Should a Christian vote for a Mormon?

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

To start, let me say that while the candidacy of Mitt Romney is the reason for this question, it is not, in reality, an issue that is limited to Mitt Romney or Mormonism. The same questions would be raised about a candidate who is a Jehovah's Witness, Buddhist, or Muslim. The issue at hand is whether a Christian can vote for and/or support a political candidate who is not a Christian and/or has some unbiblical beliefs on theological/spiritual matters.

I would, of course, love to be able to vote for only solid, evangelical Christians who have sound theology, unquestioned integrity, and impeccable wisdom. But, in reality, seldom does such a candidate exist. Far too often, voting is a choice between the lesser of two evils. And that is what this question ultimately comes down to for me. In the 2012 presidential election between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, I will not hesitate to vote for Mitt Romney. The choice is between a candidate with whom I agree on most issues, and a candidate with whom I disagree on virtually every issue.

Do Mormons have some very unbiblical beliefs? Absolutely! Do I question how seemingly intelligent people can believe some of Mormonism's teachings? Of course! At the same time, in all my "encounters" with Mormons, I have found them to be good, friendly, moral, and respectful people. My home is a few blocks from a Mormon temple. To be honest, I prefer my Mormon neighbors to most of my other neighbors.

In the history of the United States, we have had presidents who were Baptists, Methodists, and Catholics. We have had presidents who were deists and probably atheists (although none have ever admitted it). There has probably never been a president with whom I would have agreed on every theological/biblical issue. Do I wish Mitt Romney had a biblical understanding of the deity of Christ and salvation by grace alone through faith alone? Definitely! Do I think Mormon beliefs disqualify a person from serving in a political position, even one as high as the President of the United States? No, I do not.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of this question is whether having a Mormon president would give more legitimacy to the Mormon faith. I can definitely imagine Mormon missionaries around the world saying "let me tell you what the President of the United States of America believes" in an attempt to gain interest in their message. But is this truly a problem we have to be concerned about? I can just as easily imagine people being turned away from the Mormon message due to an intense dislike of the USA and/or our President. Further, God is sovereign over salvation, and He is perfectly capable of preventing people from being misled by Mormon missionaries. People follow false religions because they are spiritually blind, not because of a famous or popular adherent of that religion.

The more difficult question for me is whether I would vote for a highly qualified, non-Christian candidate over an evangelical Christian candidate who is not as qualified. Obviously my ideal would be a candidate who is both an evangelical Christian and possesses the necessary knowledge and experience. But, again, that is rarely a choice we are given.

Ultimately, my conviction has become that I should vote for the candidate whom I think will do the best job. I take his/her faith into account, but I do not make it the determining factor.

If I only voted for people with whom I agree perfectly on all areas of theology, that would eliminate every candidate but me. And I am definitely not running!

Related article: What do Mormons believe?

TagsCurrent-Issues  | Political-Issues

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Published 9-5-12