August 15, 2012

Can Christians vote for a Mormon?

by Jesse Johnson

The Republican Party’s candidate for President this year has produced a bumper crop of this question: “Can Christians vote for a Mormon?” The short answer is “yes” but I want to fill that out a bit more. First, the disclaimers:

voting-booths-in-polling-place-

Disclaimer #1) I am addressing this question generically, and not specifically implying that you should vote for one candidate over another. I am not concerned about who you vote for as much as I am about how you think about what voting means. The Middle-Eastern world where Imams tell their people whom to vote for is not a step forward for religious freedom.

Disclaimer #2) The teachings of Mormonism are not compatible with the biblical gospel. The Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus of the New Testament, and Mormonism is essentially a works-righteousness way of relating to God. A person who believes what Mormons believe is alienated from God, and in need of the gospel. So don’t interpret anything I write below as compromising those basic truths.

With that said, here are three reasons why it is acceptable for Christians to vote for non-Christians for political office:

1) Much of what a candidate does is unrelated to religion. We have to grant that if two people are running for treasurer, let’s say, and one is a Christian who is a high school drop out, and the other is a Mormon with an accounting degree, the later would probably do a better job than the former. In that sense, voting is based on perceived competence to the task, and is not a validation of the religious beliefs of the candidate.

2) The government is not the church. Voting is not rendering your opinion on the eternal destiny of each candidate. In fact, the qualifications for a good businessman are not the same qualifications for an elder, or for church membership. Women can be in leadership in government, but not in the church. The church is entered through baptism, but not government. And, finally, partnering with someone in an election is not the same thing as partnering with them in the church. Paul’s admonition to not be “bound together” with an unbeliever is ecclesiastical, not political.

3) The best government is the one that promotes freedom. For conversion to Christ to be real, the gospel must be preached freely. Thus the best candidate is the one that will keep the peace while promoting religious freedom. If Christians are anything but hypocritical in their concept of religious freedom, we have to maintain that there is room for atheists, Mormons, etc., in the public square. Yesterday I argued that if given the choice between living under a deist’s democracy or a Christian’s dictatorship, the democracy is to be preferred…right up until the moment Christ returns.

What do you think? Can a Christian vote for a Mormon with a clear conscience? Let’s keep the comment thread on that topic–or on any points I missed above. Because I’m more interested in the religion than the politics, any comments about this particular election/candidates will be summarily deleted.

Jesse Johnson

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Jesse is the Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA.
  • http://mriccardi.blogspot.com Mike Riccardi

    Comment thread was inadvertently closed. Sorry for that. Be sure to share your thoughts!

  • Doug Condidorio

    I would vote for Governor Romney today if he ran against President Bush even though President Bush is an evangelical Christian. We are needing men to Govern well to help fix the problems we are currently facing in this great country of ours.

  • Drew Sparks

    I really struggle with this. I lead a mission trip to salt lake city utah and have spoken with several people there who have prominent ministries, and as of right now I am undecided. I am thinking of NOT voting for romney or obama and seeking to find an alternative for several reasons…

    1.) I will not vote for someone whose morals are as liberal as obama – enough said about that side of the party.

    2.) If obama wins, america is at stake, but I am a Christian before I am an american and if you read the book, things are going to get worse before they get better.

    3.) If romney wins, I don’t think American can be saved morally, but maybe it can be saved economically. However, I don’t think that this can compare to the fact that I think that more people across the world will accept Mormonism because it is “American.” Many of the people that I have spoken with that have ministries in Utah are more concerned for the growth of Mormonism outside of american than inside of romney wins.

    Ultimately, if obama wins, America is at stake, and if romney wins, souls are at stake. I cannot help myself but see it any other way. Is there anyone else who feels this way?

    I honestly don’t know what I am going to do. I might write in chuck norris.

  • Jamie

    It’s not whether you can vote for a Mormon qua Mormon. It’s whether you can vote for a Mormon bishop who has sworn a solemn oath to “consecrate himself, his time, talents, and everything he now has, or will have in the future, for the building up of the [Mormon] Kingdom of God here upon the earth, and for the establishment of Zion.”

    It would be like voting for a Jesuit priest who has sworn “special obedience to the Sovereign Pontiff in regard to the missions according to the same apostolic letters and Constitutions.”

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      I totally agree with that comparison (b/w LDS and RCC). That said, based on my understanding of the seperation of church and state, I don’t see a connection between those oaths and political office. Its not like we could fall asleep, and the next thing you know the US government is actually submissive to the Pope, or Prophet or what have you.

