Skip to content

A Thoughtful Explanation of Why I Couldn’t Vote for a Mormon Presidential Candidate

by Carson T. Clark on August 29, 2012

Whenever I discuss why I couldn’t vote for a Mormon presidential candidate people inevitably assume a great many things about my perspective that simply aren’t true. Usually things get so bogged down there that a fruitful discussion never takes place. With that in mind, and in an effort to facilitate thoughtful discussion, I’m trying to eliminate some of rabbit trails by addressing them beforehand:

  • This isn’t a partisan post. Let me make perfectly clear that I won’t be voting for Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Gary Johnson in this presidential election.
  • This isn’t an ideological diatribe. You won’t find a hint of anything approaching a commendation or criticism of conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, socialism, etc.
  • This isn’t a pragmatic jeremiad. Whatever the present economic needs and moral concerns facing the country, this post isn’t about doing what’s necessary to address them.
  • This isn’t a piety contest. My concern isn’t voting the candidate I, for one reason or another, deem to be most authentically Christian or morally Christ-like.
  • This isn’t an emotionally charged rant. I’m neither explicitly nor implicitly yelling at Mormons, condemning fellow evangelicals who disagree, or the like.
  • This isn’t a personal attack toward Mormons. Richard Mouw captured my perspective well when he said, “A lot of people today who have strong convictions are not very civil and a lot of people who are civil don’t have very strong convictions. What we really need is convicted civility.”
  • This isn’t a theological treatise. Although it will certainly touch upon theological themes, the intent here isn’t an exegetical nor systematic exploration of Christian and Mormon doctrine.
  • This isn’t written from a place of ignorance. I dated a Mormon in high school and have studied in-depth their history, religious beliefs, cultural norms, and political involvement.
  • Though it may superficially appear so, this isn’t analogous to the 1960 election between Kennedy and Nixon. For the record, I probably would’ve voted for the Catholic in that race.
  • Though it may seem difficult to distinguish given the present political context, this issue has little to do with Mitt Romney specifically. This isn’t about his qualifications, record, etc.
  • The genre of this post isn’t persuasive argument. That is, I’m not trying to convince others why they shouldn’t vote for Romney. I’m simply explaining my conscience.
  • It’s not being suggesting that there should be religious or theological qualifications for the presidency. One of my favorite presidents, Jefferson, was a deist and, all things being equal, I’d be OK voting for adherents of other religious belief systems.

That having been said, let’s jump right in.

There are three crucial questions that I think all Christians need to consider. Specifically:

  1. What is orthodoxy? Stated as concisely as possible, I define orthodoxy as the essential tenets of a religion without which the belief system can no longer rightly be said to be part of that religion. In this case we’re talking about Christianity. My studies of church history revealed that what we term orthodoxy seems to be a corrective measure to theology gone terribly awry. That is, it’s a direct result of serious theological error. For example, no one said Jesus’ literal bodily resurrection was essential until someone denied it. In this way, I believe God has, in his sovereign wisdom, brought a consensus of what the essential doctrines are not only amidst but directly through the gravest threats to the Church’s beliefs and practices.
  2. What is heresy? I define heresy as the rejection and replacement of one or more doctrines deemed to be essential. In Christianity that rejection necessitates a removal from the visible Body of Christ, the Church. To be clear, I’m not talking about the questioning of or wrestling with those essential doctrines. Again, I’m talking about the active, intentional rejection and replacement of them. Also, let me be clear that I’m not dealing with the issue of one’s salvific status before God. As Christians we can only deal with what we see. Do I think it’s possible for a personal to be a formal heretic and be saved? Sure. But beyond that I’m unwilling to speculate. As far as I’m concerned, that issue is in God’s hands alone.
  3. Why are those couple things so important to Christianity? I believe that the Bible’s primary purpose is to tell the story of God’s redemption of this world.11.Namely, He made the world good, we royally effed it up, so He’s, as N.T. Wright likes to say in his very British manner, “setting all to rights”–fixing all that’s broken. That’s the basic storyline. Orthodoxy, then, isn’t about going down the check list of necessary doctrines just to be part of some exclusive club. As Wright has noted, it’s possible to affirm all the right doctrines yet fundamentally misunderstand the overarching narrative, thereby misunderstanding and even falsifying those doctrines. In this way, those propositional truth claims that comprise orthodoxy must be understood within the context of God’s redemptive narrative or they’re worthless. In other words, orthodoxy is essential because without it the story is lost.22.It’s like trying to get Star Wars right while omitting Darth Vader from the plot. The chief issue isn’t a defense of the Church, but preserving the plot that brings life and hope to a world in need.

