creed and the Authority of the Bible both flags that Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox agree on— and within that are agreeing on all kinds of Christological things like the virginal conception and atoning death and bodily resurrection of Jesus or the Trinity. And it is precisely in some of these cases where Christianity differs markedly from Mormonism. Christians do not affirm a further revelation beyond the Bible as from God, whether it be the Koran or the Book of Mormon as sacred texts. BW3

  • Chris

    Ben and Claire, you must share some special knowledge about what poor people truly desire since you both seem to indicate they are better off now than they were 4 years ago. Based on your point of view they must be happy with fewer and lower quality job prospects and food stamps since those are two results of the Obama economy.

    Claire, Obama claimed certain predictions about the economy such as the unemployment rate not topping 8% that at least suggest he anticipated better and faster recovery. Instead we have what is being called the weakest recovery in American history and this notion is agreed upon across the spectrum of analysts. I don’t recall democrats throwing around the economic cycle when attempting to explain the 2008 economic collapse so I think it’s generous to cite it now.

    People are not particularly optimistic about their economic prospects. Unfortunately, those in poverty have been brought up in it and are severely disadvantaged due to it. Few make it out of the cycle so at best I think you could argue that the poor are in the same boat as they were before Obama came in. What we can credit Obama for is increasing the number of people living at or below the poverty line. More people on welfare and more people on food stamps are not to be mistaken for feathers in the economic cap.

    Claire, I do agree that the president can only do so much, but then it’s hard to take that sort of defense seriously when President Bush is still being blamed today for all sorts of problems. You can’t have it both ways. The important thing for us to do is to get involved at our local levels, mobilize other Christians to do the same, and stop looking to political powers to solve spiritual problems.

  • http://www.benwitherington.com ben Witherington

    Chris have you been paying attention to what the Republican controlled House has been doing the last two years, namely obstructing and vetoing every jobs act that came before them, and every attempt to have a more equitable tax code? If you want to know who deserves a large share of the blame for the slower jobs growth then talk to your Republican representatives. Mitch McConell in the Senate and Rand Paul in the House, among others have been some of the most obstructionist, filibustering, folks in Washington. That’s just the truth. Obama at least wanted to deal with our crumbling bridges, roads, and infrastructure but every time anything like that came up for a vote, it was voted down by the Republican House! So, I’m afraid you are mistaking who has control of the legislative process and who’s in the executive branch. The President can’t pass any legislation. It’s not his job. Yes, he can lobby the Fed to lower rates, and yes he can do a stimulus package, or a bailout once in a while, but in terms of passing fundamental legislation, that’s in the hands of congressmen and senators. And in the last two years all we have is gridlock— even over the basic budget! It’s pathetic. A pox on both their houses. BW3

  • http://www.benwitherington.com ben Witherington

    P.S. More involvement of the church at the local level is great, but it is a band aid on a gaping wound. Take Katrina and New Orleans. Could the church rebuild the levees and dams? No. That took the corps of engineers. That’s a federal job. Our country is far too big and complex to simply expect all problems to be solvable at the local level, or mainly by city and state governments. Wrong. They cannot regulate inter-state commerce. They can’t decide on which inter-state highways need to be built across state lines. They cannot run a national postal service or Medicare or social security or our national defense. We absolutely need a strong central government in addition to all the state and local efforts. Especially in a time of economic crisis. I certainly have no desire to go back to the 18th century where you have a period of the judges kind of existence in regards to law and order and justice and you name it. No thank you. BW3

  • Chris

    Ben, it is clear that you believe government is the right answer for job creation. The Republicans do not believe that. You’re welcome to your opinion on why you believe that is wrong, but you don’t get to characterize the opposition to a jobs plan as obstructionist that they (and the democrats) simply felt was a bad idea and this defeated. Jobs created by the “stimulus” cost at least $185,000 per job (that figure is based on the highest total of jobs that can be attributed to “stimulus I”).

    Plus, that was in the early part of Obama’s presidency so even if those numbers had made financial sense at the time (which they clearly didn’t) those jobs are gone. Now you say that Republicans blocked the president’s other job plans. Not true. In fact, Senator McConnell agreed with the president that a vote should be cast on the 2011 Jobs bill that Obama gave a speech on and basically used to dupe people into believing that if the Republicans didn’t vote with the president on the bill that his party could blame them for not wanting to help create jobs (how very presidential of him). Leading Republicans even requested a meeting with the Obama leading up to his Jobs speech in hopes of putting together a truly bipartisan bill. Obama refused the meeting but called his proposal in his speech non-controversial thus painting Republicans as obstructing a good ol’ American jobs bill. After the President’s first horrendous “investment” or “stimulus” that would have gotten anyone running a company fired for its irresponsibility, lack of accountability, and pure waste on “shovel ready jobs” that Obama himself later noted weren’t so “shovel ready”, who can blame all the Republicans AND Democrats for voting against a second installment? The main point here though is that Harry Reid tried to prevent a vote from even happening. This after the president had been pleading for a vote on it.

    The truth is Obama had ignored the job problem after the failure of his first stimulus bill and only acted when his approval rating had dropped to its lowest levels just over a year ago. Harry Reid didn’t want to touch it–again because of Obama’s dismal approval ratings.

    It’s all power all the time when it comes to both parties. It’s plain as day.

    Regardless, I find your blog where it regards your expertise to be incredibly helpful and I thank you for that, and I’m confident your scholarship will never be in need of a bailout.

    Best,

    Chris

  • Ben Witherington

    I found two things we agree on Christ! Firstly, power politics on either side instead of doing the right thing for America really stinks to high heaven. Secondly, I am all for private sector job creation, but again I do think that the government should be able to help us create jobs, even if they are only temporary solutions to a few problems. I must say that I am very glad for my friends in Michigan that there was an auto industry bailout for GM etc. Those were jobs worth saving. And I am also thankful that a great deal of the bailout money lent to various places has been paid back with interest. BW3

  • Mason

    o.k..i am late to this discussion..but if Romney is preaching a different gospel and i think based on my understanding of Mormonism that he is or at the very least his church is, then what is the Christian response? Paul said that even if an angel preached another gospel let him be accursed. therefore can Christians rightly vote for someone who preaches a false gospel and that the Apostle Paul considers “damned?” i am by no means an Obama supporter, but i struggle with this one. i need to go read Paul’s comments in context, but just the verse itself causes me to pause…of course the bigger problem is that we Christians in America have abdicated our responsibility to help the poor, orphans and widows to the government. we pay our tithes/offerings every month to the government so that we do not have to get our hands dirty. we live under the allusion that we are doing something kingdom worthy every 4 years if we vote the right people into office. that somehow government and systems will save us and provide for those in need..we need to be set free from that kind of thinking…i know this sounds so crazy, but i am just tired of Christians falling into the Republican’s or Democrat’s trap of thinking that they are the answers to our problems. our problems are so much more fundamental and basic..we are greedy..and until we are set free from that no government can truly govern correctly..

  • Stephe

    Mason, pretty accurate comments!

    I’ve struggled with the Mormon thing as well. I don’t subscribe to Obama’s beliefs either (abortion, gay marriage, etc…).

  • http://www.benwitherington.com ben Witherington

    Chris I suggest you watch this Ryan clip, and then comment……

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/08/13/paul-ryan-is-far-from-an-ayn-rand-prodigy?vwo=501cd


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