  • ali

    I am not certain America has had a “biblical christian” in the oval office for years and years, if ever.!!.
    We should not become snarled in the “he is not a christian” web and decide not to vote. Our nation is in deep trouble and we must put men of moral character, integrity and those who resolve to stand for America in positions of power – only God can change a heart, only God can change a nation.
    PRAY for this nation, PRAY for Godly wisdon and VOTE.

  • http://twitter.com/g1antfan Mike Barlotta

    As a Christian, voting for a Christian would seem to make sense. We would expect integrity and honesty from the elected official when making tough decisions. We would also expect to hold similar views on many important matters.

    In reality, given the choices many politicians make, it seems that Christians (or at least professing, but let’s give benefit of the doubt) in elected office often make promises they can’t keep, obscure decision making processes, stretch the truth, and choose policies that would seem to go against a Christian world view/Biblical teachings.

    Therefore, I do think Christians should vote for the candidate they feel is most
    qualified to lead the country, represents their world view, and whom they would be most able to defend at the judgment seat. That may mean voting for a non-Christian for many of the reasons in the OP.

  • http://mriccardi.blogspot.com Mike Riccardi

    I think a good companion piece to this perspective is Dan Phillips’s post on voting third party or abstaining here. It’s probably written more strongly than many are used to, but it makes the point well and couldn’t be any clearer.

    • Inclement Nimbus

      Dan’s point #3 is quite interesting

      “In fact, all third-party candidates will accomplish NOTHING of what they promise. Why not? Well, for starters,
      there are two people in the world: those who think a third-party
      candidate has any realistic chance of winning the election, and sane people. You can’t keep any promises if you don’t win office, and they can’t win! Next, even if that circle could be squared, they would have no constituency in Congress. Nobody to present their legislation. Nobody to craft their bills. Nobody to argue for them. Nobody to vote for them. They’d have to be dictators or tyrants.”

      I think people forget about this side of it. Thought it worth reposting here. Good article thanks for linking to it Mike!

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      Let me say I love Dan’s piece. But let me follow it with this point: If you live in a state like New Mexico (five electoral votes), or a state like California (which is certain to cast its votes for the democrat) then suddenly the point of voting third party makes more sense. It is sending a message of discontent with the other candidates, and it is a message to the Republican party that X number of people wish the party moved in x direction. They are not going to get elected, but at the same time, your vote in that state has no bearing on the outcome of the election anyway. If you live in Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, etc., then I’m on board with Phillips post entirely.

  • Another Jamie

    I think the short answer is yes and for many of the same reasons in the article. We are voting for a President not a pastor.

    That said – those who will not vote for, in this case, Romney are very much like many evangelicals who separate themselves from those who disagree on secondary issues only to find themselves in an ever shrinking and ineffectual group.

    To not vote for the best man for the job when that job is secular is beyond irresponsible to border upon stupidity.
    When I board a plane (or go to the dentist, etc.), I do not care if the pilot is a Christian or not only that he is competent and qualified for the job he has been given.

  • Suzanne

    Reason #3 is an excellent clincher.

    For all the reasons stated I just can’t see where one could be compromising their faith or conscience by voting for a Mormon.

    I am really appreciating these clear, concise, well pointed posts..very helpful, thank you!

    ~Suzanne

  • tom

    Whether a person has an education or not is no indication of how well he could govern or perform a certain task (such as preach).
    Washington is proof of that being full of lawyers having no regard for the law. Does that mean we need more lawyers in Washington? If we dismiss all the uneducated people we dismiss the Spurgeons, the Moody’s, and the G Campbell Morgans not counting 10 of our US Presidents.

    The matter of Romney being elected President and being a Mormon has everything to do with “religion”! If we as Christians vote for a Mormon we are voting for Mormonism because we have already seen in the past months the conversation about Mormonism being elevated to a new level and considered “Christian” by the “Christian” and non-Christian world. Afterall the pastor of the largest church in America has said that, “Mr. Romeney believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that’s good enough for [me]” and counts him as a brother. Voting for a Muslim would be a vote for Islam; and in many ways voting for the Mormon is worse because it is parading itself as “Christian.” Anyone’s view of Scripture will determine how they live and lead and it’s no different for a Mormon or a Muslim.
    When it comes to politics Romney is not even a true moral conservative and has only changed his stance on abortion in the
    last few years not to mention the fact of him changing his mind on almost everything else he believes.