You might be asking, what does all this have to do with not voting for a Mormon presidential candidate?

Growing up in evangelical churches, I was taught Mormons were heretics and their religion was a grave threat to biblical Christianity. Of course, what this meant was never exactly clear. No one bothered to define what they actually meant by heretics let alone bring up a halfway sophisticated concept like orthodoxy. Yet the message was clear: Mormonism was vile. It was an agent of deception inspired by the Evil One. Despite the apparent alignment, its beliefs were decidedly at odds with those of Christianity. It represented a corruption of biblical teaching and, as the fastest growing cult in America, needed to be resisted at all costs. All of this was reinforced by overt antagonism and militancy toward Mormons. Put most simply, Mormons were dangerous.

I need to be perfectly clear about something that undoubtedly won’t go over so well in some segments of our politically correct, pluralistic society. Nevertheless, I believe it needs to be said. I unequivocally, but not imprecisely, hold that Mormonism is a heretical corruption of the historic Christian faith on the grounds that it rejects such orthodox doctrines as the Trinity.33.To name just one. While it’s true that Christians disagree a great deal in-house on secondary issues, there’s virtual uniformity of belief between the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Protestants when it comes to orthodox doctrines.

Moreover, it’s important to note the distinguishing nature of the challenge Mormonism poses. It seems to me it’s a far more insidious to Christianity than any other world religion precisely because it’s an impostor rather than a false religion. Whether we’re talking about Buddhism, Islam, or any other major religious belief system, none of these profess to even be part of the Church let alone the true, restored Church. Mormonism does. It professes to be the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That’s the crucial difference. That’s what makes it so conniving. Mormons intentionally look, speak, and in many ways act just like conservative evangelical Christians. This can be terribly confusing not only for the outside world,44.Check out how it’s classified on Wikipedia. but also theologically illiterate Christians themselves.

Do American Christians realize what’s happening beneath their noses? I doubt it. Islam gets all the press, but far and away the fasting growing religion in the U.S. is Mormonism. Do Christians realize it has 6M members domestically with 14M globally? Do they realize it seems to double its size every 15 years like clockwork? Have they heard sociologist Rodney Stark’s prediction that Mormonism will be the next major world religion with 265M practitioners by 2080? I hear all these pastors and TV personalities talking about the growth of Islam. If I were in Europe, that would be my concern. In my opinion, for Christians in the U.S. the primary concern when it comes to other religions should be Mormonism. Here’s a couple charts to visually illustrate the point:

As of now the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) remains on the religious fringe. At right around 2% of the population its societal perception has moved from “creepy cult” to “weird but accepted.” With that in mind, I’d like you to join me in something. Have you read C.S. Lewis’ book, The Screwtape Letters? Imagine you’re Screwtape. Suppose you’ve been assigned to coming up with a strategy of how to undermine the Enemy by moving the LDS from the fringe to the mainstream. How would you do that?55.Call me weird, but I think about this sort of stuff all the time. Here’s me taking a stab at it:

Forget just legitimizing this thing. I want a promotion. To pull that off I need to make it a viable option, especially for all those disenfranchised Christians.

