For a number of years I have had the strong inclination that the 2008 presidential election would be a difficult, controversial, and telling contest. The odd cornucopia of candidates within the Republican field, along with the disturbing options amongst the Democrats, promise to yield an interesting contest in the months to come. With regard to the Republican camp, it has been my suspicion that there may be a sharp division within the party in view of the fact that there are a growing number of "Republicans" who are decidedly pro-choice and pro-homosexual. It seems as though the historic ethical standards of the Republican party have been falling by the wayside, and little has been done to stem the tide. Additionally, there has been a rise within the so-called "Christian Conservative" movement which seems to care less about the spiritual convictions of the candidates - just so long as they have a form of "morality" that at least looks Christian in some way. However, I must say that what a man actually believes is crucial, for it informs us about his ultimate character; or as the Apostle John said:
1 John 3:10: 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God...
What has been disturbing to me, of late, is this apparent disregard of the simple truth that there are only two classes of people in this world: the children of God, and the children of the Devil. Minimizing or ignoring this truth does not make it go away, and it is simply a lie to say that there is some supposed third category of the "almost saved" or the "partially lost." John's binary description of humanity is crucial, for it helps us to remember that salvation is not an evolutionary process (to borrow a term). It is for this reason that I am in the habit of exhorting Christians to investigate the professions of faith given by anyone who names the name of Christ for the simple reason that the Bible makes a distinction between:
1. The children of the Devil who do not make a pretense of faith in Christ and,
2. The children of the Devil who do make a pretense of faith in Christ.
In fact, those that do profess faith in Christ (falsely and deceptively) are to be treated in a special manner:
2 John 7-11: 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
"Those that go too far" as John says, are those who have passed beyond the bounds of orthodox Christianity and have thus falsified their profession of faith in Christ - these are the ones who are sinning against a greater light (2 Peter 2) such that "it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them" (2 Peter 2:21). Those that blemish the name of the Lord in this way are given greater scrutiny and judgment, just as the incarnate Son of God did with the false religious leaders of His day.
With this in mind, I wanted to point out some of the oddities that have been produced as a result of our having a Republican candidate who is a Mormon - Gov. Mitt Romney. Many have come to his aid, arguing that his religious beliefs should in no way prevent Christians from voting for him. His morality and religious ethics are often pointed out in order to prove that he isn't so different from those within the Christian community. However, Romney has been quite evasive about his own beliefs. When pressed about the distinctives of his Mormon beliefs, he has insisted that the particulars of the Mormon religion have nothing to do with the integrity of his bid to run for the office of President of the United States. In fact, the defacto protocol has become to forsake any debate about one's religious belief as being off-limits, as if this had anything to do with the separation clause in Article 1 of the Bill of Rights (people seem to forget these words - "Congress shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]"). Prohibiting open debate about the "free exercise" of one's faith and religion is actually unconstitutional. Sadly, this un-authorized amendment of silenced-religious-debate, has become the governing principle of the electoral process.
All of this leads me to point out a disturbing event that took place between Governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. Huckabee had asked this question in a recent interview:
“Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”
For this question alone Romney responded on NBC's Today Show by saying:
"...I think attacking someone's religion is really going too far. It's just not the American way, and I think people will reject that."
The discerning reader and voter must ask this question: "Is such a question as this really an 'attack' on Mormonism, such that the inquirer should apologize for it?"
Huckabee's question was not only a good question, but it is a very important one. Despite the LDS's attempts to smoke-screen the issue, their own book - "Gospel Principles" tells the story of their insidious, non-Christian heresy:
"We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, "Whom shall I send?" (Abraham 3:27). Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, "Here am I, send me" (Abraham 3:27). Jesus was willing to come to the earth, give his life for us, and take upon himself our sins. He, like our Heavenly Father, wanted us to choose whether we would obey Heavenly Father's commandments. He knew we must be free to choose in order to prove ourselves worthy of exaltation. Jesus said, "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever" (Moses 4:2). Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, "Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor" (Moses 4:1). Satan wanted to force us all to do his will. Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose. He would take away the freedom of choice that our Father had given us. Satan wanted to have all the honor for our salvation." (LDS "Gospel Principles", Chapter 3).
Not only do the Mormons believe that Christ and Satan are brothers, but they teach a concept of universal brotherhood that yields several forms of heresy:
1. Their Notion of Universal Fatherhood: Their false teaching concerning universal Fatherhood leads them to deny the uniqueness of Sonship as possessed by the Son of God alone: ""We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all...That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children" (Kim Farah, LDS spokeswoman).
2. Their Notion of the Son's Inferiority: They deny the essential equality of the Son with the Father by teaching that His Sonship was the result of his incarnation, in contradiction to the doctrine of eternal Sonship as reveled in John 1:18. Kim Farah, LDS spokeswoman, continues: "God is the father of all...that means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children...Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind."
3. Their Notion that the Son is a Created Being: In consequence to the teaching mentioned above, we see that they make Lucifer "a son of God" on a par with the Son of God, resultantly equating the Lord with the created Angels. Such a correlation as this reduces the Son of God to that of a created being (Hebrews 1).
It would seem to me that a Christian should be aware of the fact that there are candidates who make a pretense of faith in Christ, and yet their true religious beliefs amount to nothing less than open blasphemy against Jesus Christ. Ultimately, Mr. Huckabee's question about the Mormon religion was an opportunity to speak of Christ. I do believe that there is something far more important than a presidential election here - it is the truthful and open proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is our true hope - not the next president of the United States. Thus, I must ask: Mr. Huckabee, how could you possibly apologize for a perfectly legitimate question?
Especially after you said this:
Every man has an epistemology - even the atheist. Thus, I agree that one's "faith" is important, such that we ought to know what that faith is, and how it will impact the one who serves in the highest office in this land. What is at stake is much more than the future destiny of this temporal nation - what we must guard the most is our present representation and proclamation of our eternal Lord.