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      I agree with what you wrote, but come to the opposite conclusion you do. Electing an LDS president would increase the discussion of Mormonism, and would highlight people like Olsteen’s ignorance. Those are good results though, not bad.

      • tom

        How could you agree with what I wrote, yet disagree with the
        conclusion? Either you agree, or disagree, it can’t be both.

        Has the prominence of Joel Osteen in America helped to clarify the
        gospel? Has it not just muddied the water? Historically, has media,
        pop culture, or celebrity attention been kind to true Christianity? Has it led
        people toward truth, or further into error? What makes you think it will be any different
        in this case? Why shouldn’t we vote for the abortionist as long as they have
        the right fiscal policy or even Obama if all we need to do is “increase the
        discussion”? As Christians should we vote for someone just because we think
        they can get elected? Should we vote for the person most qualified or looks the
        “most Presidential”? Is it our responsibility as Believers to put people in
        office, or to vote our conscience according to Scripture and leave the results
        up to a sovereign God?

        Voting is a huge responsibility for Believers because we
        have much more to consider than unbelievers. As Christians we should never vote
        solely on economics, just because a candidate promises to lower our taxes and
        leave more in our wallets, doesn’t qualify him to be President. Would the Apostle Paul have endorsed a
        politician who denied the Deity of Christ, the doctrine of justification by
        faith alone, and believed that Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan? Absolutely
        not! Paul would have rejected him and
        his god, and would have even named him as a heretic.

        If our citizenship is
        in Heaven and if we pray for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,
        shouldn’t we at least consider what Heaven would do?

    • Debbie A. Rupert

      Thank you for posting. I am of the same belief as you….that Mr. Johnson is incorrect when he says much of what a president does is not related to his or her religion.

  • A different Tom

    Wow! I’m surprised by the question. We are not siding with Mormon religion, theology, practice or anything by voting for a Mormon. Voting is first and foremost a decision about two candidates set before us who best will run our country – decide on that basis alone. Voting is not an endorsement of religious faith – it may be one of the many factors but it should never be the primary consideration. I like the person who said we are not voting for a pastor.

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      Thanks Tom. I wrote this because Challies had a post last week on Mormonism where a few people in the comment thread made the case that Christians should not vote for Mormons. That’s what led me here.

      • Inclement Nimbus

        That is interesting Jesse. If those people think we shouldn’t vote for Mormons then I suppose we shouldn’t vote for any unregenerate non Christian by that logic. That would severely limit our choices

        • http://www.facebook.com/scottalanbuss Scott Alan Buss

          Yes, it would limit our choices to Christ-honoring options as Christ has defined them. Or, put another way, it would give us a great opportunity to glorify His name and nature with our vote! :)

          • Inclement Nimbus

            Scott,

            In the world of politics I do wonder if there really is a Christ-honoring option.

          • http://www.facebook.com/scottalanbuss Scott Alan Buss

            I hear ya, but, by His grace, He has assured His people that they will never be forced into anything that dishonors Him. So yes, there is always a Christ-honoring option…though that option often tends to be one that we personally find unappealing for all sorts of secularly pragmatic reasons.

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  • Michael Lynch

    Would you vote for the Republican candidate if he were more conservative than the Democratic candidate, but he was a member of the Church of Satan? Seriously, think about it–this sentiment that one’s religion shouldn’t matter is dishonest. It matters to that man who claims it. If Mormonism matters to Romney, and you, the Christian voter, understand Mormonism, you should not take this so lightly. It would be interesting to compare what Christians would say to “Would you vote for a Mormon?” to “Would you vote for a Muslim?” And to follow up on my first question, Romney IS a member of A church of Satan.

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      And to be clear, I would have no problem voting for a Muslim either…if they were the better candidate. I have a high view of freedom, a higher view of the local church, and a lower view of politics. I’d say the main function of government is not to direct the countries’ morality, but to pave roads, regulate commerce, and punnish wrong doing. That said, in a democracy the elections don’t direct public morality, but reflect it. In that sense, a democracy is the perfect tool for God to give a people over to their desires.
      I go back to my previous post yesterday. If religious freedom is important, it is equally important for Christians to elect people who will protect it, even if they are not Christians. And if there are Christians who want to infringe on religious freedom, we should not vote for them, even if they are part of our church.

      • http://www.facebook.com/scottalanbuss Scott Alan Buss

        Before one can “punish wrong doing”, don’t they first have to define wrong doing? When one defines wrong, right, goodness, evil and the like by biblical standards, as all true Christians are called and equipped to do, they will, of necessity, find themselves fundamentally opposed to the truth claims (and therefore many core governmental philosophies) of those who are still, as the Bible describes them to be, “slaves to sin”, “children of wrath”, “sons of the devil”, and “lovers of darkness”.

