Friday, September 14, 2012

For Christians Who Are Reluctant to Vote for a Mormon

I've never had a problem voting for a Mormon.  Especially in a society where the establishment of religion is strictly prohibited, there is really no strong argument against a Christian voting for a Mormon.  There might be an argument for voting for a Christian, but voting against a Mormon does not seem very sensible.  Ravi Zacharias is a well known Christian evangelist who makes the argument part way through this nine minute video for why no Christian should feel afraid to vote for a Mormon--and he makes the point that I have often felt--a lot of people attending Mormon churches are actually Christians who, for reasons of family tradition, are reluctant to leave a church that has a lot of rather non-Christian doctrines attached to it.


  1. a lot of people attending Mormon churches are actually Christians who, for reasons of family tradition, are reluctant to leave a church that has a lot of rather non-Christian doctrines attached to it.

    Do you really think that's true? That there are "a lot" of people who believe orthodox Christian doctrine and disbelieve Mormonism, but still profess Mormonism?

    I don't see how one can do that. A Mormon has to tithe to the Church, engage in missionary duties, and send his children to the Church for religious instruction. That's a lot to swallow for someone who sincerely believes Mormonism is wrong.

    And "family tradition" seems a rather weak cause for such a posture. I can see continuing in a church one is not happy with rather than alienate a lot of devout relatives - but a church one regards as false? An atheist or agnostic, or cynic might do it - but a devout Christian? Lots of them?

    BTW, I'm not sure why this is a reason for Christians to vote for a Mormon. It suggests that Mormons coerce or pressure Christians to deny their true faith. Ick. Or is he hinting that Romney is such a crypto-Christian? Also ick.

  2. I am surprised at how many Mormons I talk to who have a surprisingly limited understanding of Mormon theology. (I am assuming that they married into the faith, or just don't pay much attention.)

    Also, people often hold surprisingly dissonant ideas for incredibly long periods of time--ideas that seem about as contrary as they can be. How? I haven't a clue.

  3. Say what you will about Mormonism but you have to admit they have quite a benefit package for members, and no I'm not talking about many wives and planets in a future celestial kingdom!

    For example, they seem to provide lots of assistance to members for food, financial help, job training, finding a job, etc. Sure other faiths do that as well, but the LDS church seems to be the best organized and most diligent of any group I've ever observed doing such things for members. The big Deseret thrift store in Boise has a fancy facility for food distribution and a job training/job finding facility. Never seen anything that nice at any of Church in town.

    I'm not a Mormon, but I could see how that safety net and extended family environment would create great loyalty to them.

    Recently in a Boise Winco parking lot I saw a bumper sticker that said:
    I'd rather vote for a Mormon than a Moron! Great bumper sticker no?

  4. "a lot of people attending Mormon churches are actually Christians who, for reasons of family tradition, are reluctant to leave a church that has a lot of rather non-Christian doctrines attached to it." No doubt some people view Roman Catholicism in the same light.

  5. Clayton, I agree with you. This is about one political office in a country where an establishment of state religion is very strictly prohibited by our founding document on one hand, and on the other is very much against the cultural grain. This Presidential election is not about who is and who isn't a true Christian, it isn't about Biblical orthodoxy... Romney is not running for the position of national theologian, guardian of the faith, or Grand Inquisitor, there are no such offices and there are not going to be. He's not being recruited to be the pastor of your local church, or the head of your domination, whatever it may be, either.

  6. Many Mormons are certainly ignorant of their own theology and doctrine, to one degree or another, and of course many participate in the church more from familial inertia than devotion. But we Mormons are hardly the only ones to which that description applies. My own experience with Catholics, Muslims of various stripes, and Jews has brought me into contact with many people who are only mildly religious. Mormonism has quite a few differences in doctrine from, say, typical Protestantism, but its widespread similarities are often overlooked, particularly by those who insist Mormons aren't Christian. If the definition of "Christian" includes belief in the trinity as described in, say, the Athanasian Creed, then no, Mormons don't belong in that group. But we worship Christ -- the one in the Bible -- as the one-and-only savior just like other folks.

  7. You will get no argument from me that a lot of people in non-Mormon churches are there for family inertia and cultural identity reasons--and those who are there primarily for that reason are often surprisingly ignorant of their religion's doctrines.

  8. Most of the Christians that I speak to that are uncomfortable with Romney's religion are very specific about their concerns. It's not that he's a Mormon, it's that he claims to be a Christian when Mormonism is not a Christian faith.

  9. mollo, most Mormons will tell you they are Christians, for the reasons I mentioned in an earlier comment. It's not an attempt to play with language, it's that we really do see Christ as the savior just like the rest of Christianity. If you define Christians as only those who believe in a three-persons-in-one, without body parts or passions trinity, or if you define Christians as of necessity being a religious group that descends somehow from Catholicism, then sure, Mormons don't qualify. But the word "Christian" means "someone who follows Christ", no?

  10. Mollo,

    Why do they believe that Mormonism is NOT a Christian faith? As somebody above said, they believe Christ is the Savior.

  11. Isn't the argument really that a Mormon doesn't have religious values in line with those of the majority of Americans, so Christians can't vote for Mitt Romney?
    The Stones Cry Out link has a comment that this vote is not for national pastor.
    My question is if Romney's values are not in line with the values of most Americans -- Obama's are?
    I'll take magic underwear I don't have to wear or see over values received from Reverend Wright, whose theology infuses and will infuse every law and action taken by the Federal government for the next decade or longer.