This may seem farfetched, but here’s my plan: I’ll get a Mormon candidate elected president of the United States.

The cultural capital we’d gain would be staggering.

Of course, how do we get such a man elected without the Christians intervening? That’s a real pickle.

Hmmm… we need a diversion. Yes, that’s it! A way of getting them to ignore what we’re doing.

(Eureka!)

I’d got an idea! Think big or go home, baby! We’ll get them to support our effort!

How perfectly sinister!

But how to pull this off? That’s the question…

(Pondering.)

(Formulating.)

(Refining.)

OK, I’ve got it. It’s a seven-fold plan:

  1. We’ll confused their priorities and source(s) of identity. Get them to think and act more like Christian Americans than American Christians. Noun-adjective confusion. haha! One of the oldest tricks in the book! I can’t believe they still fall for this stuff.
  2. We’ll let them obsess on a single major issue the Enemy really cares about. By putting all their eggs in one basket they’ll not only neglect all the others, but they’ll be easier to control… Let’s see. Hmmmm. Poverty? No. Too much contempt there. Nuclear weapons? No. Too abstract. Oh, I got it! Abortion! They really love children. We’ll use that against ‘em! Perfect.
  3. We need to work on party loyalty. Let’s go with the Republicans. They more or less sat out on the Civil Rights Movement. They’re itching for a big social movement. We’ll have them be “Pro-Life” while they’re in favor of the death penalty and wars. That’ll be their thing. Brilliant! Sometimes I crack myself up. I’ve really got to learn to be more subtle with this stuff.
  4. We don’t want them to hop on board too strongly too quickly, though. This can’t happen overnight. They’re still be too suspicious and fickle for that. We’d better be patient in blurring temporal, political and eternal, heavenly identities. How about we stretch it out over the course of a few decades? Slide it in under the radar.
  5. Time to be less subtle! The way to unleash extremism on both sides is to let them totally take over both the legislative and executive branches and really make a mess of things, which will then get them kicked out of office and longing for their lost power and prestige. Yeah, that’s the ticket. That’ll create our opening!
  6. Here comes the tough part. We’ve got to get the most divisive Democratic president in history in the White House. Check list: Non-white? ✓ Non-American parent? ✓ Arabic middle name? ✓ Mainline affiliation? ✓ Progressive education? ✓ Worst deficit spending in history? ✓ haha! hehe! The racists will hate him! The fundamentalists will hate him! The worldview people will hate him! The fiscal hawks will hate him! This is perfectly scrumptious.
  7. Now, all we’ve got to do is get our man in a head to head race with this liberal president. That way the conservative Christian base will have no choice but to support our guy! Evangelicals and Catholics uncritically supporting a Mormon for president. It’s so maniacal it just might work!

In sum, I have profound trepidation that conservative Christians are unknowingly opening Pandora’s box. My primary concern is for the Body of Christ, not the United States of America. As a history major I’m keenly aware that countries come and go but the Church lasts. I by no means have my head in the sand about the political, economic, and social issues facing our country. Yet I’m trying to discerningly balance those colossal short-term challenges with care for the long-term spiritual realities–something I hear few others talking about. Many will disagree. That’s fine. But I genuinely believe the greatest cultural-institutional threat to the American Church is Mormonism precisely because it’s almost completely off our radar. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience support its legitimization. That’s why I couldn’t vote for a Mormon presidential candidate.

_____________________________

Please consider reading “An Addendum to ‘Why I Couldn’t Vote for a Mormon Presidential Candidate’.” Especially those who are intensely critical of this post. Thanks.

  • Stephen

    I’m not sure that I agree with every point of the argument, but I do think at least one thing is true – this election has highlighted for most people where the allegiance of most American Conservative Christians really lies, and it’t not a pretty sight.