        So how do we credibly claim fidelity to what Jesus described as the greatest commandment – to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” – while freely choosing a “slave to sin”, “child of wrath”, and “son of the devil” to lead our nation?

        • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

          That really is the gist of the issue Scott. I like how you phrased it. I’d answer that by saying you do so by seeing a difference between the church and politics. Jesus is not the head of the country. In that sense, the criterea to lead your church is actually higher than to lead our country. This is why the NT can command you to honor your government, even if it is lead by Nero. It would be a mistake to say “But then you are honoring the Devil!”. Ditto for voting. Vote for the best candidate-presumably the one who has a clear sense of morality, the best sense of government, and the best concept of freedom. And if he is not a Christian, who cares? It’s not like he’s been nominated to be an elder at your church.

          • http://www.facebook.com/scottalanbuss Scott Alan Buss

            I understand the desire (necessity, even), of unregenerate, spiritually dead people (which all of us are until He saves us) seeking to create realms or spheres in which Christ is not explicitly sought or proclaimed as Lord, but I am not writing to gain a better understanding about that basic secular principle as it is employed in secular society by secular people. I am asking how an actual, converted, supernaturally regenerated New Creature in Christ could freely take the vote that He has given them to cast on His behalf and spend it in support of an explicit anti-Christ’s pursuit of a leadership position over their nation? I understand that secular minds do not see this as dishonoring God because they do not see Him as God (or Lord) over all things at all times. But true Christians do. And professing Christians who don’t, or at least don’t seem to demonstrate this “Lordship of Christ over all of their actions” when they act politically (politics impacting directly everything from God’s institutions of marriage and family to His creations of law and economics), seem to be witnessing for the lordship of secular pragmatism in their politics, not the Christ who they claim with words as Lord over all of their lives.

            Honoring a government that is legitimately in place is an entirely different thing. In Mitt Romney, we are talking about an explicit anti-Christ who is seeking a leadership position. How can Christians credibly or coherently honor Christ while simultaneously supporting an anti-Christ’s pursuit of leadership over their nation?

            Would not the Christ-honoring thing to do be to use what He has provided (the vote, in this instance), to honor His name and nature by voting in accordance with His clearly expressed standards of good, God-honoring leadership?

        • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

          One more thing. The concept of morality is revealed through common grace and general revelation. You don’t need to be a Chrisitan to hold the tenants of what we often refer to as a “christian nation.” Things like “Murder is bad” and “freedom is good’ are revealed apart from Christ, and are part of general revelation. They are not distinctly Christian. Does that help?

  • http://almostreadytogoamish.blogspot.com/ Rational νεόφυτος

    Yeah, it’s a good question, since it seems like deciding between the lesser evil of a politician in a cult vs. a politician who’s proven to be little more than a nominal Christian.
    As to the question of can a Christian vote for a Mormon with a clear conscience, I can’t help but get this underlying feeling that as evangelical Christians vote for a Mormon, there’s this subtle vibe of endorsement of mormonism as ‘just another denomination of Christianity’ (which it clearly ISN’T).
    But on the other side, voting for the incumbent would be a vote for a man with a viciously pro-abortion standpoint, who as a representative in Illinois actually voted against a ban of the ‘live birth abortion’ process, so in a way, this question is more like deciding between voting for a mormon or voting for a follower of Molech.

  • Debbie A. Rupert

    Dear Mr. Johnson, I am surprised by your stance on this matter. You say that much of what a candidate does is unrelated to religion. My religion is Christianity and all that I do all day is based on my christian beliefs. First of all I answer and am accountable to a higher authority (God) each and every day. Every decision I make all day long is either one that brings honor and Glory to God or one that doesn’t. Therefore, everything we do all day long is related to our religion/faith. Every decision I make all day long is based on God’s principals and God’s moral law. A Morman president would have to make decisions all day long and so his or her decisions would be based on their personal beliefs and influenced by their religion. Dr. Charles Stanley always preaches ” one is either for Christ or against Christ” that simple. As you well stated the Morman belief is a belief that is anti-christ. Why would a christian vote for a candidate that is against Christ? The current wave of the culture is already anti-Christian. Dr. Charles Stanley also warns christian about drifting in their faith. One warning sign of drifting in your faith is when we don’t share Jesus with anyone. A Morman president would not share the love of Jesus with anyone, and as Christians we have an obligation before God to talk to people about Jesus. So wouldn’t it be better to suggest to you blog readers to be sure to choose a Christian Candidate.

