Southern Baptists, Tear down that statue! The gospel matters most!

The gospel was prostituted this week, and I don’t mean by Joel Osteen, some overly pragmatic megachurch pastor, or some other prosperity gospel huckster. The gospel was prostituted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for President, visited Billy Graham and his son Franklin, who heads up the BGEA, at Graham’s Montreat home last week while the former Massachusetts Governor was campaigning in the swing state of North Carolina. At the meeting, Graham told Romney that he would do anything he could to help support his election.

That apparently includes removing an article from its web site that lists Mormonism, Romney’s religion, as a cult. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that the BGEA said the article was removed “because [they] do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign.”

That’s all well and good, not wanting to politicize something, but then I have to ask the BGEA why the Grahams would put themselves in that position by hosting the Republican nominee for President in the first place, then saying they’d support his election. The Grahams, if anyone, have taken the lead in politicizing their ministry. Of course, this is not a new thing. One of the things Billy Graham is most famous for during his ministry was being a counselor of sorts, or at least having an audience with, almost every President of the United States since the 1950s.

The fact of the matter is that even though this removed article wasn’t just about Mormonism, but also including references to the Jehovah’s Witnesses,┬áthe Unification Church, Unitarians, Spiritists, Scientologists, and others, what prompted this removal was the Grahams following through on doing what they could to get Mitt Romney elected. Quite simply, they compromised the gospel for the sake of the Republican Party. Continue reading “Southern Baptists, Tear down that statue! The gospel matters most!”

Reconciling a vote for Mitt Romney

I did not help elect Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008. I did not vote for his chief opponent, Republican Senator John McCain (AZ). I couldn’t bring myself to vote for someone with whom I fundamentally disagreed with so much, and someone I thought would make a terrible President. Yet, even though I knew Obama would be worse, that doesn’t mean I helped elect him. The guilt trip put on voters, especially Christian voters, who by conscience refuse to vote for a given candidate or candidates because of their convictions, is spiritually harmful and encouraging something I believe Paul calls a sin. Not to mention extremely annoying. Citizenship, neither American nor heavenly, requires that we vote either/or, Republican or Democrat.

That said, I have decided to vote for Mitt Romney for President on November 6, and am increasingly comfortable with the notion of doing so. This decision has not been arrived at easily. For months, years even, I have said to others that I would never vote for him for President, but I have changed my mind.

My reticence to vote for Romney in the first place has been his sketchy position on abortion, both in the past and today. I adamantly oppose his position actually, that abortion should be okay in situations of rape, incest, or the health of the mother. This betrays a true pro-life position as it removes concern for the baby, and if I ever have a chance to tell the former Massachusetts Governor this I will. I have always maintained that abortion, and not the economy, is always the most important issue in a presidential election, and that has not changed, even if Romney and I aren’t lockstep.

So why give in and vote Romney in ’12? Well, quite frankly it is the fact that his opponent, incumbent President Barack Obama, is simply not qualified to be President on the basis of his complete disregard for human life. One of his first actions as President was to reverse the Mexico City policy which previously denied federal funding for foreign aid abortions. As a state senator in Illinois he voted repeatedly against a bill which would have guaranteed health care to babies that survived attempted abortions. This is the height of depravity on par with Pharaoh in Exodus 1. Now, in the absence of a economic record he can really run on, he has manufactured a “war on women” and has actually vigorously campaigned on his pro-abortion principles. Romney’s position is very wrong, but it’s just the fact that Obama is so much worse and is so proud of it that drive me to change my mind here and go ahead and vote Romney.

Of course, it’s not merely abortion that compels me to vote Romney. Religious liberty has been under attack since the President took office in 2009. The professing Christian who actually attended a gospel-less church that heavily promotes black liberation theology has shown enmity toward evangelicals and Catholics alike – the contraception mandate from his Department of Health and Human Services being just the most famous example.

