Why this Southern Baptist Cannot Support Mitt Romney for President

(Editor’s Note: This post was during the primary season. Please refer to “Can I Vote for the Stormin’ Mormon—Mitt Romney? It’s Decision Time” for my eventual decision.)

Many very respected Southern Baptists believe that Mitt Romney has the best chances to win the election in 2012. They may be right, but I cannot support Mr. Romney because of his Mormon beliefs. Supporting him, for me, would be choosing this world over eternal matters or materialistically choosing my own wallet over my principles.

Some right now may object, the presidency has no religious requirements. Agreed. Many good presidents have not been good Christians and many good Christians would make horrible presidents so before you just think I am a closed minded Baptist, consider the following scenario…

The doorbell rings. Mark, the relative that I have been praying for years gets up from his brown La-Z-Boy recliner and opens the door.

Two young men wearing white dress shirts stand at the door one slightly behind the other. The one in front politely says, “Hello, I’m from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, and we would like to share some information with you. Do you have a moment?”

Mark responds while still gripping the handle of his door, “You guys are the ones that believe we can become gods, used to believe in polygamy and a bunch of other stuff right? Aren’t you guys a cult?” He begins to close the door.

The young man in back named Joe responds, “No sir, we are not a cult, and we don’t have weird beliefs. In fact, Mitt Romney, the president of the United States, holds membership in our church.” As the door opens a little wider Joe continues. “In fact, the evangelical Christian vote put Romney in office. He carried the vote among Baptist, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Catholics. He is very popular among conservatives. So as you can see we do not have weird beliefs.”

Tilting his head and looking upward Mark thinks to himself as he opens the door, “Oh, these people are just another denomination. Lately, I have thought more about God so perhaps He sent them to my door.”

Mark says, “Well come on in. I do have some questions that I would like to know the answers to…”

This scenario may likely become reality in a couple of years.

I cannot vote for Mitt Romney because Mormonism is a false religion that deceives people about the truth and leads them to an eternity in hell. Some people have to worry more about this world than the next but my calling demands that I worry more about eternity and less about current economic conditions.

We have grown so accustomed to living our best life now, and focusing too heavily on the social aspect of the Gospel that we under-emphasized the eternal importance of what being Christian means. Many before us gave their lives because of their beliefs and because they knew eternity was more important than their life on earth.

Theologically speaking, Mormonism is a cult. Socially speaking, it doesn’t come up to the same level as the crazy people who lock themselves in compounds, buy ammo like the end-times is here and create problems for the police. There are many “good” citizens who are Mormons, but make no mistake, they do not believe in the Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Mormons presents a different Jesus and a different salvation, which leads to an eternity separated from God. They recognize the differences and seek to convert evangelical Christians to their worldview.

First, they send missionaries to convert people to their beliefs including attempts to convert evangelical Christians. I have had them in my house. I have discussed the fundamental differences between Mormonism and Christianity. I have watched as their missionaries began asking questions and suddenly received the call to move to a different area. The theologically astute in both worldviews understand the vast differences.

Second, Mormonism only goes back to the treasure hunter Joseph Smith in the early 1800s. In 1827, Smith claimed to have received golden plates upon which he alleges that the Book of Mormon was written. There are many difficult to believe moments for those who study the history of Joseph Smith.

Third, Mormonism’s theology contradicts the teaching of Christianity. The most oft quoted theological problems in Mormonism include “As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become.” Mormonism is polytheistic. Christianity is monotheistic. Mormons reject the doctrine of the Trinity and by doing so have a faulty Christology. Mormons reject salvation by grace alone through faith alone by adding a list of works to become like God. They preach another Gospel.

So you respond, well we would be better off with Romney than Obama. I concede your point.

Romney may be the best choice for America, but Romney is the worst choice for eternity. And that is why I cannot support him.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Why this Southern Baptist Cannot Support Mitt Romney for President

  1. rogerupton

    With all due respect, sir, this is probably the most tenuous argument ever. First, NONE of the current Repub candidates hold evangelical beliefs. Romney is LDS, Santorum and Gingrich are Roman Catholic, and Ron Paul is. . . whatever Ron Paul is. Therefore, using your line of reasoning, we (evangelicals) shouldn’t vote for anyone. Do you not think Catholics will use the same line, “The President is a member of the Catholic Church?” And let’s not even think about the thousands, even millions, who will be turned off and disheartened at the RCC’s sinful cover-up of years and years of priestly pedophilia.

    Tell me, good sir, is the RCC any better than the LDS when it comes down to it? Both teach salvation by works, both do not hold the Bible as its final authority, neither are biblically orthodox in its views on salvation, grace, Jesus, the church, scripture, etc.

    LDS/RCC do hold a high view of family, are generally socially conservative, and for the most part hold to traditional American values such as hard work, good deeds, and charity.

    The fact is, you’re pleading with your readers to abandon one false religion for another. Do you think that’s wise or safe?

  2. I would ask any one who feels to make a comment about the approach members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ( Mormons) have to, A, their families, B. Their desire to refrain from harmfull drugs and look after their health. C. Support for other people, look at their welfare system. D. Their total devotion for Jesus Christ and his Gospel, Law of love and compassion. Need I go on.
    Surely these practises build good citizens. Isnt that what we need in this day and age. I suggest before one chooses to make a statement do your homework you may find it worth while.

  3. Cory Davis

    I wonder if your position has changed now that Romney is a lock for the Republican ticket. Will you vote for President Obama or a third party candidate? I myself would’ve preferred to see Dr. Paul on the ballot as I believe his minimalist approach is friendliest to the free exercise of religion, but without him, I am not drawn to either of the main party candidates and will either “throw away” my vote on a third party candidate or just stay home. What are your plans?

  4. Cory Davis

    Given your opinion, would you mind interacting with this article from BaptistPress: http://m.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=38688

    They mention your position (not by name) in the article and don’t really offer a way around the issue you bring up other than pulpital perspicuity. Since December of last year, have you rethought your position?

  5. Cory, Thanks for your comments. When I wrote this article, Romney was not yet the Republican nominee. Now that he is, I will admit to you that I have struggled and continue to struggle with what is the right thing to do in November. I have a couple of meetings this morning, but as soon as those are over, I’ll try to put some thoughts together on the matter.

    • rhwoodman

      Have you developed a reply for Cory? I ask because in just a few days from when I write this, this nation will hold what is arguably the most important election in my lifetime. Indeed, early voting for this election has already begun. Neither of the candidates hold orthodox Christian views. Among the third party candidates, none has even a remote chance of winning the election, so a vote for one of the third party candidates is essentially a wasted vote.
      So, what is a thoughtful, committed Christian believer to do? Not vote? Waste a vote on a third party candidate? Vote for the incumbent? Vote for the main challenger to the incumbent?
      I’ve already made up my mind, but I want to hear how your prayerfully and pastorally address this question.

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