    I guess it would also depend upon the nature of the “legitimization”. If there were a clear distinction made between what the LDS church holds to and what orthodox Christianity holds to, I wouldn’t be entirely opposed to further, high-profile dialogue. But, as you point out, the waters have been muddied substantially, so that Mormons are many times portrayed as regular Christians. That’s not helpful at all.

    And part of my objection is that this sounds like a bit of “the sky is falling” stuff (which doesn’t, in and of itself, do anything to the argument). While I don’t entirely disagree with you, I’ve heard people say similar things many times, which has left me somewhat jaded to these sorts of things. So yeah, I’m a little ambivalent, I guess.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      “I’m
      not sure that I agree with every point of the argument, but I do think
      at least one thing is true – this election has highlighted for most
      people where the allegiance of most American Conservative Christians
      really lies, and it’t not a pretty sight.”

      We absolutely agree there.

      “I guess it would also depend upon the nature of the ‘legitimization’.
      If there were a clear distinction made between what the LDS church
      holds to and what orthodox Christianity holds to, I wouldn’t be entirely
      opposed to further, high-profile dialogue. But, as you point out, the
      waters have been muddied substantially, so that Mormons are many times
      portrayed as regular Christians. That’s not helpful at all.”

      Yeah, I’m down with dialogue. As I said, I’m not angry at them or anything. I just strongly principally disagree. Also, you’re absolutely right about the ambiguity of my use of legitimization. That could definitely use some more unpacking. Good call.

      “And part of my objection is that this sounds like a bit of ‘the sky
      is falling’ stuff (which doesn’t, in and of itself, do anything to the
      argument). While I don’t entirely disagree with you, I’ve heard people
      say similar things many times, which has left me somewhat jaded to these
      sorts of things. So yeah, I’m a little ambivalent, I guess.”

      That’s funny. I think that’s the very first time someone has said that to me. Usually it’s the other way around…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1407660929 David Knudtson

    Carson T. Clark said it. I believe it and that settles it! The Majority Religion in the NW is LDS. I totally get your point my friend.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      About a fifth of the people, right?

  • tcmoore617

    Well put, Carson.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      Uh, oh. T.C. and I are agreeing again… :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/yehua.nimshi Yehua Nimshi

    Alarmist – noun – a person who tends to raise alarms, especially without sufficient reason, as by exaggerating dangers or prophesying calamities.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      Hello, Yehua. I presume you’re new to my blog. That being the case, you don’t know that I have a long track record of being just the opposite. Have a good day.

  • Felix Alexander

    I’m afraid I don’t get it. Your concern seems to be that voting for Romney would be tantamount to evangelising for Mormonism, and therefore effectively preaching a false gospel. But I don’t see how it has this consequence except through levels of game-playing.

    I think you’re going a step too far. I prefer to act directly to solve problems, without playing games and guessing too much about the consequences so many levels removed. Many of Australia’s problems today are caused by the good intentions of previous generations. The human mind only knows so much!

    So you mention a problem, “disenfranchised Christians”, and you fear that Romney as president, putting Mormonism in the spotlight for four to eight years, will attract them to this heresy. But the problem there isn’t Romney as president, surely; rather, it’s disenfranchised Christians.

    So I don’t mean you should vote for Romney. I have no idea whether anyone would vote for Romney, or if they should for someone else; I’m not an American and try not to care much about politics, much less international politics. But it sounds like you’re going — that dripping tap is really annoying, I know, I’ll turn the music up — instead of stopping the leak.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      “I’m afraid I don’t get it. Your concern seems to be that voting for Romney would be tantamount to evangelising for Mormonism, and therefore effectively preaching a false gospel. But I don’t see how it has this consequence except through levels of game-playing.”

      I can see why you’d read it that way, but that’s not at all my intention. What I’m talking about isn’t voting for a Mormon = evangelism, but the law of unintended consequences.

      “I think you’re going a step too far. I prefer to act directly to solve problems, without playing games and guessing too much about the consequences so many levels removed.”

