Changing Belief for Political Victory?

NOTE – This post is about politics but is not an attempt to convince you to vote for one candidate or another. Instead it concerns the intersection of orthodox Christian belief and political expediency. I feel very strongly that since my blog is on Tapestry’s website it is not appropriate for me to use it to convince someone to vote like I will be voting. This post is about the danger of Christian faith mixing with political power. The old saying is that when you mix religion and politics you get politics.

Every election is interesting but from a religious perspective this year’s presidential election is one of the most interesting ones of recent memory. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, for the first time in the history of the GOP the Republican ticket is without a protestant candidate, and second, it seems the majority of evangelicals are supporting a candidate in this election that most of them consider to be a member of a cult. Generally Evangelicals consider Mormonism to be a sect at best and a cult at worse, meaning that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is viewed as having theology that is heretical. I would agree with this belief. Mormon theology deviates from recognized orthodox belief.

Of course, this in no way means that a Christian shouldn’t vote for Governor Romney. I’ve discussed my view on Christians and politics earlier. I believe there are plenty of reasons that Christians can vote for either candidate and there are plenty of other policies over which Christians should hold each candidate’s “feet to the fire.” So I am not disturbed by Evangelical Christians voting for a Mormon. I am however disturbed by the fact that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (an stalwart Evangelical organization) has removed from its website the references concerning Mormonism being a cult.

This removal concerns me a great deal. To me it speaks of a greater concern for political expediency (a phrase I lifted from Tony Jones’ blog post on the subject) than for right belief (i.e. orthodoxy). An evangelistic organization’s main concern is supposed to be evangelism, the spreading of the good news and helping people to enter into that good news. In the past the BGEA thought Mormonism was a very poor imitation of the gospel of Jesus Christ that actually led people astray from the real gospel of Jesus (i.e. a cult). Now apparently because they are worried about an election they have changed their mind and all references to Mormonism being unorthodox have been removed from their website. That worries me. Our actions and desires should be shaped by our beliefs rather than us shaping our beliefs to justify whatever we want.

Thankfully this election is going to be finished soon. I desperately hope that Evangelicalism doesn’t sale its soul as a result of this election.

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