Due to the nomination of Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for the Presidency, I’ve been asked many times in the past couple of months whether or not it’s appropriate for a Christian to vote for a Mormon as President of the United States. With this November’s election quickly approaching, I think it’s time to finally offer my personal opinion on the issue.
The first thing that Christians need to understand is that Jesus isn’t running for political office. This effectively means that the perfect candidate is never going to exist, making our choice always that of choosing the candidate we believe is least flawed – something that can at times prove distasteful. Because of this, there are those Christians who either abstain from the political process or who participate half-heartedly in it, but I would argue that such behavior abdicates the requirement to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13,14) among a self-governing people. Instead, what the people of Scripture should do is apply Scriptural principles to this process of selection.
The Bible outlines for us two basic ways by which we are to judge the selection of individuals for public service: their personal qualifications and how their views on what defines appropriate government compare with those of Scripture. As I discussed last year in Choosing Government Leaders 101, the high Biblical standard set for the personal qualifications of public officials is that they be demonstrably capable and successful, that they be honest people of deep integrity who are not interested in personal gain from such positions, and that they be people who love Jehovah (Exodus 18:21). And while I have sincere and unbridgeable issues with Mormonism regarding the last of these, of the two viable candidates for the Presidency, Mitt Romney clearly wins this battle.
However, when we take into consideration the issue of how the candidates view what defines appropriate government, things are not quite as clear. In the interests of brevity I must hold my remarks in this area of thought to those regarding the redistribution of wealth, but for those interested in deeper discussion, I recommend reviewing the many previous articles under the Government category. In short, according to the Eighth Commandment (which forbids theft), government is not allowed to redistribute the wealth of its citizens, and a person of any faith (or lack thereof) may hold such a position. It is here that the Romneycare of Massachusetts becomes a near-fatal flaw for the Republican candidate, though, as it represents redistribution on a grand scale. For this reason I argued strenuously against Mr. Romney earlier this year during the Republican primaries.
Yet the fact remains that the redistributive tendencies of President Obama far exceed those of Mr. Romney, and the Republican challenger’s vow to immediately repeal Obamacare if elected is a promising sign that the former governor is changing his views on the scourge of compassionate government (an ideology that is leading us inevitably into the abyss). Furthermore, when you look at the current Administration’s stance and record regarding abortion, Supreme Court nominees, the family, borders and foreign policy, the C+ earned by Mitt Romney is far preferable to the F earned by President Obama in the area of appropriate government. Again, Mr. Romney is the winner.
I cannot overstate how close planet Earth is to the precipice in these times. Western Europe is falling like dominos under the weight of socialism’s endgame; the tiger of communist China threatens all of Asia; the specter of totalitarianism rises again in power-mad Russia; Central America is owned by drug cartels; the Middle East is aflame and Islam is positively bursting at the seams with jihad. When America falls to the internal weakness of passing the threshold of majority social dependency (and we are so very close to this today), the goodness and strength of this nation will quickly thereafter be lost, and with it the world’s chance of surviving the relentless onslaught of the many forms of Darkness so astutely arrayed against it.
We have but a few years left to begin turning this tide of Darkness. A second term of Barack Obama will essentially cement the failure of America, while a first term of Mitt Romney may yet give us a fighting chance. A President Romney may not completely turn this ship around (for that is largely up to us), but I believe he will slow its progress toward destruction. And that is enough to earn the vote of the Christian this November.
Yet there is much more to it than that. If we Christians are unhappy about the candidates before us, we have only ourselves to blame, for the sheer number of Christians in America dictates that we should positively own the political process. This means that stalwart, solid people who hold deeply to Biblical values of government (which are essentially enshrined in our amazing Constitution) should absolutely dominate politics – from the local school board to the White House. But Christians have proven too apathetic, too unconcerned, too uncommitted, too busy, too Biblically illiterate or too cowed by their secularist adversaries to get involved, and have thereby lost the high ground of politics to others. Let us not think that God will hold us guiltless if the world plunges into Darkness during our watch.
There is much work for Christians to do, and it is my opinion that this work begins with a vote for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States.