      I say this in a totally cordially manner, but that’s where you and I will probably differ. I think it’s imperative to have this three-fold perspective of looking to the past for counsel, discerning the present as best as possible, and keeping an eye on the future consequences of past and present actions.

      “Many of Australia’s problems today are caused by the good intentions of previous generations. The human mind only knows so much!”

      I’m not suggesting people are omniscient. I am saying if you build a major coastal city below sea level it’s a pretty good bet it’s going to be destroyed once a century, i.e. New Orleans.

      “So you mention a problem, ‘disenfranchised Christians’, and you fear that Romney as president, putting Mormonism in the spotlight for four to eight years, will attract them to this heresy.”

      That’s a much more direct causation than I’m suggesting. You’re jumping from step A to K, which of course makes the whole thing seem irrational.

      “But the problem there isn’t Romney as president, surely; rather, it’s disenfranchised Christians.”

      Seems to me that’s a false dichotomy.

      “So I don’t mean you should vote for Romney. I have no idea whether anyone would vote for Romney, or if they should for someone else; I’m not an American and try not to care much about politics, much less international politics. But it sounds like you’re going — that dripping tap is really annoying, I know, I’ll turn the music up — instead of stopping the leak.”

      If you’re reading this blog post in isolation without the rest of the blog as context, I can certainly see why you’d think that.

  • Maureen Kennedy

    I see what you’re saying, Carson. I also think it’s important to note that not only have the evangelical waters become muddied, the Mormon waters have also been muddied to the point where people in the Mormon Church don’t fully understand or agree with everything the Mormon Church believes. I personally had a friend I knew at Moody who grew up in the Lutheran Church, married a Mormon, and now attends a Mormon Church, even though he’s still very much a Trinitarian in his own personal convictions. It’s very confusing, and very dangerous.

    However….I don’t know if electing a Mormon president is going to make the kind of impact you’re suggesting. IF Romney gets elected, he can only be president for a maximum of 8 years. Now, history was not my strongest subject, but I’m pretty sure 8 years is not enough to change the direction of the Church in America. (Then again, Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted only 3 years, so maybe I’m wrong about that…) However, it might point people to the Mormon Church briefly, only to have people dig deeper on their own and come to the realization that the core doctrinal beliefs of the Mormon Church actually ARE heretical, bringing people to a deeper understand of why orthodoxy and theological study are so important! Of course, maybe I’m being to optimistic about it…

    Bottom line, I understand your points, but I’m still not sure. Something to pray about.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      “I see what you’re saying, Carson. I also think it’s important to note that not only have the evangelical waters become muddied, the Mormon waters have also been muddied to the point where people in the Mormon Church don’t fully understand or agree with everything the Mormon Church believes. I personally had a friend I knew at Moody who grew up in the Lutheran Church, married a Mormon, and now attends a Mormon Church, even though he’s still very much a Trinitarian in his own personal convictions. It’s very confusing, and very dangerous.”

      I find that most disturbing.

      “However….I don’t know if electing a Mormon president is going to make the kind of impact you’re suggesting.”

      Understandably, a common criticism to this post seems to be people presuming a greater degree of direct causation than I’m suggesting. My view isn’t that voting for Romney is akin to Mormon evangelism. What I’m saying is that people aren’t taking into account the law of unintended consequences.

      “IF Romney gets elected, he can only be president for a maximum of 8 years. Now, history was not my strongest subject, but I’m pretty sure 8 years is not enough to change the direction of the Church in America. (Then again, Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted only 3 years, so maybe I’m wrong about that…)”

      See above.

      “However, it might point people to the Mormon Church briefly, only to have people dig deeper on their own and come to the realization that the core doctrinal beliefs of the Mormon Church actually ARE heretical, bringing people to a deeper understand of why orthodoxy and theological study are so important! Of course, maybe I’m being to optimistic about it…”

      Suggesting an unintended consequence to an unintended consequence. I love it.

