I grew up without the faintest interest in politics. None. My parents would probably consider themselves more independents than anything else and I certainly had no loyalties which way throughout my life. Frankly, I just didn’t care at all. I kinda felt like the issues would just work themselves out and the politicians would deal with them. Furthermore, I had this feeling that Christians in general didn’t really think too much about issues and mainly voted based on which candidate was pro-life.
Then one day I reached a turning point. My girlfriend (now my wonderful wife) broke down the issues themselves and asked me point blank (she has an uncanny knack for this) where I stood on each one. It was an eye-opening event. I suddenly realized that I did have conservative views (though for reasons I’ll discuss at another time, I did not at all want to admit it). I feel that to some extent I was being slightly irresponsible by not investigating political issues and discussion. How could I expect to make an informed decision if I had no info? Furthermore – I learned that the only information I was subtly being fed during my “non-stance” days was decidedly secular and one sided (ie. Hollywood, PBS, School, etc.). I realized that because I refused to make a decision – my decision was ever so slightly being made for me by the sources from which I received information. Learning this was actually quite shocking.
A 180 was made. I resolved that as a responsible Christian, I could not afford the the luxury of a “non-stance” – especially in a country where the media has taken up a blatantly hostile position on the ideals and values that I feel to be of great importance.
Now – I am not abdicating this personal conviction on anyone else. I think that this is a decision that each person must make on their own. However, I would hope that through whatthecrap? I can occasionally shed light on serious issues that should be given scrutiny. I also consider my own story as a bit of a disclaimer on life: If you resolve to take no position, it is likely that your position will be chosen for you (often without your knowledge).
So – with all that in mind: Here is a perfect opportunity to get started and get informed. The following is a great discussion from Stand to Reason primarily about the question: “How Should Christians Think about Voting for a Mormon?.” It IS NOT a dictate as to what stance Christians should take (see disclaimer below). There are many other great thoughts and questions brought up during the discussion. I have broken the clip down into three sections (eliminating commercial breaks) and highlighted some of the concepts covered in each clip. I strongly encourage you to listen to the discussion and make up your own mind about the issues. Enjoy!
Gregory Koukl: Founder and President, Stand to Reason
Hugh Hewitt: Professor of Law at Chapman University Law School, the Executive Editor of Townhall.com
Dr. Craig Hazen: Director of M.A. Program in Christian Apologetics, Biola University
Dr. John Mark Reynolds: Founder of Torrey Honors Institute, and Associate Professor of Philosophy, Biola University
Disclaimer by Koukl: “Nothing that I have to say today, should be construed as an endorsement of any candidate, because as far as I’m concerned, this is not about who you vote for – not our discussion here today… I care about what followers of Jesus Christ think in the voting process and the way they make their decision. I want to talk about what kind of considerations are legitimate regardless of who the candidate happens to be. In this particular case, How should Christians consider the question of voting for a Mormon in public office.”
Questions raised in the first segment:
- How are we obligated to respect our fellow citizens and their beliefs?
- As a Christian, will supporting a Mormon for the Whitehouse change Evangelicals?
- Should a candidate be required to defend “hundred year old” history if they had nothing to do with it?
- Does a religious view I consider strange have any public policy issues?
Top 3 Christian Concerns (Covered during discussion):
- Will the Whitehouse will be controlled by Salt Lake City?
- Will it super-charge Mormon missionary work?
- Is it (Mormonism) just too weird?
Presidents make decisions about how to defend the country, not decisions affecting theology or apologetics.
- Is a question about a candidates belief in evolution helpful?
- Is there a reason journalists are writing anti-Mormon pieces?
- Is “Faith” (the place where Religion resides) something you can’t really know, or test, or be particularly certain of?
- Can the Mormon values be in agreement with Christians while they differ on theological grounds?
- The issue of Bigotry, Defined.
Bigotry means: An overwhelming distrust, or even hatred for a particular group.
Doesn’t mean: Curiosity, Questioning, Disagreement.
Not Bigotry: The Armenians get a little crazy when it comes to the Turkish genocide.
Bigotry: The Armenians should never be trusted on anything because they’ve never been trustworthy.
Bigotry: I won’t vote for ______ because he’s a ______.
- The issue of Mormonism as a “Cult”
- Cult implies coercion
- People use the word as a pejorative
- How should Christians think about this issue?
- What are the strategic considerations for making a vote for President of the United States?
“At 9:20 the telephone rang in the hall, Dean Acheson was calling form his country home in Maryland.
“Mr. President,” he said, “I have very serious news. The North Koreans have invaded South Korea.” (a biography of Truman) …It is with evenings like that one in mind that Americans ought to cast their primary and general election vote.” – Hewitt
Will the President truly and impartially administer justice to the punishment of wickedness and vice?
-If you wish to listen to the show from start to finish (with commercials) you will find it in my box.net files to the right —> or you can download the podcast from STR.org.