Due to the frenzy this weekend, we weren’t able to note several major developments in the campaign. And I think I’ve had just about enough of writing about the straw poll. So…
Evangelical theology professor Wayne Grudem endorsed Governor Romney and wrote a column about it on Townhall.com. It’s called “Why Evangelicals Should Support Mitt Romney”…very subtle. Here is a taste:
Romney is a Mormon, and I strongly disagree with a significant number of Mormon theological beliefs, which I find to be inconsistent with the Bible and with historic Christian teachings. But many Mormon teachings on ethics and values are similar to those in the Bible, and those teachings support Romney’s conservative political values.
Can evangelicals support a candidate who is politically conservative but not an evangelical Christian? Yes, certainly. In fact, it would demonstrate the falsehood of the liberal accusation that evangelicals are just trying to make this a “Christian nation” and only want evangelical Christians in office. For evangelicals to support a Mormon candidate would be similar to supporting a conservative Jewish candidate—someone we don’t consider a Christian but who comes from a religious tradition that believes in absolute moral values very similar to those that Christians learn from the Bible. Here in Arizona a few years ago I voted for Matt Salmon, a Mormon candidate for governor. He lost, but his policies would have been much more conservative than those of Janet Napolitano, who has now vetoed dozens of pro-life, pro-family bills.
Or have we come to the point where evangelicals will only vote for people they consider Christians? I hope not, for nothing in the Bible says that people have to be born again Christians before they can be governmental authorities who are used greatly by God to advance his purposes. God used Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to raise Joseph to a position of authority over the whole country, so he could save his people from famine (Genesis 41:37-57). God used Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, to protect and raise up Daniel and his Jewish friends to positions of high authority over Babylon (Daniel 2:46-49). God used Cyrus, King of Persia, to restore the Jewish exiles to their homeland (Isaiah 45:16; Ezra 1:1-4), and used Darius, King of Persia, to protect the Jewish people as they rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 6:1-12). God used Ahashuerus, King of Persia, to raise up Esther as Queen and to give Mordecai high authority and honor in his kingdom (Esther 6:10-11; 8:1-2, 7-15). In the New Testament age, God used the peace enforced by the secular Roman Empire, the Pax Romana, to enable the early Christians to travel freely and spread the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean world.
Here in the United States, God used not only Founding Fathers who were strong Christians, but also Deists such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, to build the foundation of our nation.
So did John Willke, a founder and former president of the National Right To Life Committee. He said:
Unlike other candidates who only speak to the importance of confronting the major social issues of the day, Governor Romney has a record of action in defending life. Every decision he made as Governor was on the side of life. I know he will be the strong pro-life President we need in the White House. Governor Romney is the only candidate who can lead our pro-life and pro-family conservative movement to victory in 2008.
Our buddy Nathan Burd, who knows the pro-life movement like the back of his hand, called this “huge news” in an e-mail.
And finally, Don Wilton, pastor of a huge church and the immediate past president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, also endorsed Governor Romney. He said:
I am proud to stand alongside Governor Romney as he pursues our nation’s highest office. His values are my values – protecting the sanctity of human life, defending marriage and strengthening the family. We need someone in Washington who will stand up for traditional families and Governor Romney is that person. While we may not agree on theology, Governor Romney and I agree that this election is about our country heading in the right direction. Governor Romney is the best candidate to stand for conservative values in Washington.
Well, you know, the interesting thing is it’s very difficult to call South Carolina or Bob Jones University atypical in this. And you just think back to previous Republican nomination struggles, and you can remember how decisive some of these constituencies can be. I think this is really big. If I were in the Romney campaign, I would be extremely encouraged by this, because not only is Bob Jones III obviously a very well known conservative leader, but he is so well positioned on the spectrum, that this is likely to make it easier for other persons also to make very similar moves.
Well in the South Carolina primary, not only does it travel well, this is a huge signal. This is like a lighthouse going on, the light shining its beam on Mitt Romney. Not only that, but the argument made by Bob Jones III basically means that not only is he supporting Mitt Romney, he’s basically saying he is the only option so far as he sees it on the Republican side.