      “Bottom line, I understand your points, but I’m still not sure. Something to pray about.”

      Fair enough.

  • Chuck Redfern

    I agree that Mormonism is heretical at best, but I’m not sure if a Romney presidency will legitimize Mormonism. William Howard Taft was a Unitarian and relatively few are knocking on Unitarianism’s door. That said, I find it incredible that some Christians are anointing the Romney-Ryan ticket as “Christian:” There’s Romney’s Mormonism and Ryan’s Randianism, and then there’s Romney’s capacity to fudge the truth. I doubt if we have a “Christian” candidate in this election (Obama may be a liberal Christian, but I wouldn’t call him a “Christian candidate”). We certainly do not have an “evangelical” candidate. Which may be for the best: Politics is all about practical matters. We are electing a president, not a pastor.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      “I agree that Mormonism is heretical at best, but I’m not sure if a
      Romney presidency will legitimize Mormonism. William Howard Taft was a
      Unitarian and relatively few are knocking on Unitarianism’s door.”

      The difference, of course, is that Unitarians are by their very nature not very evangelistic/proselytizing. Yet I see your point.

      “That
      said, I find it incredible that some Christians are anointing the
      Romney-Ryan ticket as ‘Christian:’ ”

      Indeed.

      “There’s Romney’s Mormonism and Ryan’s
      Randianism, and then there’s Romney’s capacity to fudge the truth. I
      doubt if we have a ‘Christian’ candidate in this election (Obama may be a
      liberal Christian, but I wouldn’t call him a ‘Christian candidate’).
      We certainly do not have an ‘evangelical’ candidate. Which may be for
      the best: Politics is all about practical matters.”

      Agreed.

      “We are electing a
      president, not a pastor.”

      People have been saying that exact point to me. My response: I may or may not agree, depending upon what you mean by it. But likely I’ll agree, especially given what you’ve said above.

  • Harvey Edser

    Tried to post this before but it seems to have disappeared… I’m an interested UK spectator who likes your blog (and I describe myself as an Evangelical Liberal which chimes fairly nicely with your Hardlining Moderate).

    Obviously I can’t vote for any US presidential candidate, and if I could it certainly wouldn’t be Romney. That’s not because he’s a Mormon though; it’s simply because his views and politics seem to me narrow-minded and ill-informed.

    I have a slightly different take on orthodoxy and heresy to yours, and I don’t tend to find labels like ‘heretical’ helpful on the whole. But I do think that Mormonism is at the least very strange and deeply misguided, almost on a par with Scientology.

    Nonetheless, from this side of the Pond at least, your Screwtape scenario (even if tongue-in-cheek) does rather come across as a slightly paranoid conspiracy theory. I find it very hard to believe that Romney’s rise has anything to do with secret diabolic councils or infernal machinations seeking to make Mormonism publicly acceptable.

    True, I’d be unlikely to vote for an avowed satanist, but in general I can’t really see that a candidate’s religious faith should be the deciding factor in voting for them or not. That’s not to say that faith should be irrelevant to politics or that a politician’s beliefs don’t matter, but they’re surely not the primary issue. Here in the UK, I’m far more bothered by Romney’s political beliefs than his religious ones.

    That said, I realise that UK Mormonism is rather different from the US brand, and there’s little danger here of people confusing LDS with mainstream Christianity.

    Thanks
    Harvey

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      “Tried
      to post this before but it seems to have disappeared…”

      Sorry about that. Something peculiar happened and it reverted to an old draft when I tried to fix a typo. Suddenly I lost an hour’s worth of work. Anyway, all is well now but my apologies for the inconvenience.

      “I’m an
      interested UK spectator who likes your blog (and I describe myself as an
      Evangelical Liberal which chimes fairly nicely with your Hardlining
      Moderate).”

      Most interesting. Always glad to get another perspective from the other side of the pond.

