That’s the title of an interesting commentary put out by the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement, which is part of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the SBC’s flagship seminary. Here is the meat of it, which is not the out-of-hand rejection the mainstream media would have us believe would be the case:
Albert Mohler, Phil Roberts, and I recently had a conversation about Romney and Mormonism on Dr. Mohler’s radio program, which you can download here. As you’ll see, we’re not completely sure what the potential of a Mormon President means, if anything, for Christian witness in the United States. We are sure that it’s a question worth asking, sooner rather than later.
At an event in Washington this year, I asked a high-ranking leader in the LDS church, a kind and brilliant man, what he thought of a potential Romney candidacy. He had high praise for Romney and then sighed, “If he runs, we’ll live through what you Southern Baptists went through with Jimmy Carter. The media will be focused on Mormonism day and night, probably in ways that will make Mormonism look strange.”
In that, we can sympathize, to be sure.
But, whatever the political alliances that come and go, we shouldn’t forget that Mormonism is inconsistent with, indeed contrary to, orthodox Christianity. Regardless of the list of candidates for President of the United States, let’s remember our allegiance to a more permanent Kingdom, a Kingdom that is entered not through a voting booth or Temple garments or a proxy baptism, but through the new birth. The most important question is not whether you would vote for a Mormon over Hillary Clinton for President, but whether you will love the Mormons in your neighborhood enough to learn their names, invite them to dinner, and share with them the only gospel that truly saves.
I for one hear a lot of questions from fellow evangelicals as to the religious–not political–implications of a President Romney. The political ones have been discussed at length here, but the religious ones have not. And it seems to me that this commentary places the emphasis squarely where it should be: on evangelicals. It reminds us to (a) engage Mormons lovingly, not with condemnation, and (b) step up our own evangelism if we are truly worried about it suffering in some way from having a Mormon president.