    Dr. Charles Stanley also warns Christians about compromise. We as Christians must gaurd our standards and not allow the power of compromise to seep into our decision making. Compromise is one of Satan’s most powerful attacks. God warned King Solomon not to compromise. When Christians compromise their godly principles they walk dangerously close to Satan.

    I have much more to say on this topic and have many more scriptures and Bible stories that relate but I must stop somewhere. I suggest to your readers that they protect their future and look for another candidate. In the last election I did not vote for the Republican or Democrat candidate, I voted for Chuck Baldwin. He was a baptist preacher living by a strong biblical code. May I suggest we all vote for the strongest Christian Candidate. This candidate doesn’t necessarily have to be the top two candidates. If more people really felt like their note mattered they would vote that way. God is ultimately in charge. Mr. Johnson, I would like to ask you why you feel like it is not a main responsibility of the government to direct the countries morality? That’s what governing is! The definition of government is to hold in check, to rule over by right authority. etc….. Please suggest to your readers that voting for a Mormon would not be the best choice for a Christian.

    • Inclement Nimbus

      Debbie,
      Do you think it is God’s will that these two men are the choices we have? In reality one of these two men will hold office after the elections. I admire that you want to stand on your biblical principals but consider the fact that sometimes God’s people don’t have a Godly man in power over them. We are called to be the same Christians regardless.

      When you voted for Chuck Baldwin did you honestly feel like he had a chance of becoming elected? Just curious

  • baboo

    As to the point of imams telling their congregants to vote for someone is no different than someone from the Billy Graham family endorsing a candidate which encourages church members to vote for that person. The laws and law system is different in the middle east due British mandated countries set up which helped people who are in power get to power, a majority of whom are western allied kings and life long leaders. The imams played a big roll in bringing down the Egyptian leader Hosni Mubrarck but yet he was a friend of the west so he was never asked to leave office or even pressured by the west until those same imams and public in general had succeeded in sacking him. So i think it is a very odd point that Obama possibly would have never gotten into office had he been a good Muslim which probably goes pretty closely in line with being a good Christian and aligns with most conservative republican ideology.

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      Good point Baboo. But I was particularly thinking of Iraq, whose new system see,s to be thwarted by the simple fact that people vote for who their religious leader tells them to.

  • Jim Davis

    The Mormon mantra goes “as man is god once was, as god is man may become.” How could you form a better statement of original sin? It is a perfect purpose statement for the anti-christ. It is my understanding that Romney is a high priest in both orders of priesthood, Aaronic and Melchizedek. Think about it. A priest after the order of Melchizedek.

    • http://twitter.com/edwcarter Ed Carter

      I don’t understand your logic. How does the “you’ve referenced have anything to do with Christianity?

  • Busdriver4jesus

    I love these questions, because they assume that only 2 people are running for president. Can I introduce many, if not all, of you to the Constitution Party? As a consistently conservative option, the CP is rock-solid on social and economic issues, and the part I value the most is the lack of the sinking, pit-of-your-stomach nausea that arises when contemplating voting for a man who will (in his mind) become a god someday.

    • http://mriccardi.blogspot.com Mike Riccardi

      I wouldn’t quite say that they assume only two people are running for President. Better said: they assume, and rightly so, that in reality only two people have a remote chance of being elected President.

      • Inclement Nimbus

        Mike has a great point. In reality it really boils down to two individuals this year. Should I cast my vote to a far lesser known individual I would feel like I am throwing my vote away.

        • http://mriccardi.blogspot.com Mike Riccardi

          I would feel like I am throwing my vote away.

          Which, for all practical intents and purposes, simply aids the re-election of the current President.

          • Inclement Nimbus

            Absolutely agreed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottalanbuss Scott Alan Buss

    How does one obey the greatest commandment while simultaneously casting a vote for an explicit anti-Christ to lead their nation?

    Mark 12:28-30: And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”

    I didn’t see a scriptural argument made in the original post. It seemed like warmed over secular pragmatism and secular perspective on the relationship between religion and politics, far as I could tell. I would love to hear a scriptural case for fidelity to the greatest commandment while freely, knowingly voting for an explicit anti-Christ to lead one’s nation.

    Thanks!

