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Oct 23, 2012

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Dale Pugh

I agree with the content of your arguments, Peter. And I will be voting for Romney based upon the fact that I've come to some of the same conclusions that you have.
My theological difficulty has become one of educating (re-educating?) the folks who sit in the pews of our church. I was having a discussion with some of them the other night and we were discussing Mormonism. I called it a "demonic cult." I believe both words a accurate descriptors of Mormonism. One of my good friends responded, "Well, yes, it's a cult, but it isn't demonic. It's based on goodness." My goal then became to show him the difference between "goodness" and "godliness." In my opinion, this weakening of our own theological and doctrinal positions is a greater danger to the church than who we vote for or why we vote for him in the coming election.
Thanks for keeping this out front for us. And thanks for your letter to Franklin Graham, as well.

peter lumpkins

Dale,

Thanks brother. I'm appreciative we can see eye-to-eye so to speak. Also, your conversations with local church folk over the nature of Mormonism remains encouraging. We so need more sit-down, personal conversational exchanges like you've described. Too often we "preachers" consider the pulpit the only means of teaching and discipling people. Grace, brother.

With that, I am...
Peter

Steve Martin

I do think that if Mr. Romney wins, that the liberal media, with the wrong motives, will expose the wackiness and un-Christianess of Mormonism...for 4 years.

And we'll get a President, while not a Christian, who at least has some American ideals. That's a big improvement from what we've got now.

Max

"... the question is, will our faith rule us in a way which discriminates against others, promotes injustice, peddles a culture of death, deconstructs our constitution ..."

Gov. Romney is a "good" man. It's getting increasingly difficult to raise a national son to the highest office in our land who doesn't have "something" in his background. Romney's faith may run contrary to mine, but his faithfulness to family and country is public record. His "good" report card has received high marks. What grade would we give our current President?

This is certainly not the first Presidential election in America with the absence of a genuine Christian on the ballot. And I suspect, as time marches forward, America will be faced with tougher choices. While there is no doubt that Mormonism is fundamentally not Christian, perhaps we should turn our attention to Romney's ideals, not his faith. Lord knows that Christians can't support our current President's ideals!

A candidate who embraces Christian principles, if not genuine faith in Christ, should be supported in the absence of a real Christian on the ballot. If a candidate's personal behavior and political platform are supported by Scripture, we should be able to vote for him with a clear conscience. Do they treat people justly? Is family important? Will they protect the unborn and helpless in our society? I would that this charge be led by a saved man, but a good man will do. At this point, it boils down to supporting the man most likely to advance the moral good of our nation ... while it is still light.

The SBC blogosphere is abuzz these days with debates about the sovereignty of God vs. human responsibility. I know God is in control, but perhaps we need to help Him out on this one by exercising our free will to vote for a good man. ;^)

Lydia

Hey Peter, I could not agree with you more concerning Howell. From what I have read and interacted with him, he is a "thinker" who carefully considers each side while maintaining his firm beliefs and I seriously appreciate that.

I am just put out with him because he does not blog more. :o) But I certainly understand why he might not have the time or inclination. Usually it is when he has something to say on a subject. He and I are both process people and I sincerely appreciate that about him, too. He gets why that is so important.

Now that I have praised Howell, I am going to read the rest of the post and why you are bringing your own beans to the bbq this time. :o)

David Mark

Peter,

At least Romney is honest enough to profess his Doctrine. It is very unclear to me what Obama's Doctrine really is. I do think Christianity has a better chance in a Capitalistic environment instead of a Socialistic environment, but this is an opinionated remark.

In saying this, I personally know of a 5 Point Calvinist who started preaching and accepting monetary support in a SBC affiliated church. HE purposely didn't disclose his Calvinist Doctrine while at the same time was indoctrinating "TULIP" to an unknowing Congregation.
(it sounds like this is prevalent in many SBC affiliated churches with Calvinist Preachers hiding their Doctrine)

Peter, (or someone) please answer this question.
"How is this not lying or at least being deceptive?" (or practicing sin?)

I know in my lifetime I have been guilty of deception and the longer I put off confessing and repenting of this sin, not only have I hurt God and myself, I have hurt others. MY past sins shouldn't stop me from openly recognizing lying, stealing or deception when I see it.

I have asked this particular question in blogs like this and nobody will be bold enough to answer my question. They will accuse each other of being in "Cults" but they won't recognize dishonesty as "Sin"

Peter, I commend you for aggressively raising concerns of Calvinism and how it is being practiced. If lack of disclosure is sinful and finally recognized even by the 5 Point Calvinist then maybe some healthy dialogue within the SBC can actually be engaged.

No wonder the SBC is going through Division and Strife.

In Jesus
David Mark

lydia

"Howell implores: "For Evangelical Christians — including, but not limited to, Southern Baptists — we should be viewing this election through not only a political lens, but through a theological one as well." And, lest one think Howell is suggesting he favors a religious litmus test, he further desires to "clearly and unequivocally state" his full support for the Constitution's prohibition against "religious tests" for public office. "

You know, many did this with Jimmy Carter and it was a disaster.

I am to the point that I am a small government voter and not voting for a pastor in chief. That is not to say that there are policies I would ignore for a small government candidate. (I don't think Romney is a small gov guy. I think he MIGHT be a stick a finger in the dyke guy and at this point, I will take it)

I can promise you I would not want Winthrop for President but would vote for a Roger Williams. EVen within Christianity there are people who should scare us if they had power. There are dominionsists, (Doug Wilson/Rushdooney types) reconstructionists, social gospel types, etc.

I will admit I would probably not vote for a small government Muslim conservative. Since I have studied the Koran, I simply would not trust them.