      “Obviously I can’t vote for any US presidential candidate, and if I
      could it certainly wouldn’t be Romney. That’s not because he’s a Mormon
      though; it’s simply because his views and politics seem to me
      narrow-minded and ill-informed.”

      No comment. (I agree, but I”m trying to avoid going down that rabbit trail.)

      “I have a slightly different take on orthodoxy and heresy to yours,
      and I don’t tend to find labels like ‘heretical’ helpful on the whole.”

      You do perceive that I use them hesitantly and don’t wield them like a battle axe, right? I find that as long as we’re clear there helpful dialogue can usually take place.

      “But I do think that Mormonism is at the least very strange and deeply
      misguided, almost on a par with Scientology.”
      Agreed.

      “Nonetheless, from this side of the Pond at least, your Screwtape
      scenario (even if tongue-in-cheek) does rather come across as a slightly
      paranoid conspiracy theory. I find it very hard to believe that
      Romney’s rise has anything to do with secret diabolic councils or
      infernal machinations seeking to make Mormonism publicly acceptable.”
      This was the danger of utilizing that device.

      “True, I’d be unlikely to vote for an avowed satanist, but in general I
      can’t really see that a candidate’s religious faith should be the
      deciding factor in voting for them or not.”

      For me it’s typically not. I’d vote for a Jewish person, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.

      “That’s not to say that faith
      should be irrelevant to politics or that a politician’s beliefs don’t
      matter, but they’re surely not the primary issue.”

      With the exception of Mormonism, I agree. I think the real issue we need to stand back and ask ourselves is why the primary issue is the primary issue for each of us.

      “Here in the UK, I’m
      far more bothered by Romney’s political beliefs than his religious ones. That said, I realise that UK Mormonism is rather different from the
      US brand, and there’s little danger here of people confusing LDS with
      mainstream Christianity.”

      Indeed. Context means everything.

    • http://evangelicaliberal.wordpress.com/ Harvey Edser

      Thanks for responding and clarifying. Sounds like we’re probably in broad agreement overall (not that it’s a problem if we’re not!). I personally think it’s unlikely that a Mormon presidency will have the rather dire consequences you fear, but I guess there’s no way of knowing unless it happens, which we probably both hope it won’t – albeit perhaps for slightly different reasons.
      All the best
      Harvey

  • http://www.facebook.com/yehua.nimshi Yehua Nimshi

    If you lived in Utah, would you vote for a candidate for governor who was Latter-day Saint?

  • angelvogg

    I am an evangelical Christ follower. I agree with 99% of what you have posted….and believe me, it is not well received in my circles! I have been saying this forever. I wish I could post this on my facebook page….(but because you wrote eff’d up!?! I can’t post. Wish you had left that out!) Very good, though, and I think this is a serious issue. Satan’s goal is to keep people from following Jesus and he wants the same glory and recognition that belongs to Jesus. By creating a religion so close to the truth, he accomplishes just that.

    • angelvogg

      But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity[a] that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it! 2 Cor. 11:3-4

  • Pingback: Not Fit for Dinner: Welcoming Mormonism into the Fold | Christ and Pop Culture

  • BryanJensen

    Take some hope: Mormonism is not nearly so big as it claims (only about half of those claimed will self-identify as such; even worse overseas). Nor is it the fastest growing. I don’t disagree its most insidious and worthwhile-to-oppose claim is that of being the “only true restored” church. Still, it’s not winning the demographic war. I cannot assist in its substantial financial and cultural reach by finding “bridges of understanding” with its worldview, however. I cannot be kind to its institutional goals nor claims even if that is a little strong for the outreach work of Richard Mouw. I can be kind to Mormon believers, however — it’s not hard, they are generally likable and well-intentioned. Some are also my loved ones.

    Yet let me say, I also try to not live in fear. My wife and I work to support Mormons who leave the institution. While I wish as many didn’t turn from it as do to skepticism, atheism or some other ism of non-belief, it is my journey that I did that, and about 10 years later I came to understand Christ apart from what I understood of Him as when fully Mormon. I have to be open to God drawing as He draws.

