This question is relevant today because a Mormon is on the ballot this year: Mitt Romney. To answer this question we must first determine if a Mormon is indeed a non-Christian. Mormons often identify themselves as Christian; however, while the two religions share much of the same vocabulary and values, the differences between the two in how Jesus Christ is viewed, followed and worshiped are just too great for them to be thought of as the same.
Consequently, is it acceptable for a Christian to vote for a Mormon in the upcoming election? To answer this important question, I will address the objections most often raised.
While acknowledging that Mormons are wonderful neighbors and citizens who share common values, most Christians believe the LDS church is teaching a false gospel. Since the alternative to Mitt Romney is a candidate who supports abortion and gay marriage, this election is looked at as a choice between the lesser of two evils. I believe this is a misguided objection and prefer to think of it as a question of the better of two choices. Romans 3:10 teaches us that we are all sinful; no one is righteous. There will never be a candidate for president that is spotless and without sin; thus we must recognize that both candidates, like the rest of us, have their faults.
Another objection that people give to voting for a non-Christian is that the Bible forbids, or at least, strongly discourages us from doing so. While I do not profess to be a Bible scholar or a theologian, what I have read and studied has not led me to that conclusion. I have reviewed the dozens of websites that claim a Biblical mandate against voting for Mitt Romney, and what I have found is a lot of opinion and interpretation being confused with actual scripture. As far as I can tell, there are no Bible verses that explicitly forbid it. On the other hand, the Bible is full of examples where God used non-believers to further His will. Perhaps this is one of those times.
As I see it, well-meaning Christians withholding their vote for Mitt Romney on biblical grounds are confusing their civic duty as a citizen with their priestly duty as a Christian. We are not electing a pastor or a deacon; we are electing a person to act as both CEO and commander in chief. It’s a hiring decision, and just as we would want the best available surgeon in a life-or-death situation, competency to carry out the duties of the office should be a leading factor when deciding on a president.
Does that mean that morals and values should not be considered when deciding for whom to vote? Absolutely not; Christians should evaluate both candidates in these regards. And while President Obama is by every indication a loving father and devoted husband, many Christians have serious issues with his support for abortion and gay marriage.
When Christians step into that voting booth, they shouldn’t just ask themselves, “Which candidate do I trust to handle the economy and foreign affairs?”; they should also ask themselves, “Which candidate best represents my values? Therein, I submit, is the answer to the prevailing question.
I personally have a strong conviction to vote for the candidate whom I believe will fight to preserve our Judeo-Christian founding principles and who will defend traditional marriage and the life of the unborn.
In this election, that candidate just happens to be a Mormon.
The Rev. Larry Taylor is the Worship Pastor at Trinity Fellowship Church in Marietta and also works in construction management.