We have to admit it is getting more and more complicated. ONe of the issues for me is funding overseas and domestic abortions. Those have been funded through exec order in the past. And while George Bush did not "overturn" abortion as some liberals like to trot out, he did rescind the exec orders that paid for abortions abroad. It is one thing to not overturn Roe but quite another to make us pay for abortions in other countries and our own. I have no idea how Romney will approach this.

As to his being a Mormon, yes, it bothers me greatly. I have been amazed at how the Mormon literature looks eerily like the promotional literature coming out of the local seeker mega. You cannot tell it apart!

However, as much reading as I have done on Mormons, he appears to be mostly a cultural Mormon. He is no Warren Jeffs. Yet, it still bothers me but I will be holding my nose and voting for him. We cannot take 4 more of the Marxist (which always turns out to be totalitarianism) who believes we are Imperialists and need to be brought down a few notches.

Never thought I would live to see the day I am voting for a Mormon. Wonder if guys like Voddie and other patriarches would vote for someone like Condie Rice over Obama? That would be interesting. :o)

Howell Scott

Peter,

I have been in the Baptist Convention of New Mexico's 100th Annual Meeting today and have not had time to read your post until after 11:00 p.m. Mountain Time. I appreciate the spirit and tone within which you dialogued with my post. Of course, you are always welcome to bring your own beans to my party anytime :-) Without getting into a long counter-argument as to each of your points, I will say that after reading your post, we are probably much closer on many of these issues than our two separate blog posts might indicate. For the record, I think President Obama has been a disaster for America in just about every way imaginable. I don't think it would be a stretch to say that he has been worse than even I thought prior to his election in 2008.

Will I be voting for Mr. Romney on or before November 6? Probably. I say probably because there is a part of me that has serious reservations about voting for someone who is not only a member of the Mormon church, but who described himself in the Town Hall Debate as a "member, missionary, pastor, and bishop" of the Mormon church. This is not someone who is tangentially involved in this cult, but someone who is a "true believer." What bothers me about some Christians -- including the recent move by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to de-classify Mormonism as a cult -- is that how orthodox, Bible-believing Christians view not just a President Romney, but his Mormon faith, will have either a positive or negative affect on how both the short-term and the long-term acceptance of Mormonism as a valid expression of Christianity. I know you don't believe that and I certainly don't believe that. However, many folks in our pews seem to give a pass to Mr. Romney's Mormonism whereas they would not give a pass to Mr. Obama's non-orthodox Christianity.

As to Mr. Romney's "biggest lie" as I put it, why would I give him more of a benefit of the doubt as to his contention that "we are all children of the same god" and view this in a light that is somehow not redemptive in nature? If President Obama would have made the same statement, would conservative Christians been as willing to give him a pass on this or would some have read into that statement some type of belief conflating Christianity with Islam and that we are all children of the same god -- Allah? In this election, perhaps like no other, Bible-believing Christians have something to at least think twice about when it comes to voting for Mitt Romney. I'm not saying that it is wrong to vote for him or that is somehow is unBiblical to vote for him. At the same time, I would not accuse someone of aiding and abetting Mr. Obama were they to choose to vote for a third party candidate or a write-in candidate (i.e., Dwight McKissic). While Mr. Romney's public policies may indeed be much more beneficial to Christians and to religious liberty (although we cannot be certain), I will continue to argue that his Mormonism should cause at least a small amount of heartburn when voting for him. Last I checked in Scripture, Paul had the harshest rebukes for those who perverted the Gospel and were preaching a false gospel. I fully understand that we are not voting for a "Pastor-in-Chief," but we are voting for a man who not only believes, but teaches a false gospel. Maybe that doesn't give anybody else pause (I didn't say stop) when voting, but it will me. I'm sure we will continue this conversation tomorrow, but I wanted to at least check in before I turned in for the night (turned into what, I don't know ;-) ) Thanks again for the spirited and fair debate. God bless,

Howell

Jon Carter

Good article Peter. The advice that I have been given in this presidential debacle is this: "We are voting for a president, not a pastor." I think this is very sound advice...if you think it through.

peter lumpkins

David,

We think it is dishonest to come into a church one knows has a theological heritage in one direction to move it in another direction without making the church aware upfront what one intends to do. To speak to your example, many Founders-type Calvinists have come into SBC churches under stealth to do that very thing, and have done so with Founders' blessings. Ernest Reisinger, the man who, along with Tom Nettles, Tom and Bill Ascol, and a few others "founded" the Founders organization in the early 80s promoted an under cover operation to "reform" the church. This is explained in Reisinger's book, "Quiet Revolution." Interestingly, what did not go so well in individual churches--they bucked too hard against it--has apparently worked very well in institutions like SBTS and on the denominational level as a whole. Most notice the undeniably unbalanced number of Calvinists in leadership positions but Calvinists themselves continue to humorously assert no such thing exists.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Lydia,

I was one of the ones who sorta wasted my vote on our Georgia peanut president. President Jimmy Carter has apparently done much humanitarian good through charitable organizations but his role as President was surely the worst performance as a national leader in my two lifetimes...

Thanks, Jon. I'm glad we see eye-to-eye on this one. And, I so appreciate your spreading my posts across twitter to your followers...

With that, I am...
Peter

David Mark

Peter,

Thank You for responding.

This "Stealth" occurrence happened in our church a year ago, when it the church realized he was trying to indoctrinate "TULIP" he resigned.

During that occasion church attendance diminished, Children's Sunday School was eliminated and he was attempting to close the church moving the in a home church environment. Relying on a part time job and a 4 couple following for support.

It was later discovered during his Pastorate he was getting a Master's degree from Andersonville Theological Seminary from Camille, Georgia.

Would you considered this dishonest stealth practice "Sin"?

In Jesus
David

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