Monday

President Obama & Governor Romney: Two Sides Of The Same Coin


There is a God. This is where all human thought should begin. But there is a sort of religious humanism that is revealing itself in our land, perhaps now more than ever. It is a kind of practical atheism or man based theology with political victory as its primary motive. It is upside down theology, with man at the top and God at the bottom. This confusion is deadly to a culture.

It is not surprising that many conservative Christian writers attack President Obama for his stance on the economy, homosexuality, abortion, gun control, Supreme Court nominations, etc. Many of these writers support Governor Romney because he is somewhat on the other side of these issues. Then, strangely, he is given a pass by many Christian writers on his Mormon theology.

David Barton with Wallbuilders, a Christian political action organization, recently said, “So why do we have a question here? Because he's (Romney) a Mormon? Hey, we've got to get past labels. Just like Obama's Christian label means nothing, Romney's Mormon label means nothing.” I wonder if Mr. Barton would shop in a grocery store that refused to put labels on any of their products. Labels are used to explain in brief what it is we are buying. Labels mean something, especially when someone chooses a label for themselves. Mr. Romney chose to label himself a Republican... that means something. He also freely chose to label himself Mormon... that also means something.

Anyone who knows much about Mormon theology knows it is a confusing sort of humanistic pantheism (a man-like god and deified men and women). It is not like Mr. Romney doesn't know this since he is a Mormon priest and former missionary. He has affirmed his unquestioning commitment to Mormon theology repeatedly.

Attempting to remove the corruption in our culture without addressing the corrupt theology behind it is like a firefighter attempting to put out a fire while ignoring the arsonist who is spraying gasoline on the fire. I realize our country is founded on religious freedom and I support that freedom along with Mr. Romney's right to run and folks to support and vote for him. But religious freedom is not a perfect answer to the problems that plague mankind. We are still accountable to the Creator for our beliefs as well as our actions.

While our constitution supports our freedom to define God as we wish it cannot free us from the consequences of doing so. There is a God and, based on the Bible, He doesn't give us unfettered freedom to redefine His existence. While Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, had the constitutional freedom to define his god as he wished, the Creator of this world did not give him or his followers freedom from judgment for their corruption of His revelation. Mormonism is not the only theological corruption out there, but this election has clearly put the issue of theological differences in the headlines with Mormonism at the center of the debate.

So which is more important? Theological corruption or social corruption. Well actually they are both linked in a cause and effect relationship in Romans 1:18-32. It is easy to find the cause and effect terms in this section of scripture. When a certain condition exists: Romans 1:19-23; 1:25; 1:28  then a certain action is taken: Romans 1:24; 1:26-32. Based on this passage, when we see a corrupt culture we know that the cause is God's judgment on corrupt theology. Our country is not facing judgment, the corruption in our culture indicates we are already under judgment, and changing laws will not free us from that judgment. The evidence is all around us, and some among us continue to spray gasoline on the fire. Some, like President Obama, support laws to let the fire burn, while others, like Governor Romney, redefine God's revelation of Himself and spray fuel on the fire. Two sides of the same coin...

Romans 1 teaches that what we believe about God is the primary factor in our earthly relationship with Him, and the health of our culture is dependent on correct belief about God. The equation in Romans 1 is simple: corrupt theology leads to a corrupt culture. And our whole culture is in this together. There is no part of our nation that is free from the stain of judgment. There is also no part of our culture that is free from rejection of the notion that theological corruption is behind our current condition. In fact, I fear that the most common reaction in our country to the notion of the primacy of Theology in a culture is rejection.

If what I have stated is true, then we are at an impasse that politics and voting cannot change. This is unacceptable to many people. They want to believe that we can, in our own strength, change our condition. Romans 1 teaches us that the only way to reach those heights of change is to realize how far we have fallen into His judgment and, as fallen creatures, rest in God's strength to free us from this judgment through His Gospel. Romans 1:16-19

5 comments:

  1. Thank you... The rhetoric on both sides reflects a growing polarization where respect and healthy dialogue are becoming scarce.

    I dare say that the way some present their case, it would appear that we have a choice between "Democrat or Christian".

    And from a theological standpoint, it is much ado about nothing: two sides of the same coin.

    Mr. Romney should not get a pass. It is not prejudicial or bigoted to be more concerned about the kind of theology feeding his worldview than his ability to speak "conservative".

    Indeed, the "change" needed can only be at a spiritual and intellectual level.

    You conclude with: "Romans 1 teaches us that the only way to reach those heights of change is to realize how far we have fallen into His judgment and, as fallen creatures, rest in God's strength to free us from this judgment through His Gospel."

    I couldn't agree with you more.

    Lord bless you always, my friend.

    P.S. you should feel no obligation whatsoever to actually post this comment! ;>)

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  2. Thanks for the comments Greg, I always value your insight. I agree about the "Democrat or Christian" comment, but feel it is even stronger than just the way they present their case. I think some seem to actually accept the notion of a merger between political affiliation and Christian identity. It is disturbing when I read statements that point clearly in that direction.

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  3. So, who are you suggesting we vote for. I am terribly undecided. Neither one seems right. I go back and forth, have been praying and studying diligently.

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  4. Thanks for your comment Jane... Since publishing this article I have been overwhelmed by conversation about the election. Some think I wrote the article to motivate people to not vote or to vote for their favorite candidate's opponent. I have repeatedly told them, in about every form of media from texting to Facebook, that my purpose in writing the article was non-political, but profoundly Biblical.

    I understand your dilemma, and wish that I could help you sort it out, but I seriously don't want this post to become more political than it is. If you are a friend on Facebook I will be publishing articles over the next few days, I hope, that may help you clarify, but these will also not be pointedly political. If we are not friends then you can friend me by selecting the "visit me on facebook" icon in the left column on this page.

    Having served in elected office I am also a bit... well... jaded when it comes to the process and the hype, and my reasoning about my own vote would seem very odd to a lot of my readers. I have prayed for God to guide you. Thanks again.

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  5. Toques and BackbaconOctober 19, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Excellent post Larry.

    “I think some seem to actually accept the notion of a merger between political affiliation and Christian identity” Not being an American gives me a kind of perspective not often found in the USA. Don’t get me wrong, I have a kind of love for my Country, a political viewpoint and a hope that my Country moves more in a direction towards God than in the other direction. I have however observed my brothers in the USA possess a kind of Nation of Israel equating of the U.S.A. which justifies a merger if you will between their political and National identity and their Christian identity. This I believe is not only wrong but detrimental to their Christianity. I believe firmly that God has blessed the USA largely due to the faith and practice of the men and women who have gone before. If however our Christianity is merely an offshoot of a much greater and more important National identity then National identity is at risk of being an idolatrous impediment to true Christianity. If your Christianity is just a part of your “Americanity” along with a second amendment gun safe and a pledge of allegiance to the American flag then Christianity has just become a cultural pearl around the neck.

    Should you love your country and pray for its leaders. I think so and I think the intercession of the righteous benefits the wicked. Nevertheless, the USA or any other country for that matter is not the millennial promised land many of its founders sought to create. Legislation will not fix the cultural problems we face. Our cultural problems can only be solved by realizing how far we have fallen (as individuals) and resting in God’s strength (as individuals) to free us from judgment through His Gospel.

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