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      Sure. What is most loving to our unsaved neighbors and to our Christian brother is their freedom. Obviously the truth is that what is most loving is the gospel, but the government cannot give them that–and rightly so; I wrote on that before this post. So from the government, the most loving thing we can hope for is a government that punnishes evil, and maintains freedom. Thus if a Christian threatens their freedom, he should not be voted for. If an athiest, Catholic, or Mormon is going to uphold it, he should be perfered.

      In some sense this is a Scriptural gray area, because the NT (as I noted above) does not give instructions on how to run a government. That’s becasue we as a church are not concerned about building one. We have more important things to build, like the church.

  • Guest

    How does one obey the greatest commandment while simultaneously casting a vote for an explicit anti-Christ to lead their nation?
    Mark 12:28-30: And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”
    I didn’t see a scriptural argument made in the original post. It seemed like warmed over secular pragmatism and secular perspective on the relationship between religion and politics, far as I could tell. I would love to hear a scriptural case for fidelity to the greatest commandment while freely, knowingly voting for an explicit anti-Christ to lead one’s nation.
    Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottalanbuss Scott Alan Buss

    Howdy!

    How does one obey the greatest commandment while simultaneously casting a vote for an explicit anti-Christ to lead their nation?

    Mark 12:28-30: And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”

    I didn’t see a scriptural argument made in the original post. It seemed like warmed over secular pragmatism and secular perspective on the relationship between religion and politics, far as I could tell. I would love to hear a scriptural case for fidelity to the greatest commandment while freely, knowingly voting for an explicit anti-Christ to lead one’s nation.

    Thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/scottalanbuss Scott Alan Buss

      Sorry for the triple post there…I couldn’t get my FB profile to load in properly and apparently got “credited” for three posts instead of one. Thanks for your patience and have a good one!

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      Sure. What is most loving to our unsaved neighbors and to our Christian brother is their freedom. Obviously the truth is that what is most loving is the gospel, but the government cannot give them that–and rightly so; I wrote on that before this post. So from the government, the most loving thing we can hope for is a government that punnishes evil, and maintains freedom. Thus if a Christian threatens their freedom, he should not be voted for. If an athiest, Catholic, or Mormon is going to uphold it, he should be preferred.

      In some sense this is a Scriptural gray area, because the NT (as I noted above) does not give instructions on how to run a government. That’s becasue we as a church are not concerned about building one. We have more important things to build, like the church.

      • http://www.facebook.com/scottalanbuss Scott Alan Buss

        Hello again and thanks for the response.

        The Scripture quoted and exalted by Christ as the greatest commandment focuses on loving the Lord completely, not loving human notions of freedom (which, for the unconverted, is described in Scripture as actually being “slavery to sin”), government, or anything else. Scripture doesn’t seem gray here at all. It is replete from Genesis to Revelation with explicit, clear pronouncements of this truth and demonstrations of God’s faithful people living it out to the point of martyrdom.

        What is most loving to our God should be our prime motivator, as the greatest commandment seems to make plain.

        Less importantly but still noteworthy, I think, when we compare the church in China with the church in America, most claims as to what “is best” for the spread of true Christianity is turned on its head. The Chinese church is loaded with serious, devout believers who pass the Scripture’s test for faithfulness. Conversely, the American professing church is governed mostly by secularly pragmatic, man-centered ideas, and as such is loaded with what the Bible describes as false converts. Predictably, it has become a weak and pale imitator of the culture, prone to surrender fidelity to the greatest commandment in favor of “appealing” to the God-hating world it more and more emulates with each passing marketing trend and pop-psyche perspective. Put another way, the American church, for the most part, while living in the “land of freedom and liberty”, is roughly as faithful to the Bible as is the American government to its Constitution. Both texts have bee largely relegated to prop status in our culture.

        Building the church – the true church – is a most non-pragmatic thing, as the world understands pragmatism. And when professing evangelicals freely advocate the election of an explicit anti-Christ to lead their nation, I think we are seeing a culmination of sorts – the culmination of man-centered, secular pragmatism over fidelity to Christ at any cost.

        To get back to the original thought and seek some clarification: In in your estimation, if I am reading you correctly, freely supporting an explicit anti-Christ’s goal of leading one’s nation is, in the present, a Christ-honoring, loving act, as Christ defines such things?

        Thanks again for your time with this! :)

        • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

          Yes. And here is one group in particular whom it is the most loving for: the unborn. Read this post here for what I mean by that, so I don’t violate my own rules for this thread:
          http://bibchr.blogspot.com/2008/11/go-third-party-or-dont-vote.html

          • http://www.facebook.com/scottalanbuss Scott Alan Buss

            Based upon which Scripture would you answer yes, though?

