Last evening, Mitt Romney spoke openly about his Mormon faith in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.
“We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don’t remember it that way,” Romney said. “My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to.”
Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, unmasked the deep rift among evangelicals about the possibility of having to vote for a Mormon presidential candidate when he introduced Rick Perry at the Values Voters Summit. Some wrongly say Jeffress played the Mormon card with this statement:
“In a few months, when the smoke has cleared, those of us who are evangelical Christians are going to have a choice to make,” Jeffress said. “Do we want a candidate who is skilled in rhetoric, or one who is skilled in leadership? Do we want a candidate who is a conservative out of convenience, or one who is conservative out of deep conviction? Do we want a candidate who is a good moral person, or do we want a candidate who is a born-again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?” To be fair to pastor Jeffress, he never mentioned Romney nor Mormon in his introduction.
This, however, is not just an evangelical issue.
A new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that 25 percent of Americans would not vote for a Mormon candidate in the 2012 presidential election.
Blogger Bob McCarty wrote the following post that I think helps us put this dilemma into perspective:
“’I’D RATHER BE RULED BY A COMPETENT TURK THAN AN INCOMPETENT CHRISTIAN’
Asked who he would support in the 2008 presidential race, a Southern Baptist friend of mine cited the statement above, made by Martin Luther the protestant reformer who lived five centuries ago, as a partial basis for his decision.
In explaining his decision, my friend cited Jimmy Carter, also a Baptist, as the epitome of an incompetent Christian who served as president of the United States.
So who is the ‘competent Turk’ my Baptist friend say he would support? Republican Mitt Romney, a Mormon.”
I heard a pastor who was preaching on leadership make the following observation: Suppose you have a brain tumor and there are two possible surgeons. You interview the first. He has a big, black Bible on his desk. He gives you his testimony and has prayer with you. You ask him, “Doc, what is the percentage of patients who are living one year after you perform brain surgery. He answers, “85 percent of the patience that I perform surgery on who have a tumor like your tumor is living one year later.” You interview the second brain surgeon. He has no Bible. He is an atheist. You ask him the same question. He answers, “99.9 percent.” Which do you ask to do your brain surgery? It is obvious to me. I ask the first doctor to come to the OR, stand in the corner and pray while the second surgeon performs the brain surgery.
Mike Duran applied this principle to other areas of life where we may already practice choosing a competent unbeliever over an incompetent believer. We probably would choose
- “A competent atheist CPA is better than an incompetent Christian CPA
- A competent Hindu heart surgeon is better than an incompetent Christian heart surgeon
- A competent Kabbalist mechanic is better than an incompetent Christian mechanic
- A competent Wiccan carpenter is better than an incompetent Christian carpenter
- A competent Darwinian police officer is better than an incompetent Christian police officer”
Faith and correct doctrine must be the litmus test if we are selecting a pastor, Sunday school teacher, or Seminary professor. Then a Mormon or any other religion that rejects cardinal doctrines of God’s Word would be repudiated.