Should Christians vote for a Mormon? Is Mormonism a cult? Let me say right off: These questions are an enormous distraction in an important presidential campaign. The secular media is using the pastor’s comments to paint evangelicals as bigots. The Chicago Tribuneis calling this “hate speech.”
I want to say this to every Christian listening to my voice: Let’s stop criticizing candidates for their religious convictions.
And let me make a few things, as my former boss used to say, perfectly clear.
First, there is no religious test for public office. If you don’t believe me, check out the Constitution of the United States, Article VI, Paragraph 3. The public statements of some evangelicals that they wouldn’t vote for Romney because of his Mormonism would cause the Founding Fathers to spin in their graves.
Second, as voters we are to choose the most competent people to be God’s magistrates to do
"I want to say this to every Christian listening to my voice: Let’s stop criticizing candidates for their religious convictions."
Third, let me answer the question that is causing so much angst. Is the Mormon faith Christian? No. It is not. There are significant and un-reconciled doctrinal differences between Mormonism and Christianity, like the sole sufficiency of Christ and the exclusivity of the Bible.
For me to say there are such differences is not “hate speech.” To deny that there are differences would be disrespectful of the truth claims made by Mormons and degrades my own truth claims. No one in good conscience can do that.
Having said that, there may be no othergroup of people I appreciate more as co-belligerents than the Mormons. They are stalwarts on life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty issues.
To sum up, I’m with Luther, who reportedly said that he would rather be governed by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian.
Now I’ve never publicly endorsed a candidate, and I’m not doing it now. *But I would personally
"For me to say there are such differences is not “hate speech.” To deny that there are differences would be disrespectful of the truth claims made by Mormons and degrades my own truth claims."
Our ultimate decision has to be based on what Augustine taught. We must live obediently in the City of Man as the best of citizens, doing our civic duty, which includes voting responsibly, as a reflection of our primary citizenship in the City of God.
Where does this leave us? Come on: Stop talking about the candidates’ religion. It’s distracting and it marginalizes Christianity in the public debate. Let’s continue instead to work to advance the Kingdom of God and pick, to the best of our ability, a candidate of competence and sound character who will preserve order and promote justice in our land.
Chuck Colson is the founder of Prison Fellowship and theColson Center for Christian Worldview.
This article originally appeared atBreakPoint.org. Republished with permission.