On foreign policy, the attack on our embassy in Lybia is but the most recent abdication of presidential responsibility from the Obama Administration. Despite his assertion during the second debate that he called the 9/11 attack an “act of terror,” every statement from his administration for two weeks refused to say that, and actually blamed a YouTube video for what happened. His Ambassador to the United States went on five Sunday morning shows to make the case, which has seen been proven to be a farce, as could easily be seen from the start by a discerning citizen. Meanwhile, now he’s admitted that the attack on our embassy and resultant death of four Americans, including our Ambassador, was the work of al-Queda, all the while saying that al-Queda is in retreat around the world.

Beyond Lybia, he has not kept promises he made during the 2008 campaign. He said he would close Guantanamo Bay but didn’t (I’m actually glad he didn’t, but the fact he broke a promise he made so often during that campaign is striking). He said he would take troops out of Afghanistan and he hasn’t. They are still there (again, I’m glad). But he’s given exit dates to our enemies that serve no good purpose except to help them strategize against us. His Vice President, Joe Biden, said during the debate that troops would be out in 2014, even as the Obama State Department is negotiating with the Afghan government for our troops to remain longer. Quite simply, the man cannot be trusted with the protection of this nation, to say nothing of his treatment of our only historical ally in the Mideast, Israel.

Romney’s response to this debate question may have been the best two minutes of his entire campaign.

Then there’s the economy. Oh yes, the economy. And yes, the President entered office in tough times, but his policies have furthered our recession, not stopped it. He claims to have lowered taxes on middle class families eighteen times. That’s a blatant lie. Sometimes taxes haven’t been raised quite as much as they would have been. This does not qualify as a tax cut. He’s willing to see the Bush era tax cuts expire even in a weak economy, which is just stupid. His stimulus package did nothing to help the economy, except put some cash in the coffers of green cronies whose environmental businesses went bankrupt (see Solyndra, A123, Fister, et al). He took the unprecedented step of bailing out General Motors, which was in reality a gift to the unions which so eagerly support him. There are over eleven million more people on food stamps in this country than there were when he took office. Obama claims to have created five million jobs, but that number doesn’t include all of the jobs which have been lost. Overall, he’s still in the negative. In 2008, candidate Obama promised to lower unemployment to 5.4% and cut the deficit in half. Four years later unemployment is at 7.8%, which is itself an incredibly suspect number, and the debt has increased by over sixty percent to over 16 trillion dollars! In short, the Obama presidency is an economic disaster, and it should cause great concern to consider what we might look like four years from now should Obama be re-elected.

These are reasons why I will vote for Mitt Romney this year. Obama is just that bad, his policies that dangerous. As for Romney, he wants to lower taxes across the board. Rather than deliver guarded rhetoric about protecting big business, he has focused much attention on helping small businesses by lowering their tax rate and getting rid of over-regulation. He is a proven job creator as a businessman and a proven budget balancer as a governor. He is making energy independence a priority in his plans, because in addition to it being right, he knows it will create jobs in this country.

Plus, and this is a big one to me, he had the guts (yes, the guts), say that Detroit should be allowed to go through a managed bankruptcy, protecting pensions, so that they could come out stronger, rather than just give them a bailout, now with lots of government strings. And this says nothing of the fact that Obama’s GM takeover closed over a third of their car dealerships (killing jobs in the process). It takes guts for a guy from Michigan to write that, as he did in 2008. I respect that.

Overall, when comparing Mitt Romney to Barack Obama as to who would be a better President, it’s really no contest. President Obama has had four years, including two with a supermajority in Congress, and forced Obamacare down the throats of Americans, which, if not repealed and replaced, will kill more American businesses, and with it jobs, all the while taking away our freedoms.

He. Must. Be. Stopped.

Mitt Romney is a better choice. Not a perfect choice, but a much better choice. As believers we must remember that we are not choosing a national pastor. We’re choosing a President. And while Romney doesn’t know Christ, and while as Christians we must continue to call Mormonism what it is (a cult that will lead those in its web away from the saving gospel of Christ and straight to hell), he does have a basic sense of right and wrong that Obama has not exhibited in the last four years, in his political career before that, or in his plans for his next four years. Therefore, I’ve reconciled myself to do what my conscience will allow me to do, vote for Romney and pray that the one true God of biblical Christianity will turn his heart as it relates the Lord Jesus, the authority of Scripture, and to a real pro-life position.

Romney for President.