            I can understand the secular pragmatism defined worldview having no trouble accepting self-referential, subjective standards (be they attached to inherently sweet sounding causes like the unborn or not), but when Scripture is our actual guide in practice above even our adoration of children, then, and only then, can we do best by those children. To say that freely advocating for explicitly anti-Christian leadership is justifiable because we are doing it “for the children” reeks of the same Christ-less emotionalism that permeates roughly half (or so it seems) of every progressive bit of legislation foisted upon our people over the last 50 years or so. The best thing for the children, and the best thing for America is simple obedience to Christ.

            While all people, and therefore all candidates, are imperfect, to equivocate between supernatually saved New Creatures and slaves to Christ and what the Bible just as clearly, redundantly, and emphatically describes as “children of wrath”, “lovers of the flesh”, “slaves to sin”, sons of the devil”, and “followers of the prince of the power of the air”, is, among other things, destructively inaccurate.

            Of course, one must similarly dismiss the Scripture’s clear pronouncements as to the nature of mankind (and the two categories therein – the slaves to sin and the slaves to Christ) at some point in order to make their way to the conclusion that voting for an explicit anti-Christ to lead their nation is a good, Christ-honoring, idea.

            Disregarding the clarity of Scripture “for the children” is horrible for the children and for everyone else. Most importantly, it seems, it is an offense to the Christ whose name and nature is being used as cover to choose that which He explicitly condemns.

            These sorts of secular-spirited rationalizations permeate the professing American church. China, not so much…not nearly so much…which also seems to say a lot about what actually is the best environment for the spread of true Christianity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.timinskas Nicholas Timinskas

    I couldn’t disagree with this article more (respectfully, of course!). Just as when the Sadducees challenged Christ on divorce and he brought them back to the ideal in Genesis, I think we need to go back to the “ideal” when discussing matters of politics, or else we will never be able to see the issue clearly. The ideal in Christian government is represented in Exodus 18, and it consisted (in brief) of Levites (pastors) teaching the Law, and local judges (with a court of appeals) enforcing the Law. This speaks to a very limited, almost non-existent centralized government. The book of Judges documents Israel’s increasing trend away from this ideal and towards the monarchy and the woes that befell them as a result. I think the further away we get from God’s ideal (and how can a non-Christian NOT get us further away from God’s ideal?) the further we drift into a renewed national Judges Cycle.

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      I appreciate this comment because it shows exactly what the logical conclusion is for those who think that voting for a candidate is partnering with the anti christ as he seeks to destroy our country. Really, the two options are recognize that government has nothing to do with church, and vote for the better candidate, or to claim that Christians should be trying to restore Mosaic Law (because that worked out so well the first time…).

      • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.timinskas Nicholas Timinskas

        Jesse, I think that is an unfair oversimplification. Quite simply put, a Christian cannot be a schizophrenic, maintaining a Chrstian worldview on Sunday and a pragmatic worldview in the poll booth. The first commandment tells us God is first in everything, period. When the great heroes of the faith acted upon this belief in times past, they were always rewarded in the most miraculous ways–who knows, maybe even by a 3rd party Christian president?

  • James Hale

    Christians can and should vote for a mormon in 2012….Why???
    I give reasons why in my book:
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/why-a-christian-can-and-should-vote-for-a-mormon-in-2012-james-hale/1112306463

  • robertetozier

    The question is not “can” Christians vote for a Mormon vis-a-vis a Christian. Of course they can. But “should” they? Unfortunately the genuine Christian-ness of modern religious and political leaders often hasn’t matched their professions. Christians, like others, can assume and expect too much, and judge poorly.

    As for Mormons: the religion of one is not the same as that of another. The religion, quasi-Christian as it is, changes, and Mormons exercise great latitude in picking their own beliefs, religious and political, and lifestyles. (Compare/contrast Mitt Romney and Harry Reid, for example.) Christians, unschooled in contemporary Mormonism, often judge Mormons as if they are all the same.

    Jesse’s right. Christians should use God-given opportunities to make wise, but political, judgments.