    We are seeing not just disenfranchised but culturally entrenched people leave. Just yesterday my son’s very-Mormon good friend told him that his parents had recently resigned. We are shocked, surprised and pleased, but also concerned because we don’t know if they are burned out on Christ, too. Mitt Romney’s attention, it seems to me, is working wonders in encouraging issue awareness and self-reflection. If it takes a Romney presidency to keep up that momentum, I welcome it, even though I am opposed to the greater oligarchism that Republicanism represents compared to an also-corrupt-but-less-self-congratulatory-about-it Democratic party.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.duncan.39 Joseph Duncan

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I know God guided me to you because I found you by no intent of my own. I just was out and around on the web and bang, I find this. I too cannot in good conscience vote for a Mormon president due to the fact that they are an heretical / apostate church. As a teacher and now a pastoral student of the Word, I believe to do anything else would be tantamount to throwing a stumbling block under the feet of my students and my hurting my witness to them and others.
    Christian brothers and sisters of mine just can’t fathom this and are now using where you stand on the election as a guide of how Christian you are or how patriotic you are. Couple this with choosing to vote for Obama and it doubles. I was beginning to think that I was wrong in doing this, but your post has shown me otherwise.
    I know that you are not voting at all and that is your right, but I am convicted to do so. When I brought up that Obama was a Christian, I was laughed at and told that he was a psedoChristian and that he would destroy the nation if he had a second term. Is this the depth of Christianity today? Has the hunger of political conservatism taken over the need for Biblical Christianity?
    I agree with you on unintended consequences and their effect. One is the fact that there are 2 prophesies in the LDS about America being at the edge of destruction and that their god would send the Mormon elders to lead this nation into a new Mormon era. If Romney were to win, the LDS church would stand up and say,” Joseph Smith and Brigham Young both prophesied that God would save America through our Church and elders and it has happened!” It just so happens that Romney is an elder in the LDS. How much credence does this give them and how many would run to the LDS because of a answered prophesy?
    I again thank you for your post and will look forward to many more in the future. You have given a brother in Christ peace of mind and heart.

    • http://twitter.com/wilywallflower sabrina reyes

      joseph, where might i find those prophecies?

  • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

    If you’re going to insult me, at least be witty about it.

  • Pingback: An Addendum to “Why I Couldn’t Vote for a Mormon Presidential Candidate” | Musings of a Hardlining Moderate

  • Pingback: A BBC Documentary All Christians Should Watch Before Voting for a Mormon Candidate | Musings of a Hardlining Moderate

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Darin-Cerwinske/118900913 Darin Cerwinske

    Yeah, I’m trying to understand you Carson, but I can’t get past feeling
    that not voting is a cop-out not wanting to offend anyone by picking a side. Maybe that’s unfair. I realize it’s your own personal opinion
    and feeling about this election, but as a follower of Christ and leader in His church would
    you advise others not to vote and just sit by while watching our country
    implode on itself? (Yes, we could go on a side tangent here of all the things we are to do as Christians that our country really needs to bring about change, but I believe in taking every opportunity our country affords us in shaping it including voting). I already voted for Romney last week and would tell
    anyone in my church to do the same. But I have also been extremely
    clear that Romney is NOT a Christian and have warned of the slippery
    slope that Mormonism perpetrates. But voting for a Mormon does not
    “support its legitimization” as you say. Nor did anyone who voted for Clinton necessarily support adultery and smoking cigars. We’ve never had a “good” Christian Presidential
    candidate that the evangelical church could wholeheartedly support. So are we to never vote? Give me the guy who has the best family values & morals
    that line up the closest to God’s Word and that’s who I’ll vote (and
    also pray) for. For me, this election, it’s the Mormon.

%d bloggers like this: