The EFM Feature

That’s how Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, characterized the matter of whether he could vote for Gov. Romney in a presidential race on a recent radio program. (If you listen to the broadcast, Dr. Mohler said that at the very end.)
Throughout the program, Dr. Mohler tried to approach Gov. Romney’s candidacy via two questions. The first: Will evangelicals vote for a Mormon presidential candidate? The second: Should they?
The answer to which he came for the first question was “yes.” The reason for this, he said, was “all context.” Basically, what he meant here was that if evangelical voters are confronted with a choice between Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, they will vote for the latter because he is more likely to uphold God’s law, even if his doctrine is not orthodox. We here at EFM think that’s right and have said it many times, so we’ll leave it alone. (Suffice it to say that we think Gov. Romney is also the best man in the context of the primary, notwithstanding the fact that there is an Episcopalian, two Presbyterians, a Catholic, and a Baptist in the race.)
But Dr. Mohler didn’t have an answer to the second question. He professed enormous concern about the obligation that all evangelicals have to make sure that the Gospel is not confused. And he worried that voting for a Mormon could validate Mormonism such that people might think that Mormon doctrine is orthodox Christianity–which, both we and Dr. Mohler believe, it is not. He recommended that evangelicals talk about this amongst themselves and pray about it.
Well, the evangelicals on this site have done that. We pray regularly for our Lord’s will to be done in this endeavor, and, well, yeah, we do talk about the issues pretty regularly, too. And in light of all of that, let me offer one reason why I believe the answer to Dr. Mohler’s second question is “yes.” It actually stems from something that was suggested on the show: If Gov. Romney wins (or even comes close), Mormonism will come under more scrutiny than ever before.
Well, I think that suggestion makes sense. We get e-mails all the time from Mormons who claim their faith is misunderstood–in fact, I think one is even putting together a documentary meant to clear things up for us. Such things will probably escalate–as will efforts by others to get at what Mormonism really is. And you know what? If that does happen, I am supremely confident that the truth will come out. And the truth is that, well, the Gospel is the Gospel. The Book of Mormon is not. Why would we not think that if the two are contrasted, the truth will be seen as the truth? If it is really the truth (which it is) and if it is really better (which it is), why should we not believe that it will stand on its own and trump all comers?
One final note. Some others in the blogosphere have accused Dr. Mohler of some sort of “bias” or “bigotry” due to his remarks. I don’t think that’s proper. The man is a theologian. It is his job to think about theology. And he is an evangelical. It is his job–just as it is mine–to be careful and diligent about giving due honor to his Lord and Savior without putting politics first. (After all, as my pastor said once [I am paraphrasing], we render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s–but Caesar is God’s in the first place!) Dr. Mohler didn’t call Gov. Romney any names. He just forthrightly declared what the truth is and said he was faced with an “excruciating” choice because he was worried about doing a disservice to the truth. Where is the problem there?

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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