  • Pierce

    I am absolutely stunned after reading these comments. How do you equate voting for someone in a political sense with endorsing his religious view? 4 years ago, did everyone that disagrees with Jesse’s view just not vote? McCain is not a believer nor is Obama, and since Ralf Nader was your back up, I take it you didn’t vote? If that is so, you cannot be someone that complains about the direction of this country because you chose to abstain from having anything to do with the direction of this country. If your conscience truly does tug at you to abstain from voting, then God bless you for following your convictions. But if your okay(which by biblical definition you have to be) with submitting to a non christian leader, why don’t you pick the one which you are going to submit to? Would you really vote for John McAarthur/John Piper to run this country over someone who has spent 15/20/25 years studying how the government runs? I wouldn’t and I don’t feel that makes me a heathen. I agree with Jesse that the best candidate for the presidency is the one we should vote for, not the one we share the most non political ideals with.

    Everyone here talks about Romney and Obama both being Anti-Christ. But if that’s the way you view things, almost everyone in your work place is also Anti-Christ. So when it comes time for a new boss, do you choose to not have any personal opinion on the choice of the new boss since he is Anti-Christ? That logic just doesn’t seem sound to me.

    On the argument that Government is supposed to be in charge of our Morality…since as a Christian we understand the obedience to our Father is the only code we need to live buy, the morality flag should not ever be something we are worried about.

    Just remember that its 4 years no matter what your decision is, but if you abstain, not only do you remove yourself from any say in the matter, but you also have no right to complain about which direction this country goes.

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  • Chris

    Voting is not how presidents are picked. Voting is a beauty contest for the ignorant to make the general TV viewing public believe that they are involved and had an influence in the process. Delegates and electors decide the next winner, not the tv media or primary voters. It’s already way too late by Nov, about a year too late. If you really believe that it is your Christian duty to vote then get involved in either party that you belong to, become a committee chairman or delegate or at minimum vote at your caucuses…in the primaries, vote your conscience for whatever party candidate even 3rd party but don’t believe the lie that it makes one bit of difference on who wins.
    Final note… All states even states with primaries elect delegates at caucuses to attend the national convention where a candidate is selected. Romney is not the nominee until the delegate vote at the RNC.

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      You make a good point. On the democratic side, there are enough at large delegates that it is possible (although not really reasonable) that they might vote contrary to the delegates selected by electors. But on the Republican side, that is not the case. There are no at-large electors, and the canddiates pick their own delegates. And for the general election, most delegates are bound by oaths and in some cases bound by laws binding them to the result of the election.

      You could make a case that one vote doesn’t chose the president…or that 10,000 votes don’t chose the president. But that’s a different topic.

      • Chris

        “Candidates pick their delegates”

        That is not entirely true. It is true that candidates create slates of delegates but the people are free to vote for whomever they want to represent them in the RNC. They dont have to vote for that candidates slate! Delegates are free citizens and do not have to vote for the will of the people (ie. beauty contest results). They may decide to vote for whatever candidate they feel is best for the job or follow the will of the masses, but in the end they make that decision. Every single delegate is a free citizen and can vote however they choose. Some states’ parties have illegally made their delegates sign affidavits, but they are unenforceable at the national convention. Only national convention rules apply! It’s a built in system so that an intelligent minority can impose their will over an ignorant majority. Currently it is still a viable option but it takes time and work. Something most Americans aren’t willing to put forth.

        1 or 10,000 votes…
        No primary votes elect a president, only electors elect a president and in a free society electors are free to vote their will. Most of the time electors vote based on the results of the election, but that is at the very end of the process. That is why it is so critical to get involved in the process now and educate yourself about how elections truly work in this country so that we don’t get stuck in this conundrum of voting for the lesser of two evils or neither if your heart does not permit you to do so. God gave you a conscience for a reason so if you can with a clean and well-informed conscience vote for Obama or Romney then do so. If not, then vote 3rd party or abstain.

  • Michael Smith

    Born and raised in the southeast United States, a born again, Bible believing Christian that has lived in Salt Lake City for ten years, I might be prone to agree with you were it not for the eye witness account of how Mormons operate. Don’t get me wrong, they are wonderful people but here in Utah there is no separation of church and state and they do not hide the fact. Mormons vote for Mormons. The Mormon church oversees all political decisions. For example, in the Deseret News, owned by the church, they stated the new liquor laws would be reviewed by the church before being released to be voted on by the public. They see nothing wrong with this. More, if you are a successful business owner and you leave Mormonism, your business will fail. Mormons support Mormons. It is quite the intricate system admired by some and feared by others. If Romney is elected, I promise you will see some Mormon appointments. Who knows, by the next election we might all be told who to vote for.

  • John Rocket

    In a sense the first century Christians were in the same dilemma…vote for Nero by denying Christ or vote against Nero by proclaiming Christ…they cast the right vote— and died for it. Their choice was simple, and in our